Grand Prix Of The Americas / COTA Debrief -- SHAKEDOWN

Uploaded by drive on 19.11.2012


LEO PARENTE: Today, the day the United States Grand Prix
at the Circuit of the America, the day after our "Drive"
Google Hangout, the day after a week of "Drive" programs
building up to the F1 return to America.
And I want to start today's "ShakeDown" by tell you why
I'm an idiot.
In the Associated Press, the American news agency that
creates and disseminates news stories, is here to help show
you why I, Leo Parente, the host of "ShakeDown", the only
real racing show on "Drive," is an idiot.
You're racing idiot.
See the AP published their F1 story, and I've got the link
below to the story, with their headline McLaren's Hamilton
wins the US Grand Prix in Austin.
Well that's OK, but here's how it continues.
Lewis Hamilton, they said, did just that on Sunday, using a
thrilling pass of Sebastian Vettel at the end of a long
straightaway to take the lead.
And there's the clue right there, no talk of KERS, no
talk of DRS.
You know DRS?
The thing I hate because it makes passing not a real pass,
but an easy inevitability.
None of that.
The only thrilling part to me was how
Vettel tried to defend.
But to AP, it was an exciting pass.
And by the way, they continued to write about racing by using
the word, whipped and zipped for the car's running around
the race track.
That's the level of race reporting they're giving us.
They finished up using the word, the quote from Hamilton,
wicked, was how they reported Hamilton as he pumped his fist
in the air, waved to the crowd, and danced on the nose
of his car after the win.
This is getting worse as we go.
Hamilton was quoted, "this is one of the best, if not the
best Grand Prix we have all year.
America, [BLEEP]
yeah." No talk about the crowd, which was
huge, 117,000 plus.
Just talk about the cost, $450 million to build the joint.
And yeah, let's call it a joint because, you know, the
cars just kind of zip around.
See, I'm an idiot for worrying about DRS and technology and
all that in F1.
All the unwashed masses saw was a zippy pass by some elite
foreign guy that came to America.
Thank you, AP.
Oh, and the COTA girl joke from last week?
My apologies, it really wasn't nice by me, was it?
JF was at COTA, and he said the girls were beautiful.
OK, but then why were the COTA girls wearing these?

Today we're going to talk about F1, because we just had
the US race, and NASCAR.
Don't cringe.
We're going to talk with Mike Spinelli, because I need to
make up for that [BLEEP]
joke I said about him.
And you make up for being a clown
yesterday on the live chat.
MIKE SPINELLI: wasn't being a clown, I
was just being myself.
LEO PARENTE: No truer word ever spoken.
MIKE SPINELLI: I don't know, we were, well, we'll get to
the whole live stream thing.
LEO PARENTE: That was kind of rhetorical.
LEO PARENTE: Actually, I want to talk to you because I know
you've got some great thoughts about the topics
we're going to cover.
Starting with what did you think of the race?
The F1 race over at COTA?
MIKE SPINELLI: I think ultimately it was great.
It was really good, and I've been trying to figure out
whether I think it's great because it's great for an
American race, or it's actually great racing and
really good for F1.
LEO PARENTE: Well I'm going to jump on that by basically
saying, the biggest success, it actually look like a proper
real Grand Prix.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, it did.
LEO PARENTE: And a lot of the racing people had kind of
dropped hints that they never felt Indy was a real Grand
Prix track.
MIKE SPINELLI: They did, right, exactly.
LEO PARENTE: So now we've got a real venue, and a real show.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, I mean it's like it's
a really good track.
I'm really surprised.
First of all, I'm totally surprised
that they got it together.
$400 million will do that, I guess.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, I mean all the way back from me actually
slamming Tavo Hellmund, and all the politics, and all the
BS that went on.
However it happened, through the lawsuits, through the
construction, it all got done.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well this is interesting, because a lot of
my European friends think that because they see so much chaos
coming out of American media, that they just think America
is just a [BLEEP]
show at this point.
And the fact that we can actually put together a race
from soup to nuts over the course of like a year and a
half, it shows that we can actually do
some kinds of things.
LEO PARENTE: It's the core of what makes America great.
Finding money, spending money, moving dirt.
MIKE SPINELLI: We can pave anything.
We will pave--
LEO PARENTE: Has anyone looked at Iraq lately?
We're just kind of moving the ground.
MIKE SPINELLI: And actually, speaking of paving, the track
itself, the construction of the track,
really looked great.

