#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 26th August 2014


This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.

You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly

Previously on TheJudge13:

#F1 Polls: 2014 FORMULA 1 SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX – Driver of the Weekend

Voice of the #F1 fans: An Alternative Analysis of ROS/HAM

OTD Lite: 1979 – Gilles Villeneuve inspires Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes in melt-down and in hot waters in the Fatherland

Vettel : grace in defeat

Meanwhile in Sochi

FIA not likely to investigate Rosberg crash (GMM)

Ecclestone still fighting with German bank (GMM)

Minardi throws up new driver/team combination

Could Ricciardo really sneak in and win the title?

OTD Lite: 1979 – Gilles Villeneuve inspires Lewis Hamilton

After the trye shredding collision with his team-mate over the weekend, Mercedes driver Hamilton raced his damaged car back to the pits at speeds that caused some of the back markers to hesitate as they passed him. By the time he had four new boots on his wagon, the aerodynamically sensitive floor was so damaged that he would struggle to catch Grosjean in a Lotus!

Thirty-five years ago, in the Dutch Grand Prix, a display of bravado passed into the annals marked ‘legend’ as Villeneuve tore back to the Ferrari pits in search of a new supply of Michelins. Health and safety hadn’t moved in wholesale into Formula One and drivers were allowed to take risks but when he got back to the pits, he waited patiently for the mechanics to serve him only to be informed his car was beyond economical repair…

The crowds were delighted to watch this diminutive Canadian entertaining them as his car disintegrated around him and at Ferrari he adopted the mantle of “High Priest of Destruction”. His detractors pointed to his ‘reckless’ display at Dijon where he and Rene Arnoux had fought as lions over the last three laps of the French GP and the display on Dutch soil did little to quieten them down.

It’s ironic that after all these years, Villeneuve’s driving standard would not be lauded but penalised in the same manner as Grosjean and Maldonado have been in the twenty-first century. And whilst Lewis worships Senna, it may have served him better to have ignored his natural instinct and limited the damage to his car by not driving a’ la Gilles.

The Jackal


Mercedes in melt-down and in hot waters in the Fatherland

The last two days of bedlam in the courthouse are ample proof that opinions are all over the place when it comes to find the culprit for the lap 2 collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. But when it comes to the embarrassing farce staged by the Mercedes bosses Andreas Nikolaus Lauda and Torger Christian Wolff, who both declared Nico Rosberg the sole culprit in fairly harsh terms while the subject of their seething was barely back from his in lap and had yet to be given a chance to explain his motives, has been met with universal disapproval back home in Deutschland.

Motor-Sport-Total editor Christian Nimmervoll criticized Lauda harshly. Imagine your goalkeeper misjudges a ball and you lose the game 0:1 and then the bosses acted like Lauda did.

At least for the next few days the Merc bigwigs might wish they had not made so much noise about adopting the new media as it were Tw*tter and Faceborg where Mercedes F1 faced a veritable fecial storm over the conduct of their two anchormen. Especially the immediate public verbal crucifixion of Rosberg was met with little understanding and both had their qualification for their posts questioned in sometimes strong terms.

Meanwhile there seems to be a veritable trench warfare going on at Brackley. After Hungary and now Spa, Lewis and Nico remain friends in the same sense that Vettel and Webber were bestest buddies and a secondary area of conflict is opening up between Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, while Paddy is too busy being in Lowe with himself. Lauda is openly biased towards Lewis, while Wolff is biased towards Rosberg. Even though Wolff joined Lauda in their rushed conviction of Nico, it was the same Toto Wolff, who publicly called Lewis off for his claims that Rosberg had admitted to deliberately having crashed into him.

“Nico has admitted that he did not back off in a battle. He did not say that he deliberately caused a collision. He thought it was Lewis’s turn to give way and Lewis didn’t. In a heated discussion they both insisted on their differing opinions on the matter. But it was not a deliberate crash – complete rubbish.”

Meanwhile Lewis is poking the bear by shooting his mouth off about more team internals. He revealed that Nico renewed his grievances with the ignored team orders at Hungary. “He said how disappointed he is with Toto and Paddy. And I thought, jeez, that’s been three weeks ago…”
Someone should tell Lewis how long his fanclub’s been harping on about Monaco or how well received it is in most circles if someone leaks details of internal meetings to the press.

Mercedes had the golden chance of making themselves into legends by giving us a full season of Bahrain-style dog-fighting. Instead they stage a veritable soap-opera. It looks like everybody’s against everybody else at Brackley, with nobody commanding enough respect to put an end to these shenigans – or to say it in the imortal words of Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway: “It’s a cluster***k.”

It all reminds me of Hill vs. Schumacher in 1996. How Hill managed to lose three races to Schumacher in a disastrously bad Ferrari will baffle F1 fans for generations just as people will ask in ten years time how Mercedes managed to lose three races against a guy in a car that is two seconds per lap slower.”


Vettel : grace in defeat

Normally, when racing drivers have a problem that keeps them from extracting the maximum out of their car, they are quick to tell the world about it. All the more surprising it is that Vettel mentioned the unpredictable nature of his car’s handling but omitted to point out that he missed two out of three free practice sessions almost completely – incidentally the two which are usually used to setup the car.

Instead he pinpointed the problem elsewhere. According to Seb it is to be found between the seat and the steering wheel. “Daniel would have overtaken me sooner rather than later anyway. He was simply quicker today. I had a little wobble and he passed me,” he explained when asked about the moment when his team mate left him behind. “I would have probably gotten a ‘nice’ radio request from the team [to let him pass]. But with my mistake I spared myself that particular moment. I’ve done all I could today, but I’m also the first to own up if I made a mistake. The small error that led to Daniel passing me was not necessary, but in the end it didn’t make a whole lot of difference.”

He did however have not much love to spare for Suzie (we are talking about his car not Toto’s wife). “The car was as unpredictable as it had been in qualifying. There’s no denying that I couldn’t keep up with the cars in front of me. As bad as it looks right now – nobody can drive that bad. I’ve been sent upfront and there’s a gunfight going on. Too bad it feels like I’ve brought a wooden stick.”

Yet despite looking forlorn and absolutely devastated in the post-race interview with RTL, he kept up a certain grace in defeat. After the interview he walked over to where Red Bull staged Danny’s winners photo, congratulated his team mate and joined the team in doing the honours for their 3-time 2014 GP winner. He might not be smashing records this year, but he manages to smash the odd preconception about his character.


