Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 24th May 2014


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Previously on TheJudge13:

#F1 Days of Our Lives: Letters from Camp Edition

#F1 Features: Voice of the Fans – When Life Trumps Formula One

FP3 Session

FP3 Times

Dennis wants Alonso to lead McLaren’s Honda charge (GMM)

Mercedes not commenting on Rosberg reports (GMM)

FP3 Session

After the washed out FP2 session on Thursday, the Formula One teams didn’t take long to get out and entertain some of the empty grandstands around the circuit. Raikkonen was on track and circulating to gather some information after his gearbox problem two days ago and was joined by the other teams shortly after.

By all accounts Ferrari are struggling with the soft tyre compound with the rear tyres being destroyed before the fronts are up to temperature and the team cannot get a good balance on the car. Why this should come as a surprise to anybody is remarkable, they haven’t been able to tune in the prancing mule in any session this year! Maybe Alonso’s practice start on Thrusday from an imagined 5th spot on the grid wasn’t dismissive of the team effort but an indication of where he feels he can qualify..

Other teams are reporting tyre warming issues throughout practice and they adopt the strategy of two warming up laps before setting the time on the third. Of course the rain would have washed away a considerable amount of rubber that had been impregnated into the tarmac and the short duration curves of the Monaco track do not indulge the drivers craving for downforce but the main suspicion was that Pirelli’s 2014 compounds are just too conservative. Of course, people only complain about the effectiveness of the tyres when they are not winning – except Hamilton also complains about his rear being loose through Tabac.

Young Ronnie Ericsson runs deep into Ste. Devote and proves to the watching world that Caterham goes as well in reverse as it does forwards. It would seem to imply that these mega torquey engines won’t be able to emulate the Red Bull spin celebrations from last year, or otherwise the French manufacturer is genuinely concerned with reliability. Either way, he reverses without using his mirrors – which would have been an instant fail in a driving test – and accelerates backwards towards the circuit as Rosberg appears at speed having just set the best time… One can only imagine the criticism if that had been sulky Pastor.

Elsewhere in the Prinicipality, Anthony Davidson pondered if Lewis had missed breakfast this morning as he was “obviously (yawn) hungrier” than his team-mate. When a snapshot of a portly Keke Rosberg was shown on screen it revealed that not only does he share traits with Vijay Mallya but it confirmed that Nico hasn’t eaten either – as Keke ate all the pies…

Vettel reported a speed limiter problem to the team, it was reading 52-56kph; Button needed his brakes readjusting and his camber changing – as ever he fiddles whilst Rome burns; “Marvellous Max’s Mapping” read the press release, as Marussia were testing an updated engine map to harvest more energy which had the effect of the pretty one missing the chicane on a few occasions; Rosberg has issues with part of the suspension at the rear of the car – his first confirmed reliability issue this year and finally Ted Kravitz lampooned the Red Bull team as they constructed a “ridiculous human wall” in front of their car as they made adjustments to their trick braking system. As he said, he just walked to the side to have a look…

Unsubstantiated rumours emerged that Giancarlo Minardi was sipping on an early morning Grappa down by the chicane. Word arrived that Red Bull sounded far less aggressive and had less wheelspin as it came out of the chicane compared to other Renault powered cars. The next corner being Tabac highlights which drivers have faith in their steed, both the Mercedes and the Bulls proving more committed through here.

At one stage Vettel charges into the corner and his rear tyres scream in protest – quite obviously his exhaust blowing technique hasn’t been un-learnt yet. Whilst Ricciardo flows around the circuit Vettel look positively scrappy yet the toothy one commented that his car felt disconnected compared to Thursday session.

