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Thread: Bench Racing: 2009 Formula One Thread

  1. #436
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    Mika, I sure have enjoyed your contributions. I've gained a lot of appreciation and thus interest in F1 due to your postings. Thank you.
    Greg

  2. #437
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Beckgr, you‘«÷re welcome!

    Thank you for the most wonderful compliment. I am truly pleased you got something out of the threads that brought you enjoyment of this motorsport.

    F1 News

    Monday Lotus took the top spot on the F1 news podium. For the next days we will be back to waiting and the drama related to answering the question will he or won‘«÷t he.

    La Gazzetta dello Sport has drunk deeply from the Tifosi koolaid goblet, yet its reporting can be interesting and informative. While Saint Michael was off Kart racing Luca Motemezolo was speaking at the Ferrari Christmas party. The head of Ferrari had all sorts of nice things to say about everyone associated with Ferrari in 2009; even Kimi Raikkonen who after signing with Citroen to go rally racing instead of with a F1 team just cost him 17 million in some sort of currency. Everyone that is except the guy he tried to get a third F1 car for and just signed a multi million dollar three year consulting contract with.

    F1 pundit and columnist for the BBC, James Allen, tells us that Mr. Schumacher and Mr. Motezemolo will lunch latter this week. Perhaps that is when Mr. Motezemolo will say those things he failed to this past weekend.

    While the luncheon is going on Mercedes GP is going to be out looking for cash to pay the tab if Schumi comes away ready to sign a contract with them. Mercedes had signed a ‘ťľ90 million sponsorship contract with Henkel that is suitable for framing as comedy club bathroom art. The former Henkel employee had no authority to sign such a deal. If that sum sounds familiar it is roughly the euro equivalent of the proposed budget cap that started the FOTA wars this past summer. Now Mercedes GP has no sponsor and is going to pay its lawyers to sort the failed deal out while looking for several millions in some currency to pay Schumi if things go their way at the luncheon.

    On the sidelines Nick Heidfeld is nervously waiting for Schumi‘«÷s decision while aging at such a fast rate he will be 50 and nine years older than Schumacher (instead of 32 and nine years younger) when the 2010 F1 season starts. He mistakenly is thinking that he will have an answer by Friday. Wrong.

    A pesky reporter from Motorsport-Magazine asking if Mercedes has verified that Schumacher can drive or not; or are they about to make another Henkel like mistake by signing a contract with someone who can not deliver? The pesky reporter has a very valid question. Karting is not F1 nor can a lab test fully compare with the track. There must be a track test. This would be and extraordinary event and require the approval of FOTA. This brings us back to luncheon with Luca.

    In the past Luca had several luncheons with a gentleman named Frank Williams when Luca wanted special approval for driver testing. Frank saw this as giving the red cars an unfair advantage over his blue and white cars and said no. Is it possible that Luca might think that Mercedes buying its way into the current World Champion team run by his former tactician and signing his former multi time world champion driver out from under him gives Mercedes GP an unfair advantage and say no?

    It would all be so simple if they would just listen to me.

  3. #438
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    Renault announced today it will sell a large portion of Renault F1 to Genii Capital, a Luxemburg based firm.

    So what does all of this mean and how does it play out?

    - Renault remains as an engine supplier to F1. They will supply Renault F1 and others. This gives F1 teams four engine options for the duration of the current Concorde Agreement ‘«Ű Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes and Cosworth.
    - Renault F1 is essentially split in two. The chassis and team management side will be more and more the responsibility of Genii as the deal progresses through the current Concorde Agreement that runs to 2012.
    - Genii‘«÷s chairman is Gerard Lopez and is the driving force behind this for two reasons. First he heads Gravity Management who manages drivers and secondly his companies are heavily involved in technology along with the internet and want to bring there services and ideas to F1.
    - Robert Kubica will remain at Renault F1 and may be joined by Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung. Tung is managed by Lopez and showed well the recent Jerez rookie tests. He brings money and a Chinese face for Renault and F1 who both want to expand in that market. Stay tuned.
    - Nick Heidfeld has been linked with Renault F1 to team up with Kubica again. The sale to Genii puts that as a very distant option. If he is to make a return to the 2010 F1 grid he will more than likely do it in a Sauber-Ferrari.
    - Flavio Briatore is further blocked out of a F1 return if his January appeal of his life time ban is successful. This makes it even more difficult for him to find an opening to make a return.

