Marco Sorenen, Lotus, London, 2014

Law change raises possibility of London Grand Prix

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Marco Sorenen, Lotus, London, 2014In the round-up: A change in the law to allow racing on public roads in Britain could pave the way for a grand prix in London.


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Motorsport to be allowed on Britain’s public roads, No 10 announces (The Telegraph)

“The race is a dearly-held ambition of Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old motorsport supremo, and Jenson Button, the driver, in a spectacle to rival the Monaco Grand Prix. Ecclestone has previously said he would be prepared to foot the bill for race, given it could even overtake Monte Carlo as the jewel in Formula One’s crown.”

Michael Schumacher’s wife claims former F1 world champion is improving (The Guardian)

“Speaking to German women’s magazine, Neue Post, [his wife] Corinna was quoted as saying: ‘It’s getting better, slowly certainly, but in any case it’s improving.'”

Costs, not conspiracy behind FRIC move (Autosport)

“The fact that Mercedes’ main rivals – Red Bull, Ferrari, and Williams – have joined McLaren, Lotus and Marussia so far in saying they are happy for the systems to stay on board for 2014, proves that there is no plot to slow the Brackley-based outfit.”

Reasoning, Responsibility and Run-off (The Buxton Blog)

“[Kimi Raikkonen] did not join in a safe manner as he was at a speed the FIA has admitted was too high, and he was also not in control of his vehicle as the manner in which he rejoined the track resulted in an accident entirely of his making.”


Comment of the day

The FIA’s explanation for why Kimi Raikkonen was not punished for rejoining the track in an unsafe fashion at Silverstone drew some criticism:

“The governing body believed that any other driver would have rejoined the track in the same manner.”

So, if everybody ignores red lights, ignoring red lights is legal and the right thing to do.
Imre (@F1mre)

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  • 87 comments on “Law change raises possibility of London Grand Prix”

    1. “Safe is Fast”. The FIA’s slogan makes sense at last!

      1. Nice rhyming.

    2. Congratulations Nico and Vivian! …IWC are getting pretty invasive with their sponsor demands! Haha

      I think it would be better if the City GP was in Brussels… right next to the European environmental institute…

      1. haha yeah well spotted!

      2. As a Brusselian I’d be delighted by this prospect :)

      3. The guy who hands out the watches before the drivers go on the podium is just out of shot.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          12th July 2014, 15:18

          +1 – Anyone know what the performance penalty is for tying tins and cans to a F1 car?

          1. I think streamers attached to the rear wing top element would look cooler

    3. Good thing I was not the only one who found FIA’s explanation completely illogical. If anything, this means they need to clamp down on abuse of tarmac run-off areas. It’s ok to try to lose as least time as possible, but don’t floor it as if you are still on the track.

    4. After reading comments from Kimi’s fans for pretty much a decade now, I gotta say, they are one of the most biased, stubborn and fanatical people on Earth. Those comments on Buxton’s blog are ridiculous. I don’t get it, what’s the appeal?

    5. CotD could not be better. Spot on.

      And it would be cool to get a London GP, but it won’t happen any time in the next decade.

      1. A London GP would be a terrible idea, London isn’t Monaco and a GP would cause nothing but trouble for the locals and the only people that would benefit would be the rich.

        Britain already has a GP and a new race in London would threaten Silverstone in many ways. If we’re going to have a second GP in Britain the planned Circuit of Wales would be a much better choice of venue as it would be a proper GP circuit instead of another crappy street circuit, would bring some much needed investment into the area, cause far less disruption to the local residents and most importantly would showcase somewhere other than London to the rest of the world.

        London is becoming a parasite that’s sucking the life from the rest of the country and the scum-bag Torries like Boris won’t be happy until every major event is held there so that they and their tax-avoiding friends never have to venture outside of the M25 while the rest of the country is left to implode due to a lack of investment.

        1. @ beneboy A bit early for a political and vitriolic rant??

          1. It’s never to early for a good old-fashioned British moan ;-)

            1. @raceprouk I agree, I can do grumpy old git with the best of them especially early on Saturday morning but words like scumbag – on an f1 site????

