Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 1st August 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

The #F1 Bar Exam: 31 August 2014

#F1 Features: Voice of the Fans – Was the secret ingredient Newey or Vettel


OTD Lite: 1999 – The most selfless act in Formula One history

McLaren rumours ‘natural’ for on-form Bottas – Hakkinen (GMM)

Vijay granted bail by Indian Supreme Court

Lotus on the Brink

F1 will become GP1 says Newey


OTD Lite: 1999 – The most selfless act in Formula One history

With the current bru-ha-ha surrounding the Mercedes team and it’s drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, many fans have come to believe that all drivers are selfish and focused purely on themselves, not their employers. Yet fifteen years ago…

germanyYou have been presented with an opportunity at the highest level. All those failed ambitions with the minnows of motor-sport have led to a chance with the most famous team in the world. You are substituting for a global superstar who broke his leg several weeks before. There is no contract talks of replacing either driver for the following season despite Eddie Irvine having signed to join the Jaguar squad for 2000.

You are leading the race and the world’s attention is on you. You anticipate the silence to be interrupted by a team instruction to make way for your team-mate who lies in second place but is chasing Championship honours – do you:

a) Take the race victory – you haven’t got a drive for next season anyway.

b) Take the victory and claim the radio was not working, your eyesight was affected by the sun as you passed the pits and couldn’t see the team pit board,

or do you

c) move aside to help the team otherwise you would be dismissed. The bonus being all those team principals will remember your sacrifice and come running because of how honourable you were?

On this day, Mika Salo played the team game and gave up what was likely to have been his only ever F1 victory to support Irvines cause – Irvine presented him with the winners trophy. The calls from other teams never really materialised just a season with Sauber and then Toyota followed before his retirement from F1 but he has continued racing with the Maserati and Ferrari concerns in GT and sportscar racing. Was it the correct decison in Germany that day?

Carlo Carluccio

Also, today in 1976 saw the last Formula One race at the Nordschleife, remembered for ever for this.

untitled.

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(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

McLaren rumours ‘natural’ for on-form Bottas – Hakkinen (GMM)

Mika Hakkinen has acknowledged rumours linking his protege Valtteri Bottas with McLaren. The fellow Finn and double world champion has been a key to Bottas’ formula one foray so far, culminating in the 24-year-old’s debut at Williams last year after a season on the testing and Friday practice bench. But it is in 2014 that Bottas, with a hat-trick of podiums in June and July and a regular top-three qualifier, has hit the kind of form that now has him linked with a bright F1 future.

“At the moment the two hot names in F1 are Bottas and Ricciardo,” Hakkinen, who has been involved in Bottas’ management, said in his latest interview with sponsor Hermes. When Hakkinen retired, he famously advised McLaren that if the British team wanted to continue to win, “get the Finn” — referring to Kimi Raikkonen. Now, the 45-year-old has similar advice.

Hakkinen admits that he has heard speculation linking McLaren, who are openly seeking the best possible drivers to spearhead the new works Honda foray, with Bottas. “This is quite natural,” he said. “The first thing is that Valtteri is still a young driver who has been in formula one only for a short time. But Valtteri is interesting not only because of his speed. He can also motivate others in the team and is able to create an atmosphere that is necessary for success,” he added. “There is interest,” Hakkinen confirmed, “and that’s good. What happens in the future remains to be seen.”

Also impressed by Bottas this year is Hakkinen’s old long-time McLaren teammate David Coulthard. “He (Bottas) has had three podiums and is outperforming a very able Felipe Massa,” Coulthard, now a television commentator, told the Telegraph newspaper. “Valtteri seems a bit like Mika: totally unemotional, which helps in the heat of F1. Mika does not work with many people, so that says something in itself,” Coulthard added. “He (Bottas) is clearly someone to watch for the future, but you only find out if people can deal with the pressure of a championship fight until it happens.”

TJ13 comment: It was bound to happen. Initially they chased Alonso, then Hamilton was mentioned, next on big Ron’s bucket list was a young German, but so far this year he has been on the wrong end of a good spanking, from the Colgate kid. Now Big R and his side kick Eric are looking at chisel jawed Bottas as the most obvious replacement for Button.

