Todt drops plan for F1 commissioner

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Tomorrow I’m heading to Brands Hatch to watch the first round of the British Touring Car Championship and see Lewis Hamilton’s brother Nicolas make his racing debut. Give me a shout if you’re heading that way as well.

Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Todt: We don?t need an F1 commissioner (James Allen)

“I don?t need to interact with everything. I need to be involved but I never make any autocratic decisions ?ǣ I cannot. We have an F1 commission.”

Ferrari Has Work To Do (Speed)

“After his well-documented struggles with the 2010 Bridgestones, Massa seemed to be happy with the Pirellis in testing, but in Melbourne ?ǣ despite the better weather than in Spain ?ǣ he seemed to suffer more than most when it came to getting temperature into the new tyres.”

Senna immortalised in new movie (BBC)

“But of course the reality was much more complex than that. This sequence is not preceded by any sense of how things had got to that point between Senna and Prost, no relating of Senna’s aggressive driving tactics towards his rival, or his breaking of an agreement the two had made before the San Marino Grand Prix earlier that year.”

ESPN Classic agrees BBC Archives deal (Digital Spy)

“ESPN Classic will get access to around 80 hours of footage from the BBC Archive, including England’s victory in the 1966 World Cup final. The agreement also includes archive footage from FA Cup matches, international football, Formula One, Test cricket, international rugby and sports documentaries.”

Ted Kravitz on Twitter

“Fascinating day in court, strong arguments on both sides. Neither Tony Fernandes nor David Hunt appeared as witnesses. Verdict within four weeks.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Mixing champagne and Red Bull (ESPN)

Don’t miss the hilarious picture of Jenson Button.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Todfod fears for Felipe Massa’s future at Ferrari.

He definitely needs to start finishing in front of at least some of the Red Bull and McLaren drivers. Massa?s race performances have become too predictable, he consistently finishes behind the McLaren and Red Bull drivers as well as his team mate.

The only reason he finishes in front of the Renault and Mercedes drivers occasionally, is because of his car advantage and not on his skill. He has to seriously prove himself as a driver.

From the forum

Gougie is asking for advice on buying a camera for F1 photography.

Site updates

As you may have seen yesterday there’s a whole new statistics section for you to get stuck into:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthdays to MajorMilou, Nico Savidge and Ripping Silk!

On this day in F1

And a very happy birthday to Formula 1’s oldest living world champion, Jack Brabham, who turns 85 today.

Author information

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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  • 84 comments on “Todt drops plan for F1 commissioner”

    1. Verdict within four weeks.

      Well, I don’t know about the court system in your country, but in mine that would just mean end of round one. Still it will be interesting to find out a first opinion by a party that isn’t involved but knows all facts available. On many things all we can do here is speculate, even when we think we are well informed. Looking forward to finding out!

    2. It is sad to see Massa that way. He may never have been one of the greatest, but he was a good driver for sure. He often managed to do quick laps in qualifying and you could always be sure he drove his heart out in the race. Seems he didn’t really get over 08s end, the crash didn’t help for sure and the German GP was a low blow for an emotional person like Felipe for sure aswell. He just doesn’t seem the same he was 2 years ago, but I woudn’t write him off completely yet. Lets see how the season goes, how Turkey goes and maybe he can get back in the game if success strikes again on some occasion.
      I hope the little guy can work himself back into the mix and show good performances, but if nothing changes from the current situation, then maybe his F1 career is slowly coming to an end. If that will be so, hopefully he can have another happy season or two in a different team, without the constant pressure of being “the teammate of” someone. But lets see, this was just the first race of the season and the season is long .. for sure.

      1. I think most, when they thought about, would forgive Massa for last year. But this year, I agree, he needs to step up his game. What will be interesting is how Ferrari react to that.

      2. I think the problem for Massa is simply that Alonso is naturally better, as he is compared to most. This automatically makes him look bad and then when he’s also up against the fastest cars in the Red Bulls and the fastest driver in Lewis Hamilton, his only chance of beating another car of the top 3 is to beat Button. Problem there is that Button is the more consistent and is in a great place psychologically after his WDC and that makes a huge difference.

        1. Agreed, Alonso is better but not by THAT much. However, the results will speak for themselves as this year progresses.

      3. but he was a good driver for sure.

        For sure.

