Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 26th September 2013

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Hulkenberg and McLaren and the merry go round (10:35)

Big team power (11:28)

Lauda Watch (12:02)

Massa Marginalised? (12:49)

Are Renault to return to team ownership? (13:10)

Pit Radio: Singapore (17:00)


Hulkenberg and McLaren and the merry go round

Most F1 fans and those working within the sport agree Nico Hulknenberg’s star is in the ascendancy. Comments made last week by Lotus team principal Boullier suggested that he may be slight favourite ahead of Massa for Kimi’s vacant 2014 seat.

Paddock rumours over the weekend suggested that Force India are interested in re-hiring their former driver and today we hear rumblings that even McLaren have expressed an interest in ‘the Hulk’ as Di Resta’s fading star appears to be heading down a black hole.

untitledAs we now know, Nico was close to doing a deal with Ferrari but was pipped by Raikkonen at the last minute, receiving but a text from Dominicali to say, ‘thanks but not right now son’ – or words to that effect.

Bild are suggesting that Perez’s Mexican financial backer – Telmex – is behind on payments to McLaren, and this is why driver line up’s for 2014 are not yet declared. I find this difficult to believe when you consider the wealth and cash reserves of this sponsor. However, should it be true, then the relationships between McLaren and Telmex is on the rocks.

One appointment which is almost certain since Kimi declared he was leaving Lotus, is that of the Frenchman – Romain Grosjean. Both Boullier and now Alan Parmaine have madee comments to this effect. In a recent interview the team’s sporting director suggests Romain could be ready for a leading driver role. “Obviously it depends who he has as a team mate and whether they are a strong character. But I don’t see why not. Now’s his chance — and he looks to be taking it, which is really good to see.”


Big team power

We’ve had a recent spell where Pirelli have been almost invisible, unlike the first half of the season where the obsession of F1 was over the tyres. This is in many ways a relief, yet the consequences of the change in the construction of the 2013 for some have been most severe.

Andy Green, the technical director of Force India, hits out today at the power of the bigger teams and the effect this has had on the Silverstone based outfit. He tells AMuS that the Pirelli tyre change demanded by Red Bull and Mercedes fatally wounded their challenge to beat McLaren this year.

untitled“Initially the others couldn’t do what Ferrari and we were able to, But Red Bull and Mercedes did a great job of lobbying. That was just unfair. They had the same opportunity as we had to build a car for the 2013 tyres — if they didn’t do a good job, that’s their problem. But they were rewarded for it instead.”

The most significant change was in the base construction of the tyre from Kevlar to steel, and this of course had implications for the aerodynamics of the cars and how the resulting airflows around the wheels were affected.

“It gave us bad over steer in fast corners, The aerodynamics at the rear of the car no longer worked because the tyre deformed less.” Green goes on to explain that this resulted in Force India ceasing the development of the car and and are simply attempting to make the best of a bad job by using different ride heights and suspension settings.

The statistics are stark. Force India scored 59 points in the first 8 rounds up to and including the British GP. 5 races on they have 62 points.

Similarly, Ferrari were 51 points behind Red Bull after 8 races and with 13 completed they are a further 52 points down (103).

The question is…. whether the tyres were really unsafe and should the teams who were hurting – pre the Pirelli tyre alterations – have been forced to rethink their setup,angles of camber, tyre pressures and the aerodynamic design of their cars.

It appears Andy Green has a fair point, and have we as fans been robbed of a Vettel/Alonso fight for the title which may have gone down the the wire in Brazil.


Lauda Watch

Our specialist covert observation team have not had a lot to report on recently. However, they have been shocked when they encountered what appears to be an outbreak of love, peace and goodwill to all of F1 broke out from the usually snarling and gritty Austrian.

untitledNiki has defended Sebastian’s ballsy podium description of why his team are better than the rest. Vettel commented to an uncomfortable Brundle last Sunday, “Whilst there’s a lot of people hanging their balls in the pool very early on Fridays, we’re still here working very hard and pushing very hard,”

Speaking to Bild, Lauda agreeably states, “I liked what he said. Plain speaking is always good, even if I think that we work just as hard at Mercedes. But there is some truth to it; Vettel has a huge ambition and it rubs off on his team,”

Mmm.  What is Niki really saying? Mercedes do work as hard – or that Lewis and Nico have less ambition than Vettel and therefore less impact in driving the Brackley team forward.

What your backs lads – Niki’s got his short blade up his sleeve – or maybe just his regular act where his foot is lodged in the opening to his alimentary canal.


Massa Marginalised?

There has been a Brazilian driver on every F1 grid since 1970, but it appears Felipe Massa is far from certain to have a place in F1. His manager commented the day after it was announced he would be leaving, that his Brazilian client would not drive for a small team.

