Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 16th June 2014


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Previously on TheJudge13:

#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Monte Carlo 2014 – #MonacoGP

Top-20 #F1 Constructors who Failed to win a Championship – 15th

OTD Lite: 1985 – Alboreto wins Canadian GP

Samuel L. Jackson doubts Jenson Button’s authenticity

Austrian Grand Prix – Osterreichring vs Red Bull Ring – Discuss

Ferrari wants meeting amid F1 ‘worries’ (GMM)

Team Haas is falling apart with the American dream

Mixed reaction to Monday’s Schumacher news (GMM)

OTD Lite: 1985 – Alboreto wins Canadian GP

4070The late Michele Alboreto took his penultimate Grand Prix victory driving the number 27 car at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Having started behind both Elio De Angelis and Ayrton Senna in their JPS Lotus – incidentally the last time the team dominated the front row – Alboreto took what he described as an ‘easy victory’ from team-mate Stefan Johansson.

In Monaco, Alboreto had been the fastest competitor throughout the race and only a puncture prevented him from winning the event finishing a close second to title rival Alain Prost. In between these two Grand Prix had been the Belgian Grand Prix – which due to the track surface breaking up was cancelled and re-run in September – somewhat unfortunate as Ferrari had the strongest car during the original running of the event.

A further victory that season at the Nurburgring followed but mechanical unreliability at the last five events of the season cost him the chance to fight for the Championship.


Samuel L. Jackson doubts Jenson Button’s authenticity

The Graham Norton Show is a BBC British comedy chat show where in the normal format, guests turn up when they have products to advertise. Apologies, to all the non sell-outs…

Last Friday, Jenson Button was scheduled to appear but was injured whilst training on his bike. Graham Norton called Jenson at home where he explained what had happened, suffice to say that Twitter has claimed it the lamest excuse ever…


Austrian Grand Prix – Osterreichring vs Red Bull Ring – Discuss

The Osterreichring was originally built in 1969. Situated in the Styrian mountains it was a spectacular high speed circuit, with the surrounding natural landscape always proving a delight to the travelling circus. Following a fatal accident in 1975, the first corner was reformed as a high speed chicane, but otherwise the remaining corners were fast sweepers that tested cars and drivers to the limit.

a1osterreichringoverlay_mapThe circuit was redesigned by a certain Hermann Tilke with those sweeping corners replaced by three straights and tight corners to create over-taking opportunities. We should possibly be grateful that this ‘FIA approved architect’ was not involved in the redesign of the Spa circuit back in the late 70’s.

Austria’s A1-ring re-entered the F1 calendar from 1997 until 2003 and is sadly better remembered for the team-orders controversy of 2002 than for any brilliant racing heritage.

Which makes Sebastian Vettel’s recent words about the upcoming race even more poignant. “The circuit is nice and it’s located in the middle of a beautiful landscape. It’s a short track with just a few turns but it’s very challenging. The inclines too add to the circuit and the fans will have a great view no matter where they are seated.”

It’s inevitable that the current drivers in Formula One have a belief that racing didn’t exist before they donned helmet and gloves but Vettel has an unusual appreciation of the history of the sport. To put this into context, when Michael Schumacher won the 1998 French GP, with team-mate Eddie Irvine in second place, it had been Ferrari’s first one-two for eight years. In the press conference after the race he merely stated, “I’m not sure if Ferrari have ever had a 1-2 but….

In the ever-increasing quest for car and circuit safety, have we reached the point that drivers, fans and media have to speak of challenges where none exist? For anybody who witnessed 1,400bhp cars average nearly 160 mph around the old track, it is derisory to suggest that this track with “a few turns” is a challenge.

With the plethora of Tilke designed or adjusted circuits – F1 has become a product for easy viewing, yet what the sport needs is the return of the old tracks. Why is it that with all these “interesting” new circuit designs, the best races happen at the classic tracks. Spa, Monza, Suzuka, Interlagos, Silverstone and Montreal…

Fashion and design has embraced retro as cool for decades. Car manufacturers have resurrected classic timeless models and reinvented them for the 21st century maybe it’s time F1 returned to it’s roots.