        1. Sush Meerkat
          2nd April 2011, 7:52

          For sure.

          Well for sure we need to keep the for sure championeship [sic] alive.

          damn it, uncyclopedia deleted my “Forsure Massa” article on Felipe, so have this instead, am I upset? for sure.

          1. He is a good driver. But not as good as alonso. And especially after the accident in 09, i think the media just hyped the “Will he drive like before” fact a bit too much that everyone set their eyes on massa. that, and the fact that alonso joined the team, it kinda got him even more in the light, and, i might be wrong here, but it looked a lot like everyone started expecting a lot out of massa and then well compared to alonso, he isnt that good.

          2. I really liked that Forsure Massa article! Why’d they delete it?

            1. The “F” word is really looked upon harshly in this foroum.

    3. That’s a fascinating picture of the RB7’s exhaust from the last article. Also a nice image from Jenson ;)

      Nice to know we have a date for the Lotus row.

      I agree with Todt, F1 doesn’t need someone to hold it’s hand, I think FOTA and FOM do a decent enough job. I like Todt, he keeps himself to himself.

      Oh and i’ll be keeping an eye on ESPN Classic.

      1. History alert!

        He seems to me to be like a Thomas Jefferson kind of leader. Jefferson was famously all about the power of Congress and that the president should only be some kind of figurehead. In truth he often saw to it that his vision was furthered by not so much backroom deals, but a talk here, a meeting there, letters to key votes in Congress, etc. Madison and Monroe were failures because they couldn’t do the same.

        Todt seems similar, e.g. the team orders farce capitulation controversy. He wasn’t involved at any stage in the hearings but you can bet he made noises behind close doors, as he did to the media after it was over. And then hey presto, he got his way.

        1. However, Jefferson did reply to the Barbary pirates with… lethal force.

          He was capable and he did make some very harsh decisions on his own.

          Jefferson was the sort of guy that flogged the craftsmen setting the pillars of his portico of his beloved Monticello a 1/4 out of line. He was an absolute perfectionist and control freak.

          Look at his perfect penmanship on the Declaration of Independence, flawless!

          I seldom disagree with you, but Todt is no Jefferson.

          1. If you had said Ron Dennis… ermmm

          2. I’m not saying he was as good (no way!), but they have similar styles of governance.

          3. Wow. Mention Jefferson on an F1 site. Never thought I’d see the day…

            I agree with Icthyes. Todt has a history of being a control freak – he issued tons of team orders at Peugeot and Ferrari. He does whatever it takes to win – even if it’s beyond what other people think to be in good taste.

            Currently, he doesn’t seem to be showing these traits – at least not in public. One thing he learned from Max’s final years is that to get one’s way, one must be discreet.

            1. Discretion… OK, that would be a fair comparison. Great point Journeyer, would be nice if we could debate this and add footnotes, but this isn’t the forum.

              I was just as shocked to see Jefferson’s mentioned here as well.

              Icthyes has a very broad range of thought.

              I like it.

      2. The picture is of the SRT exhaust though. Still, thanks for that very detailed picture.

    4. I’m pretty sure thats the Toro Rosso Andrew..

      1. Yes, its the ToroRosso. The RB7 isn’t as rounded there (doesn’t have the sidepod-stuff going on whatever it was called) and the sponsors woud be Siemens and PlatformComputing.
        Nevertheless, interesting picture of the exhaust, doesn’t look that different to what McLaren were allegedly trying tu build.

        1. Good shout both of you! I was very tired at the time, it won’t happen again!

    5. massa kept his seat because of the accident.. if that didnt happend they would be alonso and raikkonen at ferrari

      1. Exactly…

      2. Sush Meerkat
        2nd April 2011, 7:58

        if that didnt happend they would be alonso and raikkonen at ferrari

        Nah, unfortunately Raikkonen is competing in a very special Open Top NASCAR championship.

        1. Haha of course not, Kimi had already made his mind up whether or not he wanted to be in F1. He lost a lot of motivation after 2008.

    6. I don’t see Ferrai replacing Massa next year, unless he has an absolutely dismal season, simply because there is no one to replace him with.

      I don’t see Kubica making a comeback just yet, and if would be a horrible time to draft him in.

      Mark Webber? I think he’ll stick with RB and if Alonso wants a second man then Mark is definitely not the guy to go for.

