Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 10th May 2014


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Previously on TJ13:

On This Day in #F1: 10th May 1959

Editors Note

UK’s Sky changing strategy?

Barcelona FP3 report

Italian press mocking Ferrari – Newey contract offer

Mercedes’ rivals may block ‘megaphone’ exhaust (GMM)

Perez slams Pirelli over ‘boring’ tyres (GMM)

Editors Note

You may have noticed that news has been fairly thin over the last couple of weeks. That is mainly due to me having other commitments but the crew here at the court have managed to bring you news even though I was engaged elsewhere. Whilst they have done a great job it is necessary to increase the number of news writers for the site.

Even if you can only write one story per week or per month it will help. The more news writers writing news for TJ13 the less GMM content we will need, and we know this has not always been welcome so are reducing the number of GMM articles we publish.

Even if you have never written before you can still help – TJ13 will provide the necessary coaching and help to develop your writing so if you are up for it please get in touch with us.


UK’s Sky changing strategy?

With F1 ratings falling worldwide since F1 changed it strategy to move onto Pay per View channels have we now reached a point where potential fans are not reached and existing fans are becoming estranged? In the UK there is an agreement between Sky and BBC, with Sky showing all the races live and BBC showing extended highlights and some races live.

Looking at the figures from the F1 Broadcasting Blog for the race in China we are confronted with a bleak picture. The combined average of viewers during the Chinese Grand Prix for both Sky and BBC are  c3.55m. Compared to the combined average of c4.4m from 2008 to 2013 this is a massive drop in viewers.

Qualifying was not much better with the combined average c1.82m compared to previous years where they were in excess of 2m. As David said in his blog, “there are no positives when steep drops are being recorded more often than not. Over half a million viewers, which is the gap in most cases, would not be clawed back via ‘other methods’. The fact is, some people have tuned out due to many different primary and secondary factors.

It appears the lords at Sky have also noticed this trend. While still behind Sky’s decoders at least regular Sky subscribers will now be able to watch qualifying on their Sky1 channel at 12 today. Is Sky looking to drum up more interest or will we see a change in strategy after they realised viewers are not flocking to the F1 subscription channel and the next step is having F1 on easier to access channels in the future?

2014 Spanish GP on Sky1


Barcelona FP3 report

Today’s FP3 session was a subdued event and many runners were playing cagey with the opposition. Except for Mercedes…

With what looks like at least a second advantage over the first of the opposition, we witnessed both Rosberg and Hamilton driving within their limits and not giving too much away to the other.

Initially in the session Hamilton had returned to the pits saying the car didn’t feel true when running in a straight line. Observers stared in astonishment as the team put their laser guided tape measures aside and used Niki Lauda’s tried and tested string to measure the wheelbase on both sides. Lewis returned to the track and was visibly restrained with his steed.

The Mclarens had a mixed session with times and were joined by fellow Mercedes engined runners Williams. It was obvious throughout that the majority of teams were struggling with rear downforce and irrespective of which tyre they were running, these drivers were squirming through many corners, fighting cars in glorious… well, small slides.

Even TJ13 favourite Marvellous Max had a sideways moment through turn 9 as he pressed the ‘go-faster’ pedal like his friend Bianchi had suggested. This prompted the latest Scottish recruit to the BBC’s F1 coverage, Allan Mcnish, to compare him to the legendary Gilles Villeneuve… it would seem the accident at Le Mans the other year has sadly left long term sanity issues within his tiny frame.

Lotus continued in their own manner. Both drivers experienced what proved to be recurring issues under braking which would catch them out unexpectedly. Maldonado in fact losing his braking into the first corner just metres behind his team-mate Grosjean.

Twenty minutes into the session we had the Ferraris separated by just under half a second sitting on the front row effectively. To any tifosi with long memories this would have been a sweet moment reflecting on a great team, for anyone else, Mercedes hadn’t been out for more than installation laps.

Later in the session Alonso took third place on the softer tyre but Kimi barely improved on his time set on hards so there is time available but the race for the last podium position could be a close one. Williams, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mclaren have seemingly comparable pace, but there was a sense of not giving too much away before qualifying.

Button and Hulkenburg both told their respective teams that they had lost rear grip and were struggling for pace but if these were downforce issues, brake recovery issues or too hard a compound issues was not elaborated on. Watching Kevin Magnussen it seems that Mclaren’s normal design feature of much too hard damping was back as watching him through turn 3, the car was bouncing over the ripples in the track.

