Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday November 1st 2013

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Red Bull finally beaten – by girls in bikinis

Movember: Face fur for a good cause

Webber ‘close’ to a switch to Ferrari (12:34)

Kimi rocks up (13:00)

Ferrari on the cards again for the Hulk (13:21)

Another new helmet (13:30)

Friday Free Practice (15:30)

FOM TV get with the times (16:00)

Strong words from Kimi (16:47)

Caption Competition (17:03)


Read Bull finally beaten – by girls in bikinis

The Red Bull team has finally been handed a defeat this year and they might even start to understand the pain they’ve been inflicting on the poor Samurai from Oviedo as it was the fourth defeat in a row. Nominated for the “Austrian sports team of the year” award for the fourth time on the trot they also lost out the fourth time. This year Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger, beach volleyball players, won the title and the Milton Keynes outfit only came third.

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Movember: Face fur for a good cause

Not shaving for a good cause is something of a tradition in English speaking countries. Team McLaren will participate in this charity action as they’ve done in years past. “You shave in October and then let it grow a whole month,” explains Jenson Button, who was seen with a somewhat ridiculous looking ‘stache last year.

Not only on the track, but also in cyberspace the team is sending their Gilettes on a month of hiatus. I have seen my ‘Tooned’ character. He’s got an enormous mustache,” Jenson explains with a laugh. “I’ve got no idea if I can manage that in only a month, but I’ll do my very best.”

Sergio Perez will participate for the first time this year. After seeing his digital counterpart in ‘Tooned’ he approved: He looked very Mexican.

TJ13 is represented in the furry endeavour by the Fat Hippo, who’s had a bit of a head start on the McLaren boys…

Fat Hippo detained for 'being furry in public'

Fat Hippo detained for ‘being furry in public’

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Webber ‘close’ to a switch to Ferrari

Just 3 more race weekends left in F1 for Mark Webber before he heads off to Porsche and a return to sports car racing. I suspect we will be hearing more and more anecdotes from Mark Webber in the coming days and today he reveals the truth over the ‘Webber to Ferrari’ rumours last year.

Most successful F1 drivers appear to feel a stint at Ferrari before they end their career is mandatory and Mark Webber had his chance. When asked how close he came to joining the team from Maranello, he replied, “Very close.”

It was so close that when Webber called Mateschitz to discuss the matter, Didi begged him to stay for one more year. Webber reveals though that, “we couldn’t get a final agreement with Ferrari or I would now be sitting in Felipe Massa’s car. I had set myself a deadline by when I would know what was going on. On the Thursday before the Canada GP 2012, I made the decision – to stay another year with Red Bull Racing.”

This decision was announced during the Silverstone weekend.

What is it with Ferrari and Australian drivers? We all know about their national criminal ancestry, yet this surely isn’t the reason for Maranello’s reluctance to get at least 1 blower of the didgeridoo into a red car.

It could be the way Ferrari does business. No ‘no nonsense ‘aussies presumably can’t be bothered with their politiking. Ferrari regularly negotiate pre-contract contracts – which are worth jack – as Alan Jones testifies.

In 1978 Ferrari claimed they wanted Mario Andretti as they thought an American F1 driver would be good for road car sales in the USA. He signed with Lotus so Ferrari aoffered Alan Jones the drive.

Contracts were exchanged but when Jones arrived in Maranello pre-season, he was taken aside and told quietly that Enzo had decided to recruit Gilles Villeneuve instead. Jones then called Frank Williams who snapped up his services and a couple of years later he led the rebuilt Williams team to a championship in 1980.

Urban legend has it Jones resented the way Ferrari had treated him and refused to ever get behind the wheel of a Ferrari sports car. Further, in 1982, Ferrari driver Pironi had a prang, which put him out of the Italian GP at Monza. Jones was called and MAranello wanted to offer him the drive. Alan refused to even take the call and the team recruited Mario Andretti as a stand in replacement instead.

Ferrari’s dithering may have been costly. Getting Webber on board for 2013 would have given Maranello an insight into few of Red Bull and Newey’s trade secrets.

