F1 Fanatic round-up: 2/7/2010

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It’s the first day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I’ll be at the event all day with photographer May who’s going to be getting loads of pictures of the F1 cars in action and lots more from the show.

Keep an eye out for our coverage starting later today. If you’re going to be there please let me know in the comments or get in touch via Twitter.

Here’s a reminder of what’s at the Festival this year: Complete guide to the F1 cars and stars at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Here’s today’s round-up:


US GP risks ‘penalties’ for failure (ESPN)

“It might turn out to be expensive for Tavo [Hellmund]. We’ve got some penalty clauses, although I wouldn’t want to use them.”

Mallorca circuit eyeing Formula 1 race (Autosport)

Suddenly Valencia is looking a lot better…

Comment of the day

Mark Adams makes a strong case for increasing testing in F1. Make sure you read his full comment here:

From my experience as a championship wining professional racing mechanic plus my own amateur club racing and as over thirty years as a aircraft mechanic working for a major passenger airline, I voted for the no more races abut more testing. Even having to work extra overtime to pay for a test track day to run my small formula car at Sears Point was worth it.

This is professional motor racing and not having enough testing days is stupid. Ferrari is serious about being professional and have their own track. A professional team that has things break, go wrong or be too slow on a race weekend will have a hard time to getting or keeping sponsors.
Mark Adams

From the forum

Nik has spotted some F1-liveried planes for this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

F1’s sole race at Le Mans was on this day in 1967. F1 has never raced on the full length Circuit de la Sarthe used for the 24 Hour race, but it used the shorter Bugatti circuit once. It wasn’t a popular choice of venue, however:

Read more: F1 circuits history part 6: 1967-70

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 2/7/2010”

    1. How ridiculously bad is that Mallorca circuit?

      I mean come on! Somebody has actually sat down with a blank piece of paper and designed THAT!!!!

      I am saying on the record now that if that circuit gets built it will be an abject faliure for a number of reasons:

      It will not be condusive to overtaking, because it has medium speed corners after slow ones, as well as continuous sequences of slow corners, which will exaggerate field spread. Also there is only one straight to speak of, nobody is going to be able to slipstream on those stupid curved things.

      It is completely devoid of any interesting ideas or inspiration whatsoever; One massive pit straight, loads of slow corners and braking zones, mickey mouse sewuences of bends one after the other, all of a similar raduis. Sound farmiliar?

      It has no fast corners. I don’t care what anybody says, turns 4,6,10,13 and 14 do not constitute “fast corners”. Copse, 130R, Pouhon, Dingle Bell, Parbolica and the like, do. Fans want to see cars at maximum stress at high speed, testing the drivers nerve and courage, as well as the cars set-up and balance, not braking into hairpins for evermore.

      It has massive amounts of runoff. Feel free to disagree with me here but excessive runoff areas, particularly and especially tarmac spoil the show a bit. They move fans further from the action, make circuits look sterile and austere, and decrease the sense of speed. As shown by Webbers crash in Valencia amongst others, modern F1 cars can sustain huge impacts and still protect their drivers perfectly. Car safety has got to a point where circuit safety is, for want of a better phrase, ‘overkill’. There is no denying that accidents are an integral part of motorsport. F1 should aim to make sure thay happen safely, rather than prevent them altogether. However I know that this is an exceptionally controversial issue and I understand fully why many will disagree with me.

      To summarise, Valencia doesn’t look that bad right now.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        2nd July 2010, 1:28

        You cannot have a calendar that consists entirely of fast circuits. Nor can you have a calenar that consts entirely of slow ones. We have our fast circuits in Monza, Silverstone Interlagos, Melbourne, Suzuka and Spa, and we have our slow circuits in Monaco and Singapore. Everything else is somewhere in between, and that’s a balance that’s needed. Certain drivers and cars perform better on different circuit types. If you have a calendar full of fast circuits, all you’re going to do is create a homogenous and bland championship.

        Also, its very easy to judge a circuit based on a two-dimensional planographic. For all we know, the proposed circuit would have the greastest range in elevation of any circuit on the calendar.

