French Grand Prix edging closer to comeback

F1 Fanatic round-up

2008 French Grand Prix start, Magny-CoursIn the round-up: The French Grand Prix looks set to return at Paul Ricard in the near future.

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Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

France confirm talks to host F1 Grand Prix (Reuters)

French prime minister Francois Fillon: “We are working on the idea of hosting a grand prix every other year at Le Castellet. This idea was agreed by the Formula One authorities.”

Button: I’d love to have Alonso as a team-mate (but only if Lewis wasn’t around) (Daily Mail)

“If Lewis wasn’t in Formula One, for example, I personally feel it would be exciting having Fernando as a team-mate.”

Fabrice Lom now working for the FIA (Autosport)

“The Frenchman, who most recently assisted Red Bull Racing during its back-to-back championship success, took up a role as head of power train at motor racing’s governing body at the end of last year, but his appointment has only now been confirmed.”

With a Little Help from Our Friends… (Lotus)

Red Bull helped Lotus get their hospitality unit fire under control in Malaysia – then sent them a joke ‘invoice’ for their services!

Comment of the day

John H suspects there was more to Jaime Alguersuari being dropped by Red Bull than him not being quick enough:

Red Bull dropped him not because Helmut Marko is an “utter pillock” but maybe because simply Marko doesn?t really get on with Alguersuari. He might be thinking after the Webber ??number two driver? experience last season the last thing he needs in one or two years’ time is a driver that actually answers back.

Look, I could be wrong and maybe the Red Bull party line that he just wasn?t good enough is a fair honest reflection, but from what I saw the last couple of seasons Alguersuari showed real promise to be a race winner in the future, was dumped prematurely and deserves a race seat in 2013.
John H

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Yuri Kofman!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

One of the more bizarre and potentially dangerous crashes of recent years happened on this day ten years ago during the warm-up session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Nick Heidfeld hit the medical car which had been summoned to the scene of Enrique Bernoldi’s crashed Arrows.

Fortunately no-one was hurt:

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76 comments on French Grand Prix edging closer to comeback

  1. TED BELL said on 31st March 2012, 0:11

    Why not? The sport history is ripe with French participation. If the track is contempory enough and the fans support it why not? The only way to make room is for some of the countries with dual races to give one up or alternate them year to year. I support the idea.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 0:28

      The only way to make room is for some of the countries with dual races to give one up or alternate them year to year.

      That’s what the plan is; Fillon said as much. The French are believed to be talking with Spa about the possibilities of alternating.

      • Alehud42 (@alehud42) said on 31st March 2012, 0:51

        If there was one race I would never want to be alternated or dropped it would be Spa. If that happens F1 will have lost a great part of its history.

        • Ilanin said on 31st March 2012, 2:02

          Spa has been dropped repeatedly before, including from 1970 to 83 because the drivers refused to race on the old layout. Spa’s claim to staying on the calendar has more to do with it being probably the best circuit, something to do with the weather in the Ardennes, and not much to do with history.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 2:58

          @alehud42 – I was wondering how long it would take for this to come up.

          If there was one race I would never want to be alternated or dropped it would be Spa. If that happens F1 will have lost a great part of its history.

          The reason why Spa is the circuit Paul Ricard will most likely alternate with is because the organisers of Spa are the only ones a) with a contract that is up for renewal this year, and b) who are willing to alternate. The simple truth is that Spa cannot afford a yearly race right now. They could probably get two or three more on their current plan, but after that, there would be a very real possibility that Formula 1 will leave Spa indefinately. But by alternating with France, Spa can maintain a presence in Formula 1 for longer, and once the European economic climate clears up a little bit, they can think about returning on a yearly basis.

          This is usually the point where everyone jumps in and says that Bernie should give Spa a break because of its history and its long-term association with the sport. This is not simply flirting with disaster: it’s taking disaster out for dinner and a movie before bringing it back home for a nightcap. If Bernie starts allowing Spa certain concessions to keep it on the calendar, then each and every single circuit is going to be asking for them. Silverstone and Monza will say “you gave Spa a break, so we should have one, too”, and the series is going to be constantly disrupted by circuits trying to cut a better deal for themselves. Now, maybe the sport could endure that for a while and escape relatively uninhibited, but that is ignoring the bigger issue.