By the end Hamilton was fastest with Red Bull amongst the Silver Arrows, yet a general feeling that Mercedes hadn’t pushed fell over the Principality. In the middle of the session, Hamilton aborted a lap that would have been quickest up to that point and came into the pits, his tyres 17 laps old…


FP3 Times

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.758 27
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:16.808 0.050 26
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.874 0.116 24
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:17.184 0.426 23
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:17.428 0.670 22
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:17.448 0.690 24
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:17.725 0.967 23
8 Nico Hulkenburg Force India 1:18.074 1.316 21
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro-Rosso 1:18.136 1.378 19
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro-Rosso 1:18.166 1.408 26
11 Kevin Magnussen Mclaren 1:18.249 1.491 28
12 Jenson Button Mclaren 1:18.262 1.504 21
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:18.430 1.672 31
14 Felipe Massa Williams 1:18.542 1.784 30
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:18.598 1.840 24
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:18.776 2.018 26
17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:18.872 2.114 23
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:19.118 2.360 28
19 Esteban Guitierrez Sauber 1:19.149 2.391 28
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:20.271 3.513 32
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:20.394 3.636 25
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:20.589 3.831 30

Team-mate comparison Table – Monaco FP3

FP3 Table


Mercedes not commenting on Rosberg reports (GMM)

Mercedes says it is making no further comment about Nico Rosberg’s contract. Amid reports the German has inked a further two-year extension to his already five-season stay at the Brackley team, a Mercedes spokesman said: “We have long term relationships with both our drivers.” A spokesman also told Die Welt newspaper: “The rumour of a contract extension has been around since the first race in Australia. We have not commented so far, and that will continue,” he added.

Der Spiegel, meanwhile, said it made a similar enquiry to 28-year-old Rosberg’s management, who reportedly ‘did not deny’ the contract extension news. “They (Rosberg’s management) did not want to comment further,” Spiegel added.

Mercedes will hold a press conference in the Monaco paddock on Saturday morning, attended by title sponsor Petronas, Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, team boss Toto Wolff and drivers Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Wolff told Der Tagesspiegel newspaper that “conspiracy theories” about Mercedes favouring championship leader Hamilton over Rosberg for the 2014 title are not true. He insisted their contracts do not give either driver ‘number 1’ status.

“For us, they are both valuable, with their different personalities,” said Wolff. “They both speak to our customers in different ways.” And he said the pair will continue to enjoy a free run to the title, unfettered by team orders. “Of course, this includes all sorts of mind games and banana skins put in each other’s paths, but this is ok so long as they don’t throw them at the team,” said Wolff.


Dennis wants Alonso to lead McLaren’s Honda charge (GMM)

Former McLaren and Ferrari driver Alain Prost has some advice for those beleaguered F1 teams — “do something different. If you compare them to Red Bull and Mercedes, you see that Ferrari and McLaren have only continued to work in the same way as they always did,” the quadruple world champion is quoted by Spain’s Marca newspaper. “Sometimes you have to stop, make a plan and start again. Sometimes you have to do something different,” Prost added.

The F1 legend believes Ferrari’s problems can be traced back to “when Michael Schumacher left“, while McLaren’s decline began when Adrian Newey switched to Red Bull. According to swirling rumours in Monaco, McLaren could be looking to boost its fortunes ahead of the works Honda partnership in 2015 by making a swoop for Fernando Alonso.

“Fernando would be welcome back at McLaren,” McLaren ‘supremo’ Ron Dennis, who clashed so infamously with the Spaniard back in 2007, reportedly told the Italian press. “You’re surprised that I’m talking about Fernando? I don’t have any problem — the most important thing is for us to win again. In 2015 we have the Honda engine and we need a great driver.”

McLaren’s current lead driver, Jenson Button, was asked by Spain’s AS newspaper if Alonso will be at McLaren next year. “He has a Ferrari contract,” the smiling Briton replied. “Yes it would be a great challenge to have him as a teammate.”

According to two British F1 correspondents, there may be some truth to the Alonso rumours. Jonathan McEvoy, of the Daily Mail, cited ‘sources’ as he reported that ‘meetings’ have already taken place. And The Times’ Kevin Eason agreed that “It is an open secret that McLaren have approached Alonso”.

