Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 9th September

This page will be updated throughout the day.

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Alonso to do a Q&A on twitter (09:35)

Vettel wears blue and is boo’d whilst drinking the boose (11:01)

Tremors increase (15:15)

Comment of the month (17:49)

Flashing lights too (20:18)

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Alonso to do a Q&A on twitter

10 minutes ago at 09:25 GMT Alonso tweeted the following, “This afternoon at 18:00 we do a Q&A #askAlo ! you will know firsthand all your questions .. 😉 ! See you later ! Thaaaanks !”. Fernando has trying hard to be good this weekend. On Friday, TJ13 commented on his ‘compliant’ demeanour in the FIA press conference.

Every time Fernando has been seen with a microphone in front of his face this weekend, he has been beaming, complementing Massa – “He was perfect” in qualifying – and exuding sugar and sweetness and light.

Early last evening Alonso tweeted, “Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico FantásticoFantástico Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico!!” and posted this picture which looks a little photo shopped – which is in itself bizarre because Alonso was actually there.

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A little later Fernando tweeted again, “ che dici, un fan club!? 😉 …what do you say, a fan club!? ;)” and added the 1st picture below. Clearly still excited about his fantastic and fabulous weekend Fernando posted a montage of pictures and mutterings at around midnight entitled “Monza” (2nd below).

This fantastic weekend saw Alonso lost further ground to Vettel – who must now be red hot favourite to retain his title unless a rogue squadron of Lancaster bombers target Milton Keynes manufacturing base. If anyone believes Alonso has suddenly decided to appreciate the finer things in life rather eg the adoration of the Tifosi and the beautiful setting in which the Autodromo in Monza is set – think again.

Alonso is driven to nigh on insanity by Vettel’s success. He continually justifies how Vettel is an inferior driver but driving a Newey special flying machine.

Let’s not forget folks, the first person who knew that Vettel’s win yesterdays equalled the number of GP wins that Fernando has bagged – would have been Fernando himself.

So, Fernando – you really want us to believe this was a fantastico and fabulous weekend? Can’t wait until 18:00 (CET) this evening. (17:00 GMT).

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Vettel wears blue and is boo’d whilst drinking the boose

Fleet Street have decided the ‘Vettel booing’ is the story of yesterday which they are reporting today – probably due to the extreme dull nature of the race.

The Daily Mail suggests that nothing else should be expected at Monza unless a Ferrari driver wins the race. ‘Unstoppable Vettel goes on boos cruise’ – is the headline. “On Sunday the booing for the victorious Vettel carried an intensity rare even for these parts, where they are routinely as one-eyed as Cyclops.

Red is their colour, Ferrari is their creed, so when another German, Michael Schumacher, was strangling the life out of the sport by dint of his monotonous success, he was worshipped as a god.

But Vettel’s feats – winner of three consecutive world titles and holder of a 53-point lead over his nearest challenger, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the runner-up – are deemed worthy of ear-splitting condemnation. His Red Bull overalls carry no allure. The decibel levels barely fell when John Surtees, world champion for Ferrari in 1964 and conducting the podium interviews, urged the fans to calm down.”

The Times suggests the booing is routine when any champion becomes dominant..

“Vettel has won four times in the past six races, a test of resolve for even the most devoted grand-prix watcher. We have been here before, of course, with Michael Schumacher and a winning sequence that bored the fireproof pants off the sport.

Now F1 has a new mantra: Anyone but Vettel. It might be an unkind sentiment but the Monza tifosi took it to a higher and more unpleasant level as their boos tarnished the prize presentation ceremony.”

Mmm. Don’t remember hearing Roger Federer boo’d.

The Daily Telegraph cuts to the chase and states it is in effect Vettel himself who is being targeted. “Others were less impressed by what has become a regular occurrence at races this year, rejecting the argument that the Tifosi, Ferrari’s fans, boo anyone who is not wearing red by pointing out that Mark Webber, also on the podium at Monza, was not given the same treatment.

‘Vettel has been booed at many races this year – including the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in June – with many linking it to his behaviour at the Malaysian Grand Prix when he disobeyed team orders and overtook Webber for the victory.”

I wrote how impressed I was with Vettel following his appearance on the giant stage in ‘the Village’ after the race. He was amusing, self deprecating – both about himself and his nationality – and genuinely funny offering good banter with the assembled masses.

Yet it does appear that a sin like multi 21 in Malaysia and the way Vettel chose to subsequently deal with it is ‘sticking in the craw’ of many F1 fans. His treatment of Mark at the start of yesterday’s race was very firm but fair. Yet maybe someone in Vettel’s PR world should have suggested to him a Red Bull 1-2 with Webber winning – and Vettel showing him some grace – would go some way to beginning to restore the German’s image in the minds of the F1 fans.

Mark Webber during his career has been very popular amongst F1 fans for his generally fair minded but direct and open approach to speaking his mind. For many – Vettel has a deviously undermined and taken advantage of Webber who represents to them the values they want to see in F1 – from the drivers, team bosses, Ecclestone, Todt… et al.

So it is the case that Vettel now represents the F1 anti-hero, where all the disgust and distaste at all that is wrong with F1 is being focused through the booing.

Vettel needs to find a way to atone for his sin against Saint Mark (The Patron Saint of F1), if he wants to be forgiven by the F1 fans.

Life is made of moments. and choices. Not all of them matter, or have any lasting impact. Stealing apples from the farmers field to eat or a forbidden midnight trist are but small choices, really. Insignificant as soon as they’re made. Innocent moments.

But then.

Then there’s a different kind of moment. One when the world, our world is irrevocably changed by a choice we make. A moment we will play endlessly in our minds on lonely nights and empty days. One we’ll search repeatedly for some indication that what we chose was right, some small sign that tells us the truth isn’t nearly as awful as it feels. Or as awful as anyone would think if they knew.

So we explain it to ourselves, justify it enough to sleep. And then we bury it deep, so deep we can almost pretend it never happened. But as much as we wish it were different, the truth is, our worlds are sometimes balanced on choices we make and the secrets we keep.