Because we're so used to seeing these Middle Eastern
tracks, no I don't mean that in a bad way, but Yas Marina
is a beautiful facility.
LEO PARENTE: Oh I see what you're saying.
Good things.
MIKE SPINELLI: The reallty good things about the new
tracks look really big and nice and high tech, outside of
America and Europe.
And I'm glad to see a kind of a new track being built that
is a world class track in this country.
LEO PARENTE: And I had trouble following the race while we
were doing a Google Hangout, but the race itself seemed to
be pretty engrossing.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, yeah it was.

Engrossing, didn't he race for what team is he in again?
LEO PARENTE: Races for Lotus.
He took the five spot penalty, which we'll get to.
MIKE SPINELLI: We'll get to that.
No I think it's funny we were watching it and it felt like
they were more passes and more action than other races.
It turns out, it actually wasn't more passes, or more
action than some other races, so in that way, I have to sort
of temper the enthusiasm for the fact that we have an
American F1 race again.
But it's still was, I'm going to say, top 10, that's kind of
closer to 10.
LEO PARENTE: OK, so two things come to mind.
And not to be contentious about you're passing, I think
at the front we obviously saw one pass that made the race.
But, there was a lot more opportunity to pass then a lot
of people expected.
I mean I even got criticized for say well they're not going
to be able to pass this corner or this corner, it's only
going to happen end of the straightaway, turn 11, end of
the DRS section, 12, and maybe up the hill in turn one.
But Kimi went by some in the S's, people were using that
carousel area for passes.
I think there was a lot going on.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well the down grid battles
were really the show.
It was almost like a Moto GP race in that way, where you
were really watching down grid more than you were watching
the stuff that was happening up on top because there was
Kimi, there was Button, had some nice moves, who else we
were just talking about.
Massa, Massa had an excellent showing, after I guess we'll
talk about that coming up, too.
So it was a fun race.
It really was a fun, cool race.
LEO PARENTE: I'd be hard pressed to find someone who
had any validity to criticize what we saw
for this first venue.
Let's go right to Ferrari and Massa.
The short version is they decided that Massa needed a
gearbox replacement, but not really.
They cracked the official seal which cause them to take the
five grade penalty.
Grosjean, who had qualified fourth, had already taken the
five grid penalty.
And what Ferrari quickly realized is, they could move
certainly Alonso to the higher grip side of the starting
grid, because Massa qualified ahead of Alonso.
So this is complicated, right, because this is one of those
strategic moves--
LEO PARENTE: Within the rules.
MIKE SPINELLI: That was within the rules, but it was a little
bit unorthodox because it was creative.
It was you take a penalty on one of your drivers to give
your other driver a benefit.
LEO PARENTE: Because he's fighting for the championship.
MIKE SPINELLI: Because he's fighting for the championship.
So it wasn't exactly a team order, where you tell one guy
to back off.
LEO PARENTE: Well apparently both drivers agreed to it.
So it wasn't Massa showed up in the morning and saying hey,
we f-ed you, you're going back five.
MIKE SPINELLI: But team orders are also illegal, too.
LEO PARENTE: No, they're not anymore.
MIKE SPINELLI: Oh that's right, this is the year that
they're not.
OK so actually that's even a better question, is this a
team order, Leo?
As an analyst, is this a team order?
LEO PARENTE: Yes it was.
Your question, or what Ferrari did?
That was a team strategy, and it was a team order.
MIKE SPINELLI: Was it a team order, though?
Because is an order only what you tell another driver about
his driving?
LEO PARENTE: Well what we don't know and this is
probably why Ferrari worded it that way, is did
Massa agree to it?
Did they ask Massa's permission, or did they order
Massa to do it?
Bottom bottom line I have zero problem with this.
They're trying to win a championship, they're trying
to do everything they can.
It's within the rules, go at it.
MIKE SPINELLI: It was cool though.
I gotta say I'm all for it, because it was a very
chessboard kind thing.
LEO PARENTE: And it probably pissed off everyone who
doesn't like Ferrari because it worked.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right it worked.
LEO PARENTE: Alonso started p.
7, he's on the outside, hot part of the
track, goes up the hill--
MIKE SPINELLI: Alonso qualified at 11th?
No he was seventh?
MIKE SPINELLI: Oh he was ninth.
Massa was sixth.
OK so it got them to flip spots on the grid.
LEO PARENTE: So Alonso moved up two spots because of Massa
and Grosjean.
So that put him fourth in line on the outside line with grip.