Last weekend, Ecclestone interestingly chipped in by suggesting, “The [Brazilian] media has an important role in trying to keep having a [Brazilian] driver in F1.” Clearly something has come to Bernie’s attention that suggests the sport is at risk of losing it’s current F1 hero.

Since then Globo, the Brazilian broadcaster of F1, has announced the existing sponsors who pay to advertise with the media company are staying put – and that regardless of whether Massa has a drive in F1 in 2014, they will televise the sport to the Brazilian nation.

untitledSo is Massa likely to get an F1 drive. Many F1 commentators saw him initially as a shoe in for the vacant Lotus seat. He brings cash and each year at some point Lotus appear short of that commodity. However, Eric Boullier states categorically that driver sponsors are irrelevant to the teams decision.

“It would have zero effect on our decision, I want to choose the driver on merit and not on money”.

Boullier reveals the team are looking at Hulkneberg and Massa and his analysis is as follows. “Both are very fast. Felipe is more at the end of his career than at the beginning. Massa was nearly world champion – he was champion for half a lap! He has a lot of experience, which is very valuable. Hulkenberg is highly rated in the paddock. So the question is do we want to be conservative and work with an experienced driver – especially with the new engine and power train next year – or do we gamble on a youngster?”

Asked if he is a gambler, Boullier responds, “We are”, quickly adding whilst chuckling, “But in both cases it would be a gamble!”. (Formula1.com).

Mmm. Has Eric let the cat out of the bag?


Are Renault to return to team ownership?

Renault have made a lot of noise in recent times about not getting the exposure they deserve for supplying the Red Bull team with 3 consecutive world title winning engines. The rumours of an Infiniti badged Renault engine have once again surfaced, only once again to be denied by Renault.

In the previous article, Lotus’ Eric Boullier made an interesting assertion when he stated that sponsorship, “would have zero effect on our [driver selection] decision, I want to choose the driver on merit and not on money”.

untitledFor a team that appears to regularly be short of cash flow, and which has this year declared a major partnership with some middle eastern outfit called Infinity (with a Y) Racing which has failed to materialise, this is indeed, a bold decision to make.

There maybe a clue to this in comments made Boullier in the same Formula1.com interview. When asked Will the teams that build both chassis and engine have an advantage?”, Boullier codedly responded, “On paper, yes”, adding, “I do believe in the concept of Renault having two teams they count on – Red Bull and us”.

Genii’s man, Gerard Lopez, is more direct today when speaking to Auto Hebdo, “Ideally, we need to get the support of a car manufacturer, It gives significant weight in the political arena of F1, and in the relations with investors and shareholders”,

Lopez suggests, “I would not mind if the team has to change its name, It doesn’t matter whether it’s called Genii, Lotus, Renault or something else.”

Renault have this year expressed their unhappiness with the fact that Ferrari and Mercedes, as engine suppliers, have more input on certain matters due to the fact that they also run a works team.

untitledWhen Genii bought into the F1 team in 2010, Renault retained a 25% stake for that year which was only sold in 2011 and the cars were re-branded ‘Lotus Renault GP’.

Are we about to see some reverse of this transaction, where Renault acquire a stake in the Enstone assets once again – and if so – will see ‘Renault Lotus’ cars on the grid in 2014.

