Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 1st July 2014


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OTD Lite: 1979 – The Epic Villeneuve vs Arnoux fight

Let’s make the drivers Gladiators again – Lauda

Mattiacci will solve the problems – Raikkonen

‘Emotional’ Hamilton on back foot for title – Walker (GMM)

Zanardi looks forward to Schumacher recovery (GMM)

Formula E Fanboost is now open

Palmer discussing an F1 seat

Research required for standing restarts

Frijns back at the wheel

Here we go again….

Who has been throwing things around in Milton Keynes?

F1 ready for 8 teams and 3 cars per team

OTD Lite: 1979 – The Epic Villeneuve vs Arnoux fight

On this day in history, Jean-Pierre Jabouille won the 1979 French Grand Prix. It was Renault’s first victory and the first for a turbo-charged engine. Whilst this is all very impressive for the statisticians out there this was not the reason this race is so loved.

What was witnessed over the last few laps of the race has become folk-lore and arguably the greatest ever fight witnessed in Formula One history. The protagonists, one Rene Arnoux and one Gilles Villeneuve.

By lap 46, Villeneuve had all but destroyed his tyres defending the lead when Jabouille overtook him. Some laps later Arnoux pulled a move on the Ferrari to claim second position but the Renault fuel-metering was not functioning properly allowing the tyre handicapped Ferrari to re-challenge.

With equal cars but hearts of lions, they pulled manoeuvres against each other that had the crowds and TV audience speechless. Wheel to wheel combat, contact and pitching each other off the circuit – it doesn’t bear thinking about what the stewards would decide today.

For this who have never seen it…


Let’s make the drivers Gladiators again – Lauda

Many Formula One fans take umbrage at any suggestion that Flavio Briatore makes, yet he has perhaps a unique view of what Formula One is truly about. It’s not about how incredible the technology is. Whilst some people would enjoy understanding the nuances between aero updates, these same people would appreciate the technology that puts man into space. But whilst the Saturn V is viewed in awe – the real story is Neil Armstrong stepping on to the moon.

Niki Lauda is, by all accounts, not an easy man to like. Be it historically when he was a Formula One driver, an airline owner and latterly a F1 team boss, he has a particular talent for ‘grating’ people’s nerves. Yet as a triple World Champion this offers him some leeway as can be witnessed in the drama that is the Mercedes motorhome. Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff desire the use of team-orders already – whereas Niki prefers that the drivers secure the titles then they can “drive over each other.”

In a recent interview with Autosport he spoke about how the FIA needs to stop interfering with collisions between drivers completely.

“What I do not like is when I watch the race like Montreal, Nico and Lewis are close in the first corner and then it says on the television that they are under investigation. I went to Charlie and Bernie and said we need to bring the old days back, like when [Nelson] Piquet hit the other guy [Eliseo Salazar] at Hockenheim. You should leave it to the drivers. Don’t interfere in all this. Honestly, it is a joke, the public leaves us because we are not racers any more.”


“Even the incident of Perez and Massa, if now they are getting the idea of cutting back all the influence from the stewards of the meeting and all these kinds of things, then I would not even talk about that. It was a normal race accident, and thank god nothing happened, and I would leave it at this.”

Of course the pressure of running the Mercedes team is getting to the great Austrian, after all Perez WAS given a grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix.

“In Austria when I saw again another investigation for the Vettel/ Gutierrez incident I thought it was all wrong. It has to be stopped. If after the race somebody wants to protest because of it being unfair, fine he should do it. It costs a lot of money, a lot of lawyers and a lot of bullshit. So this will not happen. I would let these drivers be free to race. There is too much control of everything. It takes the interest away. Charlie agrees with it, I have to say, and they are going to do something – to do less and less and less on this.”

Stirling Moss has repeatedly stated that part of the attraction of motor-sport was the very fact it was dangerous, that he was pitting his skills against his fate. Of course a return to those safety standards is completely unacceptable but has Formula One moved too far in the opposite direction?


Mattiacci will solve the problems – Raikkonen

According to ex World Champion Mika Hakkinen – “In my opinion Ferrari is more and more into the situation of eventually replacing one of the two drivers.” Common sense would suggest it would be his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen that will bite the bullet and whispered voices in recent weeks have done nothing to scotch the rumours.

Yet Raikkonen is fully supportive of the Ferrari team principal’s approach to the Scuderia problems. “Everybody has their own way of doing things – it’s very early days for Marco, and when he started he didn’t have as much knowledge as Stefano of F1, but he’s a very nice guy and he wants to really make a difference and know the sport.”

“He’s doing a lot of work that people don’t see and I think he’s doing a very good job. He’s a good guy to work with. I had a pretty close relationship with Stefano but it’s just a change for all of us, and I think sometimes that’s a good thing. People come from outside of F1 with a different view of things and it can help. It’s been good so far and I’m expecting he can do a very good job.”

As to the challenges facing Raikkonen this season – contrary to common opinion it is not the brake-by-wire and technical changes that are causing him problems but tyres that are too hard which then affect the turn-in.

“It’s really about how the car handles, what I prefer, and the way the tyres work. It’s a combination of that. We have a lot of work to do with the car now, and we are missing traction and we are missing a bit of grip on the mechanical side. We try somehow to balance it out and try to have a front end on the car, but it is very, very difficult. I hate it when there is no front end on the car.

“And right now, if we sort out the front end we lose the rear and it is trying to balance it out – and somehow get it working. We have a lot of work to do before we have good things, but for sure we will get there.”

With Fernando Alonso seemingly more welcoming in recent weeks towards the new team boss, it suggests that Mattiacci’s appointment may carry true power behind it. Whatever the differences between the two ex-World Champions ability, lack of intelligence is not one of them. Whether MM has Il Padrino’s vote of confidence behind him or the Fiat board, it would seem that as Cesare Fiorio stated after Mattiacci’s appointment, top level management decisions account for 80% of their ability – the remaining 20% is easily learnt or delegated.