      The young guns aren’t up to the job yet either. Ferrari does bot have the habit of giving drivers with less than 2 seasons experience a racing seat, so unless Petrov, Kobayashi or Sutil step up massively this year, I don’t see any other options left. And tbh, I’m not sure if I can picture either of those guys ever driving for the Prancing Horse anyway.

      1. Perez is already in the Ferrari program, and certainly didn’t do too shabby in his maiden race.

        1. Sush Meerkat
          2nd April 2011, 8:03

          Perez is already in the Ferrari program, and certainly didn’t do too shabby in his maiden race.

          *rips face mask off US_peter*

          HAHA I knew it, your US_peter’s evil Latino twin… Mexican_Peter!

          duh duh duh!

          1. Hey, he’s the only North American in F1, seems very quick, and drives for one of my favorite underdog teams, so forgive for cheering him on…

            …and if I were Mexican I’d be Mexicano_Pedro!

            1. I would think it might just be a great feat for Ferrari to get a mexican in by the TEX-MEX USGP in 2012!

        2. Yes but it was one race and he is still a rookie. If Ferrari really want to fight for the WCC more than just the drivers they should at least go for someone with experience.

          1. Hamilton was a rookie and he did just fine.

            1. How often does a Hamilton happen though? He set a near unattainable standard and using him as the yardstick for all subsequent rookies would do a disservice to some fine young drivers, not to mention the different circumstances what with lack of testing etc

            2. I agree with Dan, but if a hot rookie can be found, I think Ferrari should go for it.

              Hamilton was groomed for MaLaren so for him to be fast in that seat makes sense. But look at Senna. Most of us have seen his Williams test videos when he blew the lap record away…. ermm where was it? So I also agree with Partickl.

              Sometimes I think that the real problem here is the testing ban as far as rookies getting a seat, It seems as though the whole grid is being punished so that teams like Virgin and HRT can join the circus.

            3. Hamilton had miles of testing and like Dan said, Hamilton’s a rare case. These days rookies are just thrown in at the deep end.

            4. Yeah Steph, F1 has become the model of “on the job training.”

              And, looked at in that perspective it makes sense. I mean how many freshly graduated law students can actually try a court case, much less a Supreme Court case?

              F1 is a bit like the Supreme Court isn’t it.
              It takes your case forever to get there and you have a lot of very experienced judges you have convince.

            5. Very nice comparison Alex Bkk. Fits pretty good I would say.

              I hope Massa shows more of the driving he did in the first 12 laps of Australia and less of the Q1-Q3 or rest of the race.

              I was a bit supprised about that extra pitstop as well, surely they could have just let him get on to the finish mending his tyres?
              Before Ferrari want to drop Massa, they should get their own job perfected.

          2. Easy to forget that Ferrari almost got Kimi to replace Rubens at Sauber for 2002… but McLaren beat them to it. And that was in his rookie year too – with even less car experience than Perez.

            Australia is still a one-off, but more performances like that, and he’ll move up the grid very quickly.

          3. Yes but it was one race and he is still a rookie.

            True, and well have to see what happens over the whole season, including how Massa performs, but if he does get the axe he won’t be replaced until next year, at which point Perez will no longer be a rookie. If he does consistently well over the season he could be exactly what Ferrari needs, a young, consistent, aggressive driver that they can mould into the kind of racer they want. Balanced with Alonso’s experience it could work well. They already have plenty of experience in Alonso, and may want to look to the future in whoever ends up in Massa’s seat. I like Massa though, and hope he can still manage to get himself out of the rut he’s in, but somehow I think whatever drive he managed to recover was killed for good last year in Germany. What could’ve been a fairytale story a year to the day after his accident, ended up being a harsh reminder to Massa of his place in the team.

      2. What about Jules Bianchi? If they wanted a rookie, he’s probably their best bet.

        1. Depends how soon they need a replacement. Jules is still in GP2 and it would be unwise to stick a total rookie into a Ferrari race seat. Therefore I suspect Pérez would be Massa’s replacement if he left at the end of this year, with Jules possibly coming into the picture if the next Ferrari replacement is in 2013 and probable preference if it’s 2014.

    7. Happy birthday to Sir Jack, a true legend in every sence of the word.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        2nd April 2011, 8:02

        Happy birthday sir Jack, and lets not forget our peers MajorMilou, Nico Savidge and Ripping Silk who are F1fanatics and therefore qualify for being outstanding legends in their own right.

