Ecclestone bribe case decision due

F1 Fanatic round-up

Bernie Ecclestone, 2011In the round-up: German prosecutors prepare to announce whether Bernie Ecclestone will face charges over claims he bribed Gerhard Gribkowsky.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Bernie Ecclestone?s future as F1 supremo may soon be decided (FT)

Bernie Ecclestone?s future as Formula One supremo could soon be decided after German prosecutors said they had completed their investigations into bribery allegations against him and would reveal their conclusions imminently.

Mateschitz: F1 is not racing anymore (Autosport)

“Everyone knows what happens here. This has nothing to do with racing anymore. This is a competition in tyre management.”

Track rage: Why the paddock?s glitterati are losing their grip and calling for tyre change (The Independent)

“Ordinary tyres usually wear in a linear fashion, but when F1 tyres reach their wear limit, as often happens with these quick-degrading Pirelli tyres, the performance can drop off instantly ?ǣ ‘dropping off a cliff’ as drivers call it.”

Tyre farce mars Alonso victory (The Telegraph)

“Even Alonso, amid the euphoria of this triumph, could not comprehend how any viewer without a chemistry doctorate was supposed to have kept track of it all.”

The Game Changer (The Buxton Blog)

“What did Ferrari do on Sunday? Did they drive to a delta? Did they try and make one fewer stop than their rivals? Did they hell. They went out and they pushed. Every. Single. Lap.”

2013 Spanish Grand Prix – Post-Race Press Conference (FIA)

Fernando Alonso:”Then we undercut and we passed Sebastian in the pits and Rosberg two laps later at the first corner, from that point we just pushed 90 percent, more or less. You have enough pace to open the necessary gap and you know that if you push 100 percent maybe you kill the tyres, so it?s more or less normal driving, let?s say, in 2013 races. You try to control the pace and the tyres and you put in balance these two things.”

Mercedes favourites for Monaco – Alonso (BBC)

“It’s more difficult to overtake in Monaco… so maybe they can keep good positions for longer.”

Gary Hartstein – I was just a Doctor (YouTube)


Comment of the day

Most readers are putting fingers to keyboard about one subject at the moment:

F1 is definitely losing its appeal to me as a sporting contest. Sure, it?s an interesting technical challenge for engineers, but I?m finding it boring. To me, it?s as if F1 ?ǣ in its desire to increase excitement ?ǣ has done the equivalent in football of widening the goal so that we can see more goals per game. Sure, it ensures that you?re seeing the ball hit the back of the next much more and the end of boring nil-nil draws, but when your granny could score a hat trick every game then the gimmick has gone too far.

I found myself during the Barcelona race wondering if someone would have the balls to ban all aero devices so that we could go back to driver versus driver, with real dicing. What I want to see is speed, bravery and racecraft triumph. Not tiptoeing round to keep the tyres in a workable temperature window, tricky as it may be. Perhaps I should just go and watch Formula Ford instead.
Dan Harrison

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On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell made his final F1 start in the 1995 Spanish Grand Prix. Here he is making a pit stop and then getting out of the car for the last time:

How much do you know about Mansell’s F1 career? Take the F1 Fanatic Quiz here:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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87 comments on Ecclestone bribe case decision due

  1. Dave (@dworsley) said on 14th May 2013, 9:18

    I hope Dan Harrison goes to watch Formula Ford because he doesn’t have a clue as to what F1 is about.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 14th May 2013, 9:32

    I think, that saving tyres and not pushing 100% is normal racing. I don’t think that there were times when drivers could push 100% all race long. But tyre saving must not go too far, as it happened in recent races. I’m a huge supporter of degrading tyres, but last weekend was a bit too much. Bahrain was not so bad, because most drivers were stopping 2-3 times, as was the case in Chinese GP race. But Barcelona and Malaysia had too many pitstops and it made a bit boring. In my opinion, Pirelli should make tyres just a tiny bit more durable and that would be fine, because in the end of the season, teams will find way how to make the tyres last more.

  3. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 14th May 2013, 10:40

    I was at the race when Mansell retired, sitting in the stands at the end of the pit straight, the McLaren was almost undriveable through turns 1, 2 and three, looked as if it would shoot off the road any second, was no surprise when he parked it that day.
    Was a boring race from what else I remember.

    • q85 said on 14th May 2013, 12:36

      he qualified well only a tenth off mika which considering the extra time in the car mika had and how good mika was.

  4. obviously said on 14th May 2013, 10:42

    How many people can really say they’d know that drivers are driving to delta, or holding back, or that they are making 4 stops because tires are bad (they’re not bad, they are just made to have a shorter life by the recipe), if it weren’t for media and disadvantaged teams and drivers complaining.

    Think about it.

    1. You don’t hear drivers on team radio or in the media bringing it up.
    2. You don’t hear team personnel on team radio or in the media bringing it up.
    3. You don’t hear commentators and you don’t read it in the media because of the above points.

    How many of you would actually be here complaining about it? Are you seriously telling me that you can see a driver is pushing carelessly or consciously picking the best breaking point and corner line by watching it on TV. The fastest laps in the quali are never the ones where driver is locking up and sliding all over the place, giving off a sense of pushing more. It’s usually the one that seams effortless, with a perfectly judged breaking points and the smoothest lines.

    My point is, Pirelli are not really negatively affecting racing at all, because the aspects teams are complaining about aren’t the ones that viewers can see any way. On the other hand, the aspects that are making it more interesting and that fans do can appreciate, like different strategies and suspense, are brought back.