MIKE SPINELLI: OK, my question to you, did Grosjean have his
issue with the gearbox before they pull
the seal off of this?
LEO PARENTE: Yes, they knew Grosjean was going to take the
penalty when Grosjean went into qualifying.
So Grosjean got to fourth and he knew he was going to end up
starting ninth.
So Ferrari, when they looked at all the facts, said you
know what, I can move Alonso over here.
This is going to benefit Alonso, and
Alonso did the job.
Went up the hill, he was p.7 to start on the grid, fourth
in line on the fast side, went around the outside came out of
turn one in p.
4 where he needed to be to keep the championship alive.
So in one corner, at the start of race, put himself in
position to control destiny because Ferrari the team
supported him.
MIKE SPINELLI: So the problem I have with this is that we've
always talked about--
LEO PARENTE: But I just talked for five minutes.
MIKE SPINELLI: But the problem that I sort of have with this,
and it's not really a problem because I like the nerdy
stuff, but this highlights how some very nerdy rules issues
in the F1 can make or break the race.
And if you are a fan who knows the rules, and they're very
Byzantine and complex, if you know it, you can get more out
of watching it.
So you would have gotten this and it's kind of more exciting
for a fan to know.
If you are a new F1 fan, you may not have gotten what the
heck happened there.
LEO PARENTE: I agree, and I'm going to make an example of
disagreeing on two fronts.
I almost feel like watching F1 is like reading a newspaper.
You can read the headline, and if the headline's good, you're
going to get something out of it.
If you read the first paragraph,
you go a little deeper.
If you get fully engrossed and read the whole
article, goes farther.
When I watch European football, I don't
know all the nuances.
But I am engrossed by what I am shown, and I know just
enough to be interested.
Do I know all the techniques, and would that make me even
more of a fan, or take me deeper?
Maybe, but I know enough.
I'm almost siding with Coulthard that yes, the
details make you really, really know things.
But even if you didn't, you kind of get that.
Now I just picked on AP, because they just simplified
the whole thing by ignoring all the technology, and all
the nuance and saying, that was a fantastic pass, when my
mom could pulled that off by hitting the DRS button.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well this sort of
speaks to your DRS feelings.
But we're going to get to that later.
LEO PARENTE: So the next one is the whole comment about the
tires and Pirelli.
And I'm going to not linger on this a long time, or pump my
own chest by saying what happened is a one stop
strategy as we kind of inevitably predicted.
But Pirelli took a conservative tact.
They didn't bring soft tires to this track,
they brought what?
Hard and medium tires, I think, as the compounds.
And they were concerned of two things.
One, they did not want to have an Indy/Michelin debacle like
in 2005, where there was a problem.
And they didn't want a problem that would affect this
championship battle.
But what they didn't know, because it was all kind of
last minute, is not only the track surface, not only how
low grip it was, but how cold it was going to be.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah well they had modeled everything.
LEO PARENTE: Go ahead.
MIKE SPINELLI: So I mean, that's really the interesting
part of this whole thing.
Is also the nerdy stuff, right.
So they had modeled the weather and obviously the
temperature and all that stuff, and the track surface
which was kind of from what Pirelli was saying is it was
not abrasive like a Monaco, but it was not smooth like one
of the newer tracks.
So was kind of in the middle, right?
Or was it--
LEO PARENTE: It was smooth, it wasn't abrasive.
But it didn't have any rubbering in, so it really
wasn't generating any grip.
The teams are struggling, they weren't getting any
temperature in the tires.
And it's interesting how the first team to figure a stiffer
car was going to work better and generate temperatures in
this process really wasn't Red Bull, it was McLaren.
And to your point, they were getting no tire degradation.
So that kind of gave us the heads up that this could be a
one stop strategy.
MIKE SPINELLI: Mercedes was caught out though.
LEO PARENTE: Thought it was two stop.
Well they caught themselves out.
Somehow or another they thought it was still to be two
stop, and they were the ones that took the extra 20
something seconds, screwed up both races.
But when it gets said and done, everyone had the same
battle to fight for grip to make the tires work.
So at the end of the day, did we harm anything?
Did Pirelli make a mistake?
MIKE SPINELLI: No, I think it's a wash for Pirelli.
Obviously this is that a better season for Pirelli then
the first season was.
They've gotten more conservative, I think this
year with the compounds, right.
I mean overall the degradation cliff isn't quite what it was.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, and I don't know whether that's
conservative or just more knowledgeable.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah well sure, learning is possibly from
LEO PARENTE: So the last part of this Pirelli thing is a
pretty obvious prediction.