Then again, maybe Kimi does recognise the power behind the throne and is trying to appease it to save his job


‘Emotional’ Hamilton on back foot for title – Walker (GMM)

Nico Rosberg has put himself on pole position to beat his high-profile teammate to the 2014 world championship. That is the view of Lewis Hamilton’s countryman Murray Walker, the famous former F1 commentator, ahead of the 29-year-old British driver’s home race at Silverstone.

Niki Lauda, a triple world champion and the team chairman at Mercedes, thinks Hamilton’s home grand prix comes at “the perfect time”, after his three-race losing streak to the on-form Rosberg. “He has his home race and fans and he needs to make up ground to Nico,” the great Austrian told the Mirror but Lauda admits that Hamilton’s task is a tough one, given his 29-point points deficit to German Rosberg. “Unfortunately it is,” he said. “No question.”

Worse still, after Hamilton suspected in Monaco that Rosberg made a deliberate ‘error’ to keep pole position, the latest conspiracy theory is that Mercedes’ pit crew gave Hamilton deliberately slow service in Austria. “In the race you cannot get paranoid,” Lauda insisted. “I don’t need to coach him. I’ve known him a long time and he’s absolutely perfect in his head. He’s highly motivated.”

But Walker, arguably the most famous voice in F1 history, thinks Hamilton and Rosberg’s respective personalities do set them apart as they battle in 2014. “I don’t think it is unfair to say that Hamilton is a lot more emotional about it and that can affect his driving,” the 90-year-old told the Daily Mail. “The more he is beaten by Rosberg, the more it could hypothetically hurt him emotionally, and that brings about more pressure. In a nutshell it is going to be very, very difficult for Hamilton to win the championship because Rosberg is a thinking driver. Hamilton is faster but I don’t think he is cleverer than Rosberg,” said Walker.

TJ13 comment: In Monaco Hamilton witnessed Rosberg’s ‘error’ and apparently found evidence that made him smile after the stewards had missed it – whereas in Austria he would have known that his pit-stops may have been slower than normal but he would have had no information if Rosberg had been similarly affected. Only on the podium after the race was he made aware of a possible difference when Mark Webber asked him directly about his ‘slow’ pit-stop. It would be ludicrous to suggest he was racing in a paranoid state.

It’s one thing when the press manipulate facts to dramatise the story but an ex-F1 driver? Although having said that Mark was never slow to use the press against Vettel – his own team-mate. Webber was a team-mate of Rosberg’s at Williams in 2006 and his actions could be seen in a number of ways – amongst which, he is trying to de-rail the German for some falling out they had years ago, or he is trying to de-stabilise Hamilton to help his young friend…

In addition, it is becoming tiresome to hear so called professionals reaching for Hamilton’s white flag because they feel he is too far behind. Vettel was over 40 points behind when he was chasing down Alonso’s championship lead in 2012. Alonso, similarly, left Silverstone in 2010 with a 47 point deficit and started the final race of the season with a points advantage. If you go back further, Raikkonen was 17 points behind Hamilton with two races remaining in 2007, yet won the title when a win only paid out 10 points.

We have enjoyed just eight races this year, with another eleven to go – anything can happen


Zanardi looks forward to Schumacher recovery (GMM)

Alex Zanardi, horrifically and near-fatally injured in 2001, has wished his old rival Michael Schumacher well. Three times during their respective racing careers, the Italian and German faced off on the circuits. The first was as teenagers, at the wheel of European kart competitions. Then a few years later, in the early 90s, when Zanardi raced in F1 for Jordan, Minardi and Lotus. And after Zanardi’s ultra-successful American open wheeler career, the pair met yet again in F1, this time with Zanardi struggling in a Williams and Schumacher well on the road to the Ferrari-coloured glory years.

Today, Zanardi has rebuilt his sporting life after losing his legs and nearly his life in a 2001 Champ Car crash. Like Schumacher, who has just emerged from a six-month coma and is reportedly conscious in a Lausanne hospital, Zanardi spent time in a coma 13 years ago. “I know Michael from childhood, in karts,” he told Speed Week. “He has always been a person who does not give up. So I was always sure that his condition would improve and he would beat the coma.”

Zanardi says he remembers little from his own coma, except extreme tiredness when he woke up, and then briefly struggling to recall how to do simple things on his own — like breathe and urinate. Schumacher’s coma, of course, has been much longer, and involving brain injury. But Zanardi has hope.

“I remember when I stood up on my new feet for the first time after the accident, it was during an event in which Schumi took part as well,” he said. “I remember how touched he was. So I want to tell him that I cannot wait to see him standing up, to see that it is me that is moved this time,” Zanardi, 47, added.

Meanwhile, in the case of Schumacher’s stolen medical records, suspicion has returned yet again to the hospital in Grenoble, where for six months the great German was in a coma. Earlier, it was reported that Swiss ambulance staff may have photographed the doctor’s letter during Schumacher’s transfer from Grenoble to Lausanne.

But, citing police sources, the French newspaper Le Dauphine Libere claims the stolen letter – on the market for a reported EUR 50,000 – contained “spelling mistakes”. It seems the letter was in fact a draft, thrown in the hospital bin in Grenoble. “So far, no one has been identified as the person responsible for the act (of theft),” Grenoble prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat told the French news agency AFP. “The investigation is ongoing and far from over.”

TJ13 comment: It is great to see the press, for once, actually ‘assisting’ the recovery of stolen medical documents. These medical records have been downgraded on a daily basis until they have become insignificant scribblings on a thrown away piece of paper. Although when the newspapers offer prizes of many 1,000’s of pounds and they can pay six figure sums to tell-all questionable human characters about their sordid lives, surely one of these institutions would stump up the EUR50,000 being asked and give it back to the family; whilst at the same time liaising with the police to apprehend the idiot who thought stealing these documents would be a quick money earner.