In a manner similar to Rob Smedley and Felipe Massa advanced school of driving, Gutierrez was told by his engineer that he was using too low a gear compared to his team-mate and was told maybe he should try a higher one instead…

Vettel and Vergne both ran wide through turn 4 and the reigning champion looked decidedly unsettled through many of his laps. Bottas looked wild throughout and it’s interesting to see how much difference there is between the Williams drivers when he doesn’t play a part fin FP1 as opposed to when he does.

Final point, is Gary Anderson being missed by the BBC crew? Tom Ford was talking about the new front wing of the Sauber as against the previous unit which were both on display in the pitlane. ” The new one is …clean… whereas the old one has this bit that flips up on it.” Thank you Tom…

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.887 16
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.756 0.869 9
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27.188 1.301 15
4 Felipe Massa Williams 1:27.223 1.336 10
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.682 1.795 18
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:27.806 1.919 16
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:27.808 1.921 12
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.006 2.119 11
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:28.076 2.189 19
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:28.085 2.198 20
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.101 2.214 12
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:28.242 2.355 16
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:28.298 2.411 16
14 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:28.419 2.532 16
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:28.571 2.684 13
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.668 2.781 13
17 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:28.715 2.828 16
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:28.865 2.978 18
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1:30.169 4.282 15
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:30.670 4.783 12
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:30.712 4.825 18
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:31.559 5.672 19

Below is the lap chart with the different sector times for each of the drivers after FP3. Although Rosberg emerged quickest, his time is still a third of a second down on Hamilton’s best from yesterday.

tavola fp3


Italian press mocking Ferrari – Newey contract offer

‘Ci risiamo’ quoted a headline on Italian website Omnicorse. In English these two words translate as “Here we go again” but in certain areas in Italy, various dialects use ‘risi’ as finding some thing funny which is where the adjective risible originates from.

The article these words were applied to was the latest rumours that Ferrari has once again approached Adrian Newey about joining the Maranello concern to lead their design crew.

Without doubt Newey is the most coveted designer in the world, and has been a consistent winner throughout the last twenty years but every time he has been offered a contract with Ferrari he has turned it down.

By all accounts, Mattitacci has recognised him as someone Ferrari needs to turn the Italian concern around but what could they offer a man who is currently the highest paid technical director in Formula One? A collection of classic Ferrari’s which he could race at Historic events of which he is an enthusiast? When you are paid in millions already the incentive must come from somewhere else.

So to surmise, Ferrari have a team structure that has James Allison as the Technical Director. Ross Brawn was seen locally last week with all that implies and Bob Bell is currently tending to his garden but rumours persist he may join up with Allison once more.

Montezemolo spoke recently of not wanting mercenaries within the team and yet the Scuderia cultivates an environment which encourages this to happen. Instead of establishing a blame culture where everybody feels pressurised by the nonsense published in the press, they should focus on putting their house in order and allowing their personnel the freedom to work to their strengths.


Mercedes’ rivals may block ‘megaphone’ exhaust (GMM)

Mercedes’ rivals may block the introduction of the ‘megaphone’ exhaust, according to reports. Already utterly dominating the 2014 season, Mercedes will try the trumpet-like exhaust attachment at Barcelona during next week’s post-Spanish grand prix test.

Earlier reports suggested that, following widespread criticism of the milder sound of this year’s engines, the Mercedes exhaust would get F1’s volume half-way between the volume of the current V6s and the old, screaming V8s. But before the exhaust can be introduced at grands prix, “the other manufacturers, Ferrari and Renault, would have to agree”, Austria’s APA news agency reports. “They fear that Mercedes has made the development for its own benefit,” the report added.

Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda hit back: “It changes the horse power of the engine by zero. The only thing that changes is the funnel at the end of the exhaust. It just makes more noise,” he added. “Everyone thinks Mercedes has done this to have an advantage — what absolute nonsense,” said Lauda. He claims that Mercedes was the only team that responded to the cries of the fans for more noise. “The others have not done anything,” Lauda is quoted by the German newspaper Bild.

Nonetheless, he said Mercedes’ solution can simply be attached to the end of any exhaust — including those coming from rival Renault and Ferrari engines. Lauda said initial tests had shown that, with the attachment, “you can reach almost twice the volume” of the current V6 engines. The problem,” he explained, “is that all the teams would have to agree. Just because of that it won’t happen? What nonsense,” Lauda charged.