However, while Alonso has sounded frustrated with life at Ferrari recently, returning to struggling McLaren might not be at the top of his wish list. “I’m happy,” he told France’s L’Equipe. “I have a great life, I’m a Ferrari driver — it doesn’t get much better. A third title would be the icing on the cake for my career. So many great drivers have won three titles.”

Flavio Briatore, close to Alonso throughout his career, said in Monaco: “Fernando has a contract with Ferrari, so it’s out of the question to go elsewhere unless something extraordinary happens. He, like everyone else, has difficult moments, and like every driver he wants a competitive car, and he can’t solve the problems of an entire team by himself,” the Italian is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.


61 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 24th May 2014

  1. Literally ten minutes ago Lauda said in German TV that the contract extension has not yet been made public because Rosberg hasn’t yet scribbled his ‘Wilhelm’ at the dotted line, but its a mere formality.

    As for the #1 status of Lewis. That one’s so obvious and again it’s Lauda who gives it away. Lauda normally is so unemotional, he could out-Vulcan Surak, yet you see him hugging Lewis in public. After the China race he personally flew Lewis home in his private jet (Lauda has a commercial pilot license) while Rosberg was left to wait for a scheduled airline flight.

    How much more obvious can it get?

      • It didn’t make sense to botch the lap deliberately. He had posted a purple sector in S1. And since 2006 everybody knows that this sort of trickery doesn’t pay off. Rosberg isn’t stupid.

        • So why try to reverse back onto the track, when he knew, that he wouldn’t be able to do another lap and other cars were still behind him?

          Remember he said, “he didn’t know where Lewis was, but he saw him in his mirror when he was reversing”….

          • Because he has to bring the car back to the pits? This years rules demand that you bring the car back after quali unless it is not safely possible to do so. And his car wasn’t damaged.

          • I’m with you on the reversing, when my objective judgement returns Fortis, he should have parked it and hoped for the best.

            But it’s not just Hamilton that got impeded by the yellow flag.

          • You might want to rephrase that as why try to reverse back onto the track while others are still on their hot laps ?

          • Fat hippo,

            There were 9 other cars behind him on their hot laps. So he could’ve waited until all the cars had passed him, then reverse back on to the track. By doing that, he messed up everyone else’s lap.

            Even if he wasn’t able to bring the car back under it’s own power, would not have affected the time he had set previously.

            When I first saw it, I thought it was a natural error, but my views changed when he went to the press conference, where I felt he blatantly lied, when he said he didn’t know where his teammate was, which let’s not forget, the both left the pits single file and then saying he saw him when he was reversing.

          • You are forgetting one important bit in that Fortis. Unless you’ve forgotten – F1 engines are air cooled and that means any prolonged period of being stationary endangers the engine, which is especially critical if you only have five of them.
            How many cars were behind him is utterly irrelevant as yellow flags are immediately show if a car ends up in the escape road and they will be shown as long as it is there. Reversing back out was the only useful thing he could do as the yellows were out already anyway.

          • Fat hippo

            That’s nonsense… At the start of qualifying, he say at the exit of the pitlane for nearly a minute and as Brundle said many times before, the cars can tick over on 1 or 2 cylinders and they’ve pretty much sorted out cooling issues.

            You can’t make excuses for him reversing back on to the track, when you’ve 9 cars behind him closing at the rate of knots. So that argument doesn’t fly at all.

            As for the yellow flags, if he had gone down to the end of the escape road, the flags would’ve been removed. He had nothing to gain after that lockup, even if he had maybe the corner, his lap was already ruined.

          • You only read the parts of comments that fit your little conspiracy theory, don’t you? That escape road is a dead-end. There are only two ways out of it. on the back of a flatbed truck or back on track. As soon as a car is in the escape road ony any track in the world, there are yellow flags until it is gone. Which part of that is so hard to understand? Those 9 cars behind him were screwed the moment he missed the corner, because that meant instant yellow. With less than 2mins to go that meant game over for the lot. Accusing him of having done that deliberately without any data to back that up is ridiculous and just shows the mindset of some ‘fans’.

        • See below. That purple sector was only due to the location of the timing post at the end of S1, right before Mirabeau where he went off.

