Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 30th July 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Features: Doeth the bell toll for Charlie Whiting?

#F1: F1 Forensics – Crazy Race from Hungarian GP


OTD Lite: 2000 – Barrichello’s tears of joy at breakthrough victory

Ecclestone ditches ally Briatore

Iron Ham

Ferrari keen to drive the F1 agenda

The state of F1 according to Minardi

F1 looking ahead to summer ‘shutdown’(GMM)

Christian Horner’s new buddy

Sighted on Sunday

The F1 school of bright idea

 


OTD Lite: 2000 – Barrichello’s tears of joy at breakthrough victory

‘Mercedes Benz, who knew about my health problems, offered me a job I could not do and then sacked me for physical ineptitude after 20 years service’ so said the banner of the man who won Barrichello his first ever Grand Prix.

On this day, at the glorious flat out Hockenheim circuit Barrichello worked his way up form 18th on the grid to the lead of the race after the Mercedes employee was seen walking down the side of the main straight. With the safety car out, drivers came in and changed tyres but storm clouds were looming.

Formula One World ChampionshipTowards the end of the race, the drops started falling and both Mclarens enter the pits to change to wet weather tyres. The circuit being long enough that different parts were saturated. Barrichello kept going on his slicks and found that where it was dry he could open up enough of a lead that when he tip-toed around the wet parts Hakkinen could just close partially. In the end, what either driver lost or gained in their respective wet or dry sections, balanced out over the lap.

Barrichello crossed the line after a quite remarkable drive and he was overcome with tears when the Brazilian national anthem began to play for him – it had been seven years since it had been played before. It would be prove a remarkable coincidence but he drove another sublime race to take victory at Silverstone in 2003. Why coincidence? Well once again a man took to the circuit with a message and it seemed to lift Barrichello to extraordinary heights.

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Ecclestone ditches ally Briatore

There’s a strange feeling in F1 at present. The usual Teflon coated Christian Horner was described by a number of regular F1 circus journalists, as “losing the plot” or “ranting”, when being asked about a certain Russian GP, when a simple – “ask Bernie”, would have sufficed.

There are at times signs of trepidation or nervousness in the paddock this year, and maybe the F1 school of bright ideas has been producing a phenomenal level of output to counter this. The flood of concepts designed to “spice up the show” is spewing forth at a previously unknown rate of productivity.

The auspice of the sports leading character for decades is definitely waning, as Ecclestone, now 83 is facing a fight for his freedom.

At least it was business as usual today in Munich. Whilst beyond irony, but in true Ecclestone style, Bernie’s lawyers pleaded with the judge to accept a cash settlement to make all the charges go away. (See TJ13 News yesterday)

Apparently they said, that for the F1 supremo, his trial had become an “extremely stressful process” and that the evidence against him was scant.

Bernie, even by his own standards, appears to be behaving in a strange manner. The F1 supremo’s usual laconic style appears to have become escalated to almost frenetic levels. To be fair, his weekly appointments before Judge Noll in Germany haven’t helped, as he schedules multiple meetings in his private World War II airfield, Biggin Hill, along with visits to the Place de Concorde and emergency gatherings at he GP weekends.

The most recent of these was held at short notice during the Hungarian GP. Team principal’s were called away in the narrow window in their usual busy schedules between FP3 and qualifying.

The topic for emergency discussion? The F1 show and the current negativity Ecclestone believes to be enveloping Formula 1.

At that meeting, Bernie suggested his old ally, Flavio Briatore ex-communicated from F1 for race fixing, be welcomed back by all with open arms to form part of a popularity think tank, including Toto Wolff, Luca di Montezemolo, Christian Horner and Vijay Mallya. Ron Dennis is presumably relieved from having to participate in the talking shop.

Yet Ecclestone has either lost his grip on the ultimate power he has wielded for decades over the most senior members of the teams; or Bernie has been struck by the sudden realisation that Flavio’s return, is a PR disaster, which will imminently be laid firmly at his impressive Lebanese Ceder clad door.

The impressively short term U-Turn from the F1 supremo, sees him explain to Auto Motor und Sport, the fixes required to turn around F1’s apparent plummeting popularity is in hand. And this merely hours following the hurriedly organised high level Hungarian summit, “We don’t need Flavio”, Ecclestone reveals. “We can do it ourselves,

Now Ecclestone believes F1 just requires a tweak, or some “fine tuning” rather than radical and incisive surgery. This road to Damascus conversion for Bernie occurred during the “incredible race” that was the Hungarian GP.

This is excellent news for Formula 1 fans. Formula 1 is not in fact broken. It is quite incredible what a timely divine intervention which delivers a ‘mini me’ biblical type storm can do.

A confident Mr. E continues with his diagnosis of the health of the sport. “There just shouldn’t be the stupid and unnecessary rules that we’ve put in over the years. I want a world championship of drivers, not engineers”.

Yet the strangest pronouncement from Ecclestone was that a rule change championed by Charlie Whiting, discussed among team managers, moved up to F1 strategy group level, then escalated to the F1 strategy group; and finally receiving approval for 2015 by the FIA World Council last month, is now to be ditched.

“There will be no standing starts after safety cars,” says Ecclestone. “What we saw in Budapest was good enough.”

Bernie is known for leaving the GP weekends by private helicopter, around 10 laps prior to the race chequered flag, so at present it is unclear which particular aspect of last weekend’s race has caused this seismic shift in his considered opinion.

No wonder F1 folk are feeling nervous at present. Ecclestone’s next big F1 announcement may be as far removed from reality as is yesterday’s news…. that Russia launched a missile in breach of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Oh. And F1 is off to the land of Putin in just over 10 weeks time.

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Iron Ham

From twitter comic @WTF

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Ferrari keen to drive the F1 agenda

Niki Lauda recently referred to both Mclaren and Ferrari as having produced “shit” cars this year in their pursuit of Formula One glory. Whether it was an over enthusiastic reporter that passed on his sage words or whether Lauda was caught in a moment of weakness hasn’t been established. No matter, Niki made a full public apology to Ferrari, it’s President and the fans who supported him back in the 70’s.

There is a meeting scheduled in London this week between team principals, Charlie Whiting and possibly the irreverent figure of Flavio Briatore to discuss the possible future direction of Formula One. However, it emerged over night that Lauda and Montezemolo are meeting themselves in private on the island of Capri next Saturday to discuss in secret changes they believe will benefit the future of the sport.

Marco Mattiacci has been instructed to push on three fronts in the London pow wow. Firstly, Ferrari are demanding a less stringent set of F1 design regulations, which will allow them to justify spending huge amounts more cash on R&D in areas relevant to road cars.

Secondly, Il Padrino believes the unprecedented restrictive rules on engine homologation should be scrapped; thus allowing Ferrari (and by default Renault) a greater chance of recovery in the development of the power units.

Finally, Mattiacci will represent his patron’s personal passion for a return to in-season testing.

Ferrari invested heavily in the two test facilities in Fiorano and Mugello, whereas the British based teams invested in state of the art CFD and wind tunnel technologies. There is some ambiguity as to whether the advanced simulation investments are less expensive than old fashioned car testing on track.

What is certain, the fans had access to the former, whilst the latter are top secret and locked away.

The lack of testing has led to the absurd situation where young drivers cannot be evaluated on track by the F1 teams. This also denies the smaller teams an opportunity to use testing as a source of income and neither can rookie F1 drivers hone their craft.

State of the art simulation facilities developed by Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull teams are unlikely to agree to allow a return to track testing. Further, if leaked numbers are to be believed, Mercedes having invested enormous amounts in creating their V6 powertrain would be reticent to see a change in the engine development regulations.

So are these meetings the first sign that the Formula One teams may be recognising that the sport is in crisis? Or will the result be another gridlock, which the FIA president refuses to contemplate intervening upon.

More important, if Ferrari fail to push through at least some of their agenda, the rest of the teams may see this as the moment the Red Team team lost some of their political F1 ‘super powers’.

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The state of F1 according to Minardi

From the time Minardi entered Formula One in 1985, the Italian team from Faenza, by battling the odds and being creative, found a way into the hearts of many fans hearts. The perennial under-achievers would often shake the establishment with giant killing performance which were realistically beyond anybody’s expectations and even their rivals held them in a certain regard.