Rival engine maker Renault confirmed that it is not convinced F1 has a sound problem. “Take, for example, the most famous race outside of formula one, which is Le Mans,” Renault chief Jean-Michel Jalinier is quoted by Speed Week. “Last year I was there and there were more than 70 cars in the field, and yet it made less noise at the start than our 22 (F1) cars. But no one complains that Le Mans is not a fantastic race,” he said., “If GP2 is louder, it just means that GP2 is outdated rather than F1 having a sound problem. You just have to move with the times,” Jalinier argued, “and it is no longer the time for a V10 or V8 using 60 litres of fuel every 100 kilometres.”

Interestingly, it seems that Mercedes’ efforts to introduce the ‘megaphone’ may not be blocked at least by its title rival Red Bull. “The test (next week) is a step in the right direction,” said Dr Helmut Marko. “GP2 is now louder than formula one, which cannot be,” he insisted.


Perez slams Pirelli over ‘boring’ tyres (GMM)

Sergio Perez has slammed Pirelli for supplying overly conservative tyre compounds at the Spanish grand prix. F1’s official tyre supplier had a tumultuous and highly controversial 2013 season, but so far the emphasis this season has been on the radical new rules and quiet engines.

“The problem is that Pirelli is not helping us to attack and enjoy driving,” Mexican Perez, who drives for Force India, is quoted by Russia’s f1news.ru. “We have lost downforce compared to last year and now we have to drive very hard compounds,” he added. “It seems that Pirelli is worried about the graining of the front tyres, but if you look at the difference between us and GP2, I think you have to be concerned that their cars are so close now in laptime.

“Our budgets are at least eight times more than the GP2 teams, but the speed difference is only one and a half seconds, or two seconds. It’s not enough,” said Perez. “I think Pirelli needs to be more aggressive because on Sunday we are all going to just follow each other. We will have a boring race and that’s not good for the sport,” he added.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso also thinks Pirelli’s selection for Barcelona is “too conservative”, and according to Perez the pair are not alone in their thinking. “At the drivers’ briefing everyone complained that the cars are sliding and it’s difficult to have a good level of grip,” said Perez. “Hopefully, Pirelli will listen and react also to the fans to make the races more interesting.”

Pirelli’s Paul Hembery, however, hit back by insisting that complaining drivers are just making “an excuse” for their own situations. “It’s the same for everyone,” he said. “We had to take a different approach this year as the cars are completely different.”

TJ13 comment: It seems Pirelli is damned if they do, damned if they don’t. After the criticism leveled at the company last year following some high profile failures, the Formula One drivers are still using the tyres as an excuse for their own performances.

The company;s original brief was to produce tyres that would lose their grip and necessitate pit-stops during a Grand Prix. The previous era of Bridgestone tyres had been deemed boring by the rule makers and yet the same overlords would not let the manufacturer test with contemporary machinery.

With some strong arming by Pirelli, the FIA has approved some in season tyre testing which Pirelli have used to develop appropriate rubber. Yet the drivers still feel the need to complain. Perez may feel that the tyres should be more aggressive to avoid ‘boring’ races, yet the fall out following last year’s Spanish Grand Prix where Alonso used a four stop strategy to win was remarkable because a four stop strategy was deemed  acceptable when Vettel won using it at the same venue in 2011.

In addition, nobody claimed Formula One as boring following this years Bahrain Grand Prix.


34 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 10th May 2014

  1. Re: lowering standards of technical reportage on the beeb –
    Evidence : continual references during FP1 to the ‘front nose’ of various cars. Was not aware of the existence of a rear nose.

    • I feel that the Beeb is now aiming for the casual viewers, leaving the hardcore to Sky. EJ is the only USP they have left now…

    • Six GP2 cars would have made it into the F1 grid this year. Pole position is 4.514 sec. slower than last year. Pic in the Caterham-Renault, qualifying 22nd in 2013 did a 1:25.070 that would have put him on pole this year. What a joke the ‘pinnacle’ of motorsport is becoming.

