Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 29th May 2014


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A Great Lady – Maya Angelou passes

Haas delays F1 debut until 2016 – report (GMM)

Alonso is better driver than Raikkonen

Red Bull: Vettel drives a Ferrari and Marko issues ultimatum to Renault

Lewis Hamilton tells it like it is…. Or…

Team says Honda not planning to buy McLaren (GMM)

Good week in court for Ecclestone (GMM)

A Great Lady – Maya Angelou passes

4c90fc3f286a7.imageWriter, poet and civil rights campaigner Maya Angelou has died aged 86.

She won acclaim for her first autobiographical memoir ‘I know why the caged bird sings‘ as it narrated her life between the ages of 3 and 17. A further six autobiographies also achieved a large and appreciative audience as they covered different parts of her life.

She began working with Malcom X in 1965 and after his assassination began working with Martin Luther King. She was devastated by King’s death and was encouraged to begin writing her memoirs.

In 1993 she was invited to write and deliver a poem for Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration and when Barack Obama was elected president she declared: “We are growing up beyond the idiocies of racism and sexism”.

Obama would honour her with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and quoted her words, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

A truly great woman that connected with countless people across race, gender and class… and always with such graciousness. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Previously on TheJudge13:

March 12th 2013 – Lewis: Expressions of angst, or ‘seeing the light’


Lewis the angry

Has Lewis morphed once more? During the 2011 season Hamilton appeared to be an individual consumed by rage and petulance. The starkest of a number incidents that year was when he appeared to lose control of his emotions and common sense during the Monaco GP.

After dominating the first two qualifying sessions on the Saturday, Lewis fastest time Q3 was chalked off because he cut through the chicane. To add to his misery, he was twice penalized during the race following incidents with Massa and Maldonado in which Hamilton tried highly risky overtaking moves that led to inevitable collisions.

After the chequered flag an angry Hamilton blurted “Out of six races, I’ve been to the stewards five times. It’s a joke. It’s an absolute frickin’ joke. It’s just ridiculous. These drivers are absolutely frickin’ ridiculous. Just stupid.” Then he uttered the infamous phrase that dominated Lewis’ year, “Maybe it’s because I’m black” – an ill advised reference to a catchphrase from comedian Ali G.

Martin Whitmarsh had to mop up behind Lewis and speaking to the media he informed us, “Immediately after the race he was very down, and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G. However, I’m pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation.”

Later, a calmer Hamilton apologised and explained his return to the stewards, “It was a bit of a joke, which wasn’t funny at the time. I made them aware that when emotions are high, and it’s very intense at the end of those kind of races, you don’t always say the right thing, and the joke [the reference to his colour] didn’t come at the most appropriate time.”

The remainder of 2011 saw Lewis have a number of ‘run ins’, the most memorable being with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado. However there were signs Lewis was developing a new outlook on life for 2012.

An awakening

I commented on a fan’s forum early last season that maybe Lewis had imbibed some happy juice – jesting maybe Ron Dennis had fitted some Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 5’s to his MP4-27 and was looping the Madness hit, “I like driving in my car” over and over again.

It appeared the turning point arrived before the penultimate race of 2011 in Abu Dhabi when Lewis bared his soul to the press. “For me, there’s not a lot of people that really understand the issues that I’ve had this year and the problems that I’ve been going through, which I’ve been going through for the last two years.

untitledIt’s very difficult…I just can’t comment on them because it’s not really the place or time to do so.

But Jenson’s done a great job to get things in the right place. He’s got his dad there, who is there at every single race. He’s got his management there; he’s got his friends; he’s got his girlfriend there all the time. He’s in a really, really happy [place]…he’s got a great bubble around him which he’s very happy with and, with that, he’s able to just go out and perform without any worries on his mind.

I did have that at one point, but I lost that bubble and I don’t have that around me at the moment. But I’m working on having that for the future, as I think the conscious and subconscious part of your mind is very important in this business.

It is a priority for me to create that atmosphere around myself, because it’s a happy bubble where you are happy with your friends and family and the people you love most. It’s just a big positive bubble. Every time I arrive (at a race) I feel positive, but at some races I’m less positive, and less happy. So that’s something I’m definitely going to try and correct before next season starts.”

What makes Lewis tick?

Martin Whitmarsh had previously suggested his impressions of Hamilton were that he was too hard on himself and Lewis concurred. “That’s the way I do it. I’ve not really got much to be happy about this year to be honest. I’ve had a couple of half decent races and then the rest have been fairly disappointing from my own personal feeling of performance.

I’ve had a couple of races where I’ve excelled and then the rest of them have been so-so. I look through the whole year and look at my results — fourth, fourth, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, wherever it is – and one or two seconds and firsts there.

untitledFor me, that’s just massive under-achievement from my own personal view. And I am hard on myself. I’ve always been a very hard individual and definitely probably too hard on myself, but that’s just the way I am. I’m working on trying to be less hard on myself but I take it personally because this is my life. I race with my heart, this is everything to me.”

It may be that Lewis’ next comment reveals his raison d’être – it’s a result of being programmed since he was a small child. All the attention and acclaim he received at an early age was probably derived from this. “It [winning] would make a big difference. If I was able to have a clean two races without seeing the stewards and without having a penalty, and on top of that winning, I think it would be beautiful. It would be really nice”.

There have been many child protégés who claim they only felt the drive of a parent to succeed at the expense of being loved for who they are.

A fresh start

During the winter break, Lewis and Nicole appeared to resolve their differences and spend some time together away from the F1 and showbiz media and Lewis shortly after committed to work with children’s charity UNICEF.

In 2012, Lewis was to suffer a number of on track body blows, many not of his making. The most memorable was the fuel shortage that robbed him of the pole and probable race win in Barcelona. Yet through difficult circumstances he remained sanguine and philosophical, stating following the teams fueling error in Spain, “we win as a team and we lose as a team“.

Martin Brundle commented in Monaco, 1 year on from Lewis’ outburst, ‘I watch him very closely from beside the track and from the commentary box I see him in the paddock, you chat away to him and I do sense a much calmer Lewis,‘ said Brundle.

untitledThat is reflected in his driving. I think he had nine penalties last year but now you see him doing charity work for UNICEF with the kids and you just sense a much more mature Lewis.

Yet the problem Lewis had throughout 2012 was that he couldn’t shake Button – both on and off the track. I wrote last month that it appeared Jenson had done a similar job on Hamilton as Olivier Panis did to Jacques Villeneuve. As world champion and with his manager Craig Pollock as team boss, BAR was Jacques team – as McLaren belonged to Lewis.

For both world champions the introduction of a supposed inferior team mate wrought havoc with their stature within the team. Olivier Panis and Jenson button were quickly observed to be the opposite of the emotional Hamilton and Villeneuve and crew members from both sides of the garage gravitated towards the ‘new boys’ in preference over the team’s senior driver.

The Bubble explodes

The moment this niggle for Lewis became apparent was in the ‘tweet of tweets’. Angry with himself, his set up and the team, Lewis posted telemetry information on twitter the night before the Belgium Grand Prix. So once again we were exposed to the ‘tortured Hamilton’ and Jenson’s speed in qualification appeared to tip him over the edge.

The writing was on the wall for both McLaren and Lewis. Ron Dennis called him out in Canada stating Lewis would have to accept a pay cut, and Lewis and his new management team XIX decided the corporate restrictions of the Woking based team were too oppressive and it was time for a change.

untitledLewis somewhat humiliated by his misuse of social media disappeared from twitter, claiming later he’d lost his phone – which in itself must have been somewhat embarrassing for the team sponsor Vodafone.

However, recent evidence suggests Lewis dealt well with the wrench of leaving his McLaren family and joining Mercedes. He told SKY in an interview last weekend that he felt the difference between the teams was, “It’s now nice to be somewhere where you’re really wanted.”

Lewis still Lewis

Yet still the emotive Lewis is apparent. We had in clear view during an interview he gave during Barcelona week 1 a deflated Lewis who claimed getting into Q3 would be the target for him and his new team. A week later a rejuvenated Hamilton was discussing winning races and even the 2013 WDC was not impossible.

Lewis began tweeting this year again; only this time it is beautiful banalities of life rather than his confused relationship with Jenson. We’ve heard of his delight in the hip hop music recordings he has produced, of his new found love – Roscoe the dog; and how he and his girlfriend drove a Zonda from Barcelona to Italy one night during testing for ‘just pizza’.

This has created suspicion amongst some that Lewis has ‘seen the light’, found God, Allah or some kind of spiritual guide. Much of this idea is rooted in Hamilton’s comments made to the assembled press in Barcelona when he revealed he had ‘prayed’ for Adrian Sutil when news was breaking that the German may get the Force India drive.

Lewis has also been tweeting about ‘tats’ and for those of you not common with the vernacular, this refers to body art or tattoos. Until recently we’ve merely observed the markings on his hands and arms on TV and in the press. However last week Lewis did a photo shoot for ‘Men’s Journal’ with the photographer Alan Clarke and the result is the title picture you see above.