When this track rubbers in, when they bring a softer
compound, there's going to be a track record
at COTA next year.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, you think so?
LEO PARENTE: They're going to go quicker.
MIKE SPINELLI: I'm excited for this track in general.
And because I'm not only excited I mean just to sort of
step out of F1 for one second, the other series we're going
to see on this track.
LEO PARENTE: Who isn't coming?
MIKE SPINELLI: I know everybody's coming.
LEO PARENTE: Moto GP, V8 Supercars, ALMS,
LEO PARENTE: Not yet, not yet, not yet.
MIKE SPINELLI: 2014, 15?
LEO PARENTE: You know what, there's been rumors of them
going to Montreal of all places.
So let's go to the next part of the story.
Why did Vettel lose?
Here's my argument.
MIKE SPINELLI: You mean your argument or his complaints?
LEO PARENTE: Well it's funny you say it that way.
OK, so that's the factoid, I would think, is that Hamilton
and McLaren at the end of the day figured out how to make a
quicker car, and Hamilton drove his ass off.
MIKE SPINELLI: Hamilton drove his ass off.
LEO PARENTE: The why Vettel lost thing goes to what you
just hinted about.
The problem I've got with all this is, once again here's Red
Bull blaming someone else.
Because he was claiming that he got held up in the S's on
that key lap where Hamilton went by.
Got held up to the S's before the long straight away, by one
of their backmarkers, Karthikeyan, and that's what
cost me the race.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well if it's Tuesday, it must be the
backmarkers fault.
Because wasn't Hamilton bitching about backmarkers
earlier this season.
LEO PARENTE: Oh I see where you're going.
MIKE SPINELLI: So I don't know, would they rather make
it a 90% qualifying instead of 107%?
Or something else?
Or should they go the other way, make it like Le Mans?
LEO PARENTE: No, no, no no.
LEO PARENTE: Hey these two guys finished 30
seconds ahead of Alonso.
So does that make Alonso the backmarker?
At some point in time, you're going to be quick, and the
others aren't.
Traffic is part of the deal.
Here's the problem I've got, and I'm going to sound like a
real Cybil about the whole DRS thing, OK because this one
example changes my opinion.
I keep saying DRS makes a pass easy.
Maybe it makes a legitimate pass happen sooner and easier.
Because if Vettel was such hot shit, and Karthikeyan was the
reason, why didn't Vettel catch Hamilton
and pass him back?
It'll never happen.
MIKE SPINELLI: It's a good point.
It's a good point.
LEO PARENTE: It never happened, Hamilton--
MIKE SPINELLI: It was the car's fault.
Well ultimately, because it's not like you do have to sort
of look at the car at that point.
Because I mean how many parts of the car have they had
problems with this season?
LEO PARENTE: I just honestly, I hear you, and Webber dropped
out because they had an issue and you're right.
He dropped out of Valencia, usually stick my tongue out
during the "v".
The point is, it wasn't a car problem, the car
ran to the end, OK.
MIKE SPINELLI: First he was blaming the car.
LEO PARENTE: No, he had Karthikeyan.
At the end of the day, the faster guy won the race.
Simple as that.
And if Vettel was good enough to catch him back, or the car
was good enough to catch him back, it would have happened.
So I still don't like DRS, but I'm saying [INAUDIBLE] a
legitimate pass.
Yeah, so are you saying that DRS isn't such a
bad deal after all?
LEO PARENTE: I'm saying I may have to rethink it.
Because it's not making passes happen that shouldn't happen,
maybe he's making inevitable passes happen
sooner in the race.
So you have the entire race to watch the parade, so all the
passes happen in the first couple--
LEO PARENTE: I've clearly lost you.
What do you of COTA the track?
MIKE SPINELLI: Alright, so I like it.
I think it's a good track, and I'm sure it's a
great track to drive.
It's not the most picturesque place, it's very grassy.
I mean I kind of like it but it's not like--
LEO PARENTE: What's with you and JF and the grass?
Is this some latent thing we need to talk about?
MIKE SPINELLI: It's grassy, it's beautiful.
LEO PARENTE: Just because they legalized it doesn't mean--
MIKE SPINELLI: Oh, I like that.
LEO PARENTE: You can race on it.
LEO PARENTE: Did I lose you?
MIKE SPINELLI: No, you didn't lose me but I was hoping that
we would do like a real architecturally amazing track
there that matched some of the newer tracks.
