Mallya determined to keep Force India duo

F1 Fanatic round-up

As today’s round-up was being finished reports began to emerge that former F1 medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins had passed away.

The reports about Watkins, who turned 84 last week, are yet to be officially confirmed. Many of those who knew him and were treated by him have paid tribute to one of the sport’s most respected figures whose work undoubtedly saved lives:


Vijay Mallya, Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 2012In the round-up: Force India owner Vijay Mallya wants to keep Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg for 2013.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mallya Says Force India To Keep Di Resta, Hulkenberg (Speed)

“I?ve not been approached by anybody, contrary to all the speculation. The fact that their names are mentioned only shows that my trust and faith in them is not misplaced.”

Webber on F1 safety and Zanardi inspiration (BBC)

“Should you shut off that option somehow by enclosing the wheels but leave the cockpit open? Or leave the wheels open and create more cockpit protection? Personally, I feel stopping cars launching is a bigger priority, if only because I think that happens more often.”

F1 safety starts in the junior ranks, says Wurz (Reuters)

“Looking at GP2 races, which is the feeder series, the driver standards there are appalling – bad, very bad – and they are coming in to F1.”

Montezemolo: 2013 ‘too early’ for Perez (Sky)

“Next season is too early. I’m very pleased for him because first of all it showed that our choice when we picked up him as a young driver was good. Then it is thanks to Sauber, thanks to the Ferrari Academy, he grow up.”

Why F1 still needs Robert Kubica (Autosport, subscription required)

“Kubica is not anywhere near close to getting back to racing in F1 ?ǣ and his ongoing absence leaves a big hole.”

Formula One Betting: It’s Advantage Alonso in Driver’s Championship Now (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.

Tweets

Comment of the day

@MazdaChris on controlling costs in Formula One:

I just think that budget caps approach the problem from the wrong direction. It doesn?t make sense that you have a formula with technical regulations which, by their nature, make it very expensive to make even midfield level cars, then you try to tell people not to spend too much money.

Surely a better approach would involve a little more blue-sky thinking. Start with a blank sheet of paper and try to thrash out some regulations which could result in cars which are broadly as fast as they are now, but which are significantly cheaper to make.

Look at engine regulations as they currently stand. On what planet is a small displacement, normally aspirated V8 revving to 18,000rpm a good, cheap solution?

F1 engines make between 7-800bhp. There are supercars on the road with engines which make that power reliably for 50,000 miles plus, and cost a fraction of the amount an F1 engine does. Of course these are large, heavy engines which aren?t hugely sophisticated.

And yet look at other racing series. Le Mans prototypes make that power, and their engines are high-tech and complex, stressed components, with more road relevance than F1 engines, yet they?re comparatively very cheap and even more reliable. So what?s all that money spent in F1 actually achieving? A nice noise?

If you sat down with a group of very good F1 engineers, and set them a goal of coming up with a formula which gave you cars which could get round a circuit as quickly as they do now, but cost half the money to develop and build, I bet they could do it. I bet they?d be even more reliable than they are now.

This is what annoys me about budget caps; the sport is unnecessarily expensive in the first place. The change in engines in 2014 is going to make it even more expensive than it is now. And that?s with no appreciable improvement in the aesthetics or the nature of competition.

Why start with a formula which is fundamentally hugely expensive, and then tell teams off for spending lots of money on competing, when surely the sensible thing is to look at how you can make the sport much cheaper in the first place.
@MazdaChris

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

However it is Kamui Kobayashi’s birthday – he turns 26 today!

It’s also 20 years since the 1992 Italian Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna took his third and final win of a year which had been dominated by Williams.

Nigel Mansell led early on before handing the lead to team mate Riccardo Patrese. But both Williams drivers suffered hydraulic problems – Mansell retiring and Patrese limping across the line in fifth.

Martin Brundle took second place ahead of Benetton team mate Michael Schumacher – here they are on the podium with Senna.

This clip from the race shows the Williams pair hitting trouble:

Image ?? Sahara Force India F1 Team

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79 comments on Mallya determined to keep Force India duo

  1. sparkus88 (@sparkus88) said on 13th September 2012, 0:08

    really sad news about sid if its true. RIP a true f1 great.

  2. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th September 2012, 0:23

    Very sad to hear about Sid Watkins. That guy has done so much for this sport and saved so many lives it’s unreal.