The sign of the cross would appear to accentuate the thought Lewis has found God even further. Yet the reality of this picture may be in the words across his shoulders rather than the image of the cross.

The Damascus light

Maya Angelou, American author and poet wrote the poem “Still I rise”. She was a friend of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and has received over 30 honorary doctorates, 3 Grammy awards and was called upon to read her poem “”On the Pulse of Morning”, at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in January 1993.

Maya is an internationally respected spokesperson of Black people and women and her works are considered a defense of Black culture. Editor of Newsweek and the New York Post, Elsie B Washington, hailed Angelou as ‘the black woman’s poet laureate’.

Lewis is wearing as ‘a cross of suffering’ in indelible ink a poem about black women who despite every kind of humiliation survive. The author of this verse challenges in each stanza the very stereotypes to which America has subjected black women since the days of slavery.

Further there is an in-your-face tone to the rhetorical questions asked. “Does my sassiness upset you?” “Does my haughtiness offend you?” “Does my sexiness upset you?” The writer is demanding a debate through the successive phrases which lead to the poem’s inspirational conclusion. “Out of the huts of history’s shame… I rise. Up from a past that’s rooted in pain… I rise. I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling, I bear in the tide… I rise.

Many have chosen to support a cause or follow an ideal, but to engrave on your body the words of another and therefore declare them to be your identity – would be more akin to a martyr’s sacrifice of commitment.

The question Lewis poses for us is as follows. Is he just a petulant infant whose angst is perpetually seeking affirmation in self made drama and attention; or has this tortured soul identified his existential state and aligned himself with true meaning and purpose – ‘seeing the light’ and now at ease with who he is?


Here is Maya Angelou’s full penned version of – ‘Still I Rise’

You may write me down in history
with your bitter, twisted lies,
you may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
with the certainty of tides,
just like hopes springing high,
still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


Haas delays F1 debut until 2016 – report (GMM)

It appears Gene Haas will not have a formula one team on next year’s grid. As recently as last week, it was reported that the Nascar team co-owner’s ‘plan A’ was to debut with a Gunther Steiner-led, North Carolina-based F1 team in 2015. At the same time, Haas was trying to put together a 200-strong workforce.

“There are many interested parties,” a source told Auto Motor und Sport last week, “but we can only hire people when we know who our engine partner is.”

At the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, Haas told motorsport.com that plans to use Ferrari technology are on track. “We haven’t exactly signed a formal contract (with Ferrari) but we’re pretty close,” he said. And he met with likely chassis maker Dallara during the Indianapolis visit. “They all can do it, they all want to do it, they’re all very interested in helping us,” said Haas.

He hinted, however, that time is running out to be ready for 2015. “I think they are looking at it as a good long-time partnership but it just comes down to you have to order things and it takes time to order things and get things scheduled. It just seems that it’s taking longer to accomplish what we wanted to do than we thought,” Haas added.

The latest news is that Haas has apparently now decided to target a 2016 debut rather than rush onto next year’s grid.
“It’s already June,” he said, “so it’s just seven months away and the timing issues are starting to get real crazy.”


Alonso is better driver than Raikkonen

Felipe Massa is generally recognised as a ‘nice guy’. Bitterly unlucky that fortune turned on him in 2008 – he showed a level of sportsmanship, after being World Champion for barely 30 seconds, which left people around the word applauding him.

In 2010, almost a year to the day that he suffered a career threatening accident, he was told by the Ferrari team to move over for the faster Fernando Alonso. In the team’s interest – the correct move; but for fans around the world a complete travesty. The spectacular fallout of this transmission coloured any balanced view of the subsequent relationship between the two drivers and a re-scripting of every Ferrari decision ever since.

Allied to this was Ferrari keeping Massa at the team for year after year and the public voices would swing between keeping the poor little man, to get rid of him – he’s hopeless. All the time the subtle insinuation was that Alonso wasn’t so fearsome a competitor it was just Ferrari needed a whipping boy…

However, the irony is, Massa is not surprised Kimi Raikkonen is struggling this season. Having been partnered with Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso he is in a unique position to comment.

Schumacher was “amazing. In fact Fernando and Michael are on the same level, in the race maybe Fernando see things more clearly. But it is no surprise Raikkonen struggles. To beat Fernando, you car has to be perfectly suited to your style, because if everything is not 100 per cent right, it is impossible to beat him.

Raikkonen is maybe not quite as good as Alonso. In 2007 he was champion, but until Monza I was ahead of him. Unfortunately, in our team we had an agreement that Monza would decide who is the number 1, and I was ahead of Kimi when I had a problem with my car. In 2008 I was in front of him and also up until my accident in Hungary in 2009. Nevertheless, Kimi is world champion, and I’m not.

Massa insisted he had no regrets about losing his Ferrari seat and moving to Williams. “Looking back now I am even glad that Ferrari did not want me because it opened the way for coming to Williams. I’m pretty relaxed, motivated and the team respects me. You know, sometimes a change is good. At Ferrari the pressure is huge – if you are not winning, you have a big load on your shoulders. You try to use it as positive energy but you are constantly tense. Here at Williams I think only about the racing, which is better.”

It would seem that the – not repeated by the media/ fans – debacle of being told by the Williams team: “Valtteri is quicker than you” in Malaysia has not left any long lasting nightmares for this popular man.


Red Bull: Vettel drives a Ferrari and Marko issues ultimatum to Renault

There are several stories afoot in the Red Bull camp, which doesn’t surprise. Their engine partner Renault have lost their mojo and built a pup. On top of that the reigning world champion is sorely lacking track time. The difference in experience with driving the RB10 between Vettel and Ricciardo measures in days rather than hours, because the German’s car insists on nomming its own innards at every opportunity. For the winner of the last four titles history repeats itself.

When Vettel joined the main team in 2009 he had the majority or technical failures in 2009 and 2010 before the bad luck swung heavily towards Mark Webber’s side of the garage. That they ended up roughly fifty-fifty after five seasons together will be little consolation to both of them.

Rumours soon surfaced that Vettel threw a tantrum after getting out of his car in Monaco. The cynic in me says: “What took you so long?”, but according to the German he didn’t yell at any team members, contrary to what was rumoured. It is hard to say which is true, but the truth is probably somewhere in between. It would be almost surreal if a four time world champion would just shrug off the endless string of mechanical maladies. But at least he voiced his opinion behind closed doors, unlike some, I’m told.

Just days after the worst 100th Grand Prix any driver had in a long time, the German showed up at Red Bull’s own track in Spielberg that will host the returning Austrian Grand Prix in three and a half weeks. He was joined by Red Bull’s outspoken motorsports consultant Dr. Helmut Marko and his former boss at Toro Rosso, Gerhard Berger.

Botozc0CUAAM64SAs part of the filming for a documentary called “The Return of F1”, Berger drove around the track in one of his former cars – the Ferrari 88C, with which he prevented a complete McLaren sweep in 1988. Vettel joined the festivities in a Red Bull RB8.

They later switched the cars, prompting Marko to have a verbal dig at the Scuderia. The Austrian was quoted as saying. “See, Vettel has finally driven a Ferrari, so they may just as well stop dreaming about signing him.

The quip comes on the back of rumours that Ferrari is pulling all the stops out in their attempt to pry Adrian Newey away from Red Bull. According to the Italian media they have offered him a whooping 20 million dollars salary, complete authority in design decisions, an own personal sportscar project as well as inclusion in a Le Mans project. The Scuderia seems desperate enough as there is only one way out of their long slump. They need a better designer and there is only Newey, as the 2nd to 20th best designers have all been signed up by Mercedes.

Marko being Marko didn’t stop there. He also had a few words of encouragement for their current engine supplier Renault, urging them to come up with something useful until F1 arrives at Spielberg. “We will decide our next engine partner at the time of the Austrian Grand Prix,” he told Germany’s Sport-Bild and delivered a very subtle hint. “Volkswagen uses engine technology in several categories that are not too different from F1’s engine formula.”

Could that be a clear hint? Considering that the story was pitched by Sport Bild, one has to take it with the proverbial pinch of salt, but there have been signs in the past that Volkswagen is no longer content sitting on the side-lines. They were part of the manufacturers committee that worked out the current Indycar engine rules, they cream the lot in WRC using straight-four 1.6l turbo’s and the Porsche 919 at LeMans is a V4 2.0l hybrid, not too dissimilar to the F1 engine concept.

As a major backer of VW’s WRC onslaught and also sponsoring Mark Webber’s Porsche ride Red Bull already have close commercial ties to the Volkswagen Group and Marko had made it clear that they are not interested in a Honda deal. RB won’t be content being a mere customer.

Would it make sense for VW to enter F1? The answer is a clear yes. No German manufacturer will be happy to see Mercedes in the spotlight. The last time the Mercedes engines were the clear class of the field was in the late nineties and it didn’t take long for BMW to arrive.

Volkswagen has a boot-load of brands to choose from. Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Audi, Porsche, Ducati, Scania (now that would be hilarious) and M.A.N. Coming in as Audi or Lambo would most likely be the best options.

