Audi, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

Audi rules out Formula One entry

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Audi, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015In the round-up: Audi denies it plans to race in Formula One, after Red Bull motor sport director Helmut Marko indicated the team were interested in joining forces with the German car manufacturer.


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Germany's Audi rules out entry into Formula One racing (Reuters)

"German daily Handelsblatt on Monday reported that Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler had ruled out an entry into Formula One after speculation of a partnership with former champions Red Bull. 'Formula One needs to solve its problems on its own,' Handelsblatt quoted Stadler as saying in its Monday edition."

Ferrari chasing pre-Canada traction fix (Autosport)

"I don't want to go to Canada with the same problem of traction otherwise it will be a nightmare."

Fernando Alonso expects McLaren's first points of 2015 at Monaco GP (Sky)

"(In Spain) our simulations until the retirement put us in ninth place, so (that) was already the first opportunity to get the points. In Monaco it will be the second."

Honda can give McLaren a winning engine, say rivals Mercedes (BBC)

"The way they are going about it, Honda are formidable - in their approach, investment and determination"

Virgin Targeting Formula E Title (Forbes)

"I was on course for F1 until they told me that I needed to bring millions and millions of pounds"

Management must give Valtteri Bottas the chance to be world champion - Mika Hakkinen (ESPN)

"It is the job of the managers to make sure of things off the track so that Valtteri has a chance to become a world champion one day."

Franz Tost - Q&A Interview (Crash)

"Now with the tracks in Europe, (Sainz) has an advantage because it's not only knowing where the corners are, (all of the drivers know where the corners are) but how to get the most out of qualifying, how to use the tyres in the best possible way and also especially in qualifying."

Morto Renzo Zorzi: fu in F.1 con Williams e Shadow (La Gazzetta dello Sport - Italian)

Former Formula One driver Renzo Zorzi has died at the age of 68.


Comment of the day

The Strategy Group’s plan to bring back refuelling in 2017 has been the biggest talking point on F1 Fanatic since it was announced on Friday. Here are a couple of conflicting views – make sure you add your vote to the poll here:

I have to agree with the majority of cases for leaving re-fuelling out of F1. If the purpose of re-introducing it is to ‘liven up the show’ then it is more likely to have a negative effect and passes will more likely be made in the pits.

OK so we have that to an extent at the moment where teams use pit stops to try to “under-cut” their opponents, but re-fuelling will have a greater influence on pit-stop passes.

My opinion is that the cars need to be tougher to drive. Present day F1 drivers have been often commenting on the ease at which these cars can be driven, and how they admit not being at 100% capcity within the car. If the cars were trickier to handle, more mistakes will be made (unless you’re a certain Venezuelan of course) which will lead to more on-track overtaking.

If F1 had hardier tyres that didn’t require constant managing, and less reliance on aerodynamic grip (and more on mechanical grip) it would allow drivers to have a greater chance of following the car in front, push more and give chance to more organic overtaking manoeuvres (not DRS-assisted).

It will generate good battles on track as well as pits.

Remember, in the 1994-2009 era, it was almost always the overcut that worked because a heavier car was always slower as tyres were durable. In 2010-2015, it is the undercut that almost always worked because the car was faster on newer tyres and same fuel load.

But with degrading Pirellis, we won’t be sure what will work as the undercut has advantage of fresher tyres but the disadvantage of heavier fuel load thus making it possible that both undercut and overcut work in different races depending upon traffic, track and pace difference between cars.

There will be equal onus on pit crews, drivers and team strategists to make an overtake happen. F1 will be back to being a team sport again.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to David Craft and Laurie Gregg!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alain Prost won the Monaco Grand Prix 30 years ago today despite the best efforts of Michele Alboreto who took the lead on two separate occasions only to be caught out by oil on the track at first and a puncture the second time. The oil had been left by this collision between Riccardo Patrese and Nelson Piquet:

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  • 81 comments on “Audi rules out Formula One entry”

    1. That McLaren vs Mercedes Twitter battle was cool.

    2. Yeah, because Audi entering would solve all the problems.

      1. And who could blame them after reading the recommendations of the Slapstick committee ?

      2. Easiest business decision I can imagine.

      3. ‘Formula One needs to solve its problems on its own,’

        Short, straight to the point and fully loaded.

