Christian Horner, Red Bull, 2011

Horner: 2011 ??will be an arms race??

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today?s round-up: Christian Horner says the 2011 season ??will effectively be an arms race in terms of development and getting performance from the car?? and expects Red Bull’s rivals to be ??hugely competitive at forthcoming races??.

In today’s round-up:

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Red Bull rivals ‘will fight back’ says Christian Horner (BBC F1)

??Red Bull believe rivals McLaren and Ferrari will bounce back after Sebastian Vettel’s dominant win in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.??

Gascoyne: Sepang better for Lotus (Autosport)

??Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne is confident that his team will be in a stronger position in Malaysia, both because it is identified and fixed its Melbourne issues, and because he believes the Sepang track will play to the T128’s strengths.??

Team Lotus say they more Malaysian than F1 rivals (Reuters)

??Team Lotus took another dig at Formula One rivals Group Lotus on Sunday while looking forward to showing their true colours in a Malaysian Grand Prix homecoming next weekend.??

Reaction to Putrajaya demo (TeamLotus.com)

??Team Lotus held the first Formula 1 street demonstration in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya this weekend.??

Karthikeyan optimistic over Formula One career (The Times of India)

??Narain Karthikeyan has made clear he believes he can enjoy a resurgent Formula One career in the year of India’s first Grand Prix – starting with his Hispania team making it on to the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix.??

Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix Facts and figures (Ferrari)

??7 pole positions for the Scuderia in the Malaysian Grand Prix: five for Michael Schumacher (the first four of them consecutively, from ?99 to 2002) and two for Felipe Massa, who was fastest in qualifying in 2007 and 2008.??

Proud Hamilton watches brother’s race debut (Reuters)

??Lewis Hamilton was a proud spectator as younger half-brother Nicolas made his motor racing debut in a junior saloon car series at Brands Hatch at the weekend. The 19-year-old rookie, who has had to overcome cerebral palsy to make his way to the starting grid, finished last on the track in both his Renault Clio Cup races over the weekend but with competitive lap times.

????Today was only my seventh time in the car and I was less than a second off the fastest driver.???

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

Comment of the day

Were you in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix? Almost 300,000 paying fans were but the organisers are still expected to record a loss similar to the $49.5 million of last year. Funkyf1 says:

As someone who actually attends the Melbourne GP yearly, the event has definitely lost some sparkle.

I?m there to see F1 cars, but in the early days the attractions other than the race cars were huge from aerial displays (1 black hawk this yr) to army demonstrations, F1 cars on show, massive marquees and other assorted displays. In the past few years, the event has become more corporate orientated with less for the general spectator to see.

It appears not one person from the organization has bothered to try and cut costs or increase the value. Poor management and lack of government assistance has lead to the increase in costs and loss of interest for this event. No need for reminders about what this does for our state or country, just a kick up the behind for Ron Walker and crew to rectify the issue before it?s too late.
Funkyf1

From the forum

Philonso asks: if Massa got the boot, who should replace him at Ferrari?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to d_omin!

On this day in F1

The first Bahrain Grand Prix was held on this day in 2004.

But following the postponement of this year’s race when, if ever, will F1 return?

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Keith Collantine
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  • 106 comments on “Horner: 2011 ??will be an arms race??”

    1. It was interesting watching Nicholas in that Clio Cup, the onboard saw him as so relaxed as if he was driving down the shops. Unlucky shunt at McLaren though.

      1. And I think it was his teammate that punted him off the track too!

        Considering he hadn’t driven a racing car before 2011 it was a very impressive performance.

        Could the Hamiltons be the new Schumachers?!

        1. Lewis is Ralf? Who would’ve thought it =P

    2. Oh Keith, for the past 2 days i’ve been having major loading problems with the forum and articles. I tried it with Chrome, IE and Firefox (All updated) and had to refresh at least 5 times before I got the page loaded.

      Is it a server side problem as I know a lot of people have had the same issue?