  4. #439
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    F1 News

    autosport.com: Kobayashi joins Sauber for 2010
    Sauber signs its junior driver with this deal. Now they need the seasoned veteran to provide the balance Peter Sauber described he is looking for. What else does the Japanese driver bring to the team? ?—

    Kobayashi will no doubt bring the 5 million (insert currency of choice here) and perhaps a bit more. He was linked to various versions of the Toyota breakup and Panasonic, Toyota‘«÷s primary sponsor. Reports have said Panasonic would like to continue to use F1 as an advertising platform. A Japanese driver would help secure such a link.

    The other major sponsor prospect for Sauber has been long term sponsor Petronas. When Sauber was in the nether world Petronas had said it would remain as a sponsor if the team were able to return to the grid. At the same time Lotus F1 was using its Malaysian government links to pressure Petronas to become their sponsor.

    All of this indicates Sauber is on track to make their return. Two questions remain. The Ferrari engine should be strong but how is the development of the 2010 car coming? When will Schumi be announced as the senior driver? Alright when will someone be announced as the senior driver?

    Official statement regarding Kobayashi

    By BMW Sauber F1
    December 17 2009

    Kamui Kobayashi has been signed on as a BMW Sauber F1 Team driver as of season 2010. The 23-year-old Japanese drew attention to himself in 2009 with two strong performances as a substitute driver for Toyota.
    ‘«£I‘«÷m very much looking forward to working together with Kamui,‘«ō said Peter Sauber. ‘«£In the final two Grand Prix of last season he was granted an unexpected chance to show his skills, and he made impressive use of it. Particularly in the Abu Dhabi race he demonstrated not only that he can drive fast and aggressively, but also his ability to successfully implement a strategy. I am convinced he has a great deal of potential and will be able to make the most of it in our team.‘«ō
    Kobayashi hadn‘«÷t been inside a Formula One race car for seven months when he climbed into the Toyota cockpit for free practice in Suzuka on 2nd October 2009. Two weeks later he was contesting the first of his two Formula One races to date. His debut race in Interlagos saw him finish in ninth place (11th in qualifying), falling just short of the points. At the season finale in Abu Dhabi he started from 12 th place, made his mark as best driver on a one-stop strategy, and crossed the line in sixth to collect three points. Both races highlighted his prowess in head-to-head battles.
    ‘«£Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in Formula One,‘«ō said Kobayashi. ‘«£Now this dream has come true. I am very happy that my two races in 2009 have earned me a cockpit place. I will do my very best for Peter Sauber‘«÷s team and I am proud to be able to carry on flying the Japanese flag in Formula One.‘«ō
    Kamui Kobayashi was born on 13th September 1986 in the Japanese city of Amagasaki. He took up karting at the age of nine. Toyota‘«÷s Young Drivers‘«÷ Programme was the passport to Formula Renault in 2004 and 2005, after which he took part in the Formula 3 Euro Series, winning the race in Magny-Cours, France in 2007. Further podium places earned him fourth place in the final rankings ‘«Ű and with it promotion. At the end of 2007, Toyota had already signed him on as a Formula One reserve driver from 2008 on.
    At the same time, Kobayashi was competing in the GP2 Series in Asia and Europe in 2008 and 2009. He claimed an early maiden win in the European GP2, and in winter 2008/2009 he took a convincing title in the GP2 Asia.
    Kamui Kobayashi lives in Paris. He speaks Japanese and English. He is 1.70 m tall and weighs 63 kg

    reuters.com: Kubica not sure of staying at Renault, Says manager.
    If Kubica is to stay in F1 Renault appears to be his best option at this point. He may be concerned with his position as number 1 driver with new ownership and if Lopez brings his driver along. Mercedes seems a very long shot. The Sauber option could be the one especially if Ferrari were to sweeten the deal in some way. Ferrari was interested in the Pole but they have too many drivers under contract already. There is the option that he could go rally driving like Raikkonen. Kubica has been driving rally cars since the end of the F1 season.

    f1network.com: Kobayashi and Baguette set to join Sauber.

    f1technical.net: Wirth develops Virgin Racing car without windtunnel
    Cool, I wish they would tell us more.

    fia.com: Court announces new system for F1 appeals
    The Congress of the FIA International Court of Appeal to discuss and adopt a new system for nominating judges for appeal hearings in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

    reuters.com: F1 teams allowed to test stand-in drivers

    This is a change in the rules to avoid some of the problems that teams faced as they put rookies into seats in 2009. It does not appear to provide the ‘«ˇout‘«÷ needed to avoid any fuss around a Schumi test that I suggested might happen.