        1. pretty much, yes.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          19th May 2015, 10:20

          Agree – that line should be CotD

          1. +1 – clearly shows VAG group’s current views on F1, whether or not the CEO like Bernie!

            1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
              19th May 2015, 13:51

              Lol I agree,

              Straight to the point from Stadler,

              does COTD have to come from below the line?

        3. That line from Audi’s Stadler is spot on. Not to mention, who would want to sign with Red Bull now after all their finger pointing at Renault? I lost respect for them after they stopped winning and started whining….shame. They were an awesome team. I hope Danny Ric can find a seat at a respectable outfit soon.

    3. To be honest, I enjoy having Audi at Le Mans more than I’d enjoy seeing them making engines in F1, so I’m quite glad about this. Shame, of course, that they won’t be in F1, but I can’t imagine what they’d gain from it.

    4. I don’t think F1 makes sense for the Audi or VW brand. Headlines and brand perception are what matters. Most customers don’t follow the sports, but they hear the headlines. ‘Audi wins 24 hours of LeMans’ as a headline creates the perception of reliability and fuel economy. Exactly what the powerfully built executive wants in his fleet car, so they tick the box for the A4 rather than a Kia and aspire to the discrete R8 as a weekend toy.

      Unless Audi are planning on getting into the ‘drivers’ car market F1 won’t really pay off for them and they don’t need to because development time spent on things like steering feel rather than the sound a door makes when it closes isn’t what sells the majority of cars.

        The global advertising value of Mercedes’ television appearances during its F1 campaign in 2014 was $2.8bn (£1.8bn).
        Experts believe the equivalent value for VAG of their sportscar and touring car programmes was about $30m (£19m).
        Mercedes spent a net 130m euros (£103m) on F1, once external sponsorship and prize money is taken into account. VAG spent about 320m euros (£254m) on DTM and sportscars.

        They really have nothing to gain in F1?

        1. Hahahaha

          Sure thing

      2. I don’t think comparing F1 with WEC makes sense at the moment, audience-wide. Sure LeMans will make the headlines, once a year, while F1 is up there at the sports section all year. Most ordinary folks know Schumacher, Alonso or Hamilton but I bet you they can’t name a single LeMans winner.

        Also, road relevance is one thing, brand exposure is another. I remember an article about RedBull stating that in order to get the same exposure on screen, they should have paid over $250 million.

        1. Wolf Barnarto, Derek Bell, Alain DeCadernet, Dan Gurney, Carol Shelby, David Brabham?

          1. Are you implying ordinary folks know who these people are? Because that’s simply not true. Heck, I have no idea who they are except for Brabham.

            1. You haven’t heard of Carol Shelby, or Derek Bell, father of Justin (who I probably should have included above), generational difference, though to be honest my mind skipped over the they in “bet you they can’t name a single LeMans winner” and leaped at the challenge.

            2. I know Shelby, but not for the fact he’s a Le Mans winner. David Brabham? Who’s he? Is he one Black Jack’s rather unsuccessful children?

            3. Some of us motorsport fans know drivers from other different motor racing. We don’t just follow F1 and that’s coming from a female motor fanatic of 50 yrs.

          2. “Most ordinary folks” meaning not motorsport enthusiasts.

        2. WEC is getting way too much praise as of late… I’d count with my fingers the amount of motorsports fans who could name 4 WEC teams and 6 WEC drivers…

          1. FlyingLobster27
            19th May 2015, 8:06

            I don’t think so. There will be four manufacturers in P1 shortly, and if you know your WEC a little, you’ll know that GTE exists, and you’d be capable of naming one of the factory teams there. If all else fails, there’s Patrick Dempsey.
            While I agree that the drivers get less publicity in the WEC, motorsports fans aren’t casual F1 viewers who would struggle to recite the list of current F1 teams. Understandably, people who are limited to F1 won’t know who’s in the WEC, but I’m sure more devoted racing followers at least know their ex-F1 names, and that is more than enough to come up with 6 WEC drivers.