Ferrari wants meeting amid F1 ‘worries’ (GMM)

Hot on the heels of Ferrari’s latest quit threat, Luca di Montezemolo has called for a meeting to discuss the future of formula one. Last Friday, the iconic Italian team’s president told the Wall Street Journal that because F1 “isn’t working”, Ferrari could turn instead to Le Mans by 2020. “Of course,” Montezemolo said, “we cannot do sports car racing and formula one. It’s not possible.”

Ferrari quickly backtracked, posting a statement on its official website that said suggesting the team is going to quit F1 for Le Mans “takes his (Montezemolo’s) words to extremes”. Without doubt, however, Ferrari is giving the impression of being successfully wooed by Le Mans, where manufacturers Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan already race. The weekend’s 24 hour race was flagged off by Fernando Alonso, who said: “I often speak with president Montezemolo and, while the priority remains winning again in formula one, an interesting format like Le Mans is worth keeping an eye on too.”

At the very same time, reports began to emerge that Montezemolo is inviting F1’s major stakeholders to a meeting at Maranello before the Italian grand prix in September.

Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper said the invitation was sent in writing to Bernie Ecclestone and CVC’s Donald Mackenzie, outlining his “worries” about the current face of F1.

Interestingly, with F1 appearing to resist the modern era of the internet, Montezemolo said Google and Apple should also be invited, as well as representatives of “new media” and “social networks”.

Confirming the letter, Ferrari said on its official website that it is “not an ultimatum nor a threat”, but rather a way to come up with “new ideas” so that F1 remains “the benchmark in motor sport”.


Team Haas is falling apart with the American dream

Italian Gunther Steiner is the project engineer behind the Team Haas F1 entry. He has been the individual behind the various negotiations with the Ferrari and Dallara concerns in putting together a feasible plan to have the team prepared for its F1 entry in 2015. Yet it was Gene Haas that took the decision to postpone their entry until 2016 despite insisting in Bahrain that he needed to know if he had an entry within the following two weeks otherwise the schedule would be moved to 2016.

Speculation in the Italian media has begun mounting that Haas and Steiner are in disagreement on a number of issues which is leading observers to speculate as to whether the team truly wants to be part of the F1 championship. With the seeming announcements of technical partnerships being postponed – the problems seem to be mounting as to the project’s future.

Most recently Haas has been championing the inclusion of Danica Patrick as a prospective driver in his new team: “The question was about the dream driver but she surely fits the bill.”

Patrick drives for the NASCAR team Stewart-Haas and explained, “I agree that anything is possible but nobody has said anything to me. I am happy where I am at at right now as far as racing goes, I am just starting to get the hang of sprint cup racing. Out of respect for Gene, if he came to me I would certainly listen but I am almost getting too old to start a third career.”

Steiner, himself, said that the American driver doesn’t feature in his plans for the entry to Formula One but this could be where the European insider knowledge runs into the American’s ignorance. After all, Haas was on the periphery of the failed USF1 team back in 2010. Of possible interest was that the USF1 team would have been based in Charlotte, North Carolina – just over 30 miles from where Haas is based now in Kannapolis, NC.

Steiner’s CV began as an engineer on the 1986 Mazda 323 4WD rally project before joining the Italian Jolly Club concern and over-seeing their 1992 Lancia HF Integrale programme that won 8 world rallies and took the manufacturers crown. He moved to the Subaru Prodrive concern in 1996 before being promoted to the technical director behind the Ford Focus WRC in 2000.

For 2001 Niki Lauda offered him the racing manager position at Jaguar Racing before a management reshuffle forced him into an Opel DTM team before he returned to F1 with the newly formed Red Bull Racing in 2005.

As witnessed in recent years, having a base in the UK and 100’s of millions in available budget does not secure points in Formula One – and recent musings within the TJ13 forums have answered no question as to the logic behind the entry of either a naive NASCAR team owner or a wealthy industrialist who would gain far greater exposure being a title sponsor of an existing points scoring team.


Mixed reaction to Monday’s Schumacher news (GMM)

News on Monday that Michael Schumacher is out of his coma and hospital met a mixed reaction.

