April 15, 2014

Continental Thunder

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The Bentley Continental may be the most unlikely of platforms for a GT3 race car but the M-Sport built cars  did quite well in their competition debut,  both cars finishing in the top ten at the Blancpain GT series opener at Monza.

The big Bentleys literally hulked above the smaller Mclarens and Ferraris but, surprisingly they often had the advantage under braking.  They were certainly not the pushover you would have imagined such a huge car might be and they certainly could take a hit.

April 14, 2014

For Mercedes, revenge is best tasted cold.

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Eclipsed somewhat by the news from Maranello today's FIA hearing in Paris of Red Bull's appeal in the "Flow-gate" controversy was quite something.

Red Bull was , as you would expect, in front of the commission with its lawyers arguing their case.  But also there were lawyers for Mercedes arguing the FIA should hammer the Austrians.

Now think back about a year to the last F1 "-gate"  the Pirelli secret test controversy of 2013.  Red Bull lobbied the FIA for the strongest possible punishment for the German team.     Mercedes took note and filed it away.

Mercedes' lawyer accused Red Bull of defying instruction from officials and in the process hurting competition.   The referred to the penalties inflicted on British American Racing in 2005 when they were found guilty of irregularity with their fuel tank.  At the time BAR had argued they could calculate the amount of fuel in the tank via software simulation, something not allowed by the regulations.  They were hit with a three race ban and the rest of the season on probation.

Red Bull is arguing precisely the same thing, that their software simulation is more precise than the method of measurement set forth in the regulations.  Oddly, they conceded that if they would have lost Ricciardo's second place if they had obeyed the officials.

A decision is expected tomorrow.

You can read a transcripts of proceedings at Auto Motor ind Sport


Red Bull ;lost their  appeal, Ricciardo's disqualification from the Australian GP stands but, despite Mercedes' efforts, no further sanctions are imposed.

Domenicali out, Mattiacci in at Scuderia Ferrari.

Stefano Domenicali
It was in the air

When Luca Montezemolo uttered the phrase "Ferrari will take whatever decisions are needed" on Friday,  you know someone was going to bleed red.    

Today, being the honorable man he is, Stefano Domenicali sacrificed himself and "resigned".   The role of team principal will be taken up, effective immediately by Marco Mattiacci.

While many tifosi, Italian and particularly Spanish, have been clamoring for his head for a while, the trouble of the team cannot be traced to a single man.   The role of team principal is one of management and as Ferrari's choice of replacement hints, one of politics within the sport.

Marco Mattiacci
Marco Mattiacci, 42,  started work at Ferrari in 1999, first in charge of developing sales in the Middle East and Russia then managing the relaunch of Maserati in the North America.  
Mattiacci's next assignment was to open up the Chinese market for Ferrari, something he accomplished with huge success.

Up until yesterday, he was CEO if Ferrari North America.  under his tenure sales increased 20 percent.

Mattiacci has no racing experience but has been a fixture at Ferrari Challenge and Corse Clienti events in North America.    Ferrari' and FIAT's top management is clearly behind him and his tenure with the Scuderia will most likely seen with an eye towards stepping into Montezemolo's shoes when the current president of Ferrari.

We are sorry to see Domenicali go, he was one of the nice guys in F1 and worked his way up from nothing to one of the best jobs in the sport,   we wish him luck on his next venture.

Best wishes also to Marco Mattiacci, his this Ferrari challenge will be his most difficult yet.

April 13, 2014

Blancpain Endurance Series: Let's watch some proper Sports Car Racing!

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Mclaren vs Ferrari vs Porsche vs Lamborghini vs Mercedes vs Audi vs BMW vs Bentley vs Nissan

Now that's what you call a united sports car series...

Enjoy the live stream, commercial free,  from Monza

Blancpain GT Series - English Language - by Blancpainendurance

April 11, 2014

Ferrari fishing for a new team boss?

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When Luca di Montezemolo ominously declared Ferrari ready to "take whatever decisions are needed" in Maranello today,  many commentators in Italy interpreted this to mean Stefano Domenicali will soon fall on his sword for the Scuderia's dismal start to the new season and the lackluster performance over the past couple of years.

For many, Domenicali's faults lie not just in having failed to guide the team into the new regulations competitively but also for having stayed loyal to Felipe Massa too long and for presiding over a period where Ferrari's political clout within the sport has diminished.

True or not, it is certainly not unheard of for a top man to take the hit when a team is not performing.

Now, who could step into the role of team leader for the Scuderia?   Is there anyone with the gravitas to step into such a delicate situation,  someone presently unemployed... perhaps, with a (fish) bone to pick with the current top dogs in the sport?   hmmm.


Confused about your F1 steering wheel settings?

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Let's say you got a last minute call to sub  for Esteban Gutierrez, still sore from getting "Pastorized" last week end in Bahrain and maybe you are a bit worried about getting your VISCO and GLU settings mixed up...

Well, the nice folks at Sauber F1 put together this handy quick guide for you.

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