Start, Nurburgring, 2011

Nurburgring owners hopeful of keeping 2013 race

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Nurburgring, 2011In the round-up: The Nurburgring owners believe they can hold next year’s German Grand Prix.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Neue Chancen f???r Formel 1 am Nurburgring (Pfalzischer Merkur, German)

German press reports the Nurburgring’s owners are hopeful of holding the German Grand Prix next year despite its recent financial problems.

Ferrari never wanted to diminish title (Autosport)

Stefano Domenicali: “I believe it was the duty of our team to make sure that the championship finishes in the best way possible, for the interest of the championship and for the interest of the team and our drivers.”

New footage proves Vettel overtake legal (BBC)

“The previously unavailable in-car feed has revealed a marshal waving a green flag – showing overtaking was allowed – that had been obscured until now by television graphics.”

Deadline passes for higher 2013 entry fees (James Allen on F1)

“The balance of the total entry fee was due by today (November 30) and with [Red Bull] having ended last weekend?s Brazil race with a total of 460 points from the season, it therefore had to pay an additional $2,760,000 [??1.7m] thus bringing its total entry cost for 2013 to $3,260,000 [??2m].”

Finishing with a flourish (Toro Rosso)

Jean-Eric Vergne: “Just before the restart, I tried to be a bit clever and leave some room to the guys ahead and accelerate really early to get a good exit. But nobody accelerated where I expected them to! In fact, people were braking when I was already going at high speed so I hit Timo [Glock], which wasn?t good. Obviously, I had to make another stop after that to take on a new front wing, so I lost a lot of time there as well.”

January date for Watkins memorial (ESPN)

“A memorial service for the late Professor Sid Watkins will be held in London on January 18, 2013.”

Former F1 driver JJ Lehto freed over boat crash (Reuters)

“Former Finnish Formula One driver and Le Mans winner Jyrki Jarvilehto, who raced as JJ Lehto, has been released from all charges relating to a drunken boat accident in 2010 which killed his friend.”

The Art of War: Five Years in Formula One (Adam Parr)

Former Williams CEO and chairman Adam Parr has produced a book on his time in the sport, unusually written as a graphic novel.

‘I hope it marks a new era for the press’: Mother of missing Madeleine McCann urges Cameron to ‘act swiftly’ on Leveson report (Daily Mail)

“During the eight-month-long inquiry into press ethics, Mr Mosley told of his outrage over the impact of an article falsely saying an orgy he went to had a Nazi-theme. Mr Mosley, who successfully sued the News Of The World for ??60,000 damages for breach of privacy, said: ‘It certainly is a very thorough document and it?s in many respects better than one could have hoped’.”

Well done to McLaren (MotorSport)

“The McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 team may not have won either drivers’ or constructors’ world championships this year, and no doubt that hurts. But they have won more Grands Prix than any other team since 1966. And they have now ‘locked out’ the front row of the grid on 62 occasions which is a world record. So at least they have something to smile about in Woking.”

Not your typical 2012 F1 season review (F1 Kate Walker)

“The Austin press room was something else entirely – big enough to hold an impressive kart track if you removed all the tables, a canteen that served delicious junk food all day long, free internet, massive screens for watching the action, a lovely chill-out area outside… The only thing missing was a view of the track and the rumble of feeling the cars firing up underneath your feet, but a modern circuit never gives over valuable Paddock Club space to the press room.”
Ferrari wasting time pursuing Vettel flag issue? (AutoWeek)

“Unfortunately, Ferrari is likely to emerge from this affair looking like a sore loser, which is a shame given that the team initially seemed to accept defeat with some dignity on Sunday afternoon.”


Comment of the day

A balanced view from Broom (@brum55) on Ferrari’s attempt to change the outcome of the drivers’ championship:

It’s easy to become sanctimonious but this was the last throw of the dice from a desperate team, under pressure from many over emotional and critical fans as well as the over-emotional and critical Spanish and Italian press. In a way I’m glad they did it as opposed to allowing a minority to develop that would question the validity of the championship and F1 as a sport.