          Formula 1 has two key sources of income: race sanctioning fees, and television broadcast rights. The race sanctioning fees are used to pay off the debt to CVC. The broadcast rights are put into escrow, and then paid out to the teams at the end of the year. If all of the circuits started demanding lower sanctioning fees because Spa was paying considerably less (and if Bernie agreed, which he would pretty much have to or else risk the calendar falling apart), then the money earned from race sanctioning fees would dry up, and there would not be enough money to pay off CVC. Since there is a debt involved, the money owed to CVC would have to come from somewhere else, and in all likelihood, it would have to come out of the television broadcast rights, because it is the only source of income that is enough to pay off the debt. That means there would be less money for the teams at the end of the season, and with Bernie attempting to renegotiate that – which I believe is his desire to reset the historical multiplier to the year 2000 (instead of the current 1950) to reward recent success more than past triumphs, which I think would ultimately benefit thr sport – this would mean that half the teams would be confronted with serious doubts over their ability to compete from year to year.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 31st March 2012, 6:26

            @prisoner-monkeys Alehud wasn’t talking contracts mate, you know that.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 6:43

            @mike – I’m aware of that. But the contracts between the circuits and FOM point out the reality of the situation. Some fans seem to think that Spa can and should be saved before any other circuit, and with little to no disruption to the rest of the sport. And while it might be nice to dream, I’m just pointing out how impractical (and downright dangerous) tailoring things to meet this ideal actually is.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 31st March 2012, 6:55

            @prisoner-monkeys

            Now you are talking silly, If the F1 bigwigs decided to save the greatest circuits and keep them on the calender, they could. And it would happen. Suggesting that they could be held to ransom by the circuits is not only underestimating Bernie, it’s insulting to the circuits who are already pushing as hard as they can for lower fees.

            F1 will be much poorer should it lose Spa. And no amount of pedantry can alter that.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 7:06

            @mike – Okay, how do you save Spa whilst keeping all the other circuits happy, but without losing any income?

          • dsob (@dsob) said on 31st March 2012, 7:19

            Last I remember, a portion of the broadcast rights is paid out to the teams. And, last I remember, it was something around 48%. Which was one of the things caused the fuss about a possible break-away a couple years ago.

            Have no doubt, CVC gets more than just the sanctioning fees. After all, they have to pay Bernie’s salary.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 7:26

            @dsob – If Bernie’s salary was as extortionate as you make out, he would probably have more money than Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brueni combined. He evidently doesn’t, so he’s clearly not being paid that much.

            Any money that was lost from a circuit being given a better deal would have to come from somewhere. Since the broadcast rights represent one of the two primary sources of income from Formula 1, this is where it would likely come from. Even if only 48% of that money is being paid to the teams, the other 52% is out there somewhere – and it’s not in Bernie’s Swiss bank account. So in order to make up the difference, the money would either have to come from that which is set aside for the teams, or from raising the price on broadcast rights, which would likely result in mroe markets moving to pay-per-view.

            I don’t know why you’re ignoring this. Every dollar from the broadcast rights and every dollar from the race sanctioning fees is spent somewhere, and in some way. There’s not simply millions of dollars lying around unused.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 31st March 2012, 7:39

            @prisoner-monkeys
            I like Spa and would like to see it stay on the calendar.

            Is that ok?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 7:43

            It’s fine. It’s just not a particularly realistic proposition since Spa cannot afford a yearly race and there is no way to give it a better deal without upsetting someone.

          • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 31st March 2012, 22:33

            As far as circuit discounting is concerned, the horse has already bolted. China and Korea have already had discounts in the past 18 months, to the best of my knowledge. Belgium getting one is arguably more justifiable since it, unlike the other two venues*, might become a viable venue if it received help through the next half-decade.

            * – I say “venues” because in both countries (definitely China and possibly Korea) there are places where F1 would probably be more viable.

        • sid_prasher (@) said on 31st March 2012, 6:47

          I agree…why not alternate with one of the middle east circuits. Losing Spa will be a huge disappointment.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 7:07

            @sid_prasher – Because neither Bahrain nor Abu Dhabi are willing to alternate. It’s all well and good to say “France should alternate with someone else to save Spa”, but right now, Spa is the only circuit willing to alternate with France.

          • PM you are ignoring the very real possibility that without the best circuits on the calendar the racing would be less interesting, and thus pull in smaller audiences reducing the money on offer for TV rights.

            Monaco pays no race fee at all, because it is recognised that it being on the calendar adds to the prestige and keeps the audiences big. Places like Monza and Spa can claim a similar impact if to a lesser degree.

            I happen to agree that an alternating Belgium/France GP makes good sense though.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 11:22

            PM you are ignoring the very real possibility that without the best circuits on the calendar the racing would be less interesting, and thus pull in smaller audiences reducing the money on offer for TV rights.

