Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 8th July 2014


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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Forensics: Fragile Mercedes still class of field

OTD Lite – 1990 French Grand Prix

Hamilton – Nico’s not a German anyway

Lauda slams ‘balls out’ Raikkonen for Brit GP crash (GMM)

A little Order

Why are Mercedes leading formation laps so slowly?

Testing at Silverstone

The Pirelli 18inch Future

Formula E takes to the track

A third of Caterham staff to be sacked

Fan viewing areas being obscured by FOM

Caterham sign new driver

FIA invites teams to protest Mercedes technology

OTD Lite – 1990 French Grand Prix


Twenty four years ago today, Alain Prost won his fifth French Grand Prix, at Paul Ricard, in arguably one of the most stunning Grand Prix cars ever designed – Ferrari 641. The victory had not been a straight forward drive as the Leyton House team of Ivan Capelli and Mauricio Gugelmin did not stop for tyres and were leading in 1-2 position. Three laps from the end, with Capelli’s car misfiring, Prost overtook to take victory.

Significant happenings of this race – this was the final Grand Prix ever held at Paul Ricard as the Grand Prix moved to Magny Cours for the following season. The Leyton House design was one of the first designs from the technical genius Adrian Newey which caught Patrick Head’s eye at Williams and the Ferrari victory was the 100th in their history.


Hamilton – Nico’s not a German anyway

Weeks after the qualifying session at Monaco, most people are still undecided whether Nico Rosberg deliberately took to an escape road to unsettle Lewis Hamilton or not. Ever since, the mass media interest in the 2008 F1 World Champion has been unceasing as to whether he is being mentally affected by his team-mate or not.

Team management speak of wanting transparency between the drivers and yet Rosberg states categorically that if he learns a little secret he will keep it to himself. Opinion is also divided as to whether the German management are helping the young German with supposedly ‘secret’ files that explain all of Hamilton’s advantages during race weekends. The Briton’s pit-stops are generally slower than his compatriots and once again, the press and the mischievous Mark Webber ask the emotional Lewis what his thoughts are. Almost as if they expect him to crumble before their eyes.

This gives the appearance of Lewis’ recent comments about Rosberg, being more pointed. Forget about the hunger – “Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment, while Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things, so the hunger is different.” Most recently, to counter the idea that the German team wants a German winner,

Hamilton chose to create mischief by questioning Rosberg’s true nationality.

To be honest, Nico has never been in Germany, so he’s not really German. I remember when we used to race during karting, he never stood next to a German flag – not ever.”

“We would have to go on the start line and all the drivers would have to stand next to a grid girl in a line. The girls would be holding the flags or a sign saying Hungary or whatever, and he always stood by the Monaco one. He never stood by a German flag. He is German-Finnish-Monaco-esque, or whatever. So it would be great to win in Germany.”

Rosberg was born in Weisbaden, south-west Germany. His father was the Finnish 1982 World Champion – Keke Rosberg – and his mother was German. By the time he was four weeks old, he was living in Monaco. Rosberg has dual nationality, being both Finnish and German, but as he carries a German passport the FIA rules state he is confirmed as German.

Lewis is unlikely to receive much of a welcome in Germany following his post race comments, in which he stated that Germans give “one-eighth” the support of British fans. Considering Hamilton is employed by ultimately ‘the Germans’ he would do well to me more considered in his remarks. There are already some reports suggesting Lewis believes the German team is favouring the German driver.

Kevin Eason of the Times defends Hamilton, suggesting he noticed an ironic tone in the Brit’s voice when he made the comments. “It seems Lewis Hamilton disappointed by his treatment in some newspapers/websites on “Nico is not German” quotes. Said to be stoking their feud”, tweeted Eason.

Yet all the F1 drivers in the media’s sharp focus realise their every word is reported verbatim, and at times they most deliberately use this as an opportunity to stir the pot – and then claim they were misrepresented – either by translation or misrepresented humour.

Ask Vettel about ‘balls in the pool’ and Alonso about his whimsical comments wishing for a Red Bull car for his birthday – which earned him a public ear tweaking from Ferrari’s president.

You do the crime – you get the time.

There was one more offering from Hamilton this weekend, which when seen ‘live’, appeared to be more flippant than considered. Toto Wolff had informed reporters that following his retirement Rosberg had offered some advice to Hamilton on his way to the chequered flag. When Hamilton was told about this he replied “Toto said that? That’s good. Toto likes being on that side of the garage.” Hamilton added, “I don’t think I needed it [Rosberg’s tip]. There was no tip as I was catching him.”

This sentiment that Lewis would have won regardless of Nico’s retirement, was one first vocalised by Anthony Hamilton immediately following the race. Yet the evidence for this is scant.

Nico had his first gearbox problem according to Paddy Lowe, early in the race. “There was an early sign of a problem with a strange down shift, then it went away for 10 laps before recurring”.

Following this report Lewis closed the gap from 5.78 seconds to 3.41 seconds over the 9 laps prior to Rosberg pitting on lap 19. Though how much of this was Rosberg starting to look after the car – we don’t know.

Further, post race discussions with a tyre strategist revealed that Rosberg would have taken more life out of his tyres over the opening 9 laps whilst building the 5 second gap to Lewis, and Hamilton closing that gap over laps 10 and 19 may simply have been tyre pay-back time.

We can’t know whether Lewis would have won or not. But he did and now with four points separating the drivers, we have essentially a 10 race world championship and the gloves are being removed as we speak..


Lauda slams ‘balls out’ Raikkonen for Brit GP crash (GMM)

Kimi Raikkonen will sit out the post-British grand prix test, after his high speed crash on Sunday. Sharing the Ferrari duties at Silverstone instead will be Pedro de la Rosa and the Maranello marque’s junior driver Jules Bianchi, who races in F1 for Marussia.

Many paddock cynics suggested the laid-back Finn Raikkonen might not be too upset with Ferrari’s rest order, but a spokesman insisted: “He wanted to drive.” Ferrari says he needs to rest a bruised ankle and knee. The injuries were caused by Raikkonen’s incredible 47G impact against the Silverstone armco, after he ran off the track and then lost control trying to rejoin.

Raikkonen’s crashed car also took out Williams’ Felipe Massa, and a photograph taken by a trackside fan showed how close a flying tyre from the Ferrari came to hitting Max Chilton on the head. “It was a scary moment,” the Marussia driver confirmed. Some, therefore, have been highly critical of Raikkonen, suggesting the crash was caused because he refuses to do otherwise customary pre-race walks of the F1 circuits, noting sites of potential hazards and irregularities.

F1 legend Niki Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, has slammed the Finn. “He went wide, so why does he come in balls out and then crash?” the great Austrian is quoted by AFP news agency. “It was unnecessary.” But Lauda also had a wider criticism, insisting the one-hour race delay to fully repair the damaged armco was “ridiculous”. “This over-nursing of F1, being over cautious, over-controlling and over-regulating drives me mad,” he said.

Indeed, Lauda’s fear that television viewers would switch over to other sporting spectacles, like the Tour de France or Wimbledon, apparently proved correct, with the British Grand Prix recording its worst ratings since 2006.

Lauda even slammed Sebastian Vettel for “screaming like a child” on the radio during his thrilling duel with fellow champion Fernando Alonso. But according to Spain’s Marca, Red Bull’s Christian Horner said the real problem between Vettel and Alonso was “all these rules on the limits of the circuit“.

TJ13 comment: There are times when Lauda comes across in the same manner as Helmut Marko – bristling and bad tempered – but where as Mateschitz’s lap dog does it all in the name of love for the wings, Lauda speaks as he finds for Formula One.

His accident made him a legend and whatever his shortcomings as a man manager, his direct views on Formula One are refreshing. In recent weeks he has attacked the governance of the sport and its complete suffocation of freedom within the sporting events. Everything has to be covered by rules that would excite only Swiss time keepers. Penalties handed out to drivers have stifled their competitiveness and led to children crying that their toy has been taken away as Alonso and Vettel showed us so dramatically at Silverstone.

Eddie Jordan was bemused by Lauda attacking the authoritites that Jordan kisses the hand of constantly, and was apologising for his words, yet viewers around the world rejoiced that at last someone had the balls to say it as it was.


A little Order

Generally TJ13 hasn’t needed to interfere with those readers wishing to comment or debate in the comments section.

Recently, there have been one or two exchanges which was outside what we expect from commentators.

We are committed to not moderating, and this works as long as the ‘majority’ ignore and don’t engage the ‘minority’. However, should a minority persistently engage each other in what is not even really offensive to others – but just puerile and abusive name calling each other- we may need to intervene.

Childish name calling does happen a lot around us – recently ex-England captain of a ‘gentlemen’s’ game called another ex-player “a c^%t”. The once highly respected name caller now just looks rather silly.

If necessary we will exclude IP addresses and monikers. We could even introduce a subscription system for comments with a login, though we would rather do neither.

However, be warned those ‘for whom the cap fits’, the gavel is twitching as we speak and hasn’t been cracked for some time 😉


Why are Mercedes leading formation laps so slowly?

This is the question Felipe Massa would like answering. The consequence for Massa meant he was on a part of the track where he then collided with Kimi during the 2014 British GP.