Overwhelmingly, the response was positive, with figures like Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso tweeting that he is “So happy this is going in the good direction!” Niki Lauda told German television RTL: “I’m extremely happy. I always believed this news would come. Now I wish he gets through the rehab as quickly as possible and is back with us in formula one.”

Not everyone is as convinced.

Former F1 doctor Gary Hartstein said the announcement Schumacher is no longer a coma is “not news“, as his manager Sabine Kehm had said he was showing signs of consciousness and awakening many weeks ago. “I cannot help but think that this is a highly cynical use of language, using the truth to convey an impression that is almost certainly false,” he said on his blog. Hartstein said Monday’s media statement is telling the world “what we already know, and (we are) pretty much told to not ever expect further updates”.

Monday’s statement also said Schumacher had left the hospital in Grenoble, but a spokesman for another hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, confirmed to the AFP news agency that the 45-year-old had been admitted there. “This means he is just over 30 kilometres from his home,” said the German daily Bild. The hospital spokesman told Bild: “As with any patient, we want to respect medical confidentiality.

But the newspaper claimed Schumacher’s periods of awakening have been getting longer and longer since the last official statement in early April. “Michael Schumacher can hear voices and respond to touch,” said Bild. “His eyes are open. He can communicate with his environment, especially his wife Corinna and his children. Schumacher’s condition is now considered stable enough that he no longer needs the help of the specialists in Grenoble.”

Hartstein, however, said he believes it is likely Schumacher is either only “minimally conscious” or in a “vegetative state”, with only “fluctuating signs of interaction with the environment. This all leaves a very bad taste in my mouth,” he admitted. “And a huge space of sadness for Michael’s family, and for you, his fans.”


53 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 16th June 2014

  1. Gotta love LdM’s nerve. Ferrari’s not winning, so they call a meeting over it 😀

    • Empty threats from Ferrari as usual.

      And do they honestly believe that the endurance championship will last? In the past it didn’t, GT1 didn’t, GT4 didn’t, and the list goes on.
      Or does he think by winning Le Mans is better exposure than F1?
      Or does he think that there is a nice preferential payout at Le Mans as there is in F1 every year because Ferrari are ‘special’?

      Empty threats as usual and some of his comments point to what irks him, especially the fact that “…we cannot touch the engine!”

      • “…we cannot touch the engine!”

        Didn’t Newey say much the same thing?

  2. As someone who has raced at the old Osterreichring on many occasions (in GPL 🙂 :p ) it breaks my heart to see how much of the classic track has been cut away by the butcher Tilke. Reminds of that reveal scene in the recent Robocop remake.

    • Hello Mark.. nice dice we had the other day at Mexico in the UKGPL Can-Ams.. shame they can’t bring back the hairpin for 2015, to lengthen the lap and provide a passing opportunity!

  3. The good news is that Schumacher has just been confirmed to be out of his coma and has been released from hospital. The bad news is that there have been no further comments regarding his condition, which in my view doesn’t bode too well.

  4. Can someone enlighten me please? What exactly is the problem with current F1? Aero impact has been diminished (should delight Ferrari) and turbo engines with ‘green’ credentials are in. Please, someone, lay out for me why Ferrari and Vettel are complaining apart from the obvious that they’re not winning any more.

    • The problem with F1 is lack of social media engagement (go look on YouTube for the Audi/Toyota crash at LeMans Saturday for example) and a failing business model for all the teams. But don’t worry, FOM is doing just fine, thank you.

      Of course, the real problem is with the people running the sport, yet in time honored fashion they will no doubt blame everyone but themselves for the disrepair the sport is rapidly succumbing to.

      Frankly, given the fact that the LMP1Toyota runs at 1,000 bhp and the lap times at LeMans were faster this year despite adoption of similar energy regs to F1, it might be officially time to admit they’ve done the better job and begin borrowing wholesale from their model.