Formula E Fanboost is now open

The FIA Formula E Championship has today officially launched the interactive Fan Boost initiative allowing fans to vote for their favourite driver giving them an extra ‘speed burst’ during the race, helping to aid overtaking.

In a change to the first proposed format, the top three drivers with the most votes will each receive one boost, temporarily increasing their car’s power from 133kw (180bhp) to 200kw (270bhp). Votes can be cast online and via the official Formula E app (which launches September 1) with voting opening from the start of the previous race and closing shortly before the start of the race.

Those voting online will be able to select just one driver, whilst those using the app will get five. The online voting system (iframe) will also be hosted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo. Votes can be changed any number of times up until the closing date. Every time a vote is placed it can be shared forwards as a hashtag and appear in a timeline on Facebook or Weibo generating further social interaction.

For more information on voting click here


Palmer discussing an F1 seat
There may be another rookie driver in F1 for 2015. Jolyon Palmer who leads the GP2 championship series says he is discussing an F1 drive.

Palmer drives for the DAMS team and has won 2 races and five podium finishes this season. He leads Felipe Nasr by 33 points though a difficult weekend in Austria saw his lead in the championship cut.

“Things are progressing,” Palmer told Sky Sports News. “So far this season things have been almost perfect for me minus the little blip in Austria, but really everything is coming together well. There are some Formula 1 talks progressing, but not much I can say at the moment.

“But definitely I am aiming to be on the grid next year in 2015 and at the moment win GP2. We are moving closer, but the one big focus at the moment is to win GP2.”

With 8 races gone and 14 to come, there is a lot yet to do if Palmer is to take the GP2 drivers title in 2014.


Research required for standing restarts

The standing restart of the race following a safety car period now regulated for in 2015, appears to be causing confusion across F1.

This is typical of the chaos of communication in the sport and even the usually well informed Paul Hembery says Pirelli are some way from understanding how the standing restarts will work.

“We need to understand a little bit more detail,” Hembery said. “There will be a standing start but after how much time? You see the cars when they come in, there are all sort of blowers that are used, so there are lots of issues involved.

It’s not just about the tyres losing temperature, it’s about the cars maybe overheating, so it’s something they’ll need to perfect. From our point of view we’ve obviously run behind safety cars, so temperatures and pressures have dropped. We would have to do some simulations to work out how long will they be sat on the grid, and that’s something we will want to look at.”

This information is out there Paul. TJ13 understands the cars will only return to the grid 1 lap following the safety car leaving the circuit. Only 2 team personnel may remain on the pit wall, the rest must be inside the team garage. There will be no team personnel allowed to touch the car, no tyre changes and the pit lane will be closed.

Further, should Charlie Whiting deem conditions to be ‘unsuitable’ for a standing start, then the current procedure will ensue.

Lapped car’s out of position will already have been instructed to un-lap themselves – though TJ13 is asking the FIA at present to use a system where these cars just drive through the pits, wait at the end of the pit lane under a red light if necessary, and then rejoin the back of the snake.

Daniel Ricciardo revealed the drivers had the opportunity to express their views on the standing start issue. “We did, we all pretty much disagreed [with the idea] as far as I am aware”. 

Paul Hembery is not critical of the FIA for bringing about the radical rule changes including the titanium plates for artificial sparks.

“We have to be careful what [we say] ‘fans’ are. There’s fans who watch the racing and then people who are maybe more involved in those details. There’s probably the whole of China that doesn’t give a damn, quite frankly, about all these aspects and just want to see good racing and a good event!

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with creating sparks and creating some visuals. We’ve got to have a sport which creates some emotions and I think those moves shouldn’t be criticised, it’s very positive.”

Oh dear… another one bites the dust – as the cloned Hembery look alike, spiels the party line from Bernie.

It appears F1 is hell bent on hacking off its extensive global fan base – such that they bugger off and are replaced by those with a passing interest…. in sparks….. and in cars crashing into each other because they are forced to restart a race on a carpet of rubber marbles..


Frijns back at the wheel

Caterham have confirmed within the past hour that Robin Frijns (cue myriad of TJ13 Dutch readers…) will be taking the wheel of Kobayashi’s car for FP1 on Friday in Silverstone.

Frijns last drove the CT-05 in Bahrain and is keen to see how the car has developed.

I’m back in the 2014 car for the first time since Bahrain and excited about getting back in the cockpit and helping us make some progress again – as well as seeing how the car has developed since early April.

I was in our 2010 car a couple of weeks ago at the City Racing event in Russia, and that was cool, but the real work is in the current season car in an official session and that’s what Friday morning is all about.”

Mystery still enshrouds the future of the Leafield F1 team following a highly irresponsible tweet issued by their owner, Tony Fernandes. “F1 hasn’t worked” he posted and promptly closed his twitter account from which he also regularly tweeted about Air Asia and Queens Park Rangers.


Here we go again….

It’s nothing new folks – same old story and even the quotes look as though they’ve been re-cycled.

The Monza circuit is operated by SIAS on behalf of the Automobile Club d’Italia. The SIAS President Paolo Guaitamacchi instigated legal proceedings against individuals involved in managing the circuit’s operations back in 2012.

According to Corriere della Sera the police raided he circuit managers’ homes in May 2012 and the prosecutors warrant cited “poor transparency” and “criminal profiles,” in allegations estimated to be worth at least €100,000. It is alleged the group falsified invoices, handed out free tickets and gave preferential treatment to friends when awarding the circuit’s catering contract.

Monza has traditionally has had a mega deal on the hosting fee – say $7m pa – and Bernie’s mate ran the circuit. However, he was booted out for alleged ‘corruption’ and Bernie was miffed and threatened the Autodromo they would lose their race.

Monza’s deal was negotiated in 2010 and runs to the end of 2016 and for many represents one of the great cathedral’s of motor racing’s past. The first Italian GP was held there in 1929 and since the F1 championship was established in 1950 – there has been a race there every year but one.