  3. LucaBadoerFan (@lucabadoerfan) said on 13th September 2012, 0:29

    i don’t really know what to say, really. it feels like only yesterday i was reading parts of life at the limit as an eight-year-old.

    sid … what a brilliant human being he was. truly a (perhaps unsung) hero of motor racing.

    rest easy, professor.

  4. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th September 2012, 0:29

    I really fail to see why Ferrari wouldn’t take on Perez now. Infact, that quote really angers me. It’s like his ego is way too big for Ferrari to take on such a young driver yet, whilst totally undermining all of his great performances to date as if it would make Ferrari look big and impressive. He also has the cheek to take plenty of the credit, and even the Sauber mention has a manipulative tinge of ‘of course you will keep him for another year, won’t you? nudge nudge*

    • Kimi4WDC said on 13th September 2012, 0:44

      If all goes well for Perez, he is going to be a constant GP winner. The only way he is going to win GP in a Ferrari is when Alonso gets DNF or Alonso is no longer there. I think everyone knows it, but as usual Ferrari need to make fuss about it. Perez is just being diplomatic about it. Where Kimi just said straight up – hes not going to go to Ferrari to play second to Schumi, after which Montezemello accused him of not being experienced enough for Ferrari, we all know how that ended :)

      • Raikkonen was never expected to be playing second to Schumacher, it is why Schumacher retired, he didn’t want to drive alongside Di Montezemolo’s favourite Raikkonen.

        Raikkonen wasn’t fired because of experience but because he wasn’t driving any better than Massa and wasn’t really commited to help develop the Ferrari in a way Schumacher did and Alonso is doing.

    • BROOKSY007 (@brooksy007) said on 13th September 2012, 1:00

      totally agree mate! Perez is a very exciting driver to watch and if he gets a chance in a front running car, u can expect to see him on the podium regularly! Lots of talk also about ferrari wanting vettel in 2014…. just got to wonder if the sport changes tyres whether he will still be as good????

      i hope the news of SID WATKINS is untrue….. he has saved countless lives in f1 and dozens more with his improvements in safety. Having watched the movie Senna, (too many times to count) u get the feeling that he is the most gentle and caring man – someone you would want to be your grandfather…

      • Luca doesn’t know what he is talking about. Perez would help make Ferrari a WCC contender. Sure it may not be so smooth by being good enough to challenge Alonso, but I think Alonso is a good enough driver to take it. And to be at Ferrari for a few years while Alonso is there, imagine what he can learn!?

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th September 2012, 4:10

        @brooksy007 @electrolite – I pretty much agree as well. In my opinion, Perez has done several amazing things in his 30 odd races in F1, so why doesn’t he deserve a chance? Although there is always a chance that things won’t work out, there are drivers who were thrust into the limelight at young ages and delivered- like 5 of the current grid’s world champions.

        @brooksy007 – Vettel won the championship in 2010 on Bridgestones and 2011 on Pirellis. Tyres hardly faze him.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th September 2012, 1:11

      @electrolite

      I really fail to see why Ferrari wouldn’t take on Perez now.

      I’ve heard that Ferrari wanted an iron-clad #2 driver contract – one that would literally force Perez to play second fiddle to Alonso until he was either released by Ferrari and Ferrari left the team. They also allegedly wanted Perez’s sponsors to bring as much money to the team as Santander did when they first joined, and nobody in Perez’s camp was happy that this was the price of admission if he was only ever going to be #2 in the team.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th September 2012, 1:13

        one that would literally force Perez to play second fiddle to Alonso until he was either released by Ferrari and Ferrari left the team.

        Sorry, that should read “one that would literally force Perez to play second fiddle to Alonso until he was either released by Ferrari or Alonso left the team.”

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th September 2012, 2:07

      Where plans for next year are concerned you should never believe what a team manager says, at least not anymore than you believe what a politician says before an election. The more often this is said the more likely I think it is that we will see Perez at Ferrari next year. “Methinks he doth protest too much”.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 13th September 2012, 3:08

      there’s rumours going around in Spanish speaking countries of pronlems with Checo and Alonso relationship. They apparently didnt exchange words on Monza podium (I havent confirmed this)

    • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 13th September 2012, 3:26

      On the flip side, LDM’s comments makes sense. I dont think he has any doubts about the potential Perez has to go on and become World Champion somewhere down the line..and the best for him to do that is with Ferrari.

