Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 5th August 2014


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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Features: Mercedes AMG – The Formula One Punch and Judy Show

Voice of the #F1 Fans – Socially Inept #F1

OTD lite: Lewis Hamilton wins 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix – The end?

More Details about the Ecclestone Trial Updated 12:13), Updated (14:10 GMT)

Marmorini taking ‘gardening leave’ before joining Renault

Lotus having to pay Mercedes in advance

Bianchi not ruling out ‘2015’ Ferrari race seat (GMM)

Perez says Hulkenberg ‘strongest F1 teammate’ (GMM)

The onward march to Sochi

Hamilton ordered to obey race strategy calls – Zetsche

OTD lite: Lewis Hamilton wins 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix – The end?

Well not quite. This was the race weekend that Ron Dennis came to regret the signing of Alonso to the team. In qualifying the intensely bitter relationship between the team-mates came to a head when Hamilton refused to give way to Alonso.

At the time, a car qualified with race fuel aboard and burnt off as much as possibly in the session. They would come in at the end of the session put fresh tyres on and set their ultimate lap. The fuel would be replenished for the race. Which was fine unless you happened to be running more fuel and your team-mate knew it gave you the advantage. So Lewis held Fernando back.


For the final run, Alonso sat waiting after his tyre change so that Lewis lost his qualifying opportunity. His actions caused the FIA to step in and penalised him 5 grid places for an intra-team conflict! Lewis was left to romp home to victory on this day and Alonso could only finish fourth.

Alonso had been to Max Mosley after having his bluff called by Dennis over Ferrari information Mclaren had obtained and Hamilton exchanged profanities after his failed qualifying attempt – with the last statement to his boss being – “Go swivel”

Carlo Carluccio


More Details about the Ecclestone Trial

The Court in Munich, headed by Judge Noll, is expected to announce on Tuesday at 1pm local time that Bernard Ecclestone will leave the court as a free man. To everyone but the terminally gullible that looks like a case of bribery to end a trial for bribery.

Former Federal Minister Of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger calls the deal “not only dubious, it’s outrageous.”

That’s where the wiliness of Ecclestone’s lawyers come in. Media were talking about a deal, which is shorthand for “Verständigung nach Paragraf 257c”. It’s basically an agreement brokered between the court, the defendant and the prosecution. BUT! Such a deal only negotiates the maximum sentence – the accused will be found guilty of the crimes he was charged with.

Yet Ecclestone’s lawyers appear to have even avoided this stain on his record.

Mr. E’s legal team have abused a law designed to deal with petty crimes, like car accidents with no injuries. The dropping of a case according to §153 of the code of criminal proceedings allows a case to be dropped for a fine and the defendant will be acquitted. That law was introduced to avoid multi-week trials with the prosecution having problems to prove that Granny Hilda bumped her car into another one on the parking lot and then fled the scene.

The two prerequisites for such a procedure are:

1. The prosecution has too much evidence for an acquittal but not enough for a clear conviction

2. The crime is ‘small’ enough that the ‘significant guilt’ clause doesn’t apply.

To get into such a situation, Ecclestones lawyers have systematically wrecked the credibility of the main witness of the prosecution with suggestive and ambiguous questioning, helped by the fact that Gribkowsky changed key statements of his testimony. With most of their main evidence shredded by Ecclestone’s shysters the prosecution finds itself in situation 1)

But situation 2) is where Judge Noll shall be advised to make whatever explanation he is about to present on Tuesday a spectacularly good one, because it will be one hell of a task to explain that a charge that carries a 10 years prison sentence and that the court finds $100.000.000 dollar a fitting fine for, does not constitute a ‘significant guilt’.

On Judge Noll’s shoulders stands the credibility of the German legal system in the eyes of the world, it would take a huge pair of cahooners to disallow the ‘deal’..

Comment: Fat Hippo, from an original article in ‘Der Spiegel’.


 Picture from @unlap

Update: 12:13 GMT. Judge Noll has accepted the settlement reached between the prosecution service and Bernie Ecclestone.

Trial over….. how bizarre…. and my mind wanders to this from ‘The Producers’ (2005).



Marmorini taking ‘gardening leave’ before joining Renault

Formula One teams regularly insist that their employees when leaving and joining another team, serve a period of ‘garden leave’. During this period, the exiting employee is paid in full and has can work full time tending their garden should they please.