      • It’s not really, bearing in mind this is the first time for ages where a whole new engine technology and aerodynamic changes have been brought in for a season.
        Obviously this means the cars will be slow to start with but once everyone gets on top of the technology this will all change.
        It’s a joke that you can’t understand this to be honest! Plus the GP2 cars were using soft and medium compounds of Pirelli’s compared to the medium and hard being used by the F1, the hard compound of which no-one can seem to get to work properly as it is too hard for the track.
        I’m fed up of lots of people kicking the sport without looking at the bigger picture.
        If you’re that bothered about it I suggest you invent yourself a time machine and go live in the 80’s again

        • Also, given the nature of the changes, higher power with less downforce, we may well see different gaps at different tracks, its not surprising that high downforce circuits may be 4-5 seconds slower, but then Bahrain was less that a second, and fastest lap was only a tenth of 2013. Monza, we may well see a faster time, I’m not convinced, but I’m just saying there will be a different pattern and it won’t always be 1 second or 4 seconds off, at every circuit, its going to move about dependent on the number/length of straight, and the type of corners and downforce required.

        • Well, Tommo, I do understand what’s going on. I’ve been following this sport for a long time, have raced single seaters successfully at the SCCA National level, and ran my own race prep shop for FF, FF2000, and Atlantic. And that’s why I find this situation ridiculous; this is like a FF going as fast as an Atlantic.

          Yes, it’s new and interesting technology, although we have no actual technical details of the engines so really know nothing except a general picture. I haven’t even seen a picture of the Mercedes engine to verify the compressor/turbo placement (if anyone has please post it).

          What irks me is that a team spending $120 million ± isn’t faster than a spec series racer that can be run for $2.5 million/season. That, sir, IS ridiculous.

          • Dont you think we should wait more than a few weeks before passing judgement on the new F1?
            If laptimes are still the same as gp2 in 2 or 3 years,then fair enough,we have reason to complain….but after less than a half dozen races?
            I assume patience isnt a requirement of FF/2000/atlantic then….or maybe it is and that is why you refer to it in the past tense?

          • @Flying_Scotsman. My racing career has been over for a long time; it was one of the best times of my life; you don”t know me so don’t fucking assume anything. Don’t try and diss me for having an opinion.

            I stopped buying the Autocourse F1 annuals years ago because technical progress, except for aero BS basically ceased. The V8 formula was frozen, and cars changed only for minor tweakie aero stuff.

            The new engine formula had huge promise, but is so limited, with regulations on bore (and hence stroke), c.g., weight, V angle, cylinder spacing, valve configuration, number of cylinders, rpm, fuel flow rate, turbo position, etc. etc. that, in my opinion, the design has become pretty standardized. The energy harvesting part is interesting, but also constrained, with specified weights for the battery units. Even the front/rear weights for the cars are specified, for god’s sake.

            In my opinion F1 is approaching a very serious situation with the potential to lose three for four teams for financial reasons. Even McLaren, yes, McLaren, can’t find a sponsor. How can the backenders be expected to continue? Tony Fernandez told his team that unless they got results there would be no Caterham next year. Lotus is on the cusp. Force India is facing serious problems. Sauber’s Russian deal will probably fall through.

            There are serious problems with F1 that are not being addressed. One of those problems is that if a support spec series car (GP2) is fast enough to qualify 15 in an F1 race then there is a problem. The problem is that F1 is no longer the pinnacle of motor racing. It’s simply a series that isn’t very much faster than its much cheaper spec car support series. Instead of excusing that and mocking me, you should be concerned.

          • Steve H – take a chill pill, you sir are the one attacking and swearing at people. Your arguments hold very little water I’m afraid.
            Point 1- the tyres F1 are using are harder than GP2
            Point 2- around 30% of downforce has been removed from last year
            Point 3- Renault and Ferrari have both admitted they have more to come from their power units, so why would Mercedes run 100% if they don’t need to, so until the others are nipping at their heals they have no need to up the pace and therefore protect the units so they do their required mileage.
            Point 4- we have had 4 races, the experts are saying the teams will find around 2 seconds a lap (maybe more) this season and the same next, that would then put the GP2 spec series way out of touch from F1.
            Point 5- if F1 pisses you off soooooo much, stop waisting even more of your time arguing the toss with your outraged approach on here.
            Point 6- do you not think it is outstanding that such a small amount of lap time has been lost given the fact they are using around 35% less fuel.

            My mum used to say “if you got nothing good tho say, then say nothing at all” it’s people like your good self that are damaging F1 for now and the future by not letting go of the past and refusing to embrace the future.
            The reason for tight regs on the new engines is so tune and money are not waisted on small but expensive gains, the FIA and the Manufacturers sat down to put them together so that innovation and resourses were spent on the things that will benefit the wider world, such as the recovery of energy from the turbo (hence no limit on energy recovered from this area)

            Please disappear quietly now and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  2. Your Honour,

    I hope you succeed in recruiting some new contributing writers, though of course no one can replace you 1:1 on the bench!!