      1. Yes Keith, I think It’s been exactly two days since the ‘Ad-loop’ returned. (it seems a bit worse now)

      2. I was having a few problems last week too, the site (and the forum in particular) were taking a while to load. Over the weekend it’s been fine for me, but I’ve been using a different computer, so perhaps that has something to do with it

        1. I’m in Australia, running Chrome, IE and Firefox, but F1Fanatic only ever loads pages if I have several tabs open and I keep cycling through them as the site is loading. (Very strange, but it works) It is as if it’s giving it a boot or something, because if I open a browser and open a single tab (F1Fanatic) it will never load. It just gets caught in (what Cacarella referred to it as) the ‘Ad-loop’.

          1. Yep, I’ve been experiencing the dreaded “ad loop” the last couple of days as well. It was working great for a couple days before that though.

            1. Seems I “spoke” too soon above, as I’m now having no trouble loading pages lightning quick. Everything’s working perfectly again…

            2. Is this loop the reason Opera crashes? I’ve had crashes the past couple of days in Opera 11 on Windows 7 (both Home 32-bit and Ultimate 64-bit). Opera blames the Shockwave plugin.

        2. I got the impression it was loading pretty slow for me during the weekend. Seems to be fine now though.

      3. I had the same issue before, but ever since I got AdBlock for Chrome then the page loads a lot faster and consistently. However, I assume Keith doesn’t want us resorting to this as advertisement is a huge source of income for the site. I’ll want to do what I can to ensure Keith is able to continually provide us with the amazing F1 content he always has, but as a temporary measure AdBlock sure seems to work.

        1. As you said, Keith would prefer you didn’t use adblockers. If everyone using this site were blocking ads, the site would simply go away, which none of us want. So I intend to suffer through with as many page refreshes as it takes to get the site to load properly, and I hope you all do the same. I’m sure Keith is doing everything he can to resolve the issue quickly.

      4. Jarred Walmsley
        4th April 2011, 5:30

        Yes, my problems come back as well, although it is only on Chrome, firefox works fine

        1. Sush Meerkat
          4th April 2011, 7:55

          I tried it with Chrome, IE and Firefox

          I’m the only person in the World Wide Web that doesn’t have loading issues, thats because I use Opera…

          I know I sound like a stuck record but seriously guys, use Opera Browser.

          1. As soon as there’s an Opera for iPad I’ll give it a shot.

      5. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll have a look into what’s happening this time.

        Can anyone who has the problem please emila me and let me know the following:

        1. What browser/s you tried and what happened.
        2. Where you’re trying to access the site from (i.e. which country)

        As US_Peter says, please don’t use ad blockers. Without the revenue from ads there will not be enough revenue to run the site and I’ll have to close it down. It’s as simple as that.

        1. Ned Flanders
          4th April 2011, 10:59

          The adverts on this site are fine anyway. No annoying pop ups or audio ones, and besides, they add a bit of colour to the home page!

        2. I notice since you switched to the new format the pages load in the following sequence.

          1. Top banner loads
          2. Right side adds load up
          3. More from f1fanatic links load up
          4. The article itself loads up

          Usually steps 1 & 2 load very fast and then the wait begins.

          To me it is a perception thing as I feel nothing is happening after step 2 and maybe nothing will happen, but if i patiently wait then step 3 and 4 complete.

          Maybe you could try to change the sequence to 1, 4, 2, 3? Or give feedback indicating that steps 3 and 4 are loading.

    3. How was Brands Hatch, Keith?

      I’ve also been having some problems loading forum pages on chrome.

      1. Lots of fun – the BTCC races didn’t quite live up to their reputation for mayhem but still lots of good racing. They have some decent support races too, though it was worrying to see the Formula Renault field looking so thin.

        Nicolas Hamilton was rather unlucky in his second Clio race – he started last but got ahead of someone on the first lap who then knocked him off. The safety car came out and although Hamilton was now last he had to queue behind it with the rest of the field behind him. They eventually let him go but they restarted the race while he was still half a lap behind the field. He did begin to catch the car in front of him but the race was never going to be long enough for him to reach.

        1. Watching what I could of the BTCC on ITV4, Although the field was large (although not as large as the full entry list suggests) the racing was rather tame and well-behaved by Touring Car standards. Hopefully this’ll change over the coming races as more entrants get their cars ready, and they really need to start fighting for those points positions.