        Thank you MajorMilou, Nico Savidge and Ripping Silk (awesome name btw) for making this sites comments a nice place to visit.

    8. i saw the movie on senna. good movie. infact excellent movie. Now i am sad he’s no more. :(

    9. Keith, it seems the previous problems I had to load the pages with Safari, has been fixed. Now I can load the pages very quick without any problem…

      I don’t know if you have done something or it’s has been a clean up I’ve made on my MAC, but thanks a lot!!!!

      1. I’d been having same problems on my imac and macbook, I’d had to access the ‘mobile’ page instead! Seems to be runnning much better now! Thanks!

    10. he consistently finishes behind the McLaren and Red Bull drivers as well as his team mate.

      Actually, that’s not entirely true. From his results last year he was: p2 at Bahrain, 3rd at Malaysia, 4th at Monaco, 2nd at Germany, 4th at Hungary and Spa, 3rd at Italy, 8 at Singapore but that was despite starting at the back so anm impressive enough showing and 3rd at Korea.

      After his injury Sid Watkins said it would probably take him 2 years to be back to full form and I’ve always said I’ll judge him at the end of this year as to whether I think (not that it counts for anything) he should be in the drive or not and I’m not going to change my opinion after one race with new tyres when he messed up his strategy more than anything else. The Ferrari was clearly slower than the Mclaren and he managed to defend from Button so if anything I’m going to priase him for that :P

      Also, if he is out of the drive who is going to be in it? The only real replacement would be Robert Kubica and he’s out from injury and may have limited testing time before he gets back. There’s going to be a big if over his form for a while.

      1. Don’t forget that Massa rarely, if ever goes well at Melbourne. His battle with Jenson was top drawer and there’s certainly nothing wrong with his race craft.

        Mid season will be a fairer time to pass some sort of judgement on him, but what does everyone expect of him? To beat Alonso? Cos as much of a Massa fan as I am, that’s unlikely.

        1. Yes it was! It was top notch, but then he fizzled.

          However, I really don’t buy that excuse about Massa not doing well at a particular track. The layout of a track should dictate a drivers performance. Vettel doesn’t seem to have that problem and Massa certainly has more F1 experience that him.

          Oh, in 2010 he led races for only 42 laps, but Alonso led 126.

          So yeah he’s not likely to ever beat Alonso.

          1. I don’t buy that excuse either but Melbourne is one track where he has particularly and consistantly struggled, even when he’s been on form.

            1. Yeah, That Melbourne is a strange track is true, somewhere in the back of my mind Keith commented that he wrote Massa off once and that he wouldn’t make that mistake again.

              Actually, I hope he’s right.

            2. Well at the beginning of 2008 was a moment when his teammate was world champion and Massa binned 3 races. That was a moment to doubt him, but he came back. Sadly those three races came back aswell when he needed a point in the end.

          2. should not dictate*

        2. I agree he probably won’t ever beat Alonso over a season. It’s funny that he gave up his win to help Ferrari but if he had one win under his belt already a year after his accident he might be being viewed in a very different light with less rumours about his Ferrari seat.

      2. Also, if he is out of the drive who is going to be in it?

        My personal favourite would be Mark Webber for one year, it would also give Ferrari an extra year for one of their rookies to improve or Kubica to fully recover.

        1. If Webber has a problem with how he’s treated at Red Bull, you can pretty much guarantee he’ll never be at Ferrari.

      1. Also, Kobayashi should have been front-centre.

        1. Probably because there are a number of cameras and they never know which one to look at.

          Still, you think for one photo they could organise themselves to all look at the same camera, but hey ho. Agree that Kamui should have been front-centre as well.

      2. Sush Meerkat
        2nd April 2011, 11:34

        Petrov has cold dead eyes in that pic.

      3. What a picture :-D

        Anyone notice that most teammates stand close to eachother or even next to eachother, except Alonso/Massa and Vettel/Webber. :-P


      I can’t read Italian but the images tell a lot of the story.

      1. From those diagrams it looks as though the flex is horizontally rather than vertically. I’m no aerodynamicist but wouldn’t this have the effect of not only bringing the wing closer to the floor but also increasing the wing angle, thus giving more downforce?