      • “despite adoption of similar energy regs to F1”

        Come on. Because LMP1-H has introduced electrical recover systems it’s similar to F1? There are no uniform power regulations – either in size of engine, number of cylinders, type of fuel used, aspirated or turbo-charged and the number of energy recovery systems. Fuel consumption was based on numerous criteria and went from Audi allowed no more than 4.1 litres per lap to Porsche which was allowed 4.6. And fuel usage is allowed to go above the one lap limit provided that when it goes above the limit it is below the limit when averaged over three laps. So you can exceed the fuel consumption rules on one lap and the next two stay below them and you don’t get penalized.

        LMP1-H allows teams to be innovative when it comes to design and use of new technology. The FIA has strangled innovation in F1.

        • The announcers made it clear that teams were using a third less energy than last year, similar to F1. If they were lying, so be it.

        • @ Cav

          re FIA has strangled innovation in F1.

          It’s the FIA in conjunction with the ACO who wrote the rules for WEC.

          If the rules are wrong in F1 – do you think that maybe the teams and FOM via the TWG ( or whatever it’s called now ) have to share a lot if not all the responsibility ?

          The teams in WEC + ACO + FIA = WIN

          The teams in F1 + FOM + FIA = FAIL ……


      • “The problem with F1 is lack of social media engagement (go look on YouTube for the Audi/Toyota crash at LeMans Saturday for example)”

        The real problem is most people don’t understand how broadcast / content rights work.

        • No, the real problem is some rights holders fail to understand the difference between free advertising and theft and prefer to keep up their pathetic rent seeking activities. But that’s OK, folks will simply find something else to watch.

        • @lentoasinorosso f1

          “The real problem is most people don’t understand how broadcast / content rights work.”

          Do you mean that the rights holder had no forward vision, and was only interested in a short/medium term gain?

      • @ Matt

        re – faster lap times

        you forgot to mention that the cars are narrower this year – in theory less downforce

        and the tyres are narrower this year too ….

        but they still went quicker


        • Knew I could count on you manky 😉 BTW if you’re looking for an American driver for Haas, Jordan Taylor might not be a bad choice.

          • @ Matt

            Taylor was very impressive at Le Mans – he’d be a good choice

            however ….

            less impressive was his mullet !

            bad choice 😀

          • @manky LOL and yes at least with that hair you know he won’t be getting “distracted” by outside activities

    • Vettel has mainly complained about the dyson sound of the engines and that the cars look shit, not F1 in general. That’s not the same as Ferrari questioning F1 in general because they’re not winning.

    • Aero is still a problem in F1 for me. With fancy diffusers removed the cars still can’t follow a car in front that closey, some of which is because they removed the blown floors which aided low speed traction. They’ve got to get far more aggressive with the aero rules if they want people to be able to race closely again for me.

      I really want to see F1 do away with DRS, but if you did so then the races would be pretty dreadful with the current formula which without aero would be solely dominated by engine power. I’m not sure their is a silver bullet for this one. Maybe standardise front and rear wings? But then we’re on course for a stock car formula, which isn’t F1.

      RE: Vettel, his complaints were certainly more about the noise and the cars potentially having lap times that were near GP2. I think he was spot on about the noise, which still sounds a shadow of what it used to be – anyone who heard a 22,000rpm V10 less than 10 years ago will surely testify to that! Genuinely this season in one of the FP sessions I thought a neighbour had a strimmer/flymow in their garden, then I realised it was on TV. That’s not a joke in anyway (or because my TV is rubbish – I’m a bit of a home cinema geek too for good measure)! I think Vettel, because he appreciates the sports history and likes the idea of loud, obscenely powerful cars in F1, was pretty disappointed by the sound. I certainly was. It did appear like sour grapes though, it’s hard to know if it was indeed sour grapes, or he just hated the sound – or a bit of both? Either way I’m glad someone on the grid said it, because that’s what lots of fans thought – ditto for double points. I’d suggest that Vettel is actually an F1 fan, whilst plenty of the people he races are far from that, it’d certainly explain his quotes and historic knowledge vs many of his rivals.

  5. But what about that 24 hours of le mans race. Yet again excitement with all factors that racing can have, wheater, reliability, crashes, speed, overtaking, plot twists… It seems to be it gets better every year. Everything on eurosport (no pay per view), everything on live streams on the internet(and i mean everything. Free practice, quali, race), everything updated un facebook and twitter. F1 could learn a lot from this.. why is it possible with the greatest race in the world but not with the greatest sport in the world?