          ITV managed to cement their place as ‘the Hamilton Show’ by interviewing Nick before the winner of the Clio race. When they finally interviewed the winner, all they asked him about was Nick. Classic ITV there.

          1. Glad I was spared that. BTCC is a terrific series to watch at the track, especially somewhere like Brands Indy where you can see so much. Should be doing Oulton and Snetterton as well this year.

            Oh, and Pinkney’s Audi did manage half a lap, though the engine had died as he came past us at Druids just before race three.

            1. I’ve only ever attended the BTCC once, and that was back at a rain-sodden Silverstone in 1998, the race that Will Hoy famously won in the usually backmarking Mondeo. I remember it being a lot of fun, and the amount of interaction you get with the drivers and teams. I got half the drivers’ autographs and so many photos. I hope it’s still the same as it was back then.

              Hopefully I’ll see you at Snetterton, as it’s only an hour or two up the road from me. Rockingham and Silverstone are also fairly close, so I plan on going to those as well.

            2. Yeah I went to Donnington and Silverstone in ’97 and ’98. I only went to see the Audi’s and the Renaults (God they looked good). I feel BTCC was a lot better in those days.

            3. If you have to choose between the two go for Silverstone over Rockingham, the massive stands make it feel almost empty for BTCC – even with half of them closed. It doesn’t help that the only spectator section is around the oval where there’s hardly any overtaking either (you can see the infield if you have binoculars :P). I went to both last year and Silverstone was 10x better.

        2. I first started watching the BTCC a couple of years ago(after realising 6 years of university tuition fees wasn’t going to allow for watching an F1 race live!) but it’s actually a really good day of racing. I’ve watched it at Silverstone for the last 2 years and I think it’s geared really nicely for spectators. You’re right about the support races; I always enjoy the Ginetta races the most (the junior races are always… interesting).

    4. I’m not sure I like how Team Lotus claim to have Malaysian blood deep in their veins, then when they move to the Euorpean races they’ll claim to have the ‘Lotus History’ deep in their veins. I find it disrespectful actually.

      1. Megawatt Herring
        4th April 2011, 1:52

        Must feel a bit of a slap in the face for all the people working in Norfolk.

        1. Well Mercedes is going to want to get a good result in Malaysia too because of Petronas. It works in the same kind of way for Team Lotus as most of the investment (Actually pretty much all of it) comes from the Malaysian owners.

      2. But lets take a closer look at the British Auto industry.

        Rolls Royce/Bentley Gone German
        Layland Indian
        Lotus – Malaysian
        Rover – Indian
        TVR – Russian
        Land Rover/ Range Rover – Indian
        Jaguar – oh no Indian
        Aston Martin – Offloaded by chance into British hands perhaps if another company had offered $2 more, might be owned by a different country now.
        So Patriotism alone doesn’t fund a car operation, but raw cash will do nicely.

        Note I didn’t mention the Mini as we all remember how BMW plucked it out of Rover and tossed the rest of Rover over their perimeter fencing.

    5. Fernandes: “There will be three teams here with links to Malaysia but only one team that has Malaysian blood running deep in its veins, with Malaysian staff contributing to our growth at every level”

      So, you’re 100% Lotus, AND 100% Malaysian?! Jeez, make your mind up! Everyone knows that Group Lotus have really messed them around, but instead of stooping to (and even below) their level with petty name calling and accusations, why couldn’t Fernandes just be the bigger man and sort things out sensibly, behind the scenes?

      1. Good timing Ned, we had the exact same thought at the exact same time, hundreds of miles away.
        Creeeepy!

        1. Make that three. Either its Team Lotus, then its not malaysian. Or its malaysian, then its not the british team lotus history, but only AirAsia (which would be fine too). They will have to decide, but well, its PR blabber anyway and seems they are doing quite some PR work at the moment.
          Maybe the upcoming court decision will help them out of their “identity crisis”.

