Lotus financial situation “improving”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2014In the round-up: Lotus expects to report a fall in losses this year following their financial problems last season.

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Gerard Lopez: An F1 car helps for a man in a hurry (The Independent)

“In fact, Lotus is improving: the accounts for 2013, due to be filed in a few weeks, will show that losses have been reduced with Lotus close to break-even, give or take €10m.”

Ferrari, tutta la verità di Marmorini (Quotidiano, Italian)

Former Ferrari engine director Luca Marmorini, who left the team earlier this month, says he was urged to produce a compact engine design to aid aerodynamics, even at the expensive of power, but that the team have ended up lacking both engine and aerodynamic performance.

Orders expectation surprised Mercedes (Autosport)

Paddy Lowe: “People even thinking like that is almost an inversion of how you should be, probably generated by that [Michael Schumacher] Ferrari era. Before that era no one would have ever thought about it.”

Grand Prix 10-year-deal isn’t what it seems to be (Wheels.ca)

“We’ll know what the real story is when the FIA and F1 issue the 2015 preliminary schedule. If “Canada” has an asterisk beside it, that will tell you just about everything.”

Ed Gorman’s Formula One Notebook: Why Nico Rosberg is tougher than anyone thought (James Allen on F1)

Keke [Rosberg] was having none of it, however, and turned to me – someone he did not know – and in no uncertain terms told me to f*** off. I remember thinking ‘wow, this guy doesn’t give a stuff.’ We never did have that chat.”

Mechanics’ tales: Jo Ramírez (MotorSport)

“You always like an honest driver like Keke Rosberg. When he crashed, he’d be the first to come and say ‘I screwed up, so you can stop looking for something wrong with the car’.”

The junior stars with a shot at an F1 seat in 2015 (Paddock Scout)

“When Red Bull want [Carlos Sainz Jnr] to be in F1, he will be there. The only thing that could stop him would be an FR3.5 championship collapse.”

Susie Wolff Q&A: I’m no marketing ploy (F1)

“The podium ceremony was going on when suddenly there was the call, ‘Susie Stoddart, please come to the ceremony’. I thought that’s very strange because I haven’t finished in the top three, but my team manager said I had better run quickly… they called me up to the podium for being the top female driver!”

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Snapshot

Max Verstappen, Can Amersfoort Racing, European F3, Nurburgring, 2014

Max Verstappen is now racing in Red Bull colours after joining their young driver programme – and took pole position for the first of this weekend’s European F3 races at the Nurburgring in a rain-hit session.

Comment of the day

F1 was a lot faster ten years ago, but was it better?

All those who scream about the cars and V10 engines of the early 2000′s how fast they were etc… should be made re-watching the 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix without nodding off, and a jolt of electricity to wake them up any time the do.

Yes, most of the speed records are from 2004, which is incidentally one of the worst ever seasons of F1. Ever. And 2002 was as bad. But what made 2004 worse than 2002 was that it came after the great promise of 2003. Such a let-down.

So yes, the speeds were incredible and the V10s sounded fantastic but everything else was terrible especially the racing. Almost everywhere, not just in Hungary. During Hungary I turned off the TV before halfway to stop wasting my time.

Really everyone who was an F1 fan before 2004 and remained a fan after 2004 should be given a medal of loyalty and perseverance. I know a few who didn’t make it. With all the criticism, I’d take the F1 of today over 2004 any day of the year (apart from Abu Dhabi and the double points lunacy).
Montreal95

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On this day in F1

F1 returns to the track formerly known as the Osterreichring earlier this year. On this day in 1970 it held its first ever world championship race.

However it proved the final F1 race for local hero Jochen Rindt, who was on his way to the world championship. He was killed during the following round at Monza.

Image © Renault/DPPI

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50 comments on Lotus financial situation “improving”

  1. MtlRacer (@mtlracer) said on 16th August 2014, 0:11

    Let’s go racing again already! Obviously there is little going on if Keith has to dig up 2-month-old “news” about the Canadian GP!

  2. Strontium (@strontium) said on 16th August 2014, 0:33

    Lotus’ financial situation improving is good, but sadly Maldonado’s driving isn’t.

    I cannot believe this is the same team that won in 2005 and 2006, and only last year they were winning podiums, and had people talking about them coming back slowly to the front of the pack to compete for wins again, and now they are just nothing. It really is amazing how quickly the game can suddenly change.

    And that picture of Max Verstappen.. Well, we know from 2007 what happens when it rains at the Nurburgring.

    • chambers said on 16th August 2014, 7:58

      The team I’m inquisitive about is Force India.

      We all know VM is on a constant date these days … or months…or years… with debt collectors.
      And I remember reading a couple of months ago about the regulatory authorities finally catching up with the head at Sahara for his “creative” business practices.