    • Well there are myriad of factors, but Bernie is probably the biggest stumbling block to moving F1 into the modern world when it comes to social media and other internet based services. In the long term I do think we’ll see more live events and sports broadcast over the internet with greater fan interaction. F1 risks being left behind, I’m keeping an eye on the WWE Network to see if that business model actually works, early days so far. Vince McMahon might be in his 70’s but he’s not lost his love of taking gambles with his wrestling business. Unlike Bernie who appears to have become stagnant and welded to his decades old F1 business model.

    • @bruznic

      Wow that was a good 24hrs. Like you said, legal streams and info available from so many sources. Manufacturers had their their own live streams, the Porsche GPS tracker was most impressive (when it worked!). I felt like I was in a parallel universe compared to F1.

  6. RE A1 Ring – what bothers me the most about the newest tracks is how slow the corners are. F1 definitely needs to get back to its roots in the circuit design department, while maintaining the safety aspects learned thus far. I will be going to Austin this year, and I was faced with trying to find a seat where you could see the cars at high speed and at the limit. But the entire circuit is basically comprised of very slow turns connected by two straights. there are only two corners where the cars are going fast during a turn but the stands there are too far from the racetrack and pointing in a weird direction. the other corners are boring 50mph sections. who wants to see a F1 car negotiating a 50mph turn sitting 100meters away?

    • That’s Herman Tilke with is usual uneventful designs, but yet they keep going back to him to design or refurbish tracks. Look what he did to the end of the lap at Jerez? That was just a joke. There was nothing detrimental to the original layout, Motogp still use the original layout to the that sequence of corners and it has provided some exciting last corner action (Rossi vs Lorenzo). It’s time to give someone else a shot.

      • …(can’t believe I’m going to do this)…but let me defend Tilke for a moment (if that’s possible). A lot of the old historic tracks were designed at a time when cars were slower and were not dependent upon aero as much as today. So an argument could be made that you need long straights to help overtaking. Tilke’s not perfect and would prefer someone else to have a go, but at least the guy has tried to understand the demands of modern F1 cars.

        • I think you’re right on this one. You can’t run current F1 cars on some of the older circuits, there would be some pretty horrific, if not fatal, accidents. No one wants another 1994.

          I look at the circuits that produce good races, the likes of Canada, Spa and Sau Paolo. What they all seem to have in common is a good mixture of sections. That leads to a compromised setup, which means some will excel in the slower stuff, others in the straights. If you compare with the likes of Hungary or Silverstone you just whack a load of wing on because it’s all about corner speed. Everyone has the same sort of setup.

          That’s my theory anyhow. I’m looking forward to seeing the A1 ring again though, it’s a beautiful location for a track.

        • Whilst that maybe true, I think one thing most will agree with, is that most of his designs are a little too conservative.

          • Generally I agree re: Tilke. My most disliked tracks are the newer ones but I also do like Sepang, Istanbul and CotA. They each have a ‘feel’ and a some uniqueness about them. They allow modern F1 cars to really stretch there capacities in all areas.

            I dislike however the tracks like Yeongham, India and Yas Marina as they seem a mish mash and no rythumn to them. No, personality.

            I am 50/50 on China. It’s a bit odd.

        • yes, long straights ok. but we need more fast corners, and maintain the use of current technology to prevent injury to drivers. I think we are well past the solid concrete wall at Tamburello, or the non-existent barriers along the Hockenheim forest section. I’m just tired of seeing the increasing trend of F1 cars negotiating 50mph turns. Yes there are a few nice corners in modern circuits: Turns 5-6 Malaysia, Turns 11-12 Bahrain, Turns 7-8 China (thats it really, wow). The vast majority of the other corners in the new circuits are very slow boring bits with grandstands hundreds of meters away so the atmosphere is basically eliminated.

      • You’re referring to Catalunya Fortis.

        (Ducks head)

        Please don’t yell at me. 🙂

          • Yeah. Was a great race. I was… “Goooooo Vale!!!!”