Vettel must realise there are but a few moments left for him to demonstrate his contrition and find a moment of forgiveness from the F1 masses. Sebastian must act swiftly as this act of repentance can only be enacted with his team mate Webber.

Should the young German fail to realise this, the moment of multi-21 may define him in the viewers mindset forever.

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Tremors increase

As the circuit cleaners moved into the vast public viewing areas to clean up the empty cans and litter, the F1 circus was moving on from Monza.

This was the weekend where the mainstream media began to believe that the reports of Kimi moving to Ferrari were genuine. Fernando had “attacked his own team”, as Christian Horner described it to SKY, and clearly everyone now knows there has been chaos behind the scenes at Ferrari over the summer break.

German F1 news publications are openly reporting, that Felipe Massa will be informed by Il Padrino (LdM) that he will not be retained to drive for the Maranello team for 2014. They suggest that Alonso has been pushing hard for the team to retain his Brazilian team-mate and that clearly he has lost this battle.

Der Spiegel claims that Raikkonen’s contract will remunerate him around 20million euros p.a., paid for jointly between Santander and Shell.

Massa appears to know the writing is on the wall when he commented to told SKY, “I love Ferrari. But the other teams also know what I can do.”

Kimi is playing it cool telling RAI, “I don’t know anything yet. Once I know, I’ll tell you.”

German publications, Bild and de Welt, now agree with a long term view suggested by TJ13, that Alonso is most upset about the imminent arrival of Raikkonen’s in Maranello that he could jump ship to fill the Finn’s place at Lotus.

There have been murmurs that Renault are about to scale up their investment in their support for Lotus, a move backed by French carmaker’s chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The French car manufacturer has regularly complained about its lack of visibility from Infiniti Red Bull Racing and it could be that Lotus gives them a more substantial media platform.

Eric Boullier was asked what he would do if Alonso became available to his team, and he smiled replying, “If Fernando knocks on my door, I will answer it. I just hope that I can pay for it!”

The other driver in the headlines this week was Nico Hulkenberg, and his name was even mentioned by the Ferrari supremo in an interview with Martin Brundle for Sky. If Alonso were to leave Ferrari have a second seat to fill. Yet, Swiss publication Blick reports that Hulkenberg will definitely have a contract at Sauber in 2014.

Boullier appears to be enjoying all this – bizarrely – and when asked, “Kimi or Nico?”, he replied “Good question.”

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 posted by GPD today on twitter

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Comment of the month

Sorry, we’re a bit late with this one from August. There was a debate ensuing around whether Alonso had been given No.1 status at Ferrari and in in return delivered or not. Kimi was being debated too, and it was suggested he was inferior to Massa.

And all this Kimi, Kimi, Kimi crap is getting quite tiring. I like Raikkonen but other than 2007 when he lucked into the WC he hasn’t lived up to his alleged ability. He’s never had a truly competitive , hungry team mate until he joined Ferrari, and had Massa not been injured, Massa would have beaten him 2 out of 3 seasons. Raikkonen is a good driver not a great driver. Ferrari would be far better off with a younger driver, like Hulkenberg, who’s quick and do what he’s told”.

COTM was from Danilo Schöneberg who replied

“Get your facts right, Kimi could only qualify 15th in Australia because of mech failure in qualifying, therefore lost the race before it even began. Lost 2nd place in Monaco due to drive-through given for a team infraction then lost control on a wet patch after the tunnel and cluttered into Sutil. Exhaust failure in France handing the lead to Massa. Tactical fail by team in Silverstone – wrong tyres, lost lead and ended up 4th. Had to wait behind Massa in the pits during safety car at Germany, Had to queue behind Massa again after crash-gate induced safety car at Singapore. Nerfed off by Hamílton at Suzuka while in the lead. Had to let Massa through at China.

Massa was never in the same league, but Kimi’s 2008 campaign makes Webber look like the luckiest person on earth”.

TJ13 says: Just what we like here in the courtroom of F1 opinion at TJ13 – tough debating of strong opinions.

Click here for that days news and the full debate

(You can vote for comments by clicking the thumbs up sign on the first line of the comment).

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Flashing lights too

So is Fernando happy or not? Is life really ‘Fantastico’ or is our Spanish friend agitated. He was irritated with his team during qualifying and yet tells the world 10 minutes later, Felipe was ‘perfect’ in his part in providing the ‘tow’.

Alonso was heard to complained on the team radio on lap 19 about Vettel’s flashing light to no avail. This light clearly irritated Alonso because in the written press conference after the podium ceremony he again raised the issue.

It was a little irritating. It is a strong light when it is not raining. Sebastian is not used to have a car in front of him so he does not know how it feels when you are constantly seeing a red light.

Thanks Fernando, it was somewhat irritating for the TV viewer too. Yet Alonso has not finished, “It flashed constantly. He could have turned it off, but he did not, so the whole race I had the red flash light in my eyes.

Vettel was snoozing during the diatribe, but when Alonso had finished, he mischievously quipped, “I heard you were complaining about the red light, so I tried to drive away from you, so it wouldn’t bother you.

Yet last year Red Bull were accused in Hockenheim of running engine maps that reduced the torque, and this furore resulted in the FIA legislating.

The flashing light is usually deployed not by an on/off switch, but when a setting is switched on the car. For example, were the car to switch from a dry tyre setting to a setting for intermediate tyre or wet tyre conditions, the flashing light is deployed.

For you conspiraciests out there, could it be that Red Bull were running an intermediate/wet map which retarded ignition to lessen any potential wheel spin?

Maybe the team had programmed the full wet map with the dry tyres radius and dimension settings, but leaving reduced torque of the engine map?

So once Vettel had danced clear of the field, it would reduce the load on the rear tyres and gearbox?

Just a thought….

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104 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 9th September

  1. I am so used to your bias towards alonso tj13. What a pity! Get a life, great content I’ll agree but your opinions clearly come from site managers with the IQ of a banana eating ape.

    • The discussions on this site usually shine by being devoid of comments of that level. This is completely out of place and you should be embarrassed.

    • The judge is biased against everyone as you will notice if you take a look at the archive 😉
      Your comment is a bit on the ad-hominem side isn’t it?

