Are You F1’s Future?

One day soon, Adrian Newey will have to retire. Ross Brawn will take permanent gardening leave, and Martin Whitmarsh will need help holding Lewis back. For anyone intelligent enough to realise the drivers are merely faces protecting the most respected engineers, mechanics and designers from the media, heres some words of wisdom from Formula One experts to the ambitious youth wanting to join the elite.

Young people hoping to work in Formula One in the future have been given a wealth of advice from some of the most respected individuals in the industry on the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Many students dream of working in motorsports and are unsure how to get involved. It is a sport that many dream of reaching but only a select few are lucky enough to be able to get involved.

Adrian Newey, engineer at Red Bull Racing, spoke to the press at the Monaco circuit to give some words of wisdom to enthusiastic students. He said: “I guess the first question is where he or she wants to work, so is it technical, is it in marketing and so on and so forth. In my own area, on the technical side, I think by and large, academic studies help, so going to a good university, if that’s possible, is clearly useful.

“At that point the person probably needs to decide which area they are going to specialise in. Try and get some experience as well, even if it’s working with a very small team, then anything that helps to build your CV and show that you are a committed, dedicated to motor racing and have both an academic flair and a real enthusiasm is mainly what we’re looking for.”

With more people than ever wanting to work in motor sport vacancies can be limited. The job market is tougher than ever and competition is fierce among candidates.

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Racing, warned young people that motor sport is a difficult area to try and find a job. He commented: “Those of us, who are working in Formula One or in motor sport, are very, very lucky. It’s a great career but it’s massively competitive, it’s still a relatively small industry so I think if anyone sets their sights on a career within motor sport they should also have a Plan B because however good you are, you might not be fortunate enough to get in.”

Graeme Lowdon, Marussia Virgin representative, urged young people to take their time when trying to get into motor sport. He said: “It’s a mixture of experience but also knowledge. There are a remarkable number of people who look to get into a racing team who haven’t prepared themselves with either and it constantly amazes me. There is no secret; it’s down to hard work and application, and if you’re prepared to put in the hard work and apply yourself, then anybody can get into the sport. But as Martin says, whether they stay in is a different matter.”

Vijay Mallya, owner of Force India, gave an insight into the amount of people in India that dream of working in Formula One. He stated: “A lot of Indian technology companies are already supporting established Formula One teams but I represent a country that is full of aspiration, with 500 million youngsters under the age of 18, aspiration levels run really, really high and everybody wants to be part of Formula One because of the image that Formula One has.

“The number of CVs and applications coming through from people who want to be involved in engineering and design is quite incredible. There’s a lot of talent out there. We have some internships already running for young Indian engineers so yes, there’s a huge amount of opportunity.”

While options appear to be limited the team representatives all agree that with a combination of hard work and determination, young people can make it to the very top.

Editors Note: Any youth interested in F1 would do well to go to any European University and discuss the opportunities of a FormulaStudent project for your final year dissertation. Or try @FormulaStudent.


How do you solve a problem like Felipe?

As the season begins, fans lay praise upon the Petrov fluke and write off Quick Nick and a Stick in the mud, the only issue worth talking about is the second Ferrari seat of 2012.

I’ve had a lot of mocking as I dared to hint at Quick Nick going toe to toe with Fernando next year, but let’s look at the options and situation overall.

Quick Nick is my prime candidate to take over. I feel if he can produce a good haul of points, scoring over 1/3 more than a resurgent Petrov , steal a win or a succession of podiums and maybe get ahead of Massa at some noticeable points of the year, he’d stand a chance.

Come 2012 he would be booted by Renault as they welcome back Kubica and if Ferrari wanted to replace a demoralised Massa Nick is the ONLY proven option when you consider, the Alonso Factor.

Select in your mind any driver on the current grid with over two years of experience, who would consider being Alonso’s wing man. Taking into consideration they’d be knowingly walking into Ferrari as the ‘other driver’, but would also need to have pace not to put the second Ferrari on the back end of the grid.

Unfortunately, the shortlist is very, very short. Aside from Heidfeld I can see two options.

Swapping Massa. His last year of contract needs to be honoured, but as ever he can be ‘placed’ somewhere else, much like we’ve seen in the past.

So how do you solve a problem like Felipe?

Sauber, a team he knows, a team who likes him, and more importantly a team who has KobayBASHi to send in return. Ticks a few boxes, but would KobayBASHi be ok next to Alonso? With no Japanese manufacturers, I think so.

Toro Rosso? Well their Italian, they run Ferrari Engines and there after money. They wouldn’t mind playing host to Massa and giving rising star Ricciardo a competitive yard stick to race against.

Buemi and Alguersuari have struggled to prove themselves against each other. But again, having one of the drivers to send back the other way is a bonus. Jaime is still young and if he bode his time learning at Alonso’s knee and polishing his shoes, he could have a shot in the future.

The last, final, desperate option, is to keep a very unhappy, demoralised off-form Massa and watch a championship winning car trundle round in 6th place.

F1 Rules For Fans

When you think about it, Gaadafi has his good points. Continuity after all is a good thing we’re lead to believe. But then how can a country; or any collection of people for that matter, cope after 30 years under the same tyrannical control of one man. So surely, like the Libyan freedom fighters before us it’s time for change. The Tyrant? One, Bernard Ecclestone.

Now, continuity is good, and I like Bernie, and I don’t think that there’s anyone out there who could replace him right now. And the last thing I want is for CVC to be run my some committee or elected president, in other words, democracy is not the way to go.