    I know I said I’d try to write something at some point, and I will, but in the meantime, I’m wondering how you could more effectively solicit for contributors, perhaps like … idk, how many aspiring F1 writers/commentators are there out there? OK, yes of course any cucumber can set-up a blog and write 5,000 words/week on F1 (stealing half the “stories” from Google-translated foreign media coverage of F1 and passing it off as their own!), getting traffic to a totally unknown new F1 blog is not likely…

    Your site must get significant traffic now compared to a couple years ago, and there’s an audience here (that you need to hold onto, btw!!!) that’s way bigger than what John Q. Unknown Public’s F1 Blog will likely draw – ever. So while said unknown F1 blogger might not want to give up on the dreams/plan to have his own poorly-trafficked blog, he could hone his craft and get some exposure (and feed his Ego) by writing some stuff to be disseminated in Court.

    My only question is where would you go to find these people? And how would the opportunity be pitched to make it enticing?

    I sometimes cringe when I see a favorite semi-professional high-quality and interesting site like TJ13 appealing to the readership not for $$, but for writers (and doing so in such a way as to make the Court seem understaffed and over-worked!!). Unintentional it may be, but it can give the market the impression of instability and damage “the Brand”.

    So what I’m suggesting, after having taken the roundabout way to get here, is to practice a bit of salesmanship in recruiting unpaid staff and contributors! The fence needs whitewashing, and the time’s come for you to find someone to whitewash it for you!

    • Very apt.. that must be Bernie’s motto, considering how he runs F1, the Tom Sawyer parable!

      I think it is reasonable for TJ13 to ask for help.. everyone is contributing in their spare time, and things will pop up that take people’s attentions away from the website. I tried to write some pieces but didn’t think they were good enough to be published; I’ll look again.. not sure what else I could contribute at the moment.

  3. The look on Nico’s face at the end of qualifying, was one of pure contempt, anger, frustration and anything else I can think of. He thought he had toppled Lewis only to see yet again, he’s second. If Lewis goes on to win by a huge margin again, I feel that nico may never recover.

      • I noticed that many (including the bookmakers) have already written Rosberg off for the title this year. I however would invite for some caution. Rosberg is a very prolific driver, and has a knack for learning and improving. (He does so cerebrally more than instinctively, but who cares.)

        And to those with a short memory, keep in mind that Rosberg has soundly beaten Schumacher for 3 years in a row, fair and square. That isn’t a feat for the average driver. And, moreover, the season is long: with this year’s reliability of power units, you can still count on “everything can happen on Sunday” come the last 5-7 races.

        • Let’s be real, it’s one thing beating a 43 yr old schumi, but to beat a focused and determined hamilton is another thing. Heck, Lewis would’ve beaten schumi as well if he was in that car. So let’s stop making it look like a significant feet of achievement, because Schumi was way passed his prime then.

      • So now that the merc has out qualified the redbull by a second on a circuit that’s should’ve have favoured them, will people now stop saying that Merc’s advantage is only engine related?

    • You have to admit, it was looking like a Rosberg pole right up until the end of Q2. Then Hamilton just pulled a lap out of the bag ( I believe the 3tenths difference on their 1st Q3 laps was due to Nico having run almost a full flying lap on his tyres before the red flag). Even Nikki Lauda said he thought it was going to be Rosberg for pole.

      Also the comparison being made between GP2 and this year’s F1 is a little skewed as its seems to be the general consensus in the paddock that the tyres are very very conservative this season, hence they provide less mechanical grip which exaggerates the loss of downforce this season. Even guys like Chilton were saying the tyres were a touch too hard.

    • Today, hopefully, Nico will have realised that he isn’t a faster driver than Lewis as measured by pure single lap speed. He’s second quickest this year, waiting for Lewis to make a mistake. As alluded to by the judge this week Nico won’t get this year’s WDC gong now unless he changes it up and starts the high-end gamesmanship. He needs to go a bit Mad Max, be a bit unpredictable, stick his nosecone where it isn’t wanted. Maybe he could grow a half-arsed beard, wear a black, flat peak cap and Stevie Wonder shades while wandering through the garage singing Pussycat Girls songs.
      Nico’s recent media comments about being faster in the dry are either deluded ramblings or hollow attempts at pushing Lewis’ buttons. Today proves it just ain’t the case.
      So in a straight fight Nico is gone – short of a long streak of good luck. His only real chance is to be prepared to scrap for it, take any cheap shots that present themselves, maybe take some cheap shots that aren’t there. He needs to get his mongrel on right now. Maybe try and outbrake Hamilton into turn one regardless of his chance of pulling it off. A couple of DNFs tomorrow won’t hurt the MB cause this year, but it might plant a seed of uncertainty in Hamilton’s mind. Lewis has shown a tendency to be a bit mentally fragile in the past and that’s Nico’s only chance.
      If Rosberg’s going to play nice then the WDC fight is over and his career will be merely a historical footnote – the son of a former world champion who made it to the big show, got a drive with a top team, drove a car with an unprecedented performance advantage over the rest of the field but wasn’t good enough. I doubt he’d make the 20 in one of BJB’s lists either.