This is not particular to Formula 1, but in any industry where an employee may have knowledge of information sensitive to a competitor, or have skills which may put a competitor at an advantage.

For whizz kid top designers, engineers or electronic experts, this appears to have some rhyme and reason in F1 as the top secret knowledge they have. Yet when an individual is sacked or “falls on their sword”. this practice appears somewhat prejudicial.

Luca Marmorini appears to have been the sacrificial lamb offered up by Marco Mattiacci as atonement for the relative ineptitude of the new Ferrari V6 engine.

Yes the engine may well be down in power, as have been most of Marmorini’s designs stretching back to his days at Toyota, yet Marmorini delivers uber reliable engines.

It may be fair to question what kind of brief was given to Marmorini? It could have been that Ferrari’s view of what would happen in 2014, was that reliability would be king. We heard scare stories from various F1 folk during the winter, that the races would see 50% plus of the cars dropping out due to failure, mostly engine related.

An uber reliable Ferrari given this scenario, could easily be leading either or both world title races.

Yet Marmorini has to go. This could well be more about Mattiacci making his mark, and sending a message to all concerned in Maranello.

Ironically, there is an argument that were Marmorini such a liability, Ferrari should insist he start immediate work at Viry for Renault. not become an expert on the ‘Stylized Lily’.

In a Monty-Python world, it would be surreal how the whole F1 eco-system breathes and survives – whoever coined the phrase ‘living in a bubble’ must have been grounded in the ways of F1.


Lotus having to pay Mercedes in advance

Earlier this year, Renault revealed that one of their contracted engine customer teams had not paid their bills. With Red Bull teams effectively the works engined teams it left conjecture aimed at Caterham and Lotus. Both claimed that all bills and invoices were up to date with Lotus attacking Renault for not stating clearly who was the guilty party.

Several months have passed and Tony Fernandes has escaped the F1 money pit, deserting his Caterham F1 team for the questionable delights of Premiership football at QPR, In that time, Lotus has been struggling which has meant Gerard Lopez’s aspirations to sell the team have imploded.

There has been some restructuring within the Enstone business to improve efficiency and cut costs, but with such a poor car there is little or no interest from potential F1 ‘investors’.

All could change for 2015, as Lotus will replace McLaren as a Mercedes customer. However, wise to the wiles of the likes of Mansoor Ijaz, Mercedes have insisted on a payment up front of $10m before the end of the 2014 season.

There will also be a strict payment schedule during 2015, otherwise engines will not be released and vital support withdrawn.


(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

Bianchi not ruling out ‘2015’ Ferrari race seat

Jules Bianchi is no longer ruling out a move to Ferrari for 2015. Recently, after an impressive Ferrari test at Silverstone in injured Kimi Raikkonen’s place, the Frenchman admitted that a race seat with the Italian team “is not the plan for next year“. That is because Finn Raikkonen, although struggling for form this year, is firmly under contract for 2015 alongside on-form teammate Fernando Alonso. Team boss Marco Mattiacci also publicly backed the 2007 world champion and his secure place at Ferrari next year.

But in Hungary, 25-year-old Bianchi, racing for the backmarker Marussia, again attracted attention and stirred speculation by out-qualifying Raikkonen following a Ferrari strategy bungle. Bianchi, managed by Nicolas Todt, is the cream of Ferrari’s driver development ‘academy’ and almost assured a race seat in red at some point in the future.

2015 will be his third season in F1, and this year he has notably impressed, scoring Marussia’s lucrative first-ever points. “Our goal is to stay ahead of Caterham and finish tenth, which would be a huge boost for the team,” he told the French sports daily L’Equipe. “Ferrari?” he is also quoted as saying. “If they call me one day, I’ll be ready to take the plunge. 2015? 2016? We’ll see,” Bianchi added.

TJ13 comment: Whatever people’s perception of Ferrari, they are undoubtedly the headline act of the show and for some years have not taken on young driving talent simply because they are fashionable or the press has become excited by a potential talent.

In 2012, the press were slamming Felipe Massa’s performances and praising the young Sergio Perez because his driving style allowed him to run different strategies that converted into podiums. LdM said at the time he wasn’t ready for the top tier and almost laughed himself hoarse when Mclaren signed him up. Despite a poor car, his season with Button wasn’t stellar and he was sacked.