      2. Ned, Lotus is owned 100% by Malaysians….

        1. I think he knows that, but they can’t one day run around claiming to be totally malaysian (as the other Lotus) and the next day claim to be totally Team Lotus with all of its history which is a british history .. they are even racing british racing green (or an incarnation of it i guess). They can’t flipflop as needed. That behaviour annoys me, and I’m even one of the few who don’t mind them being Team Lotus (in case they have a standing deal).

        2. Ned Flanders
          4th April 2011, 10:46

          Well, McLaren is part owned by Bahraini’s, but I wouldn’t class them as Bahraini team at all. Same for Ferrari and Abu Dhabi (I think), Williams and Austria etc

          1. Ferrari bought that stake back last year (and it was only about 10 percent, far from the 40+% for Bahrain in McLaren).

            But yeah, taking the stake holders would not really make sense. How many of a big stock market traded company is ever owned by companies from one country? Not too much I guess.

          2. I agree Ned, and for the same reasons I don’t consider Red Bull Austrian or Force India Indian. They’re almost all British as far as I’m concerned. The only team I don’t know how to classify is HRT, are they German?

      3. Exactly right, he’s not doing himself any favours with all this public bickering.. I can’t help but wonder why he is fighting this battle at all..

      4. Ooo Fernandes is starting to creep me out now! He needs to shut up.

      5. I think most of this was said during that demonstration run in Malaysia with the minister of sport present.

        Targetting to get the Malaysian youth interested in motorsports, F1 and sports in general.

        In that context it feels less constructed.

        And he is factually right, about there being more Malaysians involved in running his team than there are at MercedesGP (none) and Renault (only 1 in the drives squad).

        1. Ned Flanders
          4th April 2011, 10:48

          My issue’s not that he sees thenm as a Malaysian team- I suppose to an extent it is. What I hate is that he thinks it can be Malaysian and a true Lotus team- that’s not possible

          1. I suppose its just a matter of highlighting the being “Malaysian” when talking to the crowd there, in front of the countries sport minister (getting him in to Fernandes plans for a local racing series, or a training centre?) and being British racing green Team Lotus in the rest of the world.

            Sure not really nice, but I suppose we did get to think of Fernandes a bit too much like a “nice guy” and with rose tinted spectacles last year.

            I must say, I admire what he has achieved so far. And he seems to have the (slightly?) better argument in the court cases. And Bahar’s plans for GL are just ridiculous and a major cost burden for Malaysia.

      6. On the basis that I’m british, and based in Britain, I’m going to be claiming a visa to work over there.

        This whole plastic branding act between the two teams is getting a little bit old now isnt it.

        I look forward to their dispute and playground games being solved one way or the other.

    6. Looking at the gap Red Bull has, I can’t see it being any different from last year. I think it will be up to Red Bull whether they win or lose it.

      1. I think you’re right. RB seems to have a similar advantage as compared to last year, but what makes them even more formidable is that they have put a lot of emphasis on reliability this year. It wasn’t only a handful of screw ups from Vettel that made last year’s championship interesting, but it was around 70 points that Vettel lost due to reliability issues. So, if RB are equally fast, more reliable, and if Vettel has his head screwed on right, then this championship is pretty much over already.

    7. Mr. Horner

      We know Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will be hugely competitive at forthcoming races.

      ..but not Felipe? Unless Alonso’s out of the race, perhaps.

      1. what about Karthikeyan? how could he forget to mention him! :D

      2. Well, I wouldn’t think of Felipe in that line of thought. Maybe add him later, like with Schu and Nico Rosberg showing strong to mix it in for the podium as well

    8. I think its interesting to see that Horner says “We know Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will be hugely competitive at forthcoming races.” He not only leaves out merc and renault,but massa at ferrari, or maybe Red Bull Mind Games again?

      1. I think he is just being realistic. But who knows, maybe some of those you mention can surprise us.

        1. Felipe is still capable of good results. He was incredibly unlucky in the whole situation with Jenson in AUS. He had a chance to finish ahead of Alonso in that race.

          The same Felipe we saw in 2008 is still there somewhere. I would like to see it again.

    9. Prisoner Monkeys
      4th April 2011, 2:00

      “Team Lotus took another dig at Formula One rivals Group Lotus on Sunday while looking forward to showing their true colours in a Malaysian Grand Prix homecoming next weekend.”

