Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 24th June 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

Castrol #F1 GP Predictor Summary – Spielberg 2014

#F1 Features: Renault’s Predicament – Works or ‘just’ Supplier


OTD Lite: Mexico 1990 – The Best Overtaking Manoeuvre Ever?

Rosberg withholding setup information from Hamilton

Villeneuve attacks Raikkonen, Red Bull, Ferrari….

Williams settled for Mercedes defeat – Smedley (GMM)

Prodomou early release

What a difference a resignation makes

Where next for Renault?

Jenson on the cusp

It’s NOT the silly season!!!!!


OTD Lite: Mexico 1990 – The Best Overtaking Manoeuvre Ever?

On this day twenty four years ago, the global audience held their breath as Nigel Mansell in his scarlet red Ferrari swept round the outside of Gerhard Berger’s Mclaren into the notorious Peraltada corner.

Berger had attacked Mansell’s Ferrari into the first corner with just three laps to go. His late braking move forcing Mansell wide and Berger pulled away, but any observers could tell just from the physical movement of the red machine that Berger was being lined up for a sacrifice.

With Mansell putting the Austrian under huge pressure, he began jinking left and right behind the Mclaren as they approached the final corner his surprising drive around the outside elevated immediately to legendary status. And for once Murray Walker was rendered speechless – “and…and…and”

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Rosberg withholding setup information from Hamilton

In 1995 Johnny Herbert was the Benetton team-mate of reigning World Champion Michael Schumacher. At times early in the season he ran the German champion close on times throughout Grand Prix weekends and Schumacher, with the assistance of Briatore, banned Herbert having access to any of his telemetry and set-up information.

Before that, in 1987, Nelson Piquet withheld technical secrets he had found during practice and qualifying to scupper his team-mate – Nigel Mansell. Such had been Mansell’s superiority over the Brazilian in 1986, that Piquet used every trick in the book to counter Mansell’s natural ability. Initially he called his wife ugly in a Brazilian edition of Playboy; it was in the same interview that he dubbed Senna the ‘Sao Paulo taxi driver’ and referred to Senna as gay. Piquet’s actions proved his inherent lack of class.

In 1988 and 1989, F1 witnessed what is generally accepted as the most acrimonious team-mate battle in history. But despite their hatred of one another, Senna and Prost continued sharing information as they understood that only this would continue to develop the car beyond the reach of the opposition.

In recent races, we have witnessed the competition getting closer to the dominant Mercedes. Merc have been running into problems which have forced them to concede a little speed in the interests of reliability. Yet it was only a handful of races ago that most seasoned observers didn’t believe they could be caught this year. With a little more belief, Williams could well have taken the race to Mercedes.

It would of course be easy to suggest that the Red Bull Ring favoured the Mercedes powered cars, long straights, huge stops and acceleration from low speed corners abound but the third round of the championship was at the similarly demanding Bahrain circuit where the Mercedes finished almost half a minute ahead of the competition after being released from a safety car period.

Reports on the German site AutoBild are suggesting that Nico Rosberg has been withholding some of his set-up information from Lewis Hamilton and will sandbag until the last minutes of qualifying before unleashing his true speed and potential.

For some time, observers have been questioning if Rosberg has the inner steel to be a champion or is he just ‘too nice’ to counter Hamilton’s ‘streetwise’ attitude. For all of Rosberg’s cerebral approach, Hamilton has his natural ability to counter it and if you listen to Lewis, he doesn’t need the two hour debriefs that Nico does as he extracts the pertinent information and then buggers off.

Toto Wolff is not happy over the less than transparent attitude that is developing between the drivers: “We need the knowledge of the entire group to learn and only when we do it openly. It’s about exchanging ideas on what makes the car faster and how we can further develop it. It cannot be just in the last moments of qualifying that the speed is released in the car. It also goes beyond just the driver rivalry, it also applies to the teams within the garage.”

It’s evident that since Monaco, Rosberg has been keeping certain aspects of his car setup to himself until the last moments of qualifying by which time Hamilton cannot respond. But the German makes no apology: “we share all data, but of course I try to keep a few secrets for me. It is quite normal” Yet when at McLaren, Hamilton may have done something similar as he once quipped he have “a few surprises” for Jenson when qualifying came around.