Meanwhile in Sochi


(Source: GMM with TJ13 comment)

FIA not likely to investigate Rosberg crash

The F1 world is split over Nico Rosberg’s actions in the Belgian grand prix. Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton’s former McLaren teammate, thinks the incident that left the 2008 world champion almost 30 points behind the sister Mercedes was questionable at best.

There was nothing there,” British newspapers quote him saying. “There was no move. It is unbelievable. I’ve always said the person who wins the world championship is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment,” Button added. “It is a shame it’s not a cleaner fight.” But Button also believes Rosberg – in the first championship fight of his career – is probably also grappling with the high “pressure” of that rare occasion.

Former F1 driver David Coulthard, however, says he would not too quickly judge the “sporting integrity” of the 29-year-old. “You cannot premeditate giving someone a puncture. In my career I probably lost my wing like that 10 times, because you literally cannot see the front of the car,” he told the Telegraph. “The stewards seemed to make the right call, but there should be another avenue or punishment open to them. This is not a normal racing incident.

Coulthard said Rosberg’s driving was “clumsy” more than deliberate, but “there was an element of stubbornness to what Nico did. He had been slapped in the face by Lewis in Bahrain, he had been slapped in the face in Hungary, and he perhaps felt the need to show he would not be easily pushed around.”

Coulthard said the crash should also be viewed in light of the highly controversial qualifying incident of Monaco. “If it happens a third time? We may begin to consider him a driver in the mould of his former teammate Michael Schumacher, who went to astonishing lengths to win,” said the Scot.

With a more forgiving assessment is another F1 legend, Gerhard Berger. “Sure, Nico was to blame,” he told the German newspaper Bild. “But when two drivers of such calibre fight wheel to wheel, something can happen. It’s been shown that you can overtake at that corner — this was no suicide move. It was a normal racing incident. And whether it happened in the second or the 33rd lap, it doesn’t matter — if you feel you can go past, you try. Nico did nothing other than that, and it’s what the fans want to see,” Berger added.

What does muddy the waters, however, is what Rosberg might have let slip in Mercedes’ post-race briefing. Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff both indicate that Rosberg admitted he maintained his line to prove a “point“. That might tweak the interest of the FIA, who have the power to open an investigation even after the fact.

But former driver and regular F1 steward Derek Warwick told British radio that even though Rosberg’s driving was “silly“, it is “an internal problem” for Mercedes rather than “a problem for the FIA or the stewards“. And an FIA spokesman told the Daily Mail: “The FIA will not intervene in this issue. Only a ‘new element’ that would have appeared after the results became final could justify us opening an investigation. A comment alleged to have been made in an internal briefing and later denied by the team itself does not constitute such a ‘new element’,” he official added.

What is clear is that what was left of the tattered relationship between Rosberg and Hamilton is now probably irreparable.

Asked if the pair can be civil for the rest of the 2014 battle, Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told Welt newspaper: “When I think of how the meeting went on Sunday, I doubt it. But this is precisely the task of the leadership team now — to establish this relationship again.

Whatever the outcome, Bernie Ecclestone is happy. “What it has done is created a lot of interest,” he told the Indian news source PTI. “That is very good for the sport.

TJ13 comment: It can be illuminating reading between the lines of driver statements. Button for example is disappointed that it’s not a cleaner fight on track, which sums up his career and fortuitous title perfectly and possibly explains why Honda are looking to get one of the true superstars aboard.

As a TV pundit, DC has to follow the sycophantic rhetoric that F1 access demands and whilst he makes a great point that there are more broken front wings than there are punctured rear tyres it’s interesting how he makes comparisons between Rosberg and former team-mate Schumacher. His comatose injuries forgotten, Schumacher’s history is back as a valid counterpoint – and yet it seems nobody has spoken to Keke Rosberg about his son’s driving style this year.

After the 2006 Monaco GP, Rosberg was one of the most vocal about how Schumi was a cheat and should have been thrown out of the championship – yet here is his son who, depending on which nationality of media you choose to listen to is cheating his way to the title..


(Source: GMM with TJ13 comment)

Ecclestone still fighting with German bank

Bernie Ecclestone remains at legal loggerheads with the Munich state bank BayernLB. When the sport’s supremo controversially yet successfully settled with German prosecutors for $100 million, he had at the time also made an offer of $25 million to the aggrieved bank and former F1 shareholder BayernLB. The offer was turned down because it was not high enough. But “If the overall package is right, we wouldn’t be closed to it,” BayernLB chief executive Johannes-Joerg Riegler said last week.

Earlier, BayernLB had been seeking $400 million, but F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said a spokesman confirmed the bank wants an amount similar to the $100m criminal suit settlement. “Perhaps the $25m doesn’t match with this settlement structure and perhaps somebody has to think about it because the state prosecutors in Germany got $100m,” said the bank spokesman.

Ecclestone’s lawyer says no. “We are not prepared to make a new offer,” Sven Thomas, describing the original proposal as “sensible“, told Sylt and the Telegraph newspaper. “BayernLB have rejected the offer, as expected. At the moment we don’t do anything. We wait to see what they are going to do.

If they try to sue, they shall have no chance at all. I don’t think they will try to sue,” Ecclestone’s lawyer added.

TJ13 comment: The biggest problem for BayernLB is that a German media company Constantin Median took Mr E to court for alleged losses from the sale to CVC. The judge ruled that although Mr E had entered into a corrupt agreement to steer the deal towards CVC, it was not undervalued as a result.

With the court case in Germany having finished ‘unsatisfactorily’ for many within the sport, the Suffolk toad has left a free man but of more importance, an “innocent” man. The chances of suing him through a court system is highly unlikely to achieve the sums the German institute is chasing.

But Mr E’s team is following a tactics used by salesmen throughout the years, when you reach a point in the negotiations to close the deal, an offer is made and then you STFP – Shut the f*** up!


Minardi throws up new driver/team combination

After his theories last week in regards the movement of drivers within the Formula One teams, Giancarlo Minardi added to his initial theories following the controversial accident between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

“Rosberg has signed a contract extension with Mercedes but there were three drivers who were unhappy with their current situation. Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso. The recent statement by Alonso of loyalty to the Ferrari team has removed one of the contenders for a seat at Mclaren but Vettel and Hamilton remain in play.”

“From Japan, a very strong movement has been suggested to me by Honda who want to recruit the Newey/ Vettel pairing. At Spa-Francorchamps, Mr Ecclestone approached Vettel as he has done with other drivers over the years in an attempt to spice up the show.”

All of this is known and of little surprise although Newey was never likely to return to Mclaren where he spend some of his most fruitless years designing silver lemons but it shows to a degree how worried Honda have become of the current technical set-up at Mclaren.

