Raikkonen not happy with balance yet – Domenicali

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2014In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Kimi Raikkonen is not happy with the balance of his car yet.


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

Stefano Domenicali: “It’s like the cat has to bite the tail…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“I think we need to help Kimi in trying to find the right balance with the car, helping him because he deserves that. I think there was an improvement during the days.”

Walker furious at the lack of GP ‘screams’ (The Age)

“I was absolutely delighted with the whole weekend, but I was not too happy with the sound. We are resolving that with Bernie. It’s clearly in breach of our contract. I was talking to him last night [Sunday] and it’s not what we paid for. It’s going to change.”

Teams may pay price for quieter F1, says Ecclestone (Reuters)

“We give the teams a percentage of the revenue we receive. So if we are receiving less revenue, whatever the case may be, certainly the teams wouldn’t get as much. So it’s going to cost them.”

F1 2013 vs 2014 sound comparison – Melbourne (YouTube)


Button ‘emotional’ after podium finish (The Telegraph)

“This weekend has been an emotional one for me, and the support I’ve had has been brilliant. That being the case, it would have been a real bonus if I could have celebrated my third place from the podium, alongside Nico and Kevin. But I really feel for Daniel, who drove a great race in his first race for his new team, in front of his home crowd.”

Red Bull rivals followed FIA sensors (Autosport)

“On the back of clarifications made by the FIA earlier this month – making it clear that the fuel-flow rate being produced by the sensor would be the one that determined conformity with the regulations – no other team went down the Red Bull route and deliberately ignored the sensor reading.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Australian GP report by Mark Hughes (MotorSport)

“‘According to our analysis,’ said Red Bull’s Christian Horner, ‘we are losing a second per lap down the straights.’ One second per lap appeared to be the advantage Rosberg enjoyed over the Renault-powered Red Bull here. Rosberg admitted that, having earlier in the weekend worried about the fuel consumption, in the race it was not a concern. “I could see from quite early in the race that it wasn’t going to be a worry.”

Red Bull will be cleared: Paul Stoddart (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Daniel [Ricciardo] did not gain any advantage and that will be proven by Red Bull in their appeal.”

Australian Grand Prix – weighing the benefits from a state outlay of $58m (The Guardian)

“‘I don’t care if people like F1 or not, but let’s stop pretending it’s about the economy. People have a go at me and say ‘well, we subsidise the opera’. Well yes, we probably do, but the difference is the opera doesn’t claim it is in the best economic interests of Australia.”

Toro Rosso STR9 – cooling solutions (F1)

“The new 2014 power units mean all the teams have had to increase their cars’ radiator cooling, leading to some quite complex layouts. Toro Rosso’s is unique.”

UK supply chain keeps Formula One on track (FT, registration required)

“‘To be quite honest we don’t know what our parts are used for half the time,’ says Alan Rollason, managing director of ACE, a Shropshire company that makes parts for high performance engines.”

Maurice Hamilton: Papers miss bigger picture (ESPN)

“The 11-hour time difference did at least allow writers to wait for the stewards’ decision without worrying about missing the early editions of their paper, as would have been the case had the race been in Europe. As a result, all of the Monday dailies carried the story. The various interpretations literally made interesting reading.”

#ForzaMichael! – 17 March (Ferrari)

“Michael, we think and talk about you and your family every day, and we anxiously await good news from this, your greatest challenge of all. You have all of our support and best wishes in these dark days and we desperately hope for and look forward to happier times with all of our hearts. The Brundle family.”

Sky’s fortunes increase as BBC’s Australian Grand Prix ratings drop (The F1 Broadcasting Blog)

“Yes, a Sky gain of 73k is great for them, but if BBC loses nearly 200k, it eradicates whatever gain Sky is made.”

Revolutionising racing (The Way It Is)

“It will be fascinating to see how F1’s new world order takes shape after Ecclestone finally retires or is removed from the scene. Most longtime observers believe a gruesome power struggle will ensue among the team owners, CVC and the FIA that’s likely to do the sport more damage than good.”

Melbourne podium highlights the problem with GP2 (Duncan Stephen)

“Both Ricciardo and Magnussen cut their teeth in Formula Renault 3.5. For a long time, Formula Renault 3.5 has seemed like a better school for wannabe F1 stars than the Bernie Ecclestone-backed GP2 Series.”

Tata Communications powers Remote Operations for Formula 1 (Tata via YouTube)



Comment of the day

Red Bull’s dramas aside, how competitive are the world champions this year? Thoughts from @Estesark:

I’m not sure where Red Bull fit into the pecking order after all this.