      When did Lotus Renault GP ever claim to be Malaysian? That’s like saying they’re more Malaysian than Hispania.

      1. I think that’s just to do with Group Lotus being owned by Proton. Don’t know if they’ve actually gone around saying this is like a home event though.

        1. Don’t know if they’ve actually gone around saying this is like a home event though.

          They haven’t. In this whole affair, I think they’ve only spoken up once.

      2. When did Lotus Renault GP ever claim to be Malaysian?

        That’s exactly what I was thinking… Originally, I was on Fernandes’ side, now I am no-one’s side. Neither of them deserve it.

        1. I thought Reanult with GL was trying to be British hence racing under the British flag?

          1. I wouldn’t say they’re “trying” to be British. Although Lotus Cars – the Lotus that sponsors renault – is owned by Proton, a Malaysian company, they are still considered to be British.

            Neither of them deserve it.

            Don’t be so quick to judge. If Fernandes did indeed break the licencing contract, then Group Lotus have a perfectly acceptable reason to call themselves Lotus: they are Lotus Cars, the car manufacturer, and have every right to compete under that name – even if the courts tell them they have no claim to the hertage of Team Lotus.

            1. Don’t be so quick to judge. If Fernandes did indeed break the licencing contract, then Group Lotus have a perfectly acceptable reason to call themselves Lotus: they are Lotus Cars, the car manufacturer, and have every right to compete under that name – even if the courts tell them they have no claim to the hertage of Team Lotus.

              But getting involved in the first place was enough to annoy me. What harm was Fernandes doing in running a fun team under the Lotus name? None.

            2. What harm was Fernandes doing in running a fun team under the Lotus name?

              He wasn’t doing any harm – until he went and used the Lotus Cars name (the Lotus that ran in 2010 was not Team Lotus; it was a Lotus running under licence from Lotus Cars) in a way that Group Lotus did not approve of, and they evidently feel that in doing so, Tony Fernandes damaged their name. That’s why they’re getting involved: to protect their image.

            3. PM, first of all. The matter of weather Fernandes team did enough to warrent GL cancelling the agreement early is for the courts to decide.

              But (apparently apart from you) no one believes this to be the true reason, why that agreement was cancelled. Even Bahar admitted in interviews, that he just wanted to get rid of Fernandes as he has different ideas of how to do the tie in with F1 than via that team.

              The lotus image was defenitely harmed more by the way this agreement was cancelled and its aftermath than by Fernandes’ team working hard to build up a racing outfit and whatever T-shirt or badge was the given reason for that cancellation.

              The fact remains, even if GL were not happy with how Fernanedes was using the licence, the only legal way to end is was agreeing upon such a step with Fernandes or finding a clear breach of the agreement. That first was not used, the second matter is now for the courts to decide on its merit.

            4. the second matter is now for the courts to decide on its merit.

              Somehow I don’t think everyone will suddenly jump to Bahar’s side even if the court rules in his favour. Although it would put an interesting spin on Fernandes’ insistence that “the good always win.” ;)

              Like most F1 disputes, the courts can get on and do their job but where the fans’ sympathies lie will always be tribal in nature.

              For me, Fernandes seems to be becoming increasingly unhinged with his bizarre statements and attempts to court the fans, which he somehow thinks will help him in the courts. What he doesn’t (or won’t) realise is that an increasing number of us are becoming unspeakably bored with this spectacle of two bald men fighting over a comb, and would like all involved to just quieten down and get on with racing.

            5. Even Bahar admitted in interviews, that he just wanted to get rid of Fernandes as he has different ideas of how to do the tie in with F1 than via that team.

              And that’s the crux of the matter. The dispute (supposedly) revolves around merchandising. If Fernandes attempted to use the Lotus name outside the agreed-upon terms of the contract, why should Bahar simply roll over and let him do it?

            6. The dispute has nothing to do with merchandising. That was just GL finding a handle to use.
              The real issue is why on earth did GL not let Fernandes go their way and promote the brand in F1 almost for free and use the money saved to actually build the sports cars or put into other racing series?
              Even the tie-in with Renault would have been no problem, profiting from the renault engine in the back of Fernandes’ cars.

