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    Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    The sheer volume of new information that came out of the FIA hearing last weekend was fascinating, especially the little nuggets of technical data we never knew before.

    Apparently Ferrari has been using an unusual gas to inflate their tyres - one that has specific thermal properties that help reduce the internal temperature of the tyre and thus reduce blistering.

    I did a bit of investigation about this. There is no specific rule concerning what teams can use to inflate their tyres.

    Bridgestone supply the tyres inflated with air. Then each team deflates the tyres and re-inflates them with whatever gas they like.

    Nitrogen has been standard, because unlike air, it does not expand when it gets hot and therefore keeps a constant tyre pressure.

    But Pedro De La Rosa and Fernando Alonso got very excited about this other gas Ferrari might have been using to actively control the tyre's temperature. It worked for Ferrari, but a Bridgestone engineer told De La Rosa he doubted it would work for McLaren, and it was never tested, despite Alonso wanting to try it 'as a priority'.

    It is difficult to get a confirmed answer as to what this gas was, but amongst the people I asked, Argon was favourite, followed by the rather more exotic Neon, Krypton and Xenon.

    Is this why Ferrari have been able to run on the soft tyres for long stints this year, while McLaren cannot?

    Then there were the other technical secrets:

    Ferrari's weight distribution, which surprised Alonso (presumably in how far forward it was compared with his Renault).

    The fact that McLaren were testing a flexible wing that De La Rosa says is "a copy of the system we think Ferrari uses" (aren't flexi wings banned?)

    And the fact Ferrari had a driver-operated braking system that McLaren thought was worth investigating.

    Just as significant was the fact that all these emails were between Coughlan, De La Rosa and Alonso, and not once did they feel the need to include Lewis Hamilton.

    At that early point of the season in March, when the emails were written, Alonso and De La Rosa were working together for Alonso's benefit - Pedro would test things on the car for Alonso and they would discuss the findings between them.

    This is something that has angered the Hamilton camp, since it was all made public.





    Quote:
    I saw Fernando Alonso on the top floor of Red Bull's motorhome, talking to Christian Horner and, significantly, to Paul Monaghan, who was Fernando's race engineer for three years at Renault.

    Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz was also at Spa on Sunday. Now if that's not grounds enough for an 'Alonso to Red Bull, Webber to McLaren' story, then I don't know what is.




    The rest of the juicy info here:
    http://www.itv-f1.com/Feature.aspx?Type=Ted_Kravitz&PO_ID=40752

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    And perhaps even "worse" :

    Quote:
    Dennis, Alonso not on speaking terms

    Ron Dennis confirmed in last Thursday's FIA World Motor Sport Council hearing that he is not on speaking terms with his world champion driver Fernando Alonso.

    In a full trancript of the investigation, published on the FIA's website on Wednesday, the McLaren team principal told the governing body of motor sport that the pair had not properly conversed since a heated argument at the Hungaroring following the controversial qualifying session.

    "First, the relationship between Fernando and myself is extremely cold," Dennis explained in the September 13 hearing. "That is an understatement.

    "In Fernando's mind, there is the firm belief that our policy, whereby each driver receives equal treatment, doe not properly reflect his status as World Champion. He bases this assertion on the fact that his experience and knowledge and what came to him from his former team is such that he should receive an advantage.

    "In that discussion, he was extremely upset with what had taken place the previous day, but nowhere nearly as upset as I was. He said things that he subsequently and fully retracted."

    Dennis revealed that during the course of the row Alonso said he had information which could be used against McLaren in the investigation into its possession of confidential Ferrari information purtaining to the Italian team's 2007 race car.



    The rest of the story:
    http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?PO_ID=40753

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Can Alonso honestly remain at McLaren for the next 2 years? I think 2 months is a big ask let alone 2 years.

    He has cheated and then made full use of a whistle-blower's immunity. He is tainted beyond redemption in my eyes for ever. Simply disgusting conduct unworthy of a double F1 World Champion. How can he bear to look at himself in the mirror?

    I used to think De La Rosa was a nice guy. Turns out he was equally unscrupulous and corrupt. Shame on them. I am sure Ron Dennis regrets the day he signed Alonso onto the team.

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    I can't see that Alonso can stay at McLaren when his relationship with the team is the way it is. It simply won't work and will only lead to more arguments and "hate" within the team.

    But:
    The problem for Alonso is where to go, I doubt that the Reanult will be a championship contender next year already even if Alonso "brings 0.6 sec to the team", and Red Bull is still way off the pace.

    Another problem, for McLaren, is that if Alonso becomes worldchampion this year and leaves, McLaren will most likely have number 24 and 25 on their cars. Which is a bit different than having 1 and 2, and won't look good for the sponsors

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Ron Dennis is paying the penalty for the actions of someone he doesn't even speak to. Not right.

    All tires should be equal, let driver skill and team performance during pit stops determine the winner.