However, Ecclestone believes the likes of Silverstone, Spa and Monza represent the past whilst Bahrain, Singapore and Abu Dhabi are more representative of F1’s future.

The Italian media are reporting Ecclestone as saying Monza is finished. “I do not think we’ll do another contract, the old one was a disaster from a commercial viewpoint, After 2016, bye bye!,” says F1’s Lord and Master.

Ecclestone means that Monza have refused to pay stupid and exorbitant hosting fees.

Monza and Silverstone are the only two races on the calendar which receive no financial assistance. Silverstone were in a similar position to that which Monza finds itself in now back in 2009 and were forced into signing a crazy deal with Ecclestone which will see the hosting fee escalate to over $60m in its final year of 2025.

Politicians from the Lombardy Region are predictably calling on the Italian government to save the historic F1 race and in days of yore, we could expect Ferrari to join the chorus.

However, Ferrari are silent maybe because there have been recent whispers of Mugello being proposed for an F1 race.

Who owns the Mugello circuit? Ferrari.

Whatever is said of the Monza organisation, it is testimony to the fact that lower hosting fees lead to lower ticket prices. Last year, general admission was half the price of Silverstone at around £80 for all three days admission.

So F1 fans – what would you rather lose? Monaco who pay nothing to F1 becuase of the grace and favour they offer… or Monza who at least contribute something and deliver a cost effective race for fans to go to and watch their sport?


Who has been throwing things around in Milton Keynes?

Red Bull have been having a frustrating time this year. Yes, Renault have designed an engine which just can’t compete with the power of the Mercedes, but the team themselves have created their own problems.

Besides Lotus, Red Bull completed the least mileage in testing as design flaws with their car required rectifying. Adrian Newey also admitted the team had dropped the ball by trying to win all of the last 9 races in 2013, when others were busy with this year’s car.

This particular sin has cost Red Bull precious time manufacturing highly complex components like the gear box, which takes weeks of machining time to complete. Vettel arrived in Monaco with a patched up gear box from the previous test, knowing the team had no replacement ready and in the principality for the entire weekend.

Despite all this, team newbie, Daniel Ricciardo has been shining brightly. out qualifying and out racing his quadruple world champion team mate, yet he reckons it is still not his place to ‘throw stuff around the room’  when things are not right, because ‘there’s other people to do that’.

Ricciardo also admits the lack of power from Renault is hurting the team and their chances. “Don’t get me wrong, it is frustrating,” Ricciardo said. “It’s hard because a lot of it happens on a straight and there’s no skill required on a straight. It’s sort of like throwing away talent for nothing really. Don’t get me wrong, anyone could hop in the car and if you’re not scared of going 300 km/h then you can easily go flat out on a straight in a Formula One car”.

The darling of the paddock appears to forget that driving around corners as fast as you can is also not so difficult when you have a car that corners better. Formula 1 has always been about both.

“It’s just giving away time for nothing, I guess, which is the frustrating part. From our side as well they’ve spent time, hours, money on designing a fast car through the corners but it just gets washed away on the straights. That’s the frustrating part. But it is what it is basically.”

It appears the in the contexts of the above sentiments, the irony of his next comment is lost a little on Daniel. “I’m new to the team so I’m not going to come in and start throwing stuff around the room and say ‘this is how it should be’, there’s other people to do that. I’m just driving what I’m given. I have faith we can turn it around, this year now is getting away from us but for 2015 I have faith things will definitely improve.”

Who exactly has been throwing things around?

This does beg the question whether the TJ13 exclusive from Jerez on the final morning of testing has now finally been corroborated.  Sebastian Vettel had climbed out of the car and refused to drive it again. At 11:30am we reported Red Bull would not run again that day. They didn’t.

The team subsequently packed up to go home and the BBC picked up on the ‘hissy fit’ story.


F1 ready for 8 teams and 3 cars per team

In his usual empathetic manner, Bernie Ecclestone has commented on the plight of Caterham F1.

“Let’s take Caterham. They have invested a load of money, they are going to need a load more and therefore paying drivers. But what for if they have never been competitive?

They should stop,” he said. “If they do not have the money, they should close. I am ready for a Formula One with eight teams and three cars each.

Is it better to see a third Ferrari or a Caterham? Ferrari might find new sponsors in America and an American driver. Great. The same for the others.

Time and tide wait for no man – and these words are hardly inspiring for the potential investors about to ‘buy’ – ‘the team in green’. It does demonstrate the lengths to which Ecclestone will go… to get his own way…

Meanwhile in IndyCar – small teams conquered the great… in Houston last weekend.


118 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 1st July 2014

  1. Niki is right. People want to see overtaking. But 7 out of 10 times (not an actual proven future, just a matter of speach) they get an “under investigation” slapped on their Ass. Softy fia

  2. “Many Formula One fans take umbrage at any suggestion that Flavio Briatore makes”

    A Freudian slip? Should that be Niki Lauda there?

  3. Judge, just a thought about those examples you gave, a disparity in car performance allowed this, Lewis may have the quickest car, trouble the other guys car is just as quick, and no one else is quick enough to get between them.

    • The way I see it is Rosberg has finished 2 races more than Hamilton yet is only one race ahead, points wise. This suggests parity, with regards to results. All other adjectives, clever, fast, etc simply reflect the biases of the observers.

      If we are fortunate, Rosberg will encounter a DNF and we will be treated to a full on nail biting contest between the two, with no end until the final race of the season, but statistically speaking it’s just as likely to be Lewis if we are assuming a team issue, rather than a driving one.

      • …but if Lewis begins to overdrive, then he may be more likely to contribute to a failure/error – as you said – fascinating….

          • …it’s a term frequently used by F1 driver analysts. The simplest definition would be ‘to drive beyond their normal parameters’…. though we could get much more complex than that if we chew the cud long enough…

          • And this would lead to drivers continually making error after error. But how often have we seen Lewis doing that this season? (Not that I’m saying you said he did)

          • You’ve missed the words ‘begins to’… That suggests he hasn’t been doing so far, or has only just started to.

            You could argue that Austria was over-driving, going off track on one lap and locking the brakes on another.

            Canada is open to question but what seems likely is that his driving style had an effect there on which car finished and which didn’t…

          • Let me put it this way. According to many (and I agree), Alonso and Lewis are the only drivers that can outperform their car, that they achieve by overdriving and being 100% focused. Problem is that sometimes, due to emotional pressure or whatever, you can just lose that focus for a split second and you’re off. That’s what happened with Lewis in 2011.
            As a side note, some will say that arguing a driver can ourperform their car is stupid, well…everything’s objective and a figure of speech.

          • “Alonso and Lewis are the only drivers that can outperform their car”

            One of the worst cliche’s in motorsport. No driver can outperform the design parameters of the car. What a driver can do is outperform a team-mate, but that’s very different from outperforming their car.

          • …and you obviously chose to omit the second paragraph stating exactly what you say! You just wanted to make that point!

          • You claim Alonso and Hamilton can outperform their car. Cite an example where that has happened. And an example isn’t merely beating a team-mate but where the driver exceeded the cars design parameter.

          • OK, I’ll play but only if you accept that outdriving the car simply means extracting more performance from the car than was thought possible.

            As an example I will cite your all time favorite driver, Lewis Hamilton, and his pole lap in Spa, 2013. Mixed conditions and he managed to beat Vettel by almost a tenth, Webber by more and his teammate by over a second. This despite the fact that the Red Bull had massively superior DF and a Renault engine that was the class of the V8’s.

            Only the most obtusely pedantic would refuse to accept that Hamilton “outdrove” the car in its colloquial meaning.

            Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see if the US can upset Belgium (sorry bruznic).

          • It is just a figure of speech by commentators and ex-drivers to show that a driver has really overperformed and achieved more than what the majority of people were expecting, including the team itself based on simulations etc. Noone can outperform the car’s technical capabilities, but can take the car to such limits that the team didn’t see before or thought possible. Senna was such an example and Alonso’s 2012 year could be described as such.

            But on the other hand, if you look at it from a ‘cold’ engineering point of view, it simply was that the 2012 car was designed around Alonso, it was more ‘torquey’ at the start of GPs gaining him places, and its qualifying pace was not a true reflection of its ranking compared to other cars.

            I merely mentioned two opposing opinions.

          • Alonso once claimed he added six tenths to a car’s performance:
            “That is always very clear in any team, you know, to have equal opportunities to everybody and to have an equal car to your teammate,” Alonso said on BBC Radio. “What I think sometimes, and what I asked the team, is that I gave the team a lot.

            “When I arrived in December, I remember the car I drove; I remember the results they had in 2006. And now, you know, I brought to the team half a second, six tenths, whatever, and I don’t see anything giving me back.

            “So that’s the only thing.”

          • In English it is called a colloquialism. Saying they get more out of the car just means that some drivers are able to keep a car closer to the limit of grip. But of course you knew that already and just had a point to make.

  4. “Hamilton is faster but I don’t think he is cleverer than Rosberg,” said Walker.”

    So now that nico has finished ahead of him in the last 3 races, he’s more clever than Lewis? So where was that in the 4 previous races? Where was his cleverness in Bahrain and Spain? Both drivers have made errors at crucial time over a race weekend so far, so let’s not make it look like it’s only happening on one side of the garage.

    You don’t become a WDC, multiple race and pole winner by just being fast. I like and respect Murray, but sometimes I think they look at Lewis as being dumb as a doorpost.

  5. I love to see people talking about Hamilton smiling after seeing Rosberg´s telemetry. They were three Marshalls on Monaco with a lot better information than Hamilton (One of those Marshalls is british) and they come out with the same opinion.

    We just need to see the videos, Hamilton had not yet dropped the car and he already thought that Rosberg had done it on purpose. He had tried and found guilty his teammate without having seen a single piece of data long before out of the car.

    • While I don’t disagree with the stewards’ verdict (though I tend to ‘not proven’ rather than ‘innocent’), one ought to bear in mind that Hamilton has rather more insight than they into what the Mercedes is and isn’t capable of.

      • Not to forget: the stewards’ decision wasn’t unanimous at the time. And that it’s still not quite explained why Rosberg’s steering inputs were proactive rather than reactive immediately prior to his off. (My opinion: it still smells fishy from a mile off.)

        From what I’ve seen the stewards failed to find 100% irrefutable evidence that it was cheating, so (with the seriousness of the consequences in mind) decided to take the safe course and declare Rosberg “not guilty”. However, bear in mind that lack of evidence for cheating is NOT the same as evidence for innocence (Statistics 101). As it happens most judges most everywhere are in the unfortunate position where they can’t declare anyone “innocent”, but have have to resort to a convoluted “not enough evidence was presented to find John Doe guilty”, hence “not guilty”. The fact that the stewards found Rosberg not guilty at the time doesn’t prove much, if anything.

        • “However, bear in mind that lack of evidence for cheating is NOT the same as evidence for innocence”

          Thats the biggest bullshit I ever see in my life. A person is innocent until proven otherwise.

          Hamilton fans you just need a smile of his idol to write in stone that Rosberg is guilty. That is the modus operandi of a hardcore fan.

    • @Rambo, we also don’t know what he was told by his race engineer. Which would have been potentially influenced his response significantly.

      • The FIA has full access to all the radio conversations and there is no doubt the FIA took a look into that information.

  6. I’d love to be fly on the wall in the depths of the Mercedes motor home, where I’m sure Lauda, Lowe and Wolff have ‘heated’ exchanges over team orders.

    I think it’s fair that the minute the constructors is sewn up for Mercedes and they are out of reach from the rest then driver can fight tooth and nail for the WDC.


    Forecast Summary BBC

    Outlook for Thursday to Saturday

    Dry with good sunny spells on Thursday, turning cloudier through Friday.

    Saturday rain, perhaps locally heavy, slowly clearing away southeastwards.

    Warm initially, then temperatures nearer to normal

    Could make quali interesting …..

  8. “Then again, maybe Kimi does recognise the power behind the throne and is trying to appease it to save his job.”

    No, RAI is honest as always. The same was said by Ecclestone.
    “What about Mattiacci?”
    “Well … I would say good. When Luciano Benetton decided to enter F1 advised him to take a good manager. He chose Briatore who knew nothing but had opened many Benetton stores in America. Flavio came to the GP, I realized he was a guy who was a fast learner, I gave him a hand and managed in the short to choose the right people. Mattiacci also gave me the feeling of someone who learn quickly”

    There are several issues in Ferrari team. But the most important is a power struggle between LdM and Mattiacci. Whose vision will prevail? An old one – everything built around needs of ALO or Mattiacci’s new approach. Because the red team is owned by Fernando, so they wait for his decision about where to drive in 2015. And it is a though one, cause Maclaren doesn’t look fine right now. So, will Mr Mattiacci have cojones to change Ferrari philosophy and make decision instead of Alonso?

    • It’s not really LdM versus Mattiacci, it’s more likely to be LdM versus FIAT. 90% of Ferrari is owned by FIAT and Mattiacci seems to have been their choice. But how far can FIAT push Ferrari given that the latter is their most profitable business?

  9. Re. ” …. Vettel was over 40 points behind when he was chasing down Alonso’s championship lead in 2012. Alonso, similarly, left Silverstone in 2010 with a 47 point deficit and started the final race of the season with a points advantage. If you go back further, Raikkonen was 17 points behind Hamilton with two races remaining in 2007, yet won the title when a win only paid out 10 points. … ”

    Completely fatuous to compare above drivers. Lewis and Nico are in the same machinery. Perhaps, arguably, Lewis may have a tenth or two advantage per lap over Nico in terms of raw ability/speed but Nico has shown that he can counter that easily over the full race distance by being a less “emotional” and more “thinking” driver.

    If they enjoy equal luck/reliability in remaining 11 races and Mercedes finish 1st and 2nd in all races; then to win the championship with current Nico advantage of 29 points:

    Lewis needs 8 wins and be 2nd in 3 races (net Lewis gain 35 points)
    Nico needs just 4 wins and be 2nd in 7 races (net Lewis gain 21 points).

    …. Unless I have miscalculated …. !

    • “…. Unless I have miscalculated …. ”

      Yes I have.

      The last race is worth 50 points for 1st and 36 points for 2nd; i.e. a 14 point difference between 1st and 2nd.
      So excluding Abu Dhabi finale,

      if Nico wins 4 of 10 races, and is 2nd in 6 races with Lewis winning 6 of 10 races and 2nd in 4 races, then going in to finale Nico will still have a 15 points advantage.

      So in the final race he can still afford to come 2nd to Lewis and win the world championship by one point.

      • It is a poor turn of phrase, no doubt, but what is really meant is that the drivers extract more performance under sub optimal conditions than anyone else.

        Just doesn’t ring as well as outdriving the car, LOL.

      • @PK in races where both have finished, Hamilton has won 4 races to Rosberg’s 2.

        Thus we can expect going into Interlagos that Rosberg will have 348 and Hamilton 340 if the current ratio holds and neither suffers a DNF, which is looking less and less likely TBH.

        In that scenario Hamilton would have to run the table in order to win the WDC or else Rosberg would need to finish 3rd in one of the last 2 races..

        Of course a lot can happen over the next 11 races, I just hope it’s close enough to make the last race matter. 🙂

    • Whilst your assessment maybe true to some extent, it’s still subjective with respect to being “emotional and more thinking driver”

      Lewis has demonstrated that he’s a thinking driver in both scenarios, whilst leading (Malaysia and China) and trailling (Bahrain and Spain).

      Sometimes I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, because all you hear is that “he’s fast” and that’s all he’s got to offer. But he has shown on numerous occasions that he’s able to comfortably manage races. Sure he has made mistakes, but who hasn’t.

      • Forgot to proof read before posting. This should’ve read…

        “Lewis has demonstrated that he’s a thinking driver”

      • There’s no denying though that Nico has used his noggin to haul back Lewis mentally…. at most of the recent tracks Lewis was faster, but, for whatever reason, the momentum (and points) have swung in Nico’s favour. E.g. Lewis should have been on pole in Austria and had an easy walk to victory.

        By Monaco, Lewis had taken the lead with 4 wins in a row, despite a retirement… it already looked like Lewis’ to lose at that point. Lewis needs to clear his head and do the same now at Silverstone, Hungary etc. and close back in/take the lead again. Singapore they should both be strong at.

    • I think the point being made is that 29 points is just over a race victory. To assume that the Mercedes maintain their dominance, that neither driver succumbs to pressure in an event or that reliability doesn’t play a hand, then yes of course it would take Lewis many victories to close the gap, but if I could take you back to the 80’s when say Senna vs Prost was playing out, race victories only counted for nine points. In a certain respect those 29 points would be worth around 11 back then?

      In 1988, the Mclarens dominated and after seven of sixteen races, Prost led with 54 points, having 4 wins and 3 seconds. Senna had 39 with 3 victories, 2 seconds and 2 retirements. So he was a win and a second position behind him. Senna won the next four races with Prost claiming seconds throughout so that by the time they reached Monza, Senna still trailed Prost by 3 points.

      For Hammy to have the same deficit to Rosberg would mean actually trailing him by 43 points.

  10. “Lapped car’s out of position will already have been instructed to un-lap themselves – though TJ13 is asking the FIA at present to use *a system where these cars just drive through the pits, wait at the end of the pit lane under a red light if necessary, and then rejoin the back of the snake*.”

    Finally an idea for lapped cars that makes a lot of sense!! I was mulling over this issue for some time now, and never quite could figure out what would be optimal to do. What you propose here makes so much sense: it’s quick, safe, and intuitive for all involved.

    And those lapped twice or thrice would simply have to repeat the procedure one or two more times..

    • … “And those lapped twice or thrice would simply have to repeat the procedure one or two more times..”

      That wouldn’t be necessary… there lap defect would still be counted but they wouldn’t be interfering with the points scoring drivers

      • “they wouldn’t be interfering with the points scoring drivers”

        Someone more pedantic could point out that lapped cars—even 5 laps down, for the matter—can still be in points-scoring positions. 🙂 Just ask Bianchi in his Marussia..

        • Also, how does that play with their fuel usage? That can affect their pace in the race. Will these cars get their lap back for going to the back? Why be unfair to the slower teams, just because F1 regs are bad at promoting overtaking/tracks don’t suit the racing?

          I don’t see why they can’t just unlap themselves and catch up quickly without deltas, with double yellows still at a crash scene if something is being cleared up. Only Chilton will crash into someone who is still driving under SC conditions.

          • Don’t you mean –

            Only Raikkonen will crash into someone who is still driving under SC conditions.


          • It was clear on the TV at the time… as the cars came to tabac the other backmarkers moved up, passed those few in front and went about gaining their lap back. Chilton stayed in position and didn’t react…. probably on the next lap he was told “quick go, you are losing ground and the others already have their lap back”, so in haste he tried to get around Raikkonen and piled into him.

          • P.S. – the delta’s are there for the safety of the marshals

            so I can’t see them being changed –

            but this is Formula Gimmick we have now – so who knows ?

          • Yes, but the lapped cars are only released to do so when the incident is pretty much cleared up – but then it takes another 2 or 3 laps for them to catch the train back up, as they are still driving under delta….. but if the track is ready to go, they should release them from delta, and they’d be on the train ready to go after the next lap..

  11. Re: standing restarts..

    You’re right, the lack of communication to clarify the rule needs to be sorted out.

    I think it was during the “ted notebook” segment, he asked Graeme Lowdon about the rule, and he said…

    “That it’s not actually a must that there’ll always be a standing restart, it was only just an option that’s available to use by Charlie, when he sees it necessary”

    So which is it?

  12. Judge, is there a bug in your system?

    Lately I’ve been trying to follow the comments on my phone and the more I scroll down, the text start to merge into a straight line for some of the comments, then back to normal.

    • That is a quirk of the mobile theme used.

      It has done this for a while.

      Any alternative available Judge? Maybe even just a mobile version off option.

      I’d offer to help.. But I’m sure you can figure out why I won’t.

          • If you find the comments are down to a column of just a couple of characters, just turn ya phone through 90° to landscape orientation and it solves the problem on my phone (provided auto-rotate option is switched on) , I’m guessing it should work for other phones too. It’s like that on most WordPress sights, Will Buxton, Joe Saward, Adam Cooper etc.
            Hope that helps, it took me a while to suss it out.

          • I guess my problem is that I’m on a browser… but signing up for an account has opened my eyes to how bad WordPress is, I’m amazed that you can get pictures in articles here and writing on the side of it..

        • hmm.. could do a bit less. I just saw Verstappen ask for less for mobile them, like 2-3 or less. Unfortunately the current platform is very limited in what we can develop so I have reduced it to 7 but hopefully we can change this when we do the facelift.

    • Mine does it too if I’m reading in portrait. If I rotate my phone to landscape it goes back to normal.

      • I soooo wanted this to be the answer… Unfortunately changing from portrait to landscape does do anything re these nested posts on my iPhone 4.

        B*gger! I’ll be getting RSI on my thumb next, from the frenetic swiping down. (Ooh er, I think you know what I mean!)

  13. “Mystery still enshrouds the future of the Leafield F1 team”

    I read that one of the posters here, Fortis96″ was buying the team. It will be renamed the Anglo-Fortis Racing Organization F1 team. Hamilton will move there next year.

  14. “However, Ferrari are silent maybe because there have been recent whispers of Mugello being proposed for an F1 race.”…

    Who wants their palms read? I think I must be a clairvoyant, because I could’ve sworn I asked the judge, whether Mugello would be able to host a race, a few weeks ago.

    If I had to choose, it’s Monza over Monaco any day of the week.

  15. The track in the streets of Monaco is spectacular, the racing in the city is an amazing sight and when I was there for a Formula 1 weekend one time, the sound was almost orgasmic.

    That said, there’s actually very little sport happening and I can count the number of memorable races (or racing moments, for that matter) in recent years on one hand. But it’s exactly because Monaco is less about the sport and more about glitz, glamour, see and be seen and all that kind of stuff, that I’m convinced to see this race on the calender for as long as there is a Formula 1.

    On the other hand, Ecclestone knew he had the upper hand when he negotiated about a British GP, so he made sure he actually earned some money from the deal. I can understand perfectly well if he wants to try the same with the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, but first I don’t think they will let themselves be gouged like that and second he would insult pretty much the whole country if he came through with his threat.

    Would Ferrari be willing to provide an alternative to Monza? For one year, absolutely. But I can’t see them willing to pay 8 digit hosting fees year after year after year.

  16. I wonder which team Palmer is talking to… only recently I suggested he might aim for Chilton’s seat at Marussia…. they need cash, but who doesn’t.

    If the rumour about Leimer is true, that he was offered reserve seat/Silverstone test for $5m (or unless I misunderstood, to replace Chilton for the second half of the year after a Silverstone test), then we could guess Chilton’s sponsorships of say $5m, after Aon $10m last year ran out, are now not enough..