            7. promote the brand in F1 almost for free

              Anyone in marketing will tell you that there is no such thing as free marketing. Even if it looks free – there will always be a price. It might not be a monetary one, but it has to be paid. In the case of Lotus, there is evidence to suggest that Tony Fernandes was planning to seize control of Lotus Cars through the team.

            8. Sure PM, it was suggested by a load of people last year and it might have made a lot of sense to Fernandes and Proton to do so.

              But only before Bahar got to the scene (that’ll be the real reason for him not liking Fernandes, they are rivals of sorts here). With Bahar at the helm, the only way for Fernandes to do so would be after Bahars plans fail to bring Lotus success!
              It shows how even Bahar is not too sure about his megalomantic plan succeeding. Proton would not sell a rejuvenated Lotus to Fernandes and Fernandes would not be interested in paying big money just to own it.

            9. And as for your

              Anyone in marketing will tell you that there is no such thing as free marketing

              Thanks for the tip, but I quite know my way around Marketing for years now. Not a theme where I fathom learning anything new from you, no offence ment.

            10. With Bahar at the helm, the only way for Fernandes to do so would be after Bahars plans fail to bring Lotus success!

              Wrong. Fernandes has considerable pull with the Malaysian government. It wouldn’t be hard for him to convince Kuala Lumpur to give him control of Lotus Cars.

              Your entire argument seems to be based on “Tony Fernandes should win because he is more likeable, has been in the sport longer, and has done more than Bahar”, which is not a valid argument.

          2. Two times wrong there.
            Fernandes might have clout with the government, but now even the ex-prime minister is behind Bahar, they will not stop supporting him until a fail is all but undeniable.

            As for “liking” Fernandes. Yes, I think he is successfull (Air Asia, international awards) and I admire how he seems to get a team motivated to get most out of people. And he was not doing much wrong with Lotus, actually he had the world in genereal accepting he was using the brand by mid last season.
            But not for a minute do I think he is a really nice guy and hero for everyone. He has a vision and wants to achieve something. And he used PR to make it work for him.
            But at least Fernandes was putting his own money into it, not the Malaysian tax payers’ money.

      3. I think they want to be seen as a British manufacturer.

        1. Meh, they’re both British, just running with Malaysian money. One car is made in Norfolk, the other in Oxfordshire. The engines come from France.

          They can run with Malaysian or French flags above the door all they like. They’re no more Malaysian/French than Manchester City FC are United Arab Emirate-ish, for example.

          1. Exactly. Aston Martin are owned by a UAE consrtium, Rolls Royce are owned by BMW, VW own Seat and Skoda among others…and yet we still call all of these companies British or Spanish.

            Why should we in F1 start assigning teams a nationality based on where their money comes from? If we start doing that then lets start calling Mercedes Emarati…

            1. or Czech in the case of Skoda!

              I agree with both of you on the money. It would make McLaren a Bahraini company, who knows who owns majority stock of some of other the bigger companies now (China putting in a lot of money as well, Libya has some, several arab countries own a lot, …).

    10. Arms race…if it was early 2000s(without RRA), Ferrari should be winner.

    11. COTD!!! Funkyf1 for Melbourne Mayor :)

    12. Accidental Mick
      4th April 2011, 8:12

      I must be wrong (again) but I thought that KERS was mandatory this year. Will somebody please put me straight.

      1. Nope. You would have seen FOTA kicking off immediately. Only DRS is compulsory out of the two.

        1. No, DRS isn’t mandatory either.

      2. It’s not, Lotus, HRT, Virgin and Red Bull didn’t race it in Australia.

    13. I do hope we get more out of the T128. Melbourne didn’t excite me enough.

    14. What about Quatar stepping in to take over the slot left from the Bahrain GP. Certainly the situation in Bahrain does not stem hopefull for a return there anytime soon.

      1. Arghh, every time I go on his blog I want to punch my screen when I see his face.

        But Qatar is a dire track, i’d rather it not go there. Bahrain or nothing, we don’t have to squeeze in another track just for the sake of it.