Bianchi has beaten, comprehensively, a certain beautiful lad from the UK, someone the the British press have given more time to than he actually warrants and it’s staggering that his performance advantage hasn’t been compared to Senna over his team-mates. After all, any driver of talent must be the ‘next’ Senna!

What’s perhaps most worrying is the fact he has the same manager as Felipe Massa, Nicolas Todt, who due to nepotism saddled Ferrari with a driving hindrance for a number of years – although in the Machiavellian corridors of Maranello – Bianchi may be seen as the link into the FIA’s inner sanctum.


Perez says Hulkenberg ‘strongest F1 teammate’

Sergio Perez has singled out Nico Hulkenberg as “the strongest teammate I’ve had in formula one”. Having moved from McLaren after a disappointing single season with the struggling British giant, Mexican Perez switched to Force India and was paired for 2014 with Sauber refugee Hulkenberg.

Nico is the strongest teammate I’ve had in formula one,” Perez is quoted by Speed Week. “He is an almost totally complete driver.” Perez, 24, was paired at Sauber with Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi, and at McLaren by 2009 world champion Jenson Button. This year at Force India, he has 29 points so far versus German Hulkenberg’s 69. The pair looks set to be retained by the Silverstone based team for 2015.

I hope things will be clearer in the next couple of months,” Perez was quoted by the Indian news agency PTI at the recent Hungarian grand prix. Team supremo Vijay Mallya said in Budapest that he has contract “options” on both Hulkenberg and Perez for 2015 “and I see no reason why we should be looking at any change”.

And the Indian millionaire told F1’s official website: “The fact that McLaren chose him (Perez) means that they saw something in him — and McLaren is a top team. So he obviously has a talent — and we should have him. And we are very happy with him,” Mallya added.

TJ13 comment: Oh how the mighty have fallen…

No not the ‘arrogant’ Perez, after all he brings Mexican denaro, but the rotund Indian millionaire now.

In the world of the billionaires, being called a mere millionaire must be almost as humiliating as his business partner enjoying the heat in a New Delhi jail.


The onward march to Sochi

The sanctions imposed on Russia by the USA and the EU are beginning to bite. From it’s 12 month high, the rouble has depreciated around 15% against the US$ and the British pound, whilst inflation is climbing towards 7%.

Though since the last round of sanctions implemented 2 weeks ago, specific tales are growing of how Russian interests are suffering.

untitledA subsidiary of Aeroflot last night ceased it’s flights to Europe. Under threat of punitive sanctions from US banks, European companies annulled leasing, servicing/refuelling and insurance contracts with the Dobrolet.

Some 10,000 Russians are believed to be ‘stranded’ at present in European destinations.

Due to adverse trading conditions, two Russian travel operators have ground to a half. Neva and Labirint’s sudden failures last weekend have left around 27,000 Russian tourists in Europe without return tickets, reports the BBC

Yet onward to Sochi marches Formula 1

untitledPresident Putin’s friends are being hit too. The Gulfstream private Jet company has withdrawn all servicing contracts and forbidden the use of their navigation equipment.

Russia has responded to the sanctions this year by banning “Kentucky Gentleman”, a brand of American whiskey, citing traces of phthalates – organic chemicals – in the drink.

Also, banned is the import of Moldovian wine and Polish fruit and veg. The people of Poland have taken to social media, mocking Putin on mass, with home-made marketing campaigns showing poles eating fruit and mocking Putin.

untitledYet on we march top Sochi…

CVC may well be considering whether continuing to allow it’s CEO to promote the race in Russia is good for business. They have international assets in the billions funded and secured by US banks, who could impose a freeze on the private equity firms capital movements.

Then again, having procured an acquittal in Munich, Campbell’s excuse to remove Ecclestone from power is moot. Taking CVC to the brink of a worldwide capital freeze, maybe considered grounds for dismissal of their CEO Ecclestone.

Similarly the US administration may bring pressure on the billionaire Texas owner of COTA, to forgoe the F1 race in Austin, should Ecclestone take the sport to Sochi. Again, McCombs is dependant on US banking privileges.

Amusingly, it appears ‘the gods’ may have demonstrated their displeasure at F1’s current decision in quite dramatic fashion. Sebastian Vettel’s winning  RB7 burst into flames during a demonstration run in Russia last weekend. It was on exhibition in Chelyabinsk ahead of the inaugural Russian Grand Prix and driven by Red Bull junior driver Alex Lynn,

But for now… F1 marches blindly on towards Sochi….