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Kimi rocks up

Come Friday and FP1 and the Iceman who traded fiery verbals with trackside operations director , Alan Permane, was in his Lotus and ready to run. Gerard Lopez plays down the whole matter, “Of course, recently a lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship. It certainly wasn’t the most beneficial few seconds, but you have to step back and accept that everyone is passionate about racing and sometimes these things do happen”.

At least Kimi’s best time in FP1, some 0.7s slower than TJ13’s daring Romain Grosjean, won’t be attributed to his lack of focus following the dispute with Permane, as we are getting used to the iceman being consistently and sounbdly beaten over 1 lap by his understudy from France.

On the matter of the Lotus inward investment, Lopez infers the deal is not a dead duck as most believe. “We have preliminary agreements with the company we want to partner with, and we’re just waiting for this to be concluded. Deals like this do not move at the speed we’re used to in Formula One and we’re hopeful that we’ll conclude it in the near future,”

Come on Gerard. 5 months??? And if this is the case, then Lopez should have kept his mouth shut back in June instead of claiming a deal was done….that cleaqrly was not done at all – and still isn’t.

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Ferrari on the cards again for the Hulk

It looks as though one of the most talked about drivers in F1 may be heading for yet another year on the bench. Stories which have Hulkenberg moving to Lotus, McLaren, Williams, Force India – and even to stay at Sauber – have been doing the rounds for weeks.

Yet with Lotus’ inward investment deal practically dead and Maldonado doing the rounds claiming to have in his knapsack the keys to an oil refinery – the chance of the Hulk ending up in Enstone is slim.

Sauber have young Sirotkin and the prospect of Vitaly Petrov arriving with an Oligarch’s petty cash tin containing 30m euros.

McLaren are silent at present as they negotiate the next 5-6 years title sponsor relationship, but Perez brings in plenty of mula from Central America.

It could be Nico’s best bet is to return to one of his former teams – Williams or Force India

Yet today its emerging that Ferrari have offered Nico a role as reserve driver. Having been close to a full driver contract for 2014 with Maranello – only to receive a text telling him they were recruiting Kimi instead – who knows how Hulkenberg will react, yet Maranello are clearly nervous over Alonso’s intentions for 2014.

It would be humiliating beyond measure were Ferrari to be left at the last minute with just 1 driver for 2014 and to avoid having egg on their collective face this offer to Nico makes perfect sense.

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Another new helmet

The penchant for changing helmets is getting ridiculous these days. Here’s another one for Lewis.

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Friday Free Practice

Session 1 times

Pos Driver                Team                      Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault             1m44.241s           20
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                  1m44.433s  +0.192s  22
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault          1m44.499s  +0.258s  18
 4. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault          1m44.712s  +0.471s  18
 5. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                  1m44.741s  +0.500s  23
 6. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault             1m44.929s  +0.688s  21
 7. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes      1m45.040s  +0.799s  19
 8. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes          1m45.099s  +0.858s  19
 9. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault          1m45.150s  +0.909s  23
10. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes          1m45.331s  +1.090s  19
11. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari            1m45.378s  +1.137s  21
12. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                   1m45.440s  +1.199s  17
13. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault          1m45.823s  +1.582s  21
14. James Calado          Force India-Mercedes      1m45.924s  +1.683s  19
15. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari            1m46.068s  +1.827s  17
16. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari        1m46.114s  +1.873s  21
17. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                   1m46.124s  +1.883s  17
18. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari        1m46.126s  +1.885s  20
19. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault          1m47.600s  +3.359s  21
20. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault          1m47.670s  +3.429s  21
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth         1m47.723s  +3.482s  22
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez      Marussia-Cosworth         1m49.565s  +5.324s  21

Man of the moment, Romain Grosjean, stole a march on the field and was quickest in the opening practice session in Abu Dhabi, with the 2 RB9’s behind Lewis Hamilton who was 2nd. The track failed to evolve and most drivers spent the session struggling to find grip.

The lack of grip squeezed up the pack, which saw the top 10 runners covered by just over a second.

The 2 Ferrari’s looked woeful with Alonso only 12th and Massa down in 17th and with the pace Mercedes is showing its probable the Brackley based team will consolidate their 4 point lead over Ferrari this weekend.

