411: All Change

Time for some gossip and rumor I think; the air is thick with more than rain and snow today…

Off to greener pastures:

There has been rumblings about turbo powered engines in 2013 for much of this past season. However it’s now been made official and we are heading towards a greener future in Formula One; I wonder if Jeremy Clarkson has something to say on the subject? This is a shrewd move by Jean Todt and the FIA to show the public that they are aware of the current ecological issues.

This is an impressive effort to make the sport more sustainable in the eyes of the scowling Guardian readers; although I’m sure they’ll congratulate the FIA through gritted teeth. Just before an article detailing all the other areas F1 is killing the planet; carbon molecule by carbon molecule, polar bear by polar bear.

Will we return to the insane power of the 1980s turbo engine?

Down to the nitty-gritty and you’ll be able to see the massive difference between what we have now and what the future will offer. At present the engines are 2.4 litre, normally aspirated V8s; after the regulation changes the teams will have 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder turbos with energy recovery and fuel restrictions to play with. Another calculated move by the guys at the FIA to make the technology more reflective of what us mere mortals are familiar with.

It’s hard to knock them for this effort; predictions indicate that they’ll be saving about 50% in terms of fuel consumption, and with the KERs system in place the power output should remain at current levels. Win-win by all accounts. And as an added bonus we might be seeing a few more suppliers on the horizon; BMW, Honda and Toyota have slipped away due to financial pressures, but smaller engines might open the door to them. We only have 4 suppliers at the moment; and bit more diversity could develop into some very interesting results.

It might be a time for the green-minded of you to rejoice; but in times of financial austerity do teams really need to be forced to develop brand new engines? Some engine suppliers backed this point; along with Bernie Ecclestone, they generally said that they should be focusing on the efficiency of the current set-up. Jean Todt might want new suppliers; but who wants to spend 100 million Euros to do so?

All we can do at the moment is sit back and wait for the run-up to the 2013 season; that off-season will be chock-full of gossip eagerly awaited for. Can’t wait!

Timo Glock – 100% committed, 100% not confirmed…yet:

One more year for Timo Glock

Virgin Racing have yet to announce their driver line-up for the new season; but their 2010 driver Timo Glock has been very vocal in his commitment to the team. He signed a two-year contract and it’s clear to see he’s decided to honour it; so with him secure in his seat, what’s the hold up?

Apparently Virgin want to confirm both of their drivers at the same time; this leaves only one conclusion, that Lucas di Grassi is on his way out. The Brazilian lost his funding in the middle of the season and with the influx of money from new sponsor Marussia, could we see Petrov or another Russian fill his position. Jerome D’Ambrosio is another name that is floating about; as he was the team’s reserve from September onwards he seems like a suitable match.

Vitaly important boost for Renault:

I think I was being a little hasty when I suggested Vitaly Petrov could make a move to Virgin Racing; it seems he has a fan in the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, quite the political force to have behind you? Petrov now has substantial backing, and with Renault taking a back seat due to money pressures…it would be a brave team to sat no to that injection of cash.

On a side (but still sports related) note; Russia seemed to be taking the sports world by storm in recent times; they’ve got the Winter Olympics in Sochi (2014) and was recently awarded the Football World Cup for 2018 (much to the chagrin of the UK). Plus with their F1 debut in 2014 in Sochi as well; they want a Russian driver in a dominant team.

Lotus/Renault or Renault/Lotus?:

What’s going on here is more unfathomable than the Hornettes obsession with Christian Horner’s hair. Check them out on twitter > here

The most recent news to come out this muddle is that Proton are in position and ready to move forward with their partial takeover. The figure stands at 25% at the moment but discussions (and needs) could shift that about.

The interesting element is that the Malaysian car manufacturer owns Lotus, the sports car maker, and want to utilise the Lotus name. Renault could easily become, Lotus Renault, and with Team Lotus on the board it would seem this could become confusing. but how often to you refer to Mercedes McLaren as just that? They’ll be more likely to be known as Renault.

Will Renault look like this next year? (Lothar Spurzem)

On to Lotus Racing; their chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne has hit out a critics, including Proton and Group Lotus (Group Lotus licensed Lotus Racing to the team; but then revoke it as they announced their intention to get involved with Proton and Renault). Even with the name remaining a contentious issue; the Lotus team confirmed their driver line-up as ‘Team Lotus’. And not content with this; Lotus have also signed Renault on as the engine supplier, I know…but the longer this goes on (for once) it will get easier to understand.

So for a brief time this is where we stand with these two.

Max Moanly:

Max Mosley couldn’t help but have a dig at the new race calender; expressing his concern over having too many races in one year. Ignoring his history in F1; he does make a valid point, the more races there are, means a bigger slice of the budget goes on freight and travel for the teams.

Another point he makes is that the fans will suffer from race fatigue (along with the drivers I suspect), and become tired of re-arranging their Sundays. Again I can see where he’s coming from; some fans will miss the odd race here and there and it could so easily snowball into the rest of the season.

So what about the effect on the less well off outfits? As more money will be spent on traversing the globe every couple of weeks; there will be less to go on developing, drivers and promotion. All vital aspects associated with success; so could there be a smaller field in the years to come?

That’s enough for now!

Later rookies!

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