    Bianchi has brought $30m more for next year from Monaco, after Chilton’s help in taking out some rivals, so if Palmer can muster together more than $5m (or whatever Chilton brings for the year), then perhaps he can have his seat for 2015; being GP2 champion could give him more credibility, and I imagine he’ll be slightly more competitive to Bianchi.

  17. Ecclestone must have forgotten that Gene Hass and Forza Rosa have been given entries into F1. It must be his age lol
    Even if Caterham were to close, by 2016 we should be up to 12 teams again and if Caterham don’t close then we will have 13 teams. It’s the way the cash gets distributed that’s is the real problem, if all teams can stay afloat and then get 2 new ones as well, at the end of each season 3 teams will get diddly squat (nothing). That surely cannot continue as a remuneration model. All teams should see a minimum payout at least. I get the feeling Bernie’s days are numbered, if not by the Munich prosecutor then by the grim reaper.

  18. If Monza is dropped Ecclestone has to find a country willing to waste it’s oil wealth on a GP. He need only look north. The newly independent country of Scotland would be an ideal place. It could be the Barr’s Irn Bru GP of Scotland.

        • indeed

          only just longer than Princes Street, Edinburgh

          and as for the Buckfast – even tho it’s mostly imbibed here – it is English

          Don’t see them sponsoring a Scottish event 😉

    • …. God help us if you are right Cav…. Deep Fried Mars bars sold at every food stall, And a drunken jock sat on every row muttering into his pint of 70 shilling something about Bannockburn.. 😉

      • Judge

        70 shilling – pffft

        110 or 120 shilling is more like it

        or a half and half

        and you still don’t get it about the deep fried Mars Bar …….. do you ?

      • Smashing place Scotland. Super friendly punters everywhere.

        Love when they, and the Welsh, come to Dublin for the Rugby. Great craic, and plenty of respect shown from both sides.

        The Italians and French don’t mingle so much, most likely due to language barrier, but it has improved over the last 5 years mainly due to the Hino cup games against Leinster.

        The English are a funny breed. Most of them are totally and utterly superb – respectful, knowlegeable, great fun, mix well, relaxed and generally up for a laugh.

        The other group really need to remove their heads from their arses and chillax a little bit. Being around this latter group is like being surrounded by hundreds of John Terrys, desperately trying to be something that they’ve never been – classy.

        Poor dears dont understand that there is a fine line between jingoism / xenophobia and flat out racisim.

        Still don’t get where this superiority streak comes from now, although I could understand it from times past.

        I blame Clarkson – the man is an insufferable gobsheen, an underhanded racist menace and an embarrassment to all sane thinking English people, everywhere.

        And that’s my tangent for the day. Hope you enjoyed Scotland, Rugby and Top Gear. Not a smidgen of F1 anywhere…..

  19. No news on the “new” investors of Catherham. Frijns is driving this weekend, am hearing words of some “Dutch” investors, some people involved with Christian Albers??? I surely hope not true ….. Albers may be a better teamboss than race driver, hahaha.

  20. Re: who throws stuff..

    Wer ist hier eigentlich überrascht? Mit der Klapperkiste hätt ich den Schwachstromelektrikern bei Renault das Ave Maria durch die Gräten geflötet. Und was bringt das News-Item überhaupt. Jeder der den aktuellen Zustand bei Red Bull einfach so hinnimmt sollte mal den Dnertier weglassen…

    • Erm… nooo…

      (Speaks really slowly)

      Please, 2 Beers and 3 Hotdogs.

      (Whispers to friend)


    • …it is a story when Red Bull go to great lengths to deny it via the Red Bull Spy’s attempt to copy Ferrari’s Horse WHisperer.

      ‘It won’t have escaped your notice that this hasn’t been our smoothest winter. The RB10 is a complicated beast and we’ve got a job list the length of the Shanghai back straight to get through. But we’re getting through it. Everyone’s doing long hours and we’re all fairly knackered – though actually that’s no different to when the car’s spot-on. The team manager and the chief bolt both firmly believe the Devil makes work for idle hands. Unfortunately the long list of things they consider evidence of idleness includes sleeping and eating regular meals,’ the post read.

      We do, however, get the opportunity to make our own entertainment, one avenue to which is reading some of the more lurid speculation that’s flying around. Our favourite today is the one about Seb apparently having a massive hissy fit in Jerez, refusing to drive the car because it wasn’t very good, and storming off in a huff.

      ‘A major news broadcaster posted the story this morning, along with the line “No-one outside the team knows whether it happened or not, and those on the inside wouldn’t say.

      ‘Eh? Run that by me again?

      ‘I suppose it could be true. Maybe four World Championships really have turned him into a screaming primadonna. Perhaps what really happened is Seb leapt out of the car and started foaming at the mouth. He made a very rude gesture in the direction of Adrian, snarled at Rocky, kicked Ole in the spanners and then stormed out of the garage, saddled his unicorn and rode back to Switzerland.

      ‘Meanwhile Adrian’s lost his copy of the Illustrated Junior Encyclopaedia of Motorsport and says he can’t design without it. Daniel’s sulking is really starting to get everyone down, Dr Marko has decided to return to his roots and become a dubstep producer under his street name DJ Graz and, after his New York residency last summer, Christian’s far more interested in street art than F1 anyway.

      ‘Seb, meanwhile has sent us a postcard, and says he’s really sorry for all the fuss. He’ll be back soon but has decided to chill for a while by spending a couple of weeks watching daytime soaps and eating crisps ’round at Mark’s house.

      ‘Maybe that’s what happening. It’s certainly a rumour. No one outside the team knows for sure and those inside won’t say…”

      • Maybe you two should just have sex already… The tension here is palpable…

        Your both all over each others ass’s already.


        • …symptomatic of TJ13 criticising anyone’s pet team’s/driver I’m afraid…

          plus if anyone questions why we publish anything – I’ll always explain why…

          Further – in that story was the REVELATION – that all the drivers/or most – don’t want standing starts…….

          Was in fact very newsworthy…..

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