There was a moment of excitement in the Red Bull pit box when an unusual misjudgement from Vettel required the crew to take urgent avoiding action to avoid being trampled by a rampant RB9.

Yet if anyone believed Sebastian was just taking it easy having clinched his 4th WDC last weekend, they were mistaken, The Bulls roared back in the second session to head the field once again.

Pos Driver                Team                   Time      Gap     Laps
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m41.335s          33
 2. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m41.490s  +0.155s 32
 3. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               1m41.690s  +0.355s 37
 4. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m41.726s  +0.391s 40
 5. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m41.758s  +0.423s 39
 6. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes       1m42.006s  +0.671s 35
 7. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m42.010s  +0.675s 30
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m42.171s  +0.836s 30
 9. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari         1m42.324s  +0.989s 40
10. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m42.440s  +1.105s 35
11. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         1m42.509s  +1.174s 37
12. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m42.607s  +1.272s 18
13. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m42.806s  +1.471s 26
14. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m42.952s  +1.617s 35
15. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m42.998s  +1.663s 25
16. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m43.152s  +1.817s 28
17. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m43.271s  +1.936s 35
18. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1m43.565s  +2.230s 34
19. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault       1m44.138s  +2.803s 34
20. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth      1m44.459s  +3.124s 34
21. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault       1m44.525s  +3.190s 37
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth      1m45.565s  +4.230s 26

Kimi Raikkonen was reported to have a nose bleed as he scaled the dizzy heights of 4th fastest in the session, whilst his team mate failed to complete his qualifying simulation as brake parts began to go missing from his car. Kimi has reverted to the short wheel based E21 this weekend in an attempt to improve his recent form.

The Ferrari’s improved with Alonso 8th and Massa completing the top 10, yet the time differential to Vettel will hardly be conducive to the Maranello personnel getting a good nights sleep. The car’s lack of traction was exposed and Fernando commented, “We are eighth and 10th, but do not have much room for improvement.”

Jenson Button’s McLaren was quickest through the speed trap and he was a whisker slower than his team mate in Perez over 1 lap. The team appear to be running low down force set-ups to take advantage of the long straights and DRS on Sunday.

Perez commented, “This was a productive day for the whole team – I felt really comfortable with the car in both sessions, and really enjoyed my time on the track today. I feel happy with my car, and I don’t expect to change too much. Normally, we change quite a lot on the car between Friday and Saturday in order to refine the balance and set-up, but I don’t think we’ll be doing too much of that tonight.

The Option tyre is performing quite a lot better than it was in India. While I think we feel more comfortable with the softer tyre, it’ll still be difficult to make a one-stop strategy work on Sunday. Tomorrow, I’d like to see us get into Q3.”

Nenson was positively bullish over the cars ability to ‘switch’ on the tyres. “I also think both tyres are working reasonably well around here. I got my fastest lap on my first attempt on the Option tyre, which most people didn’t, so I’m quite happy about that”.

Di Resta who had been 7th fastest in the morning suffered a tyre failure and Pirelli’s Paul Hembery said initial indications were that it was caused by a brake problem. Adrian Sutil confirms this was a problem for him too. “It’s hard to say too much about today because we had to change the brake material in the middle of the second session.

That had quite a big impact on the car and it was difficult to make a comparison with the set-up changes. There is quite a big difference between the two tyre compounds and at the moment I’m struggling more with the medium tyres. The general balance of the car felt okay so I’m still positive we can be in good shape tomorrow.”

Sebastian Vettel reported a funny smell in his cockpit over the radio – some wag suggested they look for the dead fish Webber placed there back in India. When questioned over the comment, Vettel confessed to reporters, “I didn’t fart”.

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FOM TV get with the times

Formula One which is supposed to represent the pinnacle of motorsport innovation has FINALLY decided to fit a moving camera to a car – something Indy Car has been doing for years.

Today Fernando Alonso was trialling the 180 degree camera during FP1 in Abu Dhabi.

