News and views on motorsports

Saturday, May 14, 2005

News Roundup

The BAR ban has largely dominated the headlines over the last few weeks. This has probably been one of the most hotly debated topics in quite a while, with advocates on both sides of the fence. Michel of DSM2005 putting up some good arguments on the issue. BAR Honda in the meantime has backed down from its initial defiant stance and have now admitted they were wrong after all. Additionally, they express regrets over the whole thing. To which plenty of people have expressed surprise over their complete U-turn.

I think everyone agrees that BAR had infringed the rules. However, what seems to be the residual discussion point is whether or not they did it deliberately and it amounted to fraudulent behaviour. There are many who argue that Sporting Codes existed since 1994 when refuelling was reintroduced, that state that the weight of the car in scutineering is the weight less all fuel, whether usable or not. Further, a team like BAR would have known this since its common knowledge. Hence, it is not mere negilgence as the FIA court of appeal ruled but pure fraud.

As to the Court Of Appeal judges, the FIA insist that they are indeed independent parties and take serious issue to anyone doubting their independence. Whilst they did not directly state that the judges are not independent, nevertheless, the manufacturers in this statement, seem to imply that they do have their doubts. And again, they challenge the integrity and governance of the sport by the FIA. Between the lines, everyone knows its Max Mosley that they have an issue with.

This prompted the FIA, or should I say Max, to issue a counter statement, one that I thought was very emotionally charged and sounded as if it came out of Max Mosley's mouth directly. The FIA statement also threatened BAR with more investigations and charges on the pretext that BAR were failing in their obligations to do "nothing prejudicial to the image and integrity of Formula One racing" or "prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport generally."

Translation: BAR should do nothing prejudicial to the FIA and more importantly Max Mosley.

The next bit in the FIA statement really echoed the words of Bernie Ecclestone in his Independent newspaper interview and this I believe came out of Mosley's mouth. And that the manufacturers were not invited into the sport. They invited themselves, according to the FIA statement. And it cotinued, they chose to accept the rules and regulations as it was.

Translation: This is OUR championship. You guys are guests. If you don't like it you can just sod off.

Well, they are planning to, dear Max. Because its obvious that your running of the sport is complete and utter crap. But really, you're the one who should sod off. And for good this time.

As for the independence of the judges, here's an interesting point. 94 out of 100 people in F1 think the judges are not independent. Surprise, surprise? Well, its a bit like military court isn't it? Can you honestly be sure of their independence? Just ask the Italians if they were happy with some US military judges recently.

OK that's a bit sensitive. But just sticking to the FIA, I sincerely doubt if there can be total independence in the FIA court of appeal. They're all chums and friends after all. Come on. Total independence is required and that means the judges cannot have any affiliation with the powers at all. But even the name of the court beggars belief. It is after all named the FIA court of appeal. Lets face it they're all CRONIES in there. And cronies must be stopped! Especially scarlet affiliated ones.

But here is the judges' response to the manufacturers. Its quite lengthy but I'll surmarise with these words: "blah, blah, blah."

In other news, there have been speculation in the media regarding BMWs commitment to Formula 1. This after some statements made by certain BMW board members who understandably cannot bear the failure of Williams to give them a championship contender. Yet again, the BMW Williams F1 team are starting off at the wrong foot. Again, they have to play catch up, whereas rivals like Renault and McLaren have obviously made fantastic strides in competitiveness and are in the position to battle for the crown. Reminds me of the time when the 4.0 litre BMW V8 was installed in the Morgan Aero 8. The BMW engineer who designed the V8 was heard saying, "At last someone has made a car worthy of my engine." And I'll bet the Motorsports Division are surely wishing someone made a chassis worthy of the undeniably superb BMW V10. In fact, it is reported that the BMW employees are the ones who are most dissatisfied with the current situation.

But in a recent statement, BMW affirms their commitment to the sport. But talks with Sauber still continue and speculation is still rife that they will takeover the Hinwil based team entirely. This especially since BMW are not denying the rumours. There are also rumours that Williams are in talks with Cosworth for a supply of V8s next year.

Talking about next year's V8s, Cosworth's engine is well into development now as was told elsewhere in this Blog. But recently Honda have begun testing their V8 engine. The prototype engine was run in a test at Mugello recently in the back of a specially modified BAR. Geoff Willis commenting that the V8 feels more like a MotoGP engine than a proper Formula 1 unit.

Mercedes is another manufacturer who has previously fired up its V8 prototype. Now its scheduled to run in a modified McLaren at Elvington, near York. The residents around the circuit will no doubt be up in arms again at the prospect.

The GPWC looks to be left for dead. The five manufacturers apparently teaming up to produce a new association to create a better Grand Prix championship. Apparently, the goals and framework of the GPWC will be adopted by this new association.

After the San Marino Grand Prix, Toyota's Ralf Schumacher was sanctioned for an apparently dangerous move in the pits on Nick Heidfeld. The Toyota team had planned an appeal but subsequently they dropped it. Now a potential reason for that has emerged. The Toyota team apparently made some sort of clerical error and the team have not been racing with a superlicense up until San Marino.

Its quite unbelievable. In the first place, why were they allowed to race by the FIA if the paperwork was not in order. And of course, Toyota, with facilities costing well into the hundreds of millions can't even invest in something like Microsoft Outlook, never mind the hundreds of available ERP solutions, to remind them to do their paperwork?

The consequence of this is that Toyota stand to lose their points from early on in the season. And that includes their superb second place at Sepang. C'est bullshit man!

Luca di Cronie slammed Bridgestone and blamed them for Ferrari's poor performance in Spain. To which Bridgestone responded back with this statement. Now Bridgestone have concluded their investigations into the Michael Schumacher's tyre failure in Spain. Apparently, the relatively short safety car period caused a loss of tyre pressure in the right rear tyre that was never recovered. This placed great stress on the tyre under the constant G forces of Catalunya and due to construction weakness, collapsed. The front tyre failed apparently due to a puncture. Whatever, it resulted in Ferrari eating sand and I'm sure made a lot of people happy.

Speaking about happy news, the Australian Grand Prix may soon return to Adelaide, which I'm sure makes a lot of the teams happy. Hopefully, the filthy hands of Hermann Tilke will not spoil the layout but being a street track I think it will remains the same as before.

1 comment:

Michel said...

Good observation in regard Toyota backing down, and the non-filing of documents.

I personally think that they backed of, since the case was unwinable. But always makes good to see all side to the issue.

Nice "diatribe" on the BAR issue, you and I don't quite meet on the merits of the case, but again both sides have solid, and less than solid argeuments on their side.

I'll keep checking you.. ;-)

Regards,
Michel