“All of these cars go very slow on the formation lap,” he said. “We stopped on the track and my clutch went up to a very high temperature so it didn’t work. I started to move the clutch, but the car went into anti-stall so I dropped to last [at the start].

It is a shame because the start is never normally a problem and it would have been a good start and a good race because the car was flying. We would have finished on the podium and we would be third in the [constructors’] championship, so it is a shame what happened.”

Massa claims this has been an issue raised a number of times at the driver briefings this year, yet the FIA has refused to penalise the Mercedes drivers.

“The FIA say we can’t go so slow but they didn’t do anything or penalise anyone. I think if they penalise one car for that by giving them a five grid penalty for the next race, everything will change. I stopped two times, I pulled the clutch and I was waiting because it was so slow. It was so slow we couldn’t do burnouts. You cannot go slow just because you want to. For sure they do it on purpose and they have done it for most of the races, so they are doing it for a reason.

We have complained at many races this year. At the last race [in Austria when Massa was on pole], I think if you check, it was much quicker than the normal races because I was in front. I’m sure it was much quicker than the other races.

Mercedes go slow for a reason but it is sometimes bad for other teams, especially for us. My car was smoking at the rear on the grid and it is thanks to the slow formation lap.”

Since both Mercedes drivers have been doing this, the reason for this tactic there are two main possible reasons.

Firstly, Mercedes believe it protects their car from itself. Travelling at a higher speed may have a negative impact on their car.

However, Mercedes can’t guarantee they will be on pole and this would then bring another possibility into play. Mercedes believe it hurts others more than themselves – something Massa testifies to from Silverstone.

Race start procedure, article 38 states…

38.6 When the green lights are illuminated, the cars will begin the formation lap with the pole position driver leading. When leaving the grid all drivers must respect the pit lane speed limit until they pass pole position. Marshals will be instructed to push any car (or cars) which remain on the grid into the pit lane by the fastest route immediately after cars able to do so have left the grid. Any driver being pushed from the grid may not attempt to start the car and must follow the instructions of the marshals.

38.7 During the formation lap practice starts are forbidden and the formation must be kept as tight as possible.

38.8 Overtaking during the formation lap is only permitted if a car is delayed and cars behind cannot avoid passing it without unduly delaying the remainder of the field. In this case, drivers may only overtake to re-establish the original starting order. Any driver delayed in this way, and who is unable to re-establish the original starting order before he reaches the first safety car line, must enter the pit lane and start from the end of the pit lane as specified in Article 38.2.
Any driver who is delayed leaving the grid may not overtake another moving car if he was stationary after the remainder of the cars had crossed the Line, and must start the race from the back of the grid. If more than one driver is affected, they must form up at the back of the grid in the order they left to complete the formation lap. If the Line is not situated in front of pole position, and for the purposes of this Article as well as Articles 40.14 and 42.6, it will be deemed to be a white line one metre in front of pole position.
Either of the penalties under Articles 16.3a) or b) will be imposed on any driver who, in the opinion of the Stewards, unnecessarily overtook another car during the formation lap.

So no mention is made of slow formation laps, or potential penalties for such actions from the pole sitter.

However, 38.7 does state, “During the formation lap…… the formation must be kept as tight as possible”.

So it appears Felipe will receive little sympathy from the FIA, and if the Williams is not suited to slow formation laps, they better work out how to fix this soon – or get pole.

Rosberg and Hamilton are clearly attempting to do this during the formation lap – which reduces the time they are sat on the grid waiting.

Had Massa’s car not gone into anti stall, it is most likely he would never have been involved in the Kimi accident.

To ensure consistency on the formation lap, the FIA – were they to think of this – could easily enforce all the drivers to drive to a fixed delta time for the various sectors of the formation lap, as they do when the safety car is deployed.


Testing at Silverstone

The teams stayed behind at Silverstone after this weekend’s race  for the final test this season.

So far today Massa has used his frustration and disappointment from the weekend to good effect and was topping the timesheets at noon followed by Rosberg in the Mercedes. Bianchi made good use of his extra time in the Marussia (before taking the wheel of the F14 T tomorrow) and finished the morning session 3rd fastest.

Stoffel VandoorneDe la Rosa in the Ferrari though was down in 7th place while rookies Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Will Stevens (Caterham) 8th and 10th respectively. At the bottom of the timesheets was Ricciardo who, although completing 23 laps failed to set a timed lap.

Pos # Driver Time Laps
1 19 Massa 1m35.242 22
2 6 Rosberg 1m35.573 41
3 17 Bianchi 1m36.406 76
4 11 Perez 1m36.589 48
5 25 Vergne 1m37.176 21
6 13 Maldonado 1m37.374 54
7 28 De la Rosa 1m37.988 48
8 32 Vandoorne 1m38.554 33
9 99 Sutil 1m39.150 31
10 45 Stevens 1m41.493 45
11 3 Ricciardo 23


The Pirelli 18inch Future

In a bid to make Formula One more road relevant and allow for greater technology transfer between Formula One tyres and road car tyres, Pirelli has been promoting the use of larger diameter tyres since joining the sport as official tyre supplier in 2010.

The company claims this change to 18inch is a genuine desire from the teams, promoter and other stakeholders to move in such a direction. They feel the technology is already in place to produce this type of tyre with the same standards of performance and reliability set by the current 13-inch rubber and, as the new tyre concept is at the beginning of its development curve, they believe the possibilities are almost limitless. This could include even larger sizes in future.

Hembery made it clear that they are not pushing for the change, “as our [Pirelli] role in Formula One is not to instigate changes. Instead, it’s to help teams and drivers make the most out of the equipment, regulations and resources they have at their disposal – whatever they decide that framework is going to be.

Tomorrow Charles Pic will drive an 18inch shod Lotus E22 as part of Pirelli’s test programme. (a dentist will also on standby due to the reduced damping expected from the new tyres and wheels :P)


Formula E takes to the track

The sport took an interesting decision to run its first public test days for all the teams involved in the Formula E, during the Thursday and Friday of the Silverstone GP weekend. By doing so, Formula E certainly sacrificed some of the potential limelight, yet maybe at just an hour’s drive from Silverstone, the Donnington Park tests for the electric cars may have tempted some F1 fans to pop in and have a look.

Considering this is a spec series, the day 1 times were a wide spread. Over the 4.02 km circuit. Even extracting the double digit deficits of the Dragon Racing, the other 17 drivers were spread across 5.442 seconds on day 2.

Unsurprisingly, Lucas di Grassi of Audi Sport topped the time sheets, having been privileged to drive the Formula E cars a number of times before at promotional events.

He was closely followed by ex-Toro Rosso driver, Sebastian Buemi who was just over 0.1s back in the e.Dams Renault. In third place was Nick Heidfeld for the Monte Carlo based team, Venturi.

The debate amongst the spectator’s on day 1 was predominantly about the noise – part space ship, part jet engine – and whether the 80 decibel volume was really loud enough.

For those who believe this is a mere whimsical idea emanating from Paris (FIA), Alain Prost and Sir Frank Williams are backing the new series, with Emerson Fittipaldi enthusiastically announcing a “new era for motor racing”.

Just like F1 at present, Formula E boasts 3 major car manufacturer’s participating, Audi, Renault and Indian giant Mahindra.

Formula E has bold ambitions – including, to change the world. Racing in cities where congestion and smog rule people’s lives is the “natural environment for electric cars” , insists Formula E CEO,Alejandro Agag.

Steven Lu, CEO of the China Racing Formula Eteam says: “It is very important to get more electric cars on the streets of Chinese cities. Beijing went from having 800,000 to 6.5m cars in 10 years and there is a lot of pollution in China and in cities around the world. The problem for electric cars in China is that people think the safety, reliability and range is not so good. But people will think that if they can race, they are safe.”

Formula E may conquer another problem F1 is struggling with. Agag believes the not having to travel to remote racing circuits and free access to the sport will attract and intrigue young people, something Prost reckons F1 is failing to do. “In Formula One it is difficult to attract younger people today.”

Whilst the cars looked somewhat underpowered on the pit straight at Donnington, reaching top speed with a third of the run to the first corner to go, their lack of top speed will be irrelevant on the street circuits where they race.

This was evident at the Donnington Circuit’s, Melbourne hairpin corner, where the drivers repeatedly experimented with different lines. Without exception, each driver found the back end hard to control as they applied the power and the torque from the electric engines kicked in with gusto.

It’s unlikely we will hear squealing car to pit radio complaints, such as was evident from Alonso and Vettel at the British GP, as Sam Bird of Virgin Racing explains. “The difference between a street circuit and conventional circuit is, if you make a mistake, you are in the barrier, not in a gravel trap or spinning onto extra tarmac.”

Further, someone responsible for Formula E track logistics informed this writer they don’t believe they will experience embarrassing 1 hour delays to races following crashes into the barriers, due to “innovative solutions for quick trackside repairs, which may show F1 a thing or two”.

The next test begins at Donnington tomorrow and entry is free to the public; the first race in Beijing is just 67 days away.


A third of Caterham staff to be sacked

The mysterious new owners behind Caterham may not have the deep pockets many fans of the team had hoped. Colin Kolles, advisor to the new mysteriously anonymous owners, has said “I prefer to have 200 safe jobs than 300 lost jobs. Sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions,” he insisted.

Ecclestone himself admitted at the weekend he had ‘no idea’ who the investors behind the Caterham acquisition were.

The Airbus and General Electric logo’s were gone from the cars last weekend, though there was no time to remove them from the team clothing at the Silverstone GP.

Kolles reveals the Fernandes regime was “a mess” and that “a lot has been resolved within three days. We still have creditors to sort out, who are normal trade creditors. This is what we are trying to do. To bring everything to calm waters”.

One or both of the Caterham drivers may also be feeling the cut of the grim reaper’s blade as Kolles adds, “In terms of performance we have to look into this. And we are looking into this. I don’t want to spread rumours around because it makes no sense.

I had meetings with the management and drivers. I think I am always transparent. The last driver I sacked out of Formula One was Christijan Albers. And he’s my team principal. This should give you a taste of how I deal with people.”

There have been suggestions this is an asset striping exercise, which sees the team eventually wound up and shut down.

Kolles denies this explaining, “This is a Malaysian company, running under a Malaysian flag currently. It has nothing to do with the Romanian project,” he said. “It’s difficult to change the name and to change a company which is registered in Malaysia and bring it to Romania.

This company (1Malaysia Racing Team) has the entry and you cannot transfer this. If that company no longer exists you lose the entry. The entry is related not to a name but a company number.”

However, this is slightly disingenuous as Kolles himself managed the former Jordan team through various incarnations as Midland, Spyker and then Force India.

It could be that should the FIA not grant the final permissions for the planned Forza Rossa new entry for 2016, that Caterham will morph into that team for 2015.

In any case, it may be advantageous for the investors to pursue this path regardless of the FIA permissions for the current new application, as the bond required for start up teams, some $30m, should still be in place from Caterham.

The ‘1Malaysai Racing Team’ could easily stop trading as Caterham for F1 purposes and become Formula Rossa.


Fan viewing areas being obscured by FOM

It became apparent this year at Silverstone, that certain areas, particularly on the infield, were being screened with 4 metre high green mesh at the instructions of FOM. One fan asked a spectator viewing marshal why this was and was informed, “Bernie doesn’t like the advertising on the side of the busses going by”

Further, a number of fans complained to marshals about not being able to get to their ‘regular’ viewing points which had now been restricted. Again, the response given inferred fans were not welcome into that area anymore as virtual advertising was being used.

GA is a way of life for many who attend the British GP year in year out – and it’s not just about buying the cheapest ticket. It is about being able to choose different places from where to view the race and after all a fold away chair can be more comfortable than the Silverstone Grandstand flip up seating.

FOM would rather everyone sit in a grandstand because it is easier to control the crowd shots they broadcast around the world. In Monza two years ago, the first two stands on the outside of the circuit coming out of the last corner, Parabolica, were almost completely empty. They never featured in the TV footage.

If this is the case and Silverstone are obliged to reduce the GA viewing areas, then it may be the crowds over time begin to diminish.

No official figures have yet been released, however 2 days before the race Silverstone organisers expected a crowd of 120,000, the third-highest in history behind 2011 and 2012.

That said, to this writers naked eye, it appeared as though parts of the circuit were not as well populated as in 2013 – by some margin.

Silverstone has the most expensive General Admission tickets on the F1 calendar at £170 for 3 days this year, £140 for race day. Compare this to tickets being sold in Abu Dhabi earlier this month at the Yas Marina Circuit – just £210 for a grandstand seat with a great view for 3 days.

The cost of GA at Silverstone is moving towards the cost of a grandstand seat. Maybe this is designed to persuade the fans to stop being such a bloody nuisance by getting in the camera shot when they are not wanted.


Caterham sign new driver

GP2 race winner Nathanaël Berthon has today been confirmed as one of the drivers in Caterham F1 Team’s new Development Driver Program. The Development Driver Program is allegedly there to provide “up-and-coming racing drivers the opportunity to embed themselves in Caterham F1 Team’s on and off-track operations, helping to prepare them fully for the step up to Formula One”.

Some say…..also to provide cash and receive FP1 drives.

Nathanaël already has F1 experience, having driven in the 2011 young driver test at Abu Dhabi for HRT – a Colin Kolles previous connection.

Since 2012 he has been competing in GP2, winning the GP2 sprint race in Hungary in 2013 when he was with Trident Racing, and now competing in the 2014 season with Venezuela GP Lazarus.

Christijan Albers, CEO, Caterham F1 Team: “We are very pleased to welcome Nathanaël into our team as the first driver in our Development Driver Program. He is an exciting young talent with a proven track record in the feeder series for F1 and as he already has F1 experience he fits very neatly into our team. We will work closely with him to help him reach his full potential and are all excited about seeing him continue to grow as a driver, in and out of the cockpit.” (Caterhamf1.com)


FIA invites teams to protest Mercedes superior technology

There are times in life where such whimsical and pernicious evil is evident, even those of no religious persuasion sense the hand of Satan is at work.

Today, the FIA have written to the Formula 1 teams informing them they believe that a number of the (FRIC) Front-and-Rear-Interconnected-Suspension systems may be illegal.

Charlie Whiting issued a technical directive today stating. “Having now seen and studied nearly every current design of front-to-rear linked suspension system, as well as reviewing future developments some teams have shared with us, we are firmly of the view that the legality of all such systems could be called into question, particularly with respect to compliance with Article 3.15 of the F1 Technical Regulations.

As these systems, in one form or another, have been in use for some time we are inclined to permit their continued use for the remainder of the current season, however, we feel we would need the agreement of all participating teams to take this approach. We would therefore be very grateful if you could indicate whether you may be in a position to agree with such an approach.

Failing this, we would have to consider making a report to the stewards about the non-compliance of any car fitted with a system which appears to allow the response of the suspension at either or both of the rear corners to drive the response of the suspension at either or both of the front corners (or vice versa).”

Article 3.15 is being cited as the regulation in question. It makes illegal any part of the car that influences the aerodynamics that is not “rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car.”

Indeed as Charlie states, FRIC systems have been in existence for some time. Adrian Newey had a form of FRIC in use back in the day at Leyton House back in the early nineties. More recent iterations are credited to Renault in 2008, and Aldo Costa is believed to have masterminded the Mercedes system, which has been under development for some years.

Put simply, this system links the front and rear suspension to maintain a constant ride height and reduce pitch and roll.

Under Ross Brawn, Mercedes took FRIC to a whole new level, such that a TJ13 article in December 2012 described the system as akin in its advancement to “spaceship technology”. At the time Mercedes were under performing badly and one commentator quipped that ‘no trophies were being awarded for space ship racing’.

Scarbs revealed to TJ13 in the past few minutes that all the teams have some form of FRIC system, though behind Mercedes…. Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull and Marrusia have the most developed mechanisms.

Whilst Whiting does state, “all such systems COULD be called into question,” clearly one team has a lot more to lose with an interuptus to the status quo. Mercedes.

The biggest effect of losing FRIC will be that ride heights would increase with a subsequent loss of down force.

The shocking part of today’s communication is that the FIA have challenged the teams to make a unanimous decision; to in effect decide upon a regulation allowing FRIC to the end of the year. Failure to do so will mean the consequence will be one team’s suspension system will be open to protest from another in Hockenheim.

When were the F1 teams in unanimous agreement over anything? And surely at least one team with a relatively basic system will seek to leverage their position over this.

The timing given for compliance gives this technical directive the appearance of being a political act – and the evidence for that is in the timings allowed for teams to comply. The Renault teams who were drilling into the fuel flow sensor earlier this year, were given several weeks to desist and then use only unmodified versions of the sensor. A fairly simple process.

There is less than two weeks to Hockenheim and the ramifications could be enormous.

Let’s speculate a little….

Charlie Whiting has been a close friend and supporter of Ecclestone for many years, harking back to the days of Brabham.

To suggest Ecclestone and Stuttgart are not exactly on the best of terms, would be the understatement of the millennium.

One of Max Moselys’s last acts as president of the FIA (at Bernie’s behest) gave Charlie a long contract as Formula One Race Director, Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter and head of the F1 Technical Department – just before he handed the reigns over to Todt.

Todt was not amused to have Bernie’s pal practically running F1 from the FIA’s perspective.

The fact that Whiting’s contract is shortly up for renewal by Todt is impossible to ignore.

As an attempt to cause deep division between Mercedes and F1 this could easily be viewed as resembling some sort of scorched earth policy one would associate with none other than Ecclestone himself.

Of course other conspiracy theories are possible as to why this bizarre technical directive has been issued, and why particularly now.


156 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 8th July 2014

  1. I’ve always liked lauda. As he is always on the german RTL before and after the race and he always says it like he thinks it is. And often he is just right. And he doesn’t think about being subtle. People don’t understand subtleties. They need to be “shocked” by direct opinions. But then again many people don’t like people who are to direct…

    • I’ve really warmed to Lauda this past season and a half. I thought initially he was just going to meddle with things a screw them up (a little like Jaguar), but I respect his straight talking and the racer mind set he bring to the table. Its actually Toto Wolff I have taken a dislike to. Everything that comes out of his mouth is corporate PR crap. I can imagine there are regularly heated discussions between Lauda and Wolff behind closed doors as I expect that Wolff has wanted to use team orders from the start. I also love the way Lauda drops the swear word into his comments because it’s great to see the anchors squirm and quickly apologise, even when Nikkei us spot on lol

      • Its ideal for Mercedes isn’t it ? Toto and Niki balance eachother out. Until the bubble bursts anyway.

    • Much as I respect Lauda as an ex driver, I struggle to respect his comments regarding current drivers sometimes. What the Judge correctly notes is that Marko is a lap dog, but lets not kid anyone here, Lauda is a very astute guy, but he’s also a Mercedes employee nowadays.

      Niki has a bit of history surrounding comments about drivers that he’s not got a working relationship with, see Hamilton ‘completely mad/going to get someone killed’ comments. Now he’s taking a pop at Kimi. Would Niki make a comment about either of the current Merc drivers? Absolutely not.

      On that basis I struggle with the assertion “Lauda speaks as he finds for Formula One”. Niki used to be like that, but now? Well now he has a vested interest, and that changes the ball game.

      • Couldn’t have said it better myself. Lauda is a great diplomat despite the impression that he may create as an outspoken ex-F1 driver. Do you really think that he cares that much for Hamilton? No, he just knows that if Lewis doesn’t win the WDC this willr eflect bad on him, because he brought him in and asked Merc to cough up the big bucks.
        There’ll be a major power struggle between Wolff and Lauda and hence the drivers they back (Nico and Lewis respectively). But if push comes to shove, who do you think Merc will back? The young and upcoming big gun in an executive position with shares in the team, or the old ex-driver in a non-executive position who’s seen as an unpolished character of the paddock?

  2. Morning Judge

    Anyway you could upload the pic of how close the tyre came to hitting Max. That’s if you’ve got a copy of it.

  3. He gets a win (inherited) and opens his trap again.

    Can someone, somewhere, tell him to focus and stop talking shit about his Teammate. Just makes him look a fool and totally preoccupied with Nico.

    This guy’ fluctuations are worse then the Chinese Stock Exhange.

    • If he was asked the question, what answer is he supposed give.
      It’s not like he called a press conference to announce that he didn’t see Nico as a German and Hockenhiem could never be his home race.

      See my comment below.

      • I’m sorry, but that excuse doesn’t wash. And it shows that Lewis is lacking in cleverness. If I am asked if my team-mate is ‘really German’, seriously. The journo’s intention couldn’t be more obvious if it pleasured him in the back of the team truck. They wanted him to say something controversial about Rosberg. What about that answer? “Why don’t you ask Nico. Wouldn’t he be better suited to comment on his nationality?”

        alas, he trapped into the walk…

      • FT is right, it’s not his business to comment about other drivers and that should be his answer. Apparently the guy hasn’t learn anything from his recent experience.

        • Or how about what Clear View said, “it was an answer to a question which he was asked, as well as we don’t know in what context the question was asked”

          Not everything is always mind games.

          Everything that either driver says, will be viewed in that context of “mind games” and I think that’s only because they are the only 2 people fighting for the championship.

    • Yeah, there’s nothing to be gained by Hamilton in doing this. One of the first rules of politics is that the party leader shouldn’t be seen slagging their opponents. You get an arm’s-length attack dog for that stuff.

      All that he says is true enough, Rosberg has said himself in the past that he never identified with Germany as “his” country. He considers himself “European”. He only first started racing under the German flag starting in 2004 Euro F3, and he’s said in the past that he did so b/c it would help for sponsorship.

      As for the comments about Wolff, I’d like to see exactly what was said. Rule one for any job is that you don’t slag the boss. Total CLM.

      • Good for Hamilton for pointing out the truth. It’s refreshing to seem him refuse to play PC w/ a slippery character like Rosberg, and I’ll keep supporting him, as long as he keeps winning and doesn’t talk too much about God.

        • …..“I’ll keep supporting him, as long as he keeps winning and

            doesn’t talk too much about God


          good point Joe… and thank God for that 😉

  4. I really think Lewis’ comments have been lifted from a longer interview but no-one knows just how leading the question was that got the answer the quoted text is from. We all know how journalists like to use questions that get them answers they can then cherry pick the juicy bits from.

    I don’t for a second think Lewis was asked directly if he thought Nico would have home advantage at the next race, then blurted out the answer printed above, I expect he was asked something like “would you say that given Nico grew up in Monaco, is the next race his ‘home race’ because he is registered to race in Germany?”

    It’s definitely an answer to a question not a statement released with the sole purpose to try and destabilize Nico.

    Too much is made from what Lewis says in my opinion (and it is only an opinion) and the Media are trying to whip things into a frenzy.

    All the great drivers in Formula 1 have had a ‘win at all cost’ attitude and have done some really shitty things to ensure they came out on top (Shumi parking his car at Monaco to clinch pole, Senna/Prost both as bad as each other) yet when Lewis shows and puts this mentality into play people shoot him down.

    • You are totally right, the media is a dangerous thing. No doubt plenty of people will go nuts about his statement again.

      “yet when Lewis shows and puts this mentality into play people shoot him down.”
      Maybe its because he’s black? Sorry, couldnt help myself.

      • “Maybe its because he’s black?”

        You meant it as a joke, but in all seriousness there may be something to it, however subtle and even if only at a subconscious level.

        It is staggering how many people insult Lewis’ intelligence. I myself am still trying to figure out the rights or wrongs of this (there may even be a reverse effect here, where Lewis himself sees the world in white and black and voluntarily brings about awkward behavior; or simplest of all, the guy is still maturing!), however I can’t help but notice that few other (white) F1 drivers get their intelligence insulted.

        Here at TJ13 we tease Max with his Super Hair, Nico with his Britney-manicure, Kimi with his vodka partying, Fred with his self-declared samurai wisdom, Jenson with his corporate ass-kissing and eternal missing balance, Esteban with his driving talent (or lack thereof), Pastor with his fetish for crashes, Mark with his aura of a Saint, Sebastien with his hissy fits, Daniel with his Colgate smiles, Felipe and his penchant for following orders, etc., etc. But funnily whenever something awkward happens around Lewis, people immediately start shooting at his intelligence.. Go figure.

        • ” … Lewis, people immediately start shooting at his intelligence … ”

          Now who could be the mystery famous person “quoted” here:


          “… For argument’s sake, it has long been suggested Rosberg is a cerebral character, a thinker who analyses data to the nth degree in a bid to gain an edge wherever possible.

          By contrast there is a tale with regard to Hamilton that was recently aired, and for confidentiality reasons the storyteller has to remain nameless, as will the renowned person who uttered the quote.

          Earlier this season Hamilton was bluntly told: “You are fast, but you are stupid!” It is understood the Briton was somewhat gobsmacked.

          But perhaps this strikes at the heart of Hamilton the racing driver, that yes, he is quick, but when it comes to dissecting the minutiae, devouring the detail, he is not quite as savvy. …”

        • I’ve taken a pop at Lewis’s in the past previously. It’s nothing to do with his skin colour, as I’m in no way racist. I wouldn’t care if Lewis was purple with bright green spots. It’s the actions which make me wonder if he’s as sharp as an Alonso or even Rosberg.

          Lewis isn’t thick, but compare and contrast with Alonso’s political astuteness, Fernando would lead him a merry dance. There are numerous examples of where LH has set himself up for a fall. Monaco and his “because I’m black” comment was a massive error IMO. Rosberg up until this weekend was getting on top of Lewis thanks to partially reliability of the car, but also using mind games to beat Lewis, and he was well on the way again on Sunday bar that gearbox failure. Some things that stick out for me are the period of driving into gaps that were closing in 2011 with Massa, then complaining about the car to McLaren – Ron will have been pleased!

          The radio traffic of last year was also interesting, when was the last time you heard a driver on the radio asking how to overtake a car infront? He never did make it past Hulk in that race – Alonso zipped past both. Then we have the frantic calls of “don’t talk to me I’m racing” and “I need more information why aren’t you telling me where X is” – which is it? !

          This years complaint on the radio about ‘I knew you wouldn’t bring me in’ then complaining post race (when he should be more measured) about how McLaren had two strategy guys etc. Not wise, not endearing to his employers.

          Equally there is a good deal of rumour suggesting he doesn’t bond too well with his team. Compare that with Vettel or Button who are great at pulling people around them to make themselves stronger. Nico is rumoured to spend vastly longer with his engineers, why is that? Lewis suggested that Nico takes longer to understand. I think that’s not only a silly thing to suggest, but also demonstrates his lack of understanding. The guys who spend a long time with the data generally do well – Schumacher, Prost & Vettel immediately spring to mind.

          None of the above indicates to me that he’s the smartest guy in F1. No, that’s Fernando, he who promotes his own skills, has the world saying he’s the best driver and the car is always dire – the guy is a PR genius.

          I think the way I’d describe Lewis is a damn fast driver, but he doesn’t have the additional mental capacity that drivers like Schumacher and Senna were famed for. I don’t think anyone would see Rosberg as the faster driver between he and Lewis, but F1 isn’t about who’s fastest, it’s about who’s best, and best incorporates intelligence. It’s an area where he can improve IMO.

          I really thought Lewis would have learnt from his time with Jenson Button at McLaren. Jenson isn’t the fastest in F1, we know that, but he’s a smart guy. He knows how to manipulate people and situations to benefit himself and his results. I feel like Lewis didn’t really pick up any of that – other than complaining that Jenson had his ‘bubble’ around him…

          • @ “Paul”

            I couldn’t have put it better myself.

            That’s from a committed Lewis fan.

          • I’m sorry Paul, but I disagree with some of the things you’ve said, particularly this statement

            ” Nico is rumoured to spend vastly longer with his engineers, why is that? Lewis suggested that Nico takes longer to understand.”…

            Actually that was not what he said, what he actually said was..

            “I’ve heard people say that I don’t spend a longtime with my engineers like nico does. If he takes 3hrs to tell his engineers what he wants from the car and it takes me 30mins, that doesn’t mean he’s doing more work than I am”

            Lewis is a racing driver and all he wants to do is race. The politics of the sport is clearly something he has no interest in, so it’s all good and dandy that the drivers you mention have that side to them, it doesn’t mean he should mimic their behaviour. Which driver hasn’t put their foot in their mouth at times?

            But I’m sorry, IMHO, your statement feeds into the same rhetoric that Lewis is unintelligent and stupid. Yes at times he has made some serious error of judgement with some of the things he has said, but it’s also unfair for him to continually being portrayed for lacking intelligence. For all the talk of Nico’s level of intelligence, the only thing of note that anyone can point to, is that he speaks 5 or 6 different languages.

            So if anyone thinks there’s not an underlying tone of racism attached to how he’s portrayed, have got the wool rightly pulled over their eyes.

          • Cont’d….

            “That doesn’t mean he’s doing more work than me, it just means that I get through what I need to, quicker than he does, but in the end, we cover the same things”..

            My quote is not word for word.

          • “So if anyone thinks there’s not an underlying tone of racism attached to how he’s portrayed, have got the wool rightly pulled over their eyes.”

            The media’s portrayal of certain drivers is frustrating. It’s not something I buy into though. I would have thought my previous comments about Alonso, Vettel and even Lewis show that.

            RE: Nico, I think many respect the way in which he ‘learns’ to be faster over a race weekend – that comes from the time with engineers IMO. Additionally I think back to things like Nico’s radio message asking about Lewis’s brake balance in Canada, that shows a level of maturity and confidence whilst in a close inter-team battle. Then when the MGU-K failed on both cars, one driver says “loss of power” the other says “”K isn’t there anymore”, I’ll let you work out who made each comment.

            I’m not saying Nico is a genius, nor am I saying Lewis is thick, but I do think Nico has areas where he’s stronger than Lewis, as Lewis has areas he’s stronger than Nico.

          • The last part of your statement is what I would agree with a million times over. Both driver have strengths and weaknesses, so that’s why I think it’s unfair when he’s be in portrayed as only being “a fast driver”.

            Before the start of the season, the main question asked was, “how will he adapt to the new rules and having to employ a different driving style, tyre preservation, fuel consumption etc”

            He has surely put that question to rest.

            Lewis isn’t without his flaws, but ask yourself this, “us anything he says or do, any different from what we have seen currently and in the past?

            This is what draws fans to the sport, because he’s open and honest, sometimes too honest for his own good and at times could do with a “no comment” when confronted with a leading question. He’s a racer and IMHO the only thing he cares about is just to go out there and go flat out from lights to flag.

          • Context is vital in these circumstances.

            In Canada, Nico & Lewis had different biases to brake balance, Lewis by default is set up to allow for late braking, even more so in Canada as he was to chase down Nico & as the pressure began to bear on Nico in this different braking approach, he inquired about Lewis brake bias.

            However, the gods were about to strike.

            With Lewis’ bias more to the back, the failure of the MGU-K had more of a fatal impact than Nico, whose front bias fortuitously let his rear brakes not to bear the sudden braking force requirement that was fatal for Lewis.

          • I think people have mixed up politicking and pushing yourself forward within a corporation with intelligence. These are two different things. It requires intelligence to be at that level of F1 and be able to develop a car as Lewis has proven.
            Button for example, has never been influential in developing a car. In 2009, after the first 7-8 races, Barrichello started having the upper hand because he was the one developing the car. Hamilton leaves and McLaren plummets. Where is Button’s developing skills? On the other hand, Alonso and he are in a class of their own when it comes to politicking, mind games and getting the engineers around them. Whitmarsh loved that, Dennis doesn’t!

          • Totally agree with Paul, I think he isn’t very intelligent because of the evidence in his behavior and comments, it has nothing to do with his color. I have no respect for Vettel because he doesn’t behave like a responsable adult, and last time I checked he was white. It’s just his behavior that I can judge.
            “Equally there is a good deal of rumour suggesting he doesn’t bond too well with his team”. If he were intelligent he would know that he has to respect his team, if not because he actually respect them at least because is convenient to do so. Some mechanics and engineers at McLaren commented that they wanted him to leave because they disliked him. Some Mercedes personnel has already commented that they found disrespectful of him to ask for paddock passes for his dogs while they have to wait for years to get a pass to bring their family. I was thinking this weekend, he keeps getting slow pit stops even when Rosberg isn’t on track, it doesn’t serve any purpose, does it? So maybe they are slow on his stops only because they -the mechanics- dislike him and don’t feel motivated to help him. After all, do you feel motivated to help a coworker that is all the time bitching about you and showing that he/she doesn’t respect you as Lewis does?

        • @landroni Howard Gardner has a theory of multiple intelligiences that I find quite applicable. I think he divides it up into 7 categories like social emotional academic music etc., you get the idea.

          Anyhoo, where I’m going is that Lewis is by any standard definition intelligent, you’d have to be in order to compete at this level, it’s utterly daft to think otherwise. But when it comes to, let’s call it media intelligence, he seems to be a bit tone deaf or unable to perceive how his words might look out of context.

          To be fair, I would assume this to be really more of a learned skill, but some drivers (Fred, let’s say) have mastered this more completely and make him look poor by comparison.

          Though much like Lauda, I have to say it’s refreshing that he is often willing to say what he thinks, even if it makes me cringe or I disagree. I find Lauda to be the same, though it’s clear Niki is much more astute with what he says, whereas Lewis seems more unconsidered.

          Lastly, I just want to add that for those who’ve never had the joy of seeing their words reprinted in such a way as to not carry the least shred of their original meaning, that saying what you want in such a way that it can’t be misrepresented, even if the journalist is sympathetic, is way, *way* harder than you might imagine. Given the demands on their attention, they do a pretty remarkable job all the way round.

          • @Mattpt55

            Great comment.
            I agree that intelligence has no bearing on how you interact with others. Look at some of the engineers that get interviewed and see how socially awkward they are (big bang theory anyone) even Newey strikes me as slightly awkward on occasion and he is undeniably one clever mo-fo.
            With regards Lewis, you have to remember his dad helped him a lot with media etc as he is a smart cookie when it comes to that sort of thing, I think Lewis’s current management just see a cash cow and not a guy who is at the top of his game but needs help with the Media stuff.

          • “Tone deaf media intelligence” is a bad phrase but it’s implied meaning is spot on. It’s remarkable that someone who has had to deal with media for so much of his life keeps on making such a mess of it.
            I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he is unintelligent, but the guy just never learns and people who don’t learn are dumb. As in “the dumb bastard has put his foot in in again”. Not “as dumb as a box of hammers”. There are plenty of extremely intelligent people in the world who I’d happily call dumb bastards – I work with quite a few!
            And I don’t think you can use the ‘context’ thing as a shovel to fill in the holes he constantly digs for himself either. Some of the crap he comes up with is ridiculous in any context.

      • Further to your comment, after the Saturday qualification fiasco, Lewis was asked why he aborted that final run, he said he had no answer to that. He was attacked viciously for this “non comment”.

        There would be a lynching if Lewis decided not to talk to the press to the end of the season.

          • Bollocks! There are any number of answers he could have given to that very simple question that would have left him undamned:
            “I thought conditions weren’t improving and decided to back off rather than risk an incident in the wet”
            “I wasn’t happy with the start of the lap and I didn’t think there was any point pushing on with it”
            “I didn’t think Nico or I could improve our times”
            “I spilled my frozen coke in my lap”
            “I just plain screwed up”

    • Indeed, context is all.

      Selective quoting for controversial effect seems to be the dominant mode of F1 journalism at the moment.

      • … I think that’s unfair….. Lewis said this stuff to more than one person post the race… in various guises and was clearly being mischievous at best….

        …and mischievous is akin to mind games… which is fine… but then what happens when it comes back the other way?

        It’s no problem – Hamilton is putting the team on notice – “No preferential treatment to Rosberg”… didn’t a certain self appointed Samurai F1 driver do this once?

        • Hmm, here’s how the Independent had it:

          Asked how valuable it would be to win the 29-year-old’s home race in Germany, Hamilton replied with a grin: “To be honest Nico has never actually been in Germany, so it’s not really his home race.

          “I remember when we were in karting he didn’t stand next to a German flag – ever!

          “We had to go on the start line and all the drivers would stand next to a grid girl.

          “They would be holding a flag or a sign saying Hungary or whatever, and he always stood by Monaco. He never stood by Germany.

          “I’ve known him growing up in Monaco, so I know Monaco is his home.”