The CEO of Santander made his thoughts clear about the marketing value of middle aged Jenson Button. If Honda want Button out, this surprises some, as he has been dating for some time a Japanese supermodel. Jenson and Jessica could be the “Posh and Becks” of F1 and then why wouldn’t Honda wish to retain Button’s services, because the couple should appeal to the older generation, whose faculties are on the wane, but buy Honda cars by the truckload.

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Vijay granted bail by Indian Supreme Court

In stark contrast to his pal, Rubrata Roy, Vijay’s troubles have been sidelined for most of this year. Yes, hundreds of Kingfisher employees have not been paid for months of work done, whilst Mallya travels the world 1st class – regular that is, as his private plane has been impounded by the Indian authorities..

Further, Mallya’s team are doing exceedingly well this year, and are set to take Lotus’ seat around the table when the F1 strategy group meet.

Vijay was also nominated to play with the big boys recently. Having been offered a place at the F1 school of bright ideas along with Bernie, Toto, Marco and Horner.

The meeting of the F1 popularity steering group was in fact cancelled yesterday, however, Mallya would not have been in attendance and deputy Bob, builder of Fast cars – from Yorkshire, was set to take his place.

The woes of Mallya’s troubled Kingfisher empire, have been regularly reported here at TJ13. Yet they are not as significant as his chum, boss of Sahara Rubrata Roy, who has been sweating it out during the New Delhi summer whilst detained at the Maharajah’s pleasure.

The Indian Tax Authorities are not very happy with Vijay and they are chasing him for a big pile of millions ($64m, according to the Times of India). The ex-Indian billionaire is accused of deducting taxes from his employees and never paying them over to the government over a period of many years.

Jeevan J Neeralagi, counsel for the Tax Authorities, contended Mallya’s offences were not  bailable and, given the conduct of the accused, the bail plea should be rejected.

“The complainant department is yet to record his (Mallya) statement under section 131 of the IT Act, 1961, for which his presence is required. If he is released on bail, he is not likely to co-operate in any proceedings and he will dispose of all personal assets, putting the recovery proceedings in jeopardy. He is a non-resident Indian and frequently travels abroad. There’s a likelihood of his not co-operating in the proceedings,” argued Neeralagi.

Yet Vijay, dressed from head to toe in radiant white as some kind of Indian version of Flavio – received the bail he had requested.

Rubrata Roy, in stark contrast,  is attempting to raise $1,7bn, before he will see the light of day again. He remains in Delhi’s Tihar jail, though has been granted access to the internet, a telephone and a conference room – where he negotiates the sale of assets such as Grosvenor House and the New York Plaza Hotel.

TJ13 received reports that during the one day shut down at the Silverstone team’s factory over the bank holiday weekend in May, Sombrero’s were seen hanging neatly from the executive coat stand. Also, empty bottles of Tequila were unguardedly left in the trash and discovered by returning workers the next day.

It may be that Mallya can get permission to visit Rubrata Roy whilst he is on his Indian sojourn, with a view to finally agreeing the terms for the sale of the Sahara shares in the Force India team.

As well as taking the game to some of the most corrupt national administrations on planet earth, Formula 1 also loves to play ball with many of the biggest corporate vagabonds from across the globe…… Now why would that be?

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Lotus on the Brink

Lotus is owned by a private equity company Genii (aka corporate gamblers), which is registered for corporate administrative and tax purposes in the low tax haven of Luxenbourg.

However, the investment behind the team is in effect a pool of funds provided by many smaller investors, topped up by a few bigger players.

The Enstone team made it across the start line in 2014, due to a ‘final call’ on the investors to fund the team’s 2014 project, together with almost $40m in prize money for finishing fourth in the 2013 F1 constructor’s table.

Yet the team has still seen some 100 redundancies and a brain drain over the past year, as the financial crisis deepened as Mansoor Ijaz failed to deliver his mountains of mula from his mysterious investors.

Luxembourg publication Tageblatt reveals the company which runs the Lotus F1 team has huge financial difficulties.

