Silly Season seems just short of its zenith in this first off week of the August break. Little news is coming out of the F1 circus, with most of it the vaguely sensational variety. Still, Silly Season remains the focus, or at the very least anything that might speak of what will happen next season.
Silly Season Brings 2014 to the Forefront
This week, rather like last week, all the 2014 contract speculation revolves around Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, and Red Bull.
Ferrari stirred up the situation by rebuking star driver Alonso for his comments (unclear exactly what they were, but there was a suggestion that he had indicated that his preferred birthday present for the Hungarian GP weekend would be a different team’s car). Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo indicated that Alonso had not demonstrated the appropriate team spirit, while Ferrari rushed to assure the public that di Montezemolo definitely meant Alonso, adding that “when Montezemolo called the Spaniard this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he also tweaked his ear.”
The media kerfluffle continued when di Montezemolo expanded on his previous comments, seemingly suggesting that he had to chew out more than just Alonso after the bad weekend at Silverstone. The Ferrari president added fuel to the fire, noting that both Felipe Massa and the team “need results and points.” It is impossible to tell if there are actual troubles beyond their poorer than expected performance this season or if the Italian team simply enjoys tweaking the ears, not of the drivers, but of the media.
Meanwhile, the Raikkonen rumors just won’t stop. That former Lotus technical man James Allison has moved to Ferrari seems to add fuel to the fire that considers a possible Kimi replacement for Fernando at Ferrari. Then one considers the fireworks to come from Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen sharing a team. Everyone knows that vodka and Red Bull might just be the most horrible drink known to humankind, but the Finn and Red Bull seem locked in an endless dance around each other. Though, that could possibly be Alonso and Red Bull, or Raikkonen and Ferrari. Either and all are at an even chance to either driver to drive, or not drive, for the most dominant team in current F1.
Russian GP Misses 2014 Calendar Deadline
Meanwhile, the Russians have their own problems. The Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) and JSC Omega, the organizers/promoters of the circuit at Sochi, have not signed a contract, nor did the promoters paid the FIA fee before the July 31 deadline. This comes as something of a slap in the face from the organizers (who are suffering cash flow issues of their own) after the Russian government poured money and a baby driver into Sauber.
In more uplifting news, Mercedes released a video with the sounds of the 2014 turbos. The team put together a lap of Monza, with the video showing simulator footage and the engine noise of the 2014 V6 on the dyno.
Just like everyone else, this week’s #F1Chat will revolve around 2014. Don’t forget to join in: be sure to preview the questions here.