Pit Radio: Singapore

Lap From To Message
PR Brad Joyce Adrian Sutil We will need to heat the brakes, try and get some temperature in those front tyres and also the rears.
PR Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Can you please ask whoever’s on the pit board to hold it out at 45 degrees so it’s, you know, not 90 degrees from the wall. Just a little bit angled out.
PR Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Affirm. We’ve not quite got the engine temperatures down to where we’d really like them so just thinking about as much engine cooling as you can straight away. When we go just a reminder your KERS schedule for the race is on the left in your cockpit. But obviously you’re flexible to use it as you need.
PR Simon Rennie Mark Webber Just a reminder on that start you were a bit hard on the throttle before so a little bit less on the throttle and keep it constant until you drop the second paddle, please. Normal procedures.
PR Simon Rennie Mark Webber Apparently Sutil is the only car on [mediums]
FL Juan Pablo Ramirez Giedo van der Garde Use all gears.
FL Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton All the brakes are cold at the moment so use them where you can.
FL Simon Rennie Mark Webber Remember hold the clutch for four seconds before first gear and sync all gears early.
FL Simon Rennie Mark Webber At the start do not go on throttle early.
FL Tony Ross Nico Rosberg A little bit more working the front-left. [110.5C] front left, [110C] the other tyres.
FL Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Engine is on target, KERS is good, no more KERS. We need sync in gear seven.
1 Dave Robson Jenson Button HPB to mid, Jenson.
1 Gary Gannon Max Chilton Torque three for running
2 Kimi Raikkonen Mark Slade [Distorted] …corner I overtook.
2 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen Understood, Kimi.
2 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Hamilton leaves the track and passes Massa. We’ve been instructed to give the place back to Massa.
2 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington OK
2 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Fuel is very good so go back to mix two. Just think about looking after that traction and light braking.
3 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa DRS is enabled, you have the DRS, Hamilton has the DRS behind you.
3 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Gap to Vettel ahead four seconds, gap to Alonso behind 1.4, out of your DRS.
4 Simon Rennie Mark Webber When it settles down, monitor the gap to Alonso, Look after the tyres, monitor the gap to Alonso.
4 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Tyre temperature stabilised, all fine.
5 Paul Davison Jules Bianchi You can try torque three for less engine braking.
5 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach This is full pace, this is no saving.
5 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg OK like that Nico, understood. You have shift three, you have special two if you need.
5 Jules Bianchi Paul Davison I’m struggling now with the rears, I’m struggling a lot.
5 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Remember there are Safety Cars out there.Save your tyres.
6 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa OK mate go grip P9 please when you can and just start really thinking about the tyres, come on.
6 Simon Rennie Mark Webber We suggest a two-second gap to Alonso to look after the tyres.
6 Mark Temple Sergio Perez OK Checo great opening laps, let’s use the the diff switches and brake balance to protect the rear tyres.
7 Phil Charles Jean-Eric Vergne You’re doing a good job looking after the tyres, keep doing the same, keep them cool.
7 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Try taking an earlier apex in turn 20 for a better exit.
7 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Let us know how the tyres are on the deg switch, 3.4 second gap to Alonso.
8 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa Corner 13 easier throttle management.
8 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Alonso P3 is holding the pack up. Nico P2 is doing mid-53s in free air.
8 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton If you can update your wear switch, traction metrics at 1,500.
9 Valterri Bottas Jonathan Eddollls Bottas stuck behind Van der Garde. There’s no way past, we need to change the strategy.
9 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg Release 12, degradation at the moment looks good for strategy two.
9 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach Yeah copy that, feels a bit better now.
9 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg OK, OK.
9 Jonathan Eddollls Valteri Bottas Confirm, we’re not going to make our planned strategy work, you want to switch strategy.
10 Francesco Nenci Esteban Gutierrez Esteban we are missing on traction. And now Di Reta is closing gap, watch Di Resta.
10 Jean-Eric Vergne Phil Charles I’m really struggling with the tyres.
10 Phil Charles Jean-Eric Vergne Understood, push as much as you can, we are changing strategy to plan B.
11 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen Box this lap Kimi, clutch ten, please confirm.
11 Kimi Raikkonen Mark Slade Can you move the traffic lights more forward? I have to move up because I can’t see them.
11 Mark Temple Sergio Perez Last lap three-tenths sower than Jenson, all in sector one.
12 Francesco Nenci Esteban Gutierrez Box, Esteban. Front wing, question?
13 Paul Davison Jules Bianchi OK Jules we’re not changing tyres, just the steering wheel. Stop in the box.
13 Mark Webber Simon Rennie Trouble with the rears, mate.
13 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Box Mark, box this lap.
14 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington How’s my pace?
14 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton At this stage, Lewis, pace is good, just keep doing what you’re doing.
14 Ayao Komatsu Romain Grosjean Push Romain, push as much as possible, please.
14 Mark Temple Sergio Perez Hulkenberg is pitting, let’s really push now, give it everything we’ve got. Let’s have toggle down.
15 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Nico are you OK for one more lap? Let us know.
15 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross Affirm, OK.
15 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Box, box.
15 Jonathan Eddollls Valteri Bottas Water recharge, so water [distorted] two.
16 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen Battery charge is dropping, we need to reduce the use of the paddle or go to KERS recovery six and two clicks forwards on balance.
