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Red Bull Under Investigation

Posted by Mark on July 22, 2012 | No Comments

An FIA Technical Report released this morning ahead of todays German Grand Prix has accused Red Bull of being in breach of breach of Article 5.5.3 of the Technical regulations. FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer stated “having examinded the engine torque map of cars 1 and 2 it became apparent that the maximum torque output of both engines is significantly less in the mid RPM range than previously seen for these engines at other events”. He went on to say “in my opinion this is therefore in breach of Article 5.5.3 of the Technical regulations as the engines are able to deliver more torque at a given engine speed in the mid rpm range.”

Basically, Red Bull are accused of having the engines throttles more open than they should be for a given accelerator position, thus allowing more air into the engine, and in turn producing more blowing of the exhaust. Red Bull and many of other teams direct their exhaust gasses at specific parts of the rear of the car to produce downforce. This is allowed, but it is forbidden to alter the engine mapping to aid this process.

The FIA verdict is expected before the start of todays German Grand Prix.

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F1 Blog’s German Predictions

Posted by Carrot on July 21, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • German Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Fernando Alonso
  • German Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • German Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Fernando Alonso

Rain has been affecting every practice session so far, with a massive deluge at the end of P3 meaning it’s likely to still be damp at the very least come qualifying. It’s been hard to judge the form for this weekend, but I’m going for Vettel to take pole in front of his home crowd but unless he can scamper away at the start, it’ll be Alonso’s weekend to shine.

Mark’s Predictions

  • German Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Sebastian Vettel
  • German Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • German Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Fernando Alonso

I am going for Sebastian Vettel to get the job done on home soil, but if it rains for the race as it has in just about every practice session so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alonso or Schumacher were in the frame.

Euan’s Predictions

  • German Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Felipe Massa
  • German Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Mark Webber
  • German Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Sebastian Vettel

I’m backing Felipe Massa to get his first win in F1 since his injury back in 2009 after some impressive performances in recent races. It would be great to see Massa on top of the podium again. Red Bull still have the fastest car however, so that’s why I’m going for Mark Webber to post the fastest lap in Q3 and take pole.


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F1, Bribes and Bankers

Posted by BarnabyButton on July 18, 2012 | No Comments

Ex-BayernLB Banker Gerhard Gribkowsky was jailed for over eight years recently for taking £23 million from Bernie Ecclestone.

Bernie said to the Presiding judge Peter Noll that he had paid Gribkowsky to try and avoid a very costly tax investigation.

He denied that the money was a bribe, and said he is expecting to be cleared of doing anything wrong.

Mr Ecclestone said that he was worried that, if he hadn’t paid Gribkowsky the money, then he would have informed the HMRC tax inspectorate of “things” that could have led to a tax investigation, which, he said, “would have been very expensive for me.”

“The tax risk would have exceeded £2bn…I paid [Gribkowsky £23 million] to keep calm and not to do silly things.”

The judge described Bernie as the “driving force” behind the payments.

The former BayernLB banker received a reduced sentence because he admitted to all the corruption charges. He was convicted on charges of tax evasion, bribery, and breach of fiduciary trust.

The corruption charges relate to the sale of the F1 business in 2006 to private equity firm; CVC Capital Partners.

Formula One was owned previously by Bernie’s family trusts and a group of investment bankers before CVC Capital Partners acquired the overall controlling share.

While working for BayernLB Bank which owned 48% of Formula One, Gribkowsky was in charge of managing the sale of the F1 business to CVC Capital Partners.

Mr Ecclestone said, in reaction to Gribkowsky’s sentence: “I think Mr Gribkowsky told them what he thought he had to tell them. I don’t think I should [face a criminal investigation] but you don’t know, do you?”

Source: Monaco Grand Prix VIP

Keep Calm and Carry On

Image Source: Monaco Grand Prix VIP

We certainly don’t know, but it seems that Bernie has a Teflon coating and is probably sleeping easy in his bed.

