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News of the Day: January 3, 2012

Today is my last day as a free woman before returning to work. Now, to make the most of it by really digging into some juicy, exciting F1 news!

Uh. Yeah. Er. So much to choose from today.

There Is Something Conspicuously Missing from the Williams Site

See for yourself.

Up at the top of their home page, where the logo is? Anything look different?

The apparent end to AT&T title sponsorship for the Williams team is probably the only thing that qualifies as actual F1 news today. Actually, I first saw it pointed out yesterday on Twitter, but it wasn’t until today that news stories in English started to pop up online. Here’s one, from SpeedTV. I don’t see any announcements on the Williams web site, and it’s not clear to me what “initial reports” the article is referring to, but you’ll see that same wording pretty much everywhere — it’s all from the same GMM wire story.

Oh, look — it turns out  Joe Saward posted about all this on his blog yesterday, but I didn’t see it until today. (I thought he was still on vacation!) In fact, he might be the “initial reports” the GMM wire article is referring to. Why don’t people just cite sources? I’m never going to understand that. Unless your story is based on information from an anonymous source, it would be nice to know who/what the source is!

Anyway, according to Saward, the national bank of Qatar, QNB, will soon be announced as Williams’ new title sponsor.

More Words from Adrian Newey, OBE

Interview with Autosport.

Straight after his interview yesterday with Unnamed ESPNF1 Staffer, Adrian Newey headed over to Autosport HQ to chat with Jon Noble and Pablo Elizalde. On his way in, he passed Nico Rosberg, who was just leaving and stopped to greet him.

“So,” Nico said, cheekily plucking a nonexistent piece of lint from the lapel of Adrian’s sportcoat. “I hear you are going to try to have your car ready for Jerez?”

Newey smiled agreeably. “Yes, I think that shouldn’t be a problem.”

Nico shrugged. “If you’re sure that’s the best way to proceed. Of course, you know best, but… There are those teams that would prefer to perfect every detail for an extra two weeks.”

“And there are those teams that have no need of an extra two weeks to perfect every detail.”

Nico laughed, perhaps too loudly. “Of course. See you in Barcelona, each with our perfect cars…”

Newey turned and headed into Jon Noble’s office for his interview — and that next part of his day turned out to be very much par for the course.

As Adrian Newey has said many times in many interviews (and says again here), Sebastian Vettel is a very intelligent and hard-working young lad who is constantly putting every aspect of his race under a microscope and trying to fine-tune it to absolute perfection. I think a lot of people would prefer that he did less of that. Maybe he could take up a hobby, like R&B album recording? But no — I don’t think he’s going to stop doing what he’s doing anytime soon.

So, Newey tells Autosport, one can expect Vettel to be using this break to take a very close look at the mistakes he made during this past season — mistakes like the fateful one in Canada. Oh, Canada.

…he was distraught post-race – that he had been beaten, having dominated the whole race, on the last lap.

Well, we all were to be honest.

Oh yeah, I hear that. Distraught is what I was, too. However, I’ll be surprised if we see Vettel make that particular mistake again. See the last hundred interviews with Adrian Newey or Christian Horner for the reason why.

Newey also says no one on the team is tired of winning yet. They’d actually like to continue doing that.

God, no, I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do to make this story interesting. I mean, I love hearing about how great Seb is a lot more than the next guy, and it makes me happy that Newey and Horner genuinely think so highly of him, but I honestly feel like I’ve read this interview twenty times in the past year. The first time I read it, I loved it. The second time I read it, I loved it. But…damn, people. Are there some new questions someone could ask Red Bull management at some point?

Jules Bianchi Says Things About 2012

French radio interview, reported numerous places, like ESPNF1.

Jules Bianchi, the Ferrari test driver and GP2 racer about whom you sometimes find yourself wondering, “Wait — he’s Italian, right? No, no — French. French.” is now rumored to be in contention for the Force India test/Friday driver position. Basically, he’d be this year’s Nico Hülkenberg, the Hulk obviously having graduated to racing full time for the team. I haven’t heard a lot of people saying they were blown away by Bianchi’s awesomeness in GP2 (he finished third in the 2011 championship), so I hope all this works out for him. I’m also not sure whether this means he is not going to be competing in GP2 in 2012. Anyone know?

“Sustainability Director”?

News item in the Austin Business Journal.

The Circuit of the Americas has hired Edgar Farrera as its “director of sustainability.” No, I don’t know exactly what that is, either. Oh, wait — the article says! See link above. You should go read it and see if it sounds like the sort of career you might want to pursue. I’d reproduce the description here, but I’m deeply opposed to the use of the word “green” to mean “environmentally friendly,” and that happens twice in the relevant paragraph of the article.

I know this is not exactly thrilling F1 news — or even F1 news at all, except in the most tangential sense — but it struck me as encouraging that COTA is hiring people for positions other than the most fundamental ones, like “director of making sure a circuit exists by November.”

Speaking of whom, it looks like he or she has been busy; here are some photos of the circuit posted on Facebook today.

And now, I’d like to thank you for making it this far into this blog entry. BY GOD, this was a dull day for F1 news. Perhaps tomorrow will be more exciting…