As an Alonso fan I tried to avoid any news regarding this because (a) I knew no retrospective change would be made as it would be humiliating for the sport and (b) couldn?t bear to get my hopes dashed once again (lame, I know).

Could Ferrari have been handled this better? Of course, but as ever hindsight is a wonderful thing. It would be asking a lot of any team to post video proof of why they don?t deserve to win the championship.
Broom (@brum55)

From the forum

Site updates

Thanks to everyone who signed up as an F1 Fanatic Supporter yesterday – the most recent batch have now been processed.

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On this day in F1

The 1st of December has been a good day for Pastor Maldonado of late. It’s the date his F1 debut was confirmed by Williams in 2010, and exactly one year later they confirmed his contract extension for 2012.

The team nearly made it three-in-a-row – they announced his 2013 contract three days ago.

55 comments on “Nurburgring owners hopeful of keeping 2013 race”

  1. To be honest that video with Vettel’s overtake is confusing. Because on the right there is a yellow light meaning a yellow zone and on the left you have a marshall waving a green flag. I can see why people thought the move was illegal.

    1. That’s coz you’re not a race car driver, a marshall or someone who does this racing thing for a living. My old neighbor for example gets confused with how his computer works but shown him the electrical cabling (w/c was confusing to me) at home and he gets it coz he’s an electrician…

      1. I respect the FIA’s decision but I’m just saying why people at first thought Vettel’s move was illegal.

        1. @timebolt759 I respect you for keeping your cool.

    2. I can understand why also, because I didn’t see the green flag! But now that I have realised there was a green flag it’s pretty conclusive the move was entirely legal – flags take priority over the light boards.

  2. Ricciardo will be showing the RB7 in Buenos Aires tomorrow. I’ll be there !

    And it’s also going to be doing a couple of laps at La Plata racetrack this sunday, home of the final round of the Turismo Carretera championship. That will be a weird thing to see, cuz that racetrack is in a really really bad condition !

    1. Nice… I would love to see that RB7 in person, one of the best cars of recent times, not a fan of how it sounds though.

      1. I’ve seen in some pictures that they modified quite a lot of the exhaust exits and the diffuser… probably so the car works better at lowers speeds and doesn’t burn the whole of it :P

  3. Does the daily mail link work or is it just me?

      1. People born with two eyes and something pink in between called a brain.

        1. I didn’t think those people read the Daily Mail.

  4. Anyone know exactly what F1 gets from the FIA for it’s $15million fee, seems like a lot for refereeing 20 races. Charlie Whiting must be paid a decent salary, is it paid by the FIA out of fees or do they charge that back to FOM? Are the stewards paid a stipend or just expenses, again who pays it ? Track marshalls, I believe, are volunteers and part of the track promoters obligation, yes/no?
    The technical committee, how often do they meet and who pays for it? What else does the FIA do to justify such a fee?

    1. What else does the FIA do to justify such a fee?

      They obviously want to dramatically expand their safe driving and motor safety campaigns, which Jean Todt was running when he left Ferrari until he took up the Presidency.

    2. Well it works like this:

      1. Sell the rights to F1 to your best mate for peanuts money.
      2. Then tell teams, who are only ones in this thing who are really busting their asses to make this whole thing exist, that they need to pay up some more because you ****** up your calculus, but would still want some more money as if it wasn’t your fault, but theirs.
      3. Get more money.

  5. Is there any word on whether HRT paid the 2013 entry fee, or if someone (read: a new owner) paid on their behalf?

    Although I suppose that if they are closing down or changing ownership, it is their right to announce it when at the time of their choosing.

    1. I imagine they don’t have that money available but have requested an extension to try and sell the team, but as you have said there really isn’t any thing of value to sell.

      1. as you have said there really isn’t any thing of value to sell
        I don’t recall ever having said that.

