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Criticism mounting over booing (11:00)
Kimi Räikkönen’s back injury a chronic issue? (11:00)
Horner unsure about Renault engines
Fans, drivers and journalist are all stumbling about in the dark when it comes to predicting the balance of power when F1 enters its second turbo era next year. Even usually well informed people are left guessing. Red Bull’s Horner has expressed his doubts that their engine supplier, Renault, may not deliver the best package next year. “There are no guaranties – with no engine supplier,” he says about next year’s Renault V6.
Horner says that the French have a lot of talented people and a history of successful turbo engines, but he also sees strong competition. “Mercedes invested a load of money in the project and Ferrari has always been all about the engine anyway. It will be a stiff competition.”
His crystal ball also shows a lot more technical problems than in recent years, when engine failures where all but completely gone.
That could change: “The technology is completely new and we cannot use more than five engines per season. There’s a lot of electronics in them and the first races will be decided by reliability. Races and titles can only be won by those, who see the chequered flag.” Stating the obvious there Mr Horner are we?
Red Bull and Renault are working closely to make sure the engine fits the car… One would assume Newey has given them the required engine dimensions already 🙂
Criticism mounting over booing
Martin Brundle, who was visibly irritated by the latest instance of fans booing Sebastian Vettel during the podium interviews, is only one of several people who have grown tired of this rather disrespectful spectacle. Except for his home race, Vettel has been booed during every podium celebration since Canada.
The first to criticize the spectacle was – surprisingly – his team mate Mark Webber, who described the less than friendly welcome at Monza with the words: “The atmosphere I was not completely a fan of, to be honest.”
Another unexpected man to speak out against it is Luca di Montezemolo. “Maybe it would have been better, if there had been fewer boos for Vettel: congratulations to him and to Red Bull,” LdM said at the Frankfurt Motor Show. “But to our critics and those with short memories, I would like to remind them that in the past few years, Ferrari has always been at the top.”
Mercedes’ Niki Lauda joined the chorus of critics after the Singapore GP and calls the boos ridiculous. According to Lauda people that boo does not understand the sport. “These people don’t understand what the guy is doing. I honestly take my hat off at his performance because the guy was leading the race from the first lap on, out-drove everybody, he could have lapped everybody.”
In Lauda’s case, the ‘take my hat off’ part is more than a mere phrase. He has been working as German broadcaster RTL’s main expert analyst for years and is known for never taking off his trademark red cap. Only in cases of truly remarkable feats he is known to lift the cap, exposing his badly burned skin on top of his head.
The only one, who seems rather blasé about it, is Vettel himself, brushing off the booing with a quip during the Singapore podium interview, insinuating that the booers are a bunch of people following the F1 circus around on a tour bus.
The mystery of Vettel’s Singapore performance
A lot of noise has been made, especially in the English media, about Vettel’s ridiculous advantage over his rivals.
Blasting away from the field at a rate of two to three seconds a lap left the audience wondering if Red Bull had been sandbagging for a good portion of the season or if Adrian Newey had whipped out another load of magic parts. The answer is a simple ‘no’.
It all boils down to the same reason, why we had Giedo van der Garde being the holder of fastest lap honours for several laps at Monaco – tyre preservation.
Most of the drivers simply never drove as fast as the car could. The only top runner who could do without having to go all Greenpeace on tyre wear was Vettel, having saved up an additional set of Supersoft tyres with a risky gamble in Saturday’s Q3.
Another driver with tyres to spare was Adrian Sutil. having not made it to Q3 in the first place and running the supersofts late in the race on a lighter car in clean air. It comes as no surprise that these are the two, who showed up in the top two spots on the fastest lap charts.
Alonso and Räikkönen especially had to drive like old men in Volvos. Both ran ultra-long stints on the medium tyres so it shouldn’t come as a major surprise that they were much slower than Vettel.
What does this mean for the sport though? Will we see more drivers doing 1 lap qualifying runs in the hope to save an extra set of the optimum tyre?
Kimi Räikkönen’s back injury a chronic issue?
Motorsport Total speculates that Kimi’s back injury could be a souvenir from his early Sauber days.
It could have been caused as early as the 2001 pre-season testing when the Finn smashed rear-end first into the barrier after losing control of his Sauber at Magny-Cour’s Imola chicane. Kimi’s hints in the post race interview, that Singapore wasn’t the first weekend he raced with a painful back could lend some credibility to these speculations.