            Did you watch the GP2 race at Abu Dhabi last year? It was fantastic. And it was at Abu Dhabi. It is far easier to change the cars to produce good racing than it is to change the circuits.

    • Jay_au (@jay) said on 31st March 2012, 0:38

      I don’t think it’s just countries with dual races that could benefit from alternating. With the calendar capped and demand for hosting rights high, I’d much prefer to see a country host a race every second year rather than lose it all together. Particularly down here in Australia where losing our hosting rights altogether is looking more and more likely.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 0:48

        @jay – What are you basing that on? 2012 was unique in that the media didn’t make an issue out of the cost of the Grand Prix. And while Bernie told Ron Walker and the organisers that the race should be run at night starting in 2015, that was just a message to Walker that he needed to get his house in order. Bernie probably doesn’t want to have to deal with a steady stream of vote-grabbing politicians turning the race into a political issue and derailing talks over a renewed contract for the sake of fifteen minutes of fame. Can you really blame him for not wanting to be distracted by them?

        • Jay_au (@jay) said on 31st March 2012, 1:30

          @prisoner-monkeys – Definitely basing it on my opinion only, nothing more.

          My concern is that if more countries want to join the calendar and a few other are on Bernie’s wish list, many existing races will have to make way and I don’t think we offer enough to prevent that from being us.

          If the calendar can lose Turkey which was a great circuit, or Spa which is also a great circuit and has a long racing heritage, then what hope do we have? We don’t have the money to compete with Middle Eastern Countries (our failed world cup bid made that clear) and we’re in a time zone that doesn’t work well for European TV audiences.

          Economic uncertainty, cost of living pressures and continued industrial disputes will prevent the government from garnering the support required to let them subsidize the increased cost of a night race, but this is what we need to remain an attractive prospect internationally. Great racing + great paddock atmosphere + prime time TV viewing = guaranteed long term low cost contract.

          Conceptually, I think if we host an official endurance round of the V8’s during the day and the F1’s at night, selling day and night tickets separately. The increase in revenue streams could go a long way to financing the lighting system which is the main stumbling block. I’d love to know if this was actually feasible. Your thoughts?

          • thersquared (@thersquared) said on 31st March 2012, 1:40

            Please don’t; the Australian Grand Prix is one of the few F1 races actually at a decent viewing time here in the United States. A night race will mean yet another lost opportunity to introduce people to F1 (it’s rather difficult to convince people to get up at 5am to see if they like something on TV)

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 3:22

            @jay

            My concern is that if more countries want to join the calendar and a few other are on Bernie’s wish list, many existing races will have to make way and I don’t think we offer enough to prevent that from being us.

            There is a provision within the Concorde Agreement that would allow Bernie to expand the calendar, but it would require the agreement of the teams. Theoretically, as many as 25 races are possible, on the condition that some races – ie Montreal/New Jersey, Shanghai/Korea, Brazil/Argentina (currently working on a 2013 race), etc. – are twinned, with the races taking place a week apart.

            We don’t have the money to compete with Middle Eastern Countries (our failed world cup bid made that clear)

            Did you actually see our World Cup bid compared to the others? It was mostly celebrities shouting “Yeah, Australia!”, intercut with shots of beaches and an animated kangaroo bouncing through it all. The Qatari bid actually explained how they were going to go about hosting the World Cup, so it’s little wonder we lost it. Our bid basically amounted to a student essay that contained all the right buzzwords, but never actually answered the question.

            The increase in revenue streams could go a long way to financing the lighting system which is the main stumbling block. I’d love to know if this was actually feasible.

            The problem with lighting is that it is impractical. Circuits like Singapore have the advantage of lights that are right up against the circuit, making illuminating every square inch of the circuit fairly easy. Albert Park, on the other hand, has wide expanses of run-off and a lot of trees around it, which makes it much harder to illuminate the circuit. If Bernie really wants to move the race to a better time for European audiences, then the solution is simple: don’t make it a night race. Make it an early morning race. A 9am start would mean the race is on at 10pm in England. The only resistance might come from locals who don’t like the idea of being woken up at 9am by the sound of Formula 1 cars.

            So like I said, I think Bernie’s demand that Albert Park be run at night is just Bernie Ecclestone 101: give the other party an impossible demand, then bargain them down to what you actually want to make them think it was actually their idea all along. We’ve seen him do it dozens of times, most notably when he awarded the British Grand Prix to Donington Park because the BRDC were dragging their feet over an upgrade to the pits at Silverstone (which were as bad as those at Interlagos at the time).