Despite the fact that the 2011 accounts should have been filed by September 2012, Lotus have just filed the accounts for years ending 2011 and 2012.

The total indebtedness of the team is 185 million euros and 2012 saw the team overspend by 53 million.

In one year, Lotus’ indebtedness rose by 130 million euros, from 55 milion to 185 million euros. Equity debt is now at 126 million euros.

2013’s numbers are due to be filed imminently, yet whether the owner’s of Enstone have managed stem the annual losses is uncertain.

Lotus currently lie 8th in the WDC this year, which would see them receive around $20m less in prize money than in 2013. That said, to the rescue came Pastor Maldonado who rode into town with a bag full of Venezuelan petro-chemical dollars to offset this amount.

However, private equity firms charge punitive rates of interest on their investments, and the investors in Lotus have already seen the repayment of their capital rescheduled at least once.

It is likely when the 2013 accounts are published, the team’s indebtedness will rise further, as the shareholders were forced to respond to an emergency funding call late last year, following the discovery that Mansoor Ijaz’s cheque, was written in invisible ink.

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F1 will become GP1 says Newey

Despite the pin from Red Bull Racing, Newey’s career designing F1 cars is finished. To paraphrase, the genius designer believes the challenge in creating a new Formula 1 car is now boring.

Newey’s has been peerless, with the exception of Rory Byrne, in his tenure as an F1 car designer. With 10 cars delivered to win 10 driver championships,

TJ13 reported last October when Newey’s right hand man Peter Pedromou resigned from Red Bull, that there were rumours emerging to the effect that Newey was on his way out of the sport.

Newey explains to Motorsport Magazine, “There have been a whole host of factors playing their parts in my decision to leave F1, and a lot of mixed emotions. I felt it was time to challenge myself in something different and that’s certainly a factor. But at the same time I do think the regs have become too restrictive. We’re in danger, chassis-wise, of becoming GP1. Everybody’s converging on cars that look more and more similar. We’re back to ‘paint the cars white and it’s difficult to spot the difference’ – especially next year when we even lose the different noses.”

Newey has pushed the boundaries of human understanding forward, in his quest to understand how he can propel man objects ever more efficiently through nature’s primal force – the wind.

Almost to a man, F1 designers have followed the search for the aero efficient Utopia, such that Formula 1 teams as a whole now employ more aerodynamicists, than the combined military and civil aviation global industry.

Unable to replace Byrne effectively, Ferrari have been languishing in Newey’s wake for the best part of a decade, and their president has persistently complained that aero micro engineering is not relevant for his famous red road cars.

The dominance of aero efficiency has had unfortunate consequences. In the search for ever more down force, but lower drag co-efficient, the wake of a Formula 1 began to affect the racing in a serious manner.

The airflow from the rear of F1 cars became ever more disturbed and created something akin to the wash of an ocean going liner at full steam ahead. The car behind was battered by this airflow and even were it to approach from afar, closing the distance by 2 seconds a lap, the chase would be checked once the distance had been reduced to a couple of seconds.

Overtaking became highly difficult if not impossible at times.

In stepped the F1 regulators. The drag reduction system (DRS) was born, and teams were allowed to design a movable rear wing, which could dump drag in bucket loads to compensate for the dirty airflow from the car in front.

This surely was the sign aero had gone too far.

2014 has seen not juts new engines, but a serious attempt to reduce the dirty air produced by F1 cars which interferes with the car behind. Smaller wings have predominantly done the job, and the number of none DRS passes has risen.

It maybe Nico Huilkenberg’s pass up the inside of Magnussen into Monaco’s Portier turn, which best demonstrates a new found belief in the chasing drivers, that they  can go where they’d never gone before.

The 2015 regulations agreed by the team technical directors are expected to tighten aero effect further and there is the spectre of standardised components on the F1 horizon.

Newey is unimpressed. “My fellow F1 technical directors have been like turkeys voting for Christmas.”

That said, the genius of Newey has created the demand for the ‘Turkey’s’. His dominant Red Bull machines have created the call for something new from all those unable to match Adrian’s exotic designs.

Though there are those who will not miss Newey, those who believe F1 should be rooted in more traditional automotive engineering parameters.

Further, others question whether the design of a car and the mapping of its engine should require a driving technique enormously counter intuitive to that which has defined the act of driving for over a century. Is this really what Formula 1 racing drivers should be doing at all?

79 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 1st August 2014

  1. To be fair salo didn’t really show greatness in gt racing either. He had a season in the selleslagh racing corvette and we’ve all had higher expectations from a former f1 driver… and his English was so bad that he had a translator with him at all times, unless he was seated in the car.

    • Ditto that. Salo was employed to do a job, and that job wasn’t to satisfy his own personal goals, it was to help the team win titles. If he was in the hunt for the WDC then my opinion would be different.

  2. Ha Ha! “After all, he has the Japanese girlfriend and he would appeal to the older generation who buy Honda by the truckload – the senile and retired” There in lies your problem, no point preaching to the choir, need a face that appeals to other demographics.

    Hulk presumably is far to much of a bifter to drive a car properly in the McLaren school of though. The much touted Mclaren-Honda return has this horrible heir of a reunion tour of a decent band from back in the day, and like such reunion tours, will probably just turn out to be a load of saggy old men remembering how good they used to be, whilst severely under performing. Lets hope not for F1’s sake.

      • Here’s hoping as I said. All I know is when I hear the word ‘comeback’ a cold dread washes over me, recapturing something rarely seems like a good idea, because the original success was not attained by that motivation, and it hardly ever seems to yield the desired result!

  3. “The surprising thing for most neutral observers is that Honda doesn’t want to keep him. After all, he has the Japanese girlfriend and he would appeal to the older generation who buy Honda by the truckload – the senile and retired.”

    That was mean, Your Honour. 🙂

    • I’m a fan of Jenson (actually predicted his smooth style would have him in the WDC mix – eh, might have got that a teency weency bit wrong *cough*) but I laughed heartily at that comment.

      Funny, cause its true 🙂

      • “I’m a fan of Jenson (actually predicted his smooth style would have him in the WDC mix – eh, might have got that a teency weency bit wrong *cough*) ”

        I’ve been a fan of Jenson’s up until the point where I’ve stumbled upon TJ13. Go figure.. 🙂

        “Funny, cause its true”

        Yup, Sheldon make this type of jokes sometimes, but they don’t always work. 🙂

      • Colin, your smooth comment re: Jensen reminds me of something an old driver mentor / coach, back in the day, said to me. It was actually my first year in cars (F-Ford) after karts. I was in my second or third meet or something. We were hanging about and shooting the breeze with him.

        At that stage, i didn’t have any data on my car. It was deliberately ‘off’ the car. So I was asking all different driving styles, siting the F1 drivers at that time, whether to be smooth, or should I keep slipping it. Late or early apex. Set up’s. All different advanced techniques.

        He said, “boy forget all that garbage. don’t touch the set up either. It’s easy to be smooth when you are slow. Just get in there, get seat time, and drive the wheels of the car. And KEEP it on the island!”

        Best thing he ever did. I made my first set up change about September that year! And I felt it and made sense. The next year in my 2nd F-Ford year, we worked with data and began smoothing out the rougher edges, mainly how I got on throttle, but by then, I was naturally on pole or front row every round. I won that year.

        Jensen is silky smooth because, frankly, I think he’s unable to push to that pure ragged edge in a controlled and laptime constructive way instinctively and consistently. I KNOW he’s better than me and any other avg human, but he strikes me as too fiddly and not simply a thrash it sort of guy ala Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton, Mansell, Alonso.

    • here in Brazil you can add a class to those who buy Honda
      the idiot, racist, conservative, short minded middle classes who think Honda is “rich” people’s car, something that Honda successfully achieved here in BR through media, “buying” car magazine tests, withholding production and raising prices

      the same happens with Toyota and Hyundai
      mind you, a top level Civic or Corolla costs roughly the same of an entry level Audi, BMW, and a little bit under the entry Mercedes

      so, the assessment made by our honourable judge is not wrong, much the opposite, its quite logical

  4. “Now Big R and his side kick Eric are looking at chisel jawed Bottas as the most obvious replacement for Button.”