        1. I must say, that I doubt we will be going to Bahrain any time soon. Quatar certainly has the money for it.
          On the other hand, not going to Bahrain might just open up enough space to fit in the USGP without dropping anything else next year.

        2. It wouldn’t exactly be “for the sake of it.” The Middle East is an important and growing market. We’ve got Abu Dhabi, but there is a definite argument for another ME race.

          Although I agree, the Losail circuit itself is rubbish. If MotoGP races there are dull I dread to think what F1 would be like.

          1. Ned Flanders
            4th April 2011, 10:57

            “The Middle East is an important and growing market”

            Yes, but why go to the tiny countries like Bahrain and Qatar, and the not much bigger countries like the UAE. Surely if they’re looking to do business larger Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Morocco or Saudi Arabia would provide bigger markets?

            Although, I think it’s safe to say that region has bigger things to worry about these days…

            1. Well the UAE already has Abu Dhabi…

          1. One replacement screen ordered.

          2. Dirty Trick!

      2. I’d love a race in Qatar…just because its an hours plane trip from Dubai. :)

      3. What about Quatar stepping in to take over the slot left from the Bahrain GP.

        Because it’s a horrible circuit. They can’t even pass each other in MotoGP.

        1. Which makes it perfect for a grand prix doesnt it. No chance to overtake, lots of money.

          I call that bernie o clock.

      4. Ned Flanders
        4th April 2011, 10:53

        God no!! The Moto GP race there a fortnight ago pulled in a whopping crowd of 4,000 on raceday. My local non league team gets bigger attendances than that…

        1. Why is it so imperative that a race has a high turnout? Television audiences will always outweigh the event attendance. When Formula 1 only attracts 4,000 viewers, then you have something to worry about.

          1. As you say yourself above, Ned refers to it being so interesing a track as to be able to draw a sellout crowd of 4.000 for MotoGP!

            1. I don’t think the crowds there had much to do with how “interesting” the circuit is.

    15. an arms race in formula one? i…am….shocked

      1. Exactly…F1 has always been an arms race! From moving the engine to the back to perfecting wings, from ground effect to turbos, from DDD’s to blown diffusers.

    16. There are some very nice quotes in the FT interview (subscribtion) with Todt done by James Allen (part in JAs blog as well) and Roger Blitz
      Instead of slating off Bernie to react to Bernies words he reacts like this:

      “It is important not to overreact,” he says. “I feel with confrontation, unless it is necessary to achieve a result, you lose time. I prefer to achieve results with harmony rather than confrontation.”

      Nice one Jean!

      Todt goes on to say he will certainly work on getting the FIA a bigger share of the money and a say in possible selling of the rights by CVC.

      Oh, and he also confirmed FIA is working on getting a full electric championship setup. Intersting reading:

      “If you speak to the boards of manufacturers they feel a strong interest to implement the technologies, which are not so obvious for the sporting community because it costs money and research and it doesn’t improve performance, and I understand that.”

    17. Arms race, huh?

      I can’t remember who it was, but it was an interview done during the 2009 season in which someone who worked for an F1 team said that with all the money saved in things like engines, gearboxes, etc. were simply funnelled into other areas.

      Kinda makes you think really.

    18. As others have said, it’s not exactly surprising that F1 is an “arms race” between teams trying to out-develop each other. The fact that Christian Horner feels it necessary to comment on this is symptomatic of the inflexibility of the regulations making real innovation and engineering expertise impossible.

      In an era when teams are expected to build cars that are 99% identical, the idea of anyone doing anything really radical and pushing the envelope in terms of design is actually surprising enough to be worth a news story. It’s sad to see F1 has come to this point.

      I’ve said it enough times to run the risk of becoming a broken record on the subject, but the solution is simple: relax the regulations, restrict spending and allow the best brains to win out. Those who want to watch cars that differ in colour only can have GP2 and Superleague Formula.

      1. Daniel Chico
        4th April 2011, 13:54

        Sorry for my bad english and for the sad news…

    19. Christian Horner says the 2011 season “will effectively be an arms race…

      “This ain’t a sport, it’s a god damn arms race!”

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