Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012

Williams fire up Mercedes-powered FW36

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Williams run their first turbo-powered F1 car since 1987.



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

Brands Hatch to celebrate Formula 1 anniversary (Kent News)

“There will be a special celebration of Brands Hatch?s links with Formula 1 later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the first race in the series to be held at the track.”

Rallycross driver John Button (July 27, 1943 – January 12, 2014) (The Express)

“He was a runner-up in the 1976 British Rallycross Championships in a distinctive black and yellow Volkswagen Beetle, which he named the ‘Colorado Beetle’.”

Letters, January 18 (Western Daily Press)

“John Button, with his great efforts (often in very difficult financial circumstances), encouraged and supported his son to become a Formula 1 champion, thus putting the town of Frome, the county of Somerset and Great Britain very much on the world motor racing stage. Thank you, John, and sincere condolences to your family.”

Bernie Ecclestone’s iron grip on Formula One may be loosening (The Guardian)

“When he tried that tactic in the high court at the end of last year, his claims of senile vagueness provoked guffaws among observers who, noting an undiminished acuity as he heads towards his 84th birthday, are reluctant to bet against the chance of him still being around when that 100-year deal expires in 2111.”

Another fine illusion from Bernie (Autosport, subscription required)

“Regardless of the eventual outcome of this and all the legal issues Ecclestone and various associated parties ?ǣ CVC included ?ǣ are embroiled in, clearly the time has come for the FIA to step in and demand that CVC take decisive action before the Formula 1 brand, which is owned by the FIA and simply leased to Alpha Topco, is irretrievably tarnished. That is no illusion.”

F1 – Over regulating, over spending, over reacting and underachieving (Somers F1)

“Formula One needs to stop hiding in the shadows as a faceless corporation and interact with it’s fans, after all they are the ones that fund the sport.”

Comment of the day

In the latest Caption Competition honourable mentions go to MichaelDobson13, Electrolite, Cyberaxiom and Klaas.

And this week’s winner was the offering from @CmckinleyF1:

Max Chilton, John Surees, Monza, 2013

Surtees: “I was motorcycling world champion, F1 world champion, I won on this legendary circuit and I even had my own team.”
Chilton: “Not bad but did you ever finish every race in a season?”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Markg!

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

Special birthday wishes go to Jenson Button, who turns 34 today at a difficult time for him and his family following the recent loss of his father.

Happy birthday also to former HRT driver Karun Chandhok who turns 30 today.

Image ?? Marussia

37 comments on “Williams fire up Mercedes-powered FW36”

  1. That Somers article is pretty nice, especially the wrap-up at the end.

    1. Very good article indeed.

      1. Yosi (@yoshif8tures)
        19th January 2014, 2:13

        Agreed, another excellent article there.

    2. @beejis60, I certainly agree with the headline of the article, but I don’t agree with all of its content, such as proposing customer cars instead of a budget cap and blaming the teams for the Pirelli tyre failures last year.

      I admit I didn’t read through the entire article (I found it a bit too long-winded), but somehow I’m not quite on the same wavelength as the author. To elaborate on the two points I mentioned above, I think Formula 1 should get over the difficulty of policing the budget cap. If teams have work performed off the books, they are cheating, and if they are caught cheating, they can be punished. I don’t like the assumption that because there is a possibility of cheating, the teams will cheat. And anyway, there is a possibility of cheating in other sports too; in chess, players can find ways of using a computer to make their moves, but that does not mean the rule of not allowing computers should be scrapped just because it can’t be policed with 100% effectivity.

      As for laying the blame of Silverstone at the teams’ feet, I don’t agree on two counts: first, the teams were operating within the rules, so I don’t blame them for trying to optimize their performance. Second, didn’t McLaren adhere to Pirelli’s recommendations and still suffer two failures on Perez’s car?

      1. Hi Guys

        Thanks for the comments, @AdrianMorse I’m not blaming the teams per se, I would do the same thing. I just think it’s incorrect to say they shouldn’t proportion some of the blame, I actually blame the FIA as they had known for some time that this was going to be an issue. As for McLaren I cannot prove either way if they were outside of the Pirelli parameters at Silverstone but they had been tyre swapping etc before that race…
        As for customer cars and budget caps I’d rather neither were needed but I suggest that without considering those topics we might lose a couple more teams to financial obscurity.

        1. Thanks for highlighting the teams exploiting the fact that the FIA failed to adapt what Pirelli proposed as limits for safety reasons from the onset @somersf1, I think its pretty sad how Pirelli ended up getting blamed and a change in tyre spec made that ended up ruining the tension in the season we had had before that change.

          Customer cars – I mentioned it in Keiths poll about a budget cap – while a budget cap is IMO possible and needed (although a financial model less skewed towards the biggest teams would be more important and maybe more helpfull), such a cap only can realistically help when we look far more at having parts that can be sold and bought off stock or standardized and made by a supplier. What is needed to make that work is off course more rule stability and possibly a limit on iterations of some parts so that it makes sense to setup a production line for them.

          Great article, and I wholeheartedly agree that its a great loss for F1 that the sport is hiding instead of communicating what and why it does. Part of that is off course the tension between FOM and FIA, as well as Bernie and being conservative in social media.