Lewis spoke earlier in the season about having to learn a number of secrets, last year, about the Silver Arrow which Rosberg knew instinctively from having been with the team for some years. It would appear that there are still some secrets that he has not been privy to if Rosberg’s recent form is indeed because of intra-team subterfuge.

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Villeneuve attacks Raikkonen, Red Bull, Ferrari….

His Formula One debut in Melbourne Australia was preceded by one of the heaviest testing schedules that any rookie has ever had. A podium place was won but with the car at his disposal – it could easily have been a race win to equal the long held record of Baghetti.

He would go on to win four races that season and fight for the championship, only to come back stronger and win the title the following year. And then the start that shone so brightly, seemed to dim slightly and began it’s journey to fading away.

A few years later, Jenson Button joined his team and challenged the belief that he belonged to the highest order – which would be a problem as Button had never truly demonstrated that his talent belonged in the elite either.

No, this isn’t about Lewis Hamilton but rather another divisive figure from Formula One – Jacques Villeneuve – the 1997 F1 WDC.

The opinionated Sky presenter was asked about his thoughts on the current F1 season and was quite ‘controversial’ in his views – although it remains to be seen if he is just living up to the caricature the press invented of him…

Do you share the opinion of others about these new power units? “These aren’t F1 engines. Ok, they don’t alter the show because it’s great when Hamilton and Rosberg battle it out but these should be extreme, the first turbos had 1,200bhp plus and the drivers had to fight the cars but now there are road cars with more power than Formula One and that is clearly wrong.”

Tyres?Teams have learnt from last year and the Austrian track doesn’t really punish the tyres. If tyres suffer graining there are two options to take, be very gentle with your inputs so as not to spin the tyres or be ultra aggressive which leads to tyre consumption. The problem is that most graining affects the rear tyres which is more difficult to eliminate. Some of the drivers complain about it others do not…”

Raikkonen looks to be one of those suffering? “For him, the gas is either fully open or nothing. He is having a series of spins as though he is in Formula 3. If he can’t drive in F1 anymore, he should go home. He is a very experienced driver so he shouldn’t be making excuses at every grand prix like a rookie does. He should take two or three races to change how he’s driving, and if he can’t, that’s a problem. You can’t go on like this when you’re a world champion. You have no right to make excuses.”

Villeneuve also thinks Red Bull is beginning to turn its back on Sebastian Vettel. “He is a four-time world champion, but now Red Bull is treating him like they treated Mark Webber. They seem to have decided to focus on Daniel Ricciardo. Now they want to ‘kill’ Sebastian because he’s not right for the Red Bull image and why should the glory belong to Vettel and not the team, thats why in my opinion they are not treating him fairly. Of course — you can’t have another season like this. Even Helmut Marko has started to criticise him. When you lose the faith of the team and the politics starts to weigh heavily, you’re finished. He should consider a change of team.”

But there’s no opportunities at Mercedes and Ferrari, and Mclaren isn’t a tempting proposition either? “Who said there is no place at Ferrari? Who imagined Raikkonen returning to Formula One or that he would re-sign for Ferrari? No-one, yet there he is at Maranello. In 2012 Alonso carried the team and was enjoying the challenge but last year he became tired of working for no success and its obvious he’s no longer enjoying his driving. He is waiting on the team to improve he cannot do it alone. Austria was interesting as you are starting to see James Allison’s direction taking effect, it wasn’t a track that would suit Ferrari yet the result wasn’t too bad and this may re-motivate Fernando.”

Jacques Villeneuve – the Snoop Dog – of Formula One. Once a serious player now a sold-out has been?.

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Williams settled for Mercedes defeat – Smedley (GMM)

Williams settled for defeat to Mercedes in Austria, despite dominating qualifying at the Red Bull Ring. Chief engineer Rob Smedley told Spain’s EFE news agency that the Grove team was “not without problems” as it returned to the podium with Valtteri Bottas’ third place behind the two Mercedes. Some analysts criticised Williams for not pursuing an aggressive enough strategy for victory in Austria, but Smedley says that was a deliberate approach.

“We had to manage the car’s systems, including brakes, tyres and other things. We had to be sure of finishing in third and fourth places, so we decided not to do anything risky to compete with Mercedes that could have meant we finished fifth, sixth or even lower,” Smedley explained.

Indeed, Williams’ big haul of points in Austria meant the Oxfordshire based team leapfrogged its grandee rival McLaren for fifth place in the constructors’ standings. Smedley insisted: “If we had reacted to (Mercedes’) first stop, our cars would not have finished the race. Mercedes had their problems,” he added, “but I don’t think they were going at full speed.”

Finn Bottas says he is not disappointed with his first F1 podium, insisting Williams can now build on the momentum. “I don’t think this is a fluke result,” he told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3. “The team has done a great job in bringing performance improvements to the car continuously. This is just the beginning,” Bottas promised.

TJ13 comment: It is known that Williams have a deficit in downforce this year and as a result have a car that has the efficiency of a bullet. The fact that the dominant Mercedes was overtaken by Bottas out of the first corner demonstrated this clearly. Following two circuits were downforce is not a pre-requisite to performance, Silverstone will give a better indication of the Grove teams developments.

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Prodomou early release

Only time will tell whether the wheels will fall off the Red Bull Racing F1 challenge with the retirement of Adrian Newey. The 2015 car will remain under his auspices though beyond that who knows how much input he will actually provide.

TJ13 commented last Autumn the announcement of Newey’s right hand man returning to McLaren was a clear indication Newey’s time of departure was nigh, and following protracted efforts by RBR to retain Peter Prodromou, he has finally been released to begin work with his old employer.

Peter will begin officially working for McLaren in September, though it would be inconceivable had he not already had a few “chats” about ideas and concepts for the 2015 McLaren challenger.

Dennis comments, “We’ve got Peter Prodromou joining us in September so that will be a big step, it will bolster our revitalised aero team, so I’m not concerned about aero performance next year, it will come right.

“We’ve got a steep curve with Honda, but at the end of the day we were with them for five years [between 1988 and 1992] and won 50% of the races. So I’m not worried about getting there with Honda, it’s just going to be a bit challenging at the beginning. This is motor racing, it goes up and down, you’ve just got to keep your head down and keep working.”

However, Dennis said McLaren are not giving up on 2014..

“We never write anything off. We’re going to fight until the last grand prix, that’s in the nature of the team. It’s certainly not a write off. I’m very much aware of what’s coming down the road and we’ve just got to get developments on the car.

“The regulations are relatively stable for the next couple of years and you have to have constant performance. There is no opportunity to stop and take breaths, you’ve got to be developing and try and come to terms.”

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What a difference a resignation makes

Christian Horner appears to be speaking sense today.

Following an FIA directive from 2013 to examine the matter of costs in F1 and deliver meaningful proposals for cost cutting, the teams have achieved the sum total of zero on the topic after numerous meetings and discussions.

In a frank manner, Horner tells Autosport the only way to deliver meaningful solutions in this area is for the FIA to stand up and be counted and the teams to be excluded from the process.

The first step on this road Horner advocates is excluding the teams from their current position of influence over the regulations. “The FIA should write those, together with [commercial rights holder] Formula One Management,“ says Christian. “Then the teams have the choice, when they enter the world championship, whether they enter or not.”

The matter then becomes simple Horner advocates, “They sign up to those rules.”

This is the only sensible solution because, “you’ve got too many vested [interests] in there. You’ve got Ferrari, you’ve got their historical position, McLaren, and you’ve got a different position for Red Bull or Mercedes.

So you’re never going to get everybody in line.”

Cynics may suggest Horner has changed his tune now that Adrian Newey will no longer be designing Red Bull racing cars. Less complex design regulations allowing allow a smaller latitude for competitive advantage will not then hurt the Red Bull design team – minus Newey – as much going forward.

Either that, or this sudden burst of impressive reasonableness from Horner could be his first hustings effort as he looks to replace the embattled Bernie Ecclestone.

For the record, TJ13 reported some weeks ago that the FIA despite the teams input would be driving cost control through the 2015 regulations to be revealed following the FIA World Motorsport Council’s meeting this month.