It will be interesting to see if it was mere posturing from the sometimes brash Doctor or if there is some substance to his statement.


Lewis Hamilton tells it like it is…. Or…

It was bound to happen. In the best traditions of the British press, a story has emerged in ‘The Telegraph’ about Lewis Hamilton and Stevenage his home town and the need to ‘remember his roots’.

In a recent interview Hamilton compared his upbringing to that of his team-mate’s when asked about his hunger to win. Of course, the media grasped the only contentious line from the piece and sprayed it around in print, the internet and social media.

Typical house in road where Lewis grew up

Typical house in road where Lewis grew up

“I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment – and Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kinds of things – so the hunger is different.”

Stevenage Borough Council have offered their opinion about his ‘derogatory‘ statement, “I can’t see how he can say such things about the place where he grew up,” councillor Phillip Bibby said. “He needs to remember his roots. His comments are unfair”.

Another added that there was no need for Lewis to be “so derogatory in his comments” while Sharon Taylor, the council’s leader added: “Of course we are very proud of Lewis – he’s an incredible example of what people from Stevenage can do. But it would be better if he could speak up for the place he comes from. We would love to talk to him about promoting the town.

FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2014 - Swimming PoolAnd yet, anyone who has had the honour of visiting Stevenage, as this writer has, will know that Lewis was guarded with the choice of words he should have used. Whilst it is frankly absurd to believe these councillors posses any more than a few brain cells to rub together – it is even more startlingly that they took offence when being compared to Monaco – the glitziest Formula One venue.

The irony is that by Hamilton mentioning Stevenage he has shown that he is fully aware of his roots and in 2012 Hamilton had the honour of carrying the Olympic torch and carried it through part of neighbouring Luton – another hell hole of a town – as it was the closest point of the route to his place of birth.

Further investigation has revealed an article that appeared in ‘The Guardian’ newspaper on the Tuesday following his title victory in 2008 and it illustrates the power of the media to distort facts for their agendas.

It had been “plastered across tabloid spreads and 24-hour news channels in unflattering pub-light close up..” By Monday lunchtime “Stevenage looked rather gloomy as it faces the first day of the rest of its life… the deep grey of lunchtime Stevenage…”

Jo, a Stevenage-raised mum of two said, “It’s not like he won the X-Factor or something. But really, if he had they’d have a massive party here. It seems a bit low key.” Sarah, 21 who went to the same school as Hamilton added: “No, we are proud of him. We are…. I suppose” and in a local pub a middle-aged old lady pointed out helpfully that “Martin, he’s our local eccentric bless him, he was wearing a Union Jack earlier on, top hat and he’d dressed his little dog up.”

Even the deputy head of his former school offered a statement which revealed that “we are very pleased for him” but also pointed out “We have so many former students who are making such an impact on the world…” Tragically the statement didn’t offer any names…


Team says Honda not planning to buy McLaren (GMM)

McLaren on Thursday denied reports Honda is looking at buying into the Woking based team. Rumours in Japan this week said the Japanese carmaker, returning to formula one next year as McLaren’s works engine supplier, might also be contemplating buying the 50 per cent team share currently held by the Bahrain-owned Mumtalakat company.

Initially, a team source played down the speculation by saying any transfer of shares would have to be agreed to by McLaren’s other co-owners, Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh. And a McLaren spokesman told us on Thursday: “Contrary to recent media reports, Honda has informed us that it has no intention to buy into McLaren. All of Honda’s focus is on the development of its new formula one power unit,” he added.


Good week in court for Ecclestone (GMM)

Bernie Ecclestone has had a heartening couple of days in court this week. The latest witness to appear in Munich for F1 chief executive’s bribery trial was a former colleague of the jailed Gerhard Gribkowsky. Gribkowsky’s credibility is a crucial element of the proceedings, as the former BayernLB risk officer was jailed for receiving Ecclestone’s $44 million, allegedly as a bribe to influence the sale of F1’s commercial rights.

A BayernLB colleague, however, described some of what Gribkowsky routinely said as coming from “the fantasy world”. DPA news agency said the witness worked closely on F1 matters with Gribkowsky. The witness recalled a dinner at which Gribkowsky apparently declared: “I feel as though he (Ecclestone) sees me as an adopted son and wants to groom me as his formula one successor”.

Another Gribkowsky tale told of an Ecclestone suitcase filled with $20 million, although subsequent calculations showed that it is impossible to fit that amount of cash in a suitcase. The BayernLB colleague explained: “Dr Gribkowsky sometimes had days when he told such things. These were the days that I had to switch off.”


184 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 29th May 2014

  1. Wow, seriously Judge!? You’re using the passing of a respected inspirational figure as an excuse to reprint an old Hamilton article, so as to rouse the lynch mob again. That’s pretty low.

    • Interesting article about an inspiring figure for society and mankind. When it relates to Hamilton then yes, there is good reason to reuse it.

    • I want to offer another view to all this.

      This lady proved to be an inspirational lady because of the life she had had, but a read-up of her life story is quite something. I would possibly say her inspirational qualities developed around the time of Martin Luther King.

      Reading between the lines of her wiki entry, she was quite a character before that, had worked with the militant Malcolm X before his murder, then worked with a completely different human in the form of King. It was only after this that she began writing. She would have been 40.

      Gandhi is a man who changed a continent but before he took up the white robes he had quaified as a lawyer, iirc, but as he grew older he became aware of his true role in life.

      Senna is lauded now as an icon, a spiritual person who was tragically killed. The gloss of the intervening years have forgotten many of his dubious qualities and replaced them with quasi-God status – and I consider myself a huge fan. But when he was 29 he was still far from the man we remember him becoming and had still not been inspired to set up his foundation.

      In Hamilton we are watching a young man developing into an adult, all in the spotlight of the world’s media but as in the case of most human beings, isn’t it the troubled ones that garner the most attention because they seem more human?

      The trials he is going through now may pale into insignificance over the next 20 years, maybe his true calling goes beyond mere motorsport and it’s something that he still hasn’t completely embraced.

      Some years ago David Bowie was being interviewed on Capital Radio and the DJ was shocked to hear he had been in London for a few weeks as there had been no coverage in the papers. Bowie replied – it’s part of the game, you know how it works, the papers are told when he or any celebrity are in town.

      It’s easy to forget in this day of 24/7 news that not all celebrities, or in this case racing drivers, are pictured or followed in the media. Their lives are often timed to the minutest detail. Yet if they choose they can be completely private too.

      Vettel is a four time champion and yet you don’t hear of anything he does day to day.

      When the article was first published I had never heard of this woman but obviously Lewis had and he has chosen to emblazon his body with something which means something to him and is personal to him, whatever the reason. In similar fashion, David Beckham has a huge angel tattoo across his back, if there is any spiritual meaning or he just liked the art, I don’t know.

      What’s significant about both is that they chose to share this work so publicly.

  2. Amazing to see how much weight Hamilton has lost since that photo. Shows how the drastic the 2014 regulations are!

    • And they are just doing it for car balance benefits… imagine guys like Sutil, Ericsson and Vergne who are plain and simply carrying more weight than the other cars on the grid total!

  3. Judge, when are you going to move on to something else? You’ve been riding this Lewis story since Saturday, time to let it go.

    What I find ironic, is that the poem highlights all the prejudices that he’s facing right now.

    -his sassiness offends everyone
    – most would happy to see him broken with bowed head and lowered eyes
    -his haughtiness offends most, because he laughs like he has goldmine diggin in his own back yard…etc

    But despite all those prejudices of being labelled a petulant over privileged idiotic child, still he rise.

    The question I think you should’ve asked is, “if he’s at ease with himself, then why can’t we accept that, why do we feel the need for him to behave in a manner that’s acceptable to us, before we accept him for who he is?

    • Oh no. Since Saturday! So long already? Get over yourself. He’s been going on about vettel for much longer. And then it’s fun, but when it’s about your favourite it’s a no go. If you guys don’t like it, go to another site. And if you want to stay here stop complaining and talk about f1.

      • Look, I’m new to this site, so I wouldn’t know how long he went on about Seb. But if I was around when he did, I would have said the same thing. It’s time to move on, it becomes irritating and borders on being obsessed.

        I know you don’t visit the site everyday, to see continuous articles written, trying to offer some psych-analysis of Seb, Lewis, Kimi, Alonso or any other driver at that. What happened over the weekend is a forgone conclusion that’s now in the back of most peoples memories.

        Yes Lewis is my favourite driver and just like Seb is yours, I’m entitled to voice my opinions. What you’ve not seen me do, is telling another person what they can or can’t say in support of their driver of choice.

        I get no pleasure in seeing article after article being written, with the sole purpose of belittling or marginalising anyone. So are you going to tell everyone to go visit another site, just because they offer an opinion that you don’t like or find acceptable?

        So if you don’t like what I’ve got to say, then don’t read it or reply to it. You’ve got the right to ignore what I’ve got to say, so exercise that right.