Whether you love him or loathe him, Bernie Ecclestone has done a lot for F1 over the many years of his helmsmanship. But, as time has gone on and the proceeds of the race action have gone from tens of millions to hundreds and now billions, the greediness and corruption have seeped in to the sport itself.

Does Bernie deserve to be rich from all his hard work? Yes, of course. The really pertinent question as far as F1 is concerned is whether the corruption is more to do with the bank or with Bernie. Now this is the really difficult question. We all know that banks and the whole banking system is rotten to the core, but Bernie? If you could save £800 million (40% tax on £2 billion) with a payment of £23 million hush money, it is a very tempting offer. Even Alan Titchmarsh could be corrupted with that kind of money.

F1 needs a character like Bernie at the top (IMHO) but it also needs the flow of money to be more balanced. At the moment all the owners are pulling money out and not putting much back in. If this continues then F1 will become a lot rougher round the edges. This though, seems unlikely as the F1 star shines very brightly and advertisers are still queuing up to have their logos plastered all over the Drivers and their machines.

Tracks are still making money even with advertising revenue being siphoned away, and most race goers are unworried about court cases in the foreign media. A court case like this is just a fly in the ointment to the Bernie Behemoth and F1 is left untainted in the public imagination.

Bio
Barnaby Button works for ExclusiveGP organising Grand Prix Tours and Hospitality for the Monaco Grand Prix and every other Grand Prix around the world.

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F1 Blog’s British Predictions

Posted by Carrot on July 7, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • British Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Romain Grosjean
  • British Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • British Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Romain Grosjean

The rain in Britain falls mainly on the track… or something like that. Yes, it’s monsoon season at Silverstone, with the first dry running coming in practice three. Based on overall car ability, and the optimism of having another new winner, I’m going for Grosjean in the Lotus for the victory. Regardles of conditions I think Vettel is likely to assert his one lap dominance for pole. I’d also keep an eye on Fernando Alonso this weekend, and if it does rain on race day, Jenson Button can never be counted out.

Mark’s Predictions

Mark’s predictions to follow

Euan’s Predictions

  • British Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Fernando Alonso
  • British Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • British Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Kimi Raikkonen

I’m tipping Fernando Alonso to bag his third race win of the season after the Spaniard set the pace in free practice. However, it’s still hard to look past Sebastian Vettel for qualifying. Of course, with the wet weather at Silverstone this weekend a lot could in the end come down to if or when it rains, both in qualifying and the race.


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Renault’s Frustrating Engine Failures

Posted by Mole on June 29, 2012 | No Comments

It was quite a surprise when on Lap 34 of the European Grand Prix, viewers saw Sebastian Vettel’s gloves fly at the catch fencing as he frustratingly walked away from his retired Red Bull RB8. And, it was an even bigger surprise, when Lotus’ Romain Grosjean retired just 7 laps later in a near identical place on the track.

Incidentally, both Lotus, and Red Bull use the Renault  RS27 engine. With the problem effecting both teams within a relatively short space of time, you wouldn’t have to be a Mechanical Engineer to workout that this was a manufacturing error. Renault transported the faulty engines back to base until further notice.

After a thorough examination, Renault claim the alternators overheated, which severed the electrical cables from the power supply unit, and therefore a retirement was inevitable. But, its not as easy as that, because the engine supplier remains puzzled as to why the parts became too hot to begin with. More tests are due to be carried out to diagnose the root of the issue.

One confirmed decision is that the Safety car did not have any effect on the situation, as Rob White, the deputy managing director for Renaults Sport F1 Division, said: “We had evidence that the alternator on Sebastian’s car was showing signs of overheating before the safety car period, but the slower speeds prolonged its life expectancy slightly.”

Renault also said that they have plans to make some changes to the alternators they supply for Silverstone. Also, as a precaution, the alternators they send for the British Grand Prix, will be from a new batch. White also explained that they are “looking at several solutions”.

This certainly isn’t what teams want to hear, as currently, there are a total of 4 teams which use the Renault RS27 V8 Engine. They are; Red Bull, Lotus, Caterham, and Williams. Hopefully, Renault will work with the teams to work on the issue, so it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.