Mr E has always had a great relationship with Vettel and he has been known to move the pawns, sorry drivers, around the chess board so as to make the show better but Minardi’s next statement was fascinating because it displays the ruthlessness of the Red Bull organisation. The team have seemingly been less Vettel-centric this year and with Ricciardo having proved his ability:,

“Red Bull have also accomplished an important marketing ploy and acquired a potential new talent. It had been taken for granted that Carlos Sainz Jr would be in F1 with Toro Rosso but if Vettel moves to Honda, Kyvat will be promoted to the Red Bull team alongside Daniel Ricciardo and Sainz Jr will team up with Verstappen.”

“Red Bull is a brand that is focused on the young consumer and the arrival of a new face, Kyvat, could be an interesting marketing move. It has been some time that I have suggested that the four-time World Champion should accept a new challenge and once the first more has occurred the rest will follow like dominos.”

“As to Hamilton, although he has been defended by Toto Wolff for the first time, he is more unhappy than ever after the contact with Rosberg, Are the strategies changing within the Mercedes team? Well, a new pretender looms on the horizon, a certain Valtteri Bottas – who has shown his value on the track and lest we forget is managed by…Wolff.”

To add to this ‘silly season’ – Twitter rumours suggest that Grosjean will be leaving Lotus at season’s end which may suggest he is Woking bound to team up with his manager, and former team boss, Eric Boullier and another that is gathering momentum is that although Ferrari have declared their drivers for next year, there may well be a significant announcement at Monza in regards to the Red team.

But to everyone’s most loved/ most hated figure – Bernie is unlikely to want to lose the most talked about driver in Formula One – but corporate Germany doesn’t appreciate the way the team is being viewed by the diminishing world wide audience.


Could Ricciardo really sneak in and win the title?

Fernando Alonso was asked after the Belgian Grand Prix if he believed that Ricciardo was still in the hunt for the 2014 World title. He replied, “No I don’t think so. Obviously he is doing an amazing job and he’s surprising everyone but the Mercedes advantage… in qualifying they were two seconds clear. But if any of us could do it, at the moment it’s only Ricciardo”

Colgate boy had expressed after his third victory that he had not ruled out fighting the Mercedes drivers for the title but many believe the Silver Arrows are just too strong. Except maybe…

They have had reliability issues in the last few weekends, and although their qualifying advantage is enormous, the remainder of the field closes up on a Sunday when race strategies chime in.

Historically there has also been occasions that a seemingly improbable situation turns in favour of the outsider. In 1986, the dominant Williams-Honda combination was markedly the best combination of the year. Alain Prost drove some sublime races that year to keep in contact with the main protagonists and triumphed as Nigel Mansell’s rear tyre disintegrated and team-mate Piquet stopped for a pre-cautionary stop at the final round.

More recently Alonso fought a bitter campaign with one of this year’s contenders – Hamilton. At Mclaren the relationship dissolved into open warfare until Kimi Raikkonen with a seventeen point deficit and just two races remaining collected the necessary twenty points from two victories and secured the 2007 title.

With the improvements that Paddy’s reign has introduced to Brackley and Red Bull pushing the three pointed star harder than ever, mistakes are creeping in. With DR 35 points behind Hamilton and a further 29 from Nico, the odds are most definitely against him winning the title, but a couple of inter team accidents and a Constructors title almost sewn up, could mean all gloves off with the two increasingly bitter rivals.


160 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 26th August 2014

  1. Hello All,

    This is message from our group of fans of f1. We gave group of 20 people watching and following F1 closely. On average we are fans for 20+ years.

    We wanted to spread a message to teams and other fans that we will stop watching and following F1 completely in case teams attend Sochi GP in Russia.
    It goes against all moral and ethics values to go there for a money and show support to Russian fascist war mongers and occupants and to Putin.

    I also invite all true fans and ethical people to join this proposal and boycott F1 if teams and FOM support war.

    • And ofcourse you will boycott F1, if an american team will join the F1, becuase of ´merica, right?

      • I will probably watch as well – indeed if we are against Russia shouldn’t we close our eyes every time a Marussia or Danny Kvyat comes on screen?

        However, I was thinking this weekend that F1 is taking a lot of risks with where they go and while they have got away with it so far there will be one instance sometime that won’t come off well. The more they get away with the more bolshy they get and the bigger the fall will be when it comes.

    • I support you in your opposition to Putin’s cryptofascist warmongering in Ukraine; invasion + territorial annexation, and am happy to boycott viewing Russian GP from home. Cheers.

  2. Re OTD Lite,
    I did wonder at the time – if Hamilton had recovered to the pits less speedily would the tyre have retained more of its structural integrity and, therefore, caused less damage to the floor. If this were so then, even though he would have lost more time initially, it would surely have given him more of a platform to recover some points from the afternoon.

    • Yeah, I wondered this. But given that a tyre carcase was flapping around, just how slow would he need to go? And how would be know?

      By the way, people saying Hamilton ‘gave up’. Well, others say he doesn’t think of the long game. And, if you watches the times on the F1 site, apart from the odd lap, he was never competitive after he got the new boots.

    • The damage wasn’t only caused by the flaying carcass of the tyre, but also from the car bouncing on the floor. Given that it was a rear tyre that gave way, he had to maintain a certain speed, so as to keep the front right on the road.

      Also he was told to go a certain ‘dif’ setting, which I’d assume had some impact on what speed he could travel at.

      As for time lost, let’s say he went slower and got back to the pits say 20 sec slower. Now given that he was 2 sec a lap faster, that means it would take 10 laps to gain that time back on the car in front, I think was RG. Now he’d still have to make up the 30+ seconds on the guy that was in the last points position. So in all scenarios, his chances of scoring points was never going to happen. I think the team knew that and that’s why they mentioned that there might be a SC. That was the only thing that could’ve helped him.

      But then again, all I’ve said could just be a load of nonsense on my part.

      • …but exactly the sort of nonsense I was wondering myself! Thanks : )
        I’ve seen several drivers over the years try to manage similar situations, with varying degrees of success. I think tyre construction plays a major part, some generations of tyre have been more robust in this respect. However, I think the big killer is how far you have to travel to get back to the pits. I’d hazard a guess that most sector one punctures lead to a DNF.

    • In some cases the rubber runs of the rim instead of beating the car. Tuff luck for him he had a beating one.

  3. I think the Judge has a decent point here – the combination of on track behaviour (Rosberg) and airing of laundry in public (Hamilton) is what is a problem.