            @hohum, de Cadenet never won Le Mans overall, but it’s a good name to have in your racing culture repertoire.

            1. “I’m sure more devoted racing followers at least know their ex-F1 names”

              You could not sum it up any better…

            2. Funny thing is, whenever I hear Patrick Dempsey I always think of Peter Dempsey, Indy Lights/Star Mazda race winner who had overhead onboards on his YouTube account, in a similar way to Sage Karam.

              One of these is set for the big time, at least, and Karam’s Canada onboard pile up car control/compilation of overtakes in one race will show you why. I think Dempsey ran out of money.. while the actor one won’t have that problem..

          2. The media doesn’t necessarily represent/reflect the view of motorsport fans.

          3. Mark Webber, Nico and uh, that failed Caterham guy and uh that failed HRT guy…

            1. Don’t forget that guy who plays with the TV in between qualifying sessions on SkyF1. Also known as the failed Super Aguri guy.

            2. FlyingLobster27
              19th May 2015, 17:58

              @gicu, “failed Super Aguri guy”… I believe that’s “Mister World Endurance Champion” to you. ;)

        3. @afonic

          I think not everyone appreciates the difference between exposure and brand value reinforcement. Participation in motorsports, for auto manufacturers, isn’t just a case of getting the name of the manufacturer in front of the public.

          A good friend of mine has a senior position in a marketing firm, and he told me once that most people misunderstand advertising. They think it’s about convincing new customers that these are brands worth buying. When in fact, 75-80 percent of the target for marketing will be existing customers. The real purpose of advertising (and nebulous marketing operations) is to reinforce the values of the brand to people who are already loyal to the brand. So if you own an Audi, and you see an Audi commercial which talks about the quality of the car, the luxury, the exclusivity, it makes you feel good about your purchase and reminds you of all the things you love about your car. You’ll then almost certainly buy another Audi. Likewise, if you own the old Audi R8, and you just saw the new one beat all comers at the Nurburgring 24 on its first outing, chances are you’ll be looking on the Audi site already and considering whether you should upgrade to the new one.

          It’s this reason that keeps Audi (among many others of course) from joining F1. Brand exposure is fairly meaningless unless the exposure reflects the qualities of the brand. The two crucial things that Audi would need from a motorsports venture which supports its brand values are, firstly, success – this is an obvious point but if you were to see Audi languishing at the back in the same way Honda have so far this year, that exposure damages the brand rather than reinforcing it. And secondly, it must showcase their unique technology. F1 does not give Audi the freedom to do this as the cars are all 90% identical. Even having success in F1 wouldn’t necessarily have much brand impact if the perception is that the success is based solely on finding loopholes on an otherwise identical car.

          This is why Audi are sitting pretty in sportscar racing. It may not have the exposure of F1, but it couldn’t be more in keeping with their brand values. Of course, in GT racing, the link is obvious, but endurance prototype racing is absolutely on message as well. Again, think of Audi’s brand values – cutting edge tech, intricate Quattro AWD systems, ultimate reliability, the best diesel engines in the world, and so on. In LMP1 Audi gets to demonstrate every single one of these brand values. And they’re really really really good at it too. To the point where their success has given them almost legendary status. Sure, most casual motorsports fans probably couldn’t name a single driver in Le Mans. But mention the race and they’ll almost certainly know one thing – that Audi have dominated the sport for over a decade with their diesel powered prototypes. You can’t buy that kind of advertising.

          1. @mazdachris
            I agree that a big percentage of marketing aims at existing customers, of course not 75-80 percent, as you have to see their marketing worldwide, and new markets offer more opportunities for sales.

            Formula 1 however enjoys a much wider recognition in most parts of the world (excluding USA), so the exposure is significantly higher. Everyone can identify an Formula 1 car, and I can’t say the same for LeMans prototypes.