16 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Box, pit confirm.
16 Andrew Murdoch Pastor Maldonado Push now, Pastor.
17 Paul Davison Jules Bianchi Good job Jules, two more laps, clear air like this.
17 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Target 20 at the end of this lap so you need to drive to that. Target 20 on tyres.
17 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel We’re monitoring the gaps, Sebastian. Traffic ahead: Chilton.
17 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Box, torque map one and box.
18 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis you’re going to be going four laps longer on this tyre, it is the . Grosjean ahead is on the [super-soft] tyre, we’re going to start applying the pressure in ten laps’ time. So just need to close up to him.
19 Phil Charles Jean-Eric Vergne You’ve got the two Saubers ahead of you, fighting with Perez. So if you get good laps in you can actually catch them. Behind you, you’ve got Sutil, who’s on the other tyre, he is closing on you a little bit. Get these good laps and you’ll ease away from him.
19 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg Nico you have to give the place back to Perez, race control.
19 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach What? For what?
19 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg For leaving the track, Nico.
19 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach I’m going to do that now. Which corner do you suggest?
19 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg I know Nico keep pushing, can still be a good race, come on, keep pushing.
20 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington These tyres are terrible.
20 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Message understood Lewis. Pace looks good, though.
20 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Tyres more important than gap. Gap is plenty.
21 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa OK with the degradation that we have we’re still looking good for Plan A. Plan A still looks very good.
21 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Di Resta is bunching the cars ahead up. So he’s going to stop soon, he’s still running out there on used [super-soft] tyres. You’ve got Grosjean, Webber and Alonso in front.
22 Francesco Nenci Esteban Gutierrez How is the tyres? This pace is OK for the tyres. How does it look?
22 Esteban Gutierrez Francesco Nenci Yes this pace is OK.
22 Mark Temple Sergio Perez Last lap you closed up on the cars in front by nine-tenths. This is really good, let’s keep going.
23 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen OK Kimi we understand that you’re feeling a problem but unfortuantely we cannot see anything in the data so we can’t give you any info at the moment.
23 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton You’re doing a great job so just look after these tyres and we can do work at the end of the stint.
23 GianPiero Lambiase Paul di Resta We are in Alonso’s pit window. He is in P3 and potentially on a three stop.
24 Sergio Perez Mark Temple How is the pace?
24 Mark Temple Sergio Perez Pace is good, you gained four-tenths on Jenson last lap. We’re still on Plan A looking to go to target minus one.
24 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Just remember to drink.
24 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Sebastian you need to use more KERS early. 75% before last corner.
25 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Remember to drink.
25 The Safety Car is deployed: Ricciardo crashed at turn 18.
25 Simon Rennie Mark Webber We are staying out. Watch the delta. You need to be just positive at Safety Car line one. Remember it will get back to racing speed 200 metres before the Safety Car line and we are racing between the lines.
26 Daniel Ricciardo Marco Matassa Went into the barrier
26 Marco Matassa Daniel Ricciardo Daniel, are you OK?
26 Daniel Ricciardo Marco Matassa Yep
26 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Now when you’re warming your tyres, be careful. There’s loads of marbles off-line. Off-line is very dirty. At that speed you’re going to struggle to clean up your tyres so stay on-line and use brakes.
27 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel At some stage two cars will unlap themselves. Two cars, backmarkers, will come through.
27 Sebastian Vettel Guillaume Rocquelin Understood
27 Andrea Stella Fernando Alonso Alonso advised over dlta times. Fernando I see still negative so go positive please. I see now you are recovering. I don’t know how slow you’re going, if your sector times are correct, but make sure you read positive. OK.
27 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach I still don’t understand why I had to let Perez past. He was inside, I had to go on the kerb, then the car bottomed, and it pulled me to the right. But I was in front before the corner and I was in front after, so what’s the problem?
27 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg OK Nico, that’s understood. We focus now on the race. We discuss after, can be still OK.
27 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach What position am I now, and where was Ricciardo when he crashed?
27 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg We are now P12, Nico, and in front of you there’s still four cars who haven’t stopped, which is the top three plus Di Resta. Ricciardo I’ll have to check.
28 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa OK so just while we’re sat behind the Safety Car and the lapped cars are coming through – I think they’ve all actually come through now, they’re going to catch up at the back – then the worst corners for tyre energy are corners five and seven. Exit five, the usual one, and exit seven. Easy on the throttle. No message yet so keep working on the tyres.
28 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen Raikkonen second pit during the Safety Car. This is looking reasonable for us at the moment. Five of the cars in front are probably going to have to make another stop. So that may help us out.
28 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton You can start working those brakes now, especially the fronts.
28 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel You can use the fuel. We have more fuel than we need.
29 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen Romain has slightly less wear than you.