    If Rosberg and Hamilton fall back massively, it means something is fundamentally wrong with that car, because they don’t fall back compared to some invisible divine presence, but compared to the other 20 cars. That should give you enough of an idea of how bad they screwed up with their own car design. Other 20 cars have the same tires and if the tires are not the variable between the teams, than it must be down to their own car.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th May 2013, 10:59

      If you have a look at what drivers and the teams were saying on the radio during the race (there’s a lot of it on the F1 Fanatic Live Twitter feed) it’s inescapably obvious that they are having to hold back because of the tyres.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 14th May 2013, 12:55

        @keithcollantine The thing I find interesting is that, if you look at it, it appears that all of the teams are in the same boat. This notion about certain teams having apparently found a sweet spot seems inaccurate – all of them are struggling, it’s just that some are struggling more than others.

        The other thing I find interesting is the assertion from Hembery that a significantly harder tyre would play ingot RBR’s hands, since they have a lot of extra speed in the car that they’re not able to use because of tyre degredation. Now, naturally Hembery has access to telemetry that we’ll never see, so maybe he knows something we don’t, but on the evidence of what we see on the track, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Yes, they are carrying more downforce, as evidenced by their speeds through the speed traps. But if degredation is the limiting factor, would it not make sense that they would at least be able to harness their alleged immense speed at least for one lap during qualifying? Given what Hembery asserts, you’d expect them to have a similar pattern to Mercedes – qualifying on pole but rapidly dropping back through the race. But instead they can’t even produce a really decent qualifying lap. Are we really to believe that RBR are unable to maintain the tyres long enough to even set one decent lap?

        Their performance doesn’t bear this out at all. They have the appearance of being generally slightly off the pace, but setting consistent times throughout all sessions, and finishing the race roughly in the position they start in. If they have a load of extra speed in their pockets, they’re doing a damn good job of hiding it!

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 14th May 2013, 22:26

          @mazdachris I have a feeling they are dialling back the car somewhat to sacrafice some qualifying speed for better tyre management in the races, something Mercedes haven’t done which is exemplifying the speed of that car. Lotus in particular seem to be taking that to extremes, although I have a feeling that is partially due to the fact they just generally lack downforce.

  5. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 14th May 2013, 11:04

    I’ve kept fairly quite on the tyre front until now. But I must say, considering Red Bull are leading the Driver’s AND Constructors championship – in this stage of the season (where everyone’s understanding of how to manage the tyres is relatively low), I think it would be an atrocious decision to turn around now and make the tyres harder. It would honestly make F1 a laughing stock. Think about it – just how unfair would that be? The tyres are supposed to be the fixed variable, and it is the cars that get developed for the optimum performance in the races. Tyres de-laminating so easily, on the other hand? Yeah, that one needs to be sorted out…

  6. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 14th May 2013, 12:38

    That Will Buxton blog post is interesting, but ultimately nonsense when you read Alonso saying immediately after the race that for most of it he was driving at 90%

  7. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 14th May 2013, 13:59

    Will Buxton, emminent F1 journalist that is he, is clearly talking rubbish on this issue. His claims that Fearrari were pushing has been systematically debunked by quite a few people already via analysis of Alonso’sfuel adjusted race times and opposed to his Q3 time. Alonso’s assertion that he was driving at 90% has also been debunked for the very same reason. At most he was driving at 70%. Even the 90% he claims is simply not acceptable. 90% of what? His abilities, or the car’s?

  8. Moolander said on 14th May 2013, 14:59

    Alonso’s remark made me laugh as, even though I have a PhD in chemistry, found the central part of the race rather confusing :)

  9. Rigi (@rigi) said on 14th May 2013, 15:58

    what monaco will look like?

    a mercedes front row, everyone will be stuck behind them since you can’t overtake on monaco… the first person to overtake the mercedes is most likey going to win the race!

  10. Todd (@foxxx) said on 14th May 2013, 16:35

    i’m sorry but crying that ferrari pushed every lap and the tyres are fine is a rubbish argument. vettel pushed every lap last race and he won too.

    just because a car on that weekend in that temperature can use its tyres doesn’t mean that the tyres are OK.

    sure, race to race, there’s going to be a car that will fall into the window of “the tyres dont overheat when we use them”.

    stop listening to the idiotic media who can’t see past the current race.

    perez fastest lap in malaysia (terrible car?) gutierrez fastest lap in spain (cant even get a point).

    if the slowest cars on the grid are pulling in the fastest laps, i doubt the leaders are really going all that fast.

  11. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 14th May 2013, 20:55

    Mateschitz: “Ferrari/Lotus got it right, and we didn’t. This has nothing to do with racing anymore.”

  12. Tinesh Boopathy (@thecutekitten) said on 15th May 2013, 8:48

    Why don’t F1 us the Delta Wing concept or make the rules to allow a car shape like the Delta Wing.

    I mean the Delta Wing solves the turbulence problem, it reduces power needed to drive a car by half,etc.

  13. W-K (@w-k) said on 15th May 2013, 10:00

    BERLIN – Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone faces charges in Germany relating to a bribery case, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Tuesday.

    According to the paper, the charge sheet is still to be translated into English before being transmitted to Ecclestone and his lawyers.

  14. Xawras said on 15th May 2013, 17:07

    Spanish GP 2011: Winner: Sebastian Vettel, 4 pit stops (lap 9, 18, 34, 48). Total of 75 pit stops in the race.
    Spanish GP 2011: Winner: Fernando Alonso, 4 pit stops (lap 9, 21, 36, 49). Total of 79 pit stops in the race.
    Mateschitz is full of ****.

  15. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 16th May 2013, 15:34

    “Everyone knows what happens here. This has nothing to do with racing anymore. This is a competition in tyre management.”</blockquote

    As I said before: this is now the FIA Rubber Championship

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