Bottas to start Williams’ season at Jerez

F1 Fanatic Round-up

In the round-up: Williams confirm Valtteri Bottas will be the first driver to test for them at Jerez next week.


Translation: “Charles Pic will not be at Caterham this season. Replaced by Kamui Kobayashi.”


Valtteri Bottas, Shanghai, Williams, 2013Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

1998 Ferrari F300 driven by Michael Schumacher sold at Barrett-Jackson auction (Rushlane)

“The F1 car was sold for a price of $1,870,000 (??1.14m) inclusive of buyers commission.”

One week to go (Toro Rosso)

“STR9 has successfully passed all the necessary FIA crash tests.”

Lotus says finances sorted for 2014 (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “We have an operational guaranteed budget this year, which is a big difference.”

First look at the 2014 Caterham… (Caterham via Facebook)

Close-ups of various, mostly indistinguishable bits.

Lotus F1 Team brokers Saxo Bank deal (Lotus)

Saxo is a Danish investment bank which was founded in 1992. It also sponsors cycling’s Team Tinkoff-Saxo.

“Grand Prix racing cannot survive without throwing out Ecclestone?s tired business model and starting fresh.”

Ten of the most unusual F1 car launches (F1)

Including Arrows rolling out their controversial maiden F1 car (which rival Shadow claimed was their design) at a snowbound Silverstone.

F1’s Bernie Ecclestone forced to make ‘emergency stop’ after being shunted from behind by massive dog (The Mirror)

“The enormous Newfoundland nearly toppled the 5ft 3in F1 boss on a street in Gstaad, Switzerland.”

Comment of the day

As Bernie Ecclestone faces the greatest challenge to his control of Formula One so far, opinions diverge on how good a job he’s done of running the sport lately. @MazdaChris is at one end of the spectrum when it comes to assessing what Ecclestone has turned F1 into:

An overcomplicated gimmicky mess, run 50% in front of empty grandstands in countries who want to use F1 for political purposes, entered by teams who even at the front are barely financially solvent and need to be propped up by drivers paying for their seat, while a group of elite billionaires cream massive amount of money out of the sport never to be reinvested, while the opinions of fans are disregarded amid a toxic political situation which has had manufacturers deserting the sport in their droves in favour of sports car racing.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Oukilf1 and Bruno!

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

1994 F1 seasonFortune dealt JJ Lehto a cruel blow 20 years ago today. Just one week after getting the big break of his career by landing a race seat at Benetton, he suffered a 225kph (140mph) crash during testing at Silverstone.

He was knocked out by the impact and was taken to hospital where he spent five hours on an operating table having his fifth vertebra strengthening by having part of his hip bone grafted to it. Unable to recover in time for the start of the season, test driver Jos Verstappen took his place for the first two races of the year.

It was the first of several serious accidents during the season and although he did return to action during the year it proved the beginning of the end for his grand prix career.

Image ?? Williams/LAT

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56 comments on Bottas to start Williams’ season at Jerez

  1. Kimi4WDC said on 21st January 2014, 6:00

    I bet Coulthard was thrilled with that 1997 McLaren launch :)

  2. Malcolm Tucker (@malcolmtucker) said on 21st January 2014, 8:19

    “Grand Prix racing cannot survive without throwing out Ecclestone’s tired business model and starting fresh.”

    This is written beneath the Lotus Saxo announcement link. Where is this quote from and who said it? It’s not from the article

  3. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 21st January 2014, 11:53

    “Grand Prix racing cannot survive without throwing out Ecclestone’s tired business model and starting fresh.”

    I cannot find this sentence in the aforementioned Saxo Bank article; removed? :)

  4. Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st January 2014, 14:58

    This is the final sign we’re close to the start of the season! I always get a little distracted from F1 during the off-season, but when it’s the week of the launches the tension builds up, and the time I see the first car is a shock! The other cars are more easily accepted, and the first day of testing is a great feeling even if I’m at school, working, and only get to see the pictures afterwards!

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2014, 18:08

    Kobayashi Fever is very contagious this time of year.

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2014, 18:15

    I think it’s wrong to blame Bernie for escalating costs. After all, he has no direct control over how much money the teams spend, and even if all of the revenue from the sport was given to the teams, it would only escalate the problem.

    The teams know that if they spend more money on development, then they can perform better. Hence, we have a situation where teams will think nothing of spending $250 million a year. Giving them more money is not going to fix this problem, because all it will take is one team spending that $250 million plus whatever additional revenue they get on development, and all of the teams will do it.

    Likewise, I do not think you can blame FOM for poor race attendances. The blame for that lies squarely with governments who do not understand what Formula 1 is, but rather see it as a tool to boost their international profile. Take, for instance, the Chinese Grand Prix. It was inevitable that Formula 1 would go to China sooner or later, but the government did their cause no favours when they decided that the best place for the race was on a few acres of reclaimed swampland in a polluted industrial district on the outskirts of Shanghai.

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