          The previous lap was slower because cars with a locked front wheel tend to go a bit quicker, but then they also tend not to make the corner.

    • Jeez, the conspiracy theorists are away already. BUT, the way Nico was sawing at the tiller as he locked up stuck out a bit. Funny.
      Doesn’t Dan botched it by his own admission, that could have pole right there – the cat was put back in its cage, away from the scrapping silver pigeons. Bugger!

      • I have visual evidence on footage (sending it to the Judge right now) where you can “see” how Roserg is lying like a bitch.

        He should be Whoop Assed tomorrow for this clearly “Schumi-move” there.

        • Do you also have ALL the telemetry ?

          If not ……. your so called ” evidence ” is merely subjective musings ….

          • Did you hear Herbert Manky? “Us drivers know” what a tw@t. I’m with you, let the stewards investigate with telemetry etc. having said that, how long will we have to wait for the answer?

          • The stewards may have more telemetry than us but they also have bosses to answer to, limited time to make a decision, and media to worry about, and they know the consequences to the championship of any possible penalty. They are not going to disqualify a driver from pole unless they have 100% irrefutable proof.

            Sorry “Manky” but not having those pressures applied more than makes up for not having a graph of Nico’s exact throttle and brake inputs. From the onboard anyone can see what gear he’s in, what steering inputs he’s making, you can see the braking input by watching the front wheel.

            I think it’s totally valid for any of us to make our own minds up on what really happened.

        • Indeed Don_Q

          Brundle’s reaction when commentating live was far more interesting, as he clearly thought it was a pure mistake.

          As you said – lets see what the telemetry and the stewards have to say – instead of these idiotic fanboy comments we’re seeing posted here.

          And Herbert is indeed a Right Old Herbert 😉

          Plus – it’s the MARSHALLS that decide whether to put out a yellow flag – not a driver !

  2. Far out, he didn’t even apologise until prompted by JA. What a tosser.
    Certainly shouldn’t be fist pumping the air in victory. I reckon he needs a good fist pumping by some of Lewis’ shady friends!
    I agree – the footage looks v suspicious.
    How will Lewis respond – should be an interesting 1st corner!

    • It will be really interesting to see how Hamilton reacts. True champ will just trounce Rosberg but Hamilton has a habit of getting emotional… gonna be a great race…

      Oh and that is 5 out of 6 that Ric has given the spoon to Vettel in quali 🙂

      • Vettel still has mark’s car. Had only partial ERS since mid-Q1, so I’d say the .2 Danny is up on him is not exactly speaking for the quality of RIC’s lap.

        • To be fair tho Danilo – I think Danny Boy has been faster than Seb all weekend.

          The ERS issue only exacerbated the situation.

          • He’s been faster than Seb the whole season so far and probably will be at least until Silverstone. Totally unlearning a counter-intuitive driving style that you have carefully crafted over five years isn’t a two-week project.
            That Danny has had a lot more testing time puts him further ahead. He’s been given a golden opportunity and he seems well on his way to use it, because once they figure out how to keep vettel’s car from having its own innards for lunch and Seb has unlearned the EBD style, I’m not so sure RIC will get too many chances to shine. we saw glimpses of that at Barcelona, where VET outshone him quite thoroughly.

          • ” Totally unlearning a counter-intuitive driving style that you have carefully crafted over five years isn’t a two-week project. ”

            Which implies that Seb maybe hasn’t as much natural or instinctive talent as others – such as Fred and Lew Lew, and maybe even Danny Boy – otherwise he would have adapted far more easily than he has ?

          • I think it’s more that Danny was used to drive a car with much less downforce than Vettel. All of a sudden Vettel has to relearn and Ricciardo is in cloud 9 because he’s never had such downforce.

            RB’s only drawback is the Renault in the back, the car is strong.

          • But Don_Q

            surely Danny Boy has ALSO had to relearn ?

            Does this years Red Bull actually have more downforce than last years Torro Rosso ?