        I do, however, remember saying that Thesan Capital appear to have stripped the team of all its non-essential assets, which could potentially make it easier to sell the team because any potential buyer would only need to pay for the entry and finishing the 2013 car.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          finishing the 2013 car.

          Haha, That’s optimistic of you!

          1. @mike – I’ve heard that Thesan commissioned a design for a 2013 car in the hopes that they could sell their entry and the designs for a car together, thereby making the team more appealing to potential buyers.


      Looks like its the end of HRT, although I dont know how reliable this website is.

  6. Toni Cuquerella, engineer on HRT, just said on his Twitter (I’m translating): It’s 4 years since I proposed a friend to make a F1 team. Today after 3 seasons it’s been written the last page of HRT. Good Luck Friends.

    That’s badly translated but it’s as you read it: HRT is over. Not totally unexpected.

  7. Hold on a minute, now i have kind of on purpose not paid much attention to the yellow flag incident, but i thought it was the kobiyashi incident that was the problem? The bbc show him overtaking the torro rooso!? what does that prove?

    1. the pass on Kobi was under yellow and red stripes for slippery conditions. Passing under that flag is perfectly legal

      1. Quite why they were showing that flag is beyond me. The drivers already knew it was wet and slippery. Hayme they had to do it for health and safety reasons or some such.

        Down here, the yellow and red flag rarely gets shown. It’s usually used to warn of sudden, localised changes in the track condition – if, say, there is an accident that dumps oil across the circuit, then it will get used.

        1. To be honest, I think it’s very irresponsible to show that flag for rain, because, what if something did happen, and then there would be no way to communicate it to the drivers.

          Showing for a wet track will result in drivers ignoring the flag, because effectively it means nothing.

  8. The previously unavailable in-car feed has revealed a marshal waving a green flag

    Is the BBC lying to try and make their previous headline and article (in which they ignored all the evidence on youtube) sound less stupid?

    1. Andrew etson, or whatever his name is, from the BBC said he didn´t post it earlier, because he hadn´t watch because he was still in Brasil… still a poor xcuse and I think the BBC handle the matter in the worst way posible…

    2. @matt90 @celeste Benson deserves to be at a tabloid rather than the BBC, he’s always making knee-jerk, sensationalist articles. If I’m correct Mark Hughes moved to Sky with Brundle et al. also, which removes any F1 journalistic credibility the BBC could have boasted.

  9. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    1st December 2012, 3:06

    So at least they have something to smile about in Woking.

    I do not mean to take anything away from McLaren and their achievements, but as a fan of the team, it’s been tremendously frustrating watching them repeatedly stumble this year. Their slow pit-stops, operational errors and dreadful car reliability throughout the season fly in the face of the traditional perception that they are a well-oiled machine. They’ve thrown away races that they were guaranteed of winning. They’ve slipped to third in the constructors’ standings, despite having the fastest car for most of the year.

    McLaren have lots of work to do over the off-season break – not just the development staff and the pit crew, but the drivers too. I do hope that they can come back stronger than ever.

    1. Actually, I don’t think they have much work to do at all. Their early season was rife with pit stop errors, but they’d sorted it all out by the middle of the season, and by the end of the year, I don’t think they made a single unforced error. They might have made the odd unavoidable error, like a sticking wheelnut, but I don’t recall them making those errors any more frequently than anyone else. And while Button did have a glut of problems between Bahrain and Germany, their arrival coindiced with one upgrade and their departure with a second upgrade. It evidently wasn’t the best upgrade since Hamilton struggled at times as well, but he did manage to win in Canada, so it clearly affected Button more than him. Once they introduced an upgrade for Germany, it wasn’t a problem anymore.

