Archive for the ‘Team Idiocy’ Category

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.

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.

Ronspeak Translation of the week

March 16, 2009

Ron’s made some pretty interesting comments on McLaren’s testing pace.  I figured I’d translate it into English for you.

“It is certainly not as fast as we would like it to be, but it’s early days and we’ve still got quite a bit of testing to do and quite a bit of development to reflect through into our pace.”

Translation:  It’s slow, we don’t know why, and we’re going to need all the testing we can get to figure out why, much less actually fix the problem.

“At this time of the year all our testing is centred around optimising the car for the race. But the inevitable publicity that surrounds test performance sees some of the less experienced teams or some of the teams that are seeking money actually running their cars with the objective of doing one fast lap.  Of course, one fast lap is very important when it comes to qualifying but it is relatively unimportant when it comes to the race. And the disciplined teams are working hard on a sustainable pace.”

Translation:  Brawn cannot, POSSIBLY be that quick.  They’re quicker than my superteam.  We’re just saying we’re working with race fuel in an attempt to make ourselves look good.

“The performance of McLaren and its competitors isn’t really going to be known until probably two or three races into the season, even Australia isn’t going to be a strong indicator because of course everybody has got gremlins in their car.

“So really it is three or four races before you can really determine who is competitive and who is going to be fighting for the world championship.”

Translation:  We’re screwed.

“We had a strategy for this year to leave it to the last possible moment to produce our aerodynamic

package for the Australian Grand Prix. “That in itself gave us some production challenges and we have really only started to run the car in the last day with the Australian aero package. “We ran the 2008 rear wing because it was more relevant in its performance to the wing that we are going to have in Australia. It doesn’t mean you are lost or that you don’t know what you are doing.”

Translation:  We ARE lost but we don’t want our sponsors to know that.  We waited til the last minute because we wasted too much time and money getting a championship for Lewis and our performance this year will suffer.  Our new style rear wing doesn’t have enough downforce, so we used the old one until we had no choice.  We’re basically screwed.

McLaren probably IS screwed–now we just have to wait and see…

Brawn GP team takes to the track, Force India’s silent debut

March 7, 2009

After Ross Brawn & other chief members of the Honda F1 team agreed to buy it out, the team took their car (which we’ll call the Brawn GP MK1 until an official name is released) to Silverstone for a shake down run with Jenson Button, who will team again with Rubens Barrichello (not Bruno Senna) for the 2009 championship.

Also, it appeared to my attention that the Force-India launched the VM002 a week ago without making any sort of fancy announcement or anything, only releasing these photos.

Ron Dennis retires

March 1, 2009

Well, Ron has officially handed over the reigns of McLaren to Martin Whitmarsh.  Here at Cutting Through the Ronspeak, we consider this to be a momentus occasion, as our site is named after Ron.  Therefore, we will now celebrate February 28th each year as “Ron Dennis Day.”

Hope you’re prepared for next year….

Brawny

February 27, 2009

Honda fans may need some heavy duty paper towels after hearing this news, according to Speed’s Adam Cooper, Nick Fry, Nigel Kerr Ross Brawn and 2 other directors of the Honda F1 team have agreed to a buyout of the Honda team, the team will be named Brawn sport.

A car has already been built, as it was to be released as the Honda RA109 before the team shut down, the car should be ready for the final preseason test at Barcelona after shake downs at the team base in Brackely, England.

There’s yet to be a definitive word on drivers, but Bruno Senna & Rubens Barrichello are favored to pilot the two cars.

moar here

Honda – a place for Virgin?

February 19, 2009

Before you get any wrong ideas about the usage of the word Virgin, I’m referring to Richard Branson, the owner of the Virgin Group (that has entities in music, telecommunications among other things).

Anyway, the currently bankrupt Honda team has confirmed that Branson is one of many possible buyers of the team, and Branson already has the blessing of Nick Fry & Ross Brawn to purchase the team. But if a deal is to be made, it must be approved by Honda’s board-of-directors in Tokyo, according to a Honda spokeslady. If the deal is approved by the Board of Directors, before the opening race weekend in Melbourne,  Jenson Button and Bruno Senna (Ayrton’s nephew) will race for the team.

Senna was interviewed by Italian magazine Autosprint and said “It’s always better to be in F1, even under difficult conditions, than to be out of it,” in regards to the non-existance of winter testing by the Honda team.

Red Bull RB5

February 9, 2009

Red Bull officially unveiled the car with which they will contest the 2009 world championship on Monday morning. The wraps came off the RB5 at the Jerez circuit in Spain, with drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in attendance.

The team are confident the Renault-powered machine, again designed by Adrian Newey, will allow them to improve on their seventh place in the 2008 standings and perhaps even bring them their maiden win.

The RB5’s design encompasses the wide-ranging regulation changes that have been brought in to cut costs and boost overtaking for the 2009 season, and Newey admitted it has been quite a challenge.

“2009 arguably sees the biggest rule change since flat bottoms were introduced in 1983, a very major change,” he said. “We have taken a clean sheet, blue-sky approach, looking at the implications of these rules and how to interpret them, while not changing things simply for the sake of it. Apart from the gearbox internals, there is hardly any carry-over from RB4.”

A quick glance at the new Red Bull’s nose immediately marks it out from its rivals, with a higher and narrower nosecone than that seen on other teams’ cars to date. The RB5 also features what should be a more powerful engine, after Renault were allowed to make modifications to their V8 over the winter in order to help equalise outputs.

Vettel is due to give the car its maiden run on Monday, while Webber will be behind the wheel on Wednesday for his first test since breaking his leg in a cycling accident late last year.