            And didn’t he also drive last years Red Bull ? And was damn quick in it too …..

            Your argument is the same as all the TV commentators argument – and I’m sorry but I just don’t agree with it 100%. Some of it might be true, but maybe none of it is ?

            And don’t think I’m rubbishing Seb with my comments – there are plenty of former F1 champions that have had to work very hard to achieve success – and to some it just came very easily …..

          • Yeah I think RB just had all the tricky bits on the car but I get your point and I for one hope Danny boy is as good or better than Seb… Not because I don’t like Seb, I just want him to work for his next WDC 🙂

    • @DomVeto

      How do YOU know when he did or didn’t apologise ?

      You have NO evidence to substantiate your claim.

  3. “@DomVeto

    How do YOU know when he did or didn’t apologise ?

    You have NO evidence to substantiate your claim.”

    – they didn’t talk for the photo session
    – it was only when JA asked rosberg does he have anything to say to Lewis regarding the incident which prompted Risberg to say – oh yeah, sorry bout that.
    Am presuming that was their first exchange as I saw no evidence to the contrary and not even a handshake for the photo.

    • As I said – YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE !

      All you have posted is what was shown on TV

      And indeed you ARE presuming – because none of us know what happened during the weighing or any other private moments ” off camera “.

      So calling Nico a ” tosser ” is based upon your own prejudices not facts.

      Maybe the only ” tosser ” is you ?


        • OK Dom

          I’ll just call Lewis a ” tosser ” instead 😉

          He said in his post quali interview he was 2/10th quicker than Nico when he had to abort his lap.

          Which, as was shown on the SkyPad was total and utter bollocks !

          • Well the interview I heard, which the BBC quoted, Lewis actually said, he was 2/10th up on his own lap, which was true.

            I think everyone might need to go and have a cup of tea on here today, there are one too many tossers and fanboys being thrown about, rather than a discussion of what happened, and why.

          • Had coffee and cake Adam, still want Rosberg on pole 🙂

            For me a big deal gets made about Hamilton loosing pole but who said he would not have made his own mistake? Also, what about the other drivers? Could Vettel have pipped Ricciardo?

          • >Well the interview I heard, which the BBC quoted, Lewis actually >said, he was 2/10th up on his own lap, which was true.

            That doesn’t mean squat, as he was also down on Rosberg on that particular lap. after the first secor he was behind. There’s an equally big chance that without missing the breaking point Rosberg could just as well have improved, too (and it looked to be the case if a purple S1 in anything to go by) and stayed in front.

            If it had been Lewis missing the corner, nobody would have come out, saying he cheated Danny Ric out of a last attempt. And I though I was the one with the short temper, but some of the Hamilton fanboys really take the cake over a lousy pole. HAM will win the race anyways, so what’s all the whining about?

          • Rosberg was up in S1 because he braked late and locked a wheel through the timing point at the end of the sector. IF he had slowed down enough to make the corner the timing would have looked like his previous lap. This is obvious.

            If the sector ended just past Mirabeau it would be a far different story. Of course having a sector end just before a hairpin corner means everyone who is forced to use the run off road because they are carrying too much speed to make the corner will show purple on the timing screens.

  4. Now Spanky, err Manky Spanky!
    Not difficult to read body language regardless of evidence.
    If you HAVE evidence that an apology was given prior to the driver interviews then kindly share. Otherwise don’t criticize me for having an opinion…

    Will see what happens in the investigation. 5 spot grid penalty for reversing back on track possibly??

    • I hope it’s just a reprimand to be honest Dom. It spices things up a bit… Hamilton being pissed off going into first corner *rubs hands gleefully*

    • @ DomVeto

      there’s a difference between having an opinion and making spurious and unsubstantiated allegations …..

      and I am entitled to criticize you 😉

      Plus – I never said there was an apology made prior to the interviews – I simply said none of us knows if there was or wasn’t – so how would I have any evidence either way ?

      DOH !

      Maybe if you took off your blinkered fanboy glasses and read what I said – that would help !