      • I would say that replacing in first comment Alonso with Vettel works too. While Alonso has deserved this judgement; Vettel hasn’t. Multi21 is payback for silvestone and brazil. Thats it. In my humble opinion.

        We all well know that saint Mark was first who started this game and got burned too… Saint Mark’s full confession here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/14099315 – admits, that he wasn’t able to overtake vettel but did NOT gave up. It’s common belief that MW gave up in the end. No. He did not.)

  2. Guess I must love bananas, anything that takes the spotlight off the little finger wagging Goldie Locks wannabe must be applauded! Keep it up Judge, we really do like it.

    • Haha. You guys are relatively new and welcome.

      Earlier this year Lewis got hammered for being a big Emo ‘girl’ and we suggested he grew up and realise he was the most fortunate young man.

      Vettel was berated persistently for his devilish treachery toward St Mark Webber.

      Vijay has been castigated since the dawn of TJ13, along with Todt, Ecclestone, Honer – we did a week taking the mickey out of Christian called ‘Christian Aid week’

      If it moves in F1 – it will likely cop it at some point.

      Fernando is at present becoming a charicature at present, but in F1 this is often the norm for many…..

      • Spot on Judge, where the hell would the world be without regular doses of satire and sarcasm? as they say in the classics “F**k’em if they can’t take a joke!”

  3. So, @thejudge13 , have any idea where alonso will be in 2014??Ferrari or any other team(Lotus-Renault , perhaps..)???

    • German F1 broadcaster RTL reports that the Kimi/Alonso swap is a done deal, which means Santander will be painted on next year’s Lotus and Alonso would officially be a hypocrite as all his ‘I don’t care who my team mate is’ samurai talk was just rubbish.

      • Hmmm… Not sure about this Danilo. I’ve heard that Alonso was told to stay put.

        If Santander has a sponsorship deal with Ferrari it will cost them a lot to buy it out.. That said, it could be tied in to Alonso driving for the team (making him a pay driver) and that would be their get-out clause.

        Considering their debt (Santander) could it be that they want to exit F1 altogether? Cycling is much cheaper to sponsor 😉

        • According to RTL, Renault boss Ghosn is the driving force behind it. He want’s his ‘lost son’ back and is prepared to help the financial settlement of Alonso’s exit. So unless this was a complete fabrication, we’ll soon see just how much ‘nando loves Ferrari and having the guy as a team mate, he pushed out in the first place 😉

          • I do wonder at the logic of it all.
            He left Mclaren and returned to Renault who were a shadow of their former selves and wasted 2 years there till Ferrari came calling.
            He runs away from Ferrari this time back to Enstone, again with the loss of Allison, surely a shadow of their former selves?

            Talk about cutting off your nose..
            With Kimi at Ferrari, it paves the way for a certain German wunderkid to join for 2015… Am I reading too much into this?

          • Well, it would make sense. Kimmi has only a few years left in F1 and I don’t Ferrari will be that tolerant of his antics as Lotus were, so Kimi will quickly tire of it again and Vettel has extended his contract by only one year ’til the end of 2015. So Kimi gets two final shots at the title and then Vettel can try to build himself some legacy.
            At least he won’t be booed in Monza again 😉

      • With all due respect for RTL, but really cannot see this happen, Alonso is frustrated from not being able to fight Vettel but he is smart enough to realize that a 2014 Ferrari is likely to be a better weapon than a non-Allison-designed Lotus to have another go at it next year; also I do not think that he is too worried about Kimi being his teammate, the Finn is relatively fast and superconsistent, but still unlikely to outperform Alonso who will also realize that Kimi in a Ferrari will take more points away from Vettel than Massa in a Ferrari…

        • A Kimi in a Ferrari will also take points away from Fernando, will not move over like Massa did in Monza and he certainly won’t put up with any surprise gearbox penalties and other things. And saying that Kimi is unlikely to outperform Fernando is an opinion, but not exactly a quantifiable fact. I’d wager he’d be much too close in performance for Fernando’s comfort.
          I can’t see both of them at Ferrari, it never worked in over 40 years to have two top dogs in the team. After the debacles with Villeneuve/Pironi and Mansell/Prost Ferrari would have to be window-licking mad to try something like that again unless they fancy re-enacting McLaren 2007.

          • Villeneuve-Scheckter were two top dogs working very well together, Forghieri cannot stop saying that it was the best Ferrari pairing ever…

            Anyway, agree that Kimi not outperforming Alonso is only an option and not quantifiable, but he did help Massa in 2008 so he is a teamplayer once his own WDC chances are gone, and if you look at history than Ferrari has always favoured the guy with the most points, not the #1 driver at the beginning of the season, so in a Kimi-Alonso pairing the first few races will be of great importance, given that Kimi would be ‘new’ to Ferrari in 2014 should give Alonso a lot of confidence for these first few races, but of course 2014 will be somewhat special because of the new regulations and the higher likelihood of reliability issues…

          • But Kimi and Massa taking points off each other before they finally agreed on Massa was what gave the title away to Hamilton – that and crashgate as Massa was leading comfortably, when Piquet nerfed it into the barrier.

          • Reliability @ Hungary and the fuel feeder and a lost cool during the crashgate race more than anything else lost Massa the title i would say, maybe by Japan Kimi could have moved over

          • Hmm, so we have the Renault super-team of Alonso/Grosjean/2009 car, and the new Ferrari super-team of Raikkonen/Hulkenberg? If not this, then the old Ferrari 2007/8 super-team of Raikkonen/Massa. I have a feeling Di Montezemolo will sign Hulk for Massa. The other swap, I’m not so sure of. But if Renault get back involved then who they would want to back, is probably the question.

  4. The Multi21 thing is just an excuse to boo and with so many fans of JB, Lewis, Fernando and Kimi it’s not a surprise.

    Webber was roundly applauded for ignoring Red Bull team orders and attacking Vettel in 2011. So why the boos? Is it…

    1.) Those booing are a bit thick, and haven’t watched the sport too long/have memories which are incredibly short or…
    2.) Those booing are doing so because they’re jealous the driver they support isn’t winning or possibly
    3.) Red Bull lack the fans of an establish team like McLaren/Ferrari and obviously the Brits boo Germans who win (see MSC).