    Design on a dime race on two cents. Virgin is set to be the budget racer team of the 2010 season. How it does rest on the car design according to Nick Worth, team technical director.

    Branson has set tight budget guidlines for his Virgin F1 team to work within along with the unheard of goal of making a profit from the endevor. How these match up with grid performance and fan support will be a story to watch

    flagworld.com: Canadian GP tickets now officially on sale

  5. #440
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    OK... I have lurked long enuf...

    Mika (or anyone who knows the biz...);

    Is, or has anyone stated as of late that F1 is going the way of America's Champ Car and IRL... i.e. a spec race type of venue with the bowing out of some of the previous engine / chassis / tire manufacturers?

    At the end, Champ Car had one engine, one chassis, one tire type and a whole boat load of rules that I think detracted from what racing is all about. As the "econ crisis" continues and companies see cash exiting via the F1 racing moniker, does anyone get the feeling in the sport that F1 may become a spec race sport as manufacturers decide to no longer support (or provide equipment for) an F1 team?

    Rules and rules and rules... It also seems that we are getting ruled to death as of late in F1. If you so much as breath on another car during the race, you are relegated to the back of the pack / fined to death / asked to take a powder for a race or two... Dang it... racing is racing... You may have a little blocking going on, bad passing, driver mistakes, etc. It's what makes racing fun to watch. Cramping the racing style by ruling it to death (or allowing course stewards to affect the outcome of a race by making decisions during and well after the end of the race) is starting to drive me away from F1. Heck, I'll take a local kart race any day...

    Any particular reason that we are starting to hear about rev limiters? And why?

    Does anyone see the new points system in F1 as trying to parallel other types of venue point systems. I had no problem with the previous F1 points system... why the change?

    In my mind, open wheel is true design type racing. To see America's open wheel racing venues get stoopid, bothers me. If it happens to F1... well... may it rest in peace, but I sure as hell won't be happy about it.

    I've read what the pundits have to say... I'm interested in what the minds here have to say...

  6. #441
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Hi UncleMark. Glad you stopped lurking



    F1 going the way of Champ Car and IRL to a spec car

    2010 begins a new set of homologation rules that will run through to the 2012 season. When these were first proposed the FIA called for proposals for a spec engine and the defecation hit the rotary oscillator. Teams sponsor and fans did not like the idea. The FIA was concerned that F1 was becoming too dependent on factories and with the changing economics that the factories would exit. Those against did not want a spec engine for all teams. The compromise is Cosworth is an approved engine supplier. New teams were pressured into using their engines in part so that Cosworth‘«÷s engine operation would be a viable business. Teams can use other engines as long as they meet the homologation rules. Cosworth was not the only company to submit a proposal to the FIA to build an engine so there are companies out there willing to get into the game if you are willing to pay them. McLaren has been rumored to be looking into building their F1 engines. BMW has left F1 before only to come back as an engine supplier at a later date. I am not overly concerned that F1 would become a single engine spec series. For the 2010 season there will be Cosworth, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault engines.

    Rules ‘«Ű

    Too many too few just right; it is a matter of perspective and what you are measuring. I agree that sometimes the punishments have seemed excessive or down right dumb. The FIA writes the rules but they are agreed on by the teams.

    There is a major change that may help your concern and mine. Starting in 2010 the race cops ‘«Ű the race stewards are going to change. Former drivers will be included in the race steward teams. They will be involved with training stewards and be part of the race stewards for each race. The goal is to bring some racing common sense to the enforcement team. In the past stewards were very knowledgeable about the rules but rarely had serious racing experience especially at this level.

    I look for improvement next year. It will not be perfect but I think it is heading in the right direction.

    Rev Limiters

    They are kicking in at 18,000 RPMs if I recall properly, increasing engine life and saving teams money. It is as simple as that. I loved the V12 engine days and the sound, but hated the high number of DNFs due to engine failure. My feeling is they have hit the maximum point for saving and maintaining and exciting power plant.

    Points

    I have read a couple of reports that the point system may not change for 2010 and this does not surprise me. The teams did not have a chance to vote their approval (2/3 would be need I believe) or disapproval before they were put in place. There may not be enough time to meet the notice requirements etc.

    I didn‘«÷t see the proposed changes as being that big a deal rather as a math exercise to adjust the existing points system. If you sit down and play with them the reward ratio is about the same. Some writers have gone through the past championships to see if there would have been any changes in outcome, I think there was one year in 20 or something like that.

    The major reason for the adjustment was the increase in grid size; more cars, more points and more points paying positions.