Having said that we had helmet cam introduced and after just a few races it quietly disappeared.

ibpgVk8PixyA9Q

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Strong words from Kimi

A certain well known media individual appears to have missed the reason for Kimi’s late arrival in Abu Dhabi. Speaking in the past 15 minutes, Raikkonen tells the assembled press scrum “I almost didn’t come here and the rest of the races” and explains it was to do with far more than just a radio message.

“It’s a small part of it and those things shouldn’t happen, but unfortunately those things happened, but that’s not really the issue. It’s the other stuff and all the things together in the end. It’s easy to say that’s the reason, but it’s not that”.

“Everybody has their own view and own ideas of everything and sometimes it’s not very nice when you hear that you don’t have the interest of the team. Then you’ve been paid zero Euro the whole year so it kind of doesn’t put you in the best place. But that’s the way it goes and hopefully we’ve found an understanding on both sides as to how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues.”

Raikkonen arrived late in Abu Dhabi only after reaching an agreement with the team over finances. Further, he is reserving his right to withdraw his services for the final two rounds in Austin and Brasil should the team not keep their end of the bargain.

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Caption Competition

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38 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday November 1st 2013

  1. No contest undoubtedly, Judge. I know which r-send I’d rather be checking out.

  2. Well, let’s be honest, RBR are hardly an Austrian team. Having the big boss and his money being Austrian doesn’t really make the rest of the team Austrian, despite all the registration admin stuff.

  3. It seems that Hamilton clarified his ‘greatest’ comments about Vettel in his BBC column. He was merely referring to the impressive numbers Vettel has amassed these last few years.

    “To have had so much success so young, he is well on his way to being seen as the greatest ever driver, in the sense that he could conceivably match Michael Schumacher’s amazing records of seven world titles and 91 victories. But the greatness of a Formula 1 driver is a more nuanced thing than just his raw statistics.”

  4. I just saw Eddie Irvine in interview saying that in his day the three big talents were Senna, Schumacher, and Newey. Senna and Schumacher for being the drivers most capable of winning races and championships in inferior machinery, and Newey for being the design genius that he remains to this day. So you were either Senna or Schumacher, or you won in a Newey-designed car. And “so what” if you won in a Newey car, as they were so head-and-shoulders above the rest that, effectively, the championship was yours to lose. And I think that is a large part of the reason that I, for one, still have a few question marks regarding Vettel’s racing credentials, notwithstanding his abundant display of many of the other qualities required of a multiple World Champion, especially the ability to make the most of a golden opportunity. He must also, privately, wonder how much more difficult it will be for him to add to his stats when he eventually moves to a non-Newey car. As if by way of confirmation, just as I was finishing typing this I heard Mika Hakkinen in another interview saying “…and then Newey arrived, and the good times [ i.e. results ] started”.

    • That’s why I liked eddie the most. Saying what he meant. No pr and be nice to everybody.

    • I will probably be sent to the wall for what I’m about to say, but you could say the same for Alonso and Hamilton for this era, as Irvine said for Senna and Schumacher in his time.

      Caveat: By no means do I equate Alonso and Hamilton to Senna and Schumacher. It’s different eras. I merely draw parallels of the leading drivers in each era.

      • Not sure i agree with above, including Eddie. He was a good hand in a car, but no Michael. Or Rubens for that matter.

        Considering Michael won all his races in a Byrne / brawn car one could say that he had similar advantages, or not, to any Newey driver.

        Newey plays a big part. But not the only part. Budget, drivers, other aero talent, engineers, engine, electronics etc all play their part.

        Neweys cars, over the last 5 years have been epic, hence Seb doing so well. But everyone else in the team, and partners, have been doing an epic job.

        I would have Fernando and Seb b4 Lewis myself. But I’d be splitting hairs.

        • Well, let’s not forget that the post-Senna era was quite poor in terms of talent compared to the era before or the one after (i.e. current one). That of course made Schumacher the king. And I agree, being with Byrne/Brawn was a bit similar to being in a Newey car.

          • I can’t really make much sense of all the ‘it’s only Newey’ claptrap. People seem to forget that between 1999 and 2009 his designs won nuff anything. He’s not unbeatable.