    Probably a mix of all of those to be fair. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Singapore if Vettel wins, as unlike Euro races their is no ‘home driver’ at that race, unlike Silverstone, Hungary (which is like Kimi’s home race!) and Italy.

    If anything Ferrari fans should be booing Alonso this weekend given his poor qually and sarcastic comments to the team! That’s a far worse offence than wanting to race… in a err… motor race.

    • Maybe people just don’t like him ?

      Not particularly fond of him myself – Why?

      With anyone in sport – If i think they would buy you drink down the pub and fit in like a mate … Then its thumbs up from me !!

      And with that, I dont think Seb would fit that bill !!

      • Maybe so (folks just don’t like him), but as I said on another forum, Vettel is probably the nearest thing F1 has to Valentino Rossi. He’s pretty good humoured (as is JB, but LH/FA aren’t), fast as eck and wins rather a lot.

        Oh well 🙂

        • The Multi21 excuse will be used forever as a contrived ‘moral high ground’ to mask, what is basically just petty jealousy. Just as Alonso detractors will forever point to crash-gate and the Anti-Hamilton brigade will forever cry wolf about Melbourne lie-gate.

          If Multi21 hadn’t happen, people would still blather on, how Vettel got Webbo’s wing in Silverstone ’10 or just plainly come up with the ‘annoying finger’ excuse. Everything is better than admitting to hating him for his continually beating the guy they want to win.

          • I want to like him, but i can’t. Genuinely not sure why.

            Then again, I’m not too fond of Lewis or Fernando either.

            I’m more a fan of Mark and Kimi – i just like their less ‘corporate’ attitude.

            And I’ve absolutely no jealousy towards any of the current or past F1 drivers.

            Sometimes you just can’t warm to people, even if you’re not quite sure why.

          • since none of us knows these guys, it’s all about public perception. vettel did his perception no favors by blaming the turkey crash on webber and ignoring multi 21. multi 21 was especially bad, because he essentially stole a win. webber was ordered to turn his engine down and vettel used this to overtake him. it was sneaky and mean spirited and didn’t come from being a racer or thinking about the championship but from trying to one up a guy he doesn’t like. that is the fact that vettel fans conveniently disregard, what separates this incident from other occassions were webber supposedely ignored team orders and what disgusted most fans. add to that that webber is the underdog and that even before vettel has given off the impression of not being able to handle being beaten by his team and you have a pr disaster and a ruined reputation.

            i liked vettel when he first came to f1 and when he got his chance to race for red bull. he is indeed a funny guy and initially came across as humble. however, under pressure he revealed a side that is not very likeable, and that is the reason people boo him.

          • Fair point Colin. The problem is, that these are people we’re likely only ever to see on TV. You can’t judge a character by long distance diagnosis. If you can’t warm up to him, fine, that’s fair game. But would it be a reason to boo him, I think not.

            I simply don’t get the level of hate he’s receiving. Was Alonso booed endlessly after crashgate or his blackmailing attempt on McLaren? Was Schumacher booed so often, even after punting off Hill? I don’t think so.

            What it comes down to for me is, that we have four great chapions in the field and only one of them has won again and again, so you have three large fanbases that are perpetually frustrated.

          • anjis, your point doesn’t really look at the whole picture. Vettel did exactly what Mark did. Mark attacked him despite a clear ‘Multi12’ at Silverstone even though Vettels car was wounded. There isn’t a single thing that makes Mark’s move any worse than Vettel’s.
            The atrocious call was made by the team. Asking a 3-times WDC to give away 7 points in just a second race, even though he won 2 of his three titles by less than that margin is ridiculous. No self-respecting F1 chapion would have put up with that. Senna would have flipped off the pitwall for good measure.

            Pointing to Malaysia as the reason for not liking Vettel is hypocritical, as by that logic you’d have to hate the guts of just about every champion as many of them have commited even worse atrocities.

          • Totally agree with your points Danilo.

            At the risk of going off on a massive target this article is quite instructive, and might explain why some are going off the deep end in their dislike of, well, anything. Some, not all. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/salman-rushdie-were-all-too-offended-now-8755930.html

            To me F1 is a sport, which i enjoy. I’m not defined by it, or any other sport for that matter – football springs to mind.

            I want to enjoy the spectacle, the entertainment and the excitement. Also, the fabulous engineering and amazing minds that make up F1 from drivers, to engineers and even, sometimes, Bernard.

            Booing someone is not my style at all.

      • I dare say Vettel would be the likeliest to buy you a drink in the pub. He’s actually much more approachable than your average F1 driver. When was it last time that you heard about Alonso attending a soap box downhill race with the fans, dressed up as a comic character?

        • Well said Danilo, I like the off track Seb Vettle, I’ve seen a few things he has done on TV that are non race day apperences and he is a very funny and witty guy. (check out YouTube clip of him doing a Kimi impression at Autosport awards, 1 of many).
          I do admit I am a bit board of him winning so much. Then again how many of us can say we have dedicated a massive portion of out lives to achieving perfection in our chosen fields, when I leave work of an evening I don’t think about it again until the next time I clock in, I don’t have to watch my weight or he careful what I say and to who. The lad has worked hard for what he has, often reported as being one of the drivers who puts more hours in to understand the car and the data collected so he can refine his performance than many others in the paddock.

          Before anyone accuses me of being a fan boy, I don’t have favorite driver or team I love F1.

        • Its true, and what is so admirable, and also a little bit tragic, is his continued attempt to win people over in interviews, at Silverstone, at Monza, he just doesn’t think ‘screw you’ and leave, he goes out there and tries to reach people. Perhaps things like the Multi-21 means he has to, but do we honestly think Lewis, Fernando, Mark, Kimi would if they were in the same situation.

          I don’t mean ‘tragic’ to sound a harsh critique, but just I feel its doomed to fail as folks have such short memory and, as you have said before Danilo, are desperate for legitimate reasons to hate the guy for beating everyone elses favourites.