      I wonder how well FI is shielded from all of that.

      • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 16th August 2014, 11:18

        FI will be fine. They are financially separate from Mallya/Sahara’s other businesses and have a healthy bankroll. FI will only fold or be sold when Mallya decides he wants to fold or sell it.

        As for ‘creative’ business practices, they are two successful people that happen to be from a country that treats success as a crime….Maybe Sahara is a little shady, but Mallya’s just getting screwed and screwed again by a jealous government that likes to steal money from it’s rich citizens….which is why I very much doubt he’s got any money left in an Indian bank account, he would have moved it all abroad, Switzerland probably….And good on him….I thought the British government scrounged and stole from its citizens…..India’s government makes David Cameron look honest!

        And I wouldn’t read too much Joe Saward if I were you. He has a personal issue with Mallya and is/was employed by Caterham when Caterham and FI had the court battle over intellectual property. Saward is not one to set aside his personal battles in the name of honest journalism.

  3. Breno (@austus) said on 16th August 2014, 0:41

    Lotus finances had better improve, thats why Maldonado is there.

    No, Mr. Lowe, Ferrari might have been one of the first ot use team orders in F1, but definitely not in 2000.

    Isnt Marmorini the guy who left Ferrari right before they went into their greatest domination, joined Toyota, who were an utter disappointment, and came back to Ferrari right when they began to struggle again?

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th August 2014, 1:59

      I would say certainly Ferrari was not the first team to use team orders, but when MS went to Ferrari in 96 they became the first team to use them to the degree they did, far more than anyone had before or since, with the one-rooster concept. When MS was at Ferrari, it was only about MS, from race one of every season, and I don’t see how you can exclude 2000 from that.

      I find it depressing that people expected Mercedes to use team orders in that way, and just as with the MS/Ferrari era, and especially when the car is dominant, the only thing it does is make the rooster and the team’s life easier, while the rest of the world is robbed of a real rivalry, real racing, in the pinnacle of racing.

      I praise Mercedes to no end for their behavior this year. While they have shown it is not easy, that is the point…even though it is not easy they are doing it. For us. And for themselves. They are racers racing in the pinnacle of racing.

      It would be far easier to just order one driver to forego his childhood dreams to help another win the WDC, all season long. No tension of any significance, no questions, just the one-rooster intention, and the hovering coldness, or business-like aura surrounding it. But then, that’s robbing the paying audience too, and thank goodness teams never followed in those footsteps nearly to the degree of MS/Ferrari which has set a tone since, that thankfully Mercedes recognizes and refuses to follow. Including, ironically, and to my great delight, when MS was at Mercedes.

      Mercedes gets it!

      • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 16th August 2014, 3:09

        and how about the McLaren team orders in melbourne 98? i don’t have any doubt about Mika’s Speed, but it wasn’t that much faster than DC in that season. It wasn’t only Ferrari using team orders back in those days (it can go back a little more than that, when williams punished Reutemann for not letting Alan Jones pass him, and it cost him what could be his WDC)

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th August 2014, 4:40

          Exactly. Mac using team orders in a more subtle way was in response to having the most resourced team in F1 give it all for one driver from race one each year, creating an elephant in the room that compelled teams to make points-based or otherwise decisions, earlier in the season than ever, in order to compete against MS/Ferrari. And yes there were team orders back in the day, but never to the degree of MS/Ferrari.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th August 2014, 12:10

      Ferrari’s tradition of using team orders is associated with the team since its birth, in the times of Fangio, Hawthorn,Hill,Lauda,Villeneuve….The thing is in an interview the great Enzo said that he never used team orders and he will never use them because he himself was a racing driver (seems a bit controversial but that was Enzo).

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th August 2014, 13:11

        I wonder could it be said that Enzo’s version of team orders though was not to hang one driver out to dry from race one of a season. Rather, given his era of F1, gentlemanly agreements or decisions made for individual races as circumstances arose. Villeneuve was given lots of latitude but with the understanding Sheckter was the ‘senior’ driver on the team. Pironi went against an agreement at one race. They had to discuss this stuff ahead of time without knowing how things were going to unfold, while in the modern era they have been in constant radio communication and able to make these decisions in an instant upon seeing computer models of how the race is unfolding not just for themselves but everyone else on the track. And the money and business side of things were not nearly as overwhelming a factor back then.

  4. matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 16th August 2014, 1:06

    I completly agree with the COTD. Faster doesn’t always equals better. Ask any women about that!