    F1 is not being run properly, which has lead to such boring races. Nascar has such better governance!

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    racerx said:
    Ron Dennis is paying the penalty for the actions of someone he doesn't even speak to. Not right.

    All tires should be equal, let driver skill and team performance during pit stops determine the winner.

    F1 is not being run properly, which has lead to such boring races. Nascar has such better governance!



    As the team principal, Ron Dennis is ultimately responsible for the bahaviour of his employees, no different than any business. This confirms my suspicians about Alonso. I don't see Ron Dennis being complicit in the actual data or parhaps even knowing about it, but as unfortunate as it is, he is ultimately responsible.

    For the tires, they are all equal, how the teams prepare those tires is not equal, but that is within the rules. To me, the essence of the technical end of F1 is the innovation within the strict rules that allow engineers to flourish and gain advantage through intelligent thinking.

    Have you seen any of NASCARs previous rule infraction scandals? Many of them make F1 cheaters look like amateurs.

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    I think Alonso is being made a scapegoat here. The media is spinning things in a disproportionate manner.

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    doyle said:
    As the team principal, Ron Dennis is ultimately responsible for the bahaviour of his employees, no different than any business. This confirms my suspicians about Alonso. I don't see Ron Dennis being complicit in the actual data or parhaps even knowing about it, but as unfortunate as it is, he is ultimately responsible.

    For the tires, they are all equal, how the teams prepare those tires is not equal, but that is within the rules. To me, the essence of the technical end of F1 is the innovation within the strict rules that allow engineers to flourish and gain advantage through intelligent thinking.



    Excellent post

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    doyle said:
    As the team principal, Ron Dennis is ultimately responsible for the bahaviour of his employees, no different than any business. This confirms my suspicians about Alonso. I don't see Ron Dennis being complicit in the actual data or parhaps even knowing about it, but as unfortunate as it is, he is ultimately responsible.



    The ultimate ridiculousness is the fact, that it was a very important Ferrari engineer that passed on this information and seemed to do so rather actively than passively or even encouraged by another team's member. Jean Todt's spot seemed to be dependent on the outcome of last weeks FIA hearings, it shouldn't be a surprise that Montezemolo took over on this whole subject. I do not want to know what is going on behind the scenes at Ferrari right now...

    Furthermore, there have been very contradictory comments from F1 experts in the recent days regarding the above mentioned incidents. Even former F1 drivers admitted that the amount of information, being stated as essential to McLaren, such as the Ferrari's tire fillings or weight distribution, are of absolutely little importance and far from essential. Some of you might have read Prost's report on Senna, don't expect the things going on behind the scenes have become less. Deja-vu...

    A journalist of AMS even stated in a TV coverage that those incident might be the start to a row of discoveries as the Tour de France had to experience in the recent past.


    Quote:
    Oxonian said:
    The media is spinning things in a disproportionate manner.



    I share that opinion. As stated above, there are way too many controversial comments from so-called experts to believe everything that has been said in the recent past. Just face it, how come a couple of knowledgeable people know surprisingly many details (in Germany the yellow-press BILD is surprisingly accurate when it comes to F1 racing) or even inform the FIA about a single team's new development (flexible wing, active differential etc.). I wouldn't call it coincidence...

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    Oxonian said:
    I think Alonso is being made a scapegoat here. The media is spinning things in a disproportionate manner.



    @Oxonian: It's not the media - if you read the full decision of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, all the facts are there. Alonso cheated by working on testing/development with Mike Coughlan (of McLaren) using Ferrari's confidential data which Mike Coughlan had obtained from Nigel Stepney of Ferrari in breach of Nigel Stepney's duty of confidentialty. Alonso only escaped punishment because he cooperated with the FIA's investigation as an informant. He is culpable but has immunity from all punishment.

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    doyle said:
    To me, the essence of the technical end of F1 is the innovation within the strict rules that allow engineers to flourish and gain advantage through intelligent thinking.



    I agree. Colin Chapman would simply not be able to produce as impressive results as in his era due to the amount of technical limitations nowadays. Just face the amount of money circulating in F1 racing nowadays - how come a little bit of espionage doesn't seem too far of...?

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    Oxonian said:
    I think Alonso is being made a scapegoat here. The media is spinning things in a disproportionate manner.



    I also share your opinion, absolutely!.

    All things that have been said agaisnt alonso, is just media crap, false rumours just to put him on pressure and attract even more people to talk about F1.....

    All this e-mails of De la Rosa / Alonso, where long before the spy case taked place...All teams have this sort of information, tries to get information about other teams, and this is nothing new on F1....But now the problem is that Alonso is going to be remembered as a cheater, when he wins the world champion again( ), and this is what exactly the media will do with him, no doubt at all...

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    If Ron's relationship with Alonso has deteriorated to such an extend, then why can't he just pull the plug on Alonso in the next few races, making Hamilton the world champion and hence retaining the number 1 & 2 car?