Vettel had a software problem on his car, which should be resolved easily enough. Ricciardo appeared to have no problems at all – and excellent pace – until the stewards announced their decision to disqualify him.

I don’t understand why his team chose to ignore the rulebook, but if his fuel rate monitor really was faulty, perhaps they anticipated getting a working one for Malaysia and chose to use the race as a testing session. If that is the case, they could be much closer to the front than most people anticipated. On the other hand, if their monitor wasn’t faulty, then Ricciardo’s pace was misleading and they could be anywhere.

My instinct tells me it’s the former. If the team can sort out its reliability issues then more podium finishes are well within their grasp for the next few races.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Oskar!

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On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonOn this day 20 years ago Benetton confirmed Jos Verstappen would be Michael Schumacher’s team mate for the first race of 1994 in Brazil, JJ Lehto having not recovered sufficiently from his neck injuries.

Verstappen only had 52 race starts to his name at the time but Benetton had fended off interest from McLaren to sign him as their test driver.

Images © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Getty

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123 comments on Raikkonen not happy with balance yet – Domenicali

  1. Locky said on 18th March 2014, 4:59

    I think the noise is a two edged sword.
    I heard the V10’s and they were painful.
    Rather than complain (there’s too much invested in these power units) they should be looking at opportunities.
    Perhaps now in Melbourne they could run a night race – with better times for other time zones – that was not conceivable with the 18-20K rpm V8-V10 engines, as Albert Park has a lot of residential around it…

    I’m not sure what they could even do about it…in terms of making the current engines louder… Twin turbos with whopping big wastegates and a higher rpm limit and megaphone style pipes…

    I wasn’t all that long ago that the Renault V8 sounded like a bucket of bolts as they did some weird fuelling in the corners for the diffuser…that sounded truely rubbish- – loud maybe, but rubbish..

    People have short memories..

    One other note, having experienced the V10’s and V8’s live – I wouldn’t take my young kids to a race – no way known….however now, its a much more family friendly event – and should be marketed in such a way…

    Times change, get over it..

  2. Kazihno (@kazinho) said on 18th March 2014, 5:56

    Re Stoddart: His claim was one of the major Aus GP-related articles the local Murdoch press ran on Monday to try to feed of the feeling that Ricciardo was harshly treated by his DQ.

    It’s no wonder he couldn’t operate a GP team successfully if he cannot understand how running with a higher fuel flow would give you the advantage of faster lap times.

    Re Engine Noise: It’s not so much the volume, but the frequency and the note that would just hang in the air, not matter what part of the circuit the cars were on.

    It doesn’t have the sound of fury. Someone should add the sound of the Jetson’s flying mobiles.

    • VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 18th March 2014, 6:29

      I think what Stoddart meant was that if the sensor was faulty then he didn’t gain an advantage, so he’ll get his result back. But either the media trimmed the quote or he didn’t say it correctly.

      That was how I read it, anyway.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th March 2014, 7:07

        I read that article as looking for straws to hold on to. First its “he got no advantage, so should be fine”, but maybe Stoddard then remembered that a tech infringement does not need the FIA to prove any advantage gained, it gets you DSQ without even looking at that question. So then he came to the part about at least getting his points back by pointing to a situation that was a bit different.

        Personally I would be surprised if RBR achieved anything with their appeal – if they even file a repeal (they have until Thursday to do so).

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th March 2014, 13:56

          @bascb, they may well fail in their appeal but hopefully will bring resolution to the faulty sensor problem. The FIA certainly need to be the ones regulating the fuel flow, we all know what the teams can do left to their own devices, but the measurements must be impeccable and above reproach, the FIA can’t just say ” It’s only a sporting contest, the teams just have to accept the luck of the draw” there are, as we know, literally $millions at stake every race.

      • Kazihno (@kazinho) said on 18th March 2014, 10:10

        “Gaining advantage” doesn’t just have to mean in terms of lap time. Running an engine leaner raises its temperature.

        Red Bull already have known cooling issues so infringing on the fuel flow rules may have a negligible affect on the ultimate lap time but may have assisted reliability.

        If Red Bull can ignore an FIA directive what’s next? Get a penalty for speeding in the pit lane and a team says “we don’t trust your measurements, we’re not coming in”.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th March 2014, 13:44

      @kazinho, you are right about that note hanging in the air, 1 year around 1990 I was in Cap D’ail marina in France, on the Monaco border, and couldn’t hear the TV commentary over the sound of the race coming over the hill.

  3. Dave (@dworsley) said on 18th March 2014, 7:15

    Posted this after Saturday but here’s a comparison of the old V8 and new V6 taken on Saturday at the track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJw4PeOzJ0k

    People who have no issue at all with the engine sound do not go to Grands Prix.

