Paul Ricard edges closer to race-share deal with Spa

F1 Fanatic round-up

Carlos Reutemann, Williams, Paul Ricard, 1980In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says financial terms have been agreed for the French Grand Prix to return to the F1 calendar.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ecclestone says French GP deal is done (Autosport)

“Despite long-running rumours of a race-share deal with Belgian Grand Prix venue Spa-Francorchamps, there has been no firm decision about which venue will take the slot in France’s ‘off’ years.”

Drivers’ meeting ‘promises to be very interesting’ (BBC)

“You might think – as Alonso did – that Rosberg’s driving was unfair, overly aggressive, even dangerous, but the rules contain nothing the stewards could use to penalise him.”

Reflections on Bahrain (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “On the journey home I was talking with two F1 drivers, a world champion and a multiple race winner, and they had very similar concerns to Michael in that they can’t push the cars anywhere near their limits. ‘Physically my granny could drive the race’ quipped one to underline how far away from the limits they are.”

Friends of Formula 1 Austin Texas’s photos (Facebook)

“Check this out. Here’s Tavo [Hellmund]’s five-year-old COTA layout sketch and planning notes. Very cool.”

Bahrain hardliners in driving seat after F1 fiasco (Reuters)

“‘I suspect now that those in the ruling family who argued that this is more trouble than it’s worth will be saying ‘I told you so’,’ said Justin Gengler, a Qatar-based researcher on Bahrain, singling out the royal court and defence ministers.”

Mark Gallagher’s thoughts on Bahrain ?ǣ Original post at (F1Enigma’s Insider Notebbok)

“With news organisations not allowed into Bahrain, it was left to sports journalists to report on the protests from the Shia villages. This was a huge error, for sports journalists are not used to seeing riots and the sense of horror in their reports was therefore all the greater.”

As F1 takes a battering, where is the silver lining? (The Independent)

“What did Bahrain gain from the grand prix? And that doesn’t mean just the Sunni leadership, who were so insistent on it going ahead, or the vocal Shia protesters upon whose every word so many media outlets hung during the weekend. It also means the silent majority of law abiding Bahrainis.”

Fears of rising violence as circus heads out of Bahrain (The Times, subscription required)

“F1?s travelling circus missed the next part of the show, the Formula One Funeral, as radicals in Bahrain were calling the burial of Salah Abbas Habib last night.”

Not all publicity is good publicity (ESPN)

“The world got denial and lectures, while journalists who dared to show Formula One in anything other than a glowing light were sought out publicly and privately for browbeating.”

Ferrari fever at Mugello (Ferrari)

“Scuderia Ferrari will run Fernando Alonso on the Tuesday and Thursday, with Felipe Massa at the wheel on Wednesday.”

Mark Webber via Twitter

“Come on Ten Sport and One HD I hear [our] great Australian motor sport fans are not happy with rescheduling of timings of the GPs.”

Expanding… (Joe Saward)

“From what I am hearing the plan is to increase the basic number of races to 20 and allow for another possible four. This will mean higher travel costs for the teams but more paydays.”

F1 2012 boasts a revamped physics system (Videogamer)

Codemasters’ Steve Hood: “Previously you might have been bouncing over the kerbs or driving along and the tyres weren’t always in contact with the ground, they didn’t come back down quick enough. But now when you update the suspension, it sounds a bit weird, but it’s almost more compliant. The wheels are in contact with the ground a lot more and you suddenly get a lot more feedback.”

The Inside Line – on Force India?s Nico Hulkenberg (F1)

“Q: What tastes like home?
NH: A good German breakfast. With proper bread! Not that kind of wishy-washy bread that you get in most of the countries we go to.”

Comment of the day

McLarenFanJamm thinks Lewis Hamilton should change his plans not to appear at next week’s Mugello test:

I?m with Lewis. He needs to be in the car at Mugello. Not for the whole test, mind, I still think Paffet and Turvey deserve track time (otherwise, what’s the point of having test drivers?) but if McLaren and/or Lewis want to improve their tyre wear then it makes sense for him to be in the car.