        • Well in your comment lies the answer to your own problem. “So if you don’t like what I’ve got to say, then don’t read it or reply to it. You’ve got the right to ignore what I’ve got to say, so exercise that right.” That goes the same for the articles here. I rarely read anything from GMM cuz I think it’s rubbish. You might consider not reading the hamilton articles.

          • Why shouldn’t I read them? By reading I’m able to get a better understanding of people’s views and opinions of him. Am I suppose to only read articles that’s there to put him on a pedestal? Then if I were to do that, then I wouldn’t be able to be objective will I?

            I think you’ve misinterpreted my views on Lewis. If he has behaved inappropriately, I’m not scared of voicing my disgust. I was a fan of the sport before Lewis came into it and I will still be a fan when he leaves. I’m a bigger fan of the sport than the driver.

            What occurred on Saturday for me, was not that big a deal. Niki said after the race, “to win, you’ve got to be a bastard”… Are we going to say that he’s wrong and it’s inappropriate?

          • Well Saturday wasn’t a big deal for me either. I’ve seen a lot worse. But the thing is you say I don’t have to read your stuff. I’m just saying you don’t have to read (and be mad about) all stuff here. Remember that there are more people who post here and not everything is the judge’s own opinion. He gives people the chance to write their own articles and post em here. Nobody stops you to counter attack what you want with a decent article. In fact people like this feature of this site…

          • i think the point is that, at the time, it seemed as if the site’s editorial line appeared to be not just fairly and consistently critical of all stakeholders when appropriate, but rather, openly hostile and abusive towards one particular driver: Hamilton. and that’s not cool – the readership shouldn’t have to tacitly support unfair abuse of Hamilton just to read Webber hagiography. publishers have a responsibility to their readers, which includes not offending them by allowing their personal biases to influence the coverage they produce. Challenging assumptions and preconceived notions is one thing, but abusing a great sportsman because you don’t understand, can’t relate to or otherwise don’t approve of their cultural cues and influences is not something we should support.

          • Just to be clear, I don’t want you nor anybody else removed from this site. I just think if you profile your anger a bit better it would be a much nicer discussion.

          • Look, this is becoming a tedious exercise. I don’t have to explain or defend myself from anyone.

            I voiced my opinion and nothing will change that. So all the name calling, “idiotic, c**t, stupid, petulant etc” really don’t bother me. If anything what I’ve said, must have hit a nerve, hence the name calling.

        • Replying to a comment further down the tree….

          Fortis96: “Look, this is becoming a tedious exercise”… you’re damn right on that one. So maybe STFU.

          Fortis96: “I don’t have to explain or defend myself from anyone.” … so STFU then.

          Fortis96: “If anything what I’ve said, must have hit a nerve, hence the name calling”… no, it’s because you won’t STFU.

          No offence intended, dude, I’m actually trying to help you here.

          You say you’re new to the site and yet you burst through the open front door ranting and raving and generally annoying the regular participants. Can I suggest that a better approach would have been to introduce yourself by way of a few well-thought-through comments and work your way up to more fulsome debate? You know, maybe show some respect to the locals. Think of the reaction if you just turned up at a local pub and started up like you have done here. Hmmm… if you think anyone is smiling at you because they’re happy you’re here then you’re deluded…

          We might have a different opinion of you if you had something more to say than “Leave Lewis alone. Lewis is great. I love Lewis”. We all pay out on FH on the basis of his Vettel-love, but he has a long history here of intelligent comment, so we don’t just think he’s merely a d*ckhead fanboi. Right now you’ve typecast yourself as exactly that in the absence of any demonstrated history of less tiresome comments…

          On and on an on an on you go, around and around and around in circles, refusing to believe that any right-minded individual could possibly have a different opinion to you. If nothing else, you banging on and on (and on and on) makes it far less likely that anyone will ever change their mind ever (ever) – it’s human nature. Have you EVER changed anyone’s mind by harassing them with a barrage of whining text messages?

          And, lastly, this is a blog, not a fkn instant message chat room. If you are contributing anything like 10% of the comments on a day then I humbly submit that you are doing it all wrong. It’s called a comment section, not a chat section.

          You’re welcome.

          • I said yesterday I was gone for a week, hoping the bullshit would die down, but here I am. And since I’m here I want to say thanks to Snortis69 for his post above. Thanks man, you said it well. And I love the name, Snortis. Ha!

            @ Fortis96. Take Snortis69’s advice. It’s good advice. You’ll be happier, have more girlfriends, be calmer and live longer if you do as he says: (and I quote) “STFU”.

          • Ok, now that you’ve got that out your system, here’s my advice to you…

            Have a seat and take a deep breath, because you must be out of breath after that long tirade. While you’re at it, have a glass of water, because your throat must be soar from all that shouting. I really do hope, that you didn’t burst a brain vessel typing that.

            Thanks for the advice, but I rarely take advice from loud boisterous people, who think they need to shout with speeches laced with profanity. So I’ll gladly reject that advice thank you.

            But if and when you do calm down and you’d like to civil, then I’d gladly take your advice.

            So now sir, enjoy the rest of your day.

            Ps… You can’t burst through a door that already wide open.

        • @Fortis, don’t bite to Bruznic, you will never get the last word, it’s a pointless waist of energy, I’ve watched others try and fail in spectacular fashion.

          By the way I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. I like to look at other people’s opinions of our beloved ‘sport’ and if they are different to my own I still like to understand the logic that was used to reach said opinion.

          I don’t get the big fuss about drivers anyway, they come, they go, it’s the teams that are more interesting to follow. Don’t get me wrong I can appreciate a great driver as much as the next man, but who really gives a shit what they do away from the wheel of there race car, I for one couldn’t care what they get up to. They have reached the top level of their chosen field and have earned the money fair and square, so how they choose to live their lives is up to them. Not one of us is perfect and if you are, then your a liar! To me F1 is a fantasy world that is way beyond my grasp so the drivers are just entertaining and the cars are works of art.

          • Explain yourself CV,@Fortis, don’t bite to Bruznic, you will never get the last word, it’s a pointless waist of energy, I’ve watched others try and fail in spectacular fashion. Who has tried and who has failed? Because I don’t know who or what you refer to. But i do like to know…

          • @ CV

            I’d like to see your explanation too.

            Because I think your allegations against bruznic unfounded

    • I would like to invite both yourself and Bruznic to write an article for the Voice of the Fans feature. I enjoy that addition too and it would be interesting to see what you choose to write about. Fair challenge?

      • Well Carlo, my native tongue isn’t english so I need my smart phone’s dictionary to get my comments looking fairly good. To write an article on this thing is not quite the fun I’m looking forward to 😆

      • I’d really like to accept, but unfortunately, that’s not something I can commit to at the moment.

  4. judge…

    I know it’s your blog and all, but I’d really try to drop the psych-anaylsis. It’s embarrassing.

  5. Dear Judge,

    I’d like to know what you think about Nico Rosberg ratting out his team regarding the ‘secret’ Pirelli test last year. I don’t recall your reaction to it – if there was any.

  6. Judge…

    Please don’t buckle under the childish and misguided pressures of idiotic, feverish simpletons like Fortis and his cohorts calling you out as a racist.

    The vast majority here, who read but don’t comment with walls of text imbued with repetitive vitriolic bullshit and false allegations of racism every 10 seconds, know that it’s an earned hammering Lewis is getting.

    Lewis has fairly coped his due and frankly more is deserved. He has been treated no different here than Alonso, Vettel, Button and Raikkonen.

    It would be truly racist to not treat him the same, even if that ‘difference’ meant letting him off the hook.

    Frankly after what I have read, the ban hammer would have been swung in Fortis at the very least. If you want your whole audience alienated, continue to let him post.

    • Oh and just a note re: the tattoo. Leopards don’t change their spots. We can hide better, we can even paint ourselves, metaphorically and physically, but we are essentially the same as we were when we were very young. Lewis will only be happy when he stops lying to himself.

    • Why should he stop me posting? Is that because I’m willing to think for myself and offer my own opinions, rather than sit and acknowledge things that I disagree with?…
      Wait, don’t answer that, it was a rhetoric question, because I already know what your answer will be.

      Was I the only person who made reference to race issues? So why is it that you choose to make me the focus of your comments?

      So like I said before, I’m free to express my opinions, just like you have just now, if you don’t like it, then fine, I really don’t give a damn if you do!!

      • You keep saying that, but when the judge gives his opinion on hamilton suddenly you scream bloody murder. You seem to forget that this isn’t the average f1 site. And that’s the reason why we all love comming here. As said before, no one is safe from critical articles. It’s not only hamilton. There has been plenty about vettel or how kimi can’t keep up with alonso or stuff like that. This site isn’t one that worships the ground that those guys walk on just because they do. But if they show greatness there’s enough talk about it to! I can’t remember one bad word about the hulk here for instance. …

        • I’m assuming that Seb is your driver of choice. So I ask, “when the judge has written countless articles about Seb and the things he has done, do you not reply by offering a different view each time? So should I say that your screaming bloody murder as well?