            I don’t think Honda has damaged their brand this year, maybe to the hardcore viewer, but the casual fan has seen so much marketing about the old McLaren Honda, Ayrton, Alonso is with them, and of course, when they win they would have beat the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari, unlike Audi who was racing practically alone at 2000-2004 and with only one competitor the following year.

            Also WEC even though it’s not widely known, is massively expensive and has the paradox that one race (LeMans) is more viewed and well known than the championship itself.

          2. Apart motor racing fans, almost no one know anything about WEC and Lemans. The same don’t aply to F1.
            And i don’t think all car buyers are motor racing fans.

            The myth that WEC is not expensive (it is, and a lot) and not overly regulated it’s one of the things that shows that F1 PR machine is very, very poor.

      3. You can’t say it doesn’t make sense for Audi but it makes sense for merc/Mac/Renault/ferrari. You cannot compare wec exposure to f1. You can’t compare spending/marketing value of other racing to f1.

        1. Well I’d say that at least the McLaren and Ferrari brands are built specifically around their participation in F1. In fact, McLaren are effectively an F1 team which has taken to making road cars to expand/fund their operation. It’s often said that F1 couldn’t function without Ferrari. I’d say the opposite is also true – the brand of Ferrari, its legions of tifosi, its loyal customer base, is all built around its historic association with F1. Without F1, Ferrari wouldn’t be the company it is today.

          The link wiht Renault and mercedes is, as you say, a little harder to understand, except when you look at the historical participation for both marques. Remember that Renault is just an engine manufacturer, and had made it clear that this engine formula was necessary otherwise they’d have been ending their operations. For Renault, the road-relevance is clearly the reason they’re there – to develop their hybrid/turbo technology so that the tech can filter down to Renault’s road cars. This surely is the reason for Honda re-joining the sport as well. And one of the reasons I balk when people talk about road relevance not being important – without it we would have only two engine manufacturers, at the most. Even Mercedes has said that they were considering their future until the new engine formula came in.

          Of course, Mercedes are the only car manufacturer to actually significantly increase its operations beyond that of an engine manufacturer in the past decade. But I think their brand values are subtly different to those of Audi, and crucially the only other major motorsport they were participating in as a major factory operation was DTM. They had a customer GT operation, but that’s about it. So they were starting from a different place to Audi – potentially Audi would need to wind up its sportscar outfit in order to join F1. Mercedes were starting from scratch. In fact, Mercedes did have recent experience of F1 through McLaren and its HPP operation was still very much involved, so it was far less of a leap for them to buy out an existing team and then ramp that up to a full manufacturer outfit. It would actually have been quite a lot more work for them to get involved in sportscars than it would to get involved in F1, even if the costs for F1 were/are significantly higher. But they were at least uniquely placed to be able to ramp up their existing operations so the costs were significantly lower for them than it would be for anyone looking to build a complete turnkey F1 team from the ground up, while being far more likely to achieve success.

          I’m looking of course at F1 as it stands right now. F1 in the early noughties was a totally different prospect. Car companies were going gangbusters and pouring frightening amounts of money into all sorts of motorsports ventures. Almost all of which have now folded. F1 itself was FTA in most markets and there was a much less toxic political situation. F1 wasn’t anything like as smelly as it is now. I’m not saying at all that things couldn’t change. in fact, they probably need to, and within the next decade, if F1 is to get anywhere near to where it used to be. It would only take a relatively small change in the F1 business model, and suddenly the calculations (which just about every auto manufacturer speculatively makes on a fairly regular basis) will once again come out in F1’s favour. Right now though, for an auto manufacturer, building an F1 team doesn’t really make any sense.

    5. My guess that some brand of Volkswagen Group will enter F1 sooner or later. As I said before, exposure in F1 is so much higher, that other series like WEC can hardly justify the money spent. Also in many important markets, those championships have no coverage whatsoever. So I expect Audi or Porsche to stop racing each other any time now. (Volkswagen owns Porsche but Porsche controls Volkswagen, weird corporate stuff there).

      Even Lamborghini would be an excellent entry, with history, but I think that the high-end executive market makes more sense to them than supercars.

      1. My guess is there may not be a F1 to enter later unless there is a complete change of ownership and management and VAG are only likely to enter sooner if that happens soon.