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Where next for Renault?

Alain Prost wants to see Renault return to both building engines and chassis and entering a full F1 works team into the Formula 1 championship. He argues, Renault ducked this decision based on the loss of revenue they would receive from 1 customer team – some 20m Euro’s a year.

Renault are the third most successful engine designer in the history of F1, behind Ferrari and Ford who of course dominated F1 for nearly 2 decades with the famous cost effective DFV motor plant. They have 166 wins to Mercedes 105 and Honda’s 69 – whilst Ferrari top the pile with 222 and Ford are ten ahead with 179.

Yet all is not well for Renault. Whilst the strict regulations on F1 engine design will allow some manoeuvre for 2015, concerns are growing this hybrid powerplant will never match the potential of the Ferrari and Mercedes offerings.

Renault consistently complained over the lack of commercial recognition they received for the V8 engine which partnered Red Bull Racing to 4 consecutive world titles so now the weekly bad press must be hurting the French company even further.

Today, German F1 correspondent, Michael Schmidt, claims he has information suggesting that that the Renault F1 engine facility at Viry-Chattilon is for sale.

The cost to Renault – after contributions from customers – is 50m Euro’s a year, which is being questioned by the Renault powers that be. Renault is not a global brand unlike Infiniti and therefore the value they get from F1 exposure is less.

Niki Lauda has allegedly weighed in his two penneth, suggesting a buyer for such an organisation based in France may be tough due to working regulations. “In France, they work 37 hours a week,” he said. “In England it is 43.”

TJ13 sources earlier this year suggested in fact the disparity between UK based workers sent to assist Renault at Viry-Chattilon was even greater than this – more like 50 hours to 35 hours.

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Jenson on the cusp

There’s a number of stories doing the rounds this week suggesting Jenson may be out of his McLaren car in 2015, mostly due to the poignancy of Silverstone being up next – and hence it could be Button’s last British GP.

The Daily Mail reports that Jenson is “a tenth or two” shy of McLaren’s hit list of 2015 drivers. Though what the hell that means is anyone’s guess seeing as you can’t compare Button’s time to anyone other than Magnussen.

Eric Boullier however recently hinted a new deal may be on the cards for the elder statesman of the F1 grid – then again, information from Eric must be taken with a pinch of salt as he is frequently sent as a lamb to the slaughter to spout the party line – regardless of the truth.

When questioned over 2015, Ron Dennis commented in Austria that “We are not looking to finalise our driver line-up now,” which in fact could mean anything in Big Ron speak. “Now” could mean – that minute, today or even something else, such is the pedantic nature of the McLaren supremo.

On the surface Jenson appears fairly phlegmatic about it all. When questioned as to why McLaren hadn’t already secured his services, he drawled, “I don’t know why they wouldn’t. It is just the way it is for a big team — we will leave it to the last moment to make a decision or to talk about contracts”.

At times its best to let sleeping dogs lie, which is possibly why Button reveals, “It is not something I have pushed. I am sure if pushed to sit down and talk about it, we would, but I am not pushing because when it happens it happens.”

Yesterday we compared the form of the “Ice” and “Fire” pairing at Ferrari, so let’s look at the numbers for the McLaren duo.

Jenson has finished ahead of his rookie pal at the chequered flag by a count of 5 to 2, as Magnussen had a DNF in Bahrain. The Brit has also been ahead of his team mate for 293 laps whilst young gun Kev has so far managed just 195 laps as the lead McLaren in a race.

Qualifying is a dead heat. 4 each. Yet a closer examination of these numbers reveals that by averaging each driver’s qualifying laps for the 8 races to date, Jenson is a whopping 0.309s behind Kevin Magnussen.

Maybe it is this statistic that ‘the source’ is referring to when suggesting Jenson is “a tenth or two” shy.

More like a tenth or three and a bit.

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It’s NOT the silly season!!!!!

SKY say today, “Formula 1’s ‘silly season’ has officially commenced amid fresh reports that McLaren have made a ‘tentative’ approach to Lewis Hamilton about a return to the team where his F1 career began”.

NO IT IS NOT THE SILLY SEASON SKY!!!

The silly season was a term coined in an 1861 Saturday Review article, and came to represent an actual period on the calendar when UK politics was in summer recess. At that time, there was of course no daily parliament business to report, so newspapers with little to write about published frivolous stories of dubious origins.

Can this notion be applied to sport? Fine by me.

However, the principle is the same – so in F1 the silly season would be when F1 is in recess, during August or over the winter break between seasons.

Just because something is written and appears a bit fishy, doesn’t mean anyone can self proclaimed the advent of the silly season.

Further, If the story is a ridiculous piece of fiction, it begs the question why Sky feel the need to report it whilst suggesting it was a load of tosh in the opening paragraph. SKY would definitely benefit from someone with an ounce or two of journalistic experience joining their F1 offering – and a few less rambling ex-F1 drivers (Johnnie!!!).

Anyway, rant over….

The Telegraph report today that, ‘‘The team [McLaren] have opened very tentative dialogue with Lewis Hamilton, in case the psychological scars of this year’s title fight at Mercedes become too great.”

Similarly. the Mail writes, “There has been contact between McLaren and Lewis Hamilton about a possible return to the team that nurtured his genius”.

Excluding the possibility of plagiarism, the timing of these two publications revelations is interesting.

There is little evidence that Big Ron and Lewis had a shindig in Austria to revel in the good time(s). So how has this story come about?

The same way TJ13 at times gets a story. Someone with enough credibility has approached both publications and revealed enough to convince them this tale is worth publishing.

Who could that be?

At other times with a close driver title battle occurring between two different teams, it would be easy to believe one team is attempting to destabilise the competition. Clearly this is not the case here.

So excluding the possibility this is a genuine attempt by McLaren to recruit Lewis, why the revelation?

Here are some options.

Lewis is not happy with the way Mercedes are treating him, so his PR people are threatening Mercedes to sort themselves out and show Lewis some more love or he’s offski.

The once baby faced blue eyed boy of F1, Nico Rosberg, has indeed become the devil incarnate and is attempting to destabilise Lewis’ relationship with the team, by inferring he is a short term only member – and he Nico, is the future.

Then again – it could all be about a picture….

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Sky F1 rather naughtily posted this picture along with their piece – the inference being it was taken in Austria.

It was not…

In fact it wasn’t even taken this year… SKY have nicked this from someone else and cropped it.

So TJ13 sleuths, over to you….. when and where did this picture originate?

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79 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 24th June 2014

  1. Shouldn’t…
    “Toto Wolff is reportedly critical [..]”

    …be rephrased as:
    “Toto Wolff is reportedly declaring his impotence and ineptitude [..]”

    I’m glad Brawn is no longer there; it should make the season so much more interesting..

    • to this day i don’t understand why they let brawn go. if you want two strong drivers in your team and let them race against each other, you need a strong, experienced and respected team principal. i don’t understand what lauda’s job is, apart from convincing lewis to switch teams and i don’t understand for what purpose they hired paddy lowe, or brought in toto wolff. to be honest, i didn’t understand why they fired norbert haug either, but he is probably more expandable than ross brawn. neither toto wolff at williams, nor niki lauda at ferrari and jaguar have a particular great track record in team management. i don’t think it will endanger the 2014 wdc or wcc, but for the next couple of seasons, i’m not so sure.

      • You have it the other way round. It was Hamilton sandbagging in the first run of Q3. As he had the fastest sectors 1 & 2 then bottled it. He ultimately got into trouble in the final & even faster run.

      • Re Haug: After 3-4 years in the doldrums, Mercedes had to have some heads rolling, and it sure wasn’t going to be Brawn. The perfect scapegoat.

        Re Brawn: If my memory serves me, Wolff bought into the equity of Mercedes giving him enough free room to walk in on the prime stage. As TJ13 reported, Wolff brought Paddy Lowe with him. At which point Brawn said: either I’m the only boss around this team, or I’m out. So off he went. I suspect that Wolff’s and Lowe’s arrivals became at one point irreversible, so Brawn’s departure couldn’t be averted no matter how much the Mercedes board would have wanted.

        (And do not forget, among Ado Costa, Bob Bell, Ross Brawn, and who else, there wasn’t a lack of technical directors in the team when Lowe was brought in; initially I thought that we would simply line up in that list, but subsequent events were different.)

        Re Lauda: Not sure about his job description, either. Perhaps the team whip?

  2. Hahaha Piquet cracks me up still to this day.

    Lack of class?Bullshit!!

    He is the funniest guy to ever grace the paddock.Calling Senna a gay taxi driver was priceless.

    • He may have been a great driver but he was always an arrogant, self opinionated jackass.

      He’s lucky Mansell didn’t kick his ass. Red 5 was pretty well accomplished in the ‘arts’.

      • I wouldn’t call him a great driver tbh. Three time WDC but he did insist on number 1 support which Bernie gave him in 1981 and 1983. Alan Jones used to scare the s*** out of him, that was funny!

        • Ah Jonesey……great memories of him. A mans man, and zero bullshite merchant.

          To this day, I think he was the only driver Patrick Head ever truly respected.

          And your point about Nelson is very well made Carlo. The 3 time champion swayed me a bit.

          As will Sebs 4 time champion sway future generations 😉

          Hope you’re well, my friend 🙂

          • Fine and dandy my friend – all the better for the community here. Even the ones who disagree with the right opinion – ie mine!! lol

          • I’ll second that Carlo. You’re one of the few that make sense 😉

    • You have a strange definition of ‘funny’. The guy still holds the record for the most rotten personality ever. It tells a lot about a person, if he has to revert to childish name calling and embarassing mind games to hide his own ineptitude. The words ‘great’ and ‘Piquet’ do not belong in the same sentence.

        • Erm, if the only way for you to deal with your team mate is to insult his wife, I’d say your upbringing was lacking in more than one respect. That’s the conduct of a school yard bully.

          • Stretching interpretation, Mr. Hippo. I don’t yet have a fixed opinion on Senna, but from the little I know what you bring up is more a sign of Senna’s flaring tempers rather than some fundamental upbringing flaw. (The flaw may be there, but perhaps in a different way than how you’re pitching it.) I feel the guy had moments when he was losing it because he was so passionate about what he did (not that this is a valid excuse).

          • I think landroni that you read Senna when Hippo was referring to Piquet calling his team-mates wife ugly?
            Senna had a privileged upbringing but never resorted to insults against his rivals.

          • Are you really serious? Do you like senna that much so as to think he never “resorted to insults against his rivals”?

          • my original nick was herowassenna which kind of states my intention immediately but I am also of the rare breed that am the first to question certain ethical or moralistic flaws in the man too. It may be worth reading back over some of my OTD’s especially the 11th April, 1993 European GP which everybody to a man lauds as his greatest victory or first lap. I myself don’t, and I explained my reasoning there.

            As to his driving Prost off the road in 1990, I understand why the emotions were present but to this day it is the most disgusting piece of driving I have ever witnessed.

            @manky, calling Prost a coward because of Prost’s actions in contract negotiations is somewhat different to insulting people’s families to get a rise out of them. Even Mansell sat beside him nodded in agreement and these two were warriors.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZlOIIIA3co

            Another sporting great, Muhammad Ali, insulted his rivals face to face, calling one Uncle Tom which to an African American is just about the worst thing you can say, it is all part of the game but what Piquet done was frankly vile. It’s one thing insulting Mansell face to face but the family should be off limits.

            I should add, that my respect of Piquet went up several notches when he didn’t attend Senna’s funeral, because “I didn’t like him in life I would be hypocritical to turn up now”

          • Carlo, Senna all but said he fucked Piquet’s wife. Among other things. Even if in response to something previously said, and true or not, Senna had the ability, and demonstrated the ability against a few drivers, to be as vile as the vilest. I don’t want to challenge the paradigm of Senna being holier than thou, but he was as dirty with his words as he was with driving. Just like Piquet. But I don’t recall Piquet missiling into anyone else so heinously at that speed. Anyway… the mans dead so I tend not to like to bash the dead, but he was vile.

      • I’ll be honest, being just 21, I know very little of Nelson Piquet Sr (apart from that Mansell was not a fan – putting it lightly there) but I do of course remember Piquet Jr and well, we all know what happened there. It all makes sense now – like father like son it seems …..