          • Not everytime no. Sometimes the judge was just right. And the hippo was the one who screamed bloody murder😆 I dont mind criticism. It’s part of the game. And i like vettel’ s driving and approach but I’m not that big of a fan boy. After irvine quit I lost the last one of wich I was really a “fan”. And from the moment irvine quit till seb entered I watched it every weekend it was on without any fan based affection. Only for the love of the sport.

          • That’s exactly what I said. If he has in my opinion behaved inappropriately, then fine go ahead, let him have it, I’ll join in, because it’s warranted. Just like when he made that stupid “Ali G” reference, because that was neither the time or place to do that. Put that in a autobiography after he has hanged up his gloves. But Sunday is being blown out of proportion by everyone. The sport in my view, lacks people with character, everyone now seems to more sanitised. Everyone is towing the PR line.

            When the hippo screamed bloody murder, did you say the same thing to him as well? (Agiain, new to the site)

            So if it’s part of the game, then why do I feel like I’m being singled out for my opinions?

            We say the drivers are immature and petulant, but are we any different, when we resort to start calling people stupid, idiotic, c**t, bum hurt etc? Are is it ok, because we’re not in front of a camera, with the world looking at us?

            I may come across as being angry, but I’m not. I said nothing earlier that anyone else didn’t say, but somehow, it was my comment that got the headline attention.

          • Oh the things you experience now is nothing the like the hippo had to endure when he defended vettel. Remember yesterday how I said the English don’t like the Germans, well I wouldn’t say it was world war 3 here, but they did try to butcher a hippo. 😂

          • And don’t get me wrong, i didn’t agree with the hippo often either.

          • @bruznic

            The hippo and I co-wrote a series of articles on “The Vettel booing pandemic”, his contribution was considerable too….

        • Maldonado, Kobayashi, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Kimi, Grosjean – it doesn’t matter who the driver is, ultimately they are treated equally. Same applies to the ex drivers. Can you imagine the articles if it was about Montoya’s faux pas!

          Be they TV presenters now, or team bosses, they all receive critical comment. Marko, Montezemolo, Denni, Whitmarsh, Chemical Boullier not one escapes if they are blatantly stupid, manipulative or downright arrogant.

          When you look at the F1 press who place these people on pedestals and like Joe Saward suggested after Australia that the fuel sensor issue should have been dealt in secret, ie keep out the non-F1 press who are likely to offer an unbiased view of events, it’s about time there is a change.

          You only have to read the press conferences to realise that unless you play by their rules you won’t be allowed to play. What utter tripe on the majority of occasions.

          Long live freedom of speech, both for and against any author.

          • Just like we, the visitors of this site, get our fair share of abuse. There’s been made fun of me for being an irvine fan. And just yesterday I made fun of manky and he made fun of me. It’s all fun and games.

          • No-one is safe! Be afraid, be very afraid lol.
            I personally love the way the site has no favourites, the writing may not be for everyone but I’m into my 2nd full season of using this great site and the Judge is the man, I’m tellin’ ya, this guy knows his s#!t. I find these circular arguments in the comments is quite frankly getting a bit of a bore. A lot of the stuff is just being spouted over and over again just in a slightly different wording. I’m all for debate, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you have to accept you hold opposing opinions and that you will never be able to meet in the middle. At that point just stop, have you nothing better to do than post repetitive cyclic comments on here. They add nothing and I would suspect that many are put off commenting in fear of having their posts pulled apart.
            The Judge has been nothing but gracious, polite and welcoming to myself, even when I’d not agreed with his opinion. You get what you give, if you show respect and humility then it will be reflected back to you by others.

    • childish and misguided pressures of idiotic, feverish simpletons like Fortis…
      …walls of text imbued with repetitive vitriolic bullshit

      Cognitive dissonance….

      • “Every 10 seconds…”

        Key peice of info, cunningly cut out, that shows CD isn’t apparent, this is my third comment in this three day bitch fest.

        Like racism, overtly and deliberately searching for any sign of CD will result in a 1 + 1 = 11 type analysis. Close, but no cigar.

        Better luck next time.

        • You’re right; I withdraw the comment…
          Cognitive dissonance would imply cognition.

    • What gets me, an article is written that highlights the abuse of words by what we called journalists in regards his hometown and not a peep from anyone….

  7. Re Haas and 2016, Ian Parkes asked a question of Mattiacci in last Thursdays Team Principals presser that basically implied Ferrari was going to sell them a customer car. I speculated then that the timing of Haas’ entry would be based on when Ferrari could get the regulations changed. Looks like 2016 is it.

    • And if I remember correctly, Caterham got started in September 2009, yet were on the grid in March 2010, and also much faster than Marussia and HRT on track..

      • LOL no doubt that’s the big plan of the strategy group to save the small teams “We’ll just make them all our customers. What could possibly go wrong?”

        • Matt

          as you well know – customer car were the norm in F1 until a few years ago

          would it really be so bad to have them back ?

          and I’m not just talking about ” B spec ” cars from existing competitors – but bringing in constructors that aren’t in F1 at the moment.

          Dallara is an obvious one

          but what about Dome or FTR or Oak or others like that ?

          Isn’t variety the spice of life ?

          I’m interested in why you think it could go wrong mate 🙂

          • No, actually I was trying to make a joke that it was their solution to the cost reduction issue of the current teams, not potential new ones. Somehow I don’t see Bob Fernley wanting to buy a 2 year old Mclaren chassis for next years car. Of course, he might prefer that to last year’s, LOL.

            As far as actual customer cars go, I don’t really have much of a position one way or the other, my only complaint would be I don’t want an Indy style series to be the logical endpoint. I would actually like it if it would make the midfield more competitive and enable closer racing at the sharp end.

          • Cheers Matt

            yet again jokes ” lost in translation ” …

            I think your American humour is more English

            whereas my Scottish humour is more Germanic

            at least we agree on wines, food, etc.

            – BTW Oregan and BC wines are also wonderful – not just Washington ones 😉

            I agree – I don’t want a super Indy style F1 – but you will remember the the old CART series was a better sort of blueprint for what F1 could do ?

            If – as always they don’t let politics get in the way of attracting new teams, chassis constructors, engine suppliers, teams etc – and. as happened with CART the whole series went tits up …..

          • Cheers Manky, yes humor is harder than it looks. Or, in my case, sometimes poorly written, LOL.

            I do recall the glorious days of CART, but I yield the floor to SteveH who has said it all while I was busy with a bit of work for tomorrow.

            I actually tried a pinot from BC tonight, sadly it was a little corked, but it had real promise. Not too many wines from there in my neighborhood.

          • @ manky. Yep, CART was golden in its heyday; IIRC F1 was even a bit scared of them when they started to go international. It was a series dominated by Penske’s chassis (built in England) but March, Lola, and Reynard customer cars soon dominated the home built chassis. I remember Truesports (Rahal driving) and TRD (Eagle) tried pretty hard to develop cars but failed. Pretty much off the shelf for engines and gearboxes and most of the early construction was cut and fold honeycomb, so costs were low. Maybe there is a model there for F1 to think about; if costs aren’t cut soon there is going to be a major crisis.

          • @ SteveH

            re : the Truesports and TRD – wasn’t that during the final meltdown between Champcars and IRL ?

            Maybe if they’d kept some stability those constructors might have succeeded.

            And there was also the Porsche debacle too …..

          • @ manky. No, I think Truesports and TRD were before the CART/IRL bullshit. The Porsche motor, though, was pretty interesting. Seems that it was too good and CART started doing stuff with regulations to tone it down. IIRC (and I’ll look it up if you are interested) CART started to fool around with boost levels and some other stuff to limit power. I believe Porsche just gave up in disgust. And of course, there was the Alfa Romeo engine………

          • @ manky. Just a bit of personal history, but back in 1995 ± I was working in aerospace composites doing tool design. I responded to an ad from Swift for a tool designers for the factory in San Clemente and to my amazement got a job offer to work on undertrays; six year old daughter and wife, house in Seattle, ex driver, F1 fanatic (sorry Judge) and hard decisions to be made. Possibly a road to England and F1 but ….. had to turn it down. I always wondered.

  8. Re Volkswagen, Marko should be carefull with such hints. If Renault would lose the Red Bull teams and be stuck for 2015 with Lotus and Caterham (if both teams will compete in 2015), the sensible thing is to step out of F1, and not to provide any updates for the 2014 season.

  9. Dear ‘Still I surprise’,

    Comparing your comment to those of Fortis, I think I see who the idiotic simpleton is.

    • Birds of a feather…

      I won’t try to further stress any remaining brain capacity. I understand that for you the world is black and white, as in simple and clear cut.

      The fact I feel even had to point that final part out speaks volumes really. Good luck to you and Fortis with your sanctimonious racist hunting.

  10. On Vettel reaction at Monaco…and Hamilton
    “But at least he voiced his opinion behind closed doors, unlike some, I’m told.”
    The difference here is that RBR is Vettel’s team. Merc is not Lewis’ team. So sometimes you have to go public to push a point across as Alonso has done several times before.

    • And Alonso came across as a petulant spoiled idiotic arsehole when he did it …..

      Spot the connection now ?

