Force India ‘gave the right answers’ – Hulkenberg

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Interlagos, 2012In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg says Force India gave him the strongest assurances of any of the teams bidding for his services.

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Coming home (F1)

Hulkenberg: “During the later stages of the season I needed to make a decision on my future. Sahara Force India was able to give me the answers and the information I needed and wanted, different to other teams.”

Andretti keen on customer car entry (ESPN)

Mario Andretti: “You would have teams like my son Michael’s that would probably enter Formula One. We’ve talked about it, he said ‘If Ferrari would sell me a car, McLaren would sell me a car, Red Bull would sell me a car, we would be straight in’.”

F1 2014 rules could open ‘can of worms’ (Autosport)

Pat Fry: “I think the aero rules are fairly stable. It is when you get to the power-unit rules they are a can of worms.”

Hamilton: Simple ‘sorry’ would have prevented court claim (The Telegraph)

“[Anthony] Hamilton, who has been accused of lying and of falsifying evidence by ‘backdating’ emails and draft notes, also claimed yesterday that the trial could have been prevented had [Paul] di Resta simply ‘done the decent thing’ and apologised to him.”

Fernando Alonso VS Audi R18 E-Tron! (YouTube)

http://youtu.be/lvcH8vs01rk

Tweets

https://twitter.com/McLarenF1/status/410031135519830016

Comment of the day

One subject dominated the discussion yesterday – the FIA’s plan to offer double points at the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi:

So we will see an artificial championship decider on an artificial circuit with, no doubt, plenty of artificial overtaking. At least the FIA is consistent with its decisions.
@JackySteeg

this is without a doubt the most ridicules points scheme I have seen in my 38 years of following f1.
@CanadianJoe

Consider Driver 1 with a 49 point lead stalling on the grid in the final race. Driver 2 takes he title by 1 point. Is he a worthy winner? He won when no driver before had the opportunity. That to me is a complete scandal.

The same applies to constructors. Let?s say Williams score five points over the course of next season at three races. It rains in the season finale and Caterham, who have been the same distance behind Williams as Williams has been to Red Bull finish ninth and tenth in a race of 11 finishers. Caterham by this logic would earn more prize money than a team who score legitimately at three events. That to me is wrong.

There are too many hard working engineers and drivers in F1 to have jobs and titles decided on a complete gimmick which benefits no party.
@RBalonso

This is beyond a joke. I could understand for a special race, like Le Mans or the Indy 500, where there are strictly speaking higher demands, but Abu Dhabi? Really? Maybe if the race was twice as long then I would understand… Shambles.
@Craig-O

This smacks to me of some kind of publicity stunt. Keeps F1 in the press after the end of a relatively dull season.
@Magnificent-Geoffrey

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On this day in F1

Four years ago today the Formula One Commission approved the renaming of Brawn GP into Mercedes. Ross Brawn continued to run the team for three years after Mercedes took over, but stood down as team principal last month.

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60 comments on Force India ‘gave the right answers’ – Hulkenberg

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 10th December 2013, 9:24

    Pat Fry: “I think the aero rules are fairly stable. It is when you get to the power-unit rules they are a can of worms.”

    Aero rules are never truly stable, there are always loopholes and such. The only problem is that Fry lacks the creativity of Newey.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 10th December 2013, 9:58

      I thought Pat Fry was behind the F-Duct.

    • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 10th December 2013, 15:50

      Newey is a Chief Technical Officer. He does not design cars. He does not design parts. He signs off on designs that OTHER engineers and designers draw up. Newey just gets the credit.

      The real men behind Red Bull’s cars are Peter Prodromou and Rob Marshall. All Newey does is say yes or no to their drawings.

      The lack of knowledge of the casual fan of the going’s on in a Formula 1 factory is what has made Newey so popular (Not an insult, only the hardcore really look into it in much depth)

      Yes he is the best at his job….but his job isn’t what most people seem to think it is.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 11th December 2013, 12:13

        @ukphillie, though that is true it’s not nearly at cut and dry as you make it, he also gives suggestions and/or improvements as a head/cheif engineer of the team. He has a overwhelming knowledge of specializing in F1 and designing cars and thus gives direction and oversees those, it’s the same place Marshall, Prodromou and other up and comers will be in and then someone like you will come along 10-15 years from now perhaps less, and say the same thing.