      As for their mechanical errors, they only really had three. Button and Hamilton lost fuel pressure in Italy and Abu Dhabi respectively, while Hamilton had a gearbox problem in Singapore. That, to me, suggests that the serious problems are only really limited to one area of the car (gearboxes, as we have seen all throughout the season, have broken easily for everyone, and McLaren have had relatively few gearbox failures in comparison to everyone else). Their other retirements came from on-track incidents: Maldonado, Grosjean and Hulkenberg taking Hamilton out in Valencia, Belgium and Brazil respectively, and Kobayashi hitting Button in Korea. The only other retirement – Hamilton in Germany – was a result of hitting debris on the circuit, and the resulting puncture damaged his car. Which is unlucky, considering that Vettel managed to win the championship after hitting Senna, but that just goes to summarise Hamilton’s season in one word: unlucky.

      1. Hamilton had a grid penalty due to a gearbox change in China too, and Button had the same in Japan.

        1. Nevertheless, it’s not like gearbox problems were unique to McLaren.

      2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        1st December 2012, 4:52

        True, but McLaren seem to be the team hit hardest by unreliability. The retirements of Button and Hamilton in Italy, Abu Dhabi and Singapore cost the team 68 constructors’ points – Hamilton would have raked in an additional 50, Button 18. The sluggish pit stops early on the season, when they were very competitive, cost even more points – for instance, Button in China. Furthermore, I recall McLaren explaining their sluggish race pace in Japan and Korea as the result of suspension failures, and brakes overheating due to tyre fragments (a problem I don’t believe any other team has run into).

        Whereas Ferrari, the team that pipped McLaren to second place in the constructors’, have had pretty much bulletproof reliability all year – the only mechanical problem I can recall was Alonso’s suspension failure in qualifying for the Italian GP. Both of Alonso’s retirements this year came from collisions, as was the cause of Massa’s single retirement.

        McLaren had a golden opportunity to clinch both championships this year – they had a fast car in the MP4-27, and fast drivers. Yet they frequently slipped up – whenever they would resolve one problem, another would crop up. I would call that something to work on and improve.

        1. True, but McLaren seem to be the team hit hardest by unreliability.

          Maybe, but my point is that the car’s unreliability was only really limited to one or two areas. It’s not like the MP/4-27 was riddled with mechanical problems and the team were fighting a new terminal fault every other race weekend. With the fuel pressure and the gearbox being the two main problem areas, McLaren do have some work to do over the winter break, but it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get on top of it.

          1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
            1st December 2012, 5:33

            I would say it was a repeated minor faults in the same areas of fuel pressure, gearbox, and possibly suspension.

            McLaren do have some work to do over the winter break, but it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get on top of it.

            I agree.

  10. The New Zurich Times is claiming that Red Bull Racing (and Red Bull Technology, its design studio) spent $630 million in 2012 alone. I don’t know how reliable the paper is – it’s not a tabloid, but the paper’s Wikipedia page suggests that it has a ver good reputation – but if this is even remotely true, then it proves that Formula 1 needs cost-cutting regulations urgently, and in every sense of the word. Toyota and Honda were spending $400 million each in 2008; Red Bull are supposedly spending half as much again. There is no way this is sustainable. There is no way $400 million is sustainable; in fact, I have my doubts that teams spending as little as $250 million (and I scoff at the idea that that is a “little” amount) per year is sustainable.

    1. Hmmm, didn’t work. Here’s the raw URL:

      But it’s not in English.

      1. If that figure is accurate, then it makes for some interesting back of napkin calculations using this other article as a data point:

        Red Bull’s 2011 revenue = 2.31 billion EUR
        Marketing and sponsorship costs @ 33% of revenue = 770MM EUR
        Cost of RBR + RBT = 585MM Francs = 485MM EUR
        That would imply that F1 comprises 485/770 = 63% of their overall marketing costs, which seems reasonable given their other ventures (e.g. Baumgartner’s jump, etc.) though I would expect that they’ve done their analysis to make sure that such a hefty investment pays off in increased brand exposure and a corresponding jump in revenue.

        Of course, the other thing to consider is that the article states that 585MM Francs is the cost of RBR and RBT, but doesn’t seem to mention STR. If Toro Rosso is added to the mix, perhaps the running costs per team aren’t as high as the initial figures suggest.