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Alonso would allege some sort of breach of contract if McLaren didn't provide him with the right equipment for the job and if his engineers/pit crew etc underperformed.

    Frankly I am amazed at how the McLaren crew looked after Alonso so well in Spa. If it was me, I would have made sure he retired early.

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    @alex, you are 100% correct but also 100% wrong my friend

    Spying on each other's garages at the races, sending spies to watch other teams testing (e.g. at Fiorano, Silverstone, Barcelona etc etc)...these deeds are commonplace. Teams also use all sorts of listening devices in the pit lane to hear what other teams are discussing. This has been going on for years. Analysing each other's designs by photos and then trying to copy them is also normal.

    BUT, one technical guy leaking confidential info to a technical guy in the rival team is a breach of the duty of confidentiality owed by the Ferrari guy to his team. It was in his employment contract.

    Honestly, this is not a media inspired smear campaign against Alonso. Please don't take offence - we're friends - but IMHO you're allowing your love for Spain and a particular Spanish hero to cloud your judgement.

    At the end of the day, it all boils down to this. Espionage in various forms has been going on for decades. The issue here is that Stepney, Coughlan, Alonso and De La Rosa were careless enough to get caught. They used their own mobiles and their own email addresses. Really stupid IMO.

    I am equally sure that other teams have done all sorts of things like this too. Does that make this any less wrong? Of course not. Does one punish these people less? Of course not. You don't stop putting criminals in prison because you can't catch every criminal.

    I think an interesting angle on this is to focus on how significant the data actually was. In the wider scheme of things, knowing about which gas the tyres were filled with, the weight distribution, the flexy wing, which lap Kimi would pit on etc etc...these are pretty minor things. But that's not the point, misdeeds are wrong on principle and not because of their degree. The degree of the misdeed should affect the degree of the punishment NOT whether it is right or wrong to punish at all.

    Once again, just my 2 cents..No offence intended to anyone...

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    doyle said:
    For the tires, they are all equal, how the teams prepare those tires is not equal, but that is within the rules. To me, the essence of the technical end of F1 is the innovation within the strict rules that allow engineers to flourish and gain advantage through intelligent thinking.

    Have you seen any of NASCARs previous rule infraction scandals? Many of them make F1 cheaters look like amateurs.



    The "rules" have been written in such a way in the last 10-15 years as to make this mainly a constructors championship and not a drivers championship.

    They need to go back to manual shifting, no traction control, and things like brake bias maually adjustable by the driver.

    If the current trend continues it will be a pilotless drone raced by engineers. Nascar has created a series where there is constant passing and most cars are competitive and not due to the yellow flag.

    As to the tires, I can remember a large oil company getting caught putting an additive in the fuel making it denser and more powerful. The F1 ruling body outlawed this.

    I want to see drivers make the decisions in race conditions that result in a lead or a victory and the more at the front the merrier.

    In Fact, go back to the rules and specs of the 1986 season or so with big fat sticky slicks, turbo power, large wings. Just add the newer brakes and give the drivers HUD's and the safer tubs they are in now. Also get rid of the chicanes.

    It would be a lot more exciting.

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    Espionage in various forms has been going on for decades. [...] It was in his employment contract. [...] I am equally sure that other teams have done all sorts of things like this too. [...] misdeeds are wrong on principle and not because of their degree.



    Isn't that contrary to each other? It is quite a tough thing to figure out what is going on as a media-driven individual but I do believe this is only the tip of the iceberg. I agree that it was bluntly silly to correspond via e-mail or phone about these things - on the other hand, do you really believe they are that stupid? There is only one conclusion to me: this incident is far from being an individual case.

    As to Alonso's behaviour inside the team, that is indeed a different story. No clue what is going on there...

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Actually Ferdie, I don't think it's contradictory....perhaps I may explain...

    "Espionage in various forms has been going on for decades" (but I never meant that makes it right - just that it is wrong but has been happening for a long time)
    "I am equally sure that other teams have done all sorts of things like this too"

    These 2 statements are consistent with each other and I made them in relation to the issue of 1 team spying on another...

    whereas,

    "It was in his employment contract" relates to an employee leaking secrets from his own team not 1 team spying upon another team...

    Perhaps I'm going senile Ferdie but it makes sense to me!

    Re: Very interesting F1 info from Spa

    Easy,

    you are far from going senile.

    I was rather referring to the fact that it is, not only by you, seen as a rather unsurprising thing that espionage and secrets leaking from someone have become quite usual in todays large-scale sport segments. I tend to believe that the amount of issues being hidden clearly outweigh the ones getting presented on the media.

    I don't see this as a tragic thing, I just tend to believe that sportsmanship has been replaced by sole financial intentions for a certain number of people at least on that scale, may it be F1 racing, cycling or some other sports.

     
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