People say that Lewis doesn?t lead the team enough, this is a positive step for him. Taking the initiative and trying to pull the team in the direction he wants to go. To me, he seems to be maturing and understanding what exactly is expected of him. Good for him.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

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

A controversial San Marino Grand Prix was won by Didier Pironi 30 years ago today. Look out for an article on the race here later today.

It’s also Felipe Massa and Jean-Eric Vergne’s birthdays – they turn 31 and 22 respectively.

Image ?? Williams/LAT

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86 comments on Paul Ricard edges closer to race-share deal with Spa

  1. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 25th April 2012, 7:37

    That Ten/OneHD episode was brilliant. The TV channel has been getting absolutely bombarded with messages from angry fans since the announcement, and it actually looks as though they were being overwhelmed. One of the presenters (Greg Rust) said on Twitter during the Bahrain Grand Prix that he was reading the complaints but they must be directed to Channel Ten rather than him (the Tweet has since been deleted, oddly).

    And then yesterday, Webber sent that Tweet. I doubt it would have been even 10 minutes before a Tweet popped up from Ten saying their coverage has been revised once more.

    I doubt they’d have decided that in the ten minutes since Mark Webber Tweeted, so it’s obviously something they’d been planning. It’s nice to know that the power of people complaining has made this happen. I only wish that had worked for everyone in the UK when the big announcement was made during the Hungary weekend.

    Unfortunately, whilst the western states will now enjoy live coverage (like us in the eastern states), we’re still going without HD. It’s better than nothing, but I feel especially cheated considering F1 is the main reason I have an HD television. It’s been a massive waste of money, ultimately.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th April 2012, 7:43

      Ten have demonstrated that they care a lot about their viewership. If enough pressure is applied, they may just move everyone back to OneHD and be done with it.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2012, 21:31

        Ten has a Board consisting mainly of children or grandchildren of people who made vast fortunes, management skill is not automatically inherited and we viewers are the sufferers of the decisions made by people who cannot believe or be told they are not very clever. Keep up the pressure and maybe they will actually do some research into viewership and hire some executives with the balls to tell them what needs doing.

  2. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 25th April 2012, 8:12

    I would like to see Paul Riccard back on the calendar, but at the expense of Spa? Hmmm

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th April 2012, 13:51

      @vettel1 Paul Ricard would be doing Spa a favour. Ensuring that Spa remains on the calendar much longer than it would have done if it still had to proceed with hosting costs it can’t cover every year.

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 25th April 2012, 16:49

        I agree, if that is the cost of retaining Spa, then so be it. The Ricard is not a bad replacement to have either.

        As for the layout, the Autosport article says they will use ‘the whole layout’. I think that leaves only two points of interest: the variation of the T1-T2 Verriere and the variation of the Mistral Straight, i. e. whether it will be interrupted with a chicane (and if so with which configuration of it) or not.

        Personally I’d prefer the fastest version with the original Verriere and an uninterrupted Mistral. As Keith pointed out earlier, it would perhaps result in low-drag setups mainly.

  3. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 25th April 2012, 9:26

    Uhhh.. I hate the fact everyone’s jumped on this bandwagon.

    Please, NO to changing the tyres. Pirelli get told one thing, then drivers/us lot moan, and it has to go reserved.

    Why are we tampering with a good formula?! The first bunch of races have been absolutely great.

    Would we rather aero be king? Engines?

    It’s the most dependent we’ve been on tyres in F1 history. But there’s been other times where we’ve been dependent on say, engines, and managing them.

    I could understand people calling to drop the DRS, as tyres is our main variable now. But not the tyres themselves, surely?!

    Do people not like overtaking? Or do they prefer seeing one race leader for the whole race?

    Car don’t break anymore. Once a Seb is out front, and we saw it last year, they STAY out front.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want that.

