Pirelli threatens to pull out of F1 if test plan is not agreed TODAY

Paul Hembery on today’s F1 Commission approval:

This is it. We cannot do our job without this. We cannot deliver.

The continuing procrastination over 2017 regulations has reared its ugly head once again, with F1’s sole tyre supplier showing its frustration at F1 Strategy Group’s inability to ratify a coherent plan to reform the physics of the cars.

Pirelli has developed a rather mixed reputation since its return to F1 in 2011, with the tyre blow out incidents at 2013 British & 2015 Belgian Grands Prix incurring the ire of teams across the paddock. It appears this news announcement is a cunning attempt by Paul Hembery and his executives to arrest some political power towards themselves, as the Italian tyre supplier attempts to redeem its image. It is clear that Pirelli are stuck in an existential crisis, having indulged many of FIA’s wishes for variable tyres with a wide range of degradation and performance. However, it has struggled to avoid heat sensitivity issues related to their compounds, with many teams and drivers infuriated by unpredictable operating temperatures and tyre pressures required to achieve optimum performance and mileage from the Pirellis.

A much touted belief amongst F1 Strategy Group revolves around wider car and bigger tyres, raising the wheel rims from 13 inches to 18 inches. However, there is much debate over the effects over the handling of the cars, as well as how the tyres and the enlarged size of the cars will affect the ergonomics of the driver’s seating position and his peripheral vision. It was Michelin who proposed the idea of larger wheel rim, but Martin Brundle’s unfavourable verdict of this when he tested a modified GP2 car at Monaco, it was quietly shelved. Michelin had been contenders to take over as F1’s control tyre supplier for this season, but disagreements with FIA over the manufacture of tyres meant their return failed to materialise.

Pirelli clearly want as much time as possible to eradicate these prevalent issues, but whether the CEOs are willing to cut their losses and pull the plug on its ailing project is one to be seen.

Advertisements

The Furore over F1’s 2017 Regulations; Is Vettel’s relationship with Ferrari diminishing?

After the news of F1’s return to 2015 qualifying system, Sebastian Vettel spoke of his belief that F1 should return to naturally-aspirated engines.

“I personally think the current power unit regulations are too expensive and it would be beneficial for all the teams and the whole sport to go back to something normally aspirated,” Vettel said.

Vettel’s opinion is very much contrary to that of Ferrari, who last year vetoed a cost cap proposal for engines. It will appear strange to profess, but one could speculate that the sentiments of team personnel of how well Vettel gels with the infrastructure is merely little more than corporate jargon. Many have viewed Vettel’s establishment within the Ferrari team to be similiar to that of Michael Schumacher’s reign; however, the management structure could not be more different.

Mauricio Arrivabene’s official role is listed as “Team Principal”; a position where he manages the team in accordance to the orders of President Sergio Marchionne within the Scuderia hierarchy. This differs greatly to Jean Todt’s role during the Schumacher era, where he performed the role of General Manager, with greater freedoms granted by then-Chairman Luca di Montezemolo. It is important to realise that Arrivabene’s influence only stretches as far as race day operations of the engineers during race weekends, whilst Jean Todt had controls on the general direction of Scuderia Ferrari within Formula 1 in his reign.

The Michael Schumacher era was infamous for the German being able to command orders to the likes of Todt, Ross Brawn and team personnel to cater every one of his whims and desires. Schumacher was never seen or heard arguing with his team, due to their incredible close bond not seen before or since. When Schumacher left Ferrari in 2006, the golden formula was disbanded, lending far greater control to Luca di Montezemolo and placing Stefano Domencali as Team Principal. This management structure, along with their next prized superstar Fernando Alonso, have since been disposed, but a need to improve the Prancing Horse’s sporting brand has ended any hopes of “Driver Power” ever re-emerging. Controversy over team orders incidents- 2002 Austrian & 2010 German Grands Prix still evoke F1 fans with embitterment.

Sebastian Vettel therefore cannot command the same power as Schumacher could in his time as Ferrari lead driver. Vettel does not have a “Number 1” driver clause written into his contract, leaving the Prancing Horse to pair him with a young hotshot, with Max Verstappen speculated to be an option should he part ways with Red Bull. Vettel was notorious for his excellent politicking within the Red Bull hierarchy during his four WDC era, often finding ways to encourage Adrian Newey to design chassis tailored to needs.

At Ferrari, Vettel is paired with a close friend in Kimi Raikkonen. Many outsiders view this as a favourable situation for Ferrari, however, it may prove detrimental to Vettel, as his willingness to share data with Raikkonen is passed onto engineers, who may share this data in coming years with potential new team-mates of Vettel. When Raikkonen retires, Vettel will be pulled out of his comfort zone and he need to combat a team-mate who is likely not to care much for his contribution to Ferrari.

Vettel’s statement of which he believes costs should be cut, contrary to Ferrari’s desires to remain free to defeat the opposition through financial power, is one which may come back to haunt him if results begin to deteriorate.

F1’s Procrastination over 2017 Regulations

With just four months remaining before teams head to their 2017 chassis drawing boards this summer, F1 Strategy Group are nowhere near close to submitting their technical regulation proposals to F1 Commission.

The consensus amongst drivers is that adding more downforce is absurd and making cars wider (therefore heavier) is further pushing F1 away from its “halcyon” days of light 600KG cars fitted with loud V10 engines.

In my opinion, the most important technical change that needs to happen is the reduction of the front wing. It is a foremost priority for the sport to improve the cars’ ability to follow each other closely. Nothing puts fans off more than seeing cars who clearly at least a second quicker than the defending car in front, unable to find a way past due to the turbulence of the car in front causing their tyres to lose grip in braking zones.

It is absolutely pivotal for FIA to put their foot down and demand teams to agree to a reduction of front wing sizes in order to attempt to improve the quality of races for consumers immediately.

F1 decision making won’t improve for another 4 years | DN&C 06/04/16

thejudge13

F1 could be stuck in political quagmire until 2020

FIA president Jean Todt does not see Formula One’s governance changing before the current Concorde Agreement and commercial contracts with teams expire in 2020.s always the goal – but to be honest my attention was elsewhere at that point.

i

The FIA agreed to the existing system (see below for details) in 2013, and at the time heralded “a strong and stable sporting governance framework which includes the Formula One Group, the FIA and the participating teams”

F1’s rule-making process

Strategy Group

Rules are formulated in the F1 Strategy Group, which is made up of six of the 11 teams, the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder, which is represented by Bernie Ecclestone. Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Williams have permanent seats on the Strategy Group, while Force India is the sixth member this year because it was the best placed of…

View original post 1,187 more words