            Every year, the Australian Grand Prix becomes a political talking point. $50 million sounds like a lot of money on its own, but the Victorian government doesn’t actually contribute all of it, and even if they did, it would only be a fraction of their actual budget. Most of the time, the political uproar is generated by a politician trying to make a name for themselves. Bernie is very well-known as a hard taskmaster and completely uncompromising, so it’s a favourite tactic of new politicians to claim that they will be “casting a hard eye on the race” so that they can “get a better deal for Victoria”. Half a dozen have said it; none have succeeded. And with the contract running out in 2014, they won’t actually have to live up to their promises – they’ll be re-elected before the contract expires. I wouldn’t be too worried about it.

  2. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 31st March 2012, 1:14

    I love the RBR invoice.
    Good to see such humour in what is sometimes a sport far too driven by PR correctness and sterility!

  3. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 31st March 2012, 1:57

    I think its a good idea of having the race alternating. France needs to have an F1 race every year..Isnt it true that the first grand prix took place in paris?? Now I know they are going through some tough times at the moment and so is spain but I think a grand prix would attract a lot of new people to the sport..especially since there are now 3 french drivers on the grid..

    This rivalry between Button and Hamilton is going to spice up the further we get into the season..it was all happy and jolly between them last year as it was really an uncompetitive car to the Red Bull..
    The better the car is the more the rivalry between teammates intencifies!

    About the Vettel-Karthekeyan incident..Ask yourself what if another driver was in Vettels shoes and he put up his middle finger? Say if it was Mark Webber..people would just laugh it off and say ”oh he’s just acting like those crazy ozzies. Nothing wrong with that they do it all the time!” Since its Vettel it is such a big deal..he is an easy target as he has dominated over the last season and everyone is just waiting for him to do something wrong..I know he was somewhat controversial in 2010 but I feel he has matured apart from this incident in Malaysia..

    • Ilanin said on 31st March 2012, 2:04

      France does have an F1 race every year. The fact that Monaco is a notionally independent city state should not be allowed to detract from the fact that it is wholly contained within the borders of France.

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 31st March 2012, 3:44

    so Button loves Hamilton over Alonso?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 3:48

      @eggry – There’s a reason why The Daily Mail is known as The Daily Fail. This is just the tabloids trying to stir up a storm by saying “not even the British drivers like Hamilton”, probably bcause they’re disappointed that Hamilton has bounced by from his horror season to take two poles and two podiums in as many races.

      • @prisoner-monkeys If you’d prefer, here’s the same story reported by ESPNF1.com and Crash.net, to name a couple others (there are more). It’s based on a Press Association story; I don’t think the Mail made it up!

        Also, I’m not sure where you’re getting the “not even the British drivers like Hamilton” angle. In every version I’ve seen, Button talks about how much he likes being teammates with Hamilton, but if he *had* to choose someone else, it would be Alonso.

  5. wiillon said on 31st March 2012, 4:45

    Was gonna write something about the Ricard circuit apart from hope they get rid of the hidous coulored run off areas but my scrolling finger wore out reading the above :-)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 5:07

      Hey, at least they have some character to their run-off. The alternative is vast expanses of tarmac. Which would make the race look like it was taking place in a car park.

      • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 31st March 2012, 22:41

        To me, Paul Ricard looks like it’s a car park as well, but with the colours inverted or something. That effect is due to the fact the run-off is tarmac (which given the circuit’s background, was/is the only sensible thing to have) rather than the colour scheme. It makes it more difficult to watch the race. Despite this and other faults (largely down to not being suited to carrying large crowds), Paul Ricard is a good place to hold a race.

  6. IDR (@idr) said on 31st March 2012, 5:32

    I couldn’t agree more with John H on that.
    This is the real reason why Alguersuari is no racing with RBR:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXDI2HNLqoo
    To put it in context, it was not during a race, but on friday practice of Corean GP. I’m out of words about Helmut Marko
    And they (RBR) boast of having no team orders

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 5:59

      @idr – Do you honestly think that both Alguersuari and Buemi were fired over Alguersuari blocking Vettel during Friday practice at a race after Vettel was declared champion? After all, both drivers were dumped in one fell swoop, so it sounds very unreasonable for both drivers to be dumped over one tiny little incident like that. Buemi and Alguersuari may have shown promise, but they were also pretty inconsistent. In over two years, neither driver ever finished higher than seventh, and neither of them ever did it more than twice. Compare that to Vettel, who picked up two fourth-places, three fifths and two sixths (and a win, but that was mostly down to weather) in eighteen months with Toro Rosso. Buemi and Alguersuari just weren’t in the same league as Vettel, and that’s the entire point of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme. They’re not looking for future race winners. They’re looking for future champions.