          I think Red Bull as a brand are sort of being branded unfavourably by many as part of this, I can only hope bringing Ricciardo in next year might alter things a little, I think it gives Vettel the chance to restablish his relationship towards his team mate… or of course, do it all again, I guess time will tell on that.

        • I presume now in F1 you have to love everyone.

          Love one and Support one – Fan Boy
          Not a particular fan of one – Jealous and Bitter

          There is really no point in Nailing your Mast to a post …

        • Danilo & co, It’s a difficult one to answer.
          I don’t think that it’s purely a Vettel based situation. He is being booed but I don’t believe it’s purely a multi 21 situation. In itself, I don’t believe it was a problem, but his quite blatant lying after the event and then his complete retraction at the following GP certainly offended a great many people. His team, despite displaying anger, did nothing to show who was in charge.

          I always liked Vettel, found his personality quite engaging but the finger grated.
          I never believed that Webber would have the measure of him, he is one of a special talent, but something doesn’t feel right about calling him a 3 or 4 time world champion. It’s not his or the teams fault, it’s the competition who haven’t stepped up to the mark.
          I assume people are getting bored of the Red Bull domination and their arrogance over anything that goes against their cars dominance. The tyres have been changed after much criticism from the team and it has allowed them to dominate once again.

          To my mind, and I have been watching F1 since the 70’s, I have only experienced this type of multi year domination on 4 occasions.
          The Mclaren Honda years from 1988 to 1991, Williams Renault from 1992 to 1997 and the Ferrari period of 2000 to 2004 and obviously the RBR period now.

          Nobody had a problem with Mclaren decimating the field because you had Senna and Prost fighting practically to the death. Only with Prost leaving for Ferrari did peace return, yet what we witnessed at Mclaren was a supreme driver against Berger but no semblance of team orders.
          With Williams, they had the best car and a variety of drivers winning championships. But again, their drivers were free to race.

          There is enough evidence to suggest that Ferrari with Todt and Schumi driving the team had huge performance advantages, but it grated that Schumacher would never allow a comparable driver in alongside to truly give us a glorious F1 period.
          He chose the subservient to the greater good and ultimately it was something that forced LdM into hiring Kimi to put the duo in their respective places.
          How would history view Schumacher if he had agreed to stay for 2007 and won the WDC against Kimi? Surely a little more respect than just statistically the best ever?

          In a way, RBR signing Ricciardo smacks of Vettel’s preferred option, no matter what he says to the press. Is this a further repeat of the 2000-2004 F1 seasons?
          I want Alonso to stay at Ferrari, they need a forceful personality in the car. Kimi just isn’t that type of individual, but I fear Alonso will leave.
          I will lose complete respect for him if he does, because he will have lied throughout his years about never requesting number 1 status.
          Prost welcomed Senna to his team, he was more than happy to be compared against anyone, although his stance changed somewhat when Senna wanted to join Williams for 1993.
          Alonso staying would signify that he welcomes the fight, one I believe he would win, but his running, well…

          Regards booing.
          It’s not purely an Italian condition. Apart from Vettel being booed at Silverstone, there were a number of years that Casey Stoner was booed at Donington and it was one of the reasons he left MotoGP.

          • Good points there carlo, but I disagree on some of them. Re: Vettel lying at Malaysia. Yes, his handling of what he did was poor, but then again, you have to look at what led to it. Mark disobeyed a direct team order, bragged about it in the media and the team did nothing to put him in his place. Vettel clearly expected the same, but suddenly he gets shown the cold shoulder by none other than Newey himself, publically in front of the cameras. I bet he was just so taken by surprise that he came up with the lame apology. As for bold-faced lying – that’s not exactly an uncommon offense in the paddock. They all do it if it fits their agenda.

            As for the McLaren 1988/1989 situation. How much good did it McLaren to have two alpha-dogs? The public feud did them so much good that 2008 was the first year any team even tried again to put two top-class drivers in the same team. It was again McLaren and it again did more harm than good (Hungaroring penalty). Such a pairing simply doesn’t work and that’s why it hasn’t been done since. That has nothing to do with Schumacher or Vettel fearing competition. I believe Vettel when he says that Kimi was his preferred team mate, because I get the impression he rather wants a harmonious atmosphere in the team rather than a weak team mate.

          • Never really got the Stoner booing either, I believe he was the fastest guy on two wheels in the world for a considerable period in terms of raw speed. I’m sure he wasn’t liked because he could beat Rossi and fought with him on track. Whilst I’ve respect for Rossi (who’s a great character), deep down knowning that Stoner was faster (and better to watch!) always means that I favoured the Aussie, even though I’m a Brit and many of my countrymen booed the vastly talented rider. Stoner wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was either, Webber style, yet that was considered bad in MotoGP unlike F1 where Webber is regarded for it! Big Marquez fan nowadays though, he’s very much like Stoner.

            A german in a non traditional team winning everything going is never going to be popular in Italy, Spain or the UK. It’ll be interesting to see what happens should he pick up a flyaway race win or two.

          • Is this perhaps saying more about the state of the human race?

            I was taught never to Boo anyone. You respect your enemies and friends regardless. I see booing as the ultimate sign of having lost a fight and wanting to have the last word… just because it makes you feel better.

            But when you go home and look in the mirror, you’re still the same loser.

            I recon Vettel is still more popular in Red Bull than Alonso is at Ferrari 🙂

          • @ Don. Why should you respect your enemies? If someone dumps on you you owe them nothing, especially respect.

          • @BJF, I had to be in Italy for a couple of weeks, sadly not a holiday, but am back and grateful to be back in the loop so to speak. It’s been purgatory not being able to keep up to date with things, had lots of reading back to catch up.

      • Yeah, that’s right. People just don’t like him. I turn the sound off whenever he (frequently) wins a race because I don’t want to hear that little victory shout of his. Oddly, that pisses me off; I don’t understand why it does, but it does. And it makes me not like the guy. I don’t hate him, I just don’t like him.

        • That’s one of the great mystery of our times. Frankly, I cannot explain why people get worked up over that, but I suppose it has to do with him doing that routine even after races he won relatively easy.