      Everybody looks at his performances this year and says he a shoe in right now, but thats just our opinions, the fans will always have emotional leanings toward any debate of this nature. The point LDM is trying to make here is that, Ferrari want to hire a driver that is seasoned and well rounded in all aspects of F1, a driver like Alonso essentially. No doubt Perez is fast, but at this juncture, he probably hasnt developed his abilities in other areas that will ultimately make him a Ferrari driver.

      You may wonder why they would not want to blood him starting next year. I think they just want to sign a more experienced driver, who is quick enough to bring the car home on the podium every race, possibly nick a few victories and help develop the car and team while he’s at it.

      I guess after Felipe’s catastrophic demise in recent years, they probably want a safe bet and Perez isnt one at this point. I would have loved to see Mark Webber in the Ferrari next year, but thats not going to happen now. My personal pick for Massa’s replacement would Adrian Sutil or Timo Glock.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 13th September 2012, 7:03

        @jaymenon10, I doubt a great driver (if indeed that’s what Perez will turn out to be) in his third season would drop that many points due to inexperience. Of course, there are other possible replacements for Massa, but if LDM makes these comments with the idea of keeping Massa for another year, then that would be incredibly stupid.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th September 2012, 9:12

        I do think that Ferrari might be wary of taking on Perez, but rather more for the fact that he might prove to be too good and unsettle their lead driver Alonso than for being not up to it or inconsistent, as described in this article.
        I think a Glock, Kovalainen (“quick-ish Nick” is too old now surely) or just keep Massa and wait to see how Kubica turns out next year?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th September 2012, 7:16

      Personally I think you take it far too serious there @electrolite. As with the various things being said and played out by McLaren, and Hamilton (with intermezzo’s of Brawn, Horner, EJ, Bernie and who knows else) it could well be just playing a role to achieve one’s goals in the end.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out in 2 weeks that they did sign Perez at Ferrari (although I think they might now stay with Massa).
      One of the things that make me feel it might just be negotiation mist is this tweet from Slim (the Telmex guy) about Perez: https://twitter.com/SlimDomit/status/246017643268694016

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 13th September 2012, 20:45

      Take anyone! as a Ferrari fan i never wanted Massa, even less now that he is simply grabbing to his seat like he is, he is just showing the bad character typical of Brazilian drivers, I would welcome the day that a good Brazilian person joins F1, even Barrichello had some slip ups.

    • Nickpkr said on 14th September 2012, 19:26

      Thinking about it luca wants to make sure his current keep pushing and be thankful for the Ferrari chance.
      Perez bit both Ferrari drivers, with a Ferrari engine in Ferrari home race, how would it pressure his drivers if the Godfather say wants Perez now ?
      Also to make sure nobody takes him now he downplay Perez and lays out that the godfather will say when a driver gets the privilege to be at Ferrari.
      Also push Perez to keep driving top level, but by the time is even more obvious he can join Ferrari probably can do in any other team, I will like him to go to Redbull and race Vettel at Ferrari instead !

  5. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 13th September 2012, 0:31

    Very sad to hear about Sid Watkins.

    On a more cynical note, Mallya’s comments sound a lot like “I’m not letting either of my drivers go for cheap”. He’ll let them go – if the price is right.

  6. John H (@john-h) said on 13th September 2012, 0:32

    Rest in peace Sid Watkins. I’ll always remember when he saved Hakkinen’s life in ’95. Sad loss indeed.

  7. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 13th September 2012, 0:38

    RIP Sid Watkins. I’d feel sad as I’d grown up knowing who he was and what he did, but he seemed to have lived a full and rich life and he absolutely made a lasting and immensely positive impact on Formula One. It’s a great legacy to leave, and may more follow his example.

  8. Short of making Formula One a control formula (which means you can’t develop anything novel) I don’t think you can control costs through the technical regulations. That’s because for every door you close, another one opens. Indeed, the technical regulations are constantly changing, often for cost control reasons. However, for as long as there are teams like McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull with 200-400 million euros to spend, and the determination to win, those competitors will simply find other areas of development on which to spend the money.

    I’m not convinced by budget caps either. As Christian Horner points out, it would likely give an unfair advantage to the car manufacturers (Ferrari, Mercedes and to a lesser extent McLaren) who can shift costs to their car production side and outside of the cap.