    Managing tyres has never been more crucial, and I for one (and one only, apparently) am loving it. The races are healthy, the cars look more difficult to drive (something we’ve wanted for some time), and there’s actual chasing/passing.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th April 2012, 13:53

      @ecwdanselby Well said.

      If I wanted just the drivers to slog it out I would watch some spec series where all cars are the same. However, in F1, driving the cars just isn’t good enough. You have to know when to push, when not to push, adapt your style if necessary and a whole myriad of stuff that you don’t get anywhere else. That’s what makes F1 the challenge it is. Sometimes driving the car is the last thing on a drivers mind.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 25th April 2012, 18:19

      Would we rather aero be king? Engines?

      We want them all to be king. Come on, if Schumacher is driving around to a delta time and no one goes off the circuit ever pushing too hard, is that really the F1 you want to see.

      We need somewhere in the middle. It’s called dialectics – non of us are asking for Bridgestones again, just a compound that allows aggressive drivers to push and smooth drivers to pit less – the mixture not quite there IMHO however much you hate the debate.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2012, 21:55

        Bravo @john-h, for example, how many times have we been thrilled to see Mark Webber chasing down the leaders ( or MSC or Nigell Mansell or Montoya to name a few) with blistering lap times towards the end of a race, yes many times. This last race what did we see, after the Loti demonstrated their superior speed MW settled down to conserve his tyres so as to be able to defend against any late charge the McLarens and Ferraris. Does anyone here think RBR had a better srategy, or should have, I doubt it. The problem is not that the tyres go off, it is that they go off so quickly when trying to pass, there is no advantage for a driver to pass the car in front if he has to immediately pit for new tyres. We did not see this to the same extent last year, going to harder compound choices will probably alleviate the problem without spoiling the unpredictability, we just have to rattle Bernies cage enough to get it done.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th April 2012, 10:40

    The Beeb is currently reporting that Group Lotus could be sold to China. There is no word on how this might affect the team, though.

  5. vjanik said on 25th April 2012, 11:22

    The tyre problem would be solved if another tyre manufacturer entered the sport (preferably more than one). The different manufacturers (like bridgestone and michellin in the past) would be trying to develop tyres that are both durable AND fast. Unfortunately this costs a lot of money which no one seems to have at the moment. (like fore developing engines that are both strong AND light for example – ie engnde delopment ban). I believe that the economic and fiscal crisis, and other factors like the banning of tobacco sponsorship are forcing the FIA to take these measures to create a sense of racing and overtaking artificially. Without investment and the opening up of technical regulations and allowing the teams to compete in other areas, besides aerodynamics (although even that is severely limited by banning most new ideas) there are not many options left to the FIA.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th April 2012, 11:33

      The different manufacturers (like bridgestone and michellin in the past) would be trying to develop tyres that are both durable AND fast.

      That’s what Bridgestone was doing. And exactly what the teams asked Pirelli not to do. The problem was that Bridgestone wanted tyres that were durable and fast so that it wouldn’t hurt their image. And so it got to the point where drivers could do 52 laps of Monza on the softer tyre – and the only reason why they changed was because they had too.

      The only thing introducing another tyre supplier is going to do is create another tyre war. Too much of the results will be based on which brand of tyres are being used by which teams.

      factors like the banning of tobacco sponsorship are forcing the FIA to take these measures to create a sense of racing and overtaking artificially

      That’s the most ridiculus thing I’ve ever heard. How on earth would the reintroduction of tobacco sponsorship make the racing more organic?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th April 2012, 22:04

      It was Bernie, not the teams that have directed Pirelli to produce these characteristics, and it was Bernie who sold F1 and took all the money that could have been used to supplant the Tobacco sponsorship.

    • Kimi4WC said on 26th April 2012, 7:51

      I think we already learned that it’s not a good idea. No thanks.

  6. Kimi4WC said on 26th April 2012, 7:45

    So how many DRS overtakings did Kimi do over non-DRS?

    I think so far he showed that many current F1 drivers either got lazy, or below the standard we think they are.

    But then again, Kimi is just too good.

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