The new “2” in Multi 12

July 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Daniel Ricciardo

With Mark Webber leaving the F1 paddock and joining Porsche’s return to top level sportscar racing; the question remains who will join Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull for 2014? The shortlist points to three men: Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne with Ricciardo appearing to be the front runner for the seat.

After the Multi 21 incident and with Webber’s announcement to join Porsche, many had Kimi as the frontrunner for the 2014 seat. He’s a free agent after ’13, has had Red Bull sponsorship during his Rallying sabbatical. In addition to the Red Bull connection, he is one of the most talented driver’s in the paddock and seems the most likely to not give “a hoot” about who his teammate is.

The negatives are the first being it’s Kimi Raikkonen. As we’ve seen, Kimi is either on or off, if the car is on, Kimi can win. If the car is off, Kimi will float the bottom half of the points table, unlike Alonso who has the ability to be championship contender in a horrible car. Kimi will also want to cash in; is Red Bull willing to deliver the Brinks truck to Kimi? It’s been stated that Kimi is on a bonus heavy contract at Lotus. Could Red Bull handle having “two bulls in one field”? How would their poster child Vettel react to a driver who could possibly be his equal more than Webber and who wouldn’t be phased by the Vettel/Marko machine in a bit. Also, how would the PR machine of Red Bull and Kimi work together?

If we were ranking the three drivers from most likely to least likely Jean Eric Vergne is the least likely of the three to be in the Red Bull in 2014. While Vergne has done a workman like job for Toro Rosso, he hasn’t had spectacular performances bar the Canadian GP. In all likelihood, I expect Vergne to be back at Toro Rosso at 2014, loaned to another team or be Red Bull’s full time Test Driver.

Out of the three, Daniel Ricciardo appears to be the most likely to be at Red Bull for 2014. Ricciardo has been fairly impressive for Toro Rosso with an uptick in his performance since the announcement of Webber’s departure. Ricciardo has been impressive in testing with Red Bull with even his teammate Vergne saying that Ricciardo deserves the seat at Red Bull.

What helps Ricciardo’s case besides his performance has been it appears that Red Bull has an interest in Austrailia. Red Bull sponsors a V8 Supercar series, has sponsored former Moto GP champ Casey Stoner and currently has an Aussie in Mark Webber in the team. Replace an Aussie with an Aussie? Ricciardo would also help Red Bull’s driver program. It hasn’t been since Vettel that Red Bull has fully produced a young developed driver with all other young drivers being cast off after a year or two at Toro Rosso. Also, unlike Raikkonen, Ricciardo would not cost an arm and a leg.

So, my money is on Ricciardo to be the new “2” in Multi 12. However, as a long run prediction, isn’t whoever gets the driver is just keeping the seat warm until Antonio Felix de Costa?

CrapWagon of the Day: Bumpers!

July 23, 2013 at 6:49 am


Now, our latest CrapWagon is not in horrible shape.  For the most part, the body of the pickup was fair.  But what really caught my attention was the personalized chrome “bling” bumper!  It appears that either the bumper was broken, or the owner wanted to jazz it up a bit by adding some chrome.  However, he or she did it the wrong way.  It’s difficult to see, but the owner actually used silver duct/HVAC tape!  This awful, but quick fix, makes this pickup our latest CrapWagon!

SeBESTien – The World’s Greatest

July 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

The best in the world?

Sebastien Loeb is the best driver in the world today, there I said it. There is no one driving a car in the world today (and yes I’m including Lewis, Fernando and that other Sebastian) that has the overall ability to do what the man from Alsace can; to be so successful in various disciplines in a wide range of cars.

Look at the facts, Loeb holds all the important records in world rallying (championships, wins, points and podium finishes). I know critics will say maybe the competition in world rallying was somewhat weak during the Loeb era but he was so dominant that in 2006 Loeb missed rounds due to a mountain biking accident and he still on won the title on his dominance when he was on the road.

In addition to rallying, Loeb has finished second at LeMans, has tested F3000 and Formula 1 cars (almost competing for the Toro Rosso team), has won X-Games rallycross, and  has been victorious in sportscar racing. In 2014, Loeb will be leading Citroen’s attack on the World Touring Car Championship.

Recently, Loeb took part in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Loeb didn’t just win, he dominated; breaking the course record by a minute and a half and 49 seconds faster than his closest competitor.

Loeb, didn’t retire from rallying because of a lack of form, old age or a Citroen pull out; it was due to accomplishing all that could be accomplished. Loeb has been making cameo appearances in the WRC this year and out of his three starts his results have been two wins and a second.

So what makes this tick and allows him to be able to to be successful in multiple disciplines? First start by looking at his background. Growing up Loeb was a gymnast at a high level finishing fifth in the French championship. After his gymnastics career, Loeb trained as an electrical engineer in his late teens and early twenties. Both disciplines require focus, large amounts of concentration and the ability to adapt. The gymnast must be skilled in various things such as the floor exercise, the parallel bars and rings. The electrician works with live wires and various codes knowing a false move could injure himself and others.

When Loeb appeared on the world stage he was viewed as a tarmac specialist, someone who could challenge for wins on sealed surfaces but an also ran on rallies that were featured on gravel and snow. Loeb developed into in all rounder, he was dominate on tarmac but won rallies such as Cyprus and Australia and became the first non scandinavian driver to win Rally Sweden.

Is there anyone out there as talented as Loeb? Sure there are others who are/would be faster in a Sportscar or an Open Wheel race car, but is there anyone out there could be as competitive as Loeb has been jumping from discipline to discipline? Loeb is a throw back to an earlier day when the racing world consisted of men like Elford, Gurney, Jones, and Hill. Perhaps it’s because of contract restrictive specialist era we live in, we truly don’t appreciate Loeb’s talent.

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