      • ….and that was how Alonso was critiqued here…. Threatening to text the world?…. I think TJ13’s advice was Il Padrino should stand him down for a race….

        I suspect with such a dominant car and a driver so close to Hamilton, Toto may be more forceful with Hamilton if he feels he is acting against the interest of the team publicly again….

      • Yes, the connection is that Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel are the best drivers of their generation and if it wasn’t for their antics off and on the track this era of F1 would have been confined in the deep dusty cupboards of history. With these guys now and their level of skill and competitiveness we’re enjoying F1 more than we even did in the last 20 years.

        • 100% right. The 3 wise men at Merc (NL, TW, PL) all must know that Hamilton is the better driver. If Merc had said that they were pulling out of F1 after this year, then I think Hamilton could be in danger of them anointing Nico as DWC-elect. But for Merc this is a multi-year project, and they know that the other teams will catch them up at some point. It’s that point, in the future, which I believe will guide how they act now. They probably knew before, but after Bahrain there can be no doubts, that when it comes down to being able to pull out a result when there’s not much difference in car performance, that Hamilton is their guy. Nico is a very solid driver, but he can’t make the difference that the top-tier drivers can.

          Lewis went overboard over the weekend, and in some of the silly and unnecessary comments leading up to the weekend. It wasn’t for nothing, though, that he got to the point of alleging foul play from Rosberg. Pole in Monaco is HUGE. If Lewis gets pole (as he likely would’ve done if he’d completed his lap), Lewis wins the race, simple as that. So in his mind, it’s unjustly cost him a 14-pt swing in the standings.

          If Lewis keeps bringing this up, then it will play with him. The race is done, the result is in. Now go out and beat him in the next few races. Start another winning streak, and zip the lip.

          Judge, you say Lewis is walking a tightrope … are we certain that Nico is regarded as whiter-than-snow in all of this? When Wolff says “I have better things to do than spend my afternoon dealing with media accusations of cheating …” are you 100% sure that’s directed solely at Lewis? What if Wolff knows that Nico did it deliberately, or is at least left in some doubt as to his innocence? Might that comment be directed at him, as in “I really didn’t need that on Saturday; we’ll protect you in public, but don’t do it again”??

          I’m assuming that when Lewis talks about seeing some data, that it wasn’t Lewis by himself poring over the data, but that his engineers likely found something that they thought was suspect, and that Lewis would like to see. If those guys have seen something, then no doubt Lowe has seen it too. Just saying that I don’t think the presumed narrative can be taken as 100% correct.

          Lastly, at what level are your sources within the Merc team?

          • @ KRB

            a good reply – but as I’ve said previously – you are basing an argument upon your belief that Nico ” cheated “.

            So because at least you have a good reasoned argument rather than lying like some others here – can I play Devil’s Advocate here ?

            ” If Lewis gets pole (as he likely would’ve done if he’d completed his lap) …. ”

            Nico was faster on his lap before he went off – so it’s just as likely

            a) – Nico kept pole


            b) – Lewis made a mistake and Nico kept pole

            Note — I am NOT saying Lewis wouldn’t have gotten pole – we will never know – OK ?

            Lewis talks about seeing data – fine.

            But whether it was him personally or his engineers or Toto or Paddy – so did the FIA and the Stewards.

            If Mercedes have concealed evidence from the FIA – they will be hammered and punished far more than McLaren was because of ” spygate “.

            So would Mercedes do that ?

            Would Mercedes take the risk of being accused of corruption ?

            Would Mercedes take the risk of being disqualified from this years championship ?

            The FIA and Stewards totally exonerated Nico from ANY wrongdoing – that is a FACT.

            So for you to then twist it into saying that in somehow Toto, Paddy, Niki, Mercedes et al are ” secretly ” believing or accusing Nico of cheating is total nonsense.

            I think Toto’s warning are a shot across Lewis’s bow – and a gentle but firm warning to Nico too – because even Niki ( who is a big Lewis supporter ) has criticized Lewis.

          • Since we’re playing Devil’s Advocate (one of my favorite games in case you couldn’t tell) I’ll give you a reason for Merc to cover up. It’s simple actually.

            IF (hypothetically) Rosberg were penalized, Merc would lose their one two and should anything go wrong with Lewis (remember we’re in Monaco) they could lose their first race of the year with the chairman of the board of Mercedes present.

            Or, even simpler, the chairman of the board was there. Getting nailed for cheating would be, as they like to term it these days, bad optics. After all those bribery scandals, turns out current management is a wee bit concerned about their image, LOL.

            However, there is no way Mercedes would fudge the data, so clearly it’s something that was not asked for by the stewards, meaning it was a sin of omission and likely not to be in the standard telemetry. Maybe an obscure software setting (MGU-K) or something similar.

            And just to throw some fuel on the fire, didn’t Warwick as much as admit it came down to Nico’s word in that article the other day? The ultimate problem will be for conspiracy theorists that the only “real” answer lay in Nico’s head, meaning there will never be a satisfactory conclusion as far as they are concerned.

            I could go on all day, but probably I shouldn’t.

            Of course the real answer is that the stewards made their decision and Lewis needs to get over it and get on with it if he wants to win.

            But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with pointless arguing in the meantime 🙂

          • good points Matt – a few I hadn’t thought about.

            However – as the FIA published docs meister can I ask you this ?

            What evidence is there for –

            ” clearly it’s something that was not asked for by the stewards … ” –

            the FIA or Stewards NOT asking for any data ?

            * playing double devil’s advocate now *

          • Ha this thread is so massive I have to check my email to reply.

            The data not asked for is from reading another forum and seeing an assertion by a commenter that the FIA did not review tire load data.

            Not sure what they would learn from that but it did occur to me that if Merc were to have played games in order to protect Rosberg, it most likely would have been that whatever *might* be viewed as incriminating was not in the ask by the stewards. It’s really the only hypothesis that might explain both sides of what we are hearing.

            There is also the unsourced reply by James Allen in his comment section that there was something, but he can’t reveal it without breaking confidence.

            My basic understanding is that they asked for all the telemetry, but it’s easy to imagine that there may be some engine parameters Mercedes were aware of that might not be included in “telemetry” in its reasonable interpretation, particularly given the extremely complicated use of the engine in braking.

            Of course, none of this is evidence per se, but it was the scaffold I used to build my reply.

            Add to it Warwick’s comments that it really came down to Nico and you have all the wiggle room you need to generate endless theories. Particularly when you consider whether you are trying to establish Rosberg’s innocence (starting with the assumption he did it) vs guilt (starting with the assumption he didn’t).

            And even covering Quali I was careful to put in the terms of the stewards will issue a decision, because at the end of the day that’s the only thing that really mattered anyway.

            As I stated elsewhere, I would love to have heard more about what data the stewards looked at and what they were looking for in that data that would have them think something like that was done on purpose instead of by accident. Would have been an interesting and useful addition. 🙂

            Let’s go Rangers!! (local sports team on the cusp of good things).

          • @manky, I’ve noticed you’ve been on this FACT (all caps) kick since this whole quali brouhaha started. So here, let me try it out:

            FACT, the FIA Stewards never even investigated Piquet Jr’s crash during the 2008 Singapore GP! Ergo, by your reasoning, it was then a FACT that the FIA totally exonerated Piquet of any question of foul play. In FACT, there was never any question of it to begin with.

            Of course, less than a year later we found out that the FACTs were that Piquet Jr had deliberately pitched his car into the wall, on the advice of Briatore and Symonds.

            One FACT was later replaced with another FACT.

            I have to wonder about you manky … are you a total slave to authority, or what? Do you believe everything your government tells you? Or whatever media you watch? In your experience, has no government / law enforcement agency / media outlet, ever got anything wrong? If so, please let me know where you live, for I shall move there forthwith.

            The FACT is that the FIA Stewards could find no evidence of wrongdoing by Rosberg. That (that they didn’t find anything) is indeed a FACT. Making the jump from that FACT, to then say that it’s a FACT that Rosberg 100% didn’t go off deliberately, just is not possible to do. We can’t know for sure. Only Rosberg (and his God/god/gods) knows for certain. It is certainly still wide open for others to have an opinion on what happened with his off. So why you tryin’ to stop all our fun? 🙂

            As for Lewis’ last lap, and whether he would’ve ended up on pole, I like to do the big-money-bet test … imagine you are forced to bet 10% of your annual salary on whether a) Lewis takes pole, or b) he doesn’t, on that last lap. If you win, your money doubles; otherwise, you lose it all. Say 100 people are forced to make that bet. What do you think the percentages would be, for a) and b) ? My guess is that over 85% of people would put their money on a) … it might even approach 95%. So yeah, Lewis might’ve made a mistake somewhere in the lap and blown his chance, but I think we’ve seen him pull it off so many times before, that the overwhelming probability would be that he would’ve taken pole.

          • that doesn’t mean they actually considered it all, or even interpreted it correctly.

            F1 is the most political sport in the world, it seems. and it’s not for nothing that one almost never hears publicly aired allegations of serious cheating. The inference is for others to draw…

          • @ KRB

            You are absolutely correct re Piquet Jr.