          • He’s only beatable when others (i.e. Ferarri at that time) have more money, links with FIA, tailor-made tyres (i.e. Bridgestone) and a world-class driver (i.e. Schuey). If all those other elements are pretty much similar across teams, Newey is in a lead of his own.

          • So Renault had bespoke tyres, FIA links and most money for two years or was that all Alonso’s magic ?

          • They had Newey off to RBR rebuilding that team from Jaguar’s ashes . It does take time to build a team you know…

            And besides, don’t take everything as a negative comment for Vettel’s abilities. We’re just saying that Newey really is in a league of his own. That is all. Vettel is still one of the best of this era as Hakkinen was of the last.

          • …plus Dennis suffocated Newey and did not give him enough freedom to do what he likes. That’s part of the reason Newey enjoys RBR so much now and he’s not leaving F1 any time soon.

          • Its budget that talks.

            The only exception is Toyota. Wrong people, wrong place, wrong approach. Right budget.

            The days of pure design talent being enough pretty much ended with Neweys Leyton House and Andersons Jordan designs.

      • I dont agree. Everybody says vettel should win in a bad car. But vettel worked his way up. Hamilton came in a top team(able to fight for championship) and went to an other team when the worst times where over. Dont get me wrong hamilton is a top driver. But alonso and vettel are completer in my opinion. Now… but times they are a changing 😉

    • Saward’s article is disturbing and removes hopes of a bright future for the team from Enstone.

      It’s significant that the source of the article’s material is Mansoor Ijaz of Quantum Motorsports.

      Note the following reader’s comment following the article:
      “I work in the world of PE, hedge funds and M&A etc and have never known this type of compliance (KYC) to take so long and crucially, to not have been anticipated by lawyers ahead of the deal… this whole explanation doesn’t quite stack up… and suggests other matters are at play or there are genuine compliance issues with some of the funders, which would be concerning.”

      If we just do the math, we can see this deal is very much a long ball play for these new investors:

      Quantum Motorsports supposedly agreed to purchase 35% of the Lotus F1 team.
      Lotus F1 team claims that the Quantum Motorsports folks are divided up as a 20 / 20 / 60 split between three entities (listed below).

      20% of 35% = 7%
      60% of 35% = 21%

      Each of these three suckers, (oops! I mean entities) would therefore own:
      7% of Lotus F1 team for Crescent Investment Management of New Jersey (Mr. Mansoor Ijaz)
      7% of Lotus F1 team for Al Manhal International Group of Abu Dhabi (Mr. Suhail Al Dhaheri)
      21% of Lotus F1 team for Universal Sports Group of Brunei (unidentified Brunei royal family interests)

      So the valuation of Lotus F1 would be key.

      Quantum Motorsports could say to Genii, “Golly! It appears that at best, the assets of this team total to almost $50million! So we’re prepared to generously invest $17.5million very soon, as agreed.”
      Genii – “What!?! Lotus F1 team runs at the front of the grid, and is undervalued at $500million! Please present $175million by yesterday, if not sooner!”
      ad nauseum…

      • I agree – cannot see why KYC is taking so long… unless the money they want to invest is “hot” money and AML is picking it up or they are trying to find ways to hide it is “hot”.

        It is very strange though as I cannot see why it is taking so long. Maybe Quantum is waiting until either Genii or Lotus F1 goes bust as they want to but it for a bargain?

  5. Did someone really think Kimi would miss this GP? He won it last year, lotus is getting stronger compared to a few races ago; so it’s his chance to win one last GP at Lotus. Not sure he cares about the team but he likes racing and winning, so there’s no reason to miss this one over a few angry words with a team engineer. He likes racing not media events, so just a good enough excuse to come a bit late but just ready to race.

    And did he look pretty good in 2nd practice; 4th in fast laps with a lap done much earlier with softs than Lewis. That’s a good sign for bad qualifier like Kimi. And then a very good long stints, don’t yet have the full lap tea but looked equal to red bulls what I could follow.

  6. Just a bit of qualifying stats for you all.

    It’s already a foregone conclusion that Vettel, Hulk, Lewis, Kimi, Bottas, Bianchi, Pic and Ricciardo have won the qualifying battle for this year as they’ve outscored their team-mates 10 times or more.