29 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Try and use the brakes to get temperature into the front tyres.
29 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Charlie’s  waiting for the backmarkers to rejoin. The last one which is Bianchi is only in turn nine ahead of you and the train is on the start/finish line.
30 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen You might need to warm your tyres up, remember these are [mediums] not [super-softs] and the rears in particular are quite low now.
30 Simon Rennie Mark Webber We need to be quick but watch your slip.
30 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross I’m not going to talk any more because the radio fails when I talk. You go ahead.
30 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Repeat your radio message if important.
30 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Only thing at the moment is the left-rear disc temperature is working but slightly cold at the moment.
31 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa 40% KERS remaining, come on.
31 Dave Robson Jenson Button All temperatures are good so for the restart it’s yellow G1, we can go there now, and then green F4.
31 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Front tyres are still cold, you are in your Safety Car window.
31 Andrew Murdoch Pastor Maldonado You can overtake from Safety Car one.
32 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Keep an eye on my tyres pressures, feel like I’ve gone over debris.
32 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK, copy that message.
32 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Front-right.
32 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK, front-right looks good.
32 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Use your tyres, open up the gap.
33 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Tyre temperatures are all good now. Webber has DRS this lap.
34 Romain Grosjean Ayao Komatsu What is wrong with this car…
34 Ayao Komatsu Romain Grosjean We have a problem with air consumption on the engine so we need to box this lap, please.
34 Romain Grosjean Ayao Komatsu No!
34 Ayao Komatsu Romain Grosjean We need to top up the air bottle in the pit stop so it’s going to be about 40 seconds pit stop.
35 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa Not really sure why Grosjean stopped, for brakes or something like that. Anyway, there you go, so we are now in seventh position.
35 GianPiero Lambiase Paul di Resta This looks like pace management from Rosberg to get to the end, Paul. We need to attack if you can.
35 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Rosberg 52.6, he’s bunching up the pack behind you, that’s good.
35 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Focus on braking, clean exits.
36 Phil Charles Jean-Eric Vergne Release five Jev, come on, good laps.
36 Andrew Murdoch Pastor Maldonado Look after the tyres exit turn 12, exit 14.
36 Jonathan Eddollls Valteri Bottas We won’t stay on this tyre for that long so just push if you can.
37 Paul Davison Jules Bianchi Stand by Jules, we’re discussing. You are quicker than Max, overtake him. We are telling Max.
37 Gary Gannon Max Chilton Max, Jules is eight-tenths quicker, please do not hold him up.
38 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg We believe you have rubber in the front wing which is losing you front downforce at the moment.
38 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Nico you could use engine braking and diff to help the understeer from lack of front if you wanted to, may affect rear.
39 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Target plus nine. Current lap 38. Do you think that’s possible? It depends on our tyre choice.
39 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington I don’t know. How many more laps is that?
39 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton We think at least seven laps.
39 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington I don’t know if my rears willl last.
39 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Mate, you’re doing exactly what we need. Good job.
40 Brad Joyce Adrian Sutil Pits this lap, pit confirm.
40 Paul Davison Jules Bianchi There is no advantage to coming in now we need at least five more laps.
40 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton You’re doing a good job, that’s a great middle sector.
41 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa We’ve already done 12 laps on these tyres, there’s 23 laps to go, 35 laps on the tyres is too much. So we’re just thinking about what to do now, trying to put you in a nice window.
41 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Push, push: it’s all starting to happen now.
42 Juan Pablo Ramirez Giedo van der Garde Toro Rosso coming from behind, do not lose too much time.
42 Dave Robson Jenson Button All the cars in front are starting to pit. If we can make Plan B work then we could be in really good shape.
42 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Box, boost to zero.
43 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa Box this lap. Push onto the back of Di Resta now.
43 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Box, pit confirm, boost to zero exit turn 13.
43 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Push hard now Nico, you have 20 laps remaining.
43 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross Why do I have to push?
43 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Because other cars have not stopped yet.
43 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross Want to push more than I have to, huh?
43 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Nico at the moment Alonso doesn’t need to stop again necessarily, he is in front.
44 Tim Wright Charles Pic Stay out, you will need to manage the tyres.
44 Francesco Nenci Esteban Gutierrez Webber is coming on fresh tyres, and Rosberg, I think we will lose some positions.
44 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Box, torque map one and box.
45 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen All the cars that were going to stop behind you are now stopped and behind you. So we’re racing to the end from this position.
45 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg At the moment we believe Alonso is going long so he can swap to [super-soft] and be quicker at the end so we do need put the buffer to him.
45 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So torque two, diff entry four, you can drop back one-and-a-half seconds only. Alonso is pushing hard, you can only drop back one second. You are now getting, he is getting very close to your window.