Hamilton ordered to obey race strategy calls – Zetsche

Deiter Zetsche has lent the full support of global car manufacturer, Daimler Benz, behind Toto Wolff.

Following 3 days of internal discussions which included speaking to the two Mercedes drivers via conference calls, Toto Wollf came out on the Wednesday following the Hungarian GP to explain how Mercedes would manage strategy from hereon in.

“Our agreement from the beginning of the season is that the other car should not be disturbed if it is on another strategy,” Wolff restated.

What did change is that the radio call to the drivers to respect team strategy will now be made by Paddy Lowe. “If Paddy says something on the radio, this is followed even if at that moment it appears irrational to the drivers”.

Today speaking to Bild, Dieter Zetsche confirms, “At Mercedes there are no team orders. I stand by that”.

“Last Sunday there was no critical situation. The two were not really bumper to bumper, which is why I can well understand Lewis not slowing down to let Nico past.”

However, Hamilton will not be able to plead innocence in similar circumstances in the future as Zetsche makes it clear. “However, it is true however Rosberg and Hamilton are not to interfere with each other’s strategies – as when there is two stops versus three stops.”

During the 2014 Hungarian GP, the team had placed Rosberg on a three stop strategy, whilst running Hamilton on a two stopper.

Nico was catching Lewis at over a second a lap following his second stop whilst in free air. His lap times immediately increased by a second a lap when he came up behind Hamilton.

Whether Lewis just carried on doing what he’d been doing before… would have let Rosberg through had he been closer….. pushed like hell to prevent Nico’s pass….  is now a moot point.

Zetsche makes it clear given the same situation going forward, Hamilton would be deemed impeding Rosberg’s strategy.

Whether a clarification or public rebuke to Mercedes’ world champion driver. The rules of the game are now clear.

Meantime, Lewis has been back on the twittersphere. He’s excited about Belgium. Appears there’s a new team in F1.



84 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 5th August 2014

  1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lotus struggle to get out of Q1 in qualification for the rest of season. I can imagine that to make that first payment for Mercedes engines, Lotus would stop developing the current car completely. Not only because it needs to say the money but also probably because their current technology may not always transfer well to a chassis that uses a Mercedes engine.

  2. Stewards decision from Hungary ’07:

    Lewis had just come off his first non-points finish at EUR (as Alonso won), after being pitched into the wall in Q3 there, b/c of an improperly mounted tire. Alonso had closed the gap to 2 points. Having been fastest in both Q1 and Q2 in Hungary, no doubt it burned him to then see Alonso given the advantage with race fuel. Some insolence from Lewis, some returned by Fernando. Clearly a badly managed situation by the team.

    On an aside, just how stupid was fuel-burn qualifying, eh? From fuel-burn to hybrid power … we’ve come a fair way.

  3. Such a deal only negotiates the maximum sentence – the accused will be found guilty of the crimes he was charged with.

    According to the BBC, the accused is found neither guilty nor innocent (a bit like the Scottish ‘not proven’ verdict, except for the bribery bit).

    I have to agree with Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, though.
    And celebrate her splendid name.

  4. ^
    Very many thanks for this extremely helpful explanatory piece about the Ecclestone trial.

    And, indeed, as we await news, for all the other pieces on TJ13 about the entire affair while the rest of the British press, in terror of Ecclestone, have adopted the ostrich position throughout, leaving only their thinking organs on visible display for the last three years.

    Without you, and bizarre online Google translations of German newspaper articles, I’d have begun to question my sanity and wonder whether anything at all was going on in Munich.

    I really am extremely grateful to you, and especially to His Lordship himself.

    It’s 11:50 am BST – ten minutes to go, it would seem.

    Here’s hoping Judge Peter Noll will Do The Right Thing, even if the snivelling prosecutors have sold out…

    And let’s not forget the Swiss investigation and all the civil actions and appeals that are waiting to proceed against him.

      • ^
        Yes, M’Lud, of that I am aware – thanks, not least to you.

        And, so far as I’m aware, Bluewaters has also lodged an appeal.

        I do hope that you will be so kind as to continue to keep us informed on the progress of all these actions. I know your heart is in this.