In recent months, Giancarlo Minardi has become a minor celebrity, making revelations and disclosures regarding the movements behind the scenes of the F1 play.

After the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, Giancarlo offered a few comments about the events that shaped one of the best races in recent seasons.

“Fernando was great, he is a phenomenon and continued to fight whilst completing 30 laps on the soft tyres in the final stint. That is an outstanding result for the team and he continues to prove he is the number one out there.

There were a few nervous teams and drivers during the race too. Look at Vettel, only good luck allowed him to complete the race, he touched the pit wall on the straight. Mercedes too made strategic mistakes and delayed Rosberg’s last pit-stop. As for Williams, they inexplicably used the medium tyre on both cars and compromised their driver’s performances despite everyone knowing there was over a second difference between the compounds.

What’s most important is that this is a thrilling show. Amazing overtaking, races until the final lap with brilliant performances and it all allows us to forget the criticism of the championship at the start of the year.

Now with everyone on vacation for three weeks, we are left with just eight Grand Prix and I can only hope that this amazing championship keeps up this amazing spectacle”.

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(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

F1 looking ahead to summer ‘shutdown’

Tired faces left the Hungaroring paddock last Sunday looking forward to a break. Not only is there now a rare month-long gap between the races in Hungary and Belgium, the teams have agreed to close their factories and even turn off email servers for a two-week period. It means almost everyone involved in the hectic world of formula one will be forced to take a holiday.

With heavy ‘Fric’ suspension no longer aboard the dominant Mercedes package, Lewis Hamilton said he will use the break to put some weight on. “It will be good to get fit, so I’ll put a bit of weight on – muscle not fat – and come back stronger physically and mentally,” said the championship chaser.

Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg told Kleine Zeitung newspaper: “I’m going to spend the time with friends and family and go to Ibiza.” But before that, according to Bild newspaper, the 29-year-old will stop over in southern France to add a traditional church ceremony to his recent civil wedding vows.

“The break will do us all good,” said world champion Sebastian Vettel, who has had a difficult first half to his latest title defence. “You just try to relax and get a little bit away from thoughts of the race track,” the German, who lives quietly in Switzerland with his partner Hanna and 7-month-old daughter Emily, smiled.

According to Bild, a mischievous Vettel has a cheeky idea about how he would like his Red Bull engineers to spend their break. “I’d like them to drop by the Mercedes factory,” he joked, referring to Renault-powered Red Bull’s struggles against its more powerful rivals in 2014.

As for Ferrari, boss Marco Mattiacci – new to F1 and the sport’s traditional ‘summer break’ – doesn’t like the idea of shutting down just when the struggling Maranello team has delivered a strong result.

“We are not stopping thinking about how to make progress, there is no shutdown,” he said. “We are about 1.2 seconds behind the leaders, which means months or even years of work, so we cannot allow ourselves to shut down mentally,” Mattiacci added.

TJ13 comment: As some of the most pampered human beings on the planet, it is almost nauseating to listen to these overgrown kids talking about how good a break will be – what? The summer break wasn’t instigated to allow top level athletes to have a rest from all the training and driving. It was designed for the minions that work long hours in the factories or traveling between races and effectively don’t see their families for weeks at a time.

At least Sebastian brings humour to the table. The truth is they will be spending their time travelling around the world to sponsor functions and events and training as hard as ever. Mattiacci admitted to what everyone knows that the brain doesn’t switch off and whilst the factories may be closed down, you cannot prevent work continuing at home.

Or at suppliers as TJ13 suggested last year…. in recent seasons Red Bull has returned from the summer break with an unbeatable car and when the suggestion was put forward to investigate team’s suppliers- it was Red Bull Racing that was the most vociferous. After all Red Bull Racing is the team, but Mr Newey works for Red Bull Technologies…

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Christian Horner’s new buddy

The F1 show has definately been improved, by smarter regulations and not by silly gimmicks.

Yet the polish of the performers over the years has improved too.

Gone are the tetchy team principal interviews, prior to them storming off to the stewards to make their latest protest (read attempt to have another team disqualified), and gone is the simple approach of the natural broadcaster.

In the UK, Sky’s David Croft is highly irritating as he seizes the moment of the broadcast which will be televised in news clips around the world. Scripted to perfection as the winning car crosses the line, the self proclaimed “Crofty” raises the pitch of his voice and the emotional levels of rhetoric climb to to echelons of obvious falsity, which even the enlightened Jack and the beanstalk’s mother, would not believe.

That said, the one which irritates more than the rest, probably due to the BBC playing the clip gazillions of times a month across all stations, is the James Allen outburst following the 2012 Belgium GP. This was the weekend where Lewis Hamilton was whipped out of sight by his team mate Jenson Button, F1 Twittergate was the result.

Allen picks up the theme of Jenson’s complete dominance as the chequered flag falls he proclaims in his playground voice, “UNTOUCHABLE  in qualifying…..UNTOUCHABLE in the race, the UNTOUCHABLE Jenson Button at his very….very… best”.

Yet it is not just the broadcasters who have a view to the historical record of the celluloid archive. Christian Horner has repeatedly grabbed the metaphorical pit wall microphone around 5-6 seconds post the chequered flag, Horner’s incessant hi-jacking of the F1 world feed broadcast was presumably a reflection of Christian’s self image, fairly predictable  and the gushing of fake emotion would tediously begin, “Well done Seb….you are….”.

Yet in 20114, Christian has been less flavour of the month with the broadcasters, who chase the winners,  like the proverbial ‘gold in dem hills’ rumours.

This has left Christian time to contemplate his life, his values and even more, his navel.

As if caught out by surprise in Canada, like a rusty old actor, down on his luck – he missed his big cue, Horner just in time managed, “You’ve won the Canadian Grand Prix! Well done, your first win”.

Tut, tut, Christian. What have you been taught about ‘signposting’? How the hell in 20 years when the Red Bull crosses the line will anyone remember which driver it was?

Disappointed with missing this moment of history and following much self flagellation, Horner is done with all this falsity, and has determined to be himself from now on.

Following the most dramatic race in recent memory at the 2014 Hungarian GP, Daniel Ricciardo was there at the end, having driven peerlessly and with a perfectly executed strategy.

Here’s what Horner had to say, “Absolutely amazing! Sensational. You deserve that buddy.”

Buddy huh? Well something has changed, because Sebastian was rarely if ever afforded such affection….

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Sighted on Sunday

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The F1 school of bright idea

Meetings taking place this week, still press to understand what will provide the ultimate thrill for F1 fans. Flavio proffers for consideration….

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143 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 30th July 2014

  1. “Whilst beyond irony, but in true Ecclestone style, Bernie’s lawyers pleaded with the judge to accept a cash settlement to make all the charges go away.”……

    So isn’t that technically another ‘bribe’?

      • Good morning Mr Hippo…..

        I’m assuming that your German, so have more knowledge of their legal system. So maybe you’ll offer some more insight into this for me….

        If Mr G got convicted for accepting a bribe from Bernie, so why is Bernie able to pay roughly the same amount as the initial bribe to have the charges against him go away. Couldn’t Mr G have done the same as well?

        • …. and for now, the insensate brutality and ferocity worthy of Abyssinia or Ashantee, which invaded the F1 courtroom of opinion, is at peace… 🙂

        • The settlement is mainly about the damages claimed by BayernLB. The settlement would be that Mr. E accepts he has caused financial damage to BayernLB and settles it by paying an amount of currency that he suggests as fair compensation for their losses. The money would not go the judge, but to BayernLB in it’s entirety. Mr. E would still have to pay the costs of the trial.
          The bribery charges would then be dropped by BayernLB, because their main interest is recovering financial losses.
          The state could still press the bribery charge, but probably wouldn’t as the the continued trial would only incur further costs for nothing than the predictable result that even if Mr. E is sentenced to jail. he wouldn’t go there due to his advanced age.
          It’s not fair, but that’s how western European justice works 🙁 Why do you think E. staid in Europe instead of following the rich into some tax haven. They usually have a harder justice system than Blighty or Germany, especially when it comes to white collar crimes.

    • The irony is amazing isn’t it!
      So the message is, if you’re rich enough do whatever you want, if it’s a little bit naughty pay some more money to make the badness go away and then carry on as you were.
      It’s no wonder people are fed up of the rich doing as they please to suit themselves whilst the rest of us sh!teaters are left to scrape by. I hope this judge gives him the two fingers and sends him down. Would be a good message to all the other “untouchables.”