      2. “I think Formula 1 should get over the difficulty of policing the budget cap.”

        This is far easier said than done. Teams have suppliers and they pay their suppliers a fee. That fee appears on their books, but the actual cost to the supplier doesn’t. If you use Red Bull as an example (and I’m not picking on them, you could use anyone, including Caterham for this, I just happen to know the name of the RBR entities I want to use as an example): Red Bull Racing is the F1 team subject to the budget cap. They source a number of things from Red Bull Technologies, a separate company managed at arms length from the F1 team, though both are ultimately owned by the same deep pocketed individual. If Red Bull Racing pays Red Bull Technologies a fee of say $1 million for developing an aspect of their car, the fee of $1 million appears on their books. But if the development of that part cost Red Bull Technologies $10 million, there is a $9 million cost to Red Bull which doesn’t appear on their books. In some jurisdictions you are forced to submit joint financial statements for a group of companies, so all this expenditure would all show up, in others, you aren’t, so it won’t. Trying to pick which set of rules the teams pick, and then agreeing on a number will be nigh on impossible. An F1 budget cap is needed, but it won’t happen. Not until the team’s hands are forced when we have lost 2 or 3 more teams.

      3. @adrianmorse If Pirelli did not lie to us about their tires being safe (and that’s a big IF), I would definitely say the teams are at fault for the explosion incidents from the start of the season through Silverstone as well as the FIA for not policing those guidelines given by Pirelli. As for Perez’s car, I don’t remember his exploding in Silverstone (I’m not saying it didn’t happen) but I remember in a later race due to a horrible lock up. Plus that’s just one instance where his tire probably just exploded due to debris or whatnot whereas the other teams were running them improperly.
        As for customer cars, I was initially against them, however, I’m starting to think that maybe they’re not a bad idea, but perhaps those teams cannot be classified in the championship OR they have their own sorta separate championship. Look at WEC; it works for them and I’m certain it could and probably would work for F1. IDK why a lot of F1 fans on here are trying to fight so hard against change… it has to happen at some point; maybe not now but certainly in the future.
        @somersf1 good article. Thanks.

    3. @Somersf1 I believe puts all our thoughts into words, of course everyone will put there own twist and interpretation on it. I believe though we all agree the direction of the sport is a concern and something must be done.

  2. Letters, January 18 (Western Daily Press)

    “John Button, with his great efforts (often in very difficult financial circumstances), encouraged and supported his son to become a Formula 1 champion, thus putting the town of Frome, the county of Somerset and Great Britain very much on the world motor racing stage. Thank you, John, and sincere condolences to your family.”

    F1 is great and interesting because of the great and interesting people that make it happen. This is why I like all the drivers and and all the people involved, some more than others, of course. I’m happy for John Button and Jenson Button and that they were able to enjoy Jenson’s F1 experiences together. It takes a lot of support to get to the top and John Button gave a lot to help Jenson get there. That’s what it’s all about. Prayers to his family and John Button will be missed by many.

  3. On the last part of the Somers article relating to the social side & especially the TV/Online video stuff.

    FOM/TATA Communications plan to work further on the system trialed at Singapore last year, Sending all the data from the circuits to Biggin Hill via the fibre network rather than satellite.

    The plan as I understand it is to by the end of this year perform internal trials of some sort of live online streaming platform which ‘could’ be launched for 2015 broadcast contracts & agreements in individual regions depending.

    Why wait?
    Well for 1 as I’ve said in the past the broadcast contracts as they are don’t necessarily allow for it but agreements could be reached to get round that, Most likely some regions will be Geo-Blocked if the broadcaster wants to retain there exclusivity rights (Which in the UK Sky almost certainly would).

    Another reason to wait is that doing everything from Biggin Hill using the currently in testing/development fibre network would be far easier & more reliable than sending everything via satellite or trying to run any service from the circuits.

    The social stuff like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc… could obviously be done today if they wanted & to be perfectly honest Im not totally sure why they don’t.
    I said a few days ago about the video archive not been ready to stream, But new content is all recorded digitally & video clips such as in-car laps, highlights, video montages etc… could easily be edited & uploaded to YouTube from the circuit.
    Think something similar to what the WRC guys are doing.
    That should be the model & there isn’t really any reason why FOM couldn’t start doing that.

    On the point relating to fan uploads been removed from places like YouTube, Thats not actually down to FOM, Its a 3rd party copyright monitoring company who files the request’s. Yes there contracted by FOM but its not something FOM actively push apart from specific circumstances.

    1. They would also want to make sure everything worked. If they started streaming, it would no doubt be popular. It would also be very, very embarrassing if the system was inadequate and beset by problems. Especially if viewers had to pay a fee for it.

    2. It is also something FOM dont actively exempt either.

    3. Or MotoGP. They occasionally even upload full classic races.

    4. Well I wonder of the Japanese Zume system was used as somewhat of a trial, launching as it did after Singapore, and (a few niggles and improvements aside) worked quite well. The problem with YouTube is that it doesn’t offer a good multi-channel experience, and i’m sure FOM would want to find someway of allowing the viewers to stream multiple feeds at the same time (World Feed, onboard, pitlane etc.) and in sync. So i’m sure FOM would probably want to get their own streaming platform developed, IMO, that way you can integrate payment methods into it.