    Stoopid

    F1 has an incredible capacity to shoot themselves in the foot but they are not stupid. 2010 should be a good race season.

  7. #442
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    It is not clear if Lunch with Luca took place or there was an extended phone call between Ferrari Chairman Luca Di Montezemolo and Michael Schumacher. Either way Montezemolo is the first person with direct contact with Schumacher to confirm his intent saying Schumacher “seems to have it in his head to go and race in Formula 1 with Mercedes.”

    I beg the forgiveness of Italians in the membership or readers of this piece for using a predictable stereotype but the context of the above quote is worthy of a dark Mafia Godfather movie sequence. Montezemolo is not talking of the seven time world champion, former Ferrari driver and icon turned consultant in this quote. No the person he refers to is Michael Schumacher’s identical twin.

    In a surreal post on Ferrari.com titled The Schumacher Twins Montezemolo describes two Michael Schumachers. The first is the man he and we know. The second is the identical twin who has it in his head to go racing for Mercedes.

    As the post unfolds I the image of a ‘loving’ godfather and his favorite captain meeting talking of the future and then embracing at the end and parting. The captain gets into his red 458 Italia to drive across the Alps to attend a similar meeting in Germany. The godfather heads into another room to meet with waiting family members and discuss the latest member/captain of the Ferrari Family, Fernando Alonso who the godfather describes as ”the right driver at the right time.”

    After his brief speech Montezemolo the godfather walks across the room to embrace Alonso. As they do the godfather whispers two words, Schumacher Mercedes, into Alonso’s ear and the new member of the Ferrari Family understands what he must do to become a ‘made man.’

    Cut to Michael Schumacher leaving the villa and getting into his Ferrari 458 Italia and driving off into the mountains toward a meeting in Stuttgart with ALL the powers in the Mercedes family.

    Cut to Stuttgart glass walled office in the Daimler tower of Dr Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Daimler AG.

    Dr. Dieter Zetsche to most of us is the affable guy with the walrus mustache and the pleasant German accented English that tried to sell us on the idea of Chrysler and Mercedes being a match in the US. He showed up touting the Chrysler product on our televisions in their ads. He was reading a script then. He wrote the script that had Mercedes divesting itself of the American venture and keeping some prime holdings in the process. He is the one that is writing the Mercedes GP script now not the one we have seen in the various reports recently.

    Not the script that had
    - Mercedes GP looking for German drivers to man a German team bringing back memories of the thirties when Mercedes raced in Grand Prix Racing.
    - Mercedes signing a multi year multi million dollar sponsorship deal with someone who did not have the authority to broker such a deal.
    - Michael Schumacher ready to sign a multi million euro one year deal without making certain he is healthy enough to drive in F1 and win.
    - Fellow CEO and Chairman of Fiat and Ferrari calling him and asking in colorful terms what the ---- his under bosses at Mercedes were doing recruiting his Captain, his made man, his driver Michael Schumacher.

    No those script writers are leaving the room as we enter. We are invited by that affable man with the walrus mustache and the pleasant German accented English to sit down. He smiles as he explains.

    “It’s nice after so many years now without a German driver Nico Rosberg is driving for us. This is a great thing.

    …We are struggling to announce a second driver. Who the second driver is, we will probably not know until next year.”

    With that we it is made clear, in a very congenial but clear way, that our meeting with the affable walrus mustachioed man is over and so is my imaginary movie sequence.

    Be clear that Norbert Haug may be the head of F1 racing for Mercedes and Mercedes GP but Dr. Dieter Zetsche is in charge. There is more than you want to know lurking behind the good doctors mustachioed smile. There will be no driver announcement until he is satisfied. No matter what Bernie Ecclestone, pundits like Eddie Jordan, friends or even Michael Schumacher says there will be no driver decision until the affable man with the walrus mustache is satisfied.


    Schumi if you read this. Stop in Hinwil and talk with Peter Sauber. He’s Swiss so he is neutral (yeah right but sort of), he has no mustache but has a big smile and loves good cigars. Sit down with him and work something out. Otherwise I am afraid this is not going to turn out well. These godfather type movies always have a way of killing off the good guys.

    Your windmill fighting tifosi, Mika

  8. #443
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Where will you spend the Twelve Days of Christmas and what will you be doing?

    For many of us the time will be spent with family and friends renewing family bonds friendships and maybe engaging in some of our favorite sports. If this is your plan you will be in good company sharing your plan with Michael Schumacher.

