It’s an FIA decision-making bonanza week!  Will ‘Team 13’ ever exist?  How many races will we get in 2011?  And, more importantly, will Ferrari escape scot-free from the race-fixing shambles at the German grand prix?  All will be revealed…

Best buddies Fernando 'n' Felipe celebrate the German grand prix (c) LAT,

PODIUM.  Ferrari –

WMSC update!  Surprise, surprise … they decided yesterday not to take any further action over the “fixed” German grand prix won by Fernando Alonso.  That means that Ferrari escaped the incident with a pitiful £65,000 fine.  The Ferrari defence lawyers’ argument was that the team did not give “explicit” instructions to Felipe Massa, which basically admits that they did give instructions.

What can we deduce from this decision then on the handling of the “team orders” rule?  As long as you don’t say “let Alonso overtake you”, you won’t get nicked by the FIA.  Easy peasy.  Rules?  What rules?  POP says it’s high time the “team orders” debacle of a rule is either scrapped, or properly enforced, and fast.

PITS.  Lotus –

Lotus may be on the verge of something rather brilliant: a Renault-powered car for 2011.  The team have come to an agreement with the manufacturer after unreliability issues with their current Cosworth engines have plagued the team’s maiden year in Formula 1.  However, all could be ruined by a looming contractual dispute with Cosworth.

Lotus must have employed some proper hacks for lawyers: they failed to include a break clause in the 3 year fixed term contract with Cosworth.  Mugs.  So that’s either 2 more years of pants engines, or one very large cheque written out for ‘Cosworth plc’.

PITS.  Lewis Hamilton –

This is a sort-of Pits, a warning Pits if you like.  Take note Lewis:  no more crazy, reckless, boy-racer stunts, police run-ins, driving offences … because you could be risking your superlicence!  So what is a superlicence?  It’s the “super” racing licence required to compete in Formula 1, and drivers must have requisite experience in other series before they can be awarded one.

“the [sporting] Code will be amended to clarify that if an International Super Licence holder is involved in a serious road traffic offence recognised by a national police authority, the FIA … may issue a warning or refer the matter to the International Disciplinary Tribunal, which may temporarily or indefinitely withdraw the competitor’s International Super Licence.” – FIA

You have been warned, Lewis.  And readers, for your viewing pleasure, he’s the moment Lewis got caught …

PODIUM. The 2011 Season –

20 races.  Yes, you heard correctly.  20 RACES! It’s like your birthday, Christmas and New Year’s all rolled into one … but better.  If there’s one thing POP loves more than Formula 1, and that’s even more Formula 1.  And we have India to thank as it prepares to host its inaugural grand prix next year.  It’s official.  2011: bigger, better, and more numerically satisfying.

PODIUM.  Cliff hangers?

‘Tiresome-Tilke’ and ‘Tilke-drome’ are just some of the monikers associated with circuit architect Hermann Tilke.  In the world of Formula 1 there is apparently only one track designer.  POP can smell a monopoly a mile off.  Apparently though Tilke has had a talking to by none other than Bernie Ecclestone, and they have decided on a “radical” new direction for the Austin circuit:

“He [Bernie] has a good view on it. Now, we are going much more to the edge than we have some years before – in terms of elevation and the types of corner we have.” – Tilke

It’s a characteristically vague announcement, what else?  New types of “corner”?  Left?  Right?  POP’s out of ideas.  But POP does like to imagine an extreme new American circuit featuring: bare-faced cliffs, jumps, and road-block Republicans.  Too far?  Ok, ok … POP will settle for a hot-dog shaped circuit.  Thanks!  And for anyone interested in reading more about Hermann, do check out his ‘Unencyclopedia’ entry: it ain’t accurate, but it sure is funny.

PITS.  Team 13 –

It’s official: 13 is unlucky.  The elusive “Team 13” mooted this year by the FIA has failed to materialise on the proposed grid for 2011.  Jacques Villeneuve will have to crawl back home in disappointment after his team ‘Durango’ failed to impress FIA officials.  Maybe record another album to vent your misery eh, Jacques?