        You make it sounds as if he looks at it really quick and says “this looks pretty” and it gets put on the car. His selections have obviously been correct for the past 4 years every time, and the input to make them better has helped the car win. Sadly just like the general gets the recognition fro the soldiers that fights due to his tactical placing and war planning, Newey as the head engineer gets the same.

        I say this as an engineering student that has interned and have fellow friends that went the same route and also know how the career field works. No matter what great idea I may come up with, I will still have years before I’m the big shot head engineer.

  2. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 10th December 2013, 9:32

    I don’t think Andretti gets it. It’s not a case of simply buying a Ferrari and being on the pace though in F1. They’d have to constantly develop the car just to get within the 107% rule!

    How would customer cars work when (for example) you have wide-scale rule changes like this year?

    I can’t see any way that customer cars would be a good thing for the sport. I suppose that means it’ll probably happen…..

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 10th December 2013, 11:24

      It shows Americans have no idea what the word Constructor really means. This comment comming from a man who knew Collin Chapman really close and won a championship in one of his cars is just trully disapointing.

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 10th December 2013, 13:16

      You are right. The start of 2013 and RBR struggles are the proof of your saying.

    • SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 10th December 2013, 18:11

      I think Andretti would be interested because you could enter without big investments.
      I don’t think because they get a standard car in indycar that they don’t do aero testing and tweaking.
      I think this is a very strong signal for customer cars.
      If it did happen one day, I would love for Andretti racing to come in!
      They are a top tier team in the states, would be an exciting group coming in.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 10th December 2013, 18:22

      I think Mario just wants Andretti Racing in Formula 1 somehow, someway. Customer cars would likely be the only way for that too happen. If being a constructor really interested them they could try to buy one of the smaller teams. Don’t see that happening.

      • You would have teams like my son Michael’s that would probably enter Formula One. We’ve talked about it, he said ‘If Ferrari would sell me a car, McLaren would sell me a car, Red Bull would sell me a car, we would be straight in’.

        @bullmello I think Mario just wants Andretti Racing in Formula 1 somehow, someway. Customer cars would likely be the only way for that too happen.

        After how badly Michael Andretti failed at McLaren as an F1 driver, which paved the way for Häkkinen’s full-time drive, I doubt that even through customer cars could Andretti get back into sport, and cannot imagine Macca agreeing to sell F1 cars to an Andretti (if it were permitted in the rules) at any price!

        “Häkkinen took over the responsibility of race driver after Michael Andretti was dismissed by the team after that year’s [1993] Italian Grand Prix.”

  3. Basil said on 10th December 2013, 9:35

    I still cannot comprehend what I read yesterday …… I was hopping this morning to wake up and it was all dreams …. but NO! Here is Keith repeating what I read yesterday!!

    I think I will go back to hibernate maybe …. just maybe, when I am up in March 2014 all will turn out to be a big joke ….. fingers crossed.

  4. bananarama (@bananarama) said on 10th December 2013, 9:36

    See how Alonso is looking long and hard at those round black things on the Audi? He is completely stunned because he hasn’t seen proper tires on a race car in years …

  5. celeste (@celeste) said on 10th December 2013, 9:41

    Even when fans are mad, will the FIA listen? Somehow I think FIA has lost the pulse of what fans want, good racing.

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th December 2013, 9:53

    Honestly, isn’t what Andretti says exactly why having customer cars is not a good idea? Sure, its nice if it attracts new people to F1, including new sponsors (or should we say strategic partners nowadays?). But it would still mean that the likes of Williams, Sauber, Force India and Marussia and Caterham would be pushed back on the grid by a couple of new people who can just jump in and have some success.
    And can then go away after 2-3 years of “meeting their targets” without much thoughts about it.