        Also do the stress tests cover forward and backward movement of the wing? It’s possible that a wing could be rigid it its up and down movement, but if the flex is occurring at a different point, say, just be below the nosecone and in a forward-backward motion, then it would require a more specific test.

        It may also explain why Vettel’s wing failed in the way it did at Silverstone last year, but I could just be stabbing in the dark here.

        1. Very insightful images.

        2. So its true, the entire nose bends.
          What I don’t understand is this: are the other teams either too stupid to make flexing parts or is it so difficult that it takes years to develop the right materials (so Newey started right when he came to RB and it took until last year until they had it right .. a mate of mine meant that the right layering of carbon fibre could work to make any pressure/flex function you like but it woud be difficult) or are the other teams so obedient to the spirit of the rules that they don’t do this kind of things?
          Honestly, I believe neither of those to be true, but then why do the other teams not have flexing body parts?

          1. I imagine it must be a very complicated thing to figure out.

            Ferrari were able to flex their wings last year too, but they had had the technology in previous years with the flexing rear wing controversy. Back then it was so obvious it was stamped out, now…

          2. Certainly ceems there is a lot of trial and error going into this wing/nose flexing.

            The fact Ferrari now does not have much flex got me wondering weather Ferreri and McLaren didn’t put their efforts together and find an effective test to block RBR using it.

            You know, they don’t know how to beat them at it, so at least try to stop them?

      2. On a side note, Google Translate has really improved with time.

      3. Do you think this could have anything to do with the failure on Vettel’s wing at Silverstone last year?

    12. Hello,
      do you know any way to actually contact Nicolas Hamilton? I’d so love to send him a short letter and it would really mean a lot to me :)

      1. Your most direct method is probably going to be on Twitter…but don’t hold out much hope!

        1. Yeah… I thought about that :) Thanks.I’d just like him to know smething, which I think he’d like as well (without a need to get any reply). I’ll see what I can do on Twitter ;-)

          1. you might ask Lewis Hamilton to hand it on to his brother?

            1. Shouldn’t contacting Lewis Hamilton be even more difficult ;-)? I’ll think about it a bit more and will probably give it up, though I wouldn’t like to… it shouldn’t be that difficult! They keep on receiving e mails and letters from fans, right;-)?

            2. But if you mention his brother, he might react differently. He is proud of him as well.

            3. He should be proud of him :). So how do I contact Lewis Hamilton now? You can’t send messages via Twitter, can you? Just the small tweets, right? (I’m new to Twitter). Or maybe I should try sending him a tweet ;-). Is it possible through the McLaren team? I checked Hamilton’s page, but there’s only an option to ask him a question and you have to pay for it (and I’m quite pennyless at the moment unfortunately:/). Thanks a lot for your help anyway :)

            4. I guess you could send a tweet to McLaren (@TheFifthDriver) or to Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton), then again, you could send it to Nicolas Hamilton directly as well @nicolashamilton.

            5. I guess I’ll try Twitter (though I wanted to make it a bit longer than 140 characters;-)). Thanks a lot for your help :)

    13. Very interesting. And it seems the FIA is turning a blind eye. If they could ban Renault mass damper as a movable aerodynamic device, I don’t understand how they can then allow this.
      For sure their testing routine probably concentrates on wing loading and not wing mount/nose flexing.

      1. My cynical theory is that they didn’t want to spoil the story of a new team and new youngest champions as winners and now they’ve backed themselves into a corner.

        My even more cynical theory is that Ferrari had it worked out too and the only big loser was McLaren.

        My wacky theory is they’re trying to throw fans a bone by allowing one piece of innovation after banning so many.

        To be honest I just think it’s incompetence ;)

    14. I think that Ferrari, and maybe others, got caught out by the unusually cold weather in Melbourne last weekend.

      The track temperature in Melbourne was betweeen 17-22 degrees or so, which by my reckoning is the lowest track temperature the teams would have experienced at this track for many years.

      For comparison, 2010 – by no means hot – was 26-30 degrees, and 2008 – very hot – was 51 degrees.

      If they are still having troubles warming up tyres in Sepang, then they have big problems.

      1. Well its only supposed to be about 26°C there aswell, but still that could be enough for teams to get back in the testing zone. And most likely we will see how well the rain tyres work on the different cars.

      2. I guess it did have a lot to do with what went on.

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