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.


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.


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.

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. Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 13th September 2012, 2:19

    Uhhgg. The “Perez is too strong for Alonso” comments are getting soooo tiring.
    I suppose if Ferrari did sign him and Alonso outclassed him it would only be because of all the
    preferential treatment that Alonso gets. There’s no possible way that Alonso could come out looking

    If Ferrari wanted to insure they didn’t sign a threat for Alonso would they have pursued Webber, Button, and

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th September 2012, 7:08

      They probably did @cacarella. But Webber went for having a shot at winning himself, Button is not in for playing second fiddle either and Kubica is still doubtfull on being able to return to F1 at all. So they could be just resigning Massa.

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 13th September 2012, 7:45

        I think so. Massa for 2013, Vettel for 2014.

        • I’m starting to think Montezemolo knows why he’s saying what he’s saying about Perez after all.

          It will all come clear when they announce whether Massa is staying with the team or not for 2013. If they keep him, I think Vettel’s switch to Ferrari in 2014 is already done and signed for.

          In this case, Perez has to be away from the team for another 3-4 years or so, until either Alonso’s or Vettel’s seats become vacant, ergo Luca’s statements regarding him.

          As much as I’d like to see Perez at Ferrari, this is beginning to look like a possible scenario. Still, this means the door might be open for him at McLaren. I don’t see him staying at Sauber for all these years… We’ll see.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th September 2012, 2:59

    “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.”

    Quite the backflip, given that week ago, Mallya said that he would not stand in Hulkenberg or di Resta’s way if they got an offer from another team.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th September 2012, 8:13

      Another statement to pitch their negotiations, I would guess

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th September 2012, 9:16

        I can’t imagine that it would do them a whole lot of good.

        If McLaren lose Hamilton, then they need to do something fast, or else risk being saddled with a second-rate driver. If Vijay Mallya really wants to hold onto both his drivers, then McLaren may be faced with a tough time getting them out of their Force India contracts, and so may pass on them. The last thing they want to do is enter into lengthy negotiations with di Resta and/or Hulkenberg, only to have things collapse late in the year and have to start all over again with someone else – by which time, their options will be considerably fewer.

        • Mallya is a shrewd negotiator as well, I would bet he is already well on the way to prepare options of having either or both his drivers go to the likes of Mercedes, McLaren and/or Ferrari for next year.
          This is then just a signal he is not yet satisfied with the conditions.

  3. Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 13th September 2012, 5:46

    I’d really like to see Hamilton at Sauber – it’s not going to happen but it would be interesting to see how Hamilton would go. It’s a decent car and it’d be interesting to see how he could form the team around him. He needs a challenge and I reckon there’d be a championship in it. I’m sure Checo could be convinced to swap.
    Webber at Ferrari would be a pain, I’d have to buy a heap of new fan-gear and the Ferrari stuff isn’t cheap.

  4. Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 13th September 2012, 5:49

    Oh, and vale Sid. I watched Senna again on the weekend and the good doctor really comes across as a consumate professional and all ’round good bloke.

  5. Hallard (@hallard) said on 13th September 2012, 7:45

    If Sergio Perez is too inexperienced to play number two driver to Alonso next year, then Luca di Montezemolo is too tight-lipped to be in charge at Ferrari.

  6. artificial racer said on 13th September 2012, 9:54

    Regarding COTD I agree that caps don’t make sense. And don’t seem enforceable. It should be through regulations.

    It’s true that their attempts at aero rule changes seem to lead to yet more new development costs more often than not. But that has to be because they are flubbing the rule writing.

    Like with the exhaust blown diffusers. First they said this:
    Then we end up with this? Why aren’t the tips forced to stick up like periscopes like in the previous drawing?

    On the other hand they clamped down hard on Renault/Lotus’s various suspension developments like the mass dampers and anti-brake-dive system. That stuff seems a lot more interesting and relevant to the real world.

    For that matter, there are still all those flaps and complex aero forward of the driver that seem pointlessly expensive to develop. Like Ferrari periodically says, I’d rather see more development on the mechanical and engine side.

    • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 13th September 2012, 12:06

      All the development costs come because the FIA keep changing the regulations – if they were to leave them consistent for a few years and not outlaw everything innovative that any teams come up with then after a couple of seasons the costs would reduce as everyone would have developed their own versions of all the ‘toys’

      Take the EBD as an example – Red Bull spend 2 years perfecting it, other teams were catching up so they outlaw it this year. The result – the teams spend millions and millions trying to get the coanda-effect exhausts working.

      F-duct – they outlawed the system after most teams had developed it and got it working… then they introduce DRS which again costs millions to develop and pretty much does exactly the same thing. They could have simply kept the f-duct and put some sort of control switch on it so it could be used in the same way as DRS is now.

      The FIA is constantly on about cost cutting be it through various caps on wind tunnel usage, resources etc but what they really need to focus on is finding something else to fill their time and justify their purpose than constant regulation re-writing.

      I like change but the FIA shouldn’t say you can’t spend more, you can’t have this innovation BUT you can spend millions developing this…

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th September 2012, 14:01

    I can sort of get on board with what Montezemolo is saying about Perez. The guy is a great, great driver, but he does just lack experience. It’s evident that he can manage tyres and overtake but he also needs to be put through his paces in other ways. Sauber have a good car this year and Perez has displayed great respect for his tyres (I mention tyres because they are so key these days) in both seasons but if Ferrari hang on for a third year then they can only get more certain about him. They know that Perez would go to them in a flash so why rush? He’s unlikely to move anywhere else. Bring him in for 2014 I say. Fresh start with new engines and new regs.

    • He’s actually been quite pathetic in qualifying all year….and Koba’s no alonso. I think he first has to demonstrate that he’s a well-rounded driver,and not someone who can hit the sweet spot with these crazy 2012 Pirellis.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th September 2012, 21:36

        @chicanef1 Pretty much what I’m getting at really. Having a well rounded package isn’t easy to come by but that said, many people had their doubts about Vettel but recently he has shown he can work his way through the field on pure driving skill alone.

        • Nickpkr said on 14th September 2012, 19:36

          Ok but with a medium car bit both Ferraris in dry, as Maldonado or Rosberg truth is that any of this guys will do better in better car, there is no need to be at Ferrari to be WDC anymore

  8. Postreader said on 13th September 2012, 15:11

    Can’t see why everyone is commenting Perez could be a future multiple WDC or other senseless stuff like that. He was beaten by Kobayashi last year and let’s face it, Koba isn’t exactly a Hamilton, and was very lucky this year to make the most out of a car who conserves tyres better than anything else and was recognized by both Sauber and Marko as the fastest during the last two high-speed circuits.

    Yeah he could be improving but next year the Sauber could very well lose all its unique characteristics and Perez be beaten yet again by Kobayashi. Remember Kubica and Heidfield. Great drivers, but they simply aren’t cut from the same cloth as Vettel, Schumi, Hamilton etc. And at least Kubica was #1 in the championship at one point…

    Alonso would demolish Perez if they were on the same team. Also, if they are really going for Vettel in 2014 that means Alonso isn’t exactly “afraid” of anyone is he. Unless you guys want to rate Perez above Vettel…

  9. xeroxpt (@) said on 13th September 2012, 17:44

    “I feel stopping cars launching is a bigger priority, if only because I think that happens more often”….to me. Just joking Mark.

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