      I think far too many people are far too eager to use Alguersuari and Buemi to attack Helmut Marko. Yes, he’s unpopular, and yes, his attitude leaves a lot to be desired. But both Alguersuari and Buemi had shortcomings that cannot – and more to the point, should not – be explained away by Helmut Marko playing God with the careers of his drivers.

      • IDR (@idr) said on 31st March 2012, 6:25

        I think Alguersuari and Buemi are not super-drivers of F1. Decent drivers, just that.

        But Alguersuari was told he was going to renew for the following season everyday before he was told not.

        That’s not the way to do things, and I’m pretty sure behind that behavior was Helmut, not the people working for Toro Rosso.

        And I think is not the best thing to do either, to go to the press to explain that you have not renewed both drivers because they were not brilliant enough. Even considering Helmut was right, it is not the right thing to do.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 7:10

          And I think is not the best thing to do either, to go to the press to explain that you have not renewed both drivers because they were not brilliant enough. Even considering Helmut was right, it is not the right thing to do.

          It happens all the time. Most of the drivers have a performance clause built into their contracts – they risk losing their seats if they are not performing to a certain standard. Buemi and Alguersuari evidently failed to maintain the standard required of them.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 31st March 2012, 7:42

            No it doesn’t, look how Ferrari are supporting Massa.
            Did you hear Force India tell us how Sutil wasn’t good enough?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 8:15

            Ferrari are supporting Massa for now. The F2012 is a difficult car to drive, so anyone with a modicum of sense would give Massa the benefit of the doubt. But once it becomes apparent that Massa is only treading water, they’ll cut him loose.

            As for Force India, they didn’t need to say he wasn’t good enough. The assault and GBH charges against him meant they had a ready-made excuse to get ride of him.

            If you want an example of a team getting rid of a driver for underperforming – and making no bones about it – then look no further than Renault firing Nelson Piquet in 2009. Piquet tried to keep his seat by pointing out a clause in his contract that said Renault could only fire him for not performing if he and Alonso were driving the same car, so Renault gave him the upgrades for Hungary and then sent him on his merry way when he did nothing.

          • me262 said on 31st March 2012, 10:39

            I thought the deal was whoever came out on top between the Toro Rosso drivers would keep their seat. Since Jaime came out on top but peeved Helmut off, none stayed on

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 11:08

            There is no proof that Alguersuari lost his seat because he upset Marko.

          • IDR (@idr) said on 31st March 2012, 11:08

            Prisioner, you can argue hundred times decision was made under professional basis because the probable poor future of Buemi and Jaime. Nobody is discussing the medium quality of both drivers.

            I just tell, that promising somebody to continue, and then change opinion in the last minute not having Jaime even time to try to find another team, and then appear to the press to explain that you have done it just because his mediocrity, almost when Helmut is not managing Toro Rosso.

            All this tells me he has just acted by revenge because his pride. He told Alguersuari “you’re out” and he just have fulfilled his promise.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 31st March 2012, 15:37

            @me262 – Jaime actually came out on top in only 2011. Buemi came out on top in 2009 and 2010.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st April 2012, 0:16

            @idr

            All this tells me he has just acted by revenge because his pride. He told Alguersuari “you’re out” and he just have fulfilled his promise.

            There is still no evidence that marko acted out of spite.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 31st March 2012, 12:28

        I don’t think it was about this one incident played out in front of the cameras. Perhaps this just gave a glimpse that they didn’t really get on with each other behind the scenes. As I mentioned in my comment yesterday, I don’t think it was an upset Marko, but the fact that they may not have got along probably had something to do with the decision to drop Alg and not just his lack of race winning pace.

        Thank you for the COTD by the way :)

  7. dsob (@dsob) said on 31st March 2012, 7:14

    Regarding the possible return of a race in France, has anyone else wondered what sort of deal Bernie will give Paul Ricard’s owners, Excelsis? Anyone else thought this is a bit hinky? Considering Bernie owns Excelsis ?

