Author Archive

Rant on the FOTA breakaway

June 18, 2009

This is my rant and honest opinion on the FOTA teams forming a breakaway series in 2010, I’m keeping this short, and to the point.

Do any of you kids old folks readers remember back in the early 90s where CART was the big thing in US motorsports, not NASCAR? Well if you do, then you may be thinking that the FOTA breakaway sounds alot like the CART/IRL split, only backwards. The FOTA breaks away because they want to spend more money than what the new FIA regs would allow, whereas the CART/IRL split which was based on Tony George wanting to build open wheel cars with production based engines cheaper than it would to run a CART team.

Then, of course there was all sorts of drama, CART running the US 500 the same weekend as the Indy 500, teams leaving CART to go to the IRL, 2 rounds of bankruptcy, losing the majority of the fan base, etc., etc.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m fearing that this split may send F1 into a downward spiral if the FOTA series takes all the big name teams, drivers, sponsors where it will leave them no choice but to join the FOTA series while most of the fans have taken their motorsport interest elsewhere.

Just my 2 cents.

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BREAKING: FOTA to form breakaway series in 2010

June 18, 2009

After numerous threats towards the FIA, and negotiations with the FIA on the new budget restrictions for 2010, the Formula 1 Teams Association (FOTA) have decided to take its member teams (which account for all but  2 teams currently competing in F1; Williams and Force India) and form their own series.

All the FOTA teams met at the Renault headquarters in Enstone, UK and discussed their dissappointement with the FIA’s regulations and its ‘stance against the organization’.

“The teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship,” said a statement issued by FOTA after the meeting.

As posted earlier, all the FOTA teams had entered, provisionally for the 2010 F1 campaign, knowing that the breakaway could happen at any time. Max Mosely urged the FOTA teams to not form the breakaway series, but the FIA would not change their regulations on the budget cap for 2010, the teams’ determined today that they could not agree to the new terms or compromise.

Putting Your Foot Down

June 16, 2009

After negotiations with FOTA on reaching an agreement on financial restrictions for 2010, the FIA have decided that the 45 million euro budget cap would be in effect for 2010.

Member teams of FOTA threatened to pull out of the 2010 campaign if that regulation stayed and form a breakaway series. All the teams competing this year have placed entries for 2010, and only 5 teams (Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams and Force India) have conditionally “agreed” to these regulations while 4 other teams, BMW, Brawn GP, Toyota and McLaren still have conditional entries and may still pull out and enter the FOTA breakaway if that were to happen.

Statement from the FIA:

As a result, the meeting could not achieve its purpose of comparing the FIA’s rules with the FOTA proposals with a view to finding a common position.

In default of a proper dialogue, the FOTA financial proposals were discussed but it became clear that these would not be capable of limiting the expenditure of a team which had the resources to outspend its competitors. Another financial arms race would then be inevitable.

The FIA Financial Regulations therefore remain as published.

Laziness, does NOT have it’s perks

June 14, 2009

Well after taking a little “vacation” from the blog, I’m back and with some big, big happenings of late going on in the F1 world. I’m going to try my best to be brief here, there’s many, many discussion points that have been controversial, at best.

  1. This past Friday, the FIA announced the 13 teams that would compete in the 2010 world championship, all 10 teams from this season, plus 3 new teams; USF1 Engineering, Campos Grand Prix and Manor
  2. Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing have threatened to pull out of the 2010 campaign if the FIA does not change their minds on rule changes for next season, but according to the FIA, their entries are unconditional due to contractional obligations with sponsors and drivers
  3. Toyota, Renault, BMW, McLaren and Brawn GP are conditional entries, that are still unsure whether or not they will compete in 2010, if they do not uconditionally agree with the rules by this Friday, their entries will be dropped
  4. The only 2 teams that have officially accpeted the new regulations is Williams and Force India
  5. The rules that have caused so much conontroversy are a budget cap ($62 million US) for car development, and a bigger role of the teams in governing the sport, which doesn’t sit well with FOTA and its member teams
  6. FOTA has threatened to take their teams and form a breakaway series if the rule changes are not implemented (think CART and IndyCar split, except with a more valid reason)
  7. The European car makes in F1 have sided with FOTA and will follow them into a breakaway series if that were to happen
  8. Lewis Hamilton has said that he would follow McLaren/Mercedes-Benz wherever they decide to go
  9. I did my best to describe these quite confusing events, I probably messed something up here, and if I did, please leave a comment

Phew, what a post, when updates are available, I will post them.

Over, already? Nonsense…

April 19, 2009

After the worst first 3 races for Ferrari since the early 80s where both drivers have failed to score a championship point, Kimi Raikkonen believes that the Tifosi’s bid to win the championship is already over. The iceman was quoted this week at Shanghai saying that Ferrari are “never going to be in a position to win the championship (this year) but hopefully we can improve the car and try to win some races later on this season, that’s the realistic aim.”

Well I will admit that it’s been a rough start for the red cars, many of the teams who were thought to be contenders like McLaren and BMW have been struggling mightily as well. Until today, Heikki Kovalainen failed to complete 1-race lap, the Saubers of Kubica and Heidfeld have lost their way since Australia and Lewis Hamilton has found himself in uncharacteristic positions. All those teams have combined to score 12 points, which is nearly less than half of what Jenson Button has scored driving impressivley in the Brawn GP car.