LEO PARENTE: Oh you mean all of that
MIKE SPINELLI: Architectural details and all that stuff.
[INAUDIBLE] very like down and dirty track, it's
all about the track.
And let's face it, yeah, they didn't have a lot of time.
LEO PARENTE: And they built that tower.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well it's a nice tower.
LEO PARENTE: They built an amphitheater thing where
they're going to have concerts.
MIKE SPINELLI: What I mean is like so it just drives home a
little more of the America's kind of more utilitarian than
LEO PARENTE: What do you want?
An In-N-Out Burger?
MIKE SPINELLI: Oh my God, an In-N-Out Burger would be
absolutely amazing.
LEO PARENTE: So here's my takeaway on this thing, OK.
I actually think it's hard to slam this as another Tilke
cookie cutter design track.
Because the signature pieces of the front hill, the front
LEO PARENTE: The Phil Hill.
I'm not even going to get into that.
Whatever they're calling it
MIKE SPINELLI: Well yeah I mean this is the hill--
LEO PARENTE: The turn one hill.
MIKE SPINELLI: The turn one hill.
LEO PARENTE: It's a signature piece of this track that will
be uniquely American.
And then the S's that follow it.
Turns two through nine, they're kind
of decreasing speed.
And that, in addition to the paint, that's going to be a
signature thing.
And the drivers were telling me they liked it.
You could tell that Vettel and Red Bull had figured out the
S's, not just the driving but the gearing.
Because you're down shifting as you go through the S's, and
they had nailed every gear just about right.
So this is going to be a signature of the track, this
is where you're going to have speed,
and this is a challenge.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes, I hadn't thought about that.
But this might be a hard track to gear.
LEO PARENTE: It's a totally hard track.
MIKE SPINELLI: That's why I like hanging out with you.
But seriously, Tilke was being criticized for designing
tracks that all look the same.
So I think that in coming into this, they must have, or he
must have said, we really need a uniquely whether it's
American specifically, or just a unique track, to give it its
own personality.
LEO PARENTE: And I'm going to get these wrong, but I was
feeling that Tilke should not get all the credit.
Because I remember all the way back in the Tavo Hellmund
stuff, there were other designers and other companies
that helped influence this.
And at the end of the day, I think you've got a real
challenging track, with a signature that can be
identified as US.
And not to hang a guy out, but one of the teams that we know,
ran a car in the Porsche Cup, the
Pirelli Porsche Cup Series.
And the driver was challenged, and he was maybe seven seconds
off where he should have been.
Turns out five of the seven seconds were because he hadn't
figured out the S's.
LEO PARENTE: So JF Roadie wants to drive the track, I'd
love to race the track.
I think this is going to define whether
you're a racer or not.
Hey let's take the "Drive" crew to COTA.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah let's do it.
LEO PARENTE: I'm ready.
MIKE SPINELLI: That'll be fun.
Who wouldn't want to drive that track, really.
LEO PARENTE: There you go.
So what do you think the championship fight?
Oh, before I move on what do you think of--
MIKE SPINELLI: How you doin'?
LEO PARENTE: Well this is the point, what did you think of
COTA the event?
Because I thought we would have the best of American
MIKE SPINELLI: We've talked a lot about how--
LEO PARENTE: This is Matt LeBlanc.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, Matt LeBlanc from "Friends."
LEO PARENTE: Who by the way, they showed 15 freakin' times.
Was he the only guy there?
MIKE SPINELLI: "Friends" was from what the mid '70s?
I don't remember.
I think, it was nice to have Matt LeBlanc there.
Because Patrick Dempsey needed someone to hang out with?
What's the point?
MIKE SPINELLI: I'm a big fan of Matt LeBlanc.
LEO PARENTE: Honestly, I think Monaco does it awesome.
MIKE SPINELLI: You can't compare.
LEO PARENTE: But yes and no, OK, because here's my--
MIKE SPINELLI: So where are you going to go?
Texas society, to the big rich Texas kind of thing?
LEO PARENTE: No, it's the United States.
We can't celebrity wrangle in the United States?
And no, I'm not--
MIKE SPINELLI: I agree, though so you're right, alright.
LEO PARENTE: I mean this is the best of America.
MIKE SPINELLI: We were talking about what is America known
for overseas.
And our reputation because of all kinds of reasons, is
tarnished in a lot of ways.
But what we do have--
LEO PARENTE: Oh come on, how many countries
have we bombed recently.