            As you said – there was no question of foul play. And then the truth transpired ….

            However – with Nico – immediately there were claims and accusations of foul play.

            It was investigated immediately by the FIA and Stewards.

            But many people weren’t happy with the result and so started fabricating lies or twisting the truth to try and justify their beliefs.


            THEY ARE LIARS ……

            And on your final point – if you’d read ALL my comments over the last few days you would see that I am dubious whether Nico would have retained pole.

            Nico has fucked up in every quali session when under pressure to beat Lewis.

            I’d have bet on Lewis too.

            But probabilities count for nothing ……… only what’s in the record book.

  11. We need two comments sections now, like automated answering machines:

    If you want to get involved in a protracted debate about Lewis/Multi 21/Pirelli tyres/Illegal tests/the sound of engines etc click here…

    If you want to talk about any of todays other stories click here 😀

    • I stopped going to other sites to read about Formula1 because of the childish name calling, and my dad is bigger than your dad mentality. I really hope it is not going to take over this site now. 🙁

        • I hope so.

          Its tiring having to scroll through reams of unread willy waving tripe.

          Everyone gets a gavel tap, eventually. Whinging and name calling will not change that.

          Tap away judge……Illegitimi non carborundum.

        • Judge, the old faithful know when a pinch of salt is required when it comes to ‘silly’ posts. I just gloss over the comments posted by certain members of our growing community. Maybe you could have a button so I could click on a name and all their posts that day disappear from my feed. Would really help me sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

          • CV, your name would be first on that list for me.

            Just kidding.

            lol – that was really rude, right? I figured you wouldn’t ever see this comment though, since it was months ago. 😉

    • That’d be the first bit of commonsense I’ve seen posted here for yonks!
      Wonderful idea!

    • I suspect that if ever happens they would use the Audi brand not Lambo.

      VW can make a lot more money selling hundreds of thousands of Audi’s compared to a few thousand Lambo’s ….

      • The best name and history wise would be porsche of course. If you want a vw brand in f1.

      • Not so sure Manky, Audi have got brilliant rep in motor-sport with the rally cars and endurance racing. Surely they would do what Mercedes did by calling their engines Ilmor initially so no egg on face.
        After all, the investment would be equal but Lamborghini would sell their production run anyway.

        • Carlo – I see where you’re coming from.

          Did you ever see the BBC documentary ” Rallying : Madness on 4 Wheels ” ?

          It was the bit with Michele Mouton saying that in a survey most people thought Audi was some form of ” white goods ” like fridges or washing machines …..

          That of course was before Audi’s entry into the WRC and the legendary Quattro.

          Everything changed after that …….

          Before that Audi had no rep at all.

          Only die hard fans knew of the links to Auto Union – and they had been owned by Mercedes – until VW bought them in the mid 1960’s.

          I think it will depend upon what happens re: Le Mans / WEC.

          Clearly Porsche are out to win it. I figure they have a 3 – 5 year plan and won’t pull out before then whatever happens.

          So the question is – will Audi wait till they’ve beaten Porsche’s overall tally of wins – or will they leave sooner ?

          That might give us a clue as to whether VW want to get involved in F1.

          And if Audi were going to ” do an Ilmor ” as you put it – surely SKODA would be a better choice as it does have a racing history unlike Lambo ?

          • I dont know if you follow wec actively, but porsche and toyota have been very strong and i reckon they are giving audi a good run for their money in le mans in a couple of weeks. Now of course 24 hours is something very different then the 6 hours they raced up until now. But it’s going to be an interesting one this year.

          • @ bruznic

            I’m a massive WEC fan – have been for years – including ALMS and ELM etc. too.

            Your right about Toyota and Porsche – and it’s only going to get tougher with Nissan joining LMP 1 next year too ….

            BTW – have you seen the 2 films about Audi @ Le Mans –

            Truth in 24 & Every Second Counts


          • No I haven’t. But I’m going to search for a torrent right now! 😆 nice to see another endurance race lover here. Can’t wait till its time again for the biggest race of the year

          • the only disappointment this year is Allan McNish not racing 🙂

            not coz he’s a Scot – but coz he’s bloody quick and one of the best drivers

            So will it be a TKO again ?

            I hope so …

          • Truthfully? I’d like a porsche win. Always been a fan. But then again I don’t want webber to win, certain people here would go out of their minds 😆 But i dont mind who wins as long as the race is good. (Except for Oliver gavin in the corvette. I always want him to win his class. I have worked with him at the 24 hours of spa in 2008. And he’s a top lad!)

          • totally agree with you about Oli

            seen him in interviews and commentating as well as his racing – top bloke 🙂

          • and my reasons for a TK win … ?

            I think this could be his swansong – be nice for him to go out at the top ….

            but I’d happily take a Porsche win too 🙂

  12. But now my tummy’s beginning to rumble… My favourite food is – Gruffalo Crumble!

    (We’re gonna need more mice)

  13. ……Yet the problem Lewis had throughout 2012 was that he
    couldn’t shake Button – both on and off the track…..

    You came to that conclusion by looking at the points table several months later after the end of the season. If you did folllow the 2012 then that statement would be as ridiculous as stating the sun rises in the west.
    2012 was an embarrassment for Button, Withmarsh and Mclaren.
    Twisting the fabric of literature to push one forward and the other behind has another name, distortion.

    • Indeed, Button started the season strongly and could have won both of the first two races… until he hit Karthikeyan under pressure from Lewis, Button was looking like a WDC contender. But once he was lapped at Canada, Lewis should have been made number 1 driver for the rest of the season.

  14. Who in Gods name is Maya Angelou and who cares and what has she got to do with #F1? Before you ask I can’t be bothered reading more shite about LH…we all know he’s a dickhead so let him at it, Damon Hill reckons the only person that can beat him is himself and Damon is spot on…..

    • Fair enough… But after some of the comments recently we thought due to the timing of Maya’s death, it was worth republishing – unedited – an article written some 14 months ago….

    • “…we all know he’s a dickhead…”

      Speak for yourself and don’t presume to ever suggest that I would agree with boorishly insulting any driver, let alone whining about not knowing who Maya Angelou was, or calling her fans like Lewis “dickhead[s]”.

      You’re a right nasty prick, eh? And an ignorant one, too.

  15. Fair enough indeed but I still have never heard of her and I ain’t gonna read it and yes, I noticed it was written previously. Maybe he was in a bad place or something but I’m really sick of his crap! Twat he is methinks your honour….DC

    • So although you say you have never heard of her you still refuse to read the article and maybe find out?
      Your closed-mindedness speaks volumes,sir.

  16. Using Maya Angelou’s death as an opportunity to slate Hamilton and generate hate….this is as LOW as anyone can possibly go.

    This is utterly pathetic and transparent. If you are going to do this, then at least do it in an intelligent manner.

    You pointlessly include an ode to Maya Angelou to increase her gravitas and then follow it up with article about Hamilton in a blatant attempt to put across that he has demeaned her work or is not worthy of it. Cheap tactics and extremely obvious.

    TJ…you are doing a Ratner to your own site. Hereon begins its demise.

    • @mike from Medellin
      “he has demeaned her work or is not worthy of it”

      I hadn’t considered that possibility… Looks like Lewis’ fans can in fact offer deeper critiques than the rest of us 😉

      • Petty criticism of Lewis’s character, cultural influence[s]/interest[s], his lifestyle (or worse – insulting his partner)…I really find that distasteful and would object regardless of which driver was being unfairly abused – which I’ve done w/ Maldonado already.

        Please don’t let your personal dislike of Hamilton – for whatever reason – influence your coverage of the sport. ANYTHING to do w/ Hamilton’s life outside of F1 is not fodder unless it’s directly influencing his on-track performance. This should be the same for any driver. Scandal-driven coverage demeans us all.

  17. I for one appreciate that someone in the British Media, formally or not, does not bend knee to everything that Hamilton does. My one gripe about the SKY coverage is the massive bias they have towards him. I’m in America and go out of my way to find the SKY, BBC when they had all the races, coverage as the travesty that is NBCSN is beyond my ability to accurately describe in words.

    I found the TJ13 site shortly after it launched and it quickly became my #1 go to site for F1 coverage and news. The articles and viewpoints are considerably more even handed than any other site out there. On top of that TJ has managed to cultivate sources that get him information days/weeks/months before the mainstream coverage even gets a whiff.

    I appreciate the articles that dig deep in the psyche of the drivers or the teams as they provide considerably more insight compared to “TeamX will be bringing a slightly developed nose cone to RaceY” … I can get that info from Ted Kravitz on the FP1/2 show.

    Keep up the amazing work Judge and don’t let the fan boys who cannot stand to see their favorite driver and team “besmirched”.

    P.S. I’m a Button and Hulkenberg fan, a few weeks ago TJ wrote an article questioning JBs ability to truly push development on a car/team historically. The article was fascinating and it gave me something else to watch for this season, so see how and if the McLaren develops, to see what JB says and does.

    • Criticism is one thing, bias is another.