So before Kimi can come out complaining that his season is over, he should look at the big picture, realizing that he’s a capable enough driver with a team who has won numerous championships. They’re just in a rough spot at the moment which everyone encounters at least once in their lives, it’s simply a matter or perserverance.

Lie Gate

April 7, 2009

After much confusion after the Australian Grand Prix between Lewis Hamilton and Jarno  Trulli under the final safety car which resulted in McLaren’s disqualification of that race, the WMSC has ordered the team to a meeting on April 29. The incident started when Trulli’s car went off the track and Hamilton was not sure to go by the Toyota or to let him back in place, the radio transmission between Hamilton and his engineer follows:

Phil Prew (race engineer to Hamilton): OK Lewis, you just need to make sure your delta’s positive over the safety car line. After the safety car line the delta doesn’t matter, but no overtaking. No overtaking.

Lewis Hamilton: The Toyota went off in the second to last corner I overtook him is that OK?

PP: Understood, Lewis. We’ll confirm and get back to you.

LH: He was off the track. He went wide.

PP: Lewis, you need to allow the Toyota through. Allow the Toyota through now.

LH: OK.

(Hamilton yields to Trulli, unseen on TV screens)

LH: He’s slowed right down in front of me.

PP: OK, Lewis. Stay ahead for the time being. Stay ahead. We’ll get back to you. We’re talking to Charlie (Whiting, race director).

LH: I’ve let him past already.

PP: OK, Lewis. That’s fine. That’s fine. Hold position. Hold position.

LH: Ask Charlie I already overtook him and I’ve just let him past so…

PP: I understand Lewis. We are checking. Now can we go to yellow G5, yellow Golf 5.

LH: If I don’t have to let him past then I should be able to take that position back, because he made a mistake.

Dave Ryan (team manager): Yes, we understand Lewis. Let’s just do it by the book. We’re asking Charlie now. You are in P4, if you hold this position. Just keep it together.

PP: OK Lewis, your KERS is full, your KERS is full. Just be aware. You can go back to black F2, black Foxtrott 2.

LH: Have you found out from Charlie on whether I can take it back or not?

PP:
We’re till waiting on a response Lewis, still waiting.

PP: Lewis, work on your brakes please. Front brakes are cold.

DR: Lewis, If we are able to use, to deploy KERS that would be good. If you can deploy KERS please do so now.

PP: OK, Lewis, this is the last lap of the race. At the end of the lap the safety car will come in, you just proceed over the line without overtaking, without overtaking. We are looking into the Trulli thing, but just hold position.

After the race where Jarno Trulli was initially penalized for passing Hamilton under the safety car, Hamilton denied to race stewards that the above conversation with his engineer took place. But, after the FIA released the radio transaction, they were asked again about the conversation and admitted that it took place and subsequently, the FIA disqualified both McLarens.

Now, today McLaren announced that long time sporting director David Ryan had been fired from the team after instructing Hamilton and his engineer to lie about the conversation they had regarding the safety car scenario with Trulli.

Jenson and Friends: episode 3 – Party in Melbourne

March 29, 2009

(image courtesy of F1live.com)

(image courtesy of F1live.com)

I think after the race in Melbourne, the above image needs no caption. Bravo Jenson &  Brawn GP!

Jenson and Friends: episode 2 – Jenson tries to redeem himself

March 22, 2009
"Yeah, now you look me in the eyes"

"Yeah, now you look me in the eyes"

I can’t go for that (not this year)

March 22, 2009

  The video has nothing to do with this post, other than the play on words in the title.

Remember earlier this week that there was an announcement that there was a new rule that future F1 champions would be the driver who won the most races, well that didn’t go very well with many of the drivers. Bernie Ecclestone decided this weekend to hold off on this idea until next season.

“It will be supported by the FIA and it will be in the regulations, so when the people enter the (2010) championship, that’s what the regulation will be,”  Ecclestone told the BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek programme.

“To make any changes when the entries have closed, you have to get a unanimous agreement between all the people that have entered, and it would appear that some of the teams didn’t like the idea,” said Ecclestone.

Megasupernews post

March 18, 2009

Let’s take it slow, first of all, yesterday news broke of the new scoring system (check the post below this one for more) and there was some mixed reactions throughout the paddock.

Our buddy Jenson Button said that the new system to be confusing for fans, and that the  new rules are “an incentive to always go for the win” but added that it could “be risky because, after nine races, we could find ourselves with a driver that has already won the title while the guy who’s second is only 18 points behind”.

While one of the proponents of the rules, Bernie Ecclestone said that the idea behind this changes is to “get the drivers racing and the guy running second has a reason to go for the win instead of just saynd that ‘it’s only 2 more points’ that’s  the real motivation to get past someone”.

Also, we found out today that long time Ferrari team principal Jean Todt is leaving the team, resigning not only from his position as team principal but also from his spot on the team’s board of directors. Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo had this to say about Todt:

“Jean Todt has been one of the leading protagonists of the Ferrari story of the last 15 years, skill and passion have always characterised his work and have won him my persona respect and affection, the one of the Company as a whole and of the Prancing Horse enthusiasts everywhere. I would like to wish him the very best for the future which I hope will prove extremely satisfying both personally and professionally. All of these years we’ve spent together – victories and tough times included – have forged a link between Jean Todt and Ferrari that will never be broken.”

And finally, Renault confirms that they will have their variant of the KERS system in place on both its cars at Melbourne, as will  Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber.