Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 21st July 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Polls: How would you rate the 2014 German GP

#F1 Race Review: Mercedes Domination Continues

#F1 Polls: 2014 German GP – Driver of the Weekend

#TechF1 Treasures- The #F1 Race Weekend in Official FIA Documents #GermanGP

#F1 Qualifying Review: Mercedes reigns supreme in the Fatherland


OTD Lite – 2002 – Schumacher secures World Title in record time

James Garner/ Pete Aron R.I.P. 1928 – 2014

Hamilton’s Safety Car Conspiracy (GMM)

Small Hockenheim crowd gathering – but why? (GMM)

McLaren title sponsor imminent

Safety car controversy Hockenheim

Raikkonen must up his game

….meanwhile on other news outlets

Pragmatism prevents a pointless protest


OTD Lite – 2002 – Schumacher secures World Title in record time

Thank you Mr Lauda. Regardless that Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff would like to implement team-orders – the non-executive Chairman insists that Mercedes will allow their drivers to race on. Having just completed the tenth round of the 2014 championship, Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton by a mere fourteen points in the title battle.

Which is somewhat more reassuring for dwindling TV audiences than the year that Michael Schumacher equaled Juan Manuel Fangio’s total of five titles – a tally that had seemed unapproachable for close to half a century. And he secured it by the eleventh round of the championship…

With five laps left, Schumacher lay in second place, Barrichello his only challenger had retired at the start, and Kimi Raikkonen led up to the Adelaide hairpin. Alan Mcnish’s Toyota had blown up on the racing line and Kimi slid wide, allowing Schumacher through for a victory which sealed the championship as well.

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Ferrari would finish the season with 15 victories, 9 1-2 finishes, their points tally for the Constructors title equaled all the other teams scores combined and Schumacher’s lowest finish that year was 3rd in the Malaysian Grand Prix. His eleven wins would also surpass his own previous record, of nine wins, that he shared with Nigel Mansell from 1992.

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James Garner/ Pete Aron R.I.P. 1928 – 2014

American actor and star of 1966 film Grand Prix – James Garner – passed away over the weekend at the age of 86. A TV and movie actor, his best known roles were in TV series ‘Maverick’ and ‘The Rockford Files’. But to a generation of Formula One fans he is best remembered for the part he played in the John Frankenheimer’s 1966 epic ‘Grand Prix’.

Garner played the role of American Pete Aron who is sacked by BRM and finds a seat at Yamura and succeeds in winning the championship. But for most fans of Formula One history, it’s the filming of the circuts from Grand Prix’s most dangerous era and the racing personalities captured on celluloid that made the film a cult favourite.

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The film includes real-life racing footage and cameo appearances by drivers including Formula One World Champions Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark and Jack Brabham – as well as appearances by Jochen Rindt, Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Jo Bonnier and Bruce Mclaren. as well as footage from Monaco, Clermont-Ferrand, Spa in it’s original configuration and the classic slip-streamer Monza’s banked circuit.

Garner did all his own driving for the film and afterwards set up the American International Racers team, which raced at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring in the late 1960s. It was reported that Graham Hill and Jack Brabham told him that if he hadn’t pursued a career in acting he was good enough to compete in Formula One.

1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones was a close friend of Garner’s said: “I’ll miss Jim for sure and my family and I offer our condolences to his entire family and all his friends,” Jones said. “Jim was a hell of a driver, a competitor, most people don’t remember that and that he raced in a lot of different types of cars over the years. He truly was a “man’s man.”

“Jim was a friend and when he came to Indianapolis as a spectator and pace car driver we obviously welcomed him with open arms. People will remember him for his performances in “Grand Prix,” “The Rockford Files” and also for his excellent acting in so many other movies and TV shows, he was so smooth and such a natural, he made it look easy. He excelled in both movies and television a rarity back then.”

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Hamilton’s Safety Car Conspiracy (GMM)

Euphoric at Silverstone two weeks ago when he pulled the gap back to just 4 points, Lewis Hamilton’s mood dimmed once again on Sunday as he deficit blew back out to 14. But after the Briton limited the damage of his back-of-the-grid start at Hockenheim by racing through the field to the podium, boss Toto Wolff advised him to not be too glum.

I would be very surprised if it (the title battle) didn’t come down to Abu Dhabi and to the famous double points,” said the Mercedes chief.

Even if you are behind 30 points, you can turn it around in Abu Dhabi. But the driver who loses on double points will need some psychological treatment,” he smiled.

Still, Hamilton thinks a result better than third might have been possible in Germany, after seeing Adrian Sutil’s stricken car. A safety car would have ended championship leader Nico Rosberg’s huge race lead.

I definitely got a bit worried,” the German driver admitted, “because I was sure there was going to be a safety car and that would have obviously made it a lot more difficult.

Rosberg wasn’t the only one surprised, particularly in a sport that, in the name of safety, is prepared to delay a race for an hour to fix a damaged barrier.

I was really concerned for the marshals — really concerned,” said Hamilton, referring to Sunday at Hockenheim.

It felt like the closest thing I have seen for a long, long time.

He said whizzing past marshals who ran across the racing line to recover Sutil’s Sauber reminded him of footage of the 1977 South African grand prix, when a marshal and Tom Pryce were killed in a gruesome collision.

That was the first thing I thought about,” said Hamilton. “I couldn’t believe it. How on earth a car can be sitting in the middle of the road for a couple of laps and not come out? I think you know why.

The Briton would not expand on what he meant by his final remark, but there was probably no conspiracy to protect Rosberg’s race lead for a sure home win. Mercedes’ Wolff said not putting the safety car out was surely the result of a new effort by F1’s authorities to reduce interference in the racing.

Under the old spirit of the FIA,” he told Auto Motor und Sport, “the safety car would have come out. But I think Charlie’s decision was deliberately taken not to turn a race on its head with 15 laps to go.

But the lack of a safety car was not the only argument Hamilton found himself in after the German grand prix.

He also infuriated former McLaren teammate Jenson Button for their collision, for which Hamilton immediately apologised. “The problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past,” said Button. “I don’t think I’m the only person he drove into today.

With his car being so much quicker you’d think he wouldn’t get into so many fights, but there you go.” Later, after watching the replay, Button admitted he might have “overreacted“.

TJ13 comment: Mercedes had run thousands of simulations on Saturday night,, most predicting Hamilton could expect to finish in 4th place. Cheer up Lewis, you went went one better!

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Small Hockenheim crowd gathering – but why?

Elsewhere in Germany on Sunday, the Nurburgring hosted an event called the ‘Truck Grand Prix’. Watching the unwieldy trucks from the grandstands were about 100,000 excited spectators — about twice the size of the crowd that gathered at Hockenheim for the 2014 German grand prix.

Bild am Sonntag asked Bernie Ecclestone where all the fans are.

Obviously not here,” the F1 supremo answered.

As far as some are concerned, notwithstanding the big crowds recently in Austria and Silverstone, the unpopularity of the Hockenheim race should be ringing alarm-bells for F1.

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Opposite pit lane just prior to the start

The Austrian grand prix took at least 5,000 spectators from us,” track boss Georg Seiler insisted to Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

And the olympic games and the world cup have just taken place. The world cup was the number 1 issue, with newspapers saying hardly anything about formula one,” he argued.

Ecclestone agrees: “Germany won the world cup, and all the sports-mad people bought a ticket to Brazil.

They’re just worn out after so many major sports events,” he added.

Both Seiler and Ecclestone also rejected the theory that ticket prices are too high, insisting the prices all over the F1 calendar are similar.

Yet 100,000 people managed to afford a ticket to go watch truck racing – even after the World Cup bonanza – Go Figure, Mr. E!

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TJ13 reported in December 2013, that McLaren would run for 2014 without a title sponsor. We have learned this weekend, McLaren will announce in the very near future the identity of their title sponsor for 2014, which will be reflected in their racing name submitted to the FIA.

Keep guessing folks…..

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Safety car controversy Hockenheim

For those who watch other motor sports besides F1, there are often a multiplicity of questions which spring to mind as to why F1 doesn’t adopt some of the better practices utilised out there.

TJ13 has banged the drum persistently over the lapped cars in the snake behind the safety car. When the trouble is cleared these cars are invited to overtake the safety car and then at a much reduced speed trundle around until they rejoin the back of the queue.

This can take another lap or two after the danger on track has been cleared. To save wasted racing time, why not force these cars drive through the pit lane and rejoin the rear of the snake? I have heard no sensible rationale for not adopting this practise.

However, it was another type of incident which has caused some safety car controversy following the 2014 German GP.

Lewis Hamilton has questioned the decision from Charlie Whiting, not to deploy the safety car some 15 laps from the end of the race. Adrian Sutil – due to mechanical failure  – had spun his Sauber exiting the final corner onto the pit straight.

Sutil initially managed to spin the car around in an attempt to continue racing, which in fact moved the car into a position further away from the racing line the cars would take exiting the final bend at Hockenheim. Had the German failed to do this a safety car would inevitably have been deployed.

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“There should have been a safety car,” Hamilton said. “How on earth a car can be sitting in the middle of the road for a couple of laps and [the safety car] not come out… “. Then reminiscent of his comments in Monaco, Lewis sparked a conspiracy controversy by adding, “But I think you know why.”

The inference being that it was preferable to the organisers of the Hockenheim event to have a German driver winning the German GP in a German car.

However, the matter was handled under doubled waved yellow flags which as stated in the regulations, “Indicate danger, such as a stranded car, ahead. A single waved yellow flag warns drivers to slow down, while two waved yellow flags at the same post means that drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. Overtaking is prohibited”. 

Hamilton claims, the lack of safety car deployment was dangerous. “I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned,” he said. “You know, we come around that corner at serious speed, and then there’s marshals standing not far from where you’re driving past. For me, that’s the closest it’s been for a long, long time.”

Yet the matter is simple. Double waved yellows inform the drivers there may be a stranded car on track with marshals attempting to remove it. “Slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary.

For time and memorial, there is an unwritten code which is supposed to be understood by all drivers who race at venues where marshals are required to assist drivers following on track incidents. These people are there to help the drivers, ‘do nothing to put them at risk’. F1 drivers at times in their obsession to beat the competition, appear to forget this code of conduct.

Many F1 drivers over the years have complained the safety car has ruined their race, then again many have jumped for joy at an opportunity provided by the safety car to get them back into the heat of battle. In the latter category, Mark Webber springs to mind at Silverstone.

Yet the purpose of the safety car is for safety reasons – not to spice up a boring race and bring a contrived exciting finish.

There is an argument that in dry race conditions, the safety car is now predominantly redundant. Since the F1 cars were fitted with technology which gives the drivers a delta time not to be exceeded when the safety car is first deployed, why is a safety car required at all?

In fact, the cars could be allowed to run at speeds the safety car is incapable of reaching for the 2 sectors unaffected by an incident and given a much slower maximum speed through the sector where marshals are working on the circuit. This would be safer from the perspective that tyre temperatures and pressures would be better maintained during the time it takes to clear an incident.

Lewis appears to believe he would have benefited from a safety car being deployed yesterday, though analysis coming later will demonstrate a win was still beyond his reach.

Had Mercedes fitted Lewis with the prime tyre for the last stint, he may have fared better in his end of race battle with Bottas.

Lewis chewed up his final set up super soft boots in 10 laps, leaving him struggling for the last 5 to get enough traction to overtake Valtteri’s Williams. Yet, with a car light on fuel, Hamilton would have suffered less tyre degradation had he not damaged his front wing earlier in the race as he misjudged Jenson Button’s intentions. This collision was something after consideration Lewis felt he should apologise, as he did on the podium, describing it is “my bad”.

However, some will see it as disingenuous for Hamilton to criticise the lack of a safety car due to his apparent concern for the marshals, when in the next breath he rather unguardedly reveals his other thoughts – which are that this decision was in fact designed to ensure Nico won the race.

Which is it?

So long as Hamilton and the other drivers obey the double waved yellows Lewis, “slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary”, the marshals were not at risk. There was a single object which required removing. This was not a case where there was a plethora of debris scattered across the width of the circuit, merely a car which each lap the drivers came around was in the same place and which required pushing away.

We all love the fact that Lewis is a ‘heart on the sleeve’ kind of character because it gives us plenty to debate. Yet, as TJ13 has suggested previously, Hamilton should be careful he doesn’t marginalise himself with his team. Continuing to trumpet the popular tabloid nonsense that Mercedes and others want a German driver to win the WDC in a German car – will gain Lewis no friends, and surely influence those within the Mercedes garage against him.

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Raikkonen must up his game

Almost 52 weeks ago, TJ13 revealed exclusively that F1 fans’ favourite, Kimi ‘Iceman’ Raikkonen was set for a shock return to drive for Ferrari.

The column inches stacked up, the anticipation was immense as finally Ferrari were set to revise their policy of a number one and number two driver. Alonso could now be tested as he was in 2008, when driving against a rookie Hamilton as the ‘ice’ sought to quench the Spanish matador’s latin fire.

David Coulthard wrote in March, “the decision of Italian car giants Ferrari to field two former world champions in the same team at least gives fans of Formula 1 the chance to see how two of the stand-out drivers of the last decade measure up against each other in what will be near-identical cars”.

10 races into the season, Kimi is the only driver in this year’s F1 field not to finish a race ahead of his team mate. Massa managed this feat about once every seven races.

Fernando supporters in Maranello now mutter with hindsight how the Spaniard had expressed privately his belief that Massa should be retained by the red team.

Publically the Spaniard backed Maranello’s choice to re-hire Kimi, though his rhetoric was less than convincing the week following Monza 2013. “I was always informed about the team movements,” protested Alonso. “And it’s true that I think until the last moment, the team didn’t make a decision, and then when they decided that it was better to change Felipe, they told me what was my opinion. My opinion was he was the best out there in the market, and especially for a championship with many changes for next year, in terms of developing the car in January/February, a teammate that is many years in F1 was important. The team chose Kimi, so I’m happy.”

Well it appears Fred may have been better sticking to his guns and saying what he really believed, because following another average performance from Raikkonen in Hockenheim, Alonso has hinted that Kimi needs to improve.

“In the constructors’ championship we have lost a bit of ground to Williams,” adding with a hint of acidity, “We have only been able to count on one car again and we have to improve on that.”

In stark contrast, just minutes later, Alonso commented on Ricciardo, “Daniel is a surprise from Australia. I think he’s doing unbelievable,”

Mattiacci was curt to the point of being rude when asked by Sky Sports about Kimi’s performance in Hockenheim, stating merely, “it will improve”. Some observers commented there was more than a hint of the, “or else” in the Italian’s demeanour.

At present the hot Italian summer appears to have reduced the ‘iceman’ into a small puddle of warm water.

Ferrari have fallen behind Williams into 4th place in the constructors championship, and given recent performances in qualifying and the race, there is little to suggest they will regain their 3rd spot any time soon.

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….meanwhile on other news outlets

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Pragmatism prevents a pointless protest

There were moves afoot to protest Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car, following the decision by the team to switch from Brembo to Carbone Industrie brakes.

Hamilton disliked the Carbone Industrie brakes fitted to the W04 when he joined the team and so he was switched to Brembo with which he was familiar from his time at McLaren.

During qualifying one for the 2014 German GP, the British driver suffered a disk failure which caused him to crash at high speed into a tyre barrier. He managed to post a time good enough to escape Q1, though was unable to run in Q2. Following the application penalties to other drivers and a change of gearbox for Hamilton, he began the race P20.

However, Red Bull and Ferrari were unhappy that the team switched Hamilton’s brake mechanism from  one type to another believing this was in breach of parc ferme rules. They argue this should require Hamilton start the race from the pit lane.

Mercedes defended their position stating the switch from Brembo to CI was on safety grounds and that there should be no penalty because the components were “similar in mass, inertia and function”.

Christian Horner, “absolutely” disagreed, citing the fact that both of the Red Bull cars were fitted with Brembo brakes. Tongues were held, though the temptation to quip that the Red Bull’s don’t go fast enough to require breaks…. crossed a number of minds of those present.

“If you change it like-for-like that is one thing,” he said, “but if you change it for something made by a different manufacturer that has a different characteristic, and as described by the driver himself as something different, it is an interesting precedent.”

Red Bull decided eventually not to protest, though this surely had nothing to do with the fact that eyebrows were raised at why Mercedes hadn’t opted to start Hamilton from the pit lane anyway. This would eliminate the chance of Lewis being involved in any mid-field carnage often associated with the start of the race and the first corner.

Horner is now demanding the FIA clear up what is allowable change of parts and what isn’t. “We obviously now need clarification, because if you can do that, then what else can you change?”

Ferrari’s boss, Marco Mattiacci, admitted “we decided not to move forward on this because I don’t think we wanted to get into it.”

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202 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 21st July 2014

  1. And here I am the self-proclaimed ‘delusional’, ‘conspiracy-prone’ Hamilton fan. So let me ask this. If Lewis was leading the German GP, is there any doubt whatsoever that the safety car would come out?

    Keep believing that this is a straight fight between Nico and Lewis. Lewis has no luck and no support to win the title. Nico has both.

    • Have you any proof that the SC would have come out with Lewis leading? Or is it just your warped sense of conspiracy? Why should F1 hit one of their #1 crowd pleasers over the head? Lewis draws in much more paying fans than Nico.

      • Well, provide me with a much better reason to not bring the safety car out. Is it for the show? Is it to curb FIA’s overindulgence with their safety rulings recently as Wolff said? And can that justify risking a marshal’s life?

        I know my post may be ‘warped’, but I had to get it out of my system. And at the end of the day I did start my post with self-proclaiming it ‘delusional’ and ‘conspiracy-prone’. You could have ignored it as being not that serious. That’s why they’re called conspiracies. There’s no proof!

    • I hope people have more sense in their heads than to purposefully risk lives of marshalls just for the benefit of Rosberg. I mean marshalls running across the track at the exit of a fast and fairly blind corner? What were you thinking thinking Whiting (or whoever made the call)?

      • The corner is fast, but it’s almost impossible to come out of it on a line that would have hit Sutil’s car unless you are ridiculously slow anyway. There were at least two cars worth of space between the racing line and the Sauber. It was perfectly save as long as everyone paid attention to the yellow flags.

          • And your point is? The Marshals crossed the road when there was no car coming round the corner. By the time a car came they had already reached the Sauber and between Sutil’s car and the racing line is so much space you can drive the Exxon valdez through it.

          • My point is, you’ve got marshalls running onto a race track, while cars are still doing in excess of 80 mph.

            Sure there was no car coming when they ran across the track, but it was also the same thing when the steward in Canada ran onto the track in 2011, when there was no cars coming, tripped and fell over only to be confronted by first a Sauber which had to take avoiding action and later the Lotus, that had to brake suddenly and locked his wheels up. that all happened under the safety car to clear debris from off the track.

            Having people on the track, whilst cars are still at speed, is a very reckless thing to do, even under double waived yellows.

          • Stop talking rubbish, Fortis. Drivers have been allowed to cross the road even under green flag conditions if given permission by the marshals and it works. Just because a fat canadian faceplanted the road you can’t label the rest of the world’s population equally stupid. The fact of the matter is. The marshals were given permission to cross the road by someone who could see if a car was coming or not. It was reasonably safe and the Sauber was far enough off the racing line.

          • Well I guess the one who died in Canada was just as stupid right?

            It only takes one slip up. So last year at Silverstone when Seb retired from the race, was there a need for the safety car then?

          • The one who died in canada ran infront of a fork-lift in the grave-trap. And as sad as it is, yes that was unbridled stupidity and carelessness.

          • Quick reminder. Double waved yellows mean:

            FIA
            “drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. Overtaking is prohibited. ”

            UK Marshalls:
            Double Waved: Great danger. Slow down considerably. Be prepared to suddenly change from the projected racing line, or take other evasive action including stopping if necessary. No overtaking.

            For me double waved yellows are taken far too lightly by all F1 drivers. Within the rules of the sport though there was no reason why a car offline shouldn’t be cleared like this. How many would be able to stop coming round the corner? None I bet. It’s drivers who are at fault here, not Charlie.

          • Given the spirit of this discussion, let me join: You are talking rubbish, oh Fat One.

            That Sauber wreck was in a very dangerous position, either for cars or for marshals. Any other car *could* have spun as the Sauber did at that blind, high-speed corner (even if at lower speeds given the double-yellows), and any car *could* have gone wide into the gravel (and the marshals). And this NOT even taking account for our beloved Crashtor, who has a thing for taking out marshals under yellow flags: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastor_Maldonado#cite_ref-12 .

            But more importantly, any of those fat German marshals *could* have faceplanted the road while running through Turn 1, and with cars NOT taking that corner at Safety Car speeds, I suspect that the end result would have been different from this: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6URo_2XMKHE .

            All the points above were real possibilities, so not having a safety car deployed for the interest of the show was stupidly dangerous and reckless. They had better put on a red flag and take 1h to remove the Sauber, than continue the race under yellows. Which makes me wonder if Charlie Brown is slowly starting to go senile..

          • @PAUL:

            “It’s drivers who are at fault here, not Charlie.”

            I disagree. Drivers follow rule enforcement, not rules. If drivers do not respect the rules systematically, it’s ultimately the regulator’s responsibility (i.e. Charlie Brown). If the FIA really wanted drivers to take double-yellows seriously, then they’d simply impose a delta or a speed limit for the concerned part of the track.

            But if they don’t, then drivers will simply take double-yellows *slightly* more seriously than yellows. Hence double-yellows become irrelevant; so either red-flag (something that some drivers don’t take that seriously either, nowadays) or deploy the Safety Car.

          • IMO, if any of the drivers hit Sutil’s car/marshals removing it, they should have faced a race ban minimum. If you can’t drive safely around a corner with double yellows waved (for the umpteenth time), then you seriously need to miss a race. Most of these guys are meant to be the best in the world, remember..

          • ….”they should have faced a race ban minimum” – and indeed they would.

            The reason this hasn’t happened is because actually the double waved yellow flags work!

          • It should have been a safety car.

            I’ve done lots of marshalling, including point marshall for the grid line up.

            F1 cars travel so quickly that you stand very little chance if they get it wrong.

            At a Toyota boss series race Paul Stoddart came towards me so fast i couldn’t believe it, and that was on his warm up lap, coming out of a 120 degree right with cold tyres.

            I was genuinely tempted to run it was so intimidating.

            Until you’ve had an F1 car drive straight at you pretty much at full pelt you cant even begin to understand what these Marshalls were dealing with.

            It should have been a safety, full stop.

          • …..there were no cars driving full pelt at anyone….

            the marshals were given a call on their radio that they had time to safely cross the track in a gap in the traffic to reach the car.

            By the time they arrived and were waiting to cross, all the cars had completed 2 passes of the stricken vehicle and knew marshals would be working at the scene….

            Oh and what’s the difference between club racing with cars that are travelling at 120 mph and an F1 car travelling at the same speed?

          • The acceleration is different.

            The only other car that had such furious acceleration was Mr Rallycross’s 700 bhp Ford RS200, and that was only up to about 100mph.

            Personally, i dont really mind what is saidon this one. If youve marshalled you’ll undetstand. If not, you wont.

            You’ll defo understand if youve stood in the middle of a track with an F1 car driving straight at you.

          • @ the judge….

            “the marshals were given a call on their radio that they had time to safely cross the track in a gap in the traffic to reach the car.

            By the time they arrived and were waiting to cross, all the cars had completed 2 passes of the stricken vehicle and knew marshals would be working at the scene….”

            I think you should watch the footage again and you’ll notice, that when the first 3 stewards ran across the track, the 4th started to do the same and then saw a car coming around the corner, it was one of the Mercs and he had to high tail it back over the fence.

          • Colin, you must be really desperate. Just haven’t found out yet for what. There were DOUBLE.YELLOW.FLAGS. The cars were going around the corner SLOWLY and Sutils car was pushed AWAY from the other cars. There was no reason for a safety car

          • Now now Danilo, none of that please.

            Im not desperate. I dont need italics. Im not even stupid.

            I just have a different opinion to you, which may or may not be wrong. My opinion is that its correct. TJ and yourself think differently. Which is fine.

            Cant we play nicely?

        • I think the hammering the FIA took for how long it took to sort out the barrier at Silverstone influenced the decision to be honest.
          They literally can’t win can they haha.
          Damned if they do damned if they don’t.
          Personally I don’t think a safety was warranted. Lewis was just stirring the pot as a safety car would have been a dream scenario for him!!

          • Rosberg also said he thought there would’ve been a safety car, so too did Alonso

          • neither does Lewis and the rest of people who question why one wasn’t deployed, James Allen, Brundle etc

          • The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS clearly thought a safety car would be deployed reason they brought Lewis Hamilton in so early.

        • Suppose a driver lost control of their car or had a malfunction such as Sutil’s on that corner with similar snap oversteer characteristics as we’ve seen a few times this year (mostly by Hamilton it seems). I believe the point of the safety car is to protect the drivers and the Marshall’s from danger. No F1 driver (with the exception of Rossberg/Monte Carlo 😉 lose control on purpose, and this years cars are more prone to Sutil/Hamilton’s type of spins. Safety first my friend, it’s there in case of an accident/malfunction.

      • Well, I was thinking Kyalami when I saw it. The whole point of the safety car is to put the field in one controlled place so marshals can work without worrying about traffic. All the cars come by at once and then you have 90secs or whatever the delta is.

        I think they waffled because they didn’t want to spend the end of the race reordering lapped drivers, not because they wanted Nico to win. Which is of course easily solvable by using the pit lane for lapped riders and letting them shuffle when they have rejoined.

        AS far as Lewis’ comment, who knows what he might have said but my guess is “because FIA stands for Functionally Incompetent A**holes” and then thought better of it, LOL!

        • …. “to put the field in one controlled place so marshals can work without worrying about traffic”

          That scenario is

            predominantly

          associated with mass debris all over the circuit – and then the safety car periods are usually inordinately long – so why not red flag the race.

          • Key word there is predominantly not exclusively. The safety car is called because the marshals have to work on the track or a disabled car is in a dangerous position. In this case I believe both of these scenarios were true. How many marshals were pushing that car on the track with drivers left to marshal their own speed? It would only have taken one mechanical failure (or a momentary lapse of concentration) and we would be talking about this in both a very different light and for a long time to come.

            I don’t believe it was a conspiracy, probably more to do with the pressure from Silverstone (where many viewers switched off) and the timing of the incident.

    • If Lewis was leading the German GP, is there any doubt whatsoever that the safety car would come out?

      Rather a lot. 🙂

      While I agree with you that the rather relaxed attitude to marshals’ safety was in sharp contrast to (say) the red flag at Silverstone – and it’s not as though anyone has announced a change of policy since then – the idea that this was aimed at Hamilton is more than a little fanciful.

      I am honestly rather surprised that they allowed a stationary car to sit in the middle of the track for five minutes, and the had marshals running across the track to recover it. That is simply not consistent with today’s safety standards.

      • The thing is, if the car is stationary for two minutes, every driver has passed it and knows that it is there. So when he comes round the next time and the yellows are still there, he knows what to expect. Don’t see anything wrong with that. And again, there is no way to come out of that corner on a line that would hit the Sauber. I’ve driven Hockenheim often enough. Unless you break your car to a near crawl you can’t reach the path of tarmac that the Sauber was resting on.

        • One might say more or less the same thing about the bent fence at Silverstone.

          Though not about marshals running across a Iive track.

          The only thing consistent here is your ability to defend as absolutely clear cut any decision which might disbenefit your less favoured drivers.

          • The bent fence at Silverstone was not put under a double yellow flag. It would have to withstand a second impact under green flag conditions, which it wouldn’t have. You’re talking bovine excrement.

            A track under double yellows is not ‘live’. Have you never been to a track day? Double yellow means ‘fucking danger – foot off the pedal’. Which part of that is so hard to understand?

          • So too does a red flag, but that didn’t stop Rosberg or Ricciardo from ignoring it

          • You’re talking bovine excrement.

            As opposed to die K*cke des Nilpferd ?

            It would have to withstand a second impact under green flag conditions, which it wouldn’t have.

            An eventuality far less likely than a track crossing marshal being collected by a driver not taking full note of the double yellows – which, as I think you probably realised, was my point.

            But, whatever.

          • “a driver not taking full note of the double yellows”

            …the drivers get a signal on the dashboard warning them of double yellows. There are over thirty electronic lights around the circuit with the status of the track flashing in huge LED displays – PLUS blokes furiously waving flags….

          • Stand in front of one TJ, you’ll soon soften your cough about marshal safety.

            I agree with you on most things, Danilo too, but i think youve both got this one wrong.

            And i genuinely couldnt give a fig who it benefitted or not, my only intetest is marshall safety.

            This was not safe. It should have been a safety car.

          • … I have stood at the end of the pi tlane exit and waited while F1 cars have accelerated from 0 to about 130 MPH towards me….

          • Looking at the car or looking elsewhere, like marshalls usually are when trying to move a vehicle?

            Happy youd be able to get out of the way if something went wrong?

            Ill say it for the last time. Marshal safety should never be compromised. Ever. If in doubt safety car…..

          • Ah come on now. I dont expect toys out of the pram from you.

            Youre supposed to be keeping the debate going 😉

            If we spilt the difference between your waved double yellows and your red flag we end up with my safety car….

            For what its worth, i do agree with your premise that there are too many safety cars, just not this particular instance.

            Friends? 🙂

        • @FH the problem is Sutil’s car wound up there due to mechanical malfunction. Though the probability is small, what’s to prevent another car from malfunctioning and winding up in the same place. It’s a black swan kind of problem, but starkly highlights the difference between how the FIA treat driver safety vs. how they treat marshal safety.

          Frankly, the marshals are much less aware of the potential dangers as they are volunteers and are therefore deserving of *more* protection IMO. The drivers at least know the risks better going into it.

          • I just read Johnathon Noble’s column on Autosport and he’s reporting that both Mercedes cars used Brembo disc yesterday. Both cars had the Brembo disc in the rear and CI disc at the front.

            This maybe a daft question….. But what does the technical regulations say about running 2 different brake materials on a car?

          • It is allowed. The big thing is that lewis, after his faillure in quali, was allowed to change his brakes to an other manufacturer. Which is something that’s a bit questionable. So the fia isn’t pro or contra lewis as some here think. He gets some he loses some. That’s f1.

          • This is the shocking thing that over the year’s I’ve never been able to wrap my head around…

            The powers that be regularly claim that F1 is a global sport as big as the olympics or world cup and yet with all the money they make they don’t pay the marshalls.

            They don’t even seem to supply the marshalls with equipment or clothing as at the race they are often dressed up in different colour cheap coveralls in various states of repair.

  2. Wow!! Wasn’t aware that James Garner passed away yesterday. That must have been the reason why “Grand Prix” was being shown on the BBC yesterday. One of the best F1 movies ever made. R. I. P

  3. The midget got it completely wrong Re: Hockenheim crowd.

    The biggest problem is – the season is dominated by Merc and Merc simply isn’t popular in Germany. They are highly respected as a company, but there is no passion associated with their cars. Ask a German what comes to his mind at the name ‘Mercedes-Benz’ and he’ll say ‘a taxi’. That’s what Mercedes cars are – Taxis, cars for old people and cars for snobs.

    Nail a BMW or Opel badge to it and the house will be full to bursting.

    • Opel? They mainly manufacture family cars right? I assume Porsche would do the trick aswell? And would Audi have the same problem as Merc?

      • Opel has a long tradition in motorsports – DTM, F3 etc. The Opel crowd is the most fanatic in all Germany, followed by BMW, VW and Audi. Visit a DTM race and you’ll realize that Merc has virtually no followers at all. Schumacher gave them a temporary boost and there are more Rosberg fans than one would think, but Merc as a brand has a very small fanbase.

        • Great motorsports history.

          Seriously considering a Manta 400 road car build over the last year or so. Old Kadette salons are epic also. Uncle had an Ascona SR 1.9 back in the day, savage car. Mates father had a 3.0 monza, epic machine too.

          Could never understand why GM sold Opels in the UK as Vauxhalls, especially now, considering Opel would have a far greater premium brand connotation.

    • the problem is prices and the fact that neither vettel nor rosberg inspire the large crowds that schumacher did. if schumacher was still competing and winning championships, people wouldn’t care what car he’d drive. it’s hard to follow up a seven times wdc, so even vettels four titles didn’t turn him into a superstar. in addition, schumacher had a huge management and marketing machine behind him, working in close collaboration with rtl, which vettel refuses to do. and schumacher was a people’s champion, he came from a working class background and fought his way to the top. his fanbase was largely made up of people with a similar background, they weren’t f1 or motorsport fans, they were schumacher fans. they can’t identify with vettel and especially rosberg to the same degree. i was never a schumacher fan, but even i can admit that he was a singular phenomenon and it would have taken a very special, charismatic and talented driver to maintain the same level of interest in f1 in germany.

      • vettel comes from exactly the same background as Schumacher – even roughly the same region. The thing is – Schumacher was the first. before him there was little success for german drivers. Once he retired, people were sated and the only way to win them over is being better than Michael, which is a trifle tricky to manage.

        • i wouldn’t say they have the same background. schumacher was trained as a mechanic, vettel completed the Gymnasium and would have went on to go to university and become a member of the upper middle class working in an office somewhere if didn’t make it to f1. schumacher would have worked in a garage or a factory. he was already well spoken in german and english when he arrived in f1, schumacher had to learn all these things after he became successful.

          anyways, my main point was that i don’t think the cars have anything to do with it, people watch f1 for the drivers and it’s almost impossible to compete with schumachers successes and stardom.

        • FH, has the accident that befell Schumi whilst skiing raised him up to a level that no German driver could ever reach. I can’t think of an un-clumsy way to ask, but like Senna became a saint after his death, has the same happened with MSC?

          • Pretty much, yes. For a generation or two there’s nothing to win for a German driver. If he walks over the water, people will complain that the bugger can’t swim.

            Germans by nature are Neidhammel – that’s a German word for begrudging other people. Vettel is almost hated by many as a lot of people think a twenty-four year old shouldn’t be earning millions and should not be famous. He should be in a factory working for a living and come home every evening grimy and sweaty. If you aren’t dirty after 8 hours, you are not working. It’ll take a generation or two until that particular breed of germans has kicked the bucket.

            Long story short – yes Schumacher was elevated to sainthood after his accident and any German driver will have to live up to a near impossible standard.

      • This morning Adam Cooper’s blog had a sidebar that showed some stand prices that looked pretty daunting. So that explained a lot, to me anyway.

  4. I was amazed the safety car come out, I was waiting for 2 cars to come round, or for someone to crash/spin put off by the stricken car.

    On a different note, was disappointed with JB comments over Lewis, but I think he’s having a shit year. Always been a fan of Lewis the driver, but not the person, but I’m gradually being won over, he doesn’t worry to much about PR speak, I thought his comment about Jense was humble. I think Lewis is immature, self centred, spoilt, but I think he has a good heart and soul.

    • JB’s comments weren’t that far off. Lewis made contact with other cars at least four times yesterday. I think he’s lacking the conservatism that wins you championships. He wants all or nothing, which has the downside of a 50% chance that you end up with nothing.

      • He only had contact with 3 drivers, Kimi and if you look at the Sutil incident, it was more Sutil hitting him, rather than the other way around.

        BTW Seb also hit Kimi, or you didn’t see that one?

        • You are such an easy target, Fortis.

          Seb vs. Kimi was a three wide incident and Kimi hit seb not the other way round.

          Lewis meanwhile has a car that is two seconds faster than anyone else and guarantees him second place even if he starts from the pitlane. Hitting other cars is utterly pointless and had he not done so he would have been second yesterday. The Button incident caused him a lot of time. There is nobody else to blame for that other than Lewis himself and that’s simply not the mindset needed to win.

          • It’s pointless mentioning the Jenson incident, because he had already accepted he made a mistake and apologised for it. Jenson vented his frustration and later accepted Lewis’s account of what happened. Even the commentators on both Sky and BBC said, they too thought Jenson was letting him pass. As for losing time, I doubt that, because even with the damage, he was still the fastest man on track.

            I knew you would’ve said it was Kimi who hit Seb. But hey, what should Kimi have done maybe he should’ve just disappeared like puff the magic dragon. He was being squeezed from both sides, so it was inevitable that there would’ve been contact.

            “Hitting other cars is utterly pointless “…… you make that sound as if, he went out with the intention of hitting other drivers. Racing incidents hippo.

          • > As for losing time, I doubt that, because even with the damage, he was still the fastest man on track.

            No he wasn’t. He couldn’t get past Bottas, so there was at least one man faster than him.
            Anywho. The damage to the front wing lost him front downforce and even if the time loss was not as big as expected it was still there. Considering that he ended less than a second behind Bottas it is not unreasonable to suspect he could have been ahead without said time loss.

          • He couldn’t get pass Bottas because he was on the SS tyres that had done more than 15 laps closing down a gap of over 12 seconds, the commentators eluded to that as well.

            BTW, even with the broken front wing, he was the only driver who did a 1.19 lap time. He could’ve been ahead of Bottas had the team not gamble on a possible safety car and brought him in 5 laps earlier than the planned stint of 13 laps a piece on the SS tyres.

          • Sorry, Fortis, but you are quite wrong for once.

            Without the front wing damage, and the concomitant asymmetric front tyre wear, Hamilton would almost certainly have been able to run a long enough second stint to two stop (ie as long as his first stint).

            That would have meant an easy P2, and it is just conceivable (though unlikely) that he could have challenged Rosberg, who was having his own brake/tyre management issues.

          • @Nigel. That’s a very good summary of the situation. The irreverence he had to the longer term race outcome means he lost 3 pts. This title could quite possible come down to that, or less. Lewis I think should have had the car to pass Bottas, but perhaps a lap or two later, with a more considered and focused approach to moves. That may be endearing to some, and that’s great for them, but he’s 3pts down off the optimum outcome in a tight WDC fight.

            (Note: Hamilfosi, respond to this view if you like, if it makes you feel better. Please however note that any response by the usual suspects wont be read, nor considered for reply. Have a nice day.)

          • “Lewis meanwhile has a car that is two seconds faster than anyone else and guarantees him second place even if he starts from the pitlane”

            That’s very true. Yesterday P2 for Hamilton was lost because of two things:

            1.) the incident with Button, which damaged the vital front left corner of the wing. This was the corner where all the tyre wear was happening, damaging the wing will have resulted in an accelerated rate of wear on this vital tyre.

            2.) Merc gambling on a safety car. That’s exactly what Lewis wanted them to do in Monaco, so they did it in Germany – so that’s not a team error in any way. The result was that he had to do too many laps on the super soft tyres, an issue that was compounded with the damage, as without the damage I think they would have made it given the light fuel load and rubbered in track.

            There was no need for Hamilton to get so aggressive with other drivers. It was only thanks to some quick thinking from Kimi that Lewis finished the race as that locked up Merc slid past him. With such a car advantage hitting people at one of the widest parts of track we have in the season is plain daft. I can excuse the Button one somewhat because he did look like he was pulling over, as he & kev did at Silverstone, however presumption is the mother of all fuck ups, and that’s exactly what caught Lewis out.

            I’m not surprised Hamilton had contact a few times, prior to any contact you could tell from his radio messages he was on edge about Rosberg getting away. I think Lewis was just a bit impetuous yesterday and cost himself 3 points in the process.

            Compare and contrast with Rosberg in China, in which he had a poor start (P7) and the telemetry was on the blink all race long. He was very measured and calm (ROS clipped Bottas trying to avoid a Force India hitting him, but he was trying to keep it clean and avoid people), Nico took P2 after a difficult weekend and a qualifying where his delta misled him (hence his quali spin), which ended up with him starting off the front row.

          • The difference is, Rosberg was coming from P7 compared to P20 on the grid. So it was a lot easier to over 6 cars, than it was to overtake 17. Compare and contrast Hamilton in Austria as well

            “(ROS clipped Bottas trying to avoid a Force India hitting him, but he was trying to keep it clean and avoid people)…. so by that, are you saying that Lewis went out with the intention of deliberately hitting other drivers?

            The contact with Kimi was minimal at best and it sure as hell wasn’t as bad as the one he had with Seb, but hey, lets ignore that incident won’t we. But go back and look at the Kimi incident again and you’ll notice, that he was actually in front of Kimi when the contact was made. Kimi was in the same situation that he later found himself in, when both Seb and Alonso went either side of him in the exact same corner

            So his spin in qualifying in China was down to the misinformation that his delta gave him, rather than driver error? I thought the ‘delta’ was just information about his sector times, so how exactly can that induce a spin?

          • Rosberg was moving to avoid people. Not even the most biased Hamilton fan could suggest he did similar yesterday given he was the one instigating the contact. Sorry I thought that bit was obvious.

        • Ha ha ha ha. “He only had contact with three drivers……..” Then maybe he should have been black flagged for dangerous driving.

      • That’s a nice theory, but when you are playing catch up, it doesn’t allow you to be conservative.

        • Especially when you play catch up it is important to collect every point there is and take 10 points instead of risking retirement for the chance of getting twelve.

          Remember, with that ridiculous last race you can make up 14 points by winning with your team mate coming second and that’s a given this year unless one of the Mercs fails. So there is no point in risking a retirement if your are behind by a single digit number of points. Prost won three titles using that philosophy.

          • True Fat Hippo. But Hamilton is no Prost. The long term vision and intellect difference would be like comparing a human and an ant. It’s night and day.

            Apparently, Hamilton is a ‘racer’. What ‘racer’ means nowadays is a competitor that has little regard for what future impact satisfying an immediate urge to overtake, or post a quick lap, or block etc. has on the next corner, lap, race, year etc.

            Essentially, the term ‘racer’ is a positive spin on why a competitor is incapable of considering all aspects that filter toward overall success.

            (Note: Hamilfosi, respond to this view if you like, if it makes you feel better. Please however note that any response by the usual suspects wont be read, nor considered for reply. Have a nice day.)

          • As a Lewis fan, I can’t disagree much there with you.

            Lewis himself has said it many times – for him, it is all or nothing. He considers coming second as a failure.

            His “race-craft” as a “racer” makes watching F1 exciting.

            If and when he changes to a more cerebral style of racing, that is when I will stop being a Lewis fan and switch off watching live F1 broadcasts.

          • “But then you shouldn’t be expecting him to win titles, as that requires a more cerebral approach.”

            Agreed.

            That is why Lewis lost the chance for a title in his rookie year.
            If he wins this year, it will be because his kill or be killed strategy works out. Whereas Alonso came very close to winning two more titles against the Red Bulls in an inferior car with his cerebral “points win prizes” strategy.

            If he doesn’t, then his days as a highly paid F1 driver are over, highly paid being the operative words. I think he may not have a career in F1 even as a paying driver after 2016.

            Another driver who drives and loses like Lewis is Massa (Think back to all his crash kid episodes with Lewis in past years)

          • Even if Lewis is brought down a peg or two (as Wolff can always hire Bottas, to pressure Rosberg and take a management cut for himself), he’ll always be in demand from being one of the fastest drivers out there, even if for a little less money, which would still be one of the best salaries out there.

            Ham/Ros are in the pound seat now until they retire, Vettel as well really, while Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Ricciardo, Bottas etc. are all behind them, waiting to get into the same position with their raw pace. The longer the wait goes on, some fall by the wayside (Di Resta) and others hang on via their backing (Sutil, Maldonado, VDG).

            Alonso, Raikkonen, Button, Massa and Webber were there previously.. Massa brought some sponsors to repair his reputation and secure a competitive Williams seat. Button won’t do the same, so he and Raikkonen look vulnerable for imminent retirement. Alonso will be the last of his generation, for sure.

    • Yes, end of day Jense bollixed the corner, went phenomenally wide and Lewis misread it. Pro-tip Jense, if you don’t want cars coming up the inside, don’t leave 2.5 car widths there.

  5. “So long as Hamilton and the other drivers obey the double waved yellows Lewis, “slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary”, the marshals were not at risk.”

    I disagree, Your Honour. See my other comments on the matter.

    PS As for Charlie’s desire to keep the result as it was, I’m pretty sure that this popped into his mind and influenced the decision. I don’t think Lewis is necessarily out of line with this line of reasoning.

    • You’ve never been at the Nordschleife then – double yellows means ‘take the fucking foot off the loud pedal’. and not only there – in racing all over the world. If the marshals were at risk then the drivers broke the rules.

      • “If the marshals were at risk then the drivers broke the rules.”

        Or put differently, if the drivers systematically break the rules on double-yellows (effectively treating them as single-yellows) because the FIA doesn’t enforce it seriously, then the FIA knowingly put the marshals at risk. Seriously, who slows down “enough” in a high-speed corner, knowing that you fight for position? Doubly-reckless.

        However, I would love to see actual telemetry of the average, min and max speeds through Turn 1 during the waved double-yellows.

    • Easier to reply here, but I think the rules are clear on double waved yellows. Drivers don’t respect them as they should, and the rules (which are already there in black and white) need to be enforced more rigorously perhaps.

      It’s not just F1 drivers either, WTCC @ Macau was a prime example of that last year.

      • “the rules (which are already there in black and white)”

        In my experience “rules” (or laws, constitutions, etc.) not enforced are not worth the paper they’re written on.

        • I agree with this.. but in a court of law, how would this stand up? Is “no one respects that rule and no one obeys it” a worthy defence?

          First instance that I can think of… is the motorway speed limit of 70 mph. Usually only going over 84? warrants a speeding charge.. i.e. 120% of the limit. But the police may use 10%, hence the Judges’ recent charging for going 34? in a 30.. Yikes.

          But some are like German Autobahns (near me you can cruise over 100mph and no one cares or notices), while it seems busy motorways may be a different matter entirely. So, the understanding and application of the rules and penalties are very loose in this context, IMO.

          • Audi A1s can easily cruise at 115 mph and it seems like they are not even breaking a sweat..

          • They can do you for 31 in a 30 – I’m reliably informed.

            Further, at 30mph there is a 7% chance if you hit someone head on you will kill them – at 35mph this rises to 19% – apparently 😉

          • Indeed, and it’s a lot higher at 40 mph. I’m in favour of 20 zones in those small old terraced housing estate areas where kids too often play.

            My friend was lucky to escape being hit by a car.. As the driver had slowed down, in accordance with the speed limit falling from 60 to a 40 zone, just before the bus stop (yes, he walked out behind a bus.. He was fresh into secondary school and didn’t get it in primary school). After a few years of headaches, he was fine, but it was a lucky escape tbh. The guys windscreen was totally crushed in.

  6. Interesting how followers of Hamilton have exactly the same reaction as him in the face of his racing life’s slings and arrows – bunker mentality, conspiracy theories, oh-woe-is-me, victimhood. “Fragile” in a word.
    Free advice: it’s not all about you, shit happens to you and everyone else. Life isn’t fair or just or even-handed – stop talking, get over yourself and get on with the fight.
    As per the Bard, take up arms against the sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them. Hamilton absolutely has the skills, his mind game is poor and going backwards.

  7. So judge, did you also forgot that both Rosberg and Alonso expressed concern about the safety car as well or is it like always best to dissect Lewis’s words so as to generate a debate?

    You talk about what the waved yellows represent, so what about red flags? The same rules apply just the same, but we’ve seen drivers blatantly disobey those warnings (Rosberg/Ricciardo Silvertone) and not been punished, but when Jenson did the same at COTA, he was penalised.The lack of consistency with applying the rules has become clearly apparent this year and that’s where the frustration lays.

    But like I said before, everyone is looking at the car, whilst forgetting the safety of the individuals.

    • You don’t give up, do you? Your man was 3rd. That’s not going to change and he better look for the reasons in his own driving instead of lamenting that he wasn’t given an artificial advatage. Jeez, get over it.

      • I could careless about whether or not if it would have gave him an artificial advantage, read all my comments on the issue, it’s solely based on the issue of safety for the marshals (at no point did I imply otherwise). People who have volunteered their free time for the love of the sport and should not be put at risk like that. The safety car is there for a reason, so use it.

      • Ahhh Fortis….if even if Hamilton had by some chance taken the lead, the front wing that he’d self-buggered, would have ensured he’d lose it again…..

        • Again my comment is about the safety of the marshals, so i’ll say it again….

          I could careless what advantage he may or may not have gained!

          Peoples lives were put at risk and that should not have happened. Some disagree and that’s ok, everyone is entitled to their opinions, i’m just expressing mine.

          • Yes and peoples lives are always at risk at a motor racing circuit. It’s a judgement call which balances risk with interminable interference…

    • To be fair to Rosberg, the car infront had dropped to 23mph when we passed at Silverstone. It looked like it was about to stop due to mechanical issues. 23mph (well before any accident site) is not normal, even under Red Flag conditions.

      • Sure, but what are the rules for a red flag?….

        “no overtaking, slow down and be prepared to stop, marshals on the track etc”….

        so even if the car had slowed to 10 mph, then he should assume that he was preparing to stop, just like the rules said.

        There’s no consistency with the application of the rules

    • …Hamilton was the only one who inferred the safety car was not deployed to conspire against him…. THAT IS NEWS!

      And I disagree with Rosberg, Alonso, James Allen and anyone else who has become so memorised by the all too frequent sight of the safety car – which they forget is interrupting the racing and corrupting the result….. all too often…. unnecessarily.

  8. In fact, the cars could be allowed to run at speeds the safety car is incapable of reaching for the 2 sectors unaffected by an incident and given a much slower maximum speed through the sector where marshals are working on the circuit. This would be safer from the perspective that tyre temperatures and pressures would be better maintained during the time it takes to clear an incident.

    A really sensible suggestion.

    You should have left it at that.

  9. I recall one time when I was racing. The circuit was not an especially quick one. It was a practice session actually. The track was in the middle of nowhere and everyone I my category was pounding around testing set ups.

    Anyway so I come into this corner, flat chat, maybe entry at 160kmph in an F3 car, apex a bit lower, then exit building back very quick to 180kmph at the ripple strip, and no flags being waved mind you, and there is a guy on the exit of the corner, right at the edge of the ripple strip, doing something or rather with a tyres.

    I lifted off at mid corner/exit as my vision saw him/exit points, but because I lifted and instinctively hooked the steering, my rear came out and I was oversteering into him. I just missed him, but kept it together, honestly very nearly shat myself and I drove in the pits. By the time I got there, unbuckled and out of the car I was enraged, about to tell my guys. Turns out they knew and were pissed. The session was red flagged about minute after I arrived in the pits.

    It turns out a few drivers almost collected him too. This idiot hick was lining up tyres so we wouldn’t deliberately run off the road to gain time. It was something we were warned about prior to the meet in documentation of enforcement of this corner. The tin top guys were doing it too much, so we all suffered, as they were the main problem.

    Anyway all the ppl running the teams, and any senior drivers at the final drivers safety meeting for all categories tore shreds of the bloke, and the circuit owners present and circuit administrators. It was pretty full on. If that guy had been hit, he’d be dead. If he died, some poor idiot driver would have that on him for a while.

    My point of all this is that even IF the exactitudes of the line taken at hockenheim meant the marshals were not in any likely danger, a driver seeing a person on track is so messed up and if you are exiting a corner, and don’t know, and he’s there, anything can happen. The guys could trip, the circuit my have had camber and the car involved may have slide backwards once gears were disengaged, etc.

    Imagine an idiot Maldonado type hooking it and not catching it for example. Anything. So in this case, I would say a safety car was needed. I also agree it was highly, highly, highly unlikely that anything would have happened in this situation. But it’s a basic point. If people are on the tarmac, anywhere, safety car is out. That’s my op from my racing exp anyway. Take it or leave it.

    (Note: Hamilfosi, respond to this view if you like, if it makes you feel better. Please however note that any response by the usual suspects wont be read, nor considered for reply. Have a nice day.)

      • “Which part of double yellow flags did you miss?”

        Perhaps the fact that the FIA and marshalls are inconsistent in their policing of the double-yellows rules?

      • I agree as to what double yellow means Fat.

        My point is more overriding than that. It’s my view that person on the track, at any stage, for anything, requires safety car. As well as double yellows. As well as drivers respecting it. As well as massive punishments for those who don’t. It’s layered approach to risk.

        I also agree, it’s highly unlikely anyone wold have been hurt. But like I said, imagine for a moment the marshals press the gear disengage button, then the car rolls back, and it’s heavier than they think, the marshals then choose to chase it or not moving further in the wrong direction. Some chase it, some don’t. Then the drivers, even going slow, are forced to choose how to avoid a smattering of ppl and a rolling car.

        Anyway, take it or leave it.

        • >the marshals press the gear disengage button, then the car rolls back, and it’s heavier than they think,

          Sorry, but that’s daft. An F1 car weighs less than 600kg. A single person can control it. The east German Trabant weighed 612kg and I could push to jump start it alone. That’s just ridiculous. There was no grounds for a safety car as long as all drivers knew what double yellow means.

          • Ok mate. No problem.

            Just to clarify, I don’t think the safety car being deployed would have made any difference if it was Nico or Lewis leading. I think any suggestion otherwise is really idiotic. But that’s the ‘Hamilfosi’ I suppose.

            The core to my point is above. i.e. marshal on track (clearing car, debris etc) = safety car. It part of a layer approach to risk management and safety. As an IT specialist, perhaps you can appreciate it. As an ex race car driver, I certainly can appreciate that it’s many things in unison that make one safe.

            The exact analogy re: weight of the car rolling back, and debating that, would undermine my core point. I appreciate you comments.

            (Note: Hamilfosi, respond to this view if you like, if it makes you feel better. Please however note that any response by the usual suspects wont be read, nor considered for reply. Have a nice day.)

          • We have to understand how the marshals work. They weren’t just rushing out onto the track like headless chickens. The corner was doubly yellow-flagged and there was still a guy watching the cars coming out of the stadium section, who ultimately signalled them it is safe to cross the track because there was no car close enough to pose a danger. Since the deadly accident with a Mashal on the Eurospeedway in 2001, education of track-side personell has been taken to anal levels in Germany. And I’ve driven on track days at the Nürbrurgring, Oschersleben and Hockenheim often enough. Those guys know their job. They were in no real danger at any time.

    • Couldn’t agree more.

      I would add that if Silverstone deserved to be red flagged for nearly an hour to replace a few bent armcos, then Hockenheim deserved a safety car for three or four laps to remove Sutil’s car – irrespective of where Lewis and/or Rosberg were in the race or in their championship stakes.

    • Whilst this is an interesting experience, and somewhat valid, I’d argue strongly that double waved yellows are the most extreme warning you can give to drivers. Even in horrific pile ups double waved yellows are first displayed, then perhaps 15 or 20 seconds later the red (or SC) comes out.

      It is therefore my argument that drivers should follow the rules and be prepared to stop, and those who take too many risks should be punished accordingly to bring them back into line.

      This is an area that needs clamping down on in my opinion. We’ve had several near misses in F1 where drivers haven’t slowed sufficiently. It’s not just one or two drivers who carry too much speed in yellow zones, it’s all of them. They lift what? 10 %? When really it should be more like 50%.

      The idea of a virtual safety car is superb IMO. Not only would it make racing safer, which is always good, but it would also ensure that no driver gains from lifting less than their competitors.

      In theory plenty of these incidents we see should be cleared under double waved yellows, but that relies on drivers respecting the rules, and someone enforcing them.

      Arguably we could have also had a safety car when the Torro Rosso went up in flames yesterday. That was in the firing line at the end of a 200mph straight. I’m a little surprised no one mentioned that one. It’s another instance where if drivers respect those yellows it’s safe to clear without a safety car.

      Whilst we’re at it, safety cars, allowing unlapped cars to drive off round the track it horrendously dangerous, elongates safety car periods and normally puts those who’ve already lapped that traffic at a disadvantage. Hideous rule.

      • To back up my theory that double yellows are the most extreme warning you can get, just have a look at which flags were waved for at least 45 seconds after Kimi binned it at the British GP.

        Drivers who barely back off for dbl yellows want punishing.

        F1 Driver “You know, we come around that corner at serious speed”.

        Yes son.. that’s the problem…

      • ….this idea was presented to Charlie Whiting this year… he laughed and said – “Safety cars spice up ‘the show'”…. I’m sorry for all you sincere readers who think safety is paramount……..

        • I thought as much. That’s why they really frustrate me as a fan of the sport. They artificially impact a race, normally disadvantaging the guy who leads.

          I guess you’ll not hear too many complaints about it until it negatively impacts a certain Mercedes driver, such is F1 at present.

    • Jeez, that sounds crazy.. and all just to ‘stop cars going off track to gain time’?! Sounds like a problem with the track/kerb design to me IMO. Backed up by a crazy guy with a death wish!

    • @Still, I made a similar comment further up and I *completely* agree with you. Though very small, there’s no point in risking the life of the marshals, Particularly as those strident in defending the FIA have yet to account for the possibility of car malfunction or error. I mean Kvyat’s ride just burst into flames in the middle of the race. What if a car had a mechanical coming through the last turn? It was lunacy to not have the SC out.

      My GrandDad, in explaining why he wouldn’t let me do some moderately dangerous thing in my extreme youth and ignorance put it best “You are looking at the probability that something might go wrong, I am looking at the possibility it might”. When it comes to the marshals, they need to look at possibles and not probables.

      • ….”I am looking at the possibility it might” – then don’t go racing – “Motorsports are dangerous activities” 😉

        • The marshals are not drivers though, and therefore not ‘fair game’.

          That whole ‘Motorsports are dangerous’ view is a tad disingenuous. Matt is correct in that, in relation to marshals, we have to look at all possibilities of danger, not just the probability of it. In relation to drivers, I accept what you are saying, that probability is good enough and motorsport is motorsport.

          But these marshals are just fans with a weekend off. Often they are dopey buggers. The probably accept a little danger. But they assume, if they follow procedure, that there is no chance they wont be going home that night. I think on balance, that assumption was tested in Hockenheim by Charlie.

          Drivers and riders on the other hand accept a different proposition to their fate.

          • They are Still.

            I do it, and I’m as thick as two short planks…..

            All joking aside, the standards arent terribly high at all the events i do.

            Usually very good at biking events, especially road races but not stellar at car meets.

            And not every marshal is highly experienced, which is usually where problems start.

          • I totally agree with you Colin. It’s just one if those things where perhaps unless you have exprienced this, in truly proper competitive environments, you try but can’t impart the terror and ‘cold water on the face’ feeling of ppl on track around you out of no where, or in your experience the feeling of rockets blasting (even in 2nd gear) around you and you having no choice but to trust they all behave perfectly, immediately, are aware, and perform perfectly to procedure, which a saftey car would ebsure. In those few moments, you are like Schrödinger’s cat, both dead and alive.

            I’d like to clarify a point or two (or five). 1) I hate contrived saftey cars. 2) I am not in any way disrespecting veiws of ppl who have not raced or marshalled. 3) I am aware Motorsport is dangerous. 4) marshal saftey is about a layered approach to their risk. 5) I don’t think all marshals are idiots. Some are inexperienced. But I don’t think any marshal believes they are subject to the same risk as the drivers.

    • Thank you SIS – a well considered, experienced and non-partisan view.

      Regardless of what might have happened to the race (and I’m not at all sure any of the results would have been different) I, personally, can’t understand why there is any argument that double waved yellows were ok in this case and yet we see the safety car in countless other cases which appear to me (a very long-time F1 watcher with no expert knowledge whatsoever).

      It’s a shame that TJ13 comments section are being dominated by “Lewis is/isn’t great”. There are plenty of other sites for that and in my opinion (FWIW) this site is not enhanced by going down that path.

    • OMG!!! I find I am actually agreeing with you on something! But you wont be reading this, so you wont be amazed aswell. 😀

    • well done piece @ Still ! 3 items not mentioned in this whole thread:
      1 the possibility of some fluid having been dropped by the Sauber.
      2 the (slim) chance there had been or would be a small bit of rain during the flags.
      3 that trained (but part time) volunteer Marshals, Stewards, nor Race Control desk jockeys cannot be expected to be as attuned (nor as athletic) to time-speed-distance-closing rates as a top tiered professional driver.

      provided NO body had to cross the track/runoff area, I have zero issue with not deploying the SC. but workers DID cross the track – maybe on their own accord – maybe under direction. in any case, bodies on the racing line for even a few seconds demanded the call for the SC, IMHO.

      • …then you may well end up with IndyCar style races where the safety car is deployed for 25-50% of the time.

        It was Singapore 2012 where “I saw the light” over the creeping danger of the use of the safety car….

        No one is saying reduce safety – improve it and use diverse and creative means – surely a saloon car hurtling around the track as fast as it can is not always the best methodology???

        • I would agree with you about methodology. But I think you are conflating two issues.

          In my opinion, Sutil’s car (and the necessary method of moving it) was at least as dangerous as many other safety car incidents. It was bizarre that this did not bring out the SC (again, in my opinion).

          I also strongly agree that F1 can do a FAR better job than the current SC procedure – your idea of sending lapped cars through the pits to QUICKLY send them to the back of the line is inspired, for example. Given the technology available in F1, the very notion of a “slow” car at the head of the snake could also be replaced with something cleverer – as you have suggested.

          Nonetheless, neither of those was available on Sunday. Until they are, the SAFETY car should be used to ensure safety. In my opinion, if double-waved yellows were good enough for the Sutil situation, then they are certainly good enough for 90% of the other SC situations.

          Aren’t we always demanding consistency? If so, why suddenly does that fly out the window. (oh yeah, I know: this is really a pro vs anti Hamilton pissing match…).

    • Completely agree, Still.

      Danilo, you’re as tenatious as Fortis here 🙂

      Safety first. Lives are at stake. Safety car. Double yellows are not enough.

      And, once again, i dont care who wins or who benefits.

      • Bollocks. There were no lives at stake as the marshals were never in danger. The laws of physics prevent a car from coming round that corner on a line that would hit the Sauber and the double yellows prevent the cars from going round the corner fast enough to spin line sutil did.

        There simply wasn’t enough reason to deplay a safety car. The safety car is the ultima ratio before you have to red flag the race, not the go to method whenever someone winds up with a gearbox ful full of neutrals.

        • *Cough* ok so.

          Hopefully we can agree to disagree so.

          Your saying likelihood is low (which i agree with) so waved yellows.

          I’m saying marshals on the track should be safety car, low likelyhood or not.

          I dont want any potential issues with non competitors on the track, being busy doing something else, and not looking at the cars. That is my preference.

          Like you, i have no control over what happens. We just have a different preference. And I’m a little less angry over your preference than you seem to be with mine 😉

        • Again it’s the “what ifs” that you’re missing Mr Big Boned… IF a driver had been playing Mariokart on his new PS4 steering wheel with its 87 menus and somehow missed the yellows, then those same laws of physics you mention would have ensured they spun in exactly the same manner and ended up in exactly the same place as Sutil’s stranded car, with or without some mullet head marshall wandering around.

          • I think Sutil spun because he was having problems with his throttle.. It was lurching from none to full throttle, it is fly by wire now as well I think.

    • Not having raced nor been a Marshall, I understood the idea of flags, at least double yellows, was as the immediate and first reaction. Incident happens, car or people on track, immediate double yellows waved by marshals, pending race control decision what next. What I mean, I hope more clearly, is that historically the Marshalls could react first and wave flags, then that would give time to assess and minimize risks straight away, and then if you still have the problem, race control has to make a further decision. Flags and Marshalls I always understood to be the front line of decision making, even with radios, telemetry, multi camera television and sophisticated race control. So my anticipation was of a safety car, shortly after the double yellows were raised.

      I’m no racer at all. Where I grew up had a particularly large number of blind spots in roads, at junctions, on winding lanes through trees, up and down hills, 1:4 hill we were atop was heavily cambered and hit a A road double blind. Another approach into town had three deep long gravel traps, regularly “double parked”, trees and a vertiginous drop to your left, not much but hop skip and a cliff view to your right. Oh, and a very high proportion or seniors driving about slowly… the idea to leave even a sighted off line vehicle on the track boggles me. Obviously not comparable to learning to drive in my home town, but I can only agree with the real racer above, there’s too many ways to get nervy and twitch a car, even when sighted. Learning around roads you grew up with, even used to anticipating someone either trundling slowly or some fool bombing it blind, jangled me into enough little errors. Surely there’s more on your mind, when double yellows are raised, not least of which is pit stop strategy, likely radio talk, track debris assessment, checking your own car’s not picking up debris… then it doesn’t get easier next lap, surely, as you’ve cooled off, are possibly frustrated, and so on… a safety car simply seems more level headed to me.

      I’m a Hamilton fan, but forget conspiracy, and I’m too disappointed in some of his other driving for comment, I merely think this was a poor decision. Presumably race control, i.e., Charlie Whiting, makes the call? Equally I can’t imagine the Marshalls were happy.

  10. Great post about the virtual safety car. That’s why I come here… Not for the increasing amount of fanboy/troll drivel 47 responses deep…

    • Indeed.. they could for example enforce a delta of the average race speed across the whole track.. so no advantage is gained, and pit stop timing changes are minimised.. like they showed at Le Mans.. then lift it again with a countdown once ready to race again.

  11. ” …. utterly disingenuous for Hamilton to criticise the failure to deploy the safety car as a decision designed to manipulate the result of the race and in the same breath claim his concern is merely for the marshals.

    Which is it? … ”

    eh?

    Both. One does not preclude the other.

  12. FACTS:
    – Rosberg parks his car (unintentionally or not) at Monaco qualifying and hence Hamilton misses chance to challenge for win and pole
    – Hamilton has gotten slower pit stops than Rosberg in at least 3 races
    – Rosberg cutting the chicane in Canada, however, stewards had said you’re allowed to do it only once. Other F1 pundits disagree.
    – Safety car not coming out in the last race which has divided F1 pundits.
    – Hamilton has been unlucky in 3 races (AUS, CAN, GER), while Rosberg in 1 race (GBR).

    If you’re a Hamilton fan you start to see conspiracy alien crop circles all around (I’m seeing them!)
    If you’re an anti-Hamilton fan you make any excuse possible and impossible so as to throw the blame on him or just lady-luck.
    If you’re neither, you’re probably impartial and laughing at the above two categories of fans. Merely, the first half of this season just proves that to win titles you need not only the full backing of your team but also luck on your side.

    • I can’t help but amuse myself also, with the facts you cite, and the GBR and GER races seem to have a especial kind of symmetry of fortune about them! I’m a Hamilton fan, but I must have some immunity to the full blown symptoms, as I’m laughing at it all, just as I laughed aloud at myself for thinking just what HAM thought, when there was no safety car… I see it all as good comedic drama, light relief, and not a little delight because I am (not in equal balance but in a entirely different way), a Rosberg fan, also. Can’t help but enjoy it all this year…

  13. I’m sorry but you say Hamilton could have fitted soft (prime) tyres for the last stint to better challenge Bottas? But he only had 2 sets of soft tyres after his other was ruined during his spin in qualifying and he had already used them both.

    Also, you say, even if the safety car would have come out, Hamilton could not have won? I do not understand this, Hamilton would have been on a new set of super-soft tyres, and by the time the safety car went in, there would probably have only been 12 – 14 laps left. Rosberg was on an old set of prime tyres.

    What I personally don’t understand is why Mercedes didn’t just wait until they saw a safety car to pit Hamilton. That way he would be able to stick on the original strategy of using two sets of super-softs for two equal stints, making it much more likely he would have caught and passed Bottas. Worst case scenario would be he’d of lost a couple more places when pitting, but he still had a big lead over those behind in order to pit and come back out in a healthy position.

    • True.. although I think Mercedes could have been more aggressive with his pit stops, as I realised, once he started dropping back and lost 2nd to Bottas around lap 20.

      He could have done 19-19-15-15 for example, or, as I would have possibly gambled on, 20-15-16-16 with SS, SS, SS last stints. Ultra attacking, and a little less likely to run into Button with more of a tyre advantage.

      But Mercedes seem to prefer the soft tyre, so the first one I highlighted is still more valid than Lewis’ eventual strategy, SC covering pitstop accepted.

    • ….. Hamilton was 33 seconds behind Rosberg after his final pit stop – with or without a safety car, Rosberg could have pitted for fresh tyres and come out well ahead of Lewis.

      also I didn’t attach any blame to Hamilton for the super soft decision, in fact the team may have blinked too early and should have waited for the safety car before cutting the stint short by 3-4 laps which left Lewis vulnerable on his final stint.

      Yet maybe following the haranguing Mercedes received from Lewis over refusing to pit him when the safety car was deployed in Monaco….. he got what they thought he would want….

  14. McLaren title sponsor… for 2015.. so they’ll not be just McLaren-Honda or Honda McLaren??

    PS. Sounds like even the Germans got bored of Mercedes domination, after Red Bull domination, or having to pay a high price just to see it…. I wonder if there was more overtaking at the truck event, or if it was more like BTCC… anyway, if Nurbs can even pull that in for trucks, straight after the WC triumph, no wonder Bernie wants to go there for the 5 years in a row.

    • Also, if the failure of the car sales division is to be believed, it sounds like they need a big title sponsor from 2015 onwards.

      • Failure of the car sales division? They were in profit last year, a year earlier than anticipated, and as far as I know (and see) they open new outlets all the time.

        • Fair enough.. I was remembering an article here recently, where the judge pointed out how much they had borrowed (share sales) and not hitting their own high expectations.

          • With only one way for interest rates to go: up; and it seems nothing other than free money printing keeping the luxury sector “healthy”, I imagine you want to be hitting it out of the park for sales, right now, doing everything you can to pile up reserves. True that fast inflation negates debt, and industrialists able to borrow in hyperinflationary times have always done extremely well, but McLaren don’t have much fallback from their Veblen autos. That said, I hope they thrive and push into the mainstream and become a established marque in the mid market, also.

          • I guess that’s their line of thinking.. Ferrari always did it well by sticking to that concept. But I agree, as if they do well, then some more jobs may be created at McLaren Automotive.

            PS. Missed you JoJ! You always pique my curiosity for economics.

          • hey there f1esty,

            I missed being around about also, thanks for your kind shout out!

            Boy this year is so different from last. I’m on a much bigger turnaround in in life than I first thought, and it’s proving rather fun. I’m on a gig now that seems to touch about every area from my career, and doing some machine learning, econometrics, micromarket stuff (blah blah), whereas i’d been way too macro for too long, business and personally. I’d love it if the charts data was downloadable from the analyses that are posted here. It’s already a great effort to explore the other side of F1, that’s hidden to all but the smartest of players. If you have general economics, analogy top line things like speed, gearing and grip; then econometrics is what happens between pits and strategies, and miçromarkets is the driver following equation / overtaking conditions. I’m wondering if it’s not possible to apply things like market maker algos and Value At Risk and so on, to F1 data. Whether talking rubbish or not, I’m enjoying being back at the coal face… revising my C++ to accommodate a fair few years of language improvements (Lambdas, yay!) and same time, well, I threw out a lot of cruft legacy code from my own wetware!!

            Anyhow, hope i’ll be able to not bore you in the future also, all best from me ~j

          • Sounds good – I always wondered if machines will be better than us in this.. ever since learning about programs being written that outperform us, first by that college professor.

            Pipe dream – code a money-making machine, sit back and earn, decide how to spend… I’m thinking John Henry here, who made money in his own futures brokering, then bought Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, funded iRacing in his spare time… if you have one, pass it on 😛

            I can tell you from telemetry why someone is faster than someone else.. after using it so much in GPL. But, we all know who are better in the pits than others.. and my incling is, if we could apply micro and algorithms, that we would find some interesting results, which mainly back up who we feel to be the best racers, like Alonso or Vettel… Massa definitely needs to brush up on ‘Value at Risk’!

            I can imagine Alonso’s 2012 is like Paulson’s CDS mega-trades, while Hamilton’s 2012 is everyone losing money in the recession.. and then finding a new job to go with it.. while the teams going to the wall (Toyota, formerly highest spenders, BMW, recently fighting for the title, Honda, throwing in the towel on a winning car) can have some analogies with Lehman Bros..

          • *Tranmere Rovers needs a new owner, Grand Prix Legends needs servers to keep the community alive.. well, I can be a poor man’s John Henry, right? 😀

  15. I thought that McLaren exclusively used Akebono brakes?…..secondly, didn’t TK say in the pre race build up, that the brakes on both Mercedes were changed in parc ferme?

      • Not according to the specs that were posted when they launched the car this year.

        Yea, it’s quite a fitting name actually, rather prefer that than “fanboy”, so I’ve got to thank ……for it, so I’ll be sticking with it from now on.

        • It also has ‘milf’ in it.. Which is what Nicole is wanting to be. Lewis has to go along with it..

          Add in BBW, and we can have lots of nickname dualities.. Although I’m not sure everyone actually knows them.. That said, disclaimer, if you are of a certain nature, don’t look them up!

  16. Wow, so much ink just because of the SC story…

    I’m openly pro-Hamilton, but Mercedes and Hamilton gambled on the SC coming out. My first thought was that it would indeed come out, and watching it live I was certain it would have, but didn’t. Again : it’s convenient because then all the conspiracy theories come flying out. My personal feeling is that Mercedes and Hamilton were right to gamble on it, but that’s what it is : a gamble, there’s an inherent risk of losing. Unfortunately Hamilton lost out in this one, but at least they tried and now they won’t regret it. That’s the error margin, it’s how it is.

    My main problem with the SC incident is : consistency. The safety rules are applied in sometimes random manner that in the end one just doesn’t know what might or might not happen when there is an accident/incident. These days it feels like safety is important when Charlie Brown feels like it is… A steward having to be on track to do whatever duties needing to be accomplished, to me, feels like a SC should be out, even for just a lap. The Silverstone-barrier thing was BS, it needed a SC for clearing out debris on the track but not a 1h-red flag and a race restart, though Charlie Brown felt otherwise.

    I already said in earlier comments that Hamilton’s race summed up to damage-limitation, and while he didn’t do a bad job getting 3rd starting 20th, 2nd was definitely achievable. For Hamilton to win the title, he’ll need all the lucky breaks from now on basically : like a SC coming out yesterday for instance. That’s not been happening since Monaco. Hamilton really needs a squeaky clean weekend in Hungary, squeaky clean being equal to “Fastest in FP, Quali and winning the race”, without any silly stupid drama, e.g. SC coming out…

    • …”My main problem with the SC incident is : consistency….”

      I have a lot of sympathy for this view KimKas – however, the impact of the safety car is so huge – judgement calls are made…. and as I have advocated there are often better methods of dealing with incidents on track.

      We’ve given Charlie a lot of stick over the past week, but this was a call I personally agree was dealt with more than adequately under waved yellow flags…

      The safety car is a creeping interference in motor racing. It is difficult to criticise deploying it, because it may have prevented injury…

      It is also easy to criticise not deploying it for similar reasons…

      …so we potentially get ever increasing safety car periods for ever longer time spans due to other stupid rules.

      I believe the IndyCar race in Torronto last night ran for longer under the safety car (or full course yellows as they call it) than under green. All the safety car incidents were accident related not due to rain.

      The race was won by someone down the field who gambled there would be a safety car in the last 5 minutes of the race… before there was even a crash….

      Further, the race organisers felt it necessary to red flagged the final incident which would normally been run under a safety car (3-4mins to go), for no other reason than it would have been unacceptable to the spectators to see the race finish behind the safety car.

      The safety car has been an excellent addition to safety in F1, but it may in many instances have had its day…..

      • Fair enough, Judge. I don’t mean to get on Charlie’s back, though my pro-Hamilton feelings will obviously make it sound that way. But I’m making a direct comparison with the Silverstone incident, where “safety” was the reason why we had the 1 hour delay, red flag and everything. Now I like that safety was the main concern, I follow that line of thought, but putting the barrier back up was OTT I felt.

        I’d love to say that common sense should apply, but that will bring me to the same argument again : consistency. Yesterday, double-waved yellows was probably the common-sense thing to do (in hindsight). You’re right about the fact that there will be good reasons for deploying or not deploying the SC.

        My personal opinion is that the safety of everyone involved in the race should be the top priority and any decisions that are taken keep that factor in the balance but obviously one wouldn’t want to ruin the show so it’s a tough call… And it’s made worse by the fact that we’ve had SC out for much less than this in other instances. This is endless debate, so I think it’s better to just let Charlie deal with the head-ache and get on with the next race (and hope there’s nothing to deal with there).

        I don’t follow IndyCar all that much, but your account of it makes it sounds as if the decision-making there is pretty awful.

        • “I don’t follow IndyCar all that much, but your account of it makes it sounds as if the decision-making there is pretty awful”.

          That was meant to demonstrate how the creeping nature of the safety car may end up in F1… more than half the race under caution???

          This will be the case if absolute safety requires a safety car must be sent out in all circumstances and as long as it s the primary control mechanism for reducing the speed of the cars.

          As others have said, maybe the lack of use of yellow flags has led to some complacency and the expectation that the safety car is the best and safest manner to deal with on track incidents.

          Maybe Charlie needs to brief the media and the drivers on the importance of double waved yellow flags… so it becomes more normative to expect them and also an appropriate response from the drivers….

        • yes @ KimKas. the multiple flip-flop decision-making all weekend long at the Toronto IndyCar race was as laughable and horrific as I can EVER recall witnessing in politics, business, or sport. they made a mockery of the Series and shoved a mud pie in the face of some of the World’s greatest motorsports fans…

          • Maybe so…. But I Thought the decision to start the 2nd race 10 mins early to “avoid poss puddles” should the rain come was inventive

        • Point of interest on your last para that we sure as hell don’t want to see spreading into F1….The incessant need to put sweepers out to gather up the marbles at every safety car opportunity, leads to far more laps under caution then necessary.
          The marbles are the same for all drivers….

      • But the SC days are numbered, to a certain extent, from next year, I thought. Won’t we be getting standing restarts instead, because it will make the race seem more spectacular? So even more chance of first corner carnage each race. Also, won’t there be even more “wailing and gnashing of teeth” by people who see their favourite driver apparently disadvantaged by this. There is a big chance of cars coming together, as always, from the dash to the corner and conspiracy theorists will have a field day. 🙂

  17. Hi, I don’t want to criticise twice in one day, but you wrote:

    “Hamilton disliked the Carbone Industrie brakes fitted to the W04 when he joined the team and so he was switched to Brembo with which he was familiar from his time at McLaren.”

    Mercedes confirmed over the weekend that both Hamilton and Rosberg usually try both types of brake disc at each circuit and then make a choice after Friday practice. Hamilton does not always use Brembo and sometimes it depends on temperature, etc. I realise you may not have wanted to go into all of this detail but the paragraph I highlighted somewhat suggests that Hamilton always uses Brembo. The issues he had with brakes in 2013, were far more complicated than a brake disc. It was something to do with exclusivity McLaren had to a particular technology and/or component, for which Mercedes could not provide him directly with a replica. It was also to do with how FRIC was affecting braking.

  18. RE: Safety Car:

    1000% there should have been one.

    This day and age, with all of the safety aspects implemented, all of the safety promotion, how do we go back to marshals running across an active racetrack???? What is this Kyalami 1977???? WTF really.

    Bernie says “think before you drive” haha. fck outta here.

  19. Voted NO to safety car, but do think the drivers need to be reminded of the meaning of double waved yellow.
    Maybe pit lane speed limit through the sector defined by the 1st marshel point before the incident to the next clear marshal point after it.

    • Sounds good, from a safety perspective.

      I’d defo consider that, just not totally sure how it would be managed. But I think its a good suggestion.

      The only downside for me is the safety car (usually) bunches up the grid so when it passes the marshals can work in relative safety, till the grid comes past again.

      Still I think its better than waved double yellows.

      • That can also be done without a safety car. We have road cars which can manage the speed to the car in front keeping a safe distance, also can correct steering input to ensure you stay in the same lane….

          • ..”Until then…..”.

            the double yellow flag sufficed – no one was injured – no one died – woulda… coulda…. shoulda…. 😉

          • No, Judge, you’re on the wrong side of the pram on this one.

            Given current rules, rule enforcement and technology, the moment you send hapless Homer Simpsons (also known as: marshals) running across the track with F1 cars hurtling by at speed (whether normal, yellow or double-yellow), the Safety Car or red flag is a necessity, NOT an option. I sympathize with and support your crusade against the creeping too-many-Safety-Cars conundrum, but in this specific instance you picked the wrong fight.

            As for arguments like “no one was injured – no one died”, they are NULL and void, and as a judge you should know better. For the next race let us have F1 drivers not wear seat belts, and if no one gets injured and no one dies then let us declare that not-wearing-belts is safe, and let us avoid them for the rest of the season. Right? If you take a risk and get lucky once, it doesn’t mean that next time lady-luck will follow you.

          • ….bring on closed cockpits……. its far safer…..

            …there needs to be a review of how on track incidents are handled – and a consistent approach adopted for various scenarios

            – the safety car is not always the best and safest solution….

          • Sure, and now we’re talking risk-adjusted outcomes.

            Adjusted for risk, many felt that the outcome of the Hockenheim incident was “lucky”, as many felt that the risk taken by the FIA in not deploying the Safety Car was “high”.
            Had the Safety Car been deployed, I suspect that many would have felt that risk-adjusted outcome would have been “as expected”, as many would have felt that the risk taken was “normal” (or “low”).
            Had the red flag been waved, many would have felt that risk-adjusted outcome would have been “not surprised”, as many would have felt that the risk taken was tending to “inexistent”.

            So what we’re still haggling here after ~180 comments (new record?), is whether sending marshals running across the track under double-yellows was risky or not. I say it was unacceptably “high risk”, you say it was acceptably “low risk”. Hmm.. Jury, take a pick..

          • ….. I disagree….

            …it may have been low risk and slightly lower risk… with a differential that is moot…

            I say it was an acceptable risk seeing as the drivers were aware of the stranded vehicle and were expecting marshals on track – if only because no safety car had been deployed.

            “Slow down and be prepared to stop” was the instruction the drivers were given…. if this is obeyed there is in fact no risk – as the drivers are aware of where they may be required to stop….

            …And for the removal of an undamaged car – this should be the norm and the drivers should expect this….and behave accordingly…

          • And I will bring this home by happily pointing out the reason we can have such a fascinating conversation is that the FIA, for all it’s spending on driver safety, won’t drop a few dollars and do a proper review of marshals on track and safety cars (say last 10 years) and come up with some decent guidelines so that the stewards won’t be guessing with peoples lives on the lines and not inordinately affecting the outcome of races.

          • @TJ
            ““Slow down and be prepared to stop” was the instruction the drivers were given…. if this is obeyed there is in fact no risk – as the drivers are aware of where they may be required to stop….”

            And now you bring up the second point of significant contention around which the debate swirls: How the drivers should behave (under double-yellows) and how they actually do.

            As per Hockenheim, I’m willing to bet my bottom that *actually* not one single driver slowed sufficiently to stop and not hit someone or something in case something unexpected popped up (e.g. a marshal stumbling, another hesitating in the gravel, a tire exploding, a brake failing, an engine puffing smoke, a rabbit running around, etc.). As another posted pointed out, too many drivers *take* the double-yellow too lightly; something that isn’t much of a surprise given that under double-yellows they still keep fighting for laptime (whereas under Safety Car they don’t).
            So with double-yellows we’re in front of a Game Theory situation, where each driver will slow-down given his/her expectation of _how much other drivers will slow down on average_. If the driver expects the others to keep hurtling by at relatively unsafe speeds, then he/she is bound to do the same.
            Now of course they *should* all slow down much more than they now do to sufficiently minimize risk, and the FIA *should* impose a delta/max speed/virtual safety car for the sector in question, but we’re not in that universe yet.

            “if this is obeyed there is in fact no risk ”

            Not true. Even under safety car speeds and conditions, slight miscommunication and misjudgments can bring almost catastrophic outcomes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6URo_2XMKHE&app=desktop . Under double-yellows the risk is higher, and certainly NOT zero.

          • ….sorry.. I have to laugh at that guy – he should never have been recruited for the role – appears to have some inner ear deficiencies…. or has been drinking something too strong…

            If anything this proves the safety car lulls drivers into a false sense of security and is proof the safety car does not solve all problems – detached cars from the snake??? Drivers just watching the car in front – nose to tail mentality… feeling safe because the safety car is out and not doing what they may more usually do….

            PROFESSIONAL MARSHALS!!! would be one of the biggest improvements possible in current safety when dealing with on track incidents during a race.

          • “detached cars from the snake”

            Which should never happen. As per your suggestion, lapped cars should pass through the pitlane and stick with the snake. (Those who pit out-of-sync should have “punitive” deltas/max speeds on their ECU for the affected sector.)

            “Drivers just watching the car in front – nose to tail mentality…”

            Marshals should then work on-track only when the snake has passed.

            “PROFESSIONAL MARSHALS!!!”

            Ditto.

          • “Those who pit out-of-sync should have “punitive” deltas/max speeds on their ECU for the affected sector”.

            Just do that for everyone as I suggested. Then no safety car is required to remove undamaged cars from the circuit

            Now we have cars diving for the pits, the safety car picks up the leader and sets off into the distance… they play catch up for quite some time at reduced delta speeds…..

            It is a mess!

          • “….sorry.. I have to laugh at that guy – he should never have been recruited for the role – appears to have some inner ear deficiencies…. or has been drinking something too strong…”

            Well, maybe. I have no experience with either driving sport cars or marshaling, but given the testimonials from actual drivers/marshals in this forum one thing is clear:
            Drivers sh^t themselves when they see a marshal in the middle of the track; and marshals sh^t themselves when they see a proper racing car closing in on them.
            I wouldn’t be too harsh on that hapless Canadian Homer Simpson, as any other amateur marshal anywhere else could have had the exact same reaction under those circumstances.

          • “Just do that for everyone as I suggested.”

            Indeed. Just let them hit the pit-lane speed-limiter, or any other speed limit that the FIA fancies immediately at the first double-yellow, and remove the speed limitation at the last double-yellow. And impose draconian penalties for speeding under double-yellow conditions..

          • None of these options bunch the cars up so that there are safe periods for the marshals to go out on the track. The safety car does just that.

          • Unfortunately the meddling over the years does not guarantee all the cars stay in the snake. People pit for tyres and are trundling around at reduced speeds to catch up the snake for some time.

            If safety was paramount. The pig lane would be closed simultaneously with the launch of the safety car…

            Once again, the show is more important….

          • Exactly, the show is more important than the safety of a marshal. Exactly as it was in Germany.

          • It’s simple. A lot of debris on track… Track blocked… Red flag as at Silverstone 2013…

            Stranded cars… Double waved yellows and drivers travelling through affected sector at pit land speeds…

            Light debris – safety car – pits closed…

            And all this with full time professional marshals

          • “Stranded cars… Double waved yellows and drivers travelling through affected sector at pit land speeds…”

            One question though: How do drivers react when the double-yellows are initially shown, like in the seconds after Massa’s swirl in Hockenheim, when all cars are packed like sardines? Do they immediately hit the brakes and put on the pit-lane speed limiter? Or do they just brake gently until they get to pit-lane speeds? And do they re-accelerate immediately after no double-yellows are shown anymore?

          • They do what they did…. React as best they can. Any incident like that now takes seconds before race control instructs marshals….

            Safety car is no help at present for at least 1 lap

    • Its great, isn’t it? 🙂

      Best part for me is it was done with strong debate and no name calling. Just like the good old days!

      Nice one, lads and lassies – take a bow 🙂

    • I think there are plenty of people happy enough to contribute to a healthy debate, provided everyone respects the rules and is willing to take in other people’s views. Which doesn’t always happen but that’s a random variable I guess…

      Before I posted, I was convinced that the SC not coming out for Sutil’s car was wrong and definitely unsafe. But after reading some of the other posters’ views, I felt that there are valid reasons for not having put out the SC in that particular situation. Now I guess I am more in the position where I say it would be ideal if one could find the right balance between maintaining the safety of all people involved on and around the race-track and letting the race remain entertaining for the viewers/spectators. Which is obviously easier said than done.

      Now if something controversial happens, then I guess we’ll see proper pandemonium…

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