        1. I’m pretty sure that circuit was designed with the Bikes in mind. Certainly it would be rubbish for F1.

          1. That said if it wants an F1 race, an I’m not sure that it really does, it will have to undergo and substantial upgrade. But whatever you say about Tilke his upgrades are often his weakest suit.

            Don’t really see the point, the Valencia street circuit could still be in made into a great circuit with a little bit of attention.

            I’ll use the Montreal example, the original incarnation of the track was held to be a sterile creatation prone to boring races and no overtaking. An now look at it, one of the best circuits on the tour and probably the most consistant creator of exciting races.

      2. I agree, the Mallorca track is really unimaginative – a carbon copy of all the most boring tracks of today.

    2. fecklessmoron (@)
      2nd July 2010, 1:34

      Bernie’s ability to make a deal with somebody, and then stand back and comment as if he were just a casual observer is gauling.

      If I were Tavo Hellmund I’d been on the phone asking him to either back me up or shut up.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        2nd July 2010, 2:27

        I think you’ll find Hellmund’s situation is different because Austin already have a contract with FOM. Mallorca don’t. Not yet.

      2. Prisoner Monkeys
        2nd July 2010, 6:28

        Hang on a second, I just realised something: where is it that Bernie is even quoted? This is the text of the article:

        Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is weighing up a bid by officials from Mallorca to try and grab Spain’s second race from Valencia in the future.

        Amid doubts about the long-term future of the Valencia event, representatives from Mallorca met with Ecclestone at the European Grand Prix last weekend to present plans for an all-new venue that will be completed in 2013.

        Joan Jaume Mulet, the mayor of the Llucmajor municipality of the Balearic Islands, has thrown his support behind the project – and has already commissioned Spanish architects Mateo Palmer and Biel Arbona to work on the track.

        The ‘Circuit of the Balearic Islands’ is planned to be 3.6 miles long, and the project has recruited Federico Gastaldi – one of the men who took F1 back to Argentina in the mid-1990s – to act as a mediator in the discussions with Ecclestone.

        He isn’t quoted once. So I have no idea how you can say “Bernie’s ability to make a deal with somebody, and then stand back and comment as if he were just a casual observer is gauling.”

        And he really is an observer in this case. The organisers in Mallorca have approached him. He’s most likely told them what the possibilities are, and what they need to do. They then go off and do them, and come back when they’re ready. It’s not Bernie’s responsibility to work on getting the circuit ready in time.

        1. Maybe the part about Bernie standing back is a refference to the ESPN piece, where Bernie talks about the US GP?

          As for the Mallorcan bid, just as before on numerous occasions, Bernie talks to everyone. He always likes to get good offers and even if their not that good, it makes the existing venues or the ones he talks with about the contract try even more.
          So possibly he is just negotiating with Valencia to have them make some changes.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            2nd July 2010, 8:04

            A few minor changes would do Valencia a world of good. Like this: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3850696

            1. I know thats only a suggestion but that wouldnt be possible.

              I reckon they should remove turns 2-5, making it a virtually flat-out run to the bridge. They should then tighten the corner before the bridge (the current turn 8).
              Tighten the corner after the long straight (turn 12) and slightly tighten turns 21-24 to make them more challenging for the drivers instead of easy flat out kinks.

              Whether these changes would improve the racing, who knows, but I doubt they would make it any worse.

            2. looks a lot better

            3. Is there any reason is looks like a turtle? (see picture and your map)Are we Mario Karting again? :)

              If so, I found some relevant name suggestions for the corners :)

    3. I see Mark Adams’ point but there’s always going to be a case for just that little more testing, just to make extrasure, etc.

      I like the idea one commenter came up with, testing only for teams falling out of the 107% rule.

      1. I should have probably replied to Mark, but I disagreed on his comment when he compared F1 to civil aviation and them always running test flights.

        A professional team that has things break, go wrong or be too slow on a race weekend will have a hard time to getting or keeping sponsors.

        You don’t send a commercial passenger jet on a flight carrying passengers after an overhaul or a flight control surface change without a test flight.

        Considering I’ll never travel to my next holiday destination in an F1 car, I find the comparison irrelevant.

    4. I sometime wonders what Bernie wants?

      1. Money, just money

      2. To toy with everyone and tease them for his own amusement. I genuinely think that he decides things in an instant and then strings everyone along on his merry little game for a number of weeks/months before leading us to a conclusion which he decided upon when the issue, whatever it was, was first raised!

    5. Well that would be… different. And that’s a good thing in my opinion, and according to that plan there wouldn’t even be any asphalt runoffs, yay :D

    6. Prisoner Monkeys
      2nd July 2010, 7:38

      Interesting. I just noticed that if you look closely – very closely – at the image of the proposed Majorca circuit, you can see a secondary route that looks pretty quick.

      1. I saw that as well, that would be a pretty nice add on or alternative.
        But as you said in an earlier post, the most interesting would be to get some information on terrain elevation.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          2nd July 2010, 7:50

          I checked it out on Google Earth – there’s not much. But given Majorca’s reputation as the exile place of choice for scoundrels and other naughty men (read: Christopher Skase), I’d say Bernie would be feeling right at home.

    7. Bernie’s vote of no confidence in the new USGP is disturbingly similar to comments he made about USF1. Is Bernie’s big mouth the biggest hurdle for F1 to gain credibility in the US?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        2nd July 2010, 8:00

        Actually, these penalty clauses have been standard operating procedure for Bernie since 1997. He attempted to organise a South Korean Grand Prix at a street circuit in Ansan as early as 1996 as a replacement for the Pacific Grand Prix since the Okayama circuit wasn’t received too well. Eventually, the Koreans had a plan to get the circuit finished for the 1998 season, but for some reason, work never began despite the contract they had with FOM. Bernie sued them, and won in 2001. Ever since the failed Ansan race, he’s included penalty clauses in every contract with new circuits. It’s also how Tilke GmbH came to not simply design circuits, but manage their construction as well – Bernie wanted one of his people on the ground at all times, and Tilke has overseen the construction of every circuit since. Ironically enough, he’s not doing it for the race in Jeonam. So these penalty clauses are not a vote of no confidence or a slight against Hellmund. It’s Bernie protecting his business. We’ve already seen expressions of interest from Monticello and New Jeresy, Bernie wants a Russian Grand Prix and now Majorca is talking of taking Valencia’s race, while Dietrich Mateschitz has suggested the Red Bull Ring (formerly the A1 Ring) could host a reimainged Austrian Grand Prix in the future and Pastor Maldonado has said Hugo Chavez is interested in startin up a Venezuelan Grand Prix. If Hellmund and Austin fail to get ready on time, they’ll have wasted two years that could have been better invested on races in Russia, Majorca, Venezuela, Austria or elsewhere in America.

    8. Untitled258
      2nd July 2010, 9:12

      Im sure they could have a GP in Mallorca and instead of it being a spanish or european race, it can be the Mediterranean race, then we can have 3 in spain!*

      *The excitement is sarcasmn

      1. it wouldn’t be much different from actual MotoGp, with Spanish GP (Jerez), Catalan GP (Montmelò), Aragon GP (Motorland Aragon) and Valencian GP(Ricardo Tormo)!
        Maybe Mallorca will be Motogp’s Mediterranean GP, not F1’s (hope so).

    9. Given the amount of Germans, British and other Europeans (apart from Spaniards) that can be found in Mallorca, I can’t think of any other better place to hold the European GP.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        2nd July 2010, 10:31

        Ah yes, the smell of petrol fumes, burning rubber and slowly-roasting sunbathers.

        “Yellow flags at turn five because of drunken Britons on the rack.”

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          2nd July 2010, 10:33

          Actually, that said, Llucmajor seems to be inland a bit and removed from most of the action. Major tourist attractions include an 18th-Century church and a shoemaker’s memorial.

          Sounds riveting. And I mean that in the literal sense of the word: like you’re being riveted to a wall.

          1. It’s obvious that it is inland. All the coastal locations are already covered with a mixture of concrete, asphalt and sunburn Saxons.

    10. That Mallorca track as it stands looks awful. But you could fix it pretty easily. Bin the chicane at the top and you have a long fast right-hander (like a reversed 130R); make a couple of the chicanes a bit more pointy (like Degner) and it tests the acceleration a bit more…

    Comments are closed.