          Hamilton at least appreciates Rosberg will likely have more support than previously, with Red Bull’s four-times champion Sebastian Vettel struggling this year.

          The Briton added: “He definitely will because undoubtedly he’s German, but he’s German, Finnish, from Monaco or whatever.

          “So he’ll get that support in Monaco and Germany, and he’s always had great support there.

          “He’ll have a busier week there than I will, just like I did ahead of Silverstone.

          “But it’s always good to beat others on their home turf, so it would be great to win in Germany.”


          So he does say he’s “undoubtedly” German, though does play some mischief with it along the way. I think Rosberg is best termed a “permanent ex-pat German”.

          • The really telling thing is that Lewis seems to have developed a sort of obsession with Nico’s background. That’s like the 3rd or fourth time he points out that Nico grew up in Monaco. Who cares? Why does he go back there again and again? It makes him look silly, imho.
            He knows the truth as much as anyone else. Nico was born in Germany, has a German mother and German passport. So the claim ‘Nico never was in Germany’ makes him sound stupid. What counts is that Nico considers himself German. He speaks the language perfectly while speaking almost no Finnish, so it becomes obvious where his preference is. The fact that he raced on a finnish license in his early years was, because he could get it at an earlier age than the German one. And who would wait a year or two if there was an alternative.

          • I’m sorry hippo, but he doesn’t consider himself to be German, that’s something he has said himself.

            Him racing under the German flag, is more a matter of convenience so as to garner more sponsors.

            Doesn’t he also speak another 4 or so language fluently as well?

          • as I said. In his early career he ran under the finish flag as he could get it a year or two early than the german one

          • “I’ve noticed that there is something missing, something that for instance the Brazilian drivers have when they come up to the podium to celebrate their victory with the Brazilian flag”, says Rosberg.

            “It would be nice if I felt the same way. When my win here was celebrated with the playing of the German national anthem, it felt kind of weird to me. I don’t have that sense of belonging, either to Germany or to Finland. Maybe when I’m driving races I sort of feel a stronger pull towards Finland, since it reminds me of my father’s achievements in the sport.”

            When Nico Rosberg he was driving in the German Formula BMW series in 2002, it was with a Finnish licence. But in GP2 he has raced under the German flag.

            “I had to choose one of my nationalities. Since I am a driver who does not have any big corporate sponsors behind me, it is easier to get into Formula One if you are seen to come from a big country the size of Germany”, says Rosberg.

            “Still, it’s a great situation that in Germany I’m regarded as German, and in Finland as a Finn. And it’s quite right, too, since I am my father’s son.”

            It does not unduly trouble him that his relationship with Finland is looser than for instance that of his GP2 rival Heikki Kovalainen.

            “No, I’m a citizen of two countries, and I accept that for what it is.”

            … from http://www.hs.fi/english/article/1101981166932

            Of course, on his website now, he states that he is German.

            I was born on June 27th 1985 in Wiesbaden, Germany and raised in Monaco. My family’s roots are in Germany and Finland, but I consider myself a German.

          • Like I said – context. Thanks for that.

            Seems to me like a tongue in cheek reply to Nico’s earlier comment about Silverstone not being Hamilton’s home race, as opposed to that of a certain team based in Brackley…

            Not exactly a declaration of war on either side.

            Likewise, rather than the rehash of Toto’s comments above, his more recent interview gives quite a different impression:

            “I think, different to what the perception is, mentally he is very strong.

            “He can cope well with having had problems.

            “One of the examples in the race was when he had another pitstop that wasn’t perfect on the left rear.

            “The first thing he did was he came on the radio and he said: ‘Don’t worry, let’s make the next one better’.

            “You can see the momentum in the team. It’s not a blaming culture in here and we are trying to improve all together.

            “So he would have moved out of his low anyway. But winning at home, in front of such a crowd, that’s going to give him a big boost.

            “I’m on the inside, and if you see how the radio communication goes, and how calm everything happens, there are no bad words anymore,” he said. “There’s no negative excitement emotion.

            “For Nico it’s the same. He was facing a disaster and retirement, and he was very calm trying to go through the settings.

            “It was the same with Lewis. The way he communicates with his engineers is, for me, 10 out of 10.

            “We spent a lot of time with each other. Even on Saturday night he had a very stable and sure way of tackling things.”

            (btw, my comments about selective quoting were not aimed at this site – more of a general observation.)

        • I believe you have elevated conspiracy theories, selective reporting and rumour mongering to an art form. From contracts, to hissy fits, reading minds etc. This makes for interesting reading, but don’t for a second consider this proper or insightful reporting.

  5. How come my comment is awaiting Moderation? I’ve never seen that up before on my comments, I thought this site didn’t do moderation/censorship.

    • Did you perhaps change your email or had links in it? Another option might be that you posted two or three comments in quick succession. Spamfilters don’t like that.

  6. I think I fall in the category of the twitching gavel.

    So I’d like to apologise to the TJ13 community for the inappropriate language that I have used on occasions.

    • Good on you Fortis, though I think the response to your posts has been more distasteful that your posts themselves. I’m a Lewis fan, and I think you often go too far with your defense for my tastes, the random insults and name calling you get are totally unwarranted. So long as you keep you discourse polite and relevant its all good by my book, and if folks have a pop, just ignore them.

    • I too would like to apologise, mainly to Fortis really. It’s like Massa vs Lewis in 2011. Too many run-ins. I’d like to think you respect my opinion as I respect yours. For me it’s always great to get a perspective from the otherside of the fence.

      • I don’t mind run – ins, just as long as it doesn’t get to the point whereby it descends into name calling and the use of profanity, I don’t mind at all. Because we are all just giving our opinions on the issues of the day, sometimes we will agree and times we won’t, so from once we agree to disagree, then it’s water under the bridge.

        • Well said Fortis,
          It’s not the bad language that gets me, it’s as you said, the name calling and other personal insults by certain posters just isn’t necessary to make a point.
          Alonso is fuckin’ quick! – fine

          You’re a dickhead! – not fine

          You know who you are……………….LoL

          • Fair points CV, but I temper my language because I have two daughters aged 15 and 12 who read the site on occasion. There are countless impressionable people who read articles on the net and here too.

          • I hear ya Carlo, I got a son 15 and daughter 17, but by the time they are young teenagers there isn’t a swear word you or I could teach them that they don’t already know lol. My example was to make the point about there being a difference, quite apt for the earlier comments about taking things out of context.

            I tend to keep to the lighter swear words as its nothing you won’t see in the TV after 8pm, it’s the direct name calling that grates on my. It spoils good debate.

          • … name calling in a direct debate always feels like the culprit has a weak argument to me….

            …Now labeling Bernie, JT et al…. with good reason…… that’s fair game.

            I guess knowing some of them, I see the F1 players as their caricatures….. some of which they deliberately cultivate….

            Maybe I should start posts … ‘Roll up, roll up’…. then we’d all be in the same frame of mind 😉

  7. I guess now everyone will look also very hard to all the edges of the track while doing their trackwalk.

    But. Did everybody – except Kimi – look at possible re-entry points at every track? Or were they only looking at the ideal lines?

    • I think

      1. Kimi should be penalised with a 10 place grid drop at next race for rejoining the track in an unsafe (outright dangerous) manner.

      2. Ferrari should be made to pay for the damage caused to other cars due to Kimi’s reckless “balls out” rejoining the track.

      • In complete agreement with #1..

        I said it on Sunday, that he could’ve been a lot more careful when he attempted to rejoin the track. From the outside, it looked like he floored the throttle so as not to lose too many places. I was wondering if he thought he was still racing JH and AD in that mini tractor race.

    • I believe I read somewhere, long time ago, an interview to Kimi where he says he doesn’t like to walk the track and tries to avoid it if possible.

      • …well, being too cool to slog around inspecting several kilometres of asphalt every Thursday of a GP weekend – certainly cost the iceman big time last at Silverstone……….

        • Avoiding the track walk in Brazil a couple of years back meant when he went to use an escape road it was closed. Just before the climb to the startline, yet had been available after an off years before…

  8. Everyone has good and bad aspects. Sports people also. Yes Kimi was ignorant in how he rejoined. But let’s not forget his first words immediately after he crashed he asked, “is Felipe ok?”.

    For me, that shows he is aware and not ignorant. He didn’t want lift on rejoining, and paid big time, but he’s the sort we want in F1.

    • Personally I ding the FIA for leaving these ditches all over the place. There was one in Austria as well that caused a few undies to get changed during practice.

      I would guess Kimi was trying to re enter clear track and saw an opening as he approached the apron, was using his mirrors and just got it a little bit wrong. Not really sure if that’s reckless or not, never having done it, but his intent was clearly to reenter safely, he just got it wrong.

      • I am curious though…..if he had rejoined the track successfully, would he have had to give back the 7 or 8 places he had gained, due to gaining an advantage by leaving the confines of the track?

        • Assuming he did most likely not. Charlie tends to be pretty lenient first couple of corners. Assuming he went into the turn 17th and came back in 15th probably not. But if he came back 5th or 6th, then yeah, most likely.