        It would be ironic if the Swiss locked him up over it.

      • ^
        Indeed so, M’Lud. Justice appears to be particularly blind in Germany if you can afford to bribe its courts.

        The thought has crossed my mind a number of times, M’Lud, that if the Eccles***e fails to deliver a grid of Formula One cars and a race at Sochi on 12 October for his new best friend, war criminal and favoured mass murderer Vladimir Putin, a secure cell in Stadelheim prison might have been the safest place for him to spend his remaining years.

  5. So Mr E earlier this year, was reported to owe HMRC £1b in back taxes, paid a reported £10m to have it cleared (if that was any ordinary joe, they’d be spending a few months at her majesty’s request). Now he has paid a £60m get out jail free fee.

    Note to HMRC… you’re a bunch of muppets.

      • Well they could’ve dug their heels in and got a whole lot more than a mediocre £10m. Heck, that couldn’t even cover the MP’s expenses.

        So one man rots in prison, just because he sold a shrivelled up little old man a “insurance policy” (according to Mr E), whilst he’s able to walk free and continue to contaminate everything he comes in contact with.

        Hooray for the justice system!

        I need to get rich quick!

      • I must admit I’m left wondering why the judges all seem to be backing down with Mr E. No-one really seems to like him and I get the impression that CVC would rather be rid of him but can’t find a good enough excuse. I don’t suppose he has many people – other than those he pays – fighting his corner.

        So, how is he still a free, unconvicted man?

          • …. Have to admit it’s amusing and its not a great day to be German.

            Most people don’t realise the Bavarian administration bears a resemblance to that of the one in Uganda….

          • I think the main point here is overlooked. It’s Gribkovski who did a complete u-turn on his testimony. Things he still knew a year ago he had suddenly forgotten. There are two options here : He was bribed again or Mr. E had two burly men sent to explain what would be done to his arse if his testimony wouldn’t change substantially.

            Some of the arguments of E’s shysters beggared belief, but I reserve that for a Hippo Rant

          • Bavaria wasn’t very hot on this. You are a corrupt government – somone offers you 100M, the alternative is working hard on finding out the truth – what would Chuck Norris do?

          • i said it before, and i say it again, it’s not a bavarian thing. german courts have a solid track record of dubious settlements and light sentences when it comes to high level white collar crime. esser, ackermann, zumwinkel, sommer, von pierer, graf lambsdorff, von brauchitsch, flick, just to name a few, all should have went to jail and didn’t. i doubt that there was a single major case that ended with a serious conviction.

          • Amazing that when something like this happens in Germany it can conveniently split the regions who caused the embarrassment of into a separate country.

          • It was a case Bavaria vs Ecclestone – so the distinction is valid. German courts have been very disparage in their handling of things. The North (Hamburg, Bremen) for instance is know for very harsh verdicts, while the south (Baden-Würtemberg, Bavaria) is rife with filth and corruption and usually rather lenient towards white collar crimes as long as you have enough moulah. NRW is the same and to a degree Hesse. Saxonia meanwhile is where you want to have a trial for tax evasion, as the Leipzig court has mostly been very lenient if you cheat the state.

            That’s the joy of a federal justice system where each state dos its own thing.

          • @Fat Hippo “The North (Hamburg, Bremen) for instance is know for very harsh verdicts”

            i don’t know about that. nonnenmacher, former head of the hsh nordbank (northern version of bayern lb) is another name that comes to mind when one thinks about c.e.o.’s that got off with a slap on the wrist.

          • …wow… well I’ve appended something which maybe represents somehow the bizarre nature of this all….. to the Hippo article form this morning….

          • Even if it is Maggie thatcher standing on her head stark naked, singing the Ave Maria in lower Egyptian while juggling kittens – it wouldn’t be bizarre enough. Everyone I’ve spoken to in the office is completely dumbfounded about this. It’s ridiculous.

          • Could Gribkovski now appeal his sentence as well? After all, if a court has decided no bribe was paid they as you say, he is in prison for doing nothing….

          • Nope. The case was ended for a fine. That means there simply is no ruling on Ecclestone’s guilt. He’s neither convicted, neither acquitted. He simply paid the State of Bavaria 100M for no longer investigating the Gribkowski case.

          • I wonder if this will lead to this particular law being revised?