    Your Honour, why not Hulkenberg?

    Did he fail some test for infectious diseases that all serious F1 teams snub him by the years? It can’t be because of his height and associated BMI, can it?

    • Being occasionally matched by Perez won’t help his case much, at least from Big R’s perspective.

      • You can’t take away Hulkenberg’s consistency, year-in year-out. And Hulkenberg has lost out to Perez this year in rather specific circumstances, mainly when the tires were wearing off across the paddock.

      • Yeah I know, it just made me think of the heralded Williams Renault partnership return… all good in Spain, but down rapidly afterwards.

        • Yes. But the martini reunion has started wel. So I’ll be giving them the benefit.of doubt. They just need to find a sponsor who’s colours are red and then the package would be complete. But i get your point nevertheless.

  5. I’d love to see Grosjean/Hulkenberg and Kobayashi in the Mclaren.

    Out of interest, is Magnussen’s seat secured?

    • McLaren is in no rush to determine its 2015 driver line-up, according to Racing Director Eric Boullier.

      Kevin Magnussen, who claimed last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 title, only graduated to the top echelon with the Woking-based team this season, while Jenson Button’s contract is set to run out at the end of the campaign.

      And Boullier has made it clear that McLaren will spend plenty of time evaluating its options before making a call.

      “It is a question where I cannot say yes and I cannot say no,” said Boullier during a McLaren-Mercedes phone-in, when asked if the team plans to retain Button.

      “We are lucky to have two drivers who want to commit to us for the future. We have some contractual options we can pick up, so we are not in a rush to decide our future driver line-up – we are evaluating and assessing every strategy for the future.”

    • Nah, but I don’t see Big Ron dropping Magnussen this year. If someone gets dropped, it’s Jense.

      http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/6134/does-magnussen-have-a-future-in-f1/
      Does Magnussen have a future in F1?

      I would be very surprised if Kobayashi ended up in a Mclaren. On the other hand, Grosjean/Hulkenberg—if Honda is onboard—might be a real possibility since all the big guys (Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel) are shunning McLaren big-time. Perhaps even Bottas may be a distant “might be”, but I don’t think that the Wolff would be parting with his prize so easily..

      • Don’t forget vandoorne. He and magnussen are both great talents, who might be a bright mclaren (honda) team in the future.

        • I don’t see Vandoorne in, not next year. This year McLaren had the choice between gambling on Perez to get on top of his game, or bring in a “juicy” talent (as Whitmarsh expressed himself back then). And here cometh Magnussen, and he is likely to stay “for the long term”. They had no other choice, really, because everyone is snubbing Hulkenberg for some reason and no other top-driver (the big three) was available, not for that crappily-revolutionary McLaren.

          Now is McLaren and Honda ready to go into 2015 with two rookies? (Remember that Magnussen will be then at the same stage where Bottas is now, i.e. still in need to prove himself, that he can deliver.) Very unlikely, even with Big Ron intent on gambling on talent. And I don’t see Honda being keen on any such arrangement. So in all probability McLaren is readying to welcome either Grosjean or Hulkenberg, while remaining non-committal in the mean-time to see if some top-line driver blows up spectacularly with their team (Vettel with Red Bull, Alonso with Ferrari, Hamilton with Merc; all distinct, if remote possibilities) and poach them up ASAP. And grooming Vandoorne for one more year, perfectly in an F1 drive elsewhere (I hear Sauber needs money).

          That’s my take on it, for what it’s worth.

          • I agree. But i would like to see vandoorne in a mclaren. But as you said a sauber seat would be a very good step. Experience is everything.

      • “If someone gets dropped, it’s Jense.”

        And of course Autosport disagrees with me:
        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/115228
        McLaren F1 team wants long-term driver line-up
        “Button will almost certainly be retained for 2015 though, despite a recent war-of-words between him and McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis about the need to try harder.

        Speaking about the job Button was doing, Boullier said: “He is doing a good job. We want our drivers to give 100 per cent all the time.