      2. I think its funny that Audi is staying they won’t be in f1 over a small technicality, and that is no one involved with RedBull or Audi has ever mentioned anything about it, the only words are Volkswagen but I guess jornos and fans don’t want VW they only write the words audi.

        1. “If we don’t have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out,” said Marko.

      3. F1 doesnt currently align with AUDI’s 10yr goal of being a fully electric auto company. If and when F1 adopts a fully electric spec, then we might see many companies coming in, AUDI most likely a front runner in that rush.

    6. James Allen has written a nice article on the 2017 rule proposals:

      Looks like he’s used the 2008 quote from David Coulthard (He’s wrongly called it from 2007) which I went back & found on the ITV website via the web archive.

      1. Good article indeed.

        F1 is slower, DRS assisted passes look too easy, tires degrade too quickly, tickets price is steep and small teams will all die in face of unbearable costs. However, the main problem in F1 is: LACK OF COMPETITION AT THE FRONT!

        Strategy Group can come up with tens of new rules, but there’s no guarantee we will not have a dominant car. If Ferrari and Red Bull could beat Mercedes on merit every other race, we could ignore the most issues because it would be entertaining to see 3/4 teams fighting for podiums.

        We can have faster car, harder tires and refueling in 2017 but if there’s a dominant car grabbing all poles and winning 17 of 20 races it will not be much different.

        The main challenge for F1 is avoiding utter dominance of any team to ensure close racing at the front. However, it is impossible to design such formula unless we follow Horner’s lead with the equalization idea or embrace the spec-formula (ruining the history of F1 in the process). A rather radical idea is: equalize money distribution…

        1. @jcost or as Keith suggested recently, do nothing and let the cars equalize themselves (this would perhaps be helped along by a fairer prize money distribution model).

      2. @gt-racer interesting to read that comment from Coulthard, particularly as it completely contradicts part of what he wrote in his recent BBC article. What I think this shows is that no matter what the current formula is there are some who will always complain about what is wrong with it rather than settling down to enjoy what is good about it. In Coulthard’s case this is probably because he has to write something as it is his job. As for the rest of us and those with a stake in F1 I can’t understand it.

        The tyres are clearly part of the problem of the lack of overtaking in F1 at the moment. They are so sensitive. There is so much tyre management.
        While I am commentating, I find it very difficult not to be exasperated when Mercedes suddenly go a second quicker than they have been when they need to do it.
        The drivers I know who compete in the World Endurance Championship, where they use Michelin tyres, tell me that they push on every single lap through a 24-hour race. This sometimes involves using just one set of tyres for two or even three 45-minute stints.
        That’s great for them, but it used to be what I was doing when I drove in F1. The only time you backed off was if you were in the final stint of the race and you had a 20-second lead or something.
        Now, it is the other way around, and the times the drivers are completely on the limit during a grand prix are a small minority. Sometimes they never are.
        A corollary of this is that if the drivers are not pushing, they are far less likely to make a mistake. You don’t see so many as you used to. And mistakes add excitement.

        1. That is the crucial part of DCs comment, it is the biggest problem F1 needs to fix.

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        19th May 2015, 11:01

        interesting article, @gt-racer.

        It is a bit too simplistic regarding overtaking though:

        With cars of roughly equal pace, what is needed to overtake is an offset in either tyre compound or condition or a major difference in car weight at a given moment.

        It misses two major opportunities for overtaking, which I think can be the base of an exciting F1.
        1) slipstreaming. In the old days slipstreaming was the way to (set up for an) overtake. Unfortunately, due to aerodynamics this is no longer possible. DRS was introduced to offset this, but seen as artificial, and possibly made overtaking too easy. I wish that the brains in F1 would find a way of bringing the opportunity to slipstream back without taking too much cornering speed out of the cars.
        2) driver errors. Certainly the cars today are not easy to drive (I’m sure I couldn’t do it), but we see less impacts of driver errors. The cars should be made harder to drive, especially when you push them to the limit. And the circuits should be more penalising/rewarding for the drivers who take more risks. More gravel and less tarmac might help as well.