    • Paul Sainsbuy said on 18th March 2014, 10:30

      Thank you.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th March 2014, 12:51

        Personally I’m indifferent. On the one hand I get that the sound is important, but I just find myself not all that bent out of shape about it, and the fact is, the horse has left the barn. If they feel it is important enough, as in, detrimental to the bottom line, then I guess they’ll look at ways to change the sound if they can, but otherwise, it is what it is. I found my ears crackled in Montreal even with ear buds in, and covering my ears or sticking my fingers in them did nothing. It wasn’t the end of the world or anything…not like I had to leave the track or anything, but my goodness I do wonder how some F1 insiders hearing is going to be later on in life…like musicians too.

        I also wonder if the cars were noticeably faster than last year would that make the quietness a little more acceptable to some who yearn for the big scream of yore.

    • joc_the_man said on 19th March 2014, 0:04

      You are sooo right. There are quite a few of us that used to love the magic at the grandstands.
      What is soo sad is the FIA being well aware abt the less noise years ago, but they took all the fans for granted…not knowing many of us. Not understanding why we spend loads of money just to be at the tracks enjoying the magic. In business we talk abt knowing your customer.
      The FIA heads sit in their ivory towers and do not care. It was pathetic to listen to mr Lom (head of powertrains at FIA) throwing dB numbers in an attempt to state that there is not much difference.
      Bernie are now trying but it boils down to FIA and mr Todt. They do not give a damn obviously.
      To me it is….sad times.

  4. jhg103 (@joshgeake) said on 18th March 2014, 8:16

    It’s simple really…

    I work in marketing and as a marketer we broadly look to positively stimulate every sense of a potential buyer. F1 is a weird blend in that people ‘buy’ into it by watching it (or more plainly by subscribing to pay-tv) but they can’t taste it or feel it, they can only hear and see it (ignoring the irrelevant, privileged few that can smell it). So when the excitement from the noise is gone, all they have to go on is what they can see.

    The V12’s sounded aggressive and fast. The V10’s were almost as good.
    The V8’s were less aggressive but still very noisy. In a way, the blown diffuser mappings made them sound even more aggressive.

    The new V6 engines don’t sound remotely aggressive or fast. They sound dull and I find myself looking for the whine of a turbo in search of excitement.

    Removing that aggressive sensory experience has a significant effect on people’s subconsious opinions and memories. To put it simply, they just won’t notice or care.

    I’m all up for this technology, it’s the future direction but quite frankly, I can see Moto GP etc doing quite well out of this. However, quite why F1 cars sound so rubbish and Le Mans cars so awesome, I don’t know.

    • OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 18th March 2014, 8:25

      Very well put…

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 18th March 2014, 11:31

      It’s largely because this is the first year of the regulation change and focus has been on reliably running the cars, not tricking the exhaust note to make the fans happier.

      That’ll come next year, or sooner if Bernie throws money at it.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th March 2014, 14:27

      Just a few thoughts for discussion not argument. You cannot taste, smell, or hear most televised sports and that doesn’t prevent huge audiences from watching. Sure I get that perhaps there is an expectation for loud noise from racing, but to say the excitement is now gone because the noise is, is subjective and not a view shared by everyone. Is MotoGP so loud? Certainly it can be said that new fans to F1 will not have any different expectations and will only know this sound. And I ask here too as I have on a few other comments…if the cars were 3 seconds faster than last year would as many people be complaining about the lack of noise?

      So I don’t think it is simple. Should be very interesting to see how the viewership ratings pan out this season and whether or not if there is a downturn they can pin it to noise and then do something about it that helps. What noise would help given that they aren’t going to go backwards back to V-8’s? Is louder but still not screaming going to do it? That to me would just mean better microphone placement within the car and around the tracks. I think we have all noticed before how at some races, depending on who is directing the show, the sound we are hearing is not actually the sound of the car we are watching.

  5. Sumedh said on 18th March 2014, 8:29

    Hey Keith,

    How about another article like this


    Lots of new drivers on the grid now.

  6. tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 18th March 2014, 9:03

    Re: Melbourne podium highlights the problem with GP2 (Duncan Stephen)

    Errrr is Mr Stephen forgetting the race winner on top of that podium Nico Rosberg – 2005 GP2 Champion? Yes I know he goes on to say that GP2 hasn’t created many successes but then not many GP2 drivers make it straight (within a few seasons) into a top team.

    • tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 18th March 2014, 9:23

      And the 2008 GP2 Asia, 2011 GP2 and 2011 GP2 Asia champion Romain Grosjean has done pretty well in his most recent F1 stint. And the 2010 GP2 champion and F1 race winner Pastor Maldonado has real pace (if not the consistency and calm head). And highly rated 2009 GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg is only missing out on a top drive due to his height / weight issue.

      Looking at the Formula Renault 3.5 champions from the same era (2005>) (with the exception of Robert Kubica who should still be in F1 if it wasn’t for his accident) how well have these guys done in F1? Alx Danielsson, Álvaro Parente, Giedo van der Garde, Bertrand Baguette, Mikhail Aleshin, Robert Wickens, Robin Frijns?

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 18th March 2014, 11:38

        I think the point is that more are coming from WSR than GP2 NOW, largely because more drivers can get into the WSR because it’s much much cheaper.

        The majority of drivers are priced out of GP2 unless they’re rich/sponsored, lucky or very talented.

  7. Dale jr, Ricciardo said Dale and said was,

  8. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 18th March 2014, 9:52

    The thing about the engine note is that it is driven by the engine configuration, a configuration which aims to make F1 more road relevant in an attempt to get manufacturers back into the sport (proven by Honda coming back next year). These V6’s with their single turbo and the MGU-H prevent muffle most of the noise before it gets a chance to get out of the exhaust. If Bernie wants more noise then he has to go to the engine manufacturers and ask them to change the configuration of their engines, which would result in massive costs and probably get them so riled up they’d consider exiting the sport. So it isn’t going to happen, no matter how much Bernie or anyone else wants it do.

    • OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 18th March 2014, 11:45

      @geemac : So as per the ‘road relevancy’ logic, we might soon have ‘driver-less’ F1 cars

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th March 2014, 13:01

      So for me, if you are saying the only fix, for those that feel there needs to be one, is an expensive one, it will still come down to the bottom line. If the lack of noise literally affects the bottom line negatively, then they will have no choice but to try and change it…but can they change it enough to assuage the naysayers…and what sound will be acceptable when that is subjective.

  9. Regarding GP2, 11 of the current drivers were GP2 graduates (Kvyat and Bottas skipped GP2) so that’s still quite a large chunk. 17 drivers have previously raced in F1 but are not currently racing too. I feel the quality of the 2013 grid was pretty poor for GP2, there were some drivers who needed some major finetuning and we had a strange situation where it seemed Stefano Coletti forgot how to race. This year however the championship appears much more intriguing with Mitch Evans going to Russian Time, Felipe Nasr who needs to start winning races, Jolyon Palmer at DAMS who showed some awesome overtaking ability last year as well as outright speed (winning 2 races to Nasr’s 0), Abt at Hilmer, Rossi who showed great speed, and of course, Stoffel Vandoorne.

    A lot of these drivers are relatively young, as oppose to being older as most of the F1 grid, as was the case last year.

    Despite this, I can’t help but feel a lot of former GP2 drivers end up in the States. Bird has gone over there, and a few of them have been looking at the likes of IndyCar and Indy Lights.

  10. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 18th March 2014, 14:31

    “We advised them twice after qualifying and five laps into the race to take the necessary steps to comply with the regulations,” Whiting told The Times about Red Bull’s infringement.

    Does it mean Red Bull ran with potentially exceeded fuel flow rate even in qualifying?

    • Sir OBE said on 18th March 2014, 17:05

      They did. And that’s what makes me sick of Red Bull. They were even given the benefit of doubt since it’s a new system and it might play up, so FIA didn’t want to be too strict with Red Bull. But then Red Bull in their customary arrogance, gets as greedy and filthy as they usually are, and tries to intentionally cheat in the race, hoping the get off lightly, even though every other team was respecting the offset FIA gave them.

      If anything, I’d hope Red Bull gets a few races ban, like BAR got in 2005. I’m sick of them. And before some knight in shinny armor, who’s following F1 since 2010, comes here to tell me I dislike them just because they are winning, I’ll say that I never disliked a dominant team, even when Williams in the early 90s or Ferrari in the early 2000s were dominating. McLaren never really dominated in the late 90s, let’s face it.

  11. BJ (@beejis60) said on 18th March 2014, 15:45

    Where’s Bub Rubb and the exhaust whistle tips when you need them?


  12. Nixi (@nixi) said on 18th March 2014, 22:56

    Alleged contractual breach due to noise. Someone else may have mentioned this already, but wasn’t there protests back in ’95/’96 over the noise at Albert Park? The other way round obviously.

    Well if the noise is that bad, I say someone needs to call Adelaide back to say we’re sorry….

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