      Don’t really blame the judge on this, nor the Lewis fans. It’s very easy to get drawn into a confrontation where Lewis fans may have a chip on their shoulder on certain things (including myself) and then Judge just digs deeper with a bit of anti-Lewis bias because he perceives this as lack of objectivity.

      Sensible thing to do is to just draw a line underneath the whole thing. There’s nothing more to write about Lewis and the Monaco incident and it will just aggravate the situation and dip this site into even lower levels. If needless articles and comments carry on I’ll have to come back to this site after the Canadian GP.

      • Quite frankly, McLaren, you lot only have to blame yourselves for that. Most of those, who are now upset, were clapping and nodding back in February and March when the very same happened with a different driver in the unwanted spot-light. So why shouldn’t that same rather unprofessional tactic not be tried with a different driver now? It was hugely popular before and not too many called him out for the same botch-job three months ago.

        • So why shouldn’t that same rather unprofessional tactic not be tried with a different driver now?

          It shouldn’t be done against any driver. Personal bias influencing what’s written outside of straight op/eds is a huge turn-off to people looking for non-partisan coverage (and one can be critical and adversarial w/o being biased or partisan).

      • @McLaren78

        As I loyal and longstanding member of the TJ13 community, your comments are all worthy of consideration… and enlightening more often than not…

        “Sensible thing to do is to just draw a line underneath the whole thing. There’s nothing more to write about Lewis and the Monaco incident….”

        In many ways this is indeed true, but if what I’m hearing has merit, Lewis has begun polarising the Mercedes race team…. Not hard to believe seeing as He appears to have this effect on us all…

        So the ramifications of his actions last weekend may well be the beginning of a whole new set of stories…

        Hence why I wrote the “walking a tight line” story…

        Now should this be true and the situation deteriorates, what will we possibly be discussing in the future?

        So here’s an idea, the commentators of TJ13 can co- write the pros and cons to the following hypothesis….

        “Hamilton’s F1 career all but over over following his defeat by Rosberg in the WDC and Mercedes refuse to renew his contract” ….

        • Of course that polarisation is exactly what makes Hamilton such a written about and marketable figure. Like or hate, people go nuts judging by the comment count this week.

          The question I have is do you think Lewis is losing his side of the garage, as evidently happened in the waning days of his McLaren run.

          Two other unaddressed questions as well. Were there any radio messages between him and his engineers on that last fateful lap in Quali and any idea what exactly the data was that made him smile.

          I have been far too busy to be poking about but if you’ve heard anything, us curious readers would like to know, even if it’s just in the comments. 🙂

          • I’m not saying Lewis is losing his side of the garage, but the pit crew for the race is one crew for both cars, taken from both sides of the garage…

            Both sides of the garage… The garage race crew… are like the shop floor workers, they live and breathe each other’s blood sweat and tears… Sometimes hot bunking it from shift to shift… All for the team… And then the drivers….

            They chew the cud together over all goings on… F1 gossip… team politics… what’s fair and what isn’t…

            Lewis behaviour became a topic of discussion over the weekend…. different opinions have been expressed…

          • Judge

            as Matt said – it would be REALLY interesting to find out the comms between Lewis and the pits on the final quali run …..

            I hope you might be able to find out ?

          • Saw a story on PF1 about DC stating that each driver should have their own pit box (so 2 per team, instead of the 1 now). Not sure how that’d work.

    • Nice to see someone read the criticism and make his f1 experience richer with it. Wich is the whole point of this site.

    • Hi Chris

      Good to hear from you. Don’t be a stranger in the comments in future. In less than 2 years we have from inception developed around 5,000 reads a day, and I guess over 98% of readers never comment.

      Part of theTJ13 project was born from my own frustration that F1 writers are cowed at times from saying it how it is for a number of reasons. One of those is fear of exclusion from interviews by teams or drivers.

      In my youth there were drivers I favoured and those I disliked, though as the decades have passed I am now just a fan of the sport… and what the sport should/could be. So I just say it as it is…. I neither love or hate anyone in F1….

      Have no fear… I and the other writers will continue to call it as we see it…

      For now, Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes are the lead stories everyone is writing about… So there will be more to come as the threads develop.

      The Vettel booing pandemic ran for months last year, so we kept covering it, hopefully trying to add something new each time.

      Lewis is box office and If you ask my opinion, I think he will keep us busy all year. James Allen whom I respect greatly, wrote about Hamilton’s departure from McLaren that the team just became weary of ‘the pantomime drama” which is Hamilton’s life.

      We’ll see whether history repeats itself….

    • “the travesty that is NBCSN is beyond my ability to accurately describe in words.”

      NBCSN is utterly atrocious. It’s so bad that it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the sport on the part of the network, that they would show a commercial for car wax during one of the three great passing maneuvers amounting to a total 90 seconds of pure adrenaline out of a 120 minute Grand Prix.

      It’s so bad that it may be actively turning off the US fans it is supposed to cultivate.

      The hapless commentators seemed less aware of what was going on in the race than I was watching twitter.

  18. Mike from Medellin, Fortis96, The Gonch

    Boat people from The Guardian? Or have they used up their 8 articles a month at the Telegraph?

    • weeks earlier I compared Fortis with those teen like fanatical whose main sport is fight about their teen idols around the interwebs, and it appears after those weeks, things got out of control, that’s why many people are not posting comments anymore, while others are bullying themselves about a wealthy, famous and talented guy who probably doesn’t even know or care about their existence, there’s no point in getting angered, pissed or stressed about it

  19. Hamilton made a fool out of himself last weekend, let’s see if he can dig his way out and prove it to us. I don’t like him one bit but I’ll respect what he does if he can because he is the fastest, the guy needs a full time personal PR/Psycologist and if you can’t see that then so do you…..

    • So, let’s recap:
      Nico wins the opener in Oz (Lewis has technical issues).
      Lewis wins four on the bounce.
      Nico then wins at Monaco, but with questions about how he secured pole (valid or otherwise – only Nico knows 100%). Lewis is second.

      And from that last caveat, which has completely shattered Lewis’ WDC chances (not! – how many races still to go?!) we have had to endure all this “Noise” (for want of a better word)…

      Good grief! Can you imagine what would happen if Nico beats him to WDC???

      Lewis needs that shrink who works with Liverpool FC, various British Olympic winning cyclists, and others, to sort his head out; or someone similar… And pronto!

      • Looks like i wrote this just as the Judge added his update above…

        Going on previous insider knowledge on this site – the ‘polarising the team’ line is very interesting…

        • @bruznic
          “Liverpool hasn’t won anything in years”

          Mum. They’ve won games, and Lewis has won races but no WDC for 6 years…. Not a completely unfair comparison….

          Sorry, I shouldn’t have…. but the voice of mischief won the battle 😉

          • Much like McLaren in 2012, they threw it away from a commanding position… Although perhaps from Gerrard’s slip, rather than Hamilton’s. Maybe 2010, with trouble at Monza.

            But yes, he would benefit greatly from working with Steve Peters. He can afford to hire him…. he’s currently with the England WC squad though, so maybe after Brazil and the tour are out (just in time for the title run in).

  20. Wow! Just wow! I read this site every day, have done so for over a year now since first being brought here from a link. In fact, The Judge 13 is the first website i go to, other than business of course, each day when i turn on the laptop and throughout that time i’ve never felt compelled to comment.

    Thank you. Thank you so much for this.

    • @matlock49g

      You are most welcome and thank you for saying hello.

      One long standing ‘lurker’ (technical term for a reader who doesn’t comment) suggested to me after their first posted comment, it felt similar to losing their virginity… Much angst and trepidation prior to the act…. followed by a euphoric desire to do more… And as soon as possible 🙂

  21. Anti-Lewis articles seem to generate a lot of traffic and commenting. Great job your honour 😉

    Diss lewis, vettel or alonso and you have thousands of fans calling you biased. Diss Kimi and you have jenny and me going to a corner and crying 🙁

    Massa’s comments are interesting. Kimi damn near won two championships before he went to Ferrari. His 08 season started well but development was apparently moved towards a direction that kimi wasn’t comfortable with, not to mention cracked exhausts. He was still quick. Of that there is no doubt. How else would he still set 10 fastest laps that season? 🙂

    • @ Iceman

      it’s very difficult to diss someone who doesn’t make stupid comments or put his foot in his mouth when he speaks – prefering a vodka or icecream instead


    • It’s pertinent to remember that the over 30’s are starting to lose some outright pace but are keeping strength in other areas gained through experience. Kimi is the oldest driver on the grid now. Lewis will soon be 30, but it doesn’t look like he’s lost any pace just yet.

      McLaren’s best bet is to run out Jenson’s contract and develop their in house drivers. Hulkenberg is always available at a bargain price if you need established top level talent. Like Southampton are now proving, developing your own talent is usually much cheaper than buying in the best.

      McLaren need to spend their cash on getting the car better first if they want to finish better than 4th, although at the moment they would probably take that. Honda will inject some.. perhaps that will be a better contribution than the engine, but we’ll have to wait until 2015 to see.

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