            He gave Marquez probably the toughest time this year so far. Out Braking him, sending him off track, and a few other moments.

            But Marquez, well he’s just quick and the bike is still fresh in that last 5 laps each race. Good tyre management maybe?

            Lorenzo, he’s just no where this year. Vale has out psyched him I think.

          • I think Vale will be the man to snap Marquez’s win streak. As for Lorenzo, I think he’s looking to leave Yamaha especially now that Vale seems to be focused and back on his game.

          • Gentlemen, I’m not that familiar with motoGP, so Marquez has won every single race this year. Is the Honda bike that’s that much superior or is that kid a bit special? Is it more like the combo as we had Vettel/RBR or are we talking about a Senna-like genius (sorry don’t know the equivalent in bikes…Agostini? Doohan? Rossi maybe)?

          • @Mclaren78

            It’s a combination of bike and rider..

            He has a bit of the senna fearlessness about him, insanely quick, calm and calculated like a Prost, but ruthless when he needs to be.

            So as not to go on any further, the kid is just special. They use to say that it would be a long time before they’d see anyone in the sport like a Rossi, they’re seeing that now and Rossi is still in the sport.

          • @ Fortis

            that Honda is way better than the Yamaha ( has been since about 2010 ) – and even more so with the new 2014 tyres.

            they mentioned on the BT Sport broadcast that the gearbox alone for the Honda is about a million quid – FFS !

            That’s probably more than a whole M1

            Honda is simply outspending Yamaha

            It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the new rules in 2016.

          • @manky

            You’re correct it’s head and shoulders ahead of the Yamaha’s and it’s even more evident in Marquez’s hands compared to Dani

            As for the gear box, it’s something they’ve been working on for years now and it’s something that is heavily guarded. Even though they supply factory bikes to Bradl and Bautista, it’s only mechanics from Honda that are allowed to work on it. The team mechanics aren’t even allowed to see when it’s being removed from the bike.

            But it think in 2016, they’ll still be ahead of everyone. I doubt they’re going to let themselves get caught out like how they did with with the customer bikes they supply to Redding and Hayden and what happened with their Moto3 engines.

          • Like the age old F1 question of comparing different eras, could you imagine a Rossi in his prime against Marquez now. Cripes the guy’s 35 years old now, they’re usually found in World Superbikes by now.

          • @ Fortis

            totally agree

            re Honda Moto 3 engines

            they spent money over the winter and this years engine looks the class of the field – KTM playing catch up now …. but do they have the resources ?

          • @manky

            I wouldn’t really say the honda moto3 engine is the class of the field. Sunday was the first race that they won in almost a year.

            In terms of resources they do have a heck of lot more than KTM for sure, but still think the KTM is class of the field, but I expect the Honda’s will be the engine next season and beyond.

          • “Is it more like the combo as we had Vettel/RBR or are we talking about a Senna-like genius ” – McLaren78

            @McLaren78, very good question. It’s hard to answer that really. Any answer, especially now, is going to be totally subjective, but his results in Moto2, and his Rookie year win in MotoGP, and the 7 straight wins this year indicate he’s a superstar and super talent. His future potential, at this rate, is unspeakable.

            As for being Senna-like, well I don’t think Senna was even ‘Senna-like’ in his first two years in Formula One. Schumacher was not, ‘Schumacher-like’ either in his first two years either. You know what I mean? So it’s hard to say. I have no doubt the Honda is a little better, overall, than the Yamaha this year. But not significantly so imho, not so much so that Marquez wouldn’t be winning on a Yamaha, of that I am 100% sure.

            Would he win 7 straight on the Yammy? Hmmmm, don’t know. Maybe not. But maybe yes. But it’s not like the RBR of the last few years. It’s more like the overall net benefit McLaren over Ferrari in 2000. Yes the Macca was overall better car, on most tracks, and Schumacher may have won in 2000 by more if in the macca, but the Ferrari was right there. And it wasn’t night and day. It was enough that a good driver would still win, and Schumacher indeed did win.