  4. That SomersF1 piece is a really worthwhile read if you have the time to get through it. I particularly liked this: “YouTube is another bone of contention when it comes to F1, as anything related to the sport posted on the site is generally taken down within seconds of it being uploaded. It’s a platform that the sport should embrace and have it’s own content on. Formula One needs to stop hiding in the shadows as a faceless corporation and interact with it’s fans, afterall they are the ones that fund the sport.”

    As good F1 fanatics I know we all go on YouTube from time to time looking for F1 content. We all know how frustrating that moment is when you find the video you want, click play and then get the message that the video has been taken down by FOM. I want to know what FOM want to do with their footage, because I’m 100% sure the board of CVC aren’t hoarding it for themselves, sitting in their darkened boardroom with the projector volume cranked up to 101 listening to Gerhard Berger thrash the 412T2 round Monza or trying to find the pre-season section of the 1993 season review (as I was last night). Please let us see the footage FOM. It deserves to be seen. Like the article says, control the release of the content yourself by having an official YouTube channel which churns out tasty tidbits for F1 Fanatics. Hell, take it a step further and properly “monetize the asset” and release compilations of classic race on DVD or re-release season reviews that were only available on VHS. For the love of god FOM, just do something to let us at it. Having to pay for rare footage would be rubbish, but not as rubbish as it is knowing that there is a vault somewhere filled footage of F1’s greatest moments that you can’t get hold of at all.

    1. I honestly think Bernie is saving it for his retirement fund or maybe more so now his get out of jail fund

  5. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    19th January 2014, 11:37

    Mark you may have just summed up why I get so unpopular around Wimbledon time…

    1. I must be honest too @william-brierty, I have never endeared much to Murray’s personality but in that case I will fly the patriotic flag.

      However, I do feel that top-flight tennis is lacking in emotionally-connectable characters: Djokovic, although brilliant, appears rather robotic. Nadal seems to quite literally talk through his **** (one of his defining characteristics is his constant re-adjustment). The only one I’ve ever truly liked out of compassion and not just respect is Federer.

      F1 may be considered a sport with as many restrictions on personalities as technicalities but nonetheless one can always detect the frustrations and jubilations of it’s players. Which is part of the reason why I love it so much – the sportsmen are just as brilliant as tennis players, but they are more interesting too.

      1. I used to think that about Djokovic, but he’s actually fairly funny during interviews and when practising. I really warmed to him when I started seeing footage that wasn’t just him playing. I like Murray because he’s the stereotypical dour Brit/Scot. He is uncomfortable with media and likes to keep somewhat to himself, which I can connect with.

    2. ahem, Borg was best. :-) Best I ever watched anyway. Laver was absolutely great. McEnroe was quite entertaining and very good too. Connors was the almost the best sometimes, somewhat insufferable though. Oooops, sorry, wrong generation… ;-)

      1. Sadly you are absolutely correct @bullmello – I’ve missed the lucrative generation of tennis! McEnoroe I did just forget about though, but good nomination ;)

  6. I would like some help: In how many race weekends has Team Enstone (Toleman, Benetton, Renault, Lotus F1) competed?

    1. Or at least, how many races the modern Renault started.

      1. Use wikipedia?

        1. Did you see the Wikipedia before posting? ;)

        1. Thank you :)

  7. If you want to win the captioncompetition you have to be early. I’ve seen some real classics as first posts!
    Liked this one as well.

    1. Doesn’t the last post count double?
      Agree the winner’s a good ‘un this time.

      1. @bullfrog you win one (1) internet

  8. I’ve Williams as a dark horse on my list and expect them to compete with the top teams like Lotus did last year. I hope the FW36 doesn’t disappoint.

    1. @tmf42 perhaps the experience they gained running without a coanda exhaust towards the end of last season will pay dividends, and I suspect their micro gearboxes (and the tight packaging at the rear that results) may also contribute to performance.

      Not a bad tip, and I hope you are correct – Williams really need to relive 2012 performance levels but with quality drivers.

    2. Claire Williams is talking a good game:
      Williams: Long-term stability secured (Racer) probably also on Autospout.

      They’ve played a blinder with some of their recruitment, not just with Pat Symonds and Felipe Massa. And it’s good to see them come out the other side of their “pay driver” period, even if Maldonado was a bit better than that (I don’t think Bruno Senna was, though.)

      But results are what matters – if they’re running round in 17th place again, people will be saying they’re doomed…

      1. On this topic, Claire is absolutely spot on. Long-term stability is exactly what a team needs. Just look at Redbull, they didn’t came into F1 and had success on their first day. They had to build up their team first, get the right people in, get experience, and after 5 years, finally their success came. Williams need to do the same. The 2014 regulation shake-up gives them a great opportunity to take a big step in the right direction, and they need to utilize that chance. If they can do that, and progressively improve, they’ll be in a good place soon.

  9. Caption: Hahahah

  10. First caption competition I have ever laughed at! Good work!

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