MIKE SPINELLI: But what we do have is Hollywood and
So you would think that we would--
LEO PARENTE: And fast food.
MIKE SPINELLI: Make a big showing.
Well, fast food, though, look, you
cannot touch Texas brisket.
So I'm OK with the food they serve.
LEO PARENTE: I expected better celebrities.
MIKE SPINELLI: I expected better celebrities.
At least a wider range of celebrities.
I think the big problem when it came to Hollywood and
getting celebrities here was that the race wasn't televised
on a network in America.
It was on Speed TV, which meant the ratings weren't
going to be something that a celebrity PR person would have
brought their A-list people over for.
LEO PARENTE: And that becomes the myopia of US only.
Because it's F1, I would have shown them
the global F1 numbers.
Billions of people supposedly watch this.
Anyway let's move on to the championship.
So we're still open forum here to Vettel verses Alonso.
OK, so they go to Brazil, and now he's 13
points ahead of Alonso.
Through this whole thing even with Alonso p.
3, he gained more points.
So now what Alonso has to do to win the championship is
finish third or better if Vettel wins the race.
At Brazil, Alonso's got a bunch of podiums,
but he's never won.
Vettel, the last two races, has seconds and a win.
So I'm putting on the spot, but I'm not trying to, what do
you think is going to happen in Brazil now?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well it's interesting, there's doubt
that Alonso has been driving his ass off.
And Alosno, it's really great to see him there.
Because I think he, other than Vettel and Hamiliton, I think
he's the best real driver in the entire--
I mean and you know I'm a Button fan, going way back.
But I just think style-wise and I'm thinking back to when
he was at his peak in what was it, 2005, or seven?
LEO PARENTE: He won one of his championships in five,
he won it in six.
MIKE SPINELLI: So there's no doubt, and I think Ferrari's
got it together enough to be able to pull it off.
And I think that--
LEO PARENTE: They're good at pulling up gearbox tabs.
LEO PARENTE: Go ahead.
MIKE SPINELLI: But Red Bull obviously, Vettel is--
it's sort of his to lose, I guess, at the end of the day.
LEO PARENTE: The other guy that made a mark was Hamilton.
LEO PARENTE: And I guess the conversation we really want to
have, besides his performance, and everyone's happy for him
to win another race for McLaren.
He's moving on to Mercedes.
We talked a little bit about in the Google Hangout?
Is that what we call it?
Google Hangout.
Love the hats, by the way.
MIKE SPINELLI: The hats were were really special.
Yeah I know, you had to do the hats.
LEO PARENTE: So what do you think of him moving from
McLaren to Mercedes.
MIKE SPINELLI: In a way it sort of feels like the baby
bird leaving the nest, right?
Because don't forget, when he went to Ron Dennis when he was
10 years old and said to him, one day I'm going to be racing
for you, I'm going to win the championship, right?
So he was a 10-year-old Carter at that time, and
look at what happened.
So it's kind of bittersweet, at the same time.
Because there is that kind of almost familial connection
between the two of those guys.
LEO PARENTE: And he's not going into a place that's
completely lost, as much as I would argue.
It's a Mercedes factory team.
Next year McLaren will not have a factory Mercedes
engine, they're going to be a customer.
Ross Brawn is not a slouch, I've heard him build cars that
kind of worked.

And there's money, Mercedes reinvested in the F1 team.
Didn't they just buy out the Middle Eastern financiers that
were part of their partnership?
But I don't remember the name, it was the
sovereign wealth fund--
MIKE SPINELLI: What was it?
MIKE SPINELLI: Abbar, right.
Right, exactly.
LEO PARENTE: So he's not going to go backmarker team, as we
keep using that word.
I think you're right, it's really down to its time as a
racing driver to take a leadership role in a team, and
built that reputation.
And maybe, for whatever reasons at McLaren, something
has kind of drifted from that type of leadership.
Because I think you'd be hard pressed to say the Button
hasn't made his mark at McLaren.
So Mike, yesterday we did that Google Hangouts
thin for the F1 race.
And that's not just the only time we're going to do this.
This is kind of test for "Drive."
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah the whole Google Hangouts thing is as an
experiment that we're going to be using across all the shows
that we do.
I mean ultimately the goal is to get you guys more involved
in the stuff we're doing.
So it's not just us bloviating all the time.

LEO PARENTE: And not all the shows, like "Road Testament."
MIKE SPINELLI: "Road Testament," we're going to be
doing a little more interactive stuff on "Road
Testament" using Google Hangouts.