        • He was actually down a few positions from where he was when Gutierrez squeezed him off. Spa ’09 I think he gained positions on the outside run-off 😛

          • I would say he rejoined safely, but the ditch was mainly at fault for causing the accident. If Kimi was slower and joined from the apron at a sharper angle, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Massa just piled into him in the same manner as he did slightly further on down the track, perhaps unsighted by Kobayashi once again.

          • Silverstone also has form on this factor, namely the sawtooth kerbs in the same corner, which were cutting tyres last year..

      • As he came back on, Ericsson was in the middle of the track, so Kimi had to keep to the right side.. Which led to turning right over the ditch and the big tank slapped that followed.

        • PS. Talk about irony, if interacting with the 3 weakest F1 drivers had led to one of them being seriously hurt by Kimi’s flying tyre.

  9. Looks like it is the day of the uncomfortable truth from Lewis and Lauda! Half of me thinks it would be easier if they kept their mouths shut a lot of the time, but then, there is usually something to what they say, and occasionally its a gem like Niki today! I hope they don’t stop doing it, but I do hope I can work on my cringe reflex, as being a Lewis fan it does get a lot of a work out!

    I am sure I read somewhere last year that Keke advised Nico to race as a German in the mid/later part of his career as it would be easier from a financial point of view, i.e to get sponsorship and drives etc, but I can’t remember where it was? Can anyone else confirm this, or remember reading something to that effect? It does seem to make sense.

    • Taken from an interview Nico did in 05…

      “However, In an interview in 2005, Rosberg admitted: “I don’t think of myself as being Finnish but I don’t really think of myself as being a German either. It is not like the Brazilians, who have this big patriotic thing. I don’t have that and I guess in a way it’s unfortunate.”

      • It was this interview, in 2005, before the start of his F1 career:

        Note this at the end of the story:

        “… For the moment nothing is decided except that Rosberg is the leading light of his generation. In his karting days he raced against Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica, both highly-rated young drivers.

        “At the moment I guess that I am the one at the highest level,” says Nico, “but they are very good drivers. I don’t know who is the best. I am not going to say that I am. Time will show who is best when we come against each other again at some time in the future.”

        Presumably, he means in Formula 1.”

        • JS was right on the money there.. Once Alonso retires as the last of his generation, Rosberg will be the most experienced driver on the grid, followed by Hamilton and Vettel. I imagine Sutil will have retired by then, but may shine the light for ‘pay drivers’ having a long career too.

          Sutil is also ‘old school’ though, having started racing at 16 and been in F1 ten years later at 25. He could be the last of that type of late bloomer starter that makes it to F1.

          • I will be surprised if Sutil is still in F1 next year – too much competition for a Sauber seat me thinks, assuming Sauber are still there next year …

          • I would be surprised too.. His break really seems to have affected him. But at Sauber.. It’s probably who can come up its the money, and Sutil is well established for that. So it’s hard to rule him out.. And he is faster than Gutierrez so..

  10. re. the Daily Mail article I linked earlier above, “… Rosberg is a cerebral character, a thinker who analyses data to the nth degree in a bid to gain an edge wherever possible. ..” It seems Nico now has some more data on fuel saving to get his mind busy on.

    I have read elsewhere that in an interview with BBC 5 live prior to Silverstone, “Lewis said the team have pinpointed how Lewis saves so much fuel in the data from Austria and that Nico may be closer in fuel consumption this weekend.”

    • So Lewis helped with Nico’s clutch issue at the last test (note his starts have been a lot better since then) and now they’re disclosing how he saves more fuel. Hmmm

      • Nico will have to go through corners faster… as I’ve said. I sat at Stowe on Sunday and Hamilton was the only one that came through in a lower gear, using the torque of the engine rather than revs out of the corner.

          • yes – so say 6th rather than 5th. Most guys were screaming out of the corner and changed gear soon after while Hamilton’s engine note was much lower and he was just as fast through the corner as others… but lower revs would mean lower fuel consumption and possibly a slightly higher speed through the corner.

          • Yeah, I noticed that, the others changed up once they had the car straight again, on that dip immediately after Stowe, but Lewis didn’t, it was similar on some laps at Copse too, but not all.

        • I think I just made a big bo boo in relation to the “fuel save data”…

          Isn’t the level of fuel saving track dependent? So whatever method he used in Austria wouldn’t be of much help at a circuit like Silverstone.

          The data would’ve been more helpful to Nico had Lewis been able to do a race sim during FP2.

          I could be wrong.

          • Not an expert Fortis but yes and no. All drivers can save fuel on any track depending if they have to fend off an attack or have clear air front and back.

            I think if Nico studies Hamilton’s data and see he is running through a corner in a higher gear he can apply that but.. it’s not a question of just running a higher gear.

            Corner entry, mid and exit speed will be affected and in my mind the balance of the car. I don’t know how the turbo engines with ERS feel but the reason for the revs in the old engines were because that’s where the power was and it is easier to balance a car when you are in your power band. With the turbo cars having more torque maybe Lewis has found a way of doing this balancing at lower engine speeds with the torque…

          • So Nico is cheating?…😄😄😄..

            Thanks for the explanation DQ.

            If your interested, here’s a link with some pics from the current test, for the first time, we’ve seen a full pic of the W05 PU

          • Not cheating at all.
            Learning, maybe.

            No doubt Lewis will repay the compliment at some point.

          • &DQ…

            The “cheating” reference wasn’t meant literally, just a bit tongue n cheek humour on my part.

    • Bit tough to enforce, though, as all he had to do was stay out.

      And an instruction to pit which cost him the win would have cause a bit of a rumpus.

      • There is nothing to ‘enforce’. Merc say, to avoid that one driver is advantaged by strategy, both run the same. They can only decided which sequence the tyre types to run in.
        The problem is that Lewis’s side of the garage ignored that after they realized that Nico’s tyres were only half-used after the planned stop, so instead of coming in, Lewis stayed out. Had Nico not DNF’ed Merc would have been in probs as they would have to let Lewis stay out – clearly shafting Nico. Or they would have to enforce his pitstop, which the conspiracy theorists would have taken as a prove for Lewis being shafted.
        The DNF solved the conundrum for them.

        • Yes, but that makes no sense at all. It might be their policy, but ultimately one driver will have the advantage through strategy, no? And your assumption re Lewis incorrect as he planned to go deeper on the options in any even, to limit time loss on the primes. the fact that the primes were faster is what potentially enabled the one stop to be quicker for him. That and the fact that Rosberg *chose* OOP and then decided to pit because he was slower than LH on his first set.

          Personally I think it makes for much more entertaining racing to let them sort it out. If Nico wants the undercut, then he is giving data to LH and vice versa. So be it. You made your bed now lie in it.

    • Thanks, PK, that’s very provocative and I must say I disagree, both with Mercedes tactics and with AmuS conclusion Lewis couldn’t have won.

      Having decided that actual facts might be useful, I went and had a look at lap times, and sure enough, by lap 10 Rosberg was into the low 1:39’s whilst Lewis continued in the mid 1:38’s all the way to his in lap which was a stonker at 1:37.5 compared to Nico’s 1:38.1. Nico’s times weren’t dropping precipitously either when he stopped, he was just losing time to Hamilton so went for a fresh set and the undercut as hje had first choice being in the lead. I would also say that he had the data, and could have chosen to stay out longer, but didn’t.

      Hamilton on the other hand didn’t start losing time until Rosberg had new tyres on. He clearly had pace over Rosberg which would’ve seen him with ample opportunity to pass well before the end of the race. His first 3 laps on the primes were in the mid to low 1:37’s, until Rosberg retired and he slowed down to the 1:38’s.

      So IMO, Hamilton, by choosing the alternate strategy and based on lap times earned a one stop if he wanted it both by being quicker in his opening stint and by managing his tyres better. Strategically it would have been a better choice given his pace with the hard tyre and denying him that choice in the name of whatever seems disingenuous at best.

      Rosberg OTOH, had no choice but to pit when he did as he was losing nigh on 0.3 to 0.5 seconds a lap by that point. Yes he could’ve stayed out maybe a lap or two longer, but that would only have negative consequences further in the race. And still wouldn’t have been enough for a one stop. He had to make a 2 stop work to have any chance at all of winning.

      Mercedes make a genuine error if they handicap a driver going alternate strategy and it seems a bit off the “let them race” line that they’ve been all keen to promote. AS far as I’m concerned you pays your money you takes your chances.

      One hopes an enterprising journalist would ask them about that at the next press conference, but I won’t hold my breath.

  11. re. Massa and slow formation laps:

    He says ” .. “We stopped on the track and my clutch went up to a very high temperature so it didn’t work. I started to move the clutch, but the car went into anti-stall so I dropped to last [at the start]. .. ”

    but don’t the rules say that he should then have started from the pit lane?

    “.. Any driver delayed in this way, and who is unable to re-establish the original starting order before he reaches the first safety car line, must enter the pit lane and start from the end of the pit lane as specified in Article 38.2. .. ”

    If Massa had started from the pit lane, he would have missed KImi’s accident!

    • On the other hand, Massa is right:


      “Formula 1 drivers are to come under more scrutiny about how they behave on the formation lap of grands prix from the Barcelona weekend.

      Following complaints from various drivers about the laps to the starting grid having been too slow this year, and some drivers being forced to stop completely because of that, the FIA is now keeping a close eye on the matter.