        “We want everybody to perform and, when you cannot get the performance you wish, it is sometimes difficult to accept it and you get frustrated.

        “But it is the same for everybody and we need to push 100 per cent.”

        I’m not convinced, but that’s what they say..

        • @landroni Well, to be fair I agree with you. Though I’m hardly AS. More likely this represents some “politicking” in the media. After all, we know exactly how much EB’s words are worth….. 😛

          • Agreed on the politicking part.

            As for Sidekick Eric, hmm.. He gets a lot of eggs on his face in these corners of the (virtual) world, but.. I listened to the guy several times during the Sky broadcasts, and in truth he has a grasp of English of a 5 year-old in the Netherlands. A bit like Crashtor, the guy is strictly incapable of formulating a clear and coherent thought while speaking English. And as such maybe the Judge should cut him some slack: in this world of politics and fine intrigue, not being able to speak in a slippery manner can be a serious impediment.

            We can agree that most team principals (oops, sorry Eric, racing directors; or to be accurate, the one single racing director in the pitlane that is principally responsible for managing the team) rarely respond truthfully when addressing to the unwashed (i.e. fans and journalists), unless it’s Bob or Monisha. For me Horner’s or Brawn’s utterances are as disingenuous as Eric’s (maybe Brawn ins’t a very good example, but I still don’t like his detached and you’re-wasting-my-time manner of speaking to the public), but these guys grasp English very well and as such can sugar-goat whatever they say in such a manner that it’s difficult to catch them red handed (contrary to Eric, which is easy).

      • Deciphering Eric-speak

        Honda is busting our balls to get one of the 3 top drivers. So we’ll be waiting until their contracts end and keep trying till we get one of them. There’s no point getting Hulk or Bottas or whoever else as we may kick them out after only a year. The other sear is reserved for one of our talents, Magnussen or Vandoorne. They’ll make a good no 2 to start off with and then may mature to a challenger. We don’t anticipate another 2007 Hamilton. That should pacify our first target (Alonso).

    • And i didn’t want to bring up ickx. People here already think I’m a fan boy😂

    • That wasn’t self-less it was sporting and contrary to popular belief it didn’t happen at the last race meeting of the year but one or two before, I wrote an OTD for it.
      Moss spoke to the stewards in Portugal in defense of hawthorn but the championship was won in Casablanca iirc.

      Morals and ethics aren’t what they used to be but great call

      • Peter Collins handing over his car to Fangio after Luigi Musso had refused – and even though he was still in with a chance of the championship

        • That’s a great shout out cassius, but thinking about it, both Moss as mentioned above and Peter Collins had won races previously. Collins handing his car over actually lost him the WDC but those were different times I reckon.

          When Andretti came in to support Ferrari in 1982 he was there to secure the title for Ferrari and possibly take points away for Pironi but if it was necessary he would have given up a win – he had been a world champion already.

          For Salo, it was a once in a life time opportunity which is why I question it…

  6. Are all comments awaiting moderation when posted or have I been put on the bold step for some reason unknown to me?

    • Have you by any chance any naughty words like c***, s***, p*** or fortis in them? Those are automatically put on moderation

          • …..offski for a Russian Standard or two shortly…. don’t care…

            S%^t, I forgot… I’m boycotting them ;(

          • Google ‘Fortis’ and you find this……

            Fortis N.V./S.A. was a company active in insurance, banking and investment management. In 2007 it was the 20th largest business in the world by revenue but after encountering severe problems, most of the company was sold in parts, with only insurance activities remaining.

            i.e. dismembered… now there’s an idea 😉

          • Yeah i know. I used to have an account at the fortis bank… but since the crises they’ve become BNP Paribas

          • I think you googled the wrong one, keep trying though, you might find the actually meaning nad its significance

            But hey, if you want to try and ‘dismember’ me, you’re most welcome to try….:-)

          • I guess our loveable Fortis took his name after the latin for strong, brave, courageous. I guess being so passionate it kind of fits him.