        2. How can you hate on Boris Johnson??????

          1. He’s a politician; it’s British tradition to hate high-profile politicians ;-)

          2. He might appear as a bumbling comedy oaf but he’s just as scheming, calculating and self serving as every other politician.

          3. Hes a nasty character. Dont let the bumbling idiot act fool you.

    6. Congrats to Mr. And Mrs. Rosberg! :D I may be rooting for Hammy, but I’m still ecstatic for Nico. I’m just a softie at heart!

    7. “The fact that Mercedes’ main rivals – Red Bull, Ferrari, and Williams – have joined McLaren, Lotus and Marussia so far in saying they are happy for the systems to stay on board for 2014, proves that there is no plot to slow the Brackley-based outfit.”

      It only proves there’s no plot by the other teams, yes. Of course all the other teams are fine with the FRIC system, they’ve been using it for years.
      The conspiracy revolves around good ol’ Bernie and his servant, Charlie Whiting acting against Mercedes, not the the other teams – you know, all in the name of “improving the show” or turning the teams against each other to make headlines.

      I personally don’t like conspiracy theories, but the FIA could’ve simply stated that FRIC is to be banned in 2015. Everyone would have been happy and nobody would’ve invested in the technology any longer.

      Instead, they go on and allow the technology to be protested, in the middle of the season…classy.
      Didn’t know that Charlie Whiting’s nickname is Pontius Pilate.

      1. @andrewf1, yes, we can always count on the FIA to make a friccin mountain out of any molehill.

      2. @andrewf1, I agree with your comment, and I while I also would not go as far as claiming there is a conspiracy, I think there is more on the agenda (of multiple parties) than cutting cost alone. From the autosport article:

        It was the response from teams, with most admitting that they were doing it for aerodynamic reasons to keep the ride height of the car constant, that set alarms bells ringing.

        In fact, it is understood one technical director told the FIA that his team was well aware that FRIC was purely there for aerodynamic gain, so could be at risk of being an illegal moveable aerodynamic device.

        So if, for example, Ferrari’s technical director would say “we are fine with FRIC staying, but we believe it to be an illegal aerodynamic device”, then this still would serve the purpose of outlawing it – and reigning in Mercedes’ advantage.

        Also, the FIA’s justification of the timing does not make sense. They want the decision soon, to save costs, so teams do not waste resources developing a 2015 FRIC-based car. Fine, then announce it will be banned for 2015, but do not require a regulation-change mid-season!


        Instead, they go on and allow the technology to be protested, in the middle of the season…classy. Didn’t know that Charlie Whiting’s nickname is Pontius Pilate.

        Exactly: the front-running teams cannot afford to go into the Hockenheim weekend with the possibility of Caterham saying on Sunday afternoon: “I believe these cars to be illegal”.

        So far, if I interpret the Autosport article correctly, Caterham, Force India and Toro Rosso have not agreed to postpone the ban, so it looks like the ban will be happening.

    8. Come on, Matthew Holehouse, a new London Grand Prix will not usurp the history, glamour and spectacle of Monaco. And I am a Londoner.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        12th July 2014, 3:00

        I hear they’ve got Nandos in London. The hallmark of glitz and glamour.
        (Inbetweeners Reference)

        1. Actually a race there could be interesting. Even if it doesn’t match Monaco. And at night.

    9. I’m drooling at the thought of a GP in London. I can’t think of a city that’s as cold and urban in quite the same way as London. Make it so!!! And then, if you’re in the mood, put one in Vancouver so that I can save travel expenses to go to a GP every year. And you can save shipping on not bothering to bring any but the wets and intermediates :) Hey… a guy can dream…

      1. Why not Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast? The Mountain Circuit on the Isle Of Man!? Road Racing isn’t currently banned on the IOM or in NI so legislative change wouldn’t even be required. I think Bernie would just like to snarl up central London for a week. Let’s face it, if he is prepared to drop Monza, he isn’t to concerned about the quality of tracks F1 race on. If there was to be street race in GB, what would we want from it? Landmarks in the background? Impressive scenery? An Asda carpark!?

    10. Michael Brown (@)
      12th July 2014, 1:34

      Whiting talks about standing starts:

      “…what is the most exciting part of the race? The start. So why not have a second one?”