    Anyone remember Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, the TV show? … “Can you say ‘conflict of interest’, boys and girls? Sure, I knew you could.” If Bernie sold off his interest in Excelsis, I’ve not heard of it, and would be very surprised if he had.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 7:31

      @dsob – How long do you think Bernie would last if he cut a better deal for his own company? The judge in the case against Gerhard Gribkowsky ruled that Bernie’s payments to him were bribes, and while Bernie testified in exchange for immunity from prosecution, he would not be given the same courtesy here. In fact, that testimony could probably be used as evidence against him. Bernie didn’t get where he is by cutting corners and making stupid decisions like this.

      Besides, it’s not an issue, because where is it written that Excelsis will be the race organisers? They might own the circuit, but that doesn’t mean that they will have the contract to run the race. The easiest way to avoid calls of a conflict of interest is to not deal with Excelsis.

  8. Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st March 2012, 7:20

    Button would honestly be happiest with Rubens as a teammate, or Hamilton in his 2011 form. These teammates make Jenson look better than he actually is.

    Fernando would just destroy Jenson, and all his confidence gained from competing against Lewis would be thrown out of the window.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 31st March 2012, 9:23

      Yeah, like Hamilton destroyed him, when everyone said so. Look, I think Button proved that he can be on pair with Hamilton, and I see no reason why he would not match Alonso too.

      Button would honestly be happiest with Rubens as a teammate, or Hamilton in his 2011 form. These teammates make Jenson look better than he actually is.

      Now then we could argue that Alonso is looking great because of his teammates, and because he always had preferential treatment (Briattore). Im not saying that he is not a great driver, but you cant start flaming drivers because their teammates are underperforming, by that logic Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel, just looks better than they are. And that is just stupid.

  9. Randy (@randy) said on 31st March 2012, 7:31

    Polish media has announced yesterday that Sutil won’t appeal his conviction in Lux’s case, and that he settled it with Eric Lux.

    Any more info on that?

  10. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 31st March 2012, 8:14

    Wait, wasn’t that ‘on this day’ in yesterday’s round up? I’ve looked at yesterday’s but it is different… am I going mad?! Did I dream it?!

  11. Jord93 said on 31st March 2012, 8:20

    I’ve read a report online: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120330/F1/120339980
    They’re basically saying Belgium’s holding up the deal at the moment, since the Wallonia government, who provides the taxpayers’ money for the race, wants to renegotiate with F1 themselves. One minister was quoted as saying the alternation was “not the answer”.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st March 2012, 8:30

      The only reason why alternating with Spa works in the first place is because Spa is at the end of their contract this year. It looks like the government wants to have a go at renegotiating with Bernie before they agree to alternating with Paul Ricard.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 31st March 2012, 18:07

      Good for Spa! I hope they can negotiate a deal good enough so they won’t need to alternate.
      Still, in my opinion it’s simple: if some F1 teams get more money because of heritage, then the Same should apply for circuits. Monaco Has it, but Canada, Spa, SuZuka, Silverstone, Monza and Brasil should also get it.
      Let Bahrain and Abu Dahbi pay. Oh and Russia and the USA too. What better advertisement for oil than F1? And I know that at least Bahrain and Abu Dahbi won’t bat an eye if their fees quadrupeled. They’re swimming in money over there. And to be part of the historic circus F1 is, comes with à price.
      Bernie’s getting old. Hè doesn’t ask those countries what they easily can afford…
      So, I don’t want to hear anything about contracts etcetera, it’s not too hard to get the Same money but keep all real circuits.

  12. Jord93 said on 31st March 2012, 8:20

    I’ve read a report online: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120330/F1/120339980
    They’re basically saying Belgium’s holding up the deal at the moment, since the Wallonia government, who provides the taxpayers’ money for the race, wants to renegotiate with F1 themselves. One minister was quoted as saying the alternation was “not the answer”.

  13. Jord93 said on 31st March 2012, 8:21

    Double post, sorry.

  14. il Leone said on 31st March 2012, 8:49

    As much as I want a French GP, I would hate it to be at Paul Ricard. That circuit, everytime I look at it, I feel as if I am hallucinating. All the run of areas make me feel physically unwell. Also, the Magny-Cours circuit would be incredible to hold a race with the Pirelli tyres and the DRS. Last but not least, Spa is one of the most incredible circuits in F1, but just because it doesn’t have the money, Bernie will find any way to ensure everyone is happy while he gets all his money, honestly, it makes me sick!

  15. Txizzle (@txizzle) said on 31st March 2012, 10:18

    It’s a simple thing: F1 wouldn’t suffer from a french GP, it has a history with it, I would welcome it.
    Although I have never been a fan of Magny-Course, I simply detest Paul Ricard in its current form, so if it would go to PR I would object to it.

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