    That said, I think we are likely to be headed towards a fixed budget cap, an army of auditors, lots of technical accounting rules, even more lawyers and accountants working for the teams trying to get around them, and constant accusations by teams that the others are cheating. Plus ca change….

    • Kimi4WDC said on 13th September 2012, 1:27

      It’s sad really. New managers in F1 look like trained puppies, no creative characters what will do what ever it takes to win.

      Frankly, Frank Williams summed it up nicely in on of the press conferences this year, where Monisha again was proposing same thing – he said something in line of – If you can’t get the money for what ever new thing you want, you might not be up for the work, as you don’t get wins on a discount.

      There are billions of sponsor money on the market, by making Formula 1 fully controlled thus reducing interest, they are not helping to get bigger share of that money. The money that going to be spent on useless stuff anyway.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th September 2012, 2:56

      I usually find mazda chris’ comments to be concise and sensible however I think the problem of cost control in a development series is to complex for simple solutions and restricting (or dumbing down ) engine development is absolutely the wrong way to go. Much more could be done to save money simply by not changing the rules every year, evolution is far cheaper than revolution and even cheaper for the last 9 teams who are able to see what does or does not work for the top 3 teams.
      specify an aluminium and iron V6 with only the bore/stroke ratio to achieve the per cylinder 266.6r CC swept volume and the shape of the combustion chamber as significant design variables, running a smaller capacity per cylinder 266.6rCC and a lower 15,000 rev limit than the current 300CC -18,000 rpm engines should make them pretty bullet-proof despite the higher pressures inherent in a forced induction design and with no exotic metals involved component replacement should be relatively inexpensive. Taking the aforesaid into account I am mystified by all the talk of how expensive the new engines are going to be for the teams, my guess is the carbon fibre gear-boxes will cost more per season than the engines will.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th September 2012, 3:01

        * The 2014 rules* specify. Mysteriously vanishing words, wish we could enlarge the comments box so as to be able to see the complete comment before hitting “send”

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th September 2012, 7:00

          On this @hohum

          wish we could enlarge the comments box so as to be able to see the complete comment before hitting “send”

          I recently noticed, that in the lower right corner of the comment box is a triangle of dots. If you hover your mouse over it, it shows an arrow. Push the right mouse button and pull down to extend the comment box!

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 13th September 2012, 10:13

      No, I agree with you that restrictive technical regulations are responsible in a lot of ways for the huge expense of building a decent F1 car. My problem with the regulations as they currently stand is that they prohibit a number of cheap ways of doing effectively the same thing. The engines are a great example, because it’s totally unnecessary to have engines like the ones which are currently used, when there are much cheaper ways of making the same power with even greater reliability. A better way to approach the problem is to determine what you want, from a sporting point of view (lap vectors, cornering G, horsepower, and so on) and think about the cheapest methods of achieving this.

      But the problem runs deeper than rules which make oddly costly restrictions on the development path. One of the biggest problems is that the designs of the cars is too heavily controlled, removing any avenues of genuine innovation. Because of this, each year the team starts by designing something which satisfies the rules, and then sets about developing aero concepts which distinguish their car from the others. The cars themselves are more or less identical, meaning that large sums of money need to be invested in chasing very small performance gains. I don’t want to sound like a stuck record by continually comparing F1 to Le Mans prototypes, but I do think they’re a good example of where technical freedom actually drives down costs. Audi and Toyota (and Peugeot until recently) all have totally different concepts. Their cars are completely unlike each other. And yet all manage to build cars which, even over 24 hours of racing, have virtually the same performance. It’s because they can start with a much ‘blanker’ sheet of paper and design the car from the ground up around their own concept of the fastest way to get around a racing circuit. It removes the need to spend hundreds of thousands on wind tunnel testing and CFD to develop tiny differences in things like gurney flaps and turning veins.

      Allow greater technical freedom, while banning certain things which are needlessly expensive (exotic materials, carbon nanotubes, etc etc) is surely the best way of reducing the costs. I think you need to allow the teams the freedom to spend their money however they see fit; the very fact we’re in a time of global financial crisis should be enough to drive home the need to be efficient and not throw away money needlessly. After all, the teams themselves are the ones who need to justify the expense to their sponsors. But if you put the onus back on the engineers to come up with innovative mechanical and aerodynamic concepts rather than finding tiny loopholes in needlessly restrictive technical regulations, then it means that brainpower becomes more important than spending power. As it certainly should be! Stability in the rules is totally the wrong approach, and simply forces teams to spend more and more money chasing diminishing returns which the spectator can’t see or understand.

