Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.
“Jean Todt, the head of motor sport’s world governing body who has condemned hundreds of Formula One personnel to a potentially hazardous and harrowing week in Bahrain, will not be attending this Sunday’s race himself. Instead the president of the FIA will be busy electioneering because his four-year stint in office comes to an end this autumn.”
“It is our firm belief that sport, and the F1 grand prix, can have a positive and healing effect in situations where conflict, social unrest and tensions are causing distress.”
“Asked if meeting a foreign businessman like Ecclestone could help his campaign, [opposition leader Sheikh Ali] Salman replied: ‘We speak all the time about reform, human rights and democracy. Anyone can share these concerns. They are a human interest.'”
“The demonstrators held banners with messages including ‘F1: do we race on other people?ů‘ťľ‘šůs blood?’ and ‘This race is taking place on the ground of our martyrs, our political prisoners and our wounded.'”
“In the letter, F1 supremo Ecclestone wrote: ‘It is a great shame this was not brought to me before September 2012 when the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar was formed and it is now too late to make any changes to the calendar.'”
Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez: “We’ve refused to sign certain things we could have done because we believe we shouldn’t undersell ourselves. So it’s a choice, and whenever you make a choice you have to live with the consequences, and the consequence for us is we (as owner) essentially finance more of the team.”
Jenson Button: “The first race was 1.5 seconds [off pole position], the last race was nine tenths and here we were seven tenths in Q2, so it is definitely improving. We were two tenths off a Red Bull in Q2, so there is definitely progress.”
Button: “If we had a car that was actually capable of winning races, it would put even more pressure us.”
“‘This is a story that keeps bouncing around every year or so,’ said Long Beach Grand Prix CEO Jim Michaelian, ‘despite the fact that the race isn’t for sale and there’s been no contact between anyone and Kevin about a sale. Nothing is happening.'”
#F1 McLaren updates for Spain: FW, RW, sidepods, deflectors, exhaust, floor, engine cover. Nose stays high & they keep pullrod-front.
— Tobias Gr√ľner F1 (@tgruener) April 17, 2013
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Comment of the day
Antonio Nartea on Caterham recalling Heikki Kovalainen:
To me, this shows pretty much what I stated when Caterham announced their line-up for 2013: Caterham need a coherent marker in order to identify where their car is at the moment, performance-wise. Pic and Van Der Garde are too much of an unknown quantity in order to get relevant data for the team, as they risk hindering the car?ů‘ťľ‘šůs development.
The question is, what if Kovalainen proves to be at least on par with Bianchi (or a mile ahead of both Pic and Van Der Garde, for that matter) after these two practice sessions? If Kovalainen manages to show there?ů‘ťľ‘šůs something worthwhile in that Caterham, contrary to what we?ů‘ťľ‘šůve seen so far, then I think he?ů‘ťľ‘šůs got himself his race seat back.
Catherham might have gone through their budget again and realised they?ů‘ťľ‘šůre better off paying Kovalainen?ů‘ťľ‘šůs salary than losing the money for tenth place in the constructors’ championship.
Antonio Nartea (@Tony031r)
From the forum
Happy birthday to Alan and Consi!
On this day in F1
Jochen Rindt link was born on this day in 1942. He won the world championship in 1970, but it came after he had been killed in an accident at Monza.