  2. I’d like to pick up a comment the Judge made yesterday:

    “…interesting, you’ve given me an idea for a poll – so you are a McLaren fan, but cheer for other teams and drivers…
    I think with the exception of a large number of Hamilton fans, this is normative – could be wrong though….
    A bit like golf…. rather than football”

    I don’t support a driver based on his nationality, I support them more on their personality. If I think I could (in theory) happily share a few beers with a driver then I’ll probably support them. Same applies for other sports, I was hoping Nibali won Le Tour before it started this year – delighted that he did, even though Froome was the guy getting all the British support I’ve never taken to him. I’ve a soft spot for Tom Coronel in WTCC, and was always a Casey Stoner fan in MotoGP for the way he rode and his no bullshit attitude.

    On the basis of the above I’m happy if Alonso, Vettel, Kimi, Hulk, RoGro or JB win really, and although I’m not a massive Bottas/Massa fan I’ll always hope that Williams succeed as a team.

    There isn’t anyone I really dislike on the grid, much of my gripe with Lewis is his fans, who argue black is white and white is black – more so than fans in any form of motorsport I follow. That along with commentators obvious bias, with snipes at drivers they don’t like is pretty tiresome if you’ve not got an early 1940’s mindset. I think that’s why I like FA, RG & SV (and Stoner in MotoGP), all were slated by commentators at points in their careers, which was over the top IMO, hence I support them. It’s almost a shame so many of the commentators have now jumped on the pro Alonso bandwagon to some degree, I guess they’ve had little choice given his performances though, and he continues to prove himself as the best pound for pound driver in F1. You just know that if Alonso & Kimi did a Lewis/Rosberg from the weekend though that they’d be sticking the knife in with relish.

    • Almost the same here. Two reasons I support drivers. Their character/behaviour and also whether they were part of the McLaren fabric.

      Hence, as a heavily biased McLaren fan, I support Hamilton because he came through the McLaren team and despite his immaturity as times he’s got a good heart (don’t laugh!). Same with Kimi as I used to love his driving during his McLaren years plus his no nonsense attitude. How can you dislike Kimi?

      The other 3 that I’d like to see do well are Bottas, Hulk and Ricciardo.

      I was also an Alonso fan until I realised he’s just another Schumacher in terms of character and behaviour. But of course I respect him for his immense driving skills. Definitely the yard stick by which every other driver measures himself in this era, possibly along with Hamilton. Never rated Vettel as high as certain commentators (Coulthard) or fans, but I have to admit, his humour is top class.

      As for Button (although he’s driving for Macca)…well, don’t get me started!

      • I think me, a self confessed Hamifosi uses these rules. I like Lewis, not sure I could go with a pint with him, but I bet we’d have a laugh bowling or something. I also like the Hulk, Ricciardo, Grosjean, and Vettel, I bet having a pint with Sebastien would be a right laugh. I’ll admit that Lewis and Sebastien’s attitudes at times suck, but I’d expect that of folks in their positions. To me, these guys show more of the truth that other drivers… and lets not forget, the ‘truth’ about someone, including ourselves is not always palatable, particularly through a media lens.

        These guys I empathise with in some way, perhaps its false, perhaps its based on who I think they are, or what I think they are, rather than what they are, but who here actually knows them, has actually met them? We are all doing that. Only guy I ‘know’ outside of media presentation, mostly via a friend is JB, and I’m not keen on the guy.

        I can also respect a driver, Alonso and Bottas spring to mind, Webber was the same, I don’t feel any connection or understanding because I can’t empathize with them. Alonso is probably the best driver out there, but I can’t follow someone just because they are the best. That’s like being a fairweather Liverpool or ManU fan from Surrey or Essex.

        • I know what you mean. A couple of years back I met DC and sutil. And DC is just a friendly bloke, up for a good laugh and someone with both feet on the ground. Makes time to take pictures with fans or give away autographs. (And this was after his racing career) while sutil on the other hand is a complete *sshole. Standing besides DC having achieved nothing. But an air from spa till Tokyo. . Saying to fans they must leave him alone. In a not so friendly way. And then just watching how DC handles his fans. Standing there doing nothing. As they both needed to go to the same direction ( interview for the bbc) and still almost biting everyone who dared to talk to him.

          • I was fortunate to have met Alonso in 02, when he became the test driver for Renault, seemed a nice and amicable guy then. Roll on a few years later in 07, the company I was working for at the time, did some PR work for McLaren, met him again along with Lewis (and no, that is not why i’m a Hamfosi). My views of him changed that day. Whilst Lewis interacted and laughed with everyone, Alonso had no interest whatsoever in doing the same. Just sat by himself with a glum look on his face all the time. Probably was pissed that he had to turn up to doing the event and had to interact with minions like us.

      • I can’t like Kimi, he no nonsense attitude is just rude, and to see the way he behaves to fans, particularly little kids, is crap frankly. I know some fans can be rude, but you don’t fight bad manners with worse ones!

        • I have no idea how Kimi behaves to fans, thanks for sharing, might change my perspective a bit now.

        • I don’t know about fans and Kimi, except that he showed some model/mistress his F1 steeringwheel wheel when he seduced her.
          I love that you can do what he Does, like smoking and drinking and still be competitive (given the right car, of course).

    • So true, I’ve always been a Macca fan (even though they’ve been soooooo frustrating to support since the early 2000s) but I do cheers for others (LH, NH, VB, Williams, Marussia and more).

    • Do we not think the nature of support might be more closely linked to what ‘type’ of fan you are?

      I mean, yes I’m a hamifosi, I have been watching since the mid 90’s and will watch when Lewis has gone. I’m an F1 fan, that likes Lewis. I sense the same from a number of other Lewis fans on here too. As a result, despite not being a fan of Alonso or Mass for example, you can’t watch his 2012 season and not respect or feel *something* for the guy, the same for Massa in 2008. Sure you can still be a die hard fan of someone, but if you watch for a long time, then the framework within which you are a fan is different, perhaps more tempered.

      Some fans are just casual, which is fair play, I’m not judging, I am a ‘casual’ fan of some sports and activities too, its not compulsory that you sweat blood and tears into everything. But perhaps such fans are more likely to comment on the BBC/Skysports sites or larger more accessible and front and centre arenas. They probably follow a single entity, rather than fully understand the grid/teams/drivers, and are perhaps more prone to stopping watching, or missing races.

      Lewis, I should imagine, appeals to these fans more, particularly in the UK, just due to the nature of his profile compared to other drivers, and of course success, which is always a draw to more casual fans.

      • Totally agree with you. Irrespective of which driver or team we’re a fan of, I want to believe that we all respect all drivers and teams and enjoy and marvel at battles season in, season out. Was I supporting Schuey when he was battling Mika? No, but he was the better driver, he defined an era. Was I not enjoying Montoya’s drive during his Williams years? Thrilling! Do I like Alonso? No, but boy he’s unbelievable at what he achieves with that dog of a Ferrari.

        If I put it in another way, you would have wanted to see Gerrard lift the world cup for England, but didn’t you enjoy Neymar, Messi, the solidity of the German team, James Rodriguez, the heroics of Costa Rica, the way Greece came back twice in the 90th minute in 2 games, that Mexican goalkeeper, etc, etc, etc.

        Seasonal fans would never appreciate the intricacies of F1 and look at everyone and everything. They would just argue pointlessly and childishly for their favourite driver…which is we do sometimes too, but I want to believe it’s all in good nature.

        • Your football analogy is perfect, because, I don’t like football, so have in the past watched the world cup with England in, and then stopped if we dropped out. So your point is well made, and reflects what I was saying about casual fans, this time I didn’t even watch any.

      • @Adam Parsons said: “Do we not think the nature of support might be more closely linked to what ‘type’ of fan you are?”

        I’ve always thought that ‘fans’ – actually I hate that word. It reminds me of obsessive teenage girls hanging around the stage door, ‘directioners’, ‘beliebers’, ‘the Moonwalkers. So I am going to say people with vastly varying levels of interest in F1. Maybe in the three week break we could have a poll to see which box people put themselves in? It might also help to show why TV audience numbers are going down. My bet is casual viewers are never going to pay to watch F1 – not rocket science. What headings for the poll?

          • OK here’s a start.

            Tech types – occupation in technical jobs – likes cars, rules, great driving, anything engineering. Goes to a few races, but frustrated that it’s all so inaccessible. TV coverage better than being at the track. Social media and forums are a must. Merchandising – would rather have a Mercedes HPE shirt.

            Fan-boys/girls of drivers – occupation anything – drivers, gossip, personality or ethnically driven fandom. Obsessive, sometimes delusional in their support. Love the merchandising, it shows they belong to the tribe. Social media and forums are a place to express their obsession about anything that might be perceived as being negative to their chosen one. Go to a race, “only if we can get xxxx’s autograph”.

            Fans teams – occupation yes, management attitude – likes organisation and business aspects. Supporting a football team, they would be more interested in the transfer market and the latest shirt deal. Applaud their drivers but appreciate other teams/drivers efforts. Likes technical stuff and how to manage it. Would buy a team jacket because it looks important, but never buy a t-shirt, that’s…… Social media and forums let them play team manager and feel involved. Silly season is heaven for them. Fred to here, Jenson out, Lewis to….. Goes to races, and the pit walk is a must.

            Casual Type 1 – occupation anything – likes F1 because it was on TV that day, and the only alternative was marginally less interesting, and there might be a crash. Oh, and that Lewis guy he’s British isn’t he? and he might open his mouth and say something, and we saw it live before it appears on the front page of a tabloid. Buy merchandising? What for? We buy labels, Asda, Primark, Top Shop. Social media, isn’t that for Towie and Big Brother news? Go to race – might be a laugh. How much? …. off!

            Casual Type 2 – occupation anything – call themselves sports fans, and F1 is still a sport isn’t it? So lets watch it. Enjoy it, but don’t really understand anything much about the cars/drivers that is outside the scope of their car handbook, or the driving test. Merchandising yes. Social media and forums yes, and they get more interested in F1 as result. But fan-boys drive them away. Go to a race – yes we did but it’s very expensive. Went to a BTCC/DTM/NASCAR and it was better value. Hey those ELMS and GT races, are mostly free entry.

            ‘The Season’ * – Yuppie middle class types – Grand Prix this week, Wimbledon last week. Invited by sponsor, spend the whole day in a tent watching it on a TV and drinking Champers. It’s the place to be seen darling sweetie mew mew kiss kiss. Watches a bit of other races during the year, so they can say to friends at dinner parties, we were there! Merchandising – only joking! Has a Barbour Jacket and Hunter wellington boots. Social media – isn’t that where you arrange to meet the boys to celebrate your bonus, or mumsnet.com.

            * For the non Brits reading this, an explanation of ‘The Season’ in the links.

            http://tinyurl.com/o8ra77n

            http://www.debretts.com/season/events-di
            ary/all/all

    • I like the underdog, even better when they eventually become successful. I like the drivers of the ’60s and ’70s. And the driver needs to be fast and tough. In the current era it’s hard to find a driver to cheer for but thankfully I also really like hard racing (when it happens) and the tech side.

      By process of elimination then…

      Whiners and complainers are out, whinging over the radio, boo hoo: Button, Massa, Vettel, Alonso but at least he’s quick so he’s still on the list barely.

      Pay drivers are out: Perez, Sutil, Maldonado, Ericsson, Gutierrez, is Sutil a pay driver?, I don’t really care he’s out anyway.

      Rosberg and Grosjean are just soft out there. Any real drivers get near them and they just carve them up.

      Drivers I like and think are quick but they are just in the wrong car or are too young: Kvyat, Bianchi, Vergne, Magnussen

      It was fun to be a Raikkonen fan but I think he may have lost his speed.

      That leaves Alonso, Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo & Bottas. They all seem to speak their minds in interviews, they don’t cry on the radio except for Alonso, they are quick, they will pass a guy two wheels on the grass if they have to. Hulkenberg is just in too slow a car.

      Ricciardo is a great driver but Red Bull is a horrible team that does nothing except say that F1 is shit on one hand while they try to buy it up with the other. Alonso drives for Ferrari, enough said there. Not a fan. Don’t be surprised when Red Bull and Ferrari buy up big chunks of F1 when CVC finally sell.

      Hamilton wasn’t doing well at McLaren and when he switched to Mercedes SO many people slagged him for that decision. Saying he just went for the money, and Simon Cowell talked him into it, and it was a big mistake. People have actually said that he is stupid, in writing, even after he chose Merc over McLaren. Seeing him stuff it in people’s faces and win the WDC would be fun. And watching any driver start from last or from the pit lane and fight through the field is a pleasure even if the car is so much faster than the rest of the field.

      Bottas is the biggest underdog because of the team he drives for. Seeing him win his first race will be a pleasure but with the money that Williams has is it really possible for them to ever compete with RBR or Merc? Are they just the modern day Jordan? At least Bottas is quick but when they aren’t quick they start to gamble on one less stop which is way more boring to watch than someone making passes on new tires.

      I’m am a Ross Brawn fan, when the Merc car sucked for a few seasons people were down on him. Saying he lucked into his championship. I wouldn’t normally be happy for a corporation but I am happy to see Ross’s car do so well again and will be happy to see his car win the WCC even if Wolfe & Lowe won’t have the class to have him hold up the trophy when it happens.

  3. Every time Horner is interviewed (which seems like every time an F1 session is broadcast I turn off the sound, every pit walk or Teds notebook you can see Horner (or little Jack or the Gloater as I call him) lurking in the background waiting to offer himself for interview.

    • @Mart, oddly enough though I certainly have drivers that I root for, I find the team principals to be fascinating. I was/am a huge Brawn fan, and Big Bob Fernley is also one of my faves, though it pains me to see FI losing out in the cash dept thanks to their feckless owners.

      I, too, find Horner to be very slippery in his statements though he is quick witted and can be funny, he can also be a bit of a bully especially when asked tough questions. About Bouillier, the less said the better. I’m reserving judgement on Marco, but so far I like his sensibility. I’m not sure who’s really in charge at Merc, which might be part of their problem. I remain unimpressed with Lowe, mostly enjoy Lauda’s act for what it is, and find Wolff to be unctuous. I still hope they do well, though, because I feel like this season’s success comes from Brawn.

  4. Ah, you spotted that too?

    Its a little nausea inducing for my tastes. Can understand it from an engineer, but team principal? It just seems so false, to me anyway.

    I do think the PR has shifted away from Seb, and (I can’t believe I’m about to say this!) I feel for him.

    From walking on water to drowning in Colgate’s wake in the space of little over half a season. Its definitely making him more human to me, and I’m finding myself to warming to him.

    Still prefer Webber though……

    • The shift is normal though. Vettel was everybody’s darling when he won in Monza in the STR. When he started serial-winning people were turned off especially in non-German-speaking countries as yet another German obliterating the field was not desired. Almost universally hated he isn’t much of a PR asset for the team anymore.

      Now Danny is everybody’s darlin. Just hope he doesn’t win four in a row, or he’ll join Seb’s fate.

      • I can’t abide pack mentality, its the worse part of being a Lewis fan (other fans and the inevitable ‘counter fan’) and why also Ferrari fans make me uncomfortable. That surge of opinion I hate. The way people got on Vettels case in the UK last year was disgusting, and railed against every little thing post Malaysia. I still think he should have stuck to his guns, and just flipped the finger to Webber, but he seemed unsure what to do post race.

        At Silverstone qualifying this year some bloke next to me in a Jenson Mclaren hat said ‘Vettel went over the line there; disqualify the cheating bastard’ at club, It pissed me off, so I leaned over and pointed out that JB did the same on his final run in Q1 that got him through, so should we disqualify that ‘cheating bastard too?’, at which he looked embarrassed and muttered ‘well maybes’.

        • It’s just like when schumi won everything. Everything was red on tv… and when I went to spa I was almost the only one not dressed in something ferrari. For years and years. And the minute he stopped all those “die hard” ferrari fans where gone?

          • Then you must never have been in Hockenheim. The really die-hards still show up in all red with Schumi caps. Even more so after the accident

          • Yes, but I mean in those times everyone was a die hard. It was 95% ferrari fans and 5% others. But now it’s no way near 50% ferrari fans.

          • That is probably just the cost of team merchandise Hippo :D, everyone at Silverstone was in Lewis Vodaphone stuff, and at £50-100 for Tshirt and shit, who can blame them? 😀

          • McLAren were selling Vodafone stuff off from December at a fraction of the cost £15 collared T-Shirt and £7.95 for the famous orange winning T-Shirt, which of course never won in 2013

            They are still selling the last of the stuff now – and interestingly discounting this years “McLaren Racing” branded gear…. as I wrote a couple of weeks ago – the sponsor reveal from Woking for 2014 is getting close

          • There was still plenty of old Renault and Brawn stuff at Silverstone too, and folks were buying it, it’ll be being dragged along for the discount bin for years to come.

          • They must have managed to get some new branded kit out by then

            Early season, the race team were wearing Lotus branded -previous year clothing, with stitched on patches over the Lotus brand… displaying Caterham

          • Interesting point about fai-weather. Personally I loved Schumi driving for Ferrari (my team ) as he was clearly head n shoulders better than everyone, but after his title victory in 2000, I started watching less n less due to knowing the result. Ferrari were reliable, the best car and team orders meant it was generally Schumacher who would win.
            On the odd occasion Barrichello won from Schumi you always felt it was gifted somehow and I turned off. That was never Ferrari way of racing, no driver was bigger than the team. When he retired, it was only then I became a fan again.

            In regards fair weather fans, if been to the British GPS for years and senna was hated by the public, yet after his death suddenly everyone had senna shirts and caps on, I found that distasteful 😊

        • Some GPs seem to attract real idiots. Cheering the failure of others isn’t that sporting really, but just off the top of my head, Schumacher breaking his leg, Vettels gearbox giving up ditto for Nicos, Senna’s car stopping. All cheered by the Silverstone crowd, having attended a fair number of European GPs I think the Italian crowd could get close in terms of unsporting nature though.

      • “…as yet another German obliterating the field was not desired.”

        Playing the nationality card there? Let’s not blame the dislike towards Vettel just for being German, let’s not fool ourselves.

        • But a lot of it is… don’t mention the war, I mentioned it once but i think I got away with it.

        • On the contrary. I think saying ‘it’s not the nationality’ is a bold-faced lie and pretty much the standard answer you get from the British.

          The Spanish for instance are often much more open and will tell you to your face that they can’t stand him, because he’s German.

          You’d have to come up with a very good idea to dislike him for anything other but his nationality or his beating your favourite driver. Over than that he has very little real flaws, much less than Schumacher and one of the most pleasent and down-to-earth personalities in the whole paddock.

          And don’t bring up the tale of the finger, that’s ridiculous. Everybody loves Danny RIC at the moment, yet had Vettel done such a chest thumping routine the judge would have written a daily article for a week flat about how self-centred and provocatively macho that was 😉

          • Of course its because he’s German, the great unwashed over here that plaster walls for a living hate the Germans, the Welsh, the Irish, the Scottish… basically, anyone who isn’t English and from their home town, indeed even those at the other side of town, or the next street over are suspect. A common factor is that, usually these people have never met any of the above. I’d count some very close family, cousins and inlaws within this category.

            Having spent a reasonable amount of time working elsewhere, most countries are, as hippos suggests, a little more open in their prejudice, but still prejudiced. Debate which is bad or good amongst yourselves.

          • Just to clarify, I don’t want to suggest that being German is THE reason they hate them; the Hulk enjoys a decent following over here, but so far he hasn’t had an altercation with an Englishman or Australian yet, which will get the casual fans (see above) raving more!

            People seem to dislike someone due to an event, or the perception of an event, but if they happen to be a certain nationality as well, its like some icing and a cherry on the hate cake.

          • I think outright hating other nationalities is just ridiculous, while liking the people of the own nationality a bit more is perhaps normal. They talk the same language and everything.

            I have no problem admitting that while being a Seb supporter, I can also enjoy the exploits of Nico, Hulk or Adrian. But my favourite drivers of all time are Mansell and Zanardi.

            I think abit of that ‘positive nationalism’ is in all of us, it just gets bad when it becomes a hate issue.

          • Why Zanardi FH, his racing career or his recovery from the accident? I first saw him in F3000 at Brands and he had potential also in CART he was awesome but F1 never worked out for him

          • I became a huge fan of his when he went to ‘murrica in 1996 and started creaming the lot. The pass at Laguna Seca or his lapping the entire field on the airport course in Cleveland are the stuff legends are made off.

          • Yep, I agree, and I think thats where fans of different types come in too, casual fans always seem more prone to hate based nationalism, rather than just routing for your own guy.

            I’ve been on the receiving end of lots of hate based nationalism, particularly in Scotland, as we often spent a lot of time up there for work and pleasure since I was a kid, but also in Eastern Europe. It was mostly from Lager louts, but the thing is, directing hate towards English people, Germans, and Americans, is seen as reasonably socially acceptable. I have some lovely Scottish mates, and family from up there, so I know its not everyone, but that a lot of most populations endulge in it.

            What I find bizarre is how people can have a shared interest, and almost immediately find a way to separate themselves because the other person enjoys a different aspect to it. I was in the £1 bakery (yes, welcome to northern England) yesterday in my Lewis T-shirt, and a woman said to me “what do you follow that cheating bastard for, can’t take team orders”… brilliant customer service I grant you, but what a way to greet someone with an interest in common! 😀

          • …I renounce my anti Scottishness forthwith – you have redeemed a nation 😉

            Dunno bout that Salmond bloke…

            Anyway, Alex Salmond has said that if Scotland were to gain independence from the old foe England, he will offer the good folk of the new nation a referendum on whether to impose tighter border controls to prevent non-English speaking immigrants entering Scotland.

            The choices on the ballot paper will be: ‘Aye’, and: ‘Gonnae no dae that’.

          • I agree that nationality plays a role, but it’s not just that. And from my personal perspective, my slight dislike towards Vettel has nothing to do with his nationality, on the contrary with sense of humour he has it’s almost as if he’s not German (…I know, silly stereotypes that Germans don’t have a sense of humour, I jest)

          • I’ve never been able to put my finger on what it was about Seb that used to irk me and I’ve often pondered on it. It was definitely something in the way he responded to winning, somehow characterised by the finger thing he had going. I don’t find him so irksome now that he doesn’t win and we don’t see the finger – how pathetic am I??
            I was non-plussed with his shifting opinion on the Multi-21 saga but saw it as a bit of an inexperienced response to an extraordinary situation, something we’ve all been guilty of I’m sure. Few of us get to screw up in a similar way in public though.
            Dunno..

          • ….funny how nostalga works…

            I was not a Schumacher fan, because as another commentator mentioned, for what he did to win at all costs in Adelaide.

            Today, I suspect a driver found guilty of such a deliberate act, may face an extra-ordinary disciplinary panel and be deducted points and lose the WDC.

            Bugger – it could happen this year folks…

            Anyway, when Schumacher returned, I was desperate to see him win a race for Merc, but I don’t really know why….

          • Schumacher never bothered me much beyond the predictability of the circus in his era. I drifted away from the sport as a fan at the time anyway with other things in my life. I would have liked to have seen him on the top step again as well, as some kind of extra, belated full stop to his career.

          • “I think saying ‘it’s not the nationality’ is a bold-faced lie”

            Hmm, what if I replaced “nationality” with “race” there?

            In 2008 I was watching the Brazilian GP on TV with a couple of guys (and gals), and there was this Spanish bloke with whom I was getting along rather well who was feverishly supporting Alonso and at the same time displaying an extremely disparaging attitude towards Hamilton. I don’t remember actual phrases, but from memory he was throwing sh^t at Hamilton here, there and everywhere. I endured it for quite a long time, until at one point it got indecent and told him in no uncertain terms (again, from memory): “Look, I really don’t like Alonso, but I know that you cheer for him so I’m not abusing him at every breathing opportunity. And I happen to route for Hamilton, so please, don’t.” He pretty much shut up for the rest of the GP. (I know it was Massa fighting it out with Hamilton then, but this Alonso’s fan abuse was still heading straight on Hamilton’s way.)

            Now I don’t think that this bloke was racist. He was socializing extremely well with a lot of people, notwithstanding genes, so I don’t think that that’s a just explanation/conclusion. But I do think that racism has something to do with it, even if at a subconscious level. To me this incident was strangely reminiscent of the 4 February 2008 racial abuse by Spanish fans directed at Hamilton in Catalonia. Sadly and shamefully that incident was swept under the carpet by the FIA, and I believe that today’s reality is that many people are still trying to get to grips with racial and cultural tolerance, and that some are more successful than others.

          • Not as sure about Europe, but over here there is no doubt that a structural racism remains in place and it’s effects are both pernicious and difficult to deal with as it subtly influences (or not in some cases) children as they grow up. To make matters worse, many of these overlap with issues of poverty which is a real driver of inequality that allows these issues to persist. And you can throw gender into the mix as well, if you’re feeling particularly bold.

            And yes, I’m ducking work ATM… can you tell?

          • What got up my nose in regards to Vettel is not his nationality. It’s the way he acted after winning race after race. That stupid Number 1 finger salute and having to get the fastest lap was just annoying. Showing a bit of humility when you win shouldn’t be too hard, considering all the people who work their backsides off to produce a race winning car. But then the whole point of Red Bull Racing is to promote Red Bull so humility was perhaps an afterthought in previous seasons.
            I think the only time nationality cropped up with a German driver for me was when Schumacher deliberately hit Hill to win the title. I mellowed in later years and appreciated his driving skills for what they were – genius at times.

            As for the current title battle ? I like Lewis and Rosberg, I dislike their grumpy teenager routines when things don’t go their way or pulling stupid stunts on track. I’m not fan of Alonso but you can’t deny that he is the benchmark in F1. It’s just a pity Ferrari have been unable to match Alonso’s talents with a car that can win multiple races.

          • With all due respect, but that’s the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard.

            How sad does one have to be to be annoyed by a victory celebration? It’s not the celebration you were annoyed with – it was the victory. It was plain and simple green-eyed jealousy.
            And why in the wide world of sports should he not try to get the fastest lap? There’s a trophy for the man who collects most of them over the season. And for every point, every pole, every trophy he won, his mechanics – that’s the folks who work hard to make his car the best they can – get a financial reward. He’d be a rotten team player if he didn’t try to win them as many trophies (and subsequent bonuses) as he can get.

            And what sort of ‘humility’ do you expect? That he sits in the presser, weeping like a Brazilian football player and offers a teary-eyed apology for having won? Or that he says “I’m a merciful god – let my opponent have this win. To hell with the extra bonus my mechanics miss out on by me spurning seven points.” I’ve never seen him running through the pitlane making the L-gesture to the Ferrari mechanics.

            Sorry mate, that’s the lamest excuse for being petty and jealous that I’ve ever read.

          • It might be lame, but it pissed me off, too.
            Not the first, second or third time, but after that…

            Maybe it was tied up with the whole winning too easy thing (something which slightly soured Mansell’s championship year, and I was a huge fan at the time).

            I’ll admit it is kind of strange, as outside of that, he’s a fairly engaging character, and I like Germans.

          • I kinda had Vettel down as a real team player, other driver aside he always seems to have a great relationship with his mechanics and obviously the team bosses.

            I can see why the finger would be annoying if you didn’t like him, but for me it was more like a salute like certain footballers do after scoring. RE: Fastest lap, I loved that, because I think unlike lots of drivers Vettel has an interest in the sports history and it’s records. Some of them don’t seem to give a shit, and that’s pretty disheartening as an F1 fan, someone in the sport who potentially doesn’t love F1.

          • Firstly Vettel has the talent to win races and titles when he’s got the car (like Alonso etc). Secondly I really don’t like it when sporting stars rub their victories in their opponents faces. You may call that bitter and lame, as that is your prerogative. Am I jealous of Vettel ? Nope. I enjoyed his recent battles with Alonso and the battles he had with Webber.

            My dad put it like this (he’s followed F1 on and off since the late 60’s) “Vettel has no class when he wins, what he’ll be like when he’s not winning will be the true test for him and how he’ll be remembered once he’s out of F1”. Though my dad used a lot more swear words.

            Oh and Vettel is not likely to show any sort of disrespect to Ferrari, as I get the feeling he’ll go to Ferrari before he decides to retire from F1.

          • Vettel never ‘rubbed in’ his victories. What kind of bullcrap is that. Do you even know what the finger means?

          • Mr Hippo my good man….

            Personally I think the reason why people disliked Seb, was because he was winning everything in sight, simply as that. It wasn’t anything to do with him as a person, nationality and so forth. People in general love to hate those who are successful.

            I also agree with you that he didn’t rub his victories in the face of others, I think that’s something his fans do and the same goes for every driver on the grid that are successful. I’m not really a fan of his, but I’ve grown to respect him just the same, because he did what any good sportsman would’ve done had they been in his position, he took his opportunity when it presented itself. So I tip my hat to him.

          • I won’t pretend my thesis is complete or particularly well-thought-through, but I see these kinds of fan responses as a mix of tribalism and intellectual laziness.
            There are large sections of our communities that like or even need the feeling of solidarity or specialness that comes from identifying with a group of like-minded individuals or tribe. In evolutionary terms, being in a tribe was a key to survival. That’s not really a driver these days, but the other ancient reasons for tribalism – geography, cultural similarity, social support are just as “valid” now.
            Obviously judging the intellectual weight of ancient people is rather difficult (on an F1 forum!) but I see tribes formed these days on the thinnest premises – mostly they are formed on what is staring at us in the face: skin colour, race, gender, sexual preference, football team, religion, nationality… an endless list of simplistic and bleedingly obvious divisions. Any excuse will do as a lever to amplify one’s connectedness to a chosen tribe. The simpler the idea, the more binary the agreed collective response to the “other” the better.
            I don’t link intellectual response to IQ. In my experience, the ability to empathise and self-reflect on matters such as these aren’t correlated to how “smart” you are.
            Humans are hardwired to tribalise. The modern reasons for following this ancient tendency are increasingly frivolous and petty.

          • Well, I’m a published Archaeologist by trade, and studied anthropology, and by and large have tried not to bring it too much into it, yet you have, and did a superb job of summing it up. All I have to say is:

            ^ Yup, what he said.

          • Oops. Sorry for crashing your profession, dude. I’m just a ginger beer who reads far too much.

      • Nah, Vettel is disliked because of his behavior not because he won four championships or because his nationality. Schumacher won more than him and made watching Formula 1 even more boring than during Vettel’s reign yet people never booed him, except once, in Austria, when he openly behaved as Vettel does every race weekend.

        • …I didn’t mind the Vettel finger too much, then fans of his began sending out emoji text images

          these arrived with every fastest lap in FP1,2 and 3, during each session of qualy – and while the race was on for every overtake, successful pitstop, pitstops where Mark regularly lost a wheel 😉 … 3 were issued adjacent to each other for a win, 2 for a second and 1 for third – strange???

          I now never want to see Vettel do his finger thing again………

          • So you hate him, because you don’t like his fans? And does he even have some? I’ve never met any more that one supporter in one place.

            Hinding behind the finger as an explanation is a pretty lame reason

          • ,,,I don’t hate him – In fact I miss him somewhat…. a bit like the Schumacher thing….

            He does need to pair up with Merc and Arnie (aka Punch) … then he can say, “I’ll be back” with conviction 😉

          • ….he has about 600 avidly cheering him on in Milton Keynes I can tell you – especially when they get £10k bonuses…..

          • Well, sir – a little trick from the hippo archive of dirty tricks. There’s an off-switch on your electronic penis enlargement. People these days everywhere – not looking where the they’re going endlessly staring at and swiping around on a thing that has the sole purpose of phoning other people if you have something usefull to converse with them about.

          • ….strange you should say that, many of the Republican Guard in Milton Keynes, appear to have switched allegiances to the ‘heir of Webber’….

            So I guess they weren’t really the ‘Sebfosi’, but rather could be considered as the ‘Bullfosi’….

          • They are fans of the one who’s currently winning. Once Seb got his driving style sorted and the team his car, you could be at the receiving end of fingers again

          • Your’re both starting to sound like bickering school girls, put the handbags away and just kiss and make up already??…. 🙂

          • ….. Yesssss!!! Dr. Who’s tardis does indeed work – I’m back in 2013…..

            Vettel in the cross hairs and the hippo on a rampage….

            I didn’t realise how erudite our disagreements were back in the day – but then the Hamfosi hadn’t ridden into town and hi-jacked the courtroom 😉

          • Well, so far nobody was ever able to explain to me what sort of bad behaviour sets him apart from his peers. Not one. They are all not neccesserily poster boys for a catholic school, but saying his behaviour is lacking would mean the rest of the lot is mostly appalingly behaved.

          • The whole Vettel hate things confuses me, he’s a funny guy,likes and knows about F1 and very rarely does anything to warrant negative comments.

            When the booing started people said it was for Multi21 (I remember Sky asking various people at Silverstone and IIRC they all stated that). I thought that was bull at the time, and I think it still is, if not Lewis will be getting booed next – no chance eh!

            I eventually put it down to him winning so much, and beating very well supported drivers like Lewis, Jenson, Fernando, Mark and Kimi. The football supporter mentality if you like. Some of it I’m absolutely sure if nationality based, in British Touring cars we have Jason Plato (GB), the best supported driver in the series, but the guy is about the dirtiest most whiney guy out there. So it leads me to believe some of this about that.

            If Seb wants to be popular again I think driving for the Red team would make a huge difference.

          • Someone should put him and Matt Neal in the ring and let them go at it.

          • e.g. throwing a tantrum every time things don’t go his way, crying on the radio every time another driver defends his position or tries to overtake him, complaining to the team every time he isn’t in first place, etc. Schumacher in the other was probably a professional cheater but he fought hard for his positions and said nothing about it, when things backfired he accepted it and said nothing. Seeing that man crawling on the track for four years in uncompetitive Ferraris without ever complaining and trying harder every time was something special, like was Suzuka 2006 when he accepted the lost of the championship and communicated it to the team… very different to Vettel’s behavior in pre-season testing this year if rumours are believed.

          • In other words, Schumacher’s behavior was perceived as the behavior of a responsible man, while Vettel’s as the one of a spoiled kid… problema is, he isn’t a kid.

          • I could launch into a long-winded discussion of everything you just blame him for – but they would all have the same answer :

            The entire lot of them does exactly the same.

            And Schumacher didn’t go out in uncompetitive Ferrari’s by choice. He did so, because nobody else was willing to pay as much as he demanded.

            The roumours about pre-season testing are just that – rumours.

            And as far as the ‘easy winning’ is concerned. Sorry, but what should he have done? Saying no to the offer. And why then is Lewis not universally scoffed at? He just STRAIGHT into a championship winning car. Vettel first gave Minardi their first ever win.

            Just excuses and to one single quatifyable fact

          • Or maybe things are different in Europe, I can’t say, but in latinamerica we don’t have a historic relationship with Germany, and people I talk with about Formula 1 who also dislike Vettel agree that it’s because they perceive him as a spoiled kid. And Schumacher had a lot of fans over here when he was winning everything.

          • What is your definition of a spoiled kid? And why does that explanation apply to Vettel? And which other drivers does it apply to?

          • …..[hushed voice of the commentator suggests]….”Hippo’s defence is looking impenetrable. Only a bloody nose or a punch below the belt may open him up”.

          • And why then is Lewis not universally scoffed at?

            If not universally, he certainly has his fair share of scoffers.

            I think the difference has little or nothing to do with their characters – it’s that Hamilton spent a year or two after his championship in an uncompetitive car.

            Crawling around the midfield for 12 months will probably do Vettel’s image a whole lot of good (though he had better get on terms with the grinning assassin).

          • As far as I can see he seems to be on fairly good terms with Dan. How often have we seen the reigning WDC congratulate his team mate after being beaten.

            The dynamic between them seems to be in stark contrast to Sebs former team mate.

          • “e.g. throwing a tantrum every time things don’t go his way, crying on the radio every time another driver defends his position or tries to overtake him, complaining to the team every time he isn’t in first place, etc”

            I was thinking we were on about the multiple times Lewis and Massa got together ! 🙂

            Perception is everything, which is why commentators favouritism is a bit annoying. Happily ignore one driver run someone out of road, bleat on about another doing it for the entire race and post race show. I think those who aren’t big fans just lap it up…

          • I still remember Spa 2010 when Kubica ran off, came back on the track (meters away from Seb) and Seb came on the radio and tried to get Robert a penalty! Brundle said something like ‘Oh just get on with it son’ haha.

          • It was Vettel’s aggressive, rude behaviour towards a Pirelli guy during the 2011 Belgian GP weekend that put me off him. Personally, I believe you just shouldn’t speak to people like that, even if you are upset (and frankly I think his outrage would have been more justifiably directed at his own team in that case). Putting that aside however, I’ve grown to like Vettel a bit more from 2013 onwards, although I still wouldn’t call myself a fan of his.

            Attitude and approach to racing are mainly what determine who I support, not nationality. I’m Scottish but was never a fan of Coulthard (he thought he was WDC material, I thought he was deluded) or McRae in WRC (‘If in doubt, flat out’ seemed a remarkably reckless approach to take, particularly with a co-driver alongside). I’ve supported an Italian team and English, French and German drivers. At one A1 GP, which was based on nation against nation, myself and my friends (3 English guys, casual fans of motorsport) spent the whole time cheering on the German driver because, frankly, he was obviously a brilliant driver. Nico somebody-or-other; whatever happened to him…? 😉

          • what is the ‘aggressive behavior towards a Pirelli guy’ you talk about? I never ever heard of that one. In fact Vettel was the only driver who could be bothered to visit the Pirelli factory before the entered F1.

          • You’re right, he did make that extra effort with Pirelli initially but the relationship obviously turned a bit sour that weekend with the row over the tyres and the camber Red Bull were running. The altercation was caught on camera, let me see if the footage is about.

          • There’s a clip taken from the BBC here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWkgG1lWkmk

            By the way, I realise that some of my wording might be construed as suggesting Vettel was threatening to knock the guy’s block off and I have to admit my recollection was that his behaviour was more heightened than what the clip shows.

            To put it in context for anyone who didn’t see that GP, Red Bull went well beyond the camber setting recommendations in qualifying, thereby damaging their tyres. Pirelli warned RB of a potentially “imminent” tyre failure for the race and yet, despite this, the team chose not to change the settings (which would have meant the drivers starting from the pit lane). This was at a time when RB and Vettel had already amassed a big lead in both championships. That’s why I thought Vettel having a go at Pirelli stank. I also thought RB as a whole stank that day, sitting on the pitwall looking like they were about to have a heart attack yet not pitting their drivers until they’d done several laps on those tyres and then Newey saying afterwards that “first and foremost our duty of care is to the drivers’ safety”.

          • So basically you just wasted 2000 words telling us that, ‘yeah I found the video but somehow it doesn’t quite look as brutal as I made it sound in my previous post because I simply made that up’ – well congrats. Good for you that you never got to hear the stuff Schumacher lobbed towards goodyear in 1997. You’d be mortified,

    • Red Bull’s time in F1 should be remembered as one of ‘giving wings’, not ‘fingers’ and ‘teeth’ 😉

  5. Merc F1 have posted official corporate line on Lewis defiance of team order:

    http://www.mercedesamgf1.com/en/news/2014/2014-hungarian-grand-prix-sunday-toto-wolff/

    Interesting to note that according to Toto, Lewis apparently nearly failed to finish the race:

    “… With each car, there was a point when we didn’t think they could finish. For Nico, it was behind the first Safety Car when it looked like the brake system had failed. With Lewis, it happened when he started losing fuel pressure – and power – as he was running behind Fernando, with Nico closing in. At that point of the race, we were hoping he could make it to the finish – but we certainly expected the problem would be terminal.

    Why did the team make the call to Lewis to let Nico pass?

    When the Safety Car came out, we chose to split the strategies, and offset ourselves to the cars ahead, in order to create opportunities to win, or worst case finish on the podium. When we did so, Nico was running two positions in front of Lewis. We put Nico onto an aggressive three-stopper and Lewis onto a two-stop, with a long final stint on the prime tyre. That meant they would find each other on track at some point – and we would have a situation to manage. Lewis was asked to let Nico pass because we believed they both still had a chance to win the race as the strategies played out. But Nico never got close enough to Lewis to make the move – and we were ultimately comfortable with the decision Lewis made to hold position. … ”

    re. “Lewis was asked to let Nico pass because we believed they both still had a chance to win the race”
    That begs the question – at the point Lewis was leading, why not change his strategy, pit him before Nico, and put him on the same winning strategy as was planned for Nico at that time.

    Toto also reveals the reason for Lewis’s car fire in Q1:
    ” … The leak has now been traced to a localised fatigue failure in a high-pressure fuel hose, although the precise causes of this fatigue are still being determined. … “

    • And Toto does also praise Lewis:

      “… Putting aside his spin on the first lap, he put in one of the drives of the season – he came from dead last and, at one point, it looked like he could even win the race. He undoubtedly pulled off the overtake of the day, when he monstered round Vergne into Turn Four; it was a killer instinct move. And that is what the fans want to see. … “

    • So essentially it was a poorly worded message. What they should have said is “Nico’s on a different strategy don’t waste tyres defending if he get’s alongside” and then none of us would have had any fun the last few days.

      K then. Here’s what didn’t get mentioned though.

      1.Why couldn’t Rosberg get past, was it his brakes?

      2. What about Lewis’ message saying that the seat was getting hot like in Montreal, is that related to him using revs instead of torques at the end of the race?

      3. Are you beginning to encounter reliability problems you didn’t anticipate based on your pre-season testing and are they related to updates on the car or are they intrinsic to the engine design.

    • “comfortable”? Is that the equivalent of vote of confidence that a manager gives to a football player before they dispatch him at the end of the year? 😉

    • A line has clearly been agreed that everyone can get behind.

      This was more interesting (knew about Rosberg’s brakes, but not Hamilton’s problem):

      “It was nerve-wracking. With each car, there was a point when we didn’t think they could finish. For Nico, it was behind the first Safety Car when it looked like the brake system had failed. With Lewis, it happened when he started losing fuel pressure – and power – as he was running behind Fernando, with Nico closing in. At that point of the race, we were hoping he could make it to the finish – but we certainly expected the problem would be terminal…”

        • All over the place.
          Which is entertaining, but not an ideal way to run things.

          Unless they decide to have separate strategists for each driver – which given the relative positions in the constructors’ and divers’ championships would make sense – then something similar is going to happen again.

          I believe the team would equally good results with such an arrangement (they would probably have done better overall last weekend) and the drivers would certainly be happier.

          • ‘Drivers’ not ‘divers’.

            We’re not talking football, thank god.

          • I’m fairly sure the separate strategist scenario, will be proposed… But this will definitely compromise the max possibilities for team when the unforeseen occurs and they haven’t split the pit stop strategy…

            Further, based on recent qualifying (car failures excepted) it will put Lewis under pressure, because if he’s behind on the grid, and then with track position, the counter strategy option would be what he would have to run under the current arrangements…

            What is fantastic about this, is I’m sure Rosberg has grown in confidence, and we’ll see some more than robust racing which will end in tears for one of other of them

          • But this will definitely compromise the max possibilities for team when the unforeseen occurs and they haven’t split the pit stop strategy…

            I’m not sure that it does anything of the sort.

            At the moment, strategy calls (particularly when responding to unplanned situations) are compromised by having to consider both the optimal strategy from the team’s point of view and what is ‘fair’ to both drivers.
            That makes quick and clear responses to fast evolving situations difficult. It also can end up with the drivers unnecessarily annoyed with each other or the team.

            Splitting the strategies more or less guarantees that one driver’s race is compromised.
            Clearly the alternative means both drivers might get it wrong – but they also might both get it right.

          • The flaw in your argument is the number if 1-2’s Mercedes have delivered this year. They normally doing need to split strategy like other teams….

            It is precisely in races like Hungary… Rain/safety car, where they must do this, but Lewis screwed up Nico’s race ANC cost had team at least a 2-3, maybe a 1-2…

            But Lewis dice right off him as I’ve stated Sally’s along….

          • “but Lewis screwed up Nico’s race ANC cost had team at least a 2-3, maybe a 1-2…”

            No, no, Judge. You keep paddling Toto’s PR BS, and perhaps you’re right but from the evidence I’ve seen I remain unconvinced.

            From the looks of it, principally Merc screwed its own race at the end by not putting both their drivers on the optimal 2 short stints on options. Instead they’ve saddled Lewis with the slower tire during one long stint. But more importantly, Merc and Nico requested Lewis to let him past, but Nico NEVER put Lewis in a position to let him past. He was just too damn slow, on the faster tire, and he never got side-by-side with Lewis. It’s not like Lewis refused point blank to let Nico by and refused to acknowledge the radio calls, like Raikkonen did in India 2013. And it’s not like Lewis collected Nico when the latter was much quicker and was trying to pass (remember what Raikkonen pulled on Grosjean when asked to move over?).

            I do agree that what happened in Hungary may feel unfair to Nico, but at the end of the day Nico should be kicking himself only: When it mattered he couldn’t get past JEV for much too long (for whatever reason: brakes, weather, skills, etc.) and when it mattered he couldn’t/wouldn’t get close enough to Lewis to be allowed through.

            And I do agree taht what happened in Hungary may seem like Lewis massively disobeyed Merc’s orders, but I disagree: in a similar situation (fighting your team-mate for position *and* fighting them exclusively for the WDC) any of the current crop of active world champions (bar Jenson?) would have responded similarly or worse. We know what Lewis did: acknowledge the request, put his foot down and never look back, not allowing Nico one single chance to put him in a position to let Nico past; and it doesn’t take rocket science to know what Kimi or Seb would do: send a complementary “f*ck off” (and a finger) and then switch to icy-cold silence; Fred — just like Lewis, he would have pressed that accelerator and gone sufficiently faster to not allow any dumb second driver the satisfaction of being let past by the almighty Fred; and Jense, well, maybe Jenson would have let him past after squealing on the radio “why me?”.

            And I do agree that from the looks of it Merc would feel that Lewis cost them a better race result, but again, Merc should only be kicking themselves. They should have better adapted to the evolving circumstances (remember Paddy who even after the race spewed the “the plan was for Nico to 3 stop, and Lewis to 2 stop”, even after a GP with changeable weather and 2 safety cars; he should get out a bit more often), and they should have proposed Lewis the faster, optimal strategy on two brand new sets of option tires. Of course we can say this with hindsight, but this is precisely the point: Merc screwed royally with their estimations. And thus shouldn’t be blaming Lewis for what he may or may not have done.

            So what’s your point, Judge?

          • On and on about spit strategies but no talk of Ferrari and their strategy call.

            And so many days after the race you still haven’t mentioned how Rosberg ended up behind Vergne.

            Lewis “screwed up Nico’s race” but no mention of Nico’s own massive blunder.

  6. I guess i should say, “thanks”, for inducing me to spend half my morning reminiscing about Dick Dastardly and Mutley. I was always kinda partial to The Ant Hill Mob and hadn’t thought of them in years so thanks again.

  7. Have you been on the cheese lately mate. It’s got to you. You seem now to spew bile about everything F1. Are you a really a fan? A summary of recent stuff is this

    Drivers are generally selfish nauseous gits, the team managers are a bunch of cunts, especially Christian and Eric. And Charlie is a wanker puppet. It’s all shit and I want Bernie to die (and that Flavio tosser, is a double cunt. (er but Pat is a really nice guy)), oh and I’m now an expert on employment law.

    What’s your connection.

    You are now seeming like an ex F1 guy who is totally bitter and jealous.

    I reckon you will end up like that Hockenheim bloke, running on to the Hanger straight with a banner whining about how you were treated. And you know what? I hope they all miss you and leave you in your misery

        • …. I thought it was pretty amusing.

          Further, as the occasional mistake is made here with a missing grammatical connector and spelling mistake (due to mobile predictive devices)…. It was a huge confidence boost….

          Also, it should remind all the readers to refrain from adult postings, as grade (year) 4 education kids may have access to the internet…

          I blame the parents….

      • …. Indeed. Hamfosi, you have been misjudged…. As Grandpapoy Judge used to say, there’s always someone worse than the worst you’ve yet met… 😉

  8. Well, at least one can just scroll past all the compressed right hand comments, knowing it is just back and forth between friends(?). Judge, I’m not sure where you are going with this site, but really, it’s getting tedious and old to try to read all the private conversations here. There must be a better way to post comments. He said she said just doesn’t hack it. I know you are getting the comments near the 200 mark but ……. they are mostly BS. Oh well ……..you had promise.

    • I never quite understand the purpose of these sorts of comments. Is there actually a point your trying to convey?

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