    Tomorrow it will be determined whether Alonso and Button can seal the deal as they’ve outqualified their teammates 9 times so far. The most interesting battle will be that between Alonso and Massa as the latter has outqualified the double-world champion 4 times in the last 5 races. Could Massa outqualify Alonso for the last 3 races and win the battle for this year?

    • A lot was said last year about McLaren having two bad qualifiers in Button and Perez for 2013. It´s a surprise that nobody has pointed that next year Ferrari might be the team with the two worst qualifiers between the top drivers. 6.06 For Alonso and 7.44 for Kimi are the average positions in which they have qualified this year.

  7. A tweet from Ted Kravitz

    “An explosive Kimi Raikkonen interview coming up in The F1 Show. Had to b persuaded to race this w/e, hasn’t been paid all season.

    And Jennie Gow

    “Raikkonen not paid a single € this season by Lotus but he’s come to race anyway because they now have an understanding. Listen @bbc5live #F1”

    • Thank you TJ13 for sharing that interview here. Pretty fascinating.

      For the retro folks here, this reminds a little bit of Ayrton’s 1993 season where he agreed to only do the first race for McLaren, but no season contract. Then they did a new contract just for each race.

      This comment at the end spawns a big question, “…he is reserving his right to withdraw his services for the final two rounds in Austin and Brasil should the team not keep their end of the bargain.”

      Does anyone know what this bargain consists of?

      • Uhhh no, not really. McLaren paid Senna – unlike Lotus!

        And, while I know you aren’t guilty of this, I am SICK of people suggesting that Kimi shouldn’t be upset or complain b/c he’s wealthy. Gah! By that logic, Lopez shouldn’t extract any profit from any of his businesses (nevermind the team) – b/c he already has money! Retarded.

  8. I like the way they change helmets. Some of them are absolutely stunning. On thr other hand i dont like the way they treat the hulk. I know there have always been pay drivers but this is getting ridiculous. It seems that some teams need the money so hard just to start that they arent in need of a good driver cuz they know they dont have enough money to win. I know every driver that makes it to f1 is a good driver but there are good drivers and good drivers. And it seems that quantity is winning from quality.we may have one of the strongest fields ever, in front. But the delivery of new talents is on an all time low.

  9. Caption Competition:
    [img]http://i.imgur.com/8OkIgWb.jpg[/img]

    Hope that worked! Please edit mods if not.

  10. Caption competition;

    Kimi cites company car as “main reason for leaving Lotus”

  11. IT’S BECAUSE OF IDIOTS LIKE SAM BIRD THAT F1 IS BECOMING A PAY-DRIVER MARKET FOR TEAMS AND PROPER PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMEN AREN’T BEING OFFERED SALARIES THEY MERIT! I just saw him on SKY’s F1 show and rather than unreservedly standing in solidarity w/ Kimi (which you’d think he’d be quick to do, given he could be in the same boat, being exploited by a team’s “owners,” the moron had to boast that he’d “DRIVE FOR FREE”!! GAH! If that’s the case, then Sam Bird no longer should be referred to as a professional sportsman: b/c he’s not! B/c THEY GET PAID! And yes: I’M SHOUTING! b/c I’m pissed off at these idiots!

    • For me the principle is that if you have an agreement with a team to pay you x than that is what you’d expect. Lotus boasts they gave Kimi a good car to come back with but he wont be where he is without them… last time I checked Kimi won his world title in a Ferrari… Next year Lotus will see what the true cost of losing Kimi is…

      • I agree 100% – if team has executed a contract w/ a driver who has lived up to his responsibilities, they damn well better pay him! And if he continues to drive for you when you HAVEN’T paid him one red cent for an entire season, the idea that you would publicly verbally abuse him is unconscionable.

    • Oh my. Sam Bird stalled out on the grid and ruined his own race. While I take no pleasure in seeing him failure, it’s apropos given his unprofessionalism the night previous when he gushed like a schoolgirl that he’d gladly drive for free in F1 if only someone would have him. Now we see why he has such a low opinion of his skills and value…

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