    So, why would I still favour Hamilton in this argument? Some of you might say because I am irrationally a Hamilton fan. Maybe so! But, my real argument is this.

    I think Hamilton too often shoots his mouth off. And it annoys me. BUT, it is what he thinks, and I am tired of automatons as sportsmen with “no comment…take every race/game as it comes” drivel. So, a bit like Coulthard, I like that he wears his heart on his sleeve. F1 is a very upper-class / middle-class “do as your elders say” world, and, frankly, I think Hamilton shows the hypocrisy of that world (which, in the case of Rosberg seems to mean liking the sycophantic sneak, I mean, wasn’t it Rosberg who leaked the Merc ‘secret’ test last year?).

    Next, I think Rosberg is the childish one at Spa. Why? Because as I read it, Rosberg is feeling put out by Hamilton’s aggressiveness on the track so has decided the best tactic is to (from behind) try overtakes that risk a crash. I’m not saying he tried to crash! I’m saying that even Wolff’s recollection of the meeting – and the way the Judge repeated the quote – show that Rosberg’s attitude is “I’ll try an overtake when I want, regardless of risk, and if I hit him, it’s not my job to avoid it”. That’s not crashing on purpose as Hamilton interpreted it, but it is putting his car in a risky position to “prove a point”. And, I don’t read Wolff’s comment as denying that. And, I think that’s childish.

    So, in summary, I think Rosberg has behaved like Hamilton did in 2011 – causing incidents because he is under pressure (note to everyone: I am saying Hamilton has really messed up in the past!). The difference is Rosberg is getting away with it, partly by blind luck, but also in my opinion because of the pathetic attitude in F1 which is “it’s better to keep all discussions internal”. Please.

    What Hamilton has actually shown – remember even Wolff says Rosberg said he was “proving a point” and “Rosbergs just said Hamilton had to give way [why?]” – is that Rosberg is a hypocrite. Rosbergs video blog says non of this, and instead hides behind the self-serving principle of “we keep everything private”. How convenient.

    If Rosberg thinks Hamilton is too aggressive, he should do what he has not done once so far this year. Overtake Hamilton in a race and keep the position (again, back to Hungary, maybe he could have managed to try to overtake Hamilton just once…just once!).

    So, on this incident, I’ll agree with Jenson Button 🙂

    • “the combination of on track behaviour (Rosberg) and airing of laundry in public (Hamilton) is what is a problem.”

      I think the on track behaviour of Lewis is exactly what has caused Rosberg to change his tune from earlier on this season. Hamilton is without question the most aggressive of the front runners in F1. The only team mate that Lewis has had in F1 who drives as hard as he does is Alonso, and perhaps now Rosberg.

      Let me put it another way, if you had Jenson Button (and I say this as a JB fan BTW) in either of those Mercs on Sunday that accident doesn’t happen. He either a.) leaves more room if he’s in the Hamilton car, or b.) backs out if he’s in the Rosberg car. That’s why he’ll never be WDC again, and why it took a pretty big car advantage to deliver his title.

      When you have two drivers who are both playing hardball contact is normally the result. That’s why Massa and Hamilton had so much contact, neither would back down.

      To suggest this is the result of one driver, and the other is good as gold on track is somewhat contrived. Personally I’m not a fan of that style of racing (if people want to hit cars, go touring car racing!), but ultimately Rosberg has already learnt what Button never did, to beat Hamilton you’ve got to be willing to put your car in places that ask questions of the other driver. You’ve got to be willing to drive as hard as Lewis to beat Lewis, and be under no false impression here, if the roles were reversed with these two I’ve little doubt the result would have been the same, albeit with less frenzied media and pundits having far less vocal opinions.

      • Hmm, I’m just not convinced by this! I’m not saying Hamilton is as good as gold! I am saying that Rosberg could have avoided the crash and chose not to, so he is to blame. I don'[t care if he felt Hamilton had pushed him around, the way to push back is not to hit your teammate. it is to fairly overtake them, or beat them on the track in a fair fight.

        Rosberg was NOT driving hard, he was driving stupid. There is a difference.

        • “I am saying that Rosberg could have avoided the crash and chose not to, so he is to blame.”

          By the very nature of this though he who backs out/avoids first is the one who loses out all the time. Lewis doesn’t jump out of the way of folks, far from it, that’s why he can cut through the field and why somone like Button actually pulls over and lets him go! People know he’s willing to dive up the inside and expect you to jump out of the way. If Rosberg doesn’t have that in his locker he may as well pack up and go home when he’s racing Lewis in the same car. They’re now both unsure if the other will hit them when passing, whilst previously that was a one way street.

          It’s going to make the last few races fascinating!

          • With the difference that one appears to have the skills to race aggressively, and the other doesn’t – as his clumsy move on Sunday demonstrated (unless you think he crashed deliberately).

            he who backs out/avoids first is the one who loses out all the time
            The pass was never on here – and Hamilton had no way to ‘back out’. It wasn’t a battle of wills; it was just clumsy.

            Looking ahead, with his points lead, Rosberg can happily risk a collision; Hamilton can’t.

            I think Hamilton recognised this at the weekend when he said that maybe this isn’t his year.
            I don’t expect him to back down on the track for one moment, but with an opponent prepared to try moves like this at the beginning of the race, even qualifying on pole for the rest of the season might not be enough.

          • @Nigel exactly, Rosbergs drive early on in Hungary said it all for me, his race craft was terrible, he’s so weak in traffic, and when he does try he often makes a codse of it. Alonso is the master withotu doubt!

          • @Nigel. Yes, the pass was never going to happen, but that’s not the point. The point is Lewis now has reason to believe Nico will NOT be an easy target and may well take them both out rather than give way; that will be very helpful for Nico when push comes to shove. Yes, the move was clumsy but the point was driven home. The rules have changed and it will be an interesting rest of the season.

          • Exactly that Gomer! Exactly that… Hamilton will think twice now before he does a Bahrain or Hungary move on Rosberg… which is good for Rosberg… not so good for us watching though 😛

          • Very well put Paul. Nico has made Lewis think. That is a big deal, and Lewis has already said that, going into Monza, he’s not sure of Nico and making a joke about needing to be ahead of him. That passing attempt by Nico has shown how little Lewis cares about other cars on the track, and what I’m hoping is that Lewis learns from what happened and the two can race each other hard – but leaving racing room. Assuming Mercedes will allow it of course.