        I think if F1 can achieve the above two things, then we will see closer racing, more pushing the limits, and exciting overtaking.

    7. I wonder how tired Audi are getting of having to respond to rumors starting about every 4 or 5 months that they’ll be entering F1.

      1. Probably about as tired as Gene Haas is of having to explain why his “world class machine tools” company “Haas machine tools” is entering F1 with a team called Haas Racing.

        1. @hohum You forgot the quotes around Haas Racing? ;)

          1. True, and I probably should have included “that’s Haas, H-A-A-S ” :)

      2. They are probably very happy to have their name mentioned so often, along with information about their success in WEC without having to spend a single penny in F1.

      3. They’re getting free media coverage for doing nothing. A lot of people look forward to having them in the sport, so they can lean back and enjoy all the positive PR without needing to anything, since they never said they would go into F1.
        If I were a PR guy at Audi, I would never tire of being in such a self-sustaining spiral of positivity. Even if that means I’d have to repeat the same statement over and over again.

    8. It is really flattering that Mercedes speaks so highly of Honda. It seems they reckon they truly can give them a run for their money!

    9. That picture of Lewis Hamilton sitting on his own in his car in a carpark reminds me of Alan Partridge for some reason…

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        19th May 2015, 10:42

        I doubt that he’s about to drive barefoot to Dundee whilst eating a Toblerone (but you never know)…

    10. Oh my, everything about that car is sexy…except Hamilton of course.

    11. COTD is spot on. I have no doubt this would improve the racing.

      Strategy group? How about we get a fan ambassador? A representative who gives fan ideas and input, based on fan polls and suggestions.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        19th May 2015, 13:36

        @jarnooo, funny enough there are 2 COTD today with opposing views ;-)

        1. Lol oops! Funnily enough, I don’t think the views are that different. One is just saying what F1 needs and one is saying how it would be if refuelling was added.

    12. Every year at this time, small/struggling teams will look forward to Monaco as a chance to score points.

      Sure, the Monaco Grand Prix is *more* driver-dependant than other tracks in the calendar except for Singapore, but it doesn’t mean that a strong car won’t have any advantage here. Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, 4 Red Bulls already made up the top ten, Lotus, in my opinion, is currently stronger than McLaren; the Sauber boys can perform well once in a while.

      It’s hard to see a McLaren score point at Monaco, if Honda improves the engine then maybe, but I think Honda will save the big updates for Canada (just like what Ferrari is doing).

      1. I don’t think that Sauber will get any more points this season. They don’t have the budget to bring updates to the cars nearly as frequently as the teams they are fighting with for points. We’ve seen at the last races how their pace has dropped off so much comparatively, and it is unlikely the reliability issues at Australia will be repeated.

    13. Very interesting point by Sumedh in the COTD. I’d love to agree with that.

      But this is F1. That sort of logic won’t happen. If refuelling comes back, the Pirellis will probably transform into those old hard Bridgestones (and who can blame them after years of trying to spice up strategies only to be criticized) and we’re back to 2007 all over again.

      Pirelli only makes degrading tyres to force teams to change strategies and work on the pits. If the fuel si the variable, the pit stops will happen, hard tyre or not, so why would Pirelli still make degrading tyres? makes no sense.

    14. Also, while Audi might rule out F1, BMW is considering a LMP1 entry in 2017 !

      1. Anyone fancy a Honda LMP1 with a 1.6L V6 turbo hybrid for 17 also?

        1. @hohum Maybe Fernando Alonso/Jenson Button might? ;)

      2. @fer-no65, I would be rather cautious about reading too much into the story – it was also claimed that BMW would be returning to sportscar racing back in 2010, and that never materialised.

        Tobias Gruner does discuss the possibility of such a program, but he has questioned whether BMW actually has the resources – he points out that you need a budget in excess of €100 million these days to run at the front – and, perhaps more of an issue, the ACO currently does not permit the sort of technologies that BMW wants to develop.