            PS Can’t wait having my first post in moderation 😉

          • @Mclaren78……

            Correct, but it has a deeper meaning for me and that’s just the first part of a meaningful quote……

            so my name is now forbidden that whosoever utters it, gets punished?…. ha ha ha 🙂

          • Big Lols. HAM in dominant McLaren catches Rosberg in Williams at 1s a lap 15-10 laps out in Singapore GP 2008. Can’t pass (a la Rosberg on JEV)

          • Also, the Hamfosi should remember when bitching bout team Merc letting HAM down,

            Massa was winning the SingaporeGP in 2008 race hands down, SC and fuel hose screwed up, no points.

            So if this hadn’t happened, Lewis would be a zero times WDC….#JustSating

          • @Judge

            You’re the pure face if evil… and I love it.

            Stirrer! 😀

          • “HAM in dominant McLaren catches Rosberg in Williams at 1s a lap 15-10 laps out in Singapore GP 2008. Can’t pass (a la Rosberg on JEV)”

            Well.. Let us play at advocating. 🙂

            Singapore is more of a bitch for overtaking than Hungaroring is. Where can you possibly overtake in Singapore? Their start-finish straight is the length of the average Tilke corner, while the other “straight” is cut in half, and not very long at it either. As for the remaining corners: all slow as hell, with no serious overtaking opportunities anywhere. And there was no DRS in 2008.

            What about Hungaroring? No one can argue that this place isn’t a hell to overtake, too. But we did see Hamilton make waves there in 2014. Also the main straight, shortish as it is, is a true straight, with corner where you can outbrake the car in front. Also as we have seen the Turn 2/3 complex can be wheel-to-wheeled (from memory, both Ricciardo and Hamilton went for it there). And do not forget the lack of downforce and the fewer dirty air, bar in the Merc and the Red Bull of course. And do not forget Pirelli’s eggs that they have now.

            It would have been fairer if you put this anecdotal evidence in context of the average number of passes for position in Singapore 2008 vs Hungary 2014. I reckon passing in changing conditions in Hungary 2014 was easier than in normal conditions in Singapore 2008. But I may be wrong, of course.

          • Just saying when dry line in Hungary is 1 car wide… It’s practically the same scenario….Was watching Singapore bore fest… Popped into mind….

          • “Massa was winning the SingaporeGP in 2008 race hands down, SC and fuel hose screwed up, no points.

            So if this hadn’t happened, Lewis would be a zero times WDC….”

            I had this argument with Carlo once, and I strongly disagree. Massa’s fuel hose is essentially no different than any cock-up that a team may come up with: dying cylinder, one gear gearbox, dangling wheels, invisible brakes, or—my favourite—Hamilton flambé. And as such this is a car-related retirement.

            Worse that year was the way that the Spank Nazi single-handedly robbed Hamilton of his victory in Spa. We can argue the specifics of the incident all we like (for the record, I do feel that Hamilton gained an advantage prior to overtaking, but also as other drivers at the time I also feel that the penalty was overly harsh; a grid penalty for the following GP would have been more appropriate, for example, if at all), but the fact is that the regulator wily-nilly took the victory from Hamilton and handed it over to Massa. Think what you will, but in my view this is much worse.

          • I agree, it was like a failure. Point was a Hamfosi was bemoaning Lewis ‘luck’ this year… Doing the usual – if only re-write of history….

            In fact, race failures aside (along with skulduggery 😉 Lewis leads 2-1. Qualy no prob, cos car is so fast

            On phone on bumpy journey. Hence note form….

          • “Just saying when dry line in Hungary is 1 car wide… It’s practically the same scenario….”

            Judge, are you unwittingly heaping praise on Lewis? Given the number of overtakes he made in Hungary with a dry line 1 car wide, and how quickly he dispatched of JEV at the 1st opportunity, you make him look like a superhero. 🙂 Just saying..

  7. Ah, what a pity, after nearly 30 years the once dominant Toleman/Benetton/Renault/Lotus will go out of business. Real pity.

    • I’m with you only as far as ‘ ault/ ‘…..
      Tony got burned, that this pair are hurting is fitting, too.
      Both should have left Lotus alone…..

  8. Wait. . Honda are Japanese. Kamui is a japenese.

    Hang on. It’s coming.

    Nope lost my chain of thought

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