      • @paul
        At the start of the race in Canada, Rosberg ran Hamilton off track, Hamilton was slightly ahead before they went into the corner, but he yielded to avoid an accident and didn’t complain about it.
        The talk of leaving a gap to the other car is relative to the track limits and not your car.
        Hamilton clearly left Rosberg more than a car’s width on entry to the corner and even in the corner, he at no time tried to force Rosberg off which he was even entitled to as the momentum he could have carried into that corner could have naturally caused his car to drift outwards.
        It was this careful placement of his car that is in actual fact giving Rosberg the audacity to call it a racing accident.
        Secondly, while it is common practice for drivers to dive down the inside when overtaking, at no time in Hamilton’s F1 career has he not been sensible when another driver is making a passing attempt against him. His accidents have been as a result of other drivers failing to appreciate that that position is lost and living to fight another day.
        E g, Massa and Maldonado Monaco 2011.
        While it is expected a driver can defend his position, but defending so late against a driver already committed to an overtake and deep alongside, is stupid at best and costly in reality.
        Show me an instance where Hamilton has got in the way of a driver trying to get past him and causing an accident.

        • RE: defending, 2011 Japan sticks out, Massa tries to go round the outside, Lewis hits him.

          I’d suggest people look at what happened between Lewis and Massa in Singapore 2011 though, where Hamilton clipped Massa’s rear tyre with his front wing, very very similar to what Nico did. There was no uproar in the press, he wasn’t vilified or boo’d. Why? Because it was a racing incident! Under the old rules where stewards were harsher he got a drive through that day, one which a large percentage of fans said it was unfair.

          Take this for example:

          “No one wants to see Lewis abandon the aggressive, charging driving style that makes him the most exciting driver in F1.”

          Contrast with the reaction to Rosberg, prior to Nico allegedly saying he was making a point – the crowd was already booing before the meeting even took place!

          Massive difference to the reaction. Two racing incidents, neither of which I like to see, but those who suggest the media are against Lewis need only look at that, and the Hungary team orders and compare with Singapore 2011 & Multi 21 to show that Lewis gets a very very decent press reaction. It’s those inconsistencies which really frustrate me, I’m not a Nico fan, not a Lewis fan and I’m certainly not excessively biased for/against any driver. That’s why the lack of consistency (much like other sports tbf) really grates!

        • “Hamilton clearly left Rosberg more than a car’s width on entry to the corner and even in the corner”

          No I disagree with that, and the outcome proves that Hamilton did not leave any room at all – in fact the Sky footage clip showed Hamilton was on the normal racing line when the contact was made, so he wasn’t giving any room at all.

      • Lewis usually gives his opponents the option to let him by (or not to pass him) or have an accident.

        There is no arguing he is decisive but he is maybe a bit too aggressive at times.

        Nico tried to do the same and failed miserably. Like the wimpy kid who decides to stand up to the school bully and ends up with a bloody nose.

        The only thing he did wrong was to think that the school bully in this case would back down if someone stood up to him. His only consolation is that the bully got a detention but he ended up looking a right prat in to the bargain…

        • Excellent analogy.. This would also explain Nico’s body language immediately after the race: wimpy kids get very scared when they try to stand up to the school bully.

          • Lol you do go on… I saw a defiant look on the podium, but that’s neither here nor there. Wouldn’t the analogy be the apparent “wimpy” kid took on the apparent “bully” on track (school yard)… where the “bully” came off worse (retired)? Doesn’t retireing whilst your team mate gets an additional 18 points mean he came off worse? Didn’t Lewis state he doesn’t know how to approach the next race (fear)? Lol I find it funny to see how in any way Lewis is the victor in this situation, irrespective of intent of the drivers.

  4. So Hamilton & Rosberg, I’ve watched all the replays and listened to comments.

    My view? Racing Incident.

    As the drivers approach the corner Lewis defends (contrary to him saying to media that he didn’t know Nico was there… why defend otherwise champ?). That means Rosberg is on the racing line upon corner entry, and tries to hang it out round the outside. Hamilton taking the defensive line, sweeps across the track closing the door. As he does so you’ll see Rosberg see him coming, and swerve to avoid wheel to wheel contact – I think contact as that point would have taken them both out of the race. Rosberg then turns back in (I think he has to start turning at that point, otherwise he’s headed for a ride over the kerb!), contact is made. Contact that benefits neither driver. There was no way NR could know that clipping Hamilton’s car would puncture the tyre, chances of him damaging his car and not Lewis’s were very high. Plus Nico only caught Hamiltons car by about 2 or 3″ of the front wing. Given they can’t see these things, is his judgement really that good? Alonsos isn’t!

    So how could it be avoided?

    1.) Rosberg backs down immediately. That said, if Rosberg always bails out of moves when Lewis moves across it basically says he’s a #2. I’m 99.9% sure that’s why Rosbergs ‘point’ was, rather than intent to hit Lewis. That said, this is a corner than Nico was highly unlikely to make a move stick on, the guy on the outside needs some space to make it work.

    2.) Lewis doesn’t sweep across the track when defending from his team mate. I think this kind of driving is all fine when you’re racing another team, but your team mate, that’s damn hard racing. The examples that stick in my mind are Hamilton running Rosberg out of road in Hungary (on the limit of fair play, same applies for Kimi who did similar), Nico doing the same at T1 in Canada, Bahrain Rosberg having to take avoiding action to prevent his front right wheel from getting smacked as LH swept across in front of him.

    3.) Team orders.
    I don’t think anyone wants to see these implemented. Seeing the Merc guys race is about the only entertaining thing in this title fight given they have the biggest car advantage I’ve seen in the sport for something like 20 years.

    Merc have a real headache with this one. It’s no where near as clear cut as most media suggest, as there is a lot of history behind it. I’m unsure how they will deal with it, it’s not like RBR where most of Webbers issue was that his team mate was just faster.

    Rosberg, ultimately isn’t as fast over 20 races as Lewis, although Hamilton out of the top drivers is the one with most contact. Lewis though is outspoken, having already suggested his teammate is cheat, the team are stupid and now starts telling the media about internal meetings, Nico is far calmer and more diplomatic.

    I do wonder if Spa 2014 will be like Spa 2012, the straw that broke the camels back, and perhaps this will be the last season we see Hamilton at Mercedes?

    Roll on Monza for more fun and games!

    • I do see the logic of this, I really do. But, in this case, I see no sweeping from Hamilton. Once he took his position on the inside he stuck with it, kept a constant line (no excessive going wide or jerks like Bahrain or Hungary), and most of all, once he is ‘sweeping’ into Rosberg, Rosberg is on Hamilton’s back wheel, not close to alongside, so the responsibility to avoid the crash is Rosbergs – after all he can see everything (bar his front wing).

