No government money for French Grand Prix

F1 Fanatic round-up

Jules Bianchi, Force India, Magny-Cours, 2012In the round-up: The French government will not provide money for an F1 race at Magny-Cours or Paul Ricard.

Driver of the Weekend

At the time of writing the Driver of the Weekend Poll is incredibly close, with just a handful of votes separating the top three drivers. Cast your vote here:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

No state subsidy for French GP (Reuters)

“The French Autosport Federation (FFSA) will check whether the two candidates for a Formula One French Grand Prix in 2013 will carry on with their bids after the Sports Ministry said on Tuesday no state subsidy would be provided.”

The original statement in French can be read here.

Government wants Grand Prix beyond 2015 despite $56 million bill this year (The Age)

“Ms Asher pinned the blame on the rising subsidies on the escalation fees written into the contract that the previous state government signed with Bernie Ecclestone?s Formula One Group. ‘The Brumby Labour government signed off on a contract that is too expensive for the taxpayer in my opinion,’ she said. ‘This is a very, very expensive race and I personally am not happy with this level of subsidy.'”

F1 flotation delayed until markets improve, says Bernie Ecclestone (The Telegraph)

“The float won?t happen this year, but next year it will if the markets change. No IPOs have gone through, only [football club] Manchester United. I was surprised that they let it go through at the price. First the price and secondly the amount.”

Multi-million pound infield restoration now underway (Donington)

“The original Donington Park infield was excavated by contractors working for the previous operator?s ill-fated Formula 1 circuit rebuild in 2009. Now placing that whole episode firmly into the history books, the new Donington ownership and management has, following a successful council planning application this summer, now committed to transform the circuit over the next two winters.”

Know when to fold ‘em (Darren Heath Photographer)

“All around the world Schumacher is worshipped as a sporting great and his marketing power is the main reason Mercedes employs him. But just as the world is waking up to the mountain of evidence against seven-times Tour de France ??winner? Lance Armstrong, the seven-times F1 world champion cannot be surprised by those who doubt the legality of what went before.”

Michael Schumacher needs to come back in 2013 (USA Today)

“Rosberg has 93 points in 2012, to Schumacher’s 43 – an unfavorable-looking comparison for the elder statesman. But a closer analysis of their numbers suggests they aren’t, in fact, that far apart, judging from the seven races Schumacher actually finished. In six of them, Schumacher placed higher than Rosberg. On average, Rosberg is scoring 6.6 points per race in 2012, only slightly better than Schumacher’s 6.1 average in the seven races he finished.”

‘Pace not an issue’ (Sky)

“Through fast, aerodynamically-demanding corners [the Ferrari F2012 has] been very competitive and there’s no reason to suppose it won’t remain so. As such, it should be well-suited to Suzuka, Korea and India, maybe not quite at its best at Abu Dhabi but with nothing too worrying about the layouts of Austin or Interlagos. In fact, the car’s versatility – its competitiveness relatively immune to changes in track temperature, tyre compounds and rainfall – could well turn out to be the most valuable asset of any car in the coming races.”

Alonso still on pole to win title ahead of Vettel (BBC)

Jaime Alguersuari: “I have been really enjoying my commentary role at BBC Radio 5 live this year but I won’t be going to the next three races. It had been planned for some time. It’s better for me to prepare for next year, to keep my training up, as I’m sure I will be back driving in F1.”

Hamilton and Lauda (GrandPrix)

“I can’t think of anyone better qualified to tell Lewis what he doesn’t want to hear in respect of his racing. And life in general, come to that. Lauda’s greatest ability is to apply searing common sense to every problem, no matter how intractable it may appear.”

Can Lewis Hamilton still win the championship? (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet, looking at whether Hamilton’s Singapore retirement ended his championship chances.


Comment of the day

Change the tracks or change the cars? @JamesF1 has some thoughts:

Whilst it is true that changes need to be made to the track, a focus needs to be made towards making cars more able to follow each other closely. Since 2008 we?ve seen major steps forward in this, but cars still seem to struggle in the dirty air behind the lead car, up to approx 1 second behind it (depending on the track).

I like the Singapore Sling. Yes, it is a unique corner and unique challenge to the drivers, but if F1 folks quickly acted on every driver?s whinge and complaint, the sport would change one weekend to the next. No thanks to that!

It would be a shame to lose the bridge sections of the track, they provide stunning imagery, and Massa at least showed it is possible to overtake here too.

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

Victory in the Spanish Grand Prix 25 years ago today kept Nigel Mansell in the hunt for the drivers’ championship.

Ayrton Senna tried to complete the race without a pit stop but found himself struggling on worn rubber at the end of the race. He held up a growing train of cars which included Nelson Piquet after a slow Williams pit stop.

When Senna dropped back it left McLaren team mate Alain Prost and Stefan Johansson to take the final two podium positions.

Here are Senna, Prost and Piquet doing battle – the latter spinning at one point on his way to fourth place:

Image ?? Sahara Force India F1 Team

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75 comments on No government money for French Grand Prix

  1. James (@jamesf1) said on 27th September 2012, 20:05

    Been a while since my last comment of the day! Aerodynamics is something we’ve tended to discuss less since 2009 when the aero was overhauled, and less so in the last couple of years because of the EBD/(D)DRS/F-Duct/KERS etc. It’s something that still needs to be addressed, but it seems that aero has been tucked away for a little while. IT would seem ERS, V6 Engines and the rest of the 2014 rules have brushed aero under the carpet.

    Also, I think it’s only right that France has to find a private and/or commercial financer for it’s race. Many of the European tracks have to this. France’s government have bigger fish to fry for now.

  2. the limit said on 27th September 2012, 21:53

    Whatever anybody says of Michael Schumacher, we are all guilty of forgetting just how much he has helped this sport progress in the public’s minds. For so many years, especially after the death of Aryton Senna, Schumacher was and to a point is F1’s biggest star. He is not perfect, but then again so are so many of the other drivers who have won championships. Only three weeks ago we were debating Lewis Hamilton’s antics following the Spa grands prix for example, so lets be realistic.
    In my mind, Schumacher gets all this negative press because he was so dominant and won the most grands prix and championships. It is because of his success that he has so many enemies, and when they see Michael struggling like he is now they can’t wait to pull the trigger on his career. Am I saying Schumacher was undeserving of any criticism? No. I thought the events of Adelaide 1994 and Monaco 2006 were two classic examples of a great driver resorting to childish tactics to gain an advantage. My point is, the others do it all the time and it is excepted. Alonso in Hungary 2007 is one that springs to mind, like Schumacher, a classic example of talent being sidelined by childishness.
    As with Keith, I never quite bought Alonso’s presumed innocence in the Crashgate scandal in 2008. I always felt it would have been better for Fernando to come out in public and say something, saying nothing to me only suggested that he had something to hide. Or had been told to keep his mouth shut!
    Many of us would like to see Schumacher’s return to F1 as being a success, an Indian summer of sorts, but the longer time has gone by the less that looks likely. Some have boasted that Michael is beating Nico Rosberg now often and that that is a good thing, perhaps! Though we must bear in mind that Michael Schumacher ‘used’ to make a habit of beating the entire field every other week and did so for years. The fact remains that between 1994 and 2006 if an F1 driver wanted to be champion they had to beat Michael Schumacher. Only six times was this achieved, by only four drivers. Statistics like that speak for themselves.

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