  9. taurus (@taurus) said on 13th September 2012, 0:47

    RIP Prof.

    Those 1992 cars are beautiful

  10. Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 13th September 2012, 1:04

    Sad to hear of the passing of Sid Watkins. He has done so much to improve the safety of F1 over the years. Many drivers owe their life to his work.

  11. matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th September 2012, 1:28

    Regarding COTD, that is one of the smartest comments I’ve read about cost-cutting. The trouble is, there are so many areas to spend money. But the engine and gearbox regulations are more stringent already, with less scope for development, so those in particular could surely be rewritten to save a fortune. To be honest, I’d rather see engines with little restrictions, bringing power back towards 2005 levels, but as that won’t happen they may as well be cost-efficient. Unfortunately, keeping the cost of the rest of the car down won’t be easy- the only way to do that would be to standardise more parts/areas of the car, and that would just turn F1 towards becoming a spec series.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 13th September 2012, 1:42

      The COTD is a great idea in concept, but is tricky to implement in reality. A blue-sky concept will be cheap… when it’s fully in place. But before then, it’ll be VERY expensive as teams spend millions on R&D to create new engines and chassis. Sure, you can give them a cost limit in terms of building a decent car, but decent cars usually don’t win championships. If teams have money, they will spend it any which way they can. And that’s why teams aren’t so keen on this one.

    • david d.m. said on 13th September 2012, 2:17

      I think you just made a very good point there, F1 is not about just the driver and what he can achieve its also about the team, sure you can put regulations that are by nature will produce a very cheap and fast car, but because every team Is competIng wIth each other,there will always be a lot of money being spent to find that small advantage over the others.
      In a way F1 is a victim of its own success, 30 or 40 years ago it was cheaper because the reward for success was very small, now with millions in sponsorship and prize money, it’s worth to take that risk.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th September 2012, 7:05

      I agree with you guys that it will be hard to implement a formula that leaves room for individual development paths and keeps cost down at the same time.

      The part I fully agree with is what @mazdachris writes about having a look at the rules as a complete set and take a fresh view at how to achieve those goals (that was how the aero rules 2014 started off, before the reality of vested interests kicked in, wasn’t it?). Sure enough if the engine specifications could be brought nearer to what makes sense for sportscar racing then there might be more engines available for F1 (and vice versa for endurance racing).

    • Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 13th September 2012, 15:46

      Best COTD I think I’ve read in a while. Only problem is, we’re in too deep to change things that drastically now. As @Journeyer points out, transition would be hugely expensive. Still, I’d love for it to happen

  12. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 13th September 2012, 1:30

    How could we be fans of motor sport without Sid Watkins’ contributions? He leaves us all a great legacy.

  13. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 13th September 2012, 1:38

    Sid deserves his own article & obit here. Let’s hope we get it in the morning. RIP, Sid.

    As for Perez, it’s obvious why LDM doesn’t want him – he’d threaten Alonso at Ferrari. Not only that, but if the rumors of Vettel moving to Ferrari in 2014 are true, then three into two don’t go.

    In all probability, I suspect they’ll lose Perez to another major team that needs/wants him more. Just as it happens, it seems like there is a looming vacancy at a Woking-based team…

  14. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 13th September 2012, 1:56

    I’m really glad for Nico Hulkenberg that he will retain his seat at Force India. So far he has had a great year. This man should have never lost his seat at Williams.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th September 2012, 4:12

      Exactly. Impressive talent in that team along with PdR. Imagine how many points he’d have in the FW34?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th September 2012, 9:11

      This man should have never lost his seat at Williams.

      He was given every opportunity to do so, but could not. The team probably could have kept him on, but they likely would have risked serious financial difficulties in doing so – the kind of difficulties that would have seen them close down.

      And given the way 2011 was Williams’ worst season in their thirty-year history, I’d say getting out was one of the smartest things Nico Hulkenberg could have done.

  15. Meander (@meander) said on 13th September 2012, 2:08

    Tobacco sponsoring or not, that was the best and most iconic McLaren livery ever. The video has made me rather nostalgic for it.

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