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        12th July 2014, 2:16

        @lite992 I hadn’t realized how much a brown-nose Charllie was, until now. Almost everything he says echoes Bernie’s feelings.

        1. @keithcollantine I’ve got a question, and maybe some people will get annoyed , but I really don’t know what it is, in my 10 years of following F1 (which isn’t too much tho). What is the FRIC suspension? And what effect can make in the field if it is banned?

          1. Sorry @omarr-pepper I wasn’t intended to post it here.

            1. In simple terms, FRIC allows the teams to run very low ride heights as it always equalises the car, that is why the RBR was scraping its front wings with its flexible front wing all those years ago… Everyone thinks that the Merc’s FRIC system is the best, I think RBR has the best FRIC system…. But who really knows.

          2. @cocaine-mackeine for the explanation what Front and Rear Inter Connected suspension (or short FRIC) is, it means that there is hydraulic fluid connecting the suspension on all 4 corners of the car. It helps even out the movements over the whole car and thereby make it easier to have low ride heights (as its more stable) as well as evening out the stress put on the tyres (which helps with durability of the set of tyres)

      2. @lite992 That link doesn’t seem to work for me but Whiting said much the same here:

        Teams ‘very enthusiastic’ about standing restarts

    11. I wonder if the FRIC issue might have something to do with Mclaren’s butterfly suspension (if they’re still running that).

      1. At first they’re saying it is dancing around the rules of a moveable aerodynamic device….

        then later it’s saying it’s due to cost cutting. Which one is it, FIA?

        1. Boulier said something about extreme designs. I think the Mclaren fits both criteria .

    12. So would a race in London take the place of Silverstone as the home for the British Grand Prix? I certainly hope not. Hearing about London and Azerbaijan as potential Grand Prix’s in the future does irk me quite a bit, because is there still is no real prospect of getting a French Grand Prix back on the calender any time soon? Not that I’m biased in any way, but for a country which has had so much motor-racing history to not have a place on the F1 calender is wrong in my eyes. Especially when F1 races in the likes of Azerbaijan are becoming a real possibility. It doesn’t seem right.

      1. When Bernie needs it badly enough, it could come back with a minimal hosting fee I’m sure. Depends on how many cash-rich countries continue with their races, and if any like Dubai or Qatar want in. Korea and India have already fallen by the wayside.. maybe Mexico could come back, once the COTA exclusivity period runs out.

      2. Silverstone has a 17 year contract (from 2009).

        A better solution would be a rotating “European Grand Prix” that transfers from country to country every year, and for London to feature as one of these races.

      3. So would a race in London take the place of Silverstone as the home for the British Grand Prix? I certainly hope not.

        I certainly do hope so. With Turkey gone, Silverstone has literally no competition for “most overrated track on the calendar” and so anything that removes it from said calendar is very much fine with me.

    13. I’m wondering if this his London GP does happen, if will it replace the current British Grand Prix Silverstone, or be an additional round like the “European” Grand Prix?

      1. I don’t believe it could use the British Gp banner as Silverstone have a long term deal & I can’t see them giving up the British Gp title.
        I don’t see them using European Gp, It would likely be the London Gp or maybe something like Capital Gp.

        Whatever the case I don’t see it happening for F1, Silverstone wouldn’t allow it & I see there been a lot of local resistance to it due to the disruption it would cause & especially the work that would need to be done.
        The biggest problem would be the amount of money that would need to be spent on building the facilities & paying the hosting fee which given the government cuts would cause all manor of problems if they started spending money on that while at the same time continuing to cut funding to other areas.
        Also unlike something like the Olympics (Which also got heavy criticism for what was spent to build everything & host them) the benefits to the locals & the UK as a whole are harder to explain.