    Not to mention that we saw what the likes of megateams like Andretti-Green, Ganassi et-al etc. did with 3 cars teams in both IRL/Indycar and NASCAR, and it certainly did nothing for the quality of the field on the longer term

    • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 10th December 2013, 11:12

      I’m not so sure that customer cars would guarantee competitiveness for the customer team even if they bought a Red Bull/Ferrari/Mclaren etc.

      Firstly, you’d probably have to buy last year’s chassis. Secondly, that chassis would remain standard throughout the year unless you paid a development premium to the manufacturer to assign some staff to develop the car here and there if you could afford it. This ability to afford development costs would be affected by how many spares you need to use etc. So if you have a couple of rookie drivers and Red Bull are charging you $40k for a new nose box/front wing assembly you lose a couple of days in the wind tunnel every time your rookie wipes his nose off.

      Also, just having last year’s Red Bull doesn’t mean you have the ability to extract the maximum performance from it. These cars don’t just get fired up and perform sublimely right out of the box. I’m sure the manufacturer would provide some basic set up data but these cars can’t achieve their optimum performance without armies of data engineers analysing performance in real time and making set up recommendations right up to the end of qualifying. If as a customer team you make the investment required to set up this kind of resource you’re not going to save much money.

      Also, you’re buying a car that has reached or is close to reaching its development ceiling so I would estimate that you would at very best start the season in the lower top 10 and quickly move backwards as the developlment cycle of the constructors kicked in. A genuine constructor usually has the advantage of understanding why their car does or does not perform well because they own the IP and react accordingly in the desing office. A customer would not be privvy to that knowledge which could make it impossible to maximise the set up.

      • thersquared (@thersquared) said on 11th December 2013, 0:12

        My theory as to what has held back Caterham and Marussia is that they have been chasing a moving target in terms of performance. As an example the Petrov’s Qualifying time in the 2012 Spanish GP was a 1:25.277. VDG’s time for this years Spanish GP was 1:24.661. Catherham’s car is faster; the reason why they haven’t moved forward on the grid is that everyone else’s times have also improved.

        Customer cars have the potential to ease the entry of new teams by providing them a relatively up to speed base car from which to start their own development.

        I’m still against the idea overall, but this would be one of the positive changes they would bring to F1 if introduced.

    • But it would still mean that the likes of Williams, Sauber, Force India and Marussia and Caterham would be pushed back on the grid by a couple of new people who can just jump in and have some success.

      I think what it means is these teams would be forced to buy customer cars. If they can’t win against the big teams designing your own car now, then how do you best a new team that can just walk in and buy a big team’s car? The only sure way is to buy one yourself. With your years of experience you can likely do a better job setting it up then the new teams. This would be the only sure way of maintaining your position in the field. To continue building your own car would be extremely risky.

      The result will be the status quo with big car building teams at the front, now customer car teams in the middle and new customer car teams at the back.

      I fear the long term effect of this will be fewer and fewer car building teams. If you build a stinker for a few years it’s going to be hard to resist buying someone else’s car to get back in the game. Once a builder is gone, the risk and expense of coming back is too great.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th December 2013, 19:11

      @bascb, you are assuming that Williams,Sauber,Force India,Marussia and Caterham will still be there to be pushed back, unless there is a more equitable share of revenue I think customer cars will be the only way to fill the grid. Also, those demeaning American teams like Andretti are nieve at best, Americans know racing, but they also will want top class machinery, not last years cast offs.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th December 2013, 8:13

        Well yes @hohum, I was assuming that, as it seemed Andretti was talking about the not too distant future. And I don’t think these teams will all disappear that soon, although the disparity of the revenue spread might bring their end sooner than most people would like.

        If Andretti would want to create top class machinery, then let him join the grid. Or buy into the likes of Sauber to get access to the facilities to build that car.

        But I see no scope of that unless they can buy this years cars, with support to keep them competitive or budgets will be more balanced to make racing in F1 less of a loss leader, making it possible to become successful. Otherwise its a futile investment with no ROI in sight, and I certainly doubt any American is going for that one any time soon.