LEO PARENTE: So I guess here's the key thing of all that.
We like the input, we like the interaction, it's called the
internet, ha ha ha.
What would you like to see as we do these Google Hangouts?
What would make it better for you?
For example, for me, as much I love the fun and the yucks,
yesterday, I like it when--
MIKE SPINELLI: Sound effects, more sound effects.
LEO PARENTE: I like it when Stephen Colbert does the joke
relevant to the topic we're talking about.
MIKE SPINELLI: I was doing very relevant sound effects.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah my question is, would you like these type
of a chats to be more kind of focused on the story.
Not that we're going to be hard ass reporters, but you
actually are a journalist, and plays one on the internet.
MIKE SPINELLI: Just wind me up and--
LEO PARENTE: Would you like us closer to the storyline?
Do you want it more structured?
I mean I prepped some notes, and we kind of shared.
But should we stay that way, or are you comfortable with it
being the equivalent of a bunch of guys hanging out at
the bar or a dorm room just kind of chatting an opinion?
MIKE SPINELLI: I think what we did well was you guys asked us
questions using the comments, and I relayed them to you.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah you were very, very helpful with that.
MIKE SPINELLI: So I think that was a good way to--
LEO PARENTE: And I gotta tell you, it was tough.
I respect the announcers, it was tough to follow the race
as we were multitasking.
JF was at the race over at Austin, and he sent us a tape.
He had a chance, as part of our process, to sit down with
Christian Horner, the head of Red Bull
Racing, and Andreas Sigl?
How'd I do?
Still got it wrong, freakin' not Italian guy for Infiniti.
Who's the liaison for Infiniti with Red Bull Racing, and they
talked a little bit about the US venue.
They talked about their collaboration, let's listen to
what JF got from talking to these two guys.
CHRISTIAN HORNER: What's great with the way they constructed
this circuit is you see the cars at their
best, High speed corners.
Whereas previous circuits have either been makeshift, or
adapted like in India and so on, whereas this one is
specifically designed to showcase Formula 1 cars.
JF MUSIAL: How accurate is the simulation now?
What can you get from that.
CHRISTIAN HORNER: Well I mean what we lacked on the
simulation here because they weren't made, were the curbs.
So the driver's got to drive the track without the curbs.
But we put our best guess in, and they don't
seem too far away.
So you learn a huge amount from simulation.
Also, in the run up the weekend technically you look
at different setups, and so on.
And as you gather data, your simulation
only becomes stronger.
It's a compromise.
So you need to have, I mean we've got a slower straight
line speed of any of the cars, but we're carrying quite a lot
of downforce to go through the corners quicker.
So we're hoping by the time we get to the straight we're a
couple of cars lengths ahead so they don't manage to get
into to the DRS zone.
To be a true World Championship, you've got
to be in the US.
I think it will be a track you can overtake at.
I mean that long straight and a lot of tarmac on the way in
to turn whatever it is at the end of this straight.
I think you will get more overtaking the
people predict here.
We're always looking to push the boundaries, to be
creative, to test ourselves.
And I think our spirit, our approach is different to the
other teams.
We're not as corporately driven, perhaps, as some of
the other teams.
There's more freedom in the way we express ourselves, and
that comes through into creative design as well.
Nobody wants to let the other guys down.
And that's the true essence of being a team.
Adrian was a key recruitment for me because he put the
technical direction into the team.
But then it's like having a great
conductor, but no orchestra.
You've got to have all the different instruments in the
right position.
Adrian sets the tempo, but there's a lot of different
departments that are all contributing, that have got
responsibilities for their areas.
So every time the car runs it's a prototype.
For example, we have great interaction with Infiniti on
the technical side, so we do an awful lot of work with the
guys from the R&D side looking at future technology one or
two years down the road as well.
Which is something that previously
for us wasn't available.
JF MUSIAL: Yesterday you spoke about the relationship with
Nissan Infiniti in terms of developing the KERS system.
What other technology are you planning on looking in the
future for?
What is it that is really the focus now for next year?
CHRISTIAN HORNER: Things like material science.
These guys are investing a huge amount into material
science, and vehicle dynamics, and simulation.
and they're all aspects they have much longer lead times
then we do.
But obviously I think they Nissan have 20,000 designers
working in R&D.
ANDREAS SIGL: If you've got 600 people working at Milton
Keynes, we've got maybe 19,000 working around the world.
And if race cars being built as a prototype every two
weeks, we have an entire group that is 10, 15
years, thinking out.