Image the chaos of everyone fighting their own corners over tiny issues. The sport would be in ruins. So keep Bernie but just implement a few changes to make the world of F1 racing and ‘the show’ better.

Step One.
Revert all the technical regulations back to 1986 specification, however give a minimum weight of 750kg and a maximum overhead expenses budget of 50 million. Throw in a few clauses to stop the team outsourcing everything and await the amazing 8 wheeler from HRT, and a treble-F-duct-blown-diffusers from McLaren.

Step Two.
Scrap safety cars and blue flags. Red flags would become more prominent but rolling restarts would prove a hit. Have every team on different fuel and tyre suppliers, with no minimum but a maximum limit of 3 pit stops per car per race.

Step Three.
Introduce a relegation zone, where the team classified last in F1’s constructor table and the constructions winners of F2 swap series. To stop yo-yoing or any difficulties in design a different specification car, F2 would remain a standard car across the series designated by the FIA, and the bottom three teams in F1 would have to pool all their design drawings/ideas/data together and hand over a copy also to the newly promoted outfit as well as the surviving rival.

And there you have it, three easy steps to make F1, Fan friendly, a Fantastic Spectacle and most importantly Fast.

2012 Silly Season

Now let’s not mince our words. What happened to Bobby K was horrific. He was very lucky to survive, but the sudden upturn in media attention the week following can’t be ignored. F1 is only popular when it’s dangerous. That’s why WSBK and MotoGP get bigger crowds, the excitement the crashes. YouTube ‘F1 highlights’ and the views will be in the thousands, then YouTube ‘F1 Crashes’ the views are in the Millions. Crashes and unpredictability create interest, why else is Bernie wanting a sprinkler system on every corner?

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to explain my big movers for 2012. Lots of seats are set in stone. Williams will stay with the South American contingent. Force India will finally get rid of Sutil and he’ll end up at Team Lotus/Malaysia1 with Hiekki. Lower down the grid there may not be many developments, except I do hope Senna lands a seat somewhere in a half decent car. Force India will retain Di Resta and possibly sign Glock after he proves the ‘best of the new-ish teams’.

The big seats may see a famous helmet roll off the grid like Kimi Raikkonnen before them. But first Mclaren, who will remain as is, unless Button really messes up. Red Bull and Ferrari will stick with their Number 1 drivers [and we know who they’ll be] but the second seats will be very much up for grabs.

And this is where it gets interesting.

Lotus/Renault will welcome back Bobby K with open arms in the winter testing, sending Quick Nick and his beard packing. That leaves open one slot at each Lotus/Renault, Red Bull and Ferrari; with Massa, Webber, Petrov, KobayBASHi and Heidfeld having the best chances of securing a ride.

So, Red Bull, after having had a great 2011 season, winning the Constructors but not the Drivers [that will go to Alonso]; Will be looking at ‘refreshing’ their line up and to outrage from me, myself and I won’t promote anyone from Toro Rosso. I bet they’ll strike a deal for KobayBASHi with Sauber, sending Webber the other way or into retirement. Lotus/Renault have Kubica and Petrov under contract, but with a shakey-looking Bobby K comeback in testing, I think they’ll seriously be looking to get a unhappy Massa away from Ferrari and hopefully back to his best.

So you guessed it folks. Ferrari, and this is the team I’m making the big reputation gamble on, will after winning the Drivers Championship with Alonso, destroying Massa’s confidence, losing out on the Constructors (rightly) to Red Bull, will be looking around for a consistent Number Two who doesn’t mind taking on Alonso with three wheels on the car and last month’s upgrades.

Ferrari will sign the old German ‘Comeback King’ himself, the man Mercedes always wanted but only recently signed, the only man to consistently out perform Bobby K, Kimi Raikkonnen, Nico Rosberg, Rubens Barrichello, and Pedro De La Rosa, the one and only, the fastest beard wearer in the world, known as Quick Nick Heidfeld!

Oh yeah, I forgot those other German guys, Mercedes? Well, I guess they could hire The Hulk if finally Schumi gives in.

The 2011 Rules & Regs

Theres a lot of #f1chat about the big changes to the rules and cars in the new 2011 season.

Moveable Wings, KERs, new tyres… But hang on, let’s think about this.

The Moveable wing isn’t like the flap you see on a Veyron, a big barn door that increases drag hugely into a braking zone. Oh no, this is more like having a letterbox fitted in the middle of your prime billboard, absolutely pointless.

KERs still has its problem from 2009. Unless the driver is 5ft and shares his girlfriends size 6 dresses on his weekend off, the damn thing weighs too much and doesn’t kick back enough of a boost.

And lastly, our last hope of ‘exciting racing’? Tyres; that would last longer if they were made out of puff pastry, “Oh there’ll be more stops, more variation” the PR bods shout.

But if I rewind a year I believe we banned refuelling because it was too predictable. Drivers didn’t overtake because it was ‘too risky’. Understandable, but how risky is overtaking a car driven by Adrian Sutil with zero grip in his tyres?

Nope I’m sorry, but none of these factors look like working to ‘improve the show’. The combined effect of all three however, could be a different story. That is however, if you want to improve the show. And on that note I’ll leave you with a quote from a much smarter man than I. One Peter D. Windsor.

Why do the power-brokers insist on trying to make F1 “more exciting”? It’s great as it is. Just give us better, inter-active TV.