45 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross No I just need to be in front, I need to save my tyres now.
45 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Sebastian it’s all about looking after the car, the tyres, and being ready for a Safety Car. That’s all there is.
46 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Lewis on tyre.
46 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Listen for the DRS beeps.
46 Jules Bianchi Paul Davison OK, I’m quicker but I’ll back off because I’m killing my tyres.
46 Mark Temple Sergio Perez Other cars have done over 30 laps on their [mediums] so we can definitely do this, you’re doing a really good job, keep the pace up, we can get to the end.
47 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton We need to get past Webber, Nico’s had the same message.
47 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Gutierrez ahead starting to struggle.
47 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Sebastian look after the brakes: vibrations.
48 Felipe Massa Rob Smedley How far we are behind this car?
48 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa We are 1.2 seconds behind him.
48 Dave Robson Jenson Button Doing a superb job, 14 more laps to go.
49 Francesco Nenci Esteban Gutierrez You’re racing all cars behind.
49 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Cool the car right-hand side where you can.
49 GianPiero Lambiase Paul di Resta Gutierrez ahead will be very slow, we will need to clear him very quickly.
50 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Good job Sebastian, very disciplined.
51 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg Nico do not use recovery button otherwise undercharged.
51 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Alonso is outside your window at the moment but if you lose another second he’ll be past you at the stops.
51 GianPiero Lambiase Paul di Resta Looks like we will catch the train with three laps to go, Paul.
52 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Cars ahead starting to struggle, cars ahead now doing 53s.
52 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Brakes vibrations are increasing, concentrate on looking after that.
53 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton There’s a group of five cars ahead on 27-lap old tyres. You’re going to be on top them very soon: three laps, estimated.
53 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Keep me up-to-date on my traction metrics please, and how many laps I’ve got left.
53 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Ten laps remaining.
53 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Podium now eight seconds ahead. Cars ahead are struggling.
53 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg Nine laps to go, nine. Keep pushing, you’re doing good, Nico.
54 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa Button now in third position going very slow. We are more than three seconds faster than him. Looking very tight at the end of the race.
54 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Transfer oil.
55 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg After the Mercedes there’s a Force India, this one we have to hold them back.
55 Nico Hulkenberg Marco Schupbach Maybe it’s better to let them past, get some small points. If I fight now I’m dead in a few laps.
55 Marco Schupbach Nico Hulkenberg OK, Nico. Try your best otherwise Di Resta’s going to be all over us.
56 Brad Joyce Adrian Sutil Keep pushing Adrian, we need one more place for a point.
57 Simon Rennie Mark Webber We need to try and short-shift. Short-shift if you can.
57 Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel Still yellow ahead, respect the flags.
58 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Short-shift all gears please. Earlier than that, you need to be short-shifting earlier.
58 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Try using higher gears in the corners, we need to keep the revs low, try and keep the revs low. Rosberg the next car behind you, six seconds behind.
58 Simon Rennie Mark Webber This is about getting the car to the finish now. We need low revs.
59 Andrea Stella Fernando Alonso They are reminding [Webber] to use the short-shift so manage the pace, 15 seconds to Raikkonen.
59 Mark Slade Kimi Raikkonen Webber is backing off more now, he’s slowing right down.
60 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa Webber going very slow now, we’ll catch him by the end of the race. Need to keep pushing, now.
60 Andrea Stella Fernando Alonso [Two] laps to go.
60 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Webber having to short-shift, he may be slow on the straights.
61 Rob Smedley Felipe Massa Webber is the car in front, he’s six seconds in front now. He’s going very slowly so we should get him towards the end of the race I think.
61 Mark Webber Simon Rennie In trouble, mate. Car on fire, he pulls off
61 Simon Rennie Mark Webber Understood.
VL Jenson Button Dave Robson Mikey can you make sure there’s a nice cold, cold drink ready and waiting for me? Cheers mate.
VL Jenson Button Dave Robson A good haul of points for the team, though, which is positive.
VL Dave Robson Jenson Button Yeah absolutely. It’s not too bad, it’s just frustrating. We took a chance, it didn’t pay off, which is always a bit of a shame. Made for a bit of a miserable last ten laps definitely for you and for me here watching. But never mind, a good few points and I think yesterday particularly went very well. Plenty to build on.
VL Sebastian Vettel Guillaume Rocquelin Yes! Yes, boys. That’s what I call ‘in control’. Thank you. The car was absoilutely fantastic. It’s a team effort. This doesn’t happen just like this, it’s an absolute team effort. Every single one. Yes! I’m loving it.
VL Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton That’s P5, Nico obviously P4. Vettel P1, Alonso and Raikkonen second and third, they hung it out on the tyre.
VL Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington This whole time you haven’t given me any information. I thought I was racing with Perez.
VL Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK sorry about that, Lewis. Guess you can’t see your pit board then.
VL Christian Horner Sebastian Vettel Well done, Seb. Great drive, well done.
VL Guillaume Rocquelin Sebastian Vettel That was a very disciplined drive, Sebastian. Quick where we wanted, patient where you needed to be. Nice.