  3. “He may have been a great driver but he was always an arrogant, self opinionated jackass.” – Colin

    That can describe, from some peoples perspectives, at certain times the following drivers:

    Schumacher, Senna, Fangio, Graham Hill, Alonso, Prost, Jones, Mansell, Lauda, Hunt, Hawthorn, Moss, Stewert, Hamilton, Villeneuve, Keke Rosberg, Fittipaldi etc..

    Why toast Piquet Snr for that. Alonso himself said, ‘is rather more titles than respect’ So would Piquet, a triple WDC, so would all the above mentioned, so would I. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t get it IMO.

    • The only difference between let’s say Schuey, Alonso, Senna,etc and Piquet, is that they were/are great drivers. Piquet wasn’t! He was the no 4 in that era behind Senna, Prost and Mansell.

      • Oh I’ve been saying that for a while now sir… not a Lewis hater just think he needs to get down and do the work before he acts like he is something special.

        He is one of, if not the, fastest drivers over one lap but his attitude turns me off. For me he has a sense of entitlement that just rubs me the wrong way.

        Gracious in defeat appears to be a foreign concept to him. Yes I know, show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser but still, Alonso is a champ who is gracious in defeat, so is Vettel and although not a champ who can forget Massa on the podium at Brazil in 2008.

        Cracking driver and great to have him in the sport but not my cup of tea and I’d love Rosberg to win the championship.

    • Indeed.
      But you’ll note there is a difference between ‘certain times’ and ‘always’.

        • Not that I disagree with your list, however much I might admire some of the drivers on it.

          Notable name not on it – my all time favourite driver Jim Clark.

          • That was deliberate. I thought if Jim & Mika in particular to remain off the list. Also Gilles and Raikkonen.

  4. Hurray, silly season’s under way!

    http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/24181/9359559/mclaren-make-tentative-lewis-hamilton-approach-according-to-reports

    Have to say though, I’d love to see Lewis back at Macca!

    And by the way honourable Sir Judge. I know your introduction to the JV article and the parallels drawn with LH are a bit tongue in cheek, but I’m still waiting to see all these Lewis haters come true when they kept saying that he was just another JV.

    • IMO there’s one big difference between the two –

      Lewis has talent

      I never rated Jacque as a driver

    • The start of silly season is inversely proportional to the amount of actual competition on track *1/number of desperate journalists in fear of losing their job.

    • It’s inevitable that Button will be out of the sport by the end of 2016 at the latest, same for Raikkonen and possibly Massa. Button – 4:4 with Magnussen, 3 tenths down on Q, and but for Kevin tagging Kimi twice, Button would also be behind in points.

      His only hope now is that McLaren-Honda retain him as their WDC representative, and that Ron doesn’t go hell for leather on picking Vandoorne as his cheaper replacement, with Jenson left to take a manager cut instead.

      We know Stoffel will almost match Kevin, and for a lot less money than Jenson.. but this would be a very young line-up for McLaren. It would be the equivalent of Man Utd ‘playing the kids’.. which worked out well. I feel McLaren need all their cash to go into the car now to get that up to standard first.

      Kimi struggling at Ferrari will surely hasten his retirement, and Massa being beaten by Bottas at Williams for 2 years should probably bring on Nasr to follow him. Nasr will finish top 3 this year in GP2, then next year should get regular FP1s to prepare for replacing Massa.

      All this will leave Alonso as the elder statesman of the grid… no signs of slowdown from him, so I imagine he has a few years left. The question for now is who will line up alongside him.. Bianchi? Hulk? And once Alonso retires…. elder statesmen become Hamilton and Rosberg! I’m sure Sutil, Van der Garde and Maldonado will surely have retired by then.. unless the money keeps on flowing.

      • My investigative googling puts this picture of Lewis and Ron also at Monaco 2011 Saturday… where Lewis was also hindered in Q3 with Perez’s crash, demoting him from front row to mid-grid racing.