          Take ‘nando’s favourite cyclist Alberto Contador. The guy was doping and everyone with half a brain knew it, but what people got worked up about was his weird pistolero winning celebration. It’s one of those things nobody can explain 😉

    • Love him or hate him, Vettel is a top driver, there is no denying that. Away from the track, in interviews, he comes across as a likeable, humorous, friendly type of guy. On the track, however, he turns into a devil. (with the devil’s luck too) I can understand that desire to win, but not at all costs, and especially not by cheating his team mate of a win.
      Another problem he has, which he can’t help, is that he is seen as another Schumacher. Like Schumacher failed to do before, Vettel has to tread a fine line between confidence in one’s own ability and arrogance. Maybe any other nationality than German and it wouldn’t seem so hard to do. But people dislike arrogance in a person, especially when they are seen to be taking unfair advantage of someone.
      In Italy the crowd want a Ferrari win. Wins which are thin on the ground these days. Yes, it was wrong of them to boo Vettel, it was very unsporting of them, but I think under the circumstances it was understandable. 🙂

      • That’s one of the biggest mysteries of why people think Vettel is arrogant? He’s probably the least arrogant person of the whole lot. Nobody was ever able to provide a convincing argument or recollection of anything Vettel said or did that

        a) Isn’t done by other drivers as well
        b) makes him arrogant as opposed to his competition.

        It’s something I don’t understand at all.

        • Probably the loud ‘whoo hoo’ at start/finish when he wins a race has a lot to do with it. He does that whether is was an easy or hard victory, so it seem pretty egotistical and arrogant. The raised finger is another thing that triggers responses. I guess there are many subtle actions that trigger responses, just like you (I) immediately like or dislike someone. Can we quantify what causes this? No. But it’s real and causes us to like or dislike. Logically, one can demonstrate why we should like someone, but logic has nothing to do with it. It’s physical reaction to very subtle things, such as pupil dilation, body movement, and other things to minor to be aware of. But all these things add up, and we form immediate and lasting impressions of people we meet that are hard to change. Go figure.

  5. I’m rather bored of Vettel winning without having to drive somewhere near the limit, but the moralising – even in semi jest as here – is getting a little wearying, too.

    So Italian race crowds are rather boorish sometimes. Who knew ?
    I d hardly think they represent the majority of F1 fans.

    I too was unimpressed by the multi21 episode – but weighed against the rest of his career so far, it doesn’t quite make him Michael Schumacher.
    And I’ll happily applaud him should he win next year against competitive machinery.

  6. What if Alonso’s Tweet-fest reveals just more info about his cycle team? He got you all wound up once before like this. He could do it again.

  7. The problem is simple. Vettel does want to be liked or he wouldn’t bother turning up after the British GP every year to speak to 10,000’s of fans and risk being boo’d – Schumacher never took to that stage.

    There have been many others who didn’t give give a monkeys about being popular, like Senna and Jaques Villeneuve…….

    So as I suggested, how would it diminish Seb’s eventual legacy if he was the ‘big man’ and was gracious to Webber from hereonin – offer him an olive branch.

    Even if Webber rejected it, Seb would in fact feel good about himself.

    The only thing worse in competition than a bad loser, is an ungracious winner – see my reference to Federer above.

    • Since Webber hasn’t managed to turn up directly behind Seb in the races very often, how is he supposed to gift Mark a win? Had he let Webber pass at the start he was running the risk that the perenially quick-starting Fezza’s blast through, too.
      I think an olive branch has already been extended. He actually talked more with Mark than with Alonso before the podium ceremony and Mark stood up for him about the booing. Vettel would look like a complete tool if he gifted Mark anything before the title is in the bag. He risked huge controversy and a lot of hate by grabbing those extra points in Malaysia. How would he look if he gave away points to Mark now and then lost the title by, say, 5 points. He would rightly be considered a window-licking idiot. If he secures the trophy before Brazil and Wark actually manages at least once to be anywhere near him, I’m pretty sure he will be man enough to send Mark off to Porsche with a final win. And heck, who knows, Mark just might grab it on his own.

      • Danilo, pigs will fly before Vettel loses the title from here. The fact remains he has 7 races to equal out his ‘mistake’ (although I think it was perfectly valid move) this year.

    • I’d have less respect for him if he did that. No presents. Earn the wins.

      I actually admire him for not going to Webbers party also (if it was his choice) as i can’t stand two faced falseness.

      He is a young lad (compared to of anyway!) so i think its natural he wants to be liked. But he’s also a winner who will do what it takes to win. I feel he goes over the top sometimes, but i couldn’t guarantee that i wouldn’t do the same if i was in his position.

      There is an old Irish saying ‘if you dance to too many fiddles you go lame in both legs’. In other words you can’t keep everyone happy.

      If it were me i wouldn’t give a damn what anyone thought. There’s time be become a lovable chap when you retire. Until then, kick as much arse as possible.

      • Btw, my comment was at the judge and the suggestion me gifting Webber.

        I get the feeling that Webber wouldn’t want it.

        Another Armstrong / Pantani Ventoux moment i fear 🙂

      • I’m not sure Webber would decline. Let’s say Vettel bags the title 2 races from home and let’s Mark pass for the win, the message would be pretty clear:

        “I took 7 points and a win off you at Malaysia, because I couldn’t be sure that I won’t need them later in the season. Now that I don’t need them, I’ll gladly give them back.”

        And why should Mark decline? What’s the difference between a win you get gifted by the team due to team orders and a win you get gifted by your team mate as a reconciliatory geture and a going away present?

        • You could be right but I’d be very surprised.

          Pride would be the difference.

          I get the impression that Webber wouldn’t want any gifts. In fact, i think he would be insulted – crumbs from the table and all that.

          But as i said, i could be wrong!

          • A win through team orders to a faster team mate is just the same kind of gift. When “Multi21” was given, Vettel was right on Webbers tail on fresh soft rubber compared to Webbo’s fresh harder tires, which at that point in the season were usually a second slower by default. Why do you think Lewis was so miserable on the podium in Malysia? Exactly for that reason.

