April 3, 2014

F1 News and Rumor Roundup, Bahrain Edition.

F1 going supermodel waif endangering drivers?

Of course it is,  when you have a situation where some of the most fit,  thinnest  athletes in the world are forced to perform in a state of dehydration  to meet 692 kg weight minimums, you have a  problem waiting to happen.

"It's a difficult situation on a hot humid race like Sepang"  Said Jenson Button "  the risk of dehydration during the race is now more likely.   The routine I've followed this year is to go to the sauna or turkish bath in the morning and not eat or drink until qualifying.   It's not hard for me to maintain the weight but for others, it's complicated."

Lewis Hamilton added " There are drivers who get to qualifying at the limit of dehydration.  We don't want to get to anorexia I hope."

Some of the drivers, Sutil for example,  have to forgo a water bottle during the race because of weight.   The FIA raised the minimum weight this year, the intention was to make it easier for larger drivers but in reality the weight of the new power units took up all the slack forcing driver to be even more paranoid about their weight.

This needs to be addressed ASAP on safety grounds.

Ecclestone, di Montezemolo and Todt take some meetings.

The three met in London and will meet again in Bahrain.  On the agenda measures to correct what has been a rough debut of the new season and regulations with the viewing public.  

Now, we don't want to be overly cynical but I'm guessing Mercedes is perfectly happy while Ferrari and Renault/Red Bull not so much.     Re writing technical regulation in the middle of a championship is never a good thing.
The FIA would do better to address issues like the above mentioned weight and the issuance of absurd penalties like the one handed to Daniel Ricciardo, a 10 grid penalty for being released with a loose wheel.  The Team should be punished, perhaps with a loss of constructor points,  but how was that the fault of the driver in any way?

Bernie pushing for the Americans

Mr. E has given the not to Gene Haas as the team to join the circus in 2015.   Astute Bernie watchers will note this really means little one way or the other but it was accompanied by a classic Ecclestone quote:

"I think Haas will be accepted"  Ecclestone told The Independent.  "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it"

We'll miss Bernie one day.

F1 cooking like Walter White again?

And by F1 in this case we mean their technical partners at Shell, Total and Petronas.   The famous sensors don't behave the same way with every gasoline formulation and each needs to be calibrated to  a specific fuel sample.    Again, one does not want to be too cynical but that's an area one could smell some... chemical development?     

The bad news for Red Bull and all the Renault powered teams is that most of the sensors have failed on their power units.   In fact, Autosprint contends that Red Bull modified the connections to the sensors to suit their needs.      The FIA has come down hard on this demanding all sensors be connected and mounted as recommended by the manufacturer in all cars up until the Spanish GP  when the issue will presumably be revisited.

In the background of this is that the sensors are mounted close to the energy store and the tought is that the extremely high voltages create interference,  interference some teams may have chosen to to shield because of weight considerations.


  1. Yeah the taller F1 drivers have it kind of rough. Several years ago I read a story on Justin Wilson (the racing driver, not the infamous "Ew dat ahh goooood" Cajon chef) and in the article it mentioned that at one point in his career he and his management team considered having him go through a surgical procedure to reduce his height. They were gonna take a few inches out of his shins. And as far as Bernie's push for the Americans, whatever happened to the that big money YouTube kid that was gonna start that USAF1 effort with Peter Windsor? Where'd he go to? He's got plenty of spare coin. With these new eco-friendly engines and (supposed) cost cutting measures he could promote YouTube and save the polar bear all at the same time!

  2. 10 grid penalty is harsh but it has to be a big deterrent. If the wheel became detached, rolled down the pit lane and seriously injured or killed someone a 10 grid penalty would not seem harsh.

  3. You guys friggin called it!



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