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Alonso breaks the cycle in Valencia

Posted by Carrot on June 29, 2012 | No Comments

I’m not sure what’s more surprising about this season, Fernando Alonso being the first driver to take two victories, or that we had seven different winners in the first seven races. Remember back in Australia when McLaren had a car advantage that could be measured in geological time? What happened to that? Remember how pathetic this year’s Ferrari was back then? Alonso is 20 points clear at the top of the drivers’ table.

So far it’s been an odd year for F1, we’re used to a front runner becoming apparent early while the rest of the field sorts themselves out and then the best of the rest starts to chase down the leader. We’re over a third of the way through this season, and close to half way through, and does anyone want to predict who will take the laurels? Your guess is as good as mine. It’s a bit sad that this season with all the action being on the track and an uncertainty of who will win until the chequered flag falls being so revolutionary to long time fans, but we aren’t going to complain I think.

The good news is that ‘silly season’, the endless coverage of who will go where and drive what next season has been all but cancelled for now. Postponed would be a better adjective, but I’d much rather be talking about current track action than playing a game of Fantasy F1 in the media. Of course Felipe Massa is likely to go, and I’ve heard multiple guess about who will take that seat and for how long, but thankfully it’s been the second story to what we’ve enjoyed from the actual racing and what may come.

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F1 Blog’s European Predictions

Posted by Euan on June 22, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • European Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Romain Grosjean
  • European Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Michael Schumacher
  • European Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Fernando Alonso

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an eighth different winner? I think it would and the long run pace from Lotus is showing they could be the dark horse. I’m going for Grosjean over Kimi Raikkonen as I think the Frenchman will do better in qualifying. In single lap pace, pick from anyone for the pole, but I’m going for Schumacher to repeat his Monaco form and actually take pole this time.

 

Mark’s Predictions

  • European Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Lewis Hamilton
  • European Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
  • European Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Sebastian Vettel
I am going for Lewis to make it two in a row and be the first driver this season to win two races. I expect Renault, and Red Bull to push him hard all the way to the chequered flag.

Euan’s Predictions

  • European Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Michael Schumacher
  • European Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • European Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Fernando Alonso

It’s about time Schumacher recorded a win and since he hasn’t won this season I’m happy to tip him to continue this amazing run of different race winners. Sebastian Vettel has been fast in free practice so I’m going with F1′s qualifying master to grab pole position.

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F1 Blog’s Canadian Predictions

Posted by Carrot on June 8, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Michael Schumacher
  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Michael Schumacher

As I did last time, I’m going for the optimistic hope that race seven will be won by a seventh different driver this year. Numerology is on his side (for all that’s worth) with him driving car seven, at the seventh race, aiming to be the seventh different winner this year, being a former seven times World Champion, and at a race he’s won seven times before. Numerology is about as valid as astrology and creationism, but it would be fun to see Schumacher return to his winning ways.

Mark’s Predictions

  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Sebastian Vettel
  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton
I am going to plump for Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull to take both pole and the win. I have been impressed with them all weekend in practice and fancy them to follow this through to the race.

Euan’s Predictions

  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Lewis Hamilton
  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
  • Canadian Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Felipe Massa

I’m going for Lewis Hamilton to finally grab his first win of the season after dominating a number of the qualifying sessions so far this year. I think Canada should be a good circuit for McLaren so I can see Hamilton winning fairly comfortably although the fight for the other podium positions might be more heated. Jenson Button will be looking to recapture some form after a disappointing last couple of races while Felipe Massa will be hoping to maintain his form from Monaco.

 


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Direct line to the pit lane?