        @hohum, I think that is rather unlikely – in fact, Honda has indicated it may have to axe its LMP2 program (via HPD) because the ACO’s proposed regulations for 2017 would potentially ban them from competing.

        1. Do you mean claims were made in 2010, or it was previously rumoured that BMW would make a return in 2010?

    15. Exterior
      A usual afternoon in an F1 factory somewhere in Milton Keynes

      Cut Interior

      Christian Horner (CH) on the phone
      Person on the phone: Audi AG, Guttentag
      CH: Hi Audi this is Christian Horner from Re….Christ they hung up on me again! Where’s that Rolodex!
      After flipping out his Rolodex…
      Person on the phone: BMW..Guttentag!
      CH: Hi this is Christian Horne…yes from Red Bull Racing…hello?..@#!$!
      CH continues flicking through his Rolodex..and eventually dials
      Person on the phone: Speaking Korean ” Hello, Hyundai Motors”
      CH: Hi this is Christian Horne…Hello?..bl00dy he1l! They hung up on me, they didnt even want to hear it!
      CH dials again
      Voice on the phone: “You have reached Ford Motor Company, we are not interested in re-purchasing the team that we sold before, we are going to Le Mans, bye, and all the best”

      Visibly sad, CH just stares out the window…after many minutes, he eventually picks up the phone and dials

      CH: Hi Cyril, its Christian..fine..we will stop b!itching about your engines..Sorry

      1. Excellent, big smile.

      2. The Blade Runner (@)
        19th May 2015, 9:13


        Mind you, at least he can jump in his car and drive home to his very own Spice Girl…

      3. Hahaha. That was good. :)

    16. i prefer hear about new worldwide motorsport like indian Tata or another chinese brand as BYD, Chery or korean like samsung, Hyunday, etc

    17. Nice tweet by Mclaren, followed by quite a lame comeback by Mercedes.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        19th May 2015, 13:40

        I actually liked the MB one better.
        Their Twitter feed has been generally very funny (IMO).

    18. What’s all this hype about Bottas getting a championship shot with Ferrari? Bottas was impressive for the second half of last season, but other than that, he hasn’t been anything more impressive than Ricciardo or even Hulkenberg. I wouldn’t even put him in the top 5 drivers on the grid right now

      1. I guess it means that his management is intensively talking (with Williams?) right now and needs to get some buzz @todfod

    19. Good news though! Just watched some British Karting and found out Maldonado has a nephew who is also racing. Sadly he was the only one who was not allowed to start. Though even his presence caused a big crash as the commentators hadn’t seen one this big since standing restarts.

    20. Thanks for COTD @keithcollantine :D was worried i was going off on a tangent a bit…
      All I can hope for is that the FIA don’t listen to what the teams have to say then do the exact opposite! Interesting times ahead for F1 whatever the outcome.

    21. That flying tire in the video is just frightening!

    22. If I was in Audi’s shoes, I would be doing the same thing and that is not because F1 is unattractive. F1 is expensive but it also is a very powerful brand and can offer a manufacturer much more than WEC will ever be able to. The problem is that there are too many unanswered questions about the future at the moment. F1 changes its rules too often and now there are plans to go back to refuelling and change some other things in 2017 but it is not clear if these changes will really happen and how long the new rule book will last.

      Also, how about the leadership of the sport? Ecclestone is not going to reign forever and someone should take his place soon. But how soon and who is replacing him? Actually, who will own the sport in a few years? Rumour has it CVC consider selling their shares and flotation is also an option.

      There are also a few questions about the financial model. Perhaps Audi can estimate how much one F1 season is going to cost them and how much they could get in return until 2020 assuming that they take over Red Bull with all its current agreements. But will Audi be able to sell extra engines or even extra (customer) cars to make more profit?

      Is F1 staying in Europe (Monza?) and will it be broadcast on free TV? Will Audi be able to reach their audience?

      The past is history, the future is a mystery in F1, that is the problem.

      1. All very good points there @girts. And I would harbour a guess that this is pretty much why they added the “F1 has to first sort its own issues” in there.

        In other words, Audi would be interested, but only if F1 gave it a clear view what they are getting into for the next decade or so

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