37 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 26th September 2013

  1. Someone stole the head line 😉 Anywho. Motorsport Total speculates that Lopez tries to use RoGro, who has close ties to Total and Renault, to lure the French automaker back as a works effort.

  2. If the put the Hulk in the Lotus, then I’m buying me a Lotus top next year! They are already social media kings, I have a lot of time for Grosjean, but never been much of a kimi fan (though recognise his talents), with the Hulk there too, I’d be all over that! Please let it be true!

  3. At the same time Sky’s Mark Hughes is reporting there’s a chance the Hulk won’t be on the grid next year. He says Sauber’s moving toward Sirotkin and Bianchi (Ferrari’s wish), Lotus needs more cash flow while Massa seems to have some financial backing and McLaren are interested, but are afraid Hulk is too big/heavy for the 2014 car.

    Would be such a shame if he’s not driving next year…

    • Shame? It’d be a fucking travesty. Seriously, if Hulk is pushed out for cash reasons, I’ll probably lose faith in F1. Glock and Kovallainen already bordered on the ridiculous, but if Hulk is axxed, that’d be the final nail in the coffin.

      • Glock and Kovi, do me a favour!! Hulk I understand , but even then I don’t see him as particularly special. He’s nearer to the frentzen/ Heidfeld end of the scale as opposed to little Schumi!

        • Hülkenberg can give Vettel a run for the money. He blitzed all junior formulae. You could’ve put him in a wheelie bin, he still would’ve won. On raw talent he’s up there with the Vettels, Alonsos and Hamiltons of the world, He just needs a car to prove it. Did you miss Monza? He drove that crapbox to 5th place. That was beyond good, it was mucking fagic.

          • Monza results sometimes don’t always show who was driving the best, as horsepower and slippery aerodynamics still play an important role. It was no coincidence that 5 of the top 10 qualifiers were Ferrari-powered cars. Verne hasn’t troubled the top 10 grid much this year, but he too was right up there.

            Having said that, I agree that the Hulk does seem to be easily a step above all other of the up-and-coming drivers, so I’m hoping that somehow he does end up at Lotus or even McLaren.

            Would love to see a Hulkenburg victory in 2014 🙂

    • IMHO Mark Hughes is talking….. %$£^

      The again I suppose there’s a chance that love and peace will break out in F1 and each participant will thing of others ahead of themselves 😉

      • Is it me or does he appear to always be talking shit, I’m surprised he doesn’t disappear up his own arse, stopped buying autosport cause of the rubbish he writes. It was a shame when Nigel Roebuck left, found in him another mag and he’s still just as good but does repeat himself a little.

  4. There’s only one place for the Hulk…McLaren! Get rid of Jenson as well and bring in Di Resta and then you have a team!

    • It is starting to look like DiResta is too similar to Jenson as a driver – only occasionally puts a full weekend together and struggles too much in qualifying and has to put in stellar drives to get anywhere on Sunday.

      It is hard to decide about Perez – he looked promising last season but doesn’t seem to have done much this year to build on that promise. Do they give him another year? Even without the money he showed glimpses of talent…

      • Wasn’t it LdM who said he wasn’t ready for a top drive. Didn’t the worlds fans call him an old fool for not recognising talent…

        • Personally, I never wanted Perez, it cas crystal clear that he was only recruited for the sponsor money!

      • OK, let’s look at who’s available around, all the top drivers are tied up at Merc, Ferrari and RBR. What’s left? The second-tier ones! And from those, only the Hulk and Di Resta seem to look the better ones and more probable to move around. Rosberg’s tied up at Merc and Grosjean at Lotus. Not a big fan of Di Resta but I believe he’ll do better than Button, he’s younger and definitely hungrier.

        • There is another option… 2014 is a year of transition for McLaren anyway, why not put on of their young guns in beside Button to learn from his experience. If it works out you have the basis of a good team for 2014, if not then you have plenty of choice for 2015 – Hulkenberg, DiResta, Sutil, maybe even sneak Bianchi from under the nose of Ferrari – after all, it isn’t looking like a seat in the top team will open up for him any time soon. You’ve also get Vergne and Algusuari who Red Bull discarded.

          • Young Bianchi is starting to look a little overrated imo. Chilton is starting to run him a little closer now, which is either showing they both have potential, or Jules is overrated.

          • I think any driver coming into F1 needs at least two years to get their feet under the table.

            If Schumi was not Schumi do you think Merc would have put up with a youngster giving such performances?