        1. Surely the law change is so that the London Formula-e race can, well, happen?

      2. I think its far more to do with really enabling the Formula E run really.

      3. Rylan Ziegler
        12th July 2014, 20:49

        Or perhaps would they be allowed to have Silverstone retain the title of British Grand Prix, and London called The Grand Prix of the United Kingdom? The naming rules don’t make a huge amount of sense to me, so I’m not sure if they would be too similar or not

        1. Rylan Ziegler
          12th July 2014, 21:57

          Or I guess London could also be called the English Grand Prix

          1. And a race in Glasgow the Scottish GP……

        2. French Grand Prix. London’s already had the Tour de France…

    14. @keithcollantine I’ve got a question, and maybe some people will get annoyed , but I really don’t know what it is, in my 10 years of following F1 (which isn’t too much tho). What is the FRIC suspension? And what effect can make in the field if it is banned?

      1. FRIC = Front and Rear Inter-Connected (Suspension).

        Its a system which links the front & rear suspension hydraulically, It’s basically a passive active ride system (Its not driven by computers as the fully active ride systems of the early 90s were).

        The main benefits are that teams are able to maintain a consistent ride height which gives a benefit to the mechanical grip, aerodynamics & overall car stability, Especially under braking & when running over high kurbs.

        Normally when a car brakes the front end dives, When it accelerates the front rises & when it turns the car rolls. The FRIC system aims to eliminate this movement & maintain a stable ride platform.

        1. @gt-racer, just like the citroen DS21 of the 1950s and British Motor Co. Hydrolastic suspension of the 1960s for all the advantages you mention but not for aerodynamics.

        1. @gt-racer @andae23 @dragoll @bascb Thanks for the info about the FRIC. Now I understand everything about whats happening now.

    15. On the FRIC ban, As I understand things based off what I’ve read as well as some other stuff i’ve heard, The FRIC system is now been used & been developed to do things which go beyond what the original intent was & thats why the FIA feel the need to act.

      Its like other things in the past, The original idea was looked at as been fine but as it gets developed it eventually gets to a point where its no longer sticking to the original interpretation & starts heading down a path where it isn’t fully legal.

      The Renault mass damper system was similar, The original concept was fine but as it developed it became clear that it was becoming far more advanced & doing much more than the original concept put to the FIA said it would do & it eventually reached a point where what it was doing had reached a grey area.
      The hot blowing exhaust diffuser was similar, Originally it was looked at as been OK but as things developed the FIA became less happy with how it was been used & what effect it was having on the cars.

      Banning these things mid-season however is something i’ve always disliked, Unless its something thats a clear breach of the regulations or something thats been protested by other teams which they prove contradicts something (That happens a fair bit, You usually don’t hear much about it though unless its something big).

      1. Why act now? Why not act at the start of the season?

        1. On the FRIC ban, As I understand things based off what I’ve read as well as some other stuff i’ve heard, The FRIC system is now been used & been developed to do things which go beyond what the original intent was & thats why the FIA feel the need to act.

          @gt-racer any specific things that FRIC’s being used for that you know of?

    16. COTD
      So, if everybody ignores red lights, ignoring red lights is legal and the right thing to do.

      Quality argument that one ,

    17. The FIA made the correct decision. Yes, unfortunately this particilar incident resulted in an accident but their response is correct, every other driver would have done the same. This has happened numerous times in the history of F1, countless times in motosport and will continue to happen as long as there is run off areas, that’s why the are race drivers.

      1. So basically the FIA saying ‘you can rejoin the track and cause an accident so long as no-one gets hurt’ is OK in your book?

        1. No , that’s not correct,
          the FIA said among other things,
          “The governing body believed that any other driver would have rejoined the track in the same manner.”
          your quote apply s the same logic as the COTD

          1. My fault for thinking the FIA should be held accountable for setting a dangerous precedent I guess.

            1. What you mean like let teams decide if frics get banned or not ?
              This is the FIA
              they would NOT do such a thing Dave ….


            2. I’m glad your conscience is so weak you can live with such a cavalier attitude to driver and marshal safety.

          2. So everyone doing something stupid or dangerous is okay, then?

            If we all drive at 120mph on the motorway in reverse, that’s okay too, is it?

            1. This is ridiculous. The bottom line is FIA decided most drivers would have tried to re-enter the race the same way KR did…they did not say most drivers would have crashed therefore it’s ok, nor most drivers should disobey red lights, nor most drivers should go 120 on the highway in reverse, and that would be ok. Penalizing KR would not be a lesson to him or other drivers.