            Certainly a big loop-hole if it can be used in such a way – and the link to other cases seems a further issue to be addressed.

            It’s frustrating that we all thought that being tried in Germany was the best chance of him being done for something….

    • paid a reported £10m to have it cleared (if that was any ordinary joe, they’d be spending a few months at her majesty’s request). Now he has paid a £60m get out jail free fee.

      Not to mention the $44m he >didn’t< pay as a bribe to Gribkowski…
      (Are sums paid in dollars not subject to the ordinary workings of the law ??)

      Muppets indeed.

      This was amusing:
      One witness claimed Gribkowsky had got carried away with the idea of succeeding Ecclestone at the helm of Formula One, describing the banker as a “choleric disciplinarian”

      Sounds as though he would have got on with Max, at least.

  6. The news!

    Bernie: Money buys everything!
    Perez: Hulk, the first decent team-mate I’ve had. Button’s past it.
    Biancchi: ’15, ’16, who cares, I’ll soon be there.
    Marmorini: Mattiacci wants to make his mark.
    Lotus: Pastor, pay for the engine and you’re staying another year!
    Sochi: …Money buys everything!

  7. On Merc/Hamilton

    It’s not a clarification and it’s not a public rebute (although it does sound like it).

    It’s a warning!

    So the best thing Lewis can do from now on is pole, pole, pole! That’s his only hope of winning the title.

  8. I get the feeling Sergio Perez has simply said that to make his performances in comparison to Nico Hulkenberg look better. He was up against Kamui Kobayashi, and benefited from better tyre strategies (also, he never technically had de la Rosa as a teammate, as the Spaniard stood in for him in his McLaren overalls from FP2 onwards at the 2011 Canadian GP). Jenson Button is skilled but he had passed the peak of his career. Unsurprisingly, Hulkenberg has to be rated as the best out of all of them. Really, this story is just a cute little reminder that he exists, because he needs the publicity to ensure that his sponsors believe that he’s doing an okay job and he actually has a seat on the grid for next year.

    As for the Mallya quote: “The fact that McLaren chose him (Perez) means that they saw something in him — and McLaren is a top team.” Well, McLaren let him go, and this was after he was on the Ferrari programme, that also let go of him as well. If you get dropped by one team, well, maybe it’s the problem of the team. By two teams though… it looks bad.

    If I remember correctly, Mercedes were looking into having him as a driver from 2013 if they couldn’t get Lewis Hamilton. If that’s correct, they dodged a massive bullet!

    • Wasn’t there a piece a week or two back implying that it wasn’t actually his speed that was the problem but his attitude?

      We’ve seen time and again how he can make certain strategies work amazingly well but we also get the odd hint of what a right sod he sounds like to work with.

    • McLaren had 5 million reasons to take Perez.. and Mallya signed him for more than double that. Good negotiating by him, really. He got Perez to pay for himself, Hulk (and his 2012 salary was still owed to him by Mallya), McLaren’s technology debt and whatever money was left to develop the 2014 car with Mercedes technology instead. McLaren were offering him Magnussen for the debt in comparison..

      Hulkenberg in the Mercedes I have to imagine would be taking it to Rosberg in much the same manner Lewis is… but without the errors.. see Ricciardo, Bottas etc.

  9. Re. Dieter Zetsche and team orders –

    I think you left out quite an important part of the story – the reference to emergency situations:

    F1 news outlets are reporting it this way :

    “Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche insists there will be ‘no team orders’ to settle the outcome of the title battle between warring Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

    His comments in Bild am Sonntag newspaper follow hot on the heels of the Hungarian grand prix, where Hamilton blankly refused to obey the order to let Rosberg past on a different strategy.

    ‘Last Sunday there was no emergency situation,’ Zetsche said. ‘The two were not really bumper to bumper, which is why I can well understand Lewis not slowing down to let Nico past.’

    He said it is only in ‘emergency situations’ that the pitwall will intervene with the free battle between the silver-clad pair.

    ‘At Mercedes there are no team orders,’ Zetsche insisted. ‘I stand by that.

    ‘The skill of the drivers and a little bit of luck will in the end decide who has the edge. ….. “

    • Interesting.

      Hamilton might get that new tattoo after all…
      Do you intend to have a Mercedes emblem tattoo? 

      “It depends on what kind of contract I will be offered next time…”

      (Interview with Nemzeti Sport.)