    British newspaper The Mirror says Schumi will be heading to the Middle East, either Abu Dhabi or Bahrain, for his twelve days. He‘«÷ll be renewing his acquaintance with Ross Brawn and some other former team members and engaging in motorsport. The on track tests in the flesh test needed to confirm that Schumi is indeed fit to drive and thus perform on a contract are coming together.

    The testing ban will be worked around by using a GP2 car. Ferrari has used a 2007 F1 car in its on track work with Massa. The use of the ‘«÷07 is allowed under the current rules. Mercedes GP/Brawn GP is so new it does not have such a car and thus must use something else. GP 2 cars are capable of speeds that would have put them the back of ‘«÷09 F1 grid. This is fast enough to meet the needs of what is being tested here, Schumi‘«÷s neck.

    My plans for the twelve days are very similar but they include a bit of head scratching courtesy of Bernie Ecclestone.

    Ecclestone has confirmed that a multi year deal with promoters has been reached to hold a GP on the streets of Rome. The contract has an option for a further five years and Ecclestone says the track layout is impressive, taking the cars close to the Vatican. ‘«£Every time there is an overtaking maneuver, we‘«÷re going to put the black smoke up.‘«ō I will no doubt watch several of them when they take place but still wonder why they will in the first place.

    The second reason to head scratch is USF1. Ecclestone, in an article from The TimesOnline he reveals:

    ‘«£The Formula One commercial rights-holder revealed that he expects two of the four new teams with sanctioned grid slots for next season ‘«Ų Campos F1 and USF1 ‘«Ų not to make it. ‘«£I think the people we expected to perform will and those that we thought wouldn‘«÷t, won‘«÷t,‘«ō he said. Ecclestone expects 24 cars to start the opening race in Bahrain in March‘«ō

    Campos was always portrayed as the weak sister of the four new 2010 teams; therefore there should be no huge surprise with them. They continue to develop and could finally make an appearance in 2011. This may be more an economic / lack of sponsorship story than the inability to actually build and race the car if they had the money story.

    I will spare you the rant on USF1, SpeedTV, Peter Windsor and more and leave it at being disappointed.

    Bernie‘«÷s math in his math in closing line of the quote opens all sorts of speculation and head scratching. With two teams expected to drop from the 13 team one would expect 22 cars not 24. Who will bring the two extra cars?

    The most likely candidate in the news is Stephan GP assuming they are able to pull together the continuing negotiations to acquire Toyota‘«÷s car design. Others are out their also. Prodrive was in the thick of the hunt and continues to want to race. Can they field their car? A long shot dark horse is Lola. Lola was part of the original applicants for the new 2010 grid slots. Some reports have had them continuing their car development.

    If any of these teams can in fact put a car on the grid in March they will have won points with me for being able to pull together a racing program (no matter how flawed); something that USF1 with almost two years to do it apparently is unable to do. Oops I am beginning to rant.

  9. #444
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Schumacher has penned the deal with Mercedes according Bild.de. Over the coarse of his career Bild has been used to leak things by Schumi and his handlers.

    Reuters has picked up the Bild story and the BBC is confident enough in the report that they are running with the story on their site.

    The official announcement could come as early as tomorrow.

  10. #445
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    It is official, as posted on the yet renamed website of Mercedes GP, Michael Schumacher joins Mercedes GP Petronas.

    Reuters.com
    Schumacher to make F1 comeback with Mercedes

    Schumacher wants record eight title.

  11. #446
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    Ferrari.com

    Schumacher ‘«Ű a competitor to beat

    Maranello, 23 December 2009 ‘«Ű Ferrari fans all over the world received the news today of Schumacher having signed a contract with Mercedes GP and flooded the Ferrari website requesting an opinion regarding the matter. ‘«£What we have to say regarding Schumacher has been said by Chairman Montezemolo last week on the occasion of the traditional well-wishing with the Italian and international press,‘«ō a Scuderia spokesman said. ‘«£We‘«÷re giving our warm wishes to Michael: as of today he is our competitor and we‘«÷ll give it our all to beat him as we do with all the others.‘«ō


    bbc.co.uk: Reactions to Schumacher‘«÷s return


    Be careful what you wish for. You just may get it.

  12. #447
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    Shell Ferrari video

    I did not read the whole thread, but I did a search and did not find this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gcwIt5nSM

    Use good speakers!

    Cheers, happy holiday
    Len S

  13. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyRider View Post
    I did not read the whole thread, but I did a search and did not find this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gcwIt5nSM

    Use good speakers!

    Cheers, happy holiday
    Len S
    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet! I knew there's a reason why I like Shell gas!

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