            So it’s nip and tuck I think, the Yamaha is slightly better in some areas, the Honda in others, but overall on net, yes the Honda is a bit quicker for the whole race. Marquez seems to have the ability to battle it out better in the final 5 laps better. He is not leading every race alone, unchallenged. He is not crossing the line 10 seconds ahead each race. He cant make any major mistakes, and in some cases, any small ones either. It still requires near perfection from him.

            So that being said, he’s delivering that level at this early stage of his career, like no one before him. Is he Senna like? Maybe he will be. He is better than Senna was at this early stage of his career, but then he’s on the Honda too. It’s hard to say. Though no one begrudges Senna for the McLaren 88,89,90,91. The outright best cars at the time.

            What’s clear is he’s destroying Pedrosa. Pedrosa isn’t the out and out best, never has been, BUT he is one of the aliens. He’s still insanely quick and very consistent. He’s qualifying is always excellent too, historically. he was part of the original four of Stoner, Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa that used to get their bikes (Ducati, Yamaha, Honda) to do things others couldn’t. So he’s a great measure.

            My answer is this…. It’s not quite a Vettel/RBR situation. Senna-like is too early to call. But he definitely COULD become Senna-like or better. Just saying that, in itself, is massive at this stage. He still though has to go out and do it now. So we’ll see. It wont be for lack of talent, that’s for sure.

          • @ Still

            I have to disagree with you about the bikes – the Honda is much better and has been for years.

            The Yamaha isn’t better anywhere – Honda have simply out developed them.

            Yamaha used to have a handling advantage – Honda a power advantage – that’s gone. Honda are far superior everywhere.

            IMHO – Jorge on the same bike as Marc – I bet they would be swapping victories. Totally different riding styles.

            And Vale ?

            On the same bike as Marc – again – I think they’d also be swapping victories.

            And now Casey ?

            I personally never rated him when he came into Moto GP. Even his first championship with Ducatti didn’t impress – coz they had a rocket ship of a bike and the best tyres.

            Strangely it was when he went to Honda that I really rated him. Yes he had the best bike – but it was how he rode it that impressed me.

            So – Casey vs Marc – same comments apply.

            To me – the problem is ( again ) Honda are simply the best – and if you’re not on one – you’re not going to win.

            Jorge & Vale can’t emulate Waine …….. it’s a different era where technology is king !

          • I’m a bit light on MotoGP knowledge.. used to catch it on the TV over the years (used to always be a guarantee of close fought racing, along with Superbikes.. a bit less so now), but this year it’s on the BT Sport App.

            But is part of Marquez’s advantage down to a lower weight on the bike? A bit like Kvyat to Vergne before Canada. I.e. bikes aren’t equalised for weight including rider across all bikes (like the old Indycar with Danica). If so, then there may still be slight handling benefits for less weight up top (Vettel 1 tenth per lap gain vs. Webber, critical for 2010 poles).

            But that said, he’s a very impressive rider and I’m not belitting his achievements in any way. I find his bike control to be top notch, it makes me think of watching Haga slide the rear in on corner entry…

    • I think, taken out of context, yes… However, if you’ve been reading his thoughts since immediately after the accident it’s less offensive… He’s clearly frustrated with the “reporting” which is rarely more than idle speculation.

  7. Re Danica patrick to Haas F1. Total bullshit. Watch the interview. He’s asked a leading question about her. End of story.

  8. I think Gary H is way out of order here. Is he so media hungry that he needs to speculate about a case he knows nothing about. He can’t really know what he is saying. His undermines his profession.


    • I don’t agree with you on this. I think he is offering a serious medical opinion based on the very few facts that have been shared plus a great deal of medical history and statistical analysis (presumably not performed by him personally).

      We see experts offering opinions about situations all the time on the news – political, military, scientific, historical, etc. etc. Almost any in-depth news article employs that technique and I’m not sure that this is any different.

      Indeed, the news item on TJ13 today quotes numerous medical professionals. I think that Hartstein is just doing the same. And, as the former F1 medical head, it’s obviously a topic close to his heart which I’d expect him to write on (given that he writes at all).

      I understand that some may not like the opinion he is offering, but I think it is perfectly reasonable for him to offer it.

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