  5. Sven (@crammond) said on 16th August 2014, 1:29

    @COTD:

    Yes, 2004 was awful. And there probably never were more close on-track-battles and overtakes, a closer field than within the last 3 years. However, there is a reason why we need that for excitement. To me, that´s not about the absolute speed, but the speed in relation to the average road car. In the 60s and 70s, an F1 car was twice as fast on the straights and four times as fast through the corners than the road-cars of that time have been, resulting in a lap-time less than a third of what a road-car could do. Today, F1-cars are about 20-30% faster on the straights and two times as fast on cornering than normal road-cars, while the tracks don´t look like normal roads anymore. Up until the late 80s, watching an F1 car was exciting even when it was alone on track, and that has been lost. Today, we need them closely together.

    • Zane Jakobs (@zjakobs) said on 16th August 2014, 3:39

      To give you an idea of how much faster F1 cars are than road cars, the safety car (Merc SLS, arguably a supercar) is driven flat-out by an ex-F1 driver, and the drivers complain that it’s too slow. F1 cars can generate over 5 times more cornering G (therefore 5 times faster) than top road cars, and are more than 50% faster on straights.

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 16th August 2014, 6:27

        I do know exactly how fast they are, and how much G they produce, but thanks for repeating that info. And no, they are not 50% faster on straights.

      • Cornering speed is proportional to the square-root of “cornering G”. So no, F1 cars are not 5x faster through the corners than road cars are, they’re only a little bit more than twice as fast.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 16th August 2014, 4:30

      What are you considering a “normal road-car”? Im pretty sure some of the WEC GTE cars are slower than 20%. Heck, even LMP1s might be in the 10% margin.

      • anon said on 16th August 2014, 9:33

        A comparison can be made with the 6 Hours of Silverstone event and the 2014 GP, although the fact that both events were hit by wet weather at times does skew the picture.

        However, in race trim the fastest lap that was set by any of the LMP1 category cars was a 1m44.2s lap by the No. 2 Audi, which was set early in the race before the rain set in. The fastest lap from the British GP was 1 1m37.1s lap, indicating a rough performance deficit of about 8% for the LMP1 cars.
        In qualifying, even with a damp track for the British GP, the LMP1 cars were still about 8% off the pace of the fastest F1 cars, so over a single lap the performance deficit could be closer to the 10% figure you suggest.

        The fastest GT car, by comparison, set a 2m00.96s lap time, indicating a performance difference of about 25%.

        • The thing everyone needs to keep in mind when comparing the difference between F1 cars and road cars of previous years and the current crop of F1 and road cars is that this isn’t computing where Moore’s law of doubling performance every two years holds. The vast majority of the big technological leaps were already been made prior to this year’s rule change. The technology is not increasing at an accelerating rate. Its slowing as we reach the limits of what the combustion engine can achieve. So naturally the difference to road cars will get less as they catch up in every area: from aero to KERS etc. Hell, even DRS is making it to road cars! It just isn’t possible to have the same difference in performance now as we did back then.

          To saw that modern F1 cars are boring when they’re on track by themselves confuses me though. The reason you must have for them being more exciting before must be because they were unstable, had much less drive-ability and often unreliable so would be driving with broken parts? There’s a strong case of rose tinted glasses going on here, plus a healthy dose of survivorship bias.

  6. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 16th August 2014, 1:46

    If there is a boring season like 2004 then so be it. All I’d ask for is for the solid foundations of the rules & regulations be fundamentaly as good as possible, something which definately isn’t the case right now. Have the basics right – scrap double points, increase more risk in more of the circuits, have the regulations so that it encourages as much wheel to wheel racing as possible, make the sport more accessible to fans, decrease the ticket prices etc. etc. Lay the foundations as best as possible, and if there is a boring season or sequence of races then so be it. Make sure the core of the sport is as sound as possible as this will ensure that F1 is in good health and will more often than not lead to good racing and exciting races which is what we all want to see.

  7. Burkenheim (@burkenheim) said on 16th August 2014, 2:01

    I really hope that Lotus improve next year. I hope Lopez is right about their improving finances. With Maldonados PDVSA millions and a possible switch to mercedes power i reckon 2015 could be a good year for them. Also as much stick as he gets i dont mind that maldonado is staying at Lotus. he brings financial security to the team and in fairness to him, he has had an unreal amount of car failures. However i fear that grosjean is on the way out

    • Brian (@bforth) said on 17th August 2014, 5:38

      Maldonado has signed for next year; Grosjean has not. There was talk earlier in the season about various “top teams” talking to him, so I think we could see him in different colours next season.

      McLaren looks very possible with Boullier sitting in a prominent position at the team.

  8. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 16th August 2014, 2:32

    @Montreal95 so where’s my medal?
    I was a supporter (while not a real fan) of Schumi those years, I always preferred Kimi’s style much much better though. However I remember not missing any race from that period.

    Maybe the hook that lured me back to F1 was so strong to resist. F1 wasn’t broadcast in my country for many years. In 2000 it came back. The first race I saw after 9 or 10 years was… Spa 2000.
    I sitill feel the thrill of that race when I remember it.

