Performance Clauses, Right Or Wrong?

IMG_1498.JPGDo Performance Clauses have a place in F1? Of course they do, Teams have expectations of their drivers and drivers of their teams, but one driver in particular seems to have so much standing that he has these clauses in his contracts every time he signs.

Fernando Alonso in 2007 when he first signed for McLaren appeared to have a clause in his contract that he was a number one driver, this has been denied for a very long time and I no doubt that it will be evermore.

Rumblings throughout 2007 had upset Fernando and it came to a hilt at the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying it appeared to have opened the rift in McLaren that seemed irreparable, with the two McLaren’s squabbling it left Kimi Raikkonen to score the title that year.

But in 2014 it became apparent that with Ferrari’s stuttering start with the new Hybrid formula Alonso had his own performance clause in his contract that if Ferrari were or finished outside the top 3 in the constructors championship he could leave the team. It appears that he activated that clause and negotiated his exit.

In 2015 it has appeared that again he has stated a performance clause in his contract with McLaren-Honda (Still no
Official confirmation of his arrival I might add.) the details aren’t known as to what they are, but it could be similar to his Ferrari clause.

We wait with interest as to what the ramifications of the McLaren decision are and how they perform in 2015. But I’m sure the whole paddock and fan collective are keen to see how it pans out.

I am always keen to hear your thoughts!


F1 in 2014 comes to an end…

IMG_1488.JPGAs we draw this year to a close, we will surely reflect on a season of many highs a lows for all of the F1 family.

2014 is certainly a year to remember in the sports illustrious history, but will it be for the right or wrong reasons? Mercedes dominance and title fight? Success of the new hybrid engines? Or Money troubles for the small teams?

For me? This season has been a great success in proving that Formula 1 is capable of great change when it is required, the new hybrid era has breathed a fresh air in the paddock although it seemed too fresh for some, the former Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo labelled it as “Taxi Driving” prior to Bahrain and Lewis and Nico proved him wrong there and throughout the season with classic battles throughout the season, Alonso/Vettel at Silverstone, Ricciardo/Alonso at Hockenheim were just some of the memorable battles we had.

Williams resurgence was another great highlight of the season, from 9th in the constructors and only 4pts in 2013, to scoring 320pts and finishing 3rd above Ferrari for the first time since 1997!

Jules Bianchi’s accident in Suzuka is the lowest point of the season for me, after the findings of the investigation into what happened it was clear what had happened, but we now have to learn from this, in 2015 we will be using the ‘Virtual Safety Car’ in the event of any accidents that call for it, it is effectively a full course yellow flag and drivers will be required to slow to a speed set on their dashboards immediately, this will neutralize the race, but also give safety to the marshals recovering cars around circuit and drivers taking more care at the scene of the accident itself.

Looking to 2015, with little regulation change going into the new season, it’s hard to see if anyone can still challenge the Mercedes, Williams appear to be the closest challenger, but with Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren with the new Honda project all chasing, it’ll be hard pressed to make any guesses as to what will happen, but that’s what we love about this sport. Unpredictability


Button ‘Uncertainty is strange’

IMG_1494-1.JPG Speaking at last night’s Autosport awards, Jenson spoke about his feelings about his uncertainty.

“It’s a strange situation, but sometimes in life you find yourself in these difficult situations and you just have to deal with it,”

Back in 2008 after enduring another season at the bottom end of field, Jenson experienced a similar turmoil when Honda announced it’s exit from the sport immediately leaving the Brackley based team with almost nothing.

In 2009 we saw Jenson claim his 1st title in a team bought out by Ross Brawn himself and run under the guise of Brawn GP.

But this a new uncertainty, the team isn’t being pulled out from beneath him, it is almost being close to being cast aside, Jenson has achieved a lot in his career and with McLaren, but I feel he still has more to offer with his speed and experience.

I feel there are many pros and cons in taking this big decision that has to be made by the team, I can also understand why it might have taken longer than normal, but heading into the winter and still being left in the dark wondering if he is still driving for them in 2015 surely must be hard for him to swallow.

96 days and counting until lights out in Australia once again. Time is ticking…

McLaren’s indecision

IMG_1470.JPGEver since the Japanese Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel announced he was leaving Red Bull, the team he had been with since he was 12 years old, Fernando Alonso has been linked with leaving the Scuderia since the halfway point in the season, but all rumours point to his return at McLaren, the team he had a massive falling out with in 2007 costing the team over €100m and disqualification from the constructor’s championship because of the spy scandal.

Now for 2015 Fernando is all but confirmed to head back to the Woking outfit once more, but there seems to be a massive indecision within the board as to who will fill the other seat.

3 contenders seem to be in play, Jenson Button veteran of 15 years in F1 and a world championship to his name, Kevin Magnussen, McLaren young driver who had a unsteady first season but seems to show good promise and Stoffel Vandoorne, another McLaren young driver who seems to be very quick also, grabbing 2nd in his rookie season in GP2 he has certainly turned some heads in his direction.

But who will they choose to partner the spaniard? If rumours are to be believed he has signed the biggest contract in the sport’s history, Honda no doubt have had some push into signing him as they want a winning start in 2015 on their return to F1.

The board will reconvene during the week to again try and find the best driver to fill that seat for 2015 and beyond.

Who will get the seat? Time will tell.