So they don't get the motivation from automotive
players, maybe they go to do the sewers.
They've got to, like, be out there thinking how do cars
look like, and drive, and what are materials like in
10 years from now.
So that's something, we've pretty
much opened our toolbox.
We've got Christian and Adrian, two [INAUDIBLE]
twice now.
He got himself so the R&D team and opened up our toolbox and
said here it is.
And there's obvious stuff like lightweight materials.
And there's crazy stuff like we have a scratch shield
paint, which is self-healing.
On our road cars I thought there would no interest
But there's interest in a Formula One team even on the
scratch shield paint.
So there's many, many areas, if it's processes or
technologies, that we'd be happy to share, and at the
same time learn.
Because we are a supertanker, and they're a speedboat.
So it's good for us to learn something also.
JF MUSIAL: What did you find interesting with the
scratch-free paint?
That's such a weird thing.
CHRISTIAN HORNER: It's surface finish.
Surface finish, so obviously the cars are aerodynamically
very critical.
So surface finish is something that's very important to us.
LEO PARENTE: OK so don't hate me, but the other thing that
happened this weekend, the same weekend as COTA in the
US, was NASCAR's championship.
And Roger Penske's team finally won their first NASCAR
And the reason I mention all this is there actually are a
couple of things that came out of this that I think a big
deal enough, I'm going to pontificate a little bit.
LEO PARENTE: Bloviate as you choose to call it.
First of all, put your NASCAR thing aside, and think about
these two things.
Penske Racing.
If you want to understand how to race, the business, the
sport, the marketing, go check what Roger Penske has done in
this profession, in this sport.
Actually our Friday ShakeDown is going to cover a little bit
of Penske racing, their background and the back story.
Number two, Keselowski won the championship.
And that's how they celebrate in NASCAR.
Keselowski won the championship.
And what he said in his interview--
not the drunken one that you need to show me the video of--
but one of his real interviews, his message is
pretty clear too, and pretty cool about NASCAR.
He literally said, look all my life I've been told I'm too
slow, too short, to this, not to be a champion.
And that was his motivation.
But then he finished by saying, I'm still that guy.
I'm still too slow, I'm still not strong enough, I'm still
not the guy, but my team at Penske made me good enough to
win the championship.
And honestly, if you look at NASCAR, in my opinion, you can
slam it all you want, but the one thing that is true about
NASCAR, it is a team sport.
And Keselowski's comment really is something that
drives home the real side of NASCAR racing.
And the F1 guys, they're paying attention to NASCAR.
They know they've got to beat these guys in
America, their marketing.
And there's a team aspect going all the way back to your
Hamilton versus Button thing.
So if there's any message, that's the point I want to
make about NASCAR, hats off to my guys, Roger Penske.
They're good friends, professional friends of ours
and watch the Friday "ShakeDown," we're going to
tell you all the fantastic things this
guy's done in racing.
MIKE SPINELLI: Cool, cool.
LEO PARENTE: But back to the F1 thing and to close this,
you had a really valid question to ask the fans, the
viewers, about what happened this weekend.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well I was really curious as to whether
any race fans, or any just kind of car enthusiasts, have
started watching F1 because it's on in the US now.
It hasn't been that long that we haven't had
an F1 around here.
But I'm just I'm just curious as to whether the the Grand
Prix of the Americas has led you to watch more F1, or to be
more interested in the rest of this season,
LEO PARENTE: And I think that question
plays at a couple levels.
Because, for example, you did a ton of
stories about introducing F1 to your audience.
And you can be a car fan, but you may not know of F1.
You can be a NASCAR fan, and you may not be
knowledgeable of F1.
You may not need to be, but did any of this, about COTA,
and Austin pique your curiosity to learn more?
Did our live chat do that?
The things we do here, did that help?
And I'm curious, not about just us, but are you more
interested in F1 because of all this experience.
MIKE SPINELLI: Are there any new F1 fans because
it's here in Texas?
We're not here in Texas, but 400,000 miles away in Texas,
or wherever that is.
LEO PARENTE: Michael, thanks again.
MIKE SPINELLI: Thanks again.
LEO PARENTE: Sorry was the [BLEEP]
LEO PARENTE: You know I promised Ian this was going to
be a seven minute show.
MIKE SPINELLI: Kind of off by about, what time is it?
LEO PARENTE: Yeah I was going to say it's time for the
Friday "ShakeDown," thanks.
Just click to the next show,