          • But then again Magnussen has more sponsors/money… I think a week or two ago Whitmarsh said that both are ready for F1, but not sure if he was thinking about a McLaren seat…

          • “I think any driver coming into F1 needs at least two years to get their feet under the table.”
            Not sure what you mean by this… perhaps it has something to do with windmills… When they come into F1 they thus already have their feet under the table. So do you then want them to just sit around for two years not having to justify having been offered a drive…?
            If a driver enters F1 in one of the top four (or five) teams (Lewis for example) they should be expected to show their true worth within three or four races – if they need nursing along then they arrived to soon (Bianchi for example).
            I’m not at all ageist, and don’t even know the age of any F1 driver but, if they are to be taken into this top rung, and then allowed two years off for good behaviour, then something is wrong.
            I can sympathise with anyone who is shown the door after only one or two seasons but… if they are considered to have the talent, but fail to perform, then it’s goodbye…!
            Years and years ago, when I was a paper-boy, my newsagent taught me: ‘There is no sentiment in business…!’
            Are they not better getting their feet more firmly under the table in a lower formula before being shepherded into F1 too soon.
            Even on this thread some people are concerned about talented/experienced drivers perhaps losing a drive for next year while others seem keen to have yet more newcomers arrive. I make no comment on the rights and wrongs of this but there are only so many seats available and 3 into 2 won’t go.
            I wouldn’t like to be in the Sauber boardroom at the end of 2014 when Sirotkin gets dropped – and the Kalashnikov’s appear… 😉

            But… please let’s solve such problems with common sense, and not with more regulations. And, as the RampantRat would say: ‘Good night.’ 🙂

  5. To me, Andy Green has it nailed – the tyres were only a problem if you ignored the instructions given by Pirelli. If the other teams needed to push the limits to get performance then they take the same risks when you push the limits of engine performance, wing strength, etc, etc.

    As for Lauda, I wonder if he has ideas of a German superteam in the future? Everyone is expecting Vettel to go to Ferrari, but maybe the draw of winning big in a German team is more appealing to him? If Merc do a good job of the 2014 engine then it could well be the seat to be in, and he won’t have all the Ferrari politics to deal with…

      • Lewis isn’t exactly dominating the team this year, Rosberg is giving a good account of himself. Also, I think Rosberg would be better number two material anyway, I can’t see Lewis being happy to step aside on a regular basis.

        Red Bull will need a replacement for Seb if he moves on and Lewis has already hinted he would be interested in going there… A two way swap could work well for both teams.

        • It’s his first year with the team and so far he’s outqualified and outscored someone that made Schuey look as a second-rate driver. So I don’ think that you can make the assumption that Vettel is better than Lewis and will easily defeat Rosberg. The only reason they might prefer Vettel in the future would be because Vettel will be better marketing material with his multiple titles, being German, plus they might decide to follow the Ferrari route with a designated no 1. Something that Lewis doesn’t want or really pushes for. Guess the ruthlessness of it all might sway it towards Vettel.

          • from a marketing perspective, vettel isn’t really the best choice. not because you can’t market him, but because he seems to be a bit like kimi and doesn’t really want to do it. if you compare it to the money making machine schumi and willy weber created, vettel is almost nonexistant. you will see him on race weekends, red bull cans and the odd tv commercial here and there. that’s about it.

          • anijs, you really don’t seem to pay much attention or alternatively you just make stuff up, really. Vettel is much more willing to do pr work than Schumacher and more importantly, he’s much more approachable than his childhood idol. Just a few weeks ago he took part in a fan-organized soap box downhill race. He appeared dressed up as Super Mario with “Super Seb” paited on his contraption. Schumacher would never have taken part in such a ‘cocking about’ event.

        • If I was playing chess with the ‘all-mighty’ and he pushed King Vettel to Merc, for 2015, out of sheer devilment I would push Queen Lewis to Ferrari, to partner Alonso – after Kimi has won his second championship, in 2014 (don’t worry, I will ensure he does…), and retired… And I promise it wasn’t me who gave him the bad back. 😉

  6. funny, especially if you speak spanish and understand the slogan “one of them had his car break down, the other just happened to pass by”

  7. I laughed about the pit radio transcript., especially the beginning. RB talk Mark through the starting procedure as if he is a debutant. How the hell can someone not know how to start a god dang race, who’s been in F1 since 2001??

    • A lot of it shows just how young many of the drivers are… 😉
      Can you do potty-training on the simulators…? 🙂

  8. Stil reading the pit radio transcript and it’s really damning for Pirelli – hell there’s hardly a message in it that deals with anything but the fracking tyres! When did F1 become a friggin’ tyre conservation championship? No wonder we see processional races again – everybody is too friggin’ scared to use the throttle. 🙁

  9. I may be wrong, but it looks as though that Pit Radio transcript is taken from F1Fanatic? Might be polite to at least acknowledge the source, since I imagine Keith puts a lot of effort into transcribing it and it must be galling to see the work going uncredited.

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