          • Mmm. Some praxis here I believe. Webber had turned his engine down and Vettel took advantage. Tyres or no tyres.

            It is this fact that made it an unfair fight which many F1 fans took a great dislike to.

            Further, as Anthony Davidson pointed out. Webber could easily have run him off the road at turn 4 where he made the pass.

            Clearly having been hijacked by Vettel, he didn’t have time through the next corners to switch the engine mode back – and may even have forgotten what it was previously.

            I said above, I think Vettel is engaging, amusing and I am impressed with his efforts to talk to fans – especially those who demonstrate their disapproval of him; but something is clearly making him a big target for booing – of which I don’t approve either.

            Oh and by the way, if anyone believes Vettel will be within 5 points of his nearest pursuer by the end of the season…. well….

          • Hm,., Your honour I remember you a bit more thorough in your research. 😉
            First of all, we don’t know WHEN Mark turned the mapping down – certainly not during the fight with Vettel, else it wouldn’t have taken Vettel half a lap to get ahead and Marks prior lap time was one of his fastest, so if he switched the engine down with Vettel already attacking him, I’d question Marks judgement. And what difference does it make? Mark attacked his team mate two years ago, who was suffering KERS issues and overheating tires. Not exactly a fair fight either, is it? And before you come with the ‘Mark didn’t overtake’ excuse – it wasn’t for lack of trying. He said himself after the race that he tried all the two final laps but ultimately couldn’t find a way past.
            Frankly your incessant rehashing of Malaysia make you look vindictive and I had come to expect better from you.

          • Lol. You wouldn’t believe how accurate my information is on what happened in Malaysia and when, sector by sector, including radio transmissions which were not transmitted. 😉

            Suffice to say Horner went public telling Seb on the radio, “this is silly”. We usually only hear Rocky talking to Vettel.

          • As I remember it, in Malaysia Webber was well ahead of Vettel. The team then made pit stop decisions which favoured Vettel and closed the gap. Thus allowing him to “challenge” an unsuspecting Webber and steal the lead.
            I am sorry if mentioning Malaysia again upsets you Danilo. I know you think Vettel can do no wrong. But it was unsporting of him and he went down in a lot of people’s estimation after that. You can try and defend him by saying other drivers are not nice too, but it doesn’t hide the fact he did it.
            He had better make the most of it this year, because with all the changes coming next year I dont think Vettel and Red Bull will remain so dominant. Which can only be good for the sport in my opinion. 🙂

          • Mike, first of all, I never said Vettel can do no wrong and if you warp back to the archive at the time, you’ll see that I said it was a wrong move. What I don’t subscribe to is the inherent double-standard applied to the Red Bull pairing. If Vettel has gone down so badly in everyone’s perception, why hasn’t Mark gone down for exactly the very same thing and that one and a half years earlier before Vettel even thought about it? On the contrary, he was collectively cheered for it. Most F1 forums still hold the 2011 threads and can still be read. You wouldn’t believe the sheer hipocricy of some people.
            And more importantly, nobody contests RB’s atrocious application team orders in both cases (Silverstone 11, Malaysia 13) they were absolutely ridiculous and arbitrary – guess what only in one case most of the people called them that. While it was a grave insult to tell Mark to hold station behind Vettel in a wounded car on shot tires it was perfectly fine to expect Vettel to hold station behind Mark in a neutered car. That’s a double-standard if I ever one.
            No matter how often TJ decided to bore us to death my bringing up the same shit everytime to denounce Vettel – he forgets to mention that the ‘poor victim’ was the initial offender. I’ll make sure to remind him when the need for a bit of Vettel bashing gets the better of him.

          • Lol. DS where would we be without you 😉

            Considering today’s news has had a minimal variety of stories, we have had a record number of comments, most of which are about Vettel…. Obviously a boring subject.

      • Piquet didn’t attend Senna’s funeral and was asked by the Brazilian press his reasons why.
        He replied, why would I attend a funeral of a man I didn’t like, it would be hypocritical. ( I paraphrase of course)

        Never had my respect for him been so high. I believe if Ayrton was looking down on the proceedings, he would have doffed his cap at that comment also.

        • You can’t really compare that. How can you gain respect for someone by showing an utter lack of respect. A fellow 3-times champion dies in a race. Nobody would have seen it as hypocritical if he paid the last respect to a great man. Nobody asked him to be a pallbearer, but being there would have been the most basic thing I’d expect from a fellow champion. You can’t compare that to not going to a party.
          If I haven’t been completely wrong in my perception of Vettel, he will pay his respect to Webber. It won’t be some pathetic and obviously fake thing like hugging him or declaring him the greatest team mate evar!!!111!!eleven. It’ll probably be a small gesture like an extra handshake and a “good luck at Le Mans” should they happen to be in the pressconference after Brazil. And quite frankly to me that would be much more authentic than Vettel popping up at Marks party. But that is in no way comparable to being absent at the funeral of one of your great rivals.

          • He didn’t like the man. So he didn’t go to his funeral. There is nothing disrespectful in that.
            The fact that he was an F1 driver is immaterial.
            Why would you be two faced and go to anything, party or funeral, of someone you did not like?
            You either like someone or you don’t, death does not change the fact that you like them or not.
            In the event of my death i would not want someone i disliked to come to my funeral. I’d much prefer them to have some integrity on the day and stay away.