  5. At least nobody can say rosberg isn’t in on the mind games. If it was or wasn’t deliberate, hamilton will think it’s own of it(and we all know what that is, certainly after his rosberg isn’t agressive enough comments from earlier this week) and this is yet an other chapter in the book of how to win a championship if the other contester has the same car. And we all like it because it makes the championship more interesting for us…

  6. This is very interesting. I think the lock-up was “convenient”, only the stewards can decide whether it was deliberate or not. Ultimately, Rosberg’s lock-up cost everyone their hot laps and Rosberg knew that given he was at the head of the queue for the second round of laps.

    Now it’s Hamilton’s turn to show what he can do, going into Turn 1 on the first lap tomorrow is going to be rather interesting. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a collision between the two. People kept telling Rosberg he has to be more aggressive, well : I’ll give him points for that move (deliberate or not). He has pole, that’s all that matters and Hamilton knows it.

  7. I actually don’t think Rosberg had his incident intentionally. However, what I’m sure he said to himself before he went was “f*ck it, I’ll try my hardest and if that’s too hard… So be it… I have nothing to lose…”

    Maybe qualifying for – and only for – Monaco should revert I being a shoot out, one lap only for each driver to prevent the possibility of games like this.

  8. I think Rosberg purposefully drove off in Q3. if you look closely he starts turning in a lot earlier than other laps and other onboard shots in the same corner. it looks like he is trying to purposefully lock up the right front with all that odd steering input. I call foul!

    • As Damon Hill – who is quite an expert on deliberate ” accidents ” said –

      if you were going to crash deliberately, why not do it properly and stuff the car into the barrier and block the track ?

      Not go down the escape road ….

      Alonso nearly did it, Erikson and Massa did do it – all you’d have is a broken front wing.

    • Could be. Nico was doing a lot of strange stuff considering where he was on the track. It is plausible that he locked it up on the last lap on purpose in order to protect his earlier pole time. If this was his plan of course he wouldn’t stick the nose in the barrier and block the track like Shumi did, too obvious, nobody would be stupid enough to try that a second time.

      A crazy theory is that Nico already had a banker so was trying to get some extra heat into the front tires before the slowest corners. The tires seemed to be difficult to get up to temperature and a bit of extra temp in the fronts would give better turn in on the sharpest 3 corners of the track and might give another 1/10th. Could have been a “too smart for your own good” plan that backfired. Would have been better to experiment in practice but not if it worked and the other driver is reading your telemetry.

      The counter argument is that none of this was on purpose. He missed his timing around the bump and turned in too early, jinked back to fix the mistake, turned in again and the car was too unsettled at that point to get it slowed down in time. Unintended Scandinavian flick.

  9. hamilton, Hamilton. He was leading the championship, Nico was already under pressure, he didn’t have to do anyhing but to keep being faster than him, then comes the media talking about mind games and problems between them, Nico does nothing and Lewis buys it and starts talking bad about Nico. Who lost pole today, Nico or Lewis? Who was mad after qualifying and probably lost also his focus, Nico or Lewis? Smart people don’t fight other people’s fights, and they don’t change the rules of the game when they are winning. It shows again Lewis’ weakness. He was already showing in Spain his usual problems handling pressure when leading a championship, now he has shown -again- how limited he is intellectually.
    This is going to get better.

    • Nico is hardly ecstatic after losing out to Hamilton in qualifying, he is at least as angry about it and doesn’t mind showing it. In fairness, we’ll never know if Hamilton would have challenged for pole on his second lap. This is good for the show though, expect fireworks tomorrow at Turn 1.

  10. Accidental or not, Nico did himself no favours by celebrating as if he had won pole on merit. As for Lewis, the kid hasn’t put a tyre wrong in 2 seasons IMO. Yes he wears his heart on his sleeve and is easily riled, but on track he has already shown what he is capable of. Those that insist on presuming his level of intellect only show their own bias. This is not Mastermind or a college exam, it is about driving and thus far Nico has been royally trumped! Can’t wait for the start tomorrow!

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