  5. “Rosberg withholding setup information from Hamilton”

    Inevitably PR stories like this get written when the driver that is assumed to be miles ahead of his team-mate in talent starts getting beaten by him. It’s usually one of the first indications that things are starting to go sideways for the “star” driver. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the English press starts accusing the team of manipulating engine performance to favour one driver over the other, as happened in 1988 when the French press ran stories that Honda had de-tuned Prost’s engine so Senna would win.

    • And like night follows day, here comes cav with his usual LH hate rhetoric!

      8 race finishes compared to 6 for your teammate, he’s definitely beating LH and boy is he beating him badly.

      I wonder how you would’ve respond had it said, “Lewis withholds setup information from Rosberg”

      This is old news, unless you missed Nico’s interview with Brundle at the Canadian gp. So who’s to say now that his Monaco “error” was not deliberate? According to Peter Windsor in his post Montreal blog, eluded to…”that many in the Mercedes hierarchy, believe that his so called “error”, was actually deliberate”

      But hey, if cheating is the only way to win, then why not…

      Now I digress and await the usual replies and fanboy name callings…

      • And like night follows day, here comes Fortis96 with his inane, irrational, ranting …….

        – YAWN –

      • “According to Peter Windsor in his post Montreal blog, eluded to…”that many in the Mercedes hierarchy, believe that his so called “error”, was actually deliberate”

        Windsor also goes on to say that none of those unnamed people in the “Mercedes hierarchy” actually have any evidence, from telemetry or checks of any of the mechanical systems or from Rosberg himself, that it was deliberate. It’s simply their belief with absolutely no supporting evidence. So unless you can provide something more than simply regurgitating Hamilton’s PR – the case is closed.

        • So despite not having any evidence to support their beliefs and even if they did, what, did you think they’re going to release it or go to the stewards? Oh please and soil the Mercedes brand that they’re so eager to protect?

          Fact still remains, his paymasters believe he cheated.

          • Been trying to stay out of this shit, but that made me laugh.

          • Thanks mate, but I’ve got a very good psychiatrist that I’m working with at the moment, but thanks anyways.

            But if I may say, if there’s one thing you are, that’s being very predictable. TJ13 resident pitbull. So I’ll tell you what, whenever I decide to post anymore “inane, irrational rants”, how about I get you to approve them first, atleast that way, I won’t have to listen to your usual ramblings.

            Now be a good little guard dog and retreat back into your kennel.

          • M-B furnished the stewards with Rosberg’s telemetry and they found no evidence it was deliberate. Unless you can provide something more than your “belief” – the case is closed.

          • Not that it is important any more, but…..didn’t Brundle suggest Rosberg braked about 4 car lengths later at that corner on that lap, when compared with other laps?

          • And in his final Q3 lap Lewis braked 8 meters later than he had on previous laps. It doesn’t prove anything.

          • Like I said yesterday, Fortis, making facts up out of air…….

          • Hey at least I’m keeping up with everyone else. There’s a lot of hot air being sprouted about on here, so why should I be any different……

    • Inevitably PR stories like this get written …

      Ditto comment threads like this one…..

      Given the “PR story” is based on “Reports on the German site AutoBild” and comments from Toto Wolff about ‘transparency” and “sandbagging”, your comment about the “British Press” is slightly obtuse.

    • …. Lauda has been more of a Hamilton advocate and Wolff more towards Rosberg… so the fact Wolff is saying this speaks volumes….

      • Wolff did make the valid point that Hamilton was given a fair crack on pitstop strategy, for one of the stops certainly:

        “But in Lewis’s favour we pitted him early and before Nico, which is against what we normally do, in order to jump Valtteri [Bottas], so he had the benefit of the strategy although running second on the track…”

        • But would he have done so, had he not been behind Bottas? That move was more to maximise the points.

          IMHO (to use the phrase of a certain individual)

  6. “The FIA should write those, together with [commercial rights holder] Formula One Management,“ says Christian.

    Why should the commercial rights holder have anything to do with setting the rules for F1? Looks like Horner is angling to become Ecclestone’s successor.

    • Totally agree, Cav. FOM have no place in setting the rules. Is CH basically saying “In future, the rules should be set by the FIA and…ME!”??

  7. To echo others – what is going on with the comments? Seem to be all over the place!

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