    • ….I beg to differ – firstly, you are citing an English site with a different translation – we covered the bumper to bumper sentiment….

      Zetsche in no way validates absolutely Lewis actions,

      The team’s position is that there have never been team orders…. just the agreement to defer on strategy as re-stated by Wolff and confirmed by Zeitsche… Lauda used the phrase inadvisedly…

      This sentiment is absolute.

      He does not say only in emergency situations will the team intervene – you infer as much.

      What he does say is that a driver on a strategy with fewer stops will defer to the other – this was the scenario in Hungary… this sentiment is also absolute

      The final sentiment you cite is moot and is mere opinion of the possibilities ahead.

      • Isn’t it suddenly convenient that everyone has forgotten how, when it was convenient after Silverstone, Wolff mentioned that they would always do the same number of stops? What has suddenly happened?

        The selective amnesia of the reporting press is frankly disgusting. Merc is clearly shifting the goal posts and no one bothers to get the facts. All we hear is about unnamed sources inside the Merc garage. Pfffft!

        • The trouble there is Toto almost certainly meant in equal circumstances. In Hungary Lewis needed a different strategy to maximise his result from a poor qualification while Nico needed a strategy to maximise his chances of winning by minimising risk.

          Unfortunately the safety car was so decisive that it brought the two together in such a way that Lewis had a massive gain and Nico had a big loss and they were put on a collision course…

      • Since I haven’t seen the original German article, and even then I couldn’t be sure that any translation conveys exactly what the speaker intended, I am happy to draw an inference from your translation:

        They were not bumper to bumper.
        Therefore Lewis was right, as hedid not interfere with Rosberg’s strategy, and in fact offered Rosberg the pass if he could get on to his bumper.
        In future, they will carry on as before – “Rosberg and Hamilton are not to interfere with each other’s strategies” and there will be no team orders, unless as you translate, there is a “critical situation”.

        • …. then you would be wrong….

          For someone who has impressed upon us how well read and qualified you are, I would have thought you could distinguish between an absolute statement and its fundamental importance to the meaning of the speakers intentions… as opposed to comment using an ambiguous term like “understand”… which in no way conveys a concurrence of opinion.

          “I understand why Hitler invaded Poland – because he was a certifiable lunatic”

          Hope this aids you improve your inference 🙂

          • It’s quite simple – Lewis did the right thing given the state of the race but should it happen again and it’s a dry race with no major drama’s or safety cars Lewis must move over for Rosberg if he’s been on pole and leading the race etc or else.
            Now I know not a lot of people like Lewis, but the potential team implosion from Lewis and Nico ignoring the team could be a sight to behold. I’m not fussed over who wins the title either. May the best Spoiled Racing Driver Win.

            I hope we don’t see Rosberg’s car pack up on the final straight on the last lap of a race otherwise it’ll be “LEWIS PUSH HIM OVER THE LINE” “Go whistle Totto, woooooooooo I’ve won the race”.

            All we need for 2015 is for Honda to have produced a better power unit (not hopeful) than Mercedes and for McLaren to rediscover it’s design mojo (probably a woeful hope) and the folly of ditching Ross Brawn will become fully apparent.

            No sympathy for Mercedes tbh, Ross Brawn would have handled the problems between Lewis and Nico properly. And I’d hazard a guess he wouldn’t be waiting for the boffins back at the factory to come up with a new plan during a chaotic rain filled race. He’d have gone with his instincts.

            (my tongue may or may not be planted firmly in my cheek).

          • “It’s quite simple – Lewis did the right thing given the state of the race but should it happen again and it’s a dry race with no major drama’s or safety cars Lewis must move over for Rosberg if he’s been on pole and leading the race etc or else.”

            I don’t get this, at all. On the one hand Lewis was right to interfere (apparently) with Nico’s strategy in Hungary. However on the other hand, in the future both drivers must follow team orders, even if they don’t agree with them? This does not add up, and will definately lead to more drama in the coming races (which will be great!).

            I think fundamentally the idea that either driver should not interfere with the others strategy is totally wrong. Just one passing the other is basically “interfering with the others strategy”. Mercedes needs to be less corporate about this. You cannot control the drivers like they are puppets. And you shouldn’t be trying to. Build and prepare two identical cars for each GP, and leave it at that. Let them fight!