    • Jon Snow said on 16th August 2014, 7:00

      2004 was a let down for me, because of those Mercedes engine failures on the McLaren. and when it wasn’t the case, the racing was good! Belgian and British GP springs to mind. And don’t forget at the madness of the Monaco that year!

  9. BrawnGP said on 16th August 2014, 5:00

    Susie Wolff Q&A: I’m no marketing ploy

    lol… sure your not Susie… sure your not…

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 16th August 2014, 8:21

      Of course she’s not, she earned her place in a Formula 1 car by doing so well in the feeder series. It has nothing to do with her being married to a Williams shareholder and Mercedes boss.
      Every woman must be so proud to have such an embassador in the sport, who proved that a female can get into a male-dominated sport based on sheer results. And it’s definetely not an effort from F1 marketing gurus to make a sensationalist statement about the sport’s “gender-fairness” in order to attract female viewers using Susie’s image.

  10. Klaas (@klaas) said on 16th August 2014, 7:57

    All these years, Ferrari’s weakest link was aerodynamics and yet they fired everyone except the chief aerodynamicist – Tombazis. Ferrari’s mentality is a scary thing.

    • Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 16th August 2014, 9:13

      The old man would be very, very angry to hear that power was sacrificed for aero. We all know what he said about door shut lines and hitting the throttle pedal.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th August 2014, 12:50

      Tombazis is a chief designer in the first place, he was carrying the role of chief aerodynamicist because after the departure of John Iley in 2009 Ferrari didn’t have a proper chief aerodynamicist until Loic Bigois came in 2012 and Nick De Beer in late 2013.
      What i found strange in Marmorini’s interview with the journalist Leo Turrini who interviewed Aldo Costa a few weeks ago is that both men are pointing their fingers at Tombazis (i’m not here to defend anyone BTW) but from my understanding of the situation is that Tombazis need to be supported also by a good chassis designer, that’s why he confirmed and Allison said that he will be working alongside him on the next year’s car.
      If Marmorini did obey the orders of Tombazis to build a small PU in an era where HP is the most important aspect then i’m glad that he was fired.

  11. JCost (@jcost) said on 16th August 2014, 8:53

    Ok, Ferrari just scrap it. Copy Red Bull’s design and Mercedes engine and you will do fine.

  12. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 16th August 2014, 10:38

    Very interesting article about Gerard Lopez. My respect increased hugely for this guy. Let’s hope Lotus will have a better season next year, and have a Williams-like comeback with the Mercedes engine. I really hope they drop Maldonado. I think there is so much talent waiting for a chance in F1, he shouldn’t be there. However I do see the point in Lotus keeping him. An average driver with lot’s of money could possibly be worth more than the best driver that needs to be paid, in their current situation.

    • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 16th August 2014, 13:56

      they’ll have to pay the mercedes bills, so i don’t see them kicking Maldonado out. While i’m not saying that Maldonado is WDC material, he at least won a GP fair and square, with a williams that wasn’t exactly a great car… he can, maybe, get his act together, learning a thing or two from Romain (Ex-Crashjean) Grosjean…

  13. Chris (@ukphillie) said on 16th August 2014, 11:26

    Yes Susie……You ARE a marketing ploy…..And it’s because you fail to see that that I refuse to give an ounce of respect.

    If you had the best interests of racing at heart you’d be out there trying to manage young female drivers. As much as I can’t abide Hemlut Marko the man, Helmut Marko the driver manager is fantastic. He had a career ending injury (He wasnt that good anyway) and instead of drawing attention to himself he has bought us Vettel, Ricciardo, Vergne and some other good drivers we have seen and some we are yet to see.

    So why aren’t you setting up programmes for female drivers? Why aren’t you out there looking for female talent Susie if you care about it so much? You’re in a prime position, you’ve got access, all the contacts, even a husband with his hand in two teams pots…and yet all you do is promote yourself. You’re not out to get a female in F1 Susie….You’re out for yourself. If you were out for all females Susie, you’d find one that was good enough, instead of shamelessly self promoting yourself even though its clear you’re clearly not up to scratch.

  14. Wessel (@wessel-v1) said on 16th August 2014, 12:20

    So, they created a power unit that intentionally lacks power in order to have a better aerodynamic package. I wonder what Sauber and Marussia think of that.

  15. RZenith (@zenith) said on 16th August 2014, 15:16

    Can anyone enlighten me about what is that thing on the left hand side of Formula 3 cars?

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 16th August 2014, 15:34

      It’s the air intake. Notice that there’s no opening above the driver as there is in F1. As I understand it, the unusual position is because air intake is restricted by the regulations, and placing it there gives it the most direct path to the engine so that less pressure is wasted, as opposed to the ducts that would be needed if the intake was above the driver. It also creates less disruption of airflow to the rear wing.

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