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 11th December 2013, 12:31

      @bascb What NASCAR domination did they do, Ganassi is barely hanging on and Andretti never had a team. The two only have Indycar success as you said, not both. Nor will they ever against the likes of HMS, SHR and JGR, heck they can’t even beat the two older guys of RCR and RFR as well as newer MWR mid tier teams.

      I’d say like anything with racing even if you buy the best stuff there is a very long road ahead, and it takes time to become a mega team. Also with F1 I see it being an issue in the sense that such customer cars would be handicapped to not embarrass the group the car originally came from. Kind of like how Ferrari were embarrassed during the first parts of 2012 when Sauber with their engines were beating them.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th December 2013, 13:25

        Does it matter what team name / backers these mega teams have? Fact still remains that 3-5 car teams started emerging in the last decade in both IndyCars (or IRL/CART before that) and in NASCAR and in neither series it helped the quality of racing or sustainability of them @magillagorilla.

        Sure, even buying a customer Red Bull won’t make you win a championship just like that. Another good reason why not to go that route but build your own car instead, isn’t it? What it will do, is push all the teams that do NOT buy a customer car and are not the 3-4 top teams selling them out of business.

  7. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 10th December 2013, 9:59

    I wonder what had Alonso so fascinated in the wheel arches of the Audi R18 E-tron that was so interesting he had to take a picture of it and have a word with Andrea Stella about it?!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th December 2013, 10:01

      I had the impression he was looking at the Michelins it was on. But maybe some detail of the GB/Engine that could be seen through the arch?

      • My best guess would be that he was interested in the details of the blown diffuser that Audi has been using on the R18 this season, with the exhausts thought to exit through the outer edges of the wheel arches (it exploits a loophole for openings that are supposed to be for suspension components).
        It’s something Audi have reportedly spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort upon recently, but equally been at pains to try to hide the finer details of the system – I wouldn’t be surprised if Alonso simply wanted to get some shots that a number of motorsport journalists would have been desperate to get.

        • I wouldn’t be surprised if Alonso simply wanted to get some shots that a number of motorsport journalists would have been desperate to get.

          Pretty sure that I read somewhere that Audi used some kind of panty-guard privacy liners inside around the arches and at other strategic points to prevent just the kind of photography you’re describing – even cellphone camera photography…

        • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 11th December 2013, 11:39

          Thanks for that.

  8. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 10th December 2013, 10:08

    I don’t think the FIA should be overly concerned by what the fans want as far as the points system goes. The fans hardly ever want any change. A lot of them are opposed to a cost cap simply because it is difficult to police for instance. If anything the fans are most prone to knee jerky and overly emotional reactions because they are emotionally invested in the sport. So any fan pool that comes out on the same day of the news announcement it is bound to contain some not very well thought out and overly emotional opinions. The fans are important no doubt, but are not always te est measure of what is good for the sport.

  9. Lucien_Todutz (@lucien_todutz) said on 10th December 2013, 10:08

    I don’t get the concept of customer cars in F1…

    Let’s say that a team would buy a customer car which is in a primary point of development, then it would have to develop it from that point on during that season ?(because after all, that it’s F1 about, to be the pineapple of automotive world)… How can you develop a concept you don’t understand… and if you don’t do (customer teams don’t develop cars) that by mid-season your quite far behind in lap time…

    • to be the pineapple of automotive world

      I like it! Do you mind if I use that? :-)

      On an unrelated note, is anyone else having trouble logging in today?

    • @lucien_todutz
      I thought F1 was the Mango of the automotive world!! ;)

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 10th December 2013, 22:24

      On this note, I wonder if customer cars can ever be properly incorporated, i.e. new customer teams have a limited number of seasons (say 2 – 3) where they can use customer chassis during which time they develop their own chassis for when the “break-in” period is over (i.e. their 2-3 seasons are up and now must become a full-fledged constructor).

      There are big issues, such as sharing of intellectual property (i.e. using another team’s chassis will likely have heavy influence on a team’s future chassis design). The cost is something I don’t completely understand, but I would think the cost of having further development on an existing chassis and simultaneously developing a chassis over 2-3 seasons is cheaper than developing an uncompetitive chassis from scratch each season. Someone brighter (and importantly, more curious about this) can do the maths, but it my mind it should work in the new team’s favour.