          • ” … For someone who has impressed upon us how well read and qualified you are, … ”

            Have I? I had no idea. That is breaking news to me.

            But if it is a meant as compliment, then, well, thank you very much indeed, your Honour.


          • apologies, I thought I was responding to ‘the published one’… were you under his post?

            Can;t wait for new site – easier to understand who you are responding to.

  10. Re: ” …. CVC may well be considering whether continuing to allow it’s CEO to promote the race in Russia …. …. should Ecclestone take the sport to Sochi. Again, McCombs is dependant on US banking privileges. …. ”

    Admittedly, I may be naive when it comes to politics – but I don’t think there is any chance at all that anyone is going to stop F1 going ahead in Sochi. Certainly not CVC, nor the UK or US Governments.

    • The UK government could. Or at least they could compromise the show to the point where the race is pointless.

      I believe there was discussion that the sanctions preventing certain technologies being exported to Russia could already be read in such a way that prevents F1 cars going there. They could easily extend these if not.

      Otherwise, foreign office advice not to travel to Russia would make it impossible for UK employees of the teams to get insurance to travel which would in itself make most teams unable to attend.

      I’m sure The Judge posted last week that there is a suitable get-out in the contract as they have tried to politicise the race.

      So that’s three ways to stop it – if the will is there.

      I’d be interested to know what other sports are doing – for example, there are lots of Russian players in the NHL, I wonder if they will do anything?

    • @PK Said “Admittedly, I may be naive when it comes to politics – but I don’t think there is any chance at all that anyone is going to stop F1 going ahead in Sochi. Certainly not CVC, nor the UK or US Governments.”

      Don’t worry, you’re not naive. It’s just that this forum is the FOX News of F1. ‘Cognitive Biasses rule OK’, is the bumper sticker of choice. The bandwagon effect is the current choice. “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche. Power and influence is controlling the narrative on MH17. Judging the slowly emerging evidence, and then taking decisive action, is obviously not in a certain countries interest.


      • We’ve had this philosophical debate previously…

        I repeat, I’m so glad we have one so highly evolved in our midst, that they can speak on behalf of the whole ‘truth’ – whilst the rest of us mere mortals grapple with one leg of the elephant….

      • @Iain:R8 – From your link
        ” … Confirmation Bias
        We love to agree with people who agree with us. It’s why we only visit websites that express our political opinions, and why we mostly hang around people who hold similar views and tastes. We tend to be put off by individuals, groups, and news sources that make us feel uncomfortable or insecure about our views … ”

        On that basis, perhaps it is time for me to do a flounce and say “I am outta here”. But only temporarily, as I am going away for a few weeks and won’t have much time to surf the net.

        • …@PK “On that basis, perhaps it is time for me to do a flounce and say “I am outta here”. But only temporarily, as I am going away for a few weeks and won’t have much time to surf the net”.

          enjoy, and we’ll see you soon…. 😉

  11. re Mercedes strategy – this is silly. I know one must guarantee victory and be competitive always, but Mercedes’ dominance is like a soccer game with 5 minutes left and the score is 7-0. turn down the emotionless German methodical attitude and chill the f out.

    • av2290

      Mercedes want to be seen as winners. Lewis and Nico don’t sell a car on Monday. But every Mercedes win, and continuing Mercedes dominance suggest to the public that they are buying into that. So every win is important, second and third are irrelevant, when it comes to the true purpose of their involvement in F1 – winning the team championship and selling more product. You might also consider that it is statistically possible for things to go wrong in every race, from now until the end of the season. Nico and Lewis could easily be left wondering what went wrong. Especially with the double points last race idiocy.

      • Now that would be something… Really something…. maybe a double DNF for Lewis and Nico in Spa and a so for Danny boy, and we could start believing this…

        Then again given this scenario, Merc may respond by announcing Rosberg as heir elect to ensure the honey badger is kept at bay….

        • I think it’s too much of a remote possibility for the honey badger to sneak past the squabbling Peacocks driving Mercs to steal the drivers crown, unless Mercedes start suffering more power units etc going up in flames like Lewis had on both cars plus some team mate crashgating.

          Reliability will be key in deciding the drivers title, on evidence thus far it’s in Nico’s favour.

  12. So Beberstone gets away with any and all charges by basically paying more money to drown the whole case. Nothing new here, that’s how things are run in the über-rich sphere he belongs to.

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