Posted by Carrot on May 30, 2012 | No Comments

There’s someone new in the Red Bull team. Some say he really does have wings, and that he was in charge of pit stops we wouldn’t have traffic lights but disco balls, all we know is he’s called the Red Bull Racing Spy. That’s assuming it’s even a ‘he’ of course…

Enough of the Top Gear jokes, the Red Bull Racing Spy is a new app from Red Bull Racing that’s designed to enable two way communication between the team and the fans through a dedicated man (or woman) of mystery. The app became available last week, just in time for the Monaco Grand Prix to kick off, and it’s completely free and available from the Red Bull Racing website. The app combines everything you’d expect from an F1 app, race profiles, lap tracking, race calendar, that sort of thing with a direct fan representative within the team. Questions can be set for the Spy, and apparently even challenges can be set; though I can’t see my personal choice of attaching a sign to Bernie’s back that says “Grow Me” happening…

The Spy is supposed to be a man of mystery, but being as I’ve got my own spies, I know the people behind it and am firmly encouraged by that. They have experience of working with the race team and providing content that fans have loved, so don’t be concerned about it being some mechanic with a smart phone. Not that a mechanic with a smart phone would be a bad thing, unless he was adding 10 seconds to a pit stop by taking pictures of the perfectly changed wheel he’d just done… It’s the same people that created the immensely popular Red Bull Reporter brand, which was an excellent platform for fans to get involved and get feedback on all manner of work in amateur sports journalism. Even with my personal F1 soapbox here, I’d been known to enter the occasional competition there for some of the groovy prizes.

I’ve got to agree with Mark Webber on the subject of the Spy, “It’s definitely worth a look.” Think of it as your standard F1 app, but with added unique features. Given that the app is available for the low, low price of absolutely free then you’ve got nothing to lose and lots to gain if your F1 fanaticism is improved by new media technology. It’s definitely a must have for fans of Red Bull Racing, it’s their party atmosphere condensed into digital form with all the facts and figure any F1 could want. If you’re not a fan of the team, the same still applies, it’s a free insider’s pass to the paddock and all the information about each race at the convenient touch of a button.

Now if only I can get a job as the Ferrari Spy, for a free second home in Maranello and a dinner date with Cristina Scabbia…

 

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A record breaking Monaco…

Posted by Carrot on May 29, 2012 | No Comments

…but not what I’d call a classic. It was the closest finish in Monaco history and resulted in the sixth different driver of the year taking the laurels. However the racing wasn’t lap by lap tension, it seemed to a race driven by the pit wall strategists rather than the drivers giving us everything.

Mark Webber took his first race of the year, and his second Monaco win after his dominance in 2010. After his last win in the famous streets we all know how close he came to taking the title, if he can turn this into a springboard to kick start a podium run for the rest of the season then Red Bull’s hopes of Sebastian Vettel taking three titles in a row could be under threat. Speaking of our current World Champion, ninth to fourth, less than half a second from the final step of the podium. It was a well run race by the team, Webber controlling the chasing pack while Vettel used the free air and his contrary strategy to gain ground. The reigning champions now lead the constructors’ standings by a healthy margin and both of their drivers are only three points behind Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ table, it’s not the dominance they’re used to, but they’re certainly making the best out of these mixed up results.

Second was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes AMG, while team mate Michael Schumacher got tagged with mechanical problems again. It’s an encouraging result for the team, as we know the controversy at the start of the season was their “super DRS” and here at the track where it’ll be of the least use Rosberg was able to secure a podium. It wasn’t a result of strategy either, at least no more than anyone else’s podium spot was, he was on Webber for the entire race. If Monaco had a longer straight or a slightly wider track out of the tunnel he could have taken Webber during one of the many laps he spent tucked up behind him.

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« go backkeep looking »
  • Drivers Championship 2013

    1 Kimi Raikkonen 25
    2 Fernando Alonso 18
    3 Sebastian Vettel 15
    4 Felipe Massa 12
    5 Lewis Hamilton 10
    6 Mark Webber 8
    7 Adrian Sutil 6
    8 Paul Di Resta 4
    9 Jenson Button 2
    10 Romain Grosjean 1

  • Constructors Championship 2013

    1 Ferrari 30
    2 Lotus 26
    3 Red Bull 23
    4 Mercedes 10
    5 Force India 10
    6 McLaren 2
    7 Toro Rosso 0
    8 Sauber 0
    9 Williams 0
    10 Marussia 0
    11 Caterham 0