  8. a whole bunch of great comments here, as always! please accept my little twist to it all as I am NOT trying to denigrate ANYBODY. just a comment in my humble opinion as an F1 follower since 1962. I truly enjoyed the race at Monza. how many times in recent history have we seen a possible super high speed race with somewhat divergent car setups for possible bad weather, or slow punctures, or flat-spotted tires, or radio problems, or engine blow-ups, or the need to NOT use KERS, or the need to short-shift gearboxes, or the awesome race between Mark & Fernando, or good drivers slaming into others (Kimi & PDR), or 2 contenders duking it out for a point or 2 (Kimi & Lewis), or Daniel holding off WCDs and pretenders for the whole race, or the HULK catching the leaders while holding everyone else at bay??? or Ferrari/Alonso taking a gamble that fresher tires at the end could be the difference, or that Max finally ALMOST got the better of his highly rated partner…
    I rated this race as a very solid 9 of 10
    I can only hope most enjoyed it as much as I did…

      • Judge, after each race we get a chance to vote on who we think is the best driver and also how we rate the race itself. At the end of the season is it possible to have the “Judge13 Oscars”? We could vote from a selection of say 4 or 5 nominees in each category. With categories being something like “Best Driver”, “Best Team”, “Best driver in a crap car”, “Worst Commentator” (No, dont bother with that, Johnny Herbert would win, no contest) How about “Best or Worst Tactical decision by a team”, “Fastest rebuild of a crashed car”, “Fastest Pit Stop”. The possibilities are endless. Its just a bit of fun. But, maybe if you could get some sort of prize to the top driver and/or team you would get a lot of publicity for the site, which can only be good.
        I don’t know how easy it would be to do, or even if it is possible. You may not be interested. It was just a thought. 🙂

  9. Seeing a lot of you are tired of seeing Seb win over and over and ove in F1r. I am pretty sure you haven’t watched WRC for the last 9 years to see the other Seb win either.

    • Funnily i actually like that Seb, and always have. Beating Macrea and Sainz so early in his career, in the same car, did it for me. If you can beat those lads you were right up there with the all time greats.

      Seb O is no slouch either.

  10. once again, IMHO, for over 5 decades, I have seen so many “superstars” in so many sporting venues. not all have remained as superstar icons over the years, but during “their time”, they all helped transform their sport into a bigger and more powerful and more heavily watched and monitarily successful venue. not trying to dis any I have forgotten or neglected, but Ali, Majic Johnson, Arnold Palmer, Babe Ruth, AJ Foyt, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Richard Petty, Jean Claude Killy, Scotty Hamilton, Usain Bolt, the “Fridge”, Mike Tyson, Roger Clemons, Beckham, Jordan, Conners, and on and on and on… not a one was or is the perfect icon of an individual, but they all transformed their sport and that gained a huge amount of new fans.
    so, why is it Seb and Fernando, Kimi and Lewis all have soooo many haters in “our” sport???
    I do not get it…

  11. One thing I was just wondering: if all goes according to plan, will “Kimi baby” get Rob Smedley as his race engineer? Can’t wait to hear those radio conversations…

      • After reading this old article, we might have a clue who will be Kimi’s race engineer 😉

        “When two years ago Kimi Raikkonen went to the track in Melbourne to
        make his first race with the Ferrari (and he won), before the triumph,his box has experienced moments of genuine panic, under banner of “What the hell is he saying?”.

        Understanding the whispers of Raikkonen in the
        headset is still a difficult exercise, more at that time because nobody was accustomed to. In addition, the radio wasn’t working properly, the pilot could speak to the box, but the box could not talk to the pilot.
        At one point, a young engineer, who was Kimi’s performance engineer, raised his hand: “Excuse me, I think he is saying he wants the blue flags for the lapped drivers.” Savior of the fatherland.

        Since then he has the most experienced “Kimi-translator” living. He understands him not only when he speaks, but seems to have free access on the mysterious Raikkonen’s planet. It’s not a coincidence that this young man – called Andrea Stella, 37 years old, a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, born in Orvieto, married to Michela and father of Edoardo and Federico – is today the engineer on track of the Finnish pilot, the connecting point between him and the rest of the team. He replaced
        Chris Dyer, promoted to the role of coordinator of the engineers.

        “It’s not just about a linguistic matter or interpretative capacity,” says Andrea. “When you’re at your computer it’s like if you were in the car with the driver, you are always contextualised and then you images of what you’re talking about him.” Now Stella is just a little more in front-line, though in these years he didn’t have a defiladed role: “I was already the interface between the pilot and data concerning him.
        The performance engineer, or vehicle engineer, watches the telemetry and his task is to improve the performance of every aspect of the car:
        he has to analyze a curve and tell the pilot how to make it better, so for the tyres or the engine brake. Now my role is a little bit less
        analytical, but it concerns more over the management of the group.”

        Stella is the end point of the work of the whole box of Kimi: “I have
        to coordinate the others: managing people, managing time (i.e during the tests to schedule the program of the day), choosing priorities, studying the regulations. And then, in the race, managing the driver.
        The aim is to create the conditions for driving in a natural way.

        And here we go back to Kimi. The mysterious object of F1 has no secrets for him. “Kimi loves the essence of the information. And more the visual communication than the oral one. With him doing three hours of meetings doesn’t pay. Better to put in front of him a sheet with a diagram and a clear message, maybe highlighted with a beautiful color.” He’s not Schumacher, who while was testing the car was also able to have long technical disquisitions: “Michael loved to set the choices on deductive logic criteria. Kimi has a more intuitive approach, based on his beliefs or perceptions. This from a communicative point of view issomething of less effective.

        Stella is a quiet guy, he doesn’t like losing his control. “I don’t
        like the quarrels.” He speaks calmly and clearly, like an engineer who wants to make oneself understood. After listening Kimi through headphones, he always replies him in a reassuring way: “OK, I have understood. Thanks.”

        Hmm… could we hear Smedley say: ” Fernando baby, stay cool”.

        • “Better to put in front of him a sheet with a diagram and a clear message, maybe highlighted with a beautiful color.”

          Is it just me that sees Kimi sat there with colouring pencils and a colouring in book during debriefs? 🙂

      • Hi Zwolte… in this instance I think ‘wondering’, on its own, is correct. You didn’t need ‘about’…
        You don’t need to worry about your English. 😉

      • Hey TJ, can you imagine their drinking sessions in a Yorkshire pub. Sod the vodka Kimi, you need a bishops finger in ya son, 😉

        • Yes. And there is a pub somewhere in that region which brews its own beer.

          It is 9% abv and is served by the third of a pint only… Don’t remember where, but Kimi would be the first to demand a pint of the hardy brew.

        • I hate to be the immature one here, but could ‘bishops finger in ya’ perhaps be slightly misconstrued, especially by those of us who had to look up to see what bishops finger was in this context 🙂

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