    2. You are assuming that RBT works only on Red Bull’s F1 project and only with 1 of the 2 teams owned by them.

      1. Besides, $400mln is a lot less money today than it have been 10 years ago. Despite the crisis.

      2. What else would they be working on? Red Bull Technology was set up to get around the ban on customer cars. The rules stated that a team could not buy a car from another team, so Red Bull set up Red Bull Technology as a design studio and had both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso buy their cars from it, thereby getting around the rules.

        1. 3 years ago things changed, didn’t they?

          1. You still haven’t provided any other ideas as to what Red bull Technology could be working on, considering that it’s based in the team’s Milton Keynes headquarters.

          2. Do I have to? You are assuming RBT pours money into RBR. It seems unlikely as RBT has actual annual profit. It is not working at $400mln loss per year.

    3. @prisoner-monkeys That is an insane amount of money, thanks for the write-up!

  11. I’ve seen that Ronnie Peterson banner before – on the main straight of Nurburgring after the race in 2009! I wonder how often they attend races with their banner.

    1. They look like they’re a bit young to have seen him. Secret daughters?

  12. So essentially what the BBC have done by showing this “new footage” is telling us what the FIA have already clarified by posting a video of the overtake which has been seen many, many times and hasn’t changed at all but for some pointless slow-motion. Can we please just end this debate?

  13. Keith, is it possible to make the twitpic links opening in a new window? It’s not very important but it will be better :)

  14. I totally agree with the COTD.

    I also think that, given that the situation of Vettel was not obvious for everyone, it was a logical move from Ferrari to ask clarification on that. I mean it still held marginal chances of a favourable decision for them, which makes the move just another tool, a last one, to fight for the championship. They really moved every rock humanly possible, sometimes very near to the edge of the rulebook, see the gearbox change, to seize it, why not throw in the last dice!?

    On the other hand, it was mentioned they missed some deadline with the enquiry and actually asked for a late revision or something, which was quite unprofessional. They should have asked for the clarifications right after the chequered flag.

    But once again, the main point is that (1) it was not a clear-cut situation, so (2) therefore it was a sensible move to ask for clarification on it. It’s not the most dignified way to end a championship, but what comes first – chivalry or championship? 100% of those involved in F1 right now would say the latter. Only Peter Collins said the former in 1958… Or take a quote from the movie Grand Prix: ‘There is no terrible way to win. There is only winning.’

    1. @atticus-2 The deadline for a team to protest had passed but the FIA had until the end of November to review the race if new information or evidence came to light. Ferrari sent a letter asking what the FIA’s position was in regard to the overtake. Technically it wasn’t a protest and they hadn’t missed any deadlines, it was just making sure that the FIA were publicly informed of the incident so they had to have a look at it. I’m sure they’d already seen it and made their decision but the letter was a way of making it all public.

      Some are saying that it was Ferrari trying to dispel any rumours and put a line under it, others are saying it was just trying to get Alonso the title. It’s probably a bit of both although leaning more toward one than the other.

      1. @davea86 Thanks for the clarification. I generally agree.

        Still find it strange that they chose not to protest after the race, but ask the FIA’s position later in a letter. Probably they hesitated whether to make the move or not. I don’t think the public now has a favourable opinion on them in general, now that it came out this way. Maybe in Spain and/or Italy it does, but in Hungary, it does not. And I suppose it does not in England either.

        Once again though, they should not go for a public approval. I understand they tried to call the FIA’s attention to it more, in a ‘you can never know…’ manner. The way they pushed all year long for the title, I kind of expected them to make very move possible.

        1. @atticus-2 I suppose they might not have known about the incident until it was too late although you’d think they’d have been told by someone pretty quickly. The other possibility is that they didn’t think there was anything in it but had to respond to the pressure being applied by fans and the Italian/Spanish media.

          As for the fans opinion of Ferrari, they seem like the sort of team where you either love them or hate them. I don’t think this would be enough to change those opinions.

  15. I could not see anybody waving a flag except the green flashing lights during his overtaking manoeuvre.

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