      I thought some concessions like this were made in the past; I thought Toro Rosso had a similar arrangement? I remember it was ’07/’08 or something where they were still using V10s as opposed to the V8s, but had a restrictor or a lower rev limit or something like that to maintain parity.

  10. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 10th December 2013, 10:10

    I don’t think the FIA should be overly concerned by what the fans want as far as the points system goes. The fans hardly ever want any change. A lot of them are opposed to a cost cap simply because it is difficult to police for instance. If anything the fans are most prone to knee jerky and overly emotional reactions because they are emotionally invested in the sport. So any fan pool that comes out on the same day of the news announcement it is bound to contain some not very well thought out and overly emotional opinions. The fans are important no doubt, but their opinion is not always a good measure of what is good for the sport. So in this instance please FIA do the fans a favour and ignore them. They will thank you later.

  11. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 10th December 2013, 10:11

    The fact that Force India are going to the end of season testing sounds like they are serious about keeping The Hulk happy. Good news for both parties I hope.

  12. Force India really seem to be in a healthy situation for next year. They got the best of the non-champion drivers currently in the grid. They began their car development way early in June, i think, so they are ahead of their rivals in some way. They are the only midfield team to afford the tyre test (Torro Rosso is baby Red Bull so i dont count them). If Nico was satisfied with the answers that the team gave and decided for a 2 year contract, then there must be something up their sleeve for the next season. I am hopeful of a better performance next season from them. Maybe a top 5 or even 4 WCC performance. And if they select Perez, thats one line up you got to watch… Ah…i should stop now.

    • Perez and his few milion $$ combined with Hulk, an early start for development and seemingly good finances?
      Watch out Lotus.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 11th December 2013, 12:38

        @udm7 Watch out for what though? I have my doubts in Lotus, but then I remembered that they purposely started their 2014 effort two years ago, due to the fact they have a shoe string budget compared to the other top teams. Also since the Perez deal so far doesn’t seem to be ironed out, the money it would yield wouldn’t start to help until later in 2014. I highly doubt it will help them for the first two races.

        Heck it may not help at all, PDVSA money didn’t do much for Williams and that is as good as Telemex money.

        • Force India started pretty early, putting 100% on their 2014 car a month or more before Lotus.
          SFI also have a smaller budget than Lotus, but they never put on pay drivers, which they might with Perez. With Lotus’ loss of Kimi Allison and other staff, i doubt they’ll be fighting the big 4 for long. Unless Maldonado IS as good as he thinks.
          Just my opinion :)

  13. TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 10th December 2013, 13:38

    @f1fanatic_co_uk: Very interesting video of Alonso and the E-Tron. Maybe we should have a video caption/dialogue competition as there’s no clear sound on this one. Alonso looks like a man considering his future.

  14. Comment on Rules of F1: Formula One was one thousand times better before refueling, mandatory pit stops, and the recently new points system! I have been going to races since the late 1960’s and can assure you that nothing they have done in the past 20 years has improved the racing one iota! And these new rules suggestions are as boring as the current crock of rules!

    Comment on Alonso: He is obviously enamored with the rims on the Audio! That is what I think he is taking a photo of. He wants them for his street car?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th December 2013, 18:57

      I am in total agreement with JJ , but I will give credit for 3 part qualifying, huge wings may have been a good place for Tobacco sponsorship but those days are over and the overpowering role of aerodynamics should have been curtailed years ago to allow wheel to wheel racing to take place once more.

  15. nemoqueverto (@nemoqueverto) said on 10th December 2013, 15:48

    Alonso must have spoted something interesting from technical point of view. Or he just have been asked by his team to check something on the audi ;-) They are searching for ideas fot the new ferrari F1 car, and this is the place to go – E-tron is has hybrid and KERS units – and Le Mans multiple winner. The way the audi rubust built is considered could be a wise move? Is the LMP car a good example – remains to be seen.

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