      • rosberg is the son of a former f1 champion and millionaire. he is one of those rich kids who had everything going their way because of the privileges they enjoyed, but still believe that the position they have in life is mainly down to their hard work and ability. that’s not saying that nico isn’t a hard worker and committed racer, but i think this is the first time in his life that he is confronted with adversity and the fact that sometimes, hard work and commitment are not enough to reach your goals. he tries to put on a brave face and just work harder, but in essence, he doesn’t really know how to deal with the situation. hence the empty words and frustration on his face. still, i think it would be a testament to his character if he overcame his frustration and didn’t resort to mind games. jenson button handled driving against a superior teammate much better, but then, he already won a wdc and wasn’t beaten as clearly as rosberg is at the moment.

        • I was under the impression Jenson did try a subtle form of mind-games, but wasn’t any good at it… 😉

          • my point was that it was easier for button to play the gentleman. he came from winning a wdc and performed better than expected against hamilton. if lewis keeps up the crushing performances, rosbergs reputation is essentially ruined and he will probably never again find himself in the position to win a wdc. all he could aspire to after that is a webber or berger like journeyman role.

          • Sorry ‘anjis’ – I did see your point, and am inclined to agree. I do hope though that it doesn’t cause Nico to throw caution to the wind.
            I find it interesting how we keep being told how Nico and Lewis were pretty equal in karts but… so what…? Look what Lewis has done since then. It seems fairly certain that Lewis has the greater hunger…

      • I was intrigued by your assertion and checked my spreadsheets from last year and… don’t want to upset anyone but… Nico came 47th… 🙁

      • Have to agree with you. Rosberg is far too nice on track with Lewis. He’s moment to show if he is serious about WDC this year was in Bahrain. He should have fought until either Lewis gives up the lead or their crash. That’s what you would expect to see from Vettel or Schumi. No he gave Lewis the upper hand and looks like he is losing the battle or need to rely on bad luck on Lewis side. Today he’ll have another chance and on start if he doesn’t challenge Lewis in first corners it’s like giving up and accepting being a supporting act.

  4. and Pastor threw away what it could have been the first race of the season with Lotus both cars at the top 10 on qualifying

  5. Was told by a senior FI member this wasn’t expected to be a strong qually or race but a 2x points should be possible.

    That aside i wish someone at the beeb swallows their pride and gets Anderson back on board asap. He was by far their best asset. Sadly it appears they want to kill their coverage so as the ratings fall it makes it easier to justify ceasing the contract early..Self fulfilling prophecy

    • 100% agree… Force India will now try to fend off Williams and McLaren in the WCC despite smaller resources. But looking at how Sky viewership is falling (being put on Sky 1 is definitely a grab for more viewers), it’s hard to see the price being paid for the next F1 contract rising at the moment, and it’s in F1’s best interests to be kept on free-to-air.

  6. It’s all well SKY putting it on Sky1, and they are likely trying it out to see the viewing figures, but I have not once seen any advertising for it, the only reasons I have known about it is today via this post, and the F1BB via which you mention earlier (correct me if I’m wrong, and there actually has been some advertising).

  7. re Sky:


    Sky not expanding as fast as they did in the past. People are evaluating their expenditure in the current economic climate.

    re:BBC. I watched FP3 and got a headache. Were they being paid for the number of words used during the broadcast? OK the commentary was also for R5sx, but leave a gap between words. The emperor has spoken!

  8. This fits Maldonado, don’t you think?

    ‘Unhappy is he whose fame makes his misfortunes famous.
    Lucius Accius – Telephus

    Haven’t a clue on any of it but the opening words of Robert Galbraith’s, aka J K Rowling, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’.

    Purely FWIW 🙂

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