      My take, overall, is that is an incident where Rosberg had significantly more ability to avoid the knock than Hamilton, and was very optimistic, and that in most racing – as Button has suggested – drivers would not expect to have to make room there, when someone is so optimistic (this is why Button was pissed off with Hamilton in the aftermath of Germany, before looking again).

      I DO agree, that Hamilton has pushed the limit in the past, and this year. But the point remains he has NOT hit Rosberg, or ever hit a teammate, and in this case was more compliant than in the past.

      I don’t think Rosberg tried to hit Hamilton. But, I do think he didn’t care if he did, with clumsy inept overtaking. He could just have easily have slid into Vettel as well.

      By the way, your point about leaving Merc is an intriguing once people have raised. One view is no driver leaves a winning car. Me? whilst F1 would not like it, I’d love Hamilton to say “I don’t know if I want to stay in a team in which I cannot be sure if my teammate, in a mood, will be careless and will run into me”. I guess everyone would say that’s childish? I’d think it is a good point 🙂

      • Of course, he has hit a teammate, Button in ’11. But, he was criticsed for it then (though, I do believe even the Judge has doubts about how innocent Button was).

      • “Rosberg is on Hamilton’s back wheel, not close to alongside, so the responsibility to avoid the crash is Rosbergs – after all he can see everything (bar his front wing).”

        Where did Hamilton think Rosberg was when he made the turn to the left? It’s an important point. He couldn’t see Rosberg in the mirror. Did he think Rosberg had run off the track? Did he think he had evaporated into steam? Or did he just simply not think about Rosberg at all?

  5. On the Spa incidente, the laughable thing of it all, is that so many lines have been written to:
    (i) Absolve Rosberg of any wrongdoing
    (ii) That it’s just a racing incident
    (iii) That Hamilton is responsible too
    (iv) Hamilton’s mental state and airing the laundry out in the open, etc

    Yet, not a single line about how really ‘mentally strong’ Rosberg is.

    The season had started and everyone was saying that Hamilton is faster, has the better racecraft, but he’s mentally weak. While Rosberg is intelligent, very clever, mentally strong, steady Eddie.

    I’m going to make a statement here and say that when it comes to mental strength, the opposite starts to emerge. Let me back this up.
    Hamilton has been on the hunt all season, he had 4 retirements in race or qualifying versus one for Rosberg. He’s been on the back foot all the time and he could have easily broken up by now.
    What happened at Spa though, showed me that Rosberg starts to crack a little. Why admit to your bosses that you did not avoid collision in purpose so as to prove a point? Wouldn’t it be clever to apologise and then go and whisper to Lewis’ ears “You know I wasn’t clumsy! You won’t be pushing me around!” Can you imagine what that would have done in Lewis’ head. It would manifest in paranoia, a monster that would ear him alive. Lewis would then come out to the public and ‘cry wolf’ only to get reprimanded by the Merc bosses and appear as the bad guy trying to blame Nico for a racing incident.

    So from that Spa incident that’s the one thing that baffles me the most. Why did Rosberg admit to (effectively) wrong-doing in front of his bosses? Why attack the British fans? Why risk being seen as the bad guy?
    My guess? He cracked a little bit. He thought Lewis will just take a win, decrease their difference to 4 points and then might go on to win the title.

    • I agree with this, especially the final sentence. It think he saw the ‘red mist’ “he’s got this win…I can’t back down” which is mentally weak. I’m convinced the same thing happened in Monaco. it was a split second “I’ve messed up this lap…why not park it”.

      I have never though Hamilton was mentally weak. Just a numpty when he speaks sometimes (jnfuratingly so) 🙂 I think in 2011 for all his fame he was not happy in his life and not thinking clearly (so, yes, not great at all). But, in ’12 he never gave in, and this year, though nearly “throwing his toys out of the pram” he would not have come back in Britain (lucky to win…but flying at the time), Germany and particularly Hungary, if mentally ‘weak’.

      • “I’m convinced the same thing happened in Monaco. it was a split second “I’ve messed up this lap…why not park it”.”

        See, I can’t really take anyone seriously when they spout something like this. It’s ridiculous.

        • One question. Who gave up on the lap at Silverstone and who decided to press on regardless of how slow the opening sector was?

          • And the guy who didn’t give up is the guy currently 29 points ahead in the championship…

    • I can understand that this is what you like to believe, but in reality Lewis is on the backfoot. He already said that he doesn’t know what to expect from Nico in a fight now. So far he knew that Nico backed off if he just chopped him hard enough, but Nico can now ‘afford’ a DNF and still be ahead, so Lewis has to cut back on agressiveness or risk losing another truckload of points.
      Nico can afford a second tangle. For Lewis it could lose him the WDC for good. Who of them is under bigger pressure. Unless Merc will blatantly interfer (retiring Nico’s car) Lewis came out of it massively worse.

      • Yes, FH. Nico lost this battle, but now looks more likely to win the war. Hamilton can’t afford to lose any more points as it will effectively end his chances.

        Although, Nico cannot afford to end his teammates race because otherwise he will feel the wrath of Toto “The Terminator” Wolff. Not sure which would scare me more…

      • Agree 100%! I don’t mean Hamilton isn’t under enormous pressure, or that Rosberg hasn’t got the upper hand because he can crash.

        I just meant, it’s a very unprincipled way of getting the upper hand. And, is largely blind luck (and incompetence). He could have lost his nose and Hamilton been fine.

      • I think you missed the point I was trying to make. Yes, Lewis is in the backfoot NOW, but not before the race and certainly not after lap 1. Rosberg not avoiding a collision and admitting it in front of his bosses show a little crack in his mental armour pre-race. That’s what I’m trying to say.

      • I agree with most of what you’re saying, except I don’t think Rosberg can truly afford a DNF with there being 50 points available for the last race, even though this would put more pressure on Hamilton than himself. I suppose Rosberg really has to open up a 51+ points lead before he can relax, in case his DNF comes in the last race.
        If Hamilton can keep him pegged at 49, and practices doing ‘psycho-eyes’ for Nico, and starts humming every time Nico starts talking…

      • @Fat Hippo

        “He already said that he doesn’t know what to expect from Nico in a fight now.”

        Of everything to pour out of this Belgian post race mess, that sentiment from Lewis, to me, is the most telling and important comment. And certainly from the perspective of trying to read the tea leaves and look forward.