      2. I agree, I used to think there should be gravel and dirt to slow cars rejoining from a runoff area, but these are racing drivers! They’ll go for any unfair advantage they can get – they won’t slow right down just because they could run through something slippy.

        Raikkonen didn’t break any rule so they can’t penalise him, but this might be used as a precedent for yet more new regulations in the future.

    18. I read somewhere that the only team to not have FRIC is Force India… And I know that they still use a 50% wind tunnel model system whereas most teams use a 60% model. Which arises the question, how are they so darn competitive with such “substandard” facilities and tools on the car? Quite amazing if you ask me.

      1. One thing is that they actually see the value in having good drivers, unlike the backward thinking of say Sauber (i.e. not promoting Frijns and then losing him to Caterham). Decent drivers can also lift the whole team and I believe, give the engineers back at the factory more incentive.

        Another is the engine of course, but still you’re right – it’s a great achievement.

        1. and some Jordan GP heritage too! they used to punch well above their weight in the late 90’s!

      2. FI do have FRIC, but they don’t always run it. Otmar Szafnauer said as much on Sky’s F1 Show yesterday.

    19. As an F1 fan I’d love to see a London GP. As a Londoner I am completely against it. Travelling in central London on the weekends is bad enough just because half of it is always closed down due to road works.. Add more closures for F1, on top of spectators clogging up roads, and it will quite literally bring London to a standstill. No thanks, go away F1.

    20. I wonder, if Rosberg invited Hamilton to his wedding.

      1. Who cares? It’s not like he’s obligated to :-P

      2. @osvaldas31 They’re not friends, remember?

        oh wait, maybe they are now…

    21. Re Schumacher
      Autosport is reporting that Michael is out of his coma ,
      One can only hope this is correct ,
      I was never a Schumacher fan but when my mates whinged at his dominance and refused to watch because “Schumacher will win anyway” I watched and marveled at his mastery ,
      I don’t have to be a fan
      I don’t have to like him
      But I sure appreciated the races I watched,

    22. Oh no, not this again. A London GP will NEVER happen, can we just drop it now please?

    23. I wouldn’t bet against a London Grand Prix in some format, but I wouldn’t expect it to be in the location we all would imagine it to be in. Certainly, it won’t be in front of landmarks like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. If a London Grand Prix happens it’ll be in some underwhelming location like the Olympic park. London is one of the world’s most congested cities with a booming tourist industry – I can’t see them closing the roads around anywhere remotely interesting.

      1. The Olympic Park could work as a venue, but I think a better location would be one of the bigger parks. Like Battersea :-)

    24. Re COTD…I disagree with the analogy as returning onto the track in a certain way at a certain spot has nothing to do with hard and fast rules like what a red light means for the track and the road that everyone in the world knows from the time they are tottlers, and that is cut and dry safety 101.

      I still back Lauda on his comments, and disagree with Whiting on his response to Lauda’s opinion. Whiting says Lauda is wrong because the fact that a driver hit the barrier once means it can happen again. If so, even at that spot, then that to me means they may as well surround the whole track with tire barriers which are more forgiving and more quickly repositioned after being hit. Lauda was only speaking to the odds of it happening twice in one race, but if Whiting insists the odds were great enough, then shame on him for not insisting on safer barriers everywhere that are more quickly fixed.

      Whiting cites Massa being hit in the visor with a spring as resulting in improvements to visors. Fair enough, but in order to make his anology work, he should have stopped that race for an hour so drivers could go in and retrofit their visors because the odds were that it was going to happen again that day, right? How could he in good conscious allowed that race to continue?

      The last thing Lauda is is cavalier about safety, yet I think he is being portrayed unfairly as such. Where does one draw the line with slim odds? eg. why not stop the Massa race to retrofit visors, or even scrap the race and insist on covered cockpits from then on? They do draw the line somewhere, so Lauda should not be singled out for doing the same.

      1. @robbie, exactly, there will be concrete barriers on other tracks where accidents are far more likely, this is why F1 chassis are crash tested.

    25. Err … this is just to allow Formula E to go ahead. Nothing but spin for the F1 world.

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