      After further talks in the briefing ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, drivers have been encouraged to now try to ensure that the formation laps take place at a more acceptable and consistent pace.

      F1 race director Charlie Whiting is understood to have told drivers at Barcelona that if the situation does not improve – and drivers act in a manner that he is not happy with – then penalties cannot be ruled out.

      World champion Sebastian Vettel said about the formation laps: “They are too slow. We’ve talked about that and we’ll see what happens.”

      • ….as usual – Charlie and the FIA have the power to sort it out…. they can’t give penalties because there is no regulation for such a thing…..

        Just set the delta times on the steering wheel for GOD’s SAKE CHARLIE!!!

  12. track limits! in tired of seeing these giant runoff areas on the exit of corners. I’m talking about the bright green (or other colored) wide grippy areas on the outside of the exits of corners beyond the kerbing. There must be a mandatory 2.5 meter wide natural grass strip around the entire track before any Tarmac runoff areas or gravel traps. All kerbing at must be no wider than one meter. This will maintain the current safety aspects entirely and create better racing. Drivers that would have previously gone off without consequence will now have to back off to recover from a mistake. this will create more opportunity for passing to a driver following and a greater test of skill overall.

    • I agree with this idea, and it’s something I’ve thought previously would be very good for F1. I would however be more inclined to have gravel in the areas where drivers are tempted to run off track.

      It would put an end to the likes of Rosberg cutting the chicane in Canada, and rolling back a few year the infamous Hamilton vs Kimi at Spa incident would never have taken place !

  13. How much research was done in relation to Lewis’s comment about Nico’s nationality?

    I’ve just spoken to someone who was there when the statement was made and according to her, it was said in jest, after Tony Jardine joked “his Monaco or Germany Nico’s home GP?

    As for the comments about Nico having less fans at the German GP, that too was incorrect, what was actually said was, “less people go to the German GP in comparison to the British GP”

    So every single publication has now latched on to the story and have blown it way out of proportion.

    • Whenever have the facts got in the way of a good story, especially in the British press, especially if it is detrimental about Hamilton? But it has worked, it sells newspapers and clouds peoples minds about him. Even here, most of the comments are about what Hamilton is misquoted as saying. To be honest I am bored to the back teeth with arguments about how intelligent or not he is. I am just interested in the racing. I don’t think anyone here, except maybe the Judge, has met the guy, or knows anything about him personally, apart from what you read, written by people with their own agenda.

  14. What’s wrong with these people? Haven’t teams been running this suspension system since last season? So why now have they just apparently realised that it contravene the rules?

    • So what happens if none of the major teams decide to take part? Or even threaten not to take part? Bernie and Todt are going to look complete idiots. I cant see it happening, Bernie would lose money. Who will want to watch just 4 cars racing?

  15. Oh dear! We are in desperate need of a new race director. What an idiot! We’ve all known about FRIC for how long now but because one team has managed to make it work really well (and it is road relevant) they decide to ban it.

    Road relevance.. maybe the FIA should first define what they mean by that because if not can we scrap all this road relevance rubbish and stick to racing cars for fun.

    • F1 is being made a mockery off with the winner already known beforehand unless both cars go boom. Even during the worst RB domination we had 2-4 teams winning (even more in 2012). It was only a matter of time before Bernie would start to tinker with things before he has to cart in spectators to make the grandstands empty.
      Remember, fewer TV viewers means less money for little E. And less money makes little E really, really angry.

    • Not the FIA, Charlie. don’t confuse the two. Given the option I would prefer the exploding tyres, to random technology bans. 😛

      Though if i was Jean, I might consider issuing the following statement:

      Due to the strategy groups inability to agree to cost cap, FRIC will be banned as an area of development for the 2016 season in order to cut costs.

      Rinse and repeat until the teams agree.

      • ….yet they (F1 strategy group – inc Todt) were discussing bringing back computerised active ride suspension systems last month…..???????????????

      • Oh, now all teams need to two-week-emergency re-engineer their cars: bye-bye cost cutting measures.. As for banning it from 2016, it may make sense as the system seems an extremely complex way of achieving active suspension. This said, I suspect that the last GP where Merc had 2.0 sec advantage on the rest has finally unnerved some, and they want to tie one of Merc’s hands a bit..

  16. At times I really wish someone would keep Hamilton away from journalists altogether. As one of the commentators rightly said, he is tone-deaf with all matters related to media. That’s the best way to put it really, and even I feel he should just shut up and focus on the racing. But it’s part of who Hamilton is, he can never shut up.

    Anyone questioning Hamilton’s intelligence as a racing driver should just have a look at how McLaren are doing since he left. Button’s not all that after all. But, definitely Hamilton could learn a few things by having people pull in the same direction as him. But for that sort of thing he is hopeless. If only his father could be around him a bit more…

      • … “I’m just focusing on me” would have been the safe response… its as though Lewis revels in the controversy….

        He unfortunately does give the impression he is obsessed with Nico – and is therefore too easily drawn on the subject….

          • My God Fortis, are you part of his management team? I read this earlier today


            It would probably be naive to believe that anyone will ever get all the pieces of news gathered before writing an article and I have no doubt that the antidote ‘Rosberg’ article came out several hours after the publication of the Hamilton one.

            It’s all part of the carefully orchestrated game that is forever being played and the journalists are as guilty as the protagonists. If everyone reported the nice things Lewis says, do you honestly believe XIX would be managing him? Or sponsors investing millions in his career?

            As an Italian, I see what the Italian press do to Ferrari and the team personnel every day. Some like Leo Turrini have an inside line to the team, but Ferrari sells copy in Italy. I would imagine it is the same in Spain with Alonso and we all know that Red Bull owns an Austrian paper which always prints Red Bull relevant stories.

            It happens in every walk of life. How many times have you read about Mick Jagger or Keith Richards? Yet the drummer Charlie Watts has been part of the Rolling Stones and barely mentioned – he doesn’t sell papers basically.

      • anyway – the world is about to end Fortis and you are chewing the cud over another Hamilton comment!!!! 😉

        Weapons armed in Stuttgart………….. FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • And you’re no different to rest of mainstream media, who were quick to blow a simple comment out the water and make it look worse than it is. Maybe you should get your friends in the press, to then stop asking him questions about Nico, maybe then he wouldn’t have to answer such questions.

          But then again, it also generates more comments on here. So it’s also in your favour to go along with “the news of the day”

          Selective journalism at it’s best!!!😉

          • …. and it is common knowledge that drivers use the media to get a message across. Often they then claim they’ve been misunderstood by ‘poor translation’, ‘lack of cultural understanding’, ‘intended humour was lost’… but the message is out…

            Vettel re: “balls in the pool”, Alonso “wishing for a Red Bull for his birthday”…. humourous? LdM didn’t think so…. Fred made his point though….

            As I said previously, Lewis is allowing himself to be drawn on Nico – he could simply say he didn’t want to talk about his team mate – he’s playing the game…..

          • All correct points gavel-wieldingness, but that doesn’t mean that the media have to hop on the same band-waggon.
            I remindeth thee that we once had no less than five features in three days about Vettel saying ‘shit’ once. The same now happens with Lewis and last year happened to Alonso. A single thing is chewed over and over again making some media look absolutely obsessed. Which, me finks, is silly as with Lewis you merely have to wait for two days until he perfoms the good ol’ foot-in-mouth routine and you get a new story,
            Most around here admit their bias and their verbal offerings are perceived accordingly, while other blame their bias on their wives 😉

          • Mark Webber rules 🙂 !!

            Sorry, not sure what came over me there….

  17. re: FRIC. Let’s assume/pretend for a moment that one or two teams are NOT running it.

    If unanimous “consent” is required to allow FRIC to remain until the end of the season, maybe one of these two teams not running it will fail to agree – thereby making all but 4 of the cars on the grid illegal and thus, one assumes, thrown out of the German GP.

    All I can say is: What the very FUCK??? This appears to be total madness. Talk about F1 shooting itself in the foot. Not to mention the very Technical Delegate himself appearing to be utterly incompetent that these systems have been allowed on cars for, what, 6 years before being “discovered” to be illegal.

    And what if ALL teams are running some variation of FRIC but Mercedes’ version is so good that, say, RB protest them? It may be more efficient in one (or more) team’s cars, but is legality to be determined by whether it’s actually any good or not? (Well, yes, you have a V8 engine and that’s not allowed but, well, it isn’t a very fast one is it, so we’ll say you’re legal really).

    From here this looks like utter, utter folly (although perhaps not QUITE as stupid as when a mass damper INSIDE the bodywork of the Renault was deemed a moveable *aerodynamic* device).

  18. I’ve got to start reading this site earlier during the day – reading 140 or so comments takes time, especially considering the length of some comments today!

  19. re 18″ wheels. Dammit with the road relevance!!! F1 should be the opposite of road relevant!!!! WEC is for that. BTCC is for that!!! For me, being an amateur racer, the shape of F1 tires is what ties it all the way back to karting. There has to be a sporting connection to the bottom of the ladder. Four things must never change for me: open cockpit, open wheel, 13″ wheels, fastest machines around a circuit. Thats it.

    • “Four things must never change for me: open cockpit, open wheel, 13″ wheels, fastest machines around a circuit.”

      Nicely put.

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