It’s a welcome return for #HWGF1NFY this week following the season opener for F1 in Melbourne. After trying to gauge the pecking order over three pre-season tests – to be told it’s a waste of time when Sauber top the sheets and Mercedes are firmly in the middle order – the excitement was at fever pitch ready to find out who exactly is fastest come the end of the season opener. Only to be then be told that pace on the Albert Park circuit counts for nothing for the rest of the season.
So on that positive note….
No Wheels On Manor’s Wagon
Kicking off with Manor, the plucky and determined but financially wayward team somehow have managed to glue bits of carbon fibre to their old chassis thus making it legal for the 2015 season. New pilots Will Stevens and Robert Mehri never got to emulate the calendar pace of Ricardo Rosset and Vincenzo Sospiri from Melbourne in 1997 with certain software issues, but at least the cars weren’t as garish as the short lived Lolas. With most of the teams possessions long since in the hands of journalists and F1 geeks, how the team cheated certain death and then magically realised a team and two cars will only be explained by scientists at CERN when they fire up the Large Haydron Collider. However, thankfully Bernie has some sound advice to stop such a pickle in future.
According to the shrivelled little sage, the simple problem is the teams spend too much. All problems would be solved if the teams didn’t spend 10s of millions on expensive hybrid engines that have to last 5 weekends (to cut costs), and stopped putting colossal resources towards the expensive witchcraft of aerodynamics – being the only partially open avenue left in the rule book – to cut costs.
So clearly there’s no excuse for spending beyond teams means, around £47 a month and 6 groats should do plenty. As long as all 10 teams are fighting for podiums and wins – otherwise it’s just a waste of a grid spot and does nothing to keep the sports shareholders awake.
Sauber Hire Driver, Suffer Amnesia About It
Sauber lost their appeal against an Austrailian court that had ruled secret Dutch superhero lookalike Giedo Van de Garde should have his F1 contract honoured. Traditionally, F1 contracts are generally used as rough planning aid to the following years, and wiping up oil stains from blown power units. However, even legally astute Team Principal Monisha Kalternborn could recognise that with burly drunk Australian bailiffs waiting impatiently for something to do, and an order to arrest her should the team not comply, it was probably beneficial for this row to get resolved a touch more expediently.
As vengeance, the order was given to dress Van Der Garde up in Marcus Ericsson’s tightly fitting race suit (to the paddock’s amusement) only to subsequently inform him they’d lost his superlicense application in the F1’s DVLA chaotic system – reportedly even more useless than it’s Swansea counterpart. An offer of compensation has since been made to the Dutchman, though it remains to be seen whether or not Sauber explain they already spent the money on sweets by the time the payment is due.
Red Bull Spits Out Dummy. World Barely Flinches.
Following the race’s slightly predictable result of a Mercedes 1-2, Red Bull’s Christian Horner has put the boot into Renault in a big way (what happened to we all win together, lose together? No? Ah well….), as well as the sport in general because it’s “not fair” Mercedes has built such a good engine.
In fact, the idea that the pinnacle of motorsport should rely a fair amount on the engine, instead of what Red Bull are very good at for a change, obviously doesn’t sit well with Red Bull’s effective marketing exercise as it yields a lower return on investment for selling cans of pop.
Previously to this, Horner had another brainwave aimed at reducing costs for all teams (and in no way self serving) that wind tunnels should be banned too, effectively leaving only the teams with aerodynamicists with super human powers to get anywhere. On the plus side for the fans, at least two drivers are allowed a fair bite at the cherry this year, much like last season, and in stark contrast to the past four seasons.
Even with all this drama, the main point that both Christian Horner and Helmut Marko may have inadvertently put their respective feet in their own mouths by cryptically making out they want their contracts closed went, bizarrely, unnoticed.
(In compliance with our own policy of not picking on the same driver / team / wannabe puppet team principal, we’ll refrain from discussing Red Bull’s team principal for a while, and as much as anything we’re frankly bored of writing the same thing over and over again….)