        As an ex-sports competitor (and this isn’t driver specific, anyone here who has truly competed one-on-one with a rival at a high level in any sport will identify with the rest of this comment), the fact Lewis feels this way is critical. Now I take that statement as to how Lewis feels at face value, given his much admired heart-on-the-sleeve and openly truthful (from his perspective) modus operandi. And I don’t think anything any team seniors (including Lauda) can say to him will adjust or halt the growing cancerous sporting fear he mentioned.

        What this means is, yet again, either via design or accident (you know my view on that, it’s not the point of this comment)) is that Lewis has something extra non-performance related to consider on his concious mind. Nico has changed to rules of engagement again. Lewis now has something that will ‘change’ his racing approach, which is highly destructive at this level. He may even become more aggressive, and not nessecarily more passive, but that’s “change” and it’s a fine line balancing agression and submission, both of which are needed. Lewis is forced to continue to reactively fight this title, as he has since Monaco, unlike Nico who decided after Spain to proactively fight it. To be on the front foot so to speak.

        Make of my observations and experiences what you will. [MOD] I have however found evidence suggesting a reactive Hamilton, and unhappy and/or paranoid Hamilton, falls into a pit of inconsistency and turmoil. That to me is mental weakness and that weakness is costing perhaps a better talent (jury is out for me though) the title in the best car. And right now, consistency is what he needs to close that near 30 point gap.

        Lastly, if you are provoked by this comment. It’s a reflection of you. This comment is not deliberately provocative in the sense that I don’t believe what I am saying.



      • He already said that he doesn’t know what to expect from Nico in a fight now.

        That’s not quite what he said.

        “When you’re out there you have to trust people to think with their heads and not do things deliberately,” he said.
        “But after that meeting I don’t really know how to approach the next race.”

        I think he well knows what to expect from Rosberg; aggressive driving without the requisite skill or control.

        I’m pretty sure he’ll have decided how to cope with that by next weekend. There’s no benefit to be gained by not defending position on track.
        You’re right that Rosberg can better afford a collision in terms of the championship, but so what ? Surrendering position isn’t going to help that.
        The only way to avoid him is to leave him well behind on the track.

          • Well, the fact that Nico hit him from behind would imply that he was traveling at a higher velocity at the time, wouldn’t you say? Hamilton wasn’t out of the DRS zone by lap2 so he did not leave him behind on the track fast enough 😉

    • Totally agree. He had won most of the mental games up until now, where he looked like a broken man on the podium. I’ve seen happier people paying a speeding fine.

          • Well I know them all personally. Invited to all their masonic ritual parties…

            I was stopped one evening years ago as i drove through a 40mph zone at 72. The officer said I’d been doing 92. I refused and argued. He was setting up video tape and said, my apologies it was 72.

            I agreed to that.

            He begins writing out ticket and asks where am I off to. Said I’m off home to get race car on to trailer as racing at Silverstone tomorrow. We chatted about it, he screwed up ticket he’d written and said, “Me giving you this ticket won’t make any difference will it?” I replied no. Have fun tomorrow and keep your speed on the track…

            LOL 😉

    • “Lewis’ ears “You know I wasn’t clumsy! You won’t be pushing me around!”…..

      I would hope he got up and punched him in his face!

  6. Re: Vettel
    Have Red Bull ‘locked in’ Rocky? He got promoted, but is it real or a way to keep him from leaving (to ?? Ferrari) with Vettel?

      • So is that a way to keep Vettel in the team for the long term, i.e. look, your engineer will be head of trackside ops now so you’ll be OK in the future, we’ll be backing you all the way just like in the pre-Ric days.

        • On the contrary. I think it is a sign that Vettel is on his way out. Why would they take away his engineer whom he has built a trusting relationship with. They could certainly have poached someone more experienced to do the half-a-Newey gig.

          • In that case, Vettel is offski to Macca-Honda. Guess what, I’ll have to start supporting your fave driver if that happens 😉

          • I’m curious FH what happens if young Seb slides into a Macca or a limping horse next year. Does your affection go with the lad or will you still support RBR?

          • You always support the team your preferred driver is going to, to a degree, although in case of Macca it would be a VERY understated support as I think Macca is what Red Bull is always accused of – an organization that’s in it for nothing else but the money and promo.
            If he goes to Fezza, which frankly I think is more likely. I’ve always been a tentative supporter of the Reds since the days of Alesi, since they built the most beautiful cars back in the day. But in recent years that has cooled off a bit, mainly due to thinks like Austria 2003 and Austin 2012.

          • Have they built a trusting relationship? I got the impression more than once that Rocky would like to lamp him one for being an idiot and not doing what he was asked or told to do….

            It was mentioned though that Seb had the choice of replacement so I’d say that is less of a sign that he will be off soon or is unhappy.

  7. I love Autosport’s self-congratulatory “AUTOSPORT can reveal”.
    Ex-team principal Martin Whitmarsh formally parts ways with McLaren

    They definitely should go out more often, as TJ13 revealed this a couple of weeks back:

    Judge, what next for Whitmarsh? Any rumors on that? Any chance he could pop up elsewhere, say in Enstone (given that McLaren has already payed him handsomely and he would not need any additional pay for years to come)?

      • I still feel it’s sad the way he got tossed..

        But the way McLaren are still anemically trying to recover, good riddance. He single-handedly decided to junk McLaren’s fastest-of-the-grid car from 2012, bring in the technically inapt and attitude impaired Perez, and keep on the technically inept Button; all against the better judgment of Big Ron. If it were for him, McLaren would still be in 2014 with Button and Perez..

        I know Big Ron and Sidekick Eric are getting a lot of eggs on their faces in these quarters, but sofar they’re still mostly dealing with what they’ve inherited from Whitmarsh. Just as the Leprechaun is still benefiting from good old Saint Ross’ work. Soon enough though it will be their responsibility, fair and square.

          • Well, a mischievous little Leprechaun to the very beginning. Big Ron must have been delighted that he didn’t even need to fight to fire the Leprechaun. But even so, Whitmarsh should have known better than to go along with that “Machiavellian” scheme..

  8. “Imagine your goalkeeper misjudges a ball and you lose the game 0:1 and then the bosses acted like Lauda did“

    Right, because that’s how incidents between 2 drivers work in F1, like in football with a round ball…especially if the goalkeeper comes out to say he might have caught the ball, but decided not to, in order to prove a point.

    This Rosberg defending is astonishing and pathetic.

    Everybody down the paddock has laid the blame on Rosberg, even Button and Massa of all people, who most certainly don’t qualify as Hamilton fanboys.

    It’s no so much about the small misjudgement Rosberg made, but about it’s implications and the fact that he cost the team massively and eliminated his championship rival. Add to that the horrible race he had, flat-spotting his new tires and not being able to win a race with a car 1-2 seconds a lap faster.

    It was an absolute mess of a race for Mercedes because of Rosberg’s actions and no matter if you deny that or not, Lauda and Wolff had every right to hang him out to dry.

    And as if that weren’t enough, Rosberg’s still the one who gets furious in the race debrief while simultanously not offering any explanation or defence to his cause to the press and refusing to apologize.

    Yet all of this is actually Hamilton’s, Lauda’s and Wolff’s collective fault, that’s what the Judge and FH would have you believe……….

    • “Everybody down the paddock has laid the blame on Rosberg, even Button and Massa of all people, who most certainly don’t qualify as Hamilton fanboys.”

      Untrue. The opinions among current and former F1 drivers are fairly divided, too. Surer and Coulthatrd for instance say it was a normal race incident.

      • That is definitely not what Coulthard is saying – here as his words:

        “As far as the incident goes, I still have to believe – despite the boos of the crowd in Spa – in the sporting integrity of Nico. You cannot premeditate giving someone a puncture. In my career I probably lost my wing like that 10 times, because you literally cannot see the front of the car.
        The stewards seemed to make the right call, but there should be another avenue or punishment open to them. This is not a normal racing incident.
        Through no fault of Lewis’s, he has been dumped out of a race and lost a whole bunch of points in the championship. There must be a way of recognising this is an extraordinary incident with consequences far greater than a bump lower down the field.
        Even if the contact was clumsy more than anything else, there was an element of stubbornness to what Nico did. He had been slapped in the face by Lewis in Bahrain, he had been slapped in the face in Hungary, and he perhaps felt the need to show he would not be easily pushed around.
        Of course, this collision will make some review what happened in Monaco qualifying, but for now I do not think Nico showed any malice in what he did.
        If it happens a third time? We may begin to consider him a driver in the mould of his former team-mate Michael Schumacher, who went to astonishing lengths to win.“

        Taken from his column –


        I don’t think the opinions of the paddock are *fairly divided* at all, I’m willing to bet there’s a strong consensus about who’s to blame for what happened, irrespective of the ‘deliberate or not’ issue.

          • Grosjean, Spa 2012 – it’s quite a recent example you know.

            Mistakes by negligence have always been judged by the seriousness of their consequences, I thought you as a *Judge* would know that.

          • I recall plenty of people who put the blame for that crash at the start of Belgium 2012 on Hamilton, and absolved Grosjean of any blame. There’s no doubting that Hamilton does weird things to some people.

      • @FH I think one problem here is that folks are conflating responsibility which lies on Nico’s shoulder with punishment, which clearly is an internal Merc matter and didn’t rise to FIA level under the new standards.

        Thus the contact can be both a racing incident, i.e. not serious/egregious enough to warrant a penalty and still be Nico’s responsibility from Merc’s point of view.

        W/R/T the football analogy, Merc would have had telemetry and full knowledge of what was agreed to by both drivers pre-race which could very well account for them putting on their judgey-pants so early in the game.

      • The opinions among current and former F1 drivers are fairly divided, too

        When even Massa (!) is blaming Rosberg, that’s a bit of a stretch.

        • So massa decides whether all drivers think the same? And does it even matter who’s to blame? It was a racing incident, caused by Rosberg (by popular vote) but not worthy of a penalty (by decision of FIA). So even if Putin is to blame for it – what difference does it make?

          • Given Massa and Hamilton’s history, I thought his opinion not insignificant.

            And does it even matter who’s to blame
            In case it had escaped your notice, I was replying to a point you had made. If its so irrelevant, why did you bother?

          • You were disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing as far as I can tell. The incident happened and even if everybody says it was Rosberg’s fault – it was Rosbergs fault in an accident, that nobody deemed worthy of investigation – well except the rabid Hamilton crowd, who think that if they cry loud enough they’re gonna turn back time. Doesn’t happen. Lewis lost – deal with it.

    • I am always astonished by how people take in information.

      “Everything we hear is an opinion not a fact, everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius 121-180AD

      • Great quote Carlo. It fascinates me, more than astonishes me though. Very little astonishes me nowadays.

        FYI: I saw your old F-Ford. Red of course! Such a Ferrari supporter. I drove that model Van Deimen once. Old but a nice rear suspension assembly. Great off corners. Was testing in an older car after karts before I committed to a two season F-Ford stint. I initially leased an RF96 with a state team team, and then in yr 2 bought an RF01 (which I won the state title in) remaining with same team. Did a few Nat rounds too.

        Q: What was your best quali time around Silverstone and which circuit layout was it? Weather too pls. I was lucky once to have a run in a FFord at Silverstone.


      • everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius 121-180AD

        That’s only because old Marcus didn’t have video evidence,

    • Second race on the bounce where Merc drivers have cost each other, and ergo the team, points.

      If I was Toto I’d be very annoyed with them. Equally though from both drivers perspectives I understand it.

      The joys of not supporting Rosberg nor Hamilton ! 🙂

    • It is Mercedes fault because the drivers should have been brought to heel much earlier this year….

      If they’d used a little imagination they could have played a recording of ‘the bear’ across pit to car radio…. “Negative Nico…. Negative”

      But of course Paddy has filled all the gaps Ross Brawn left unattended….

  9. Just a thought about Lewis, and i am a fan of the driver, not the man. But looking back, has he ever really outshone any of his team mates, apart from Heiki? I beginning to wonder if its a bit of Mark Webber syndrome, with a lot his reputation being built on one event, in Marks case scoring a point in a minardi, and in lewis’s case, braking even on points with Alonso in his first season. Both are fine drivers, but where as Mark realised this and said so openly, I wonder in Lewis’s case, if being told he is the fastest driver, believed the hype and this is why he is struggling psychologically to deal with Rosberg beating him on speed. I actually believe he is faster than Rosberg, it’s just that he’s falling apart mentally.

      • What’s worse, falling apart mentally, or bits of the car exploding / dropping off? How many mental mistakes has Hamilton made this year vs. how often something has broken on the car?

        • If Hamilton would just keep his mouth shut, people would stop screaming he’s mentally weak. Like Rosberg does basically, as he doesnt seem all that mentally stable to me. Rosberg is the one who had to cheat/force good results 3 times (Monaco, Bahrain, Spa). Hamilton cheated once in Spain to respond to Rosberg.

    • With all due respect Jamie, but Hamilton has proven himself over the years, he’s not a fluke. In this sport you cannot stay at the top and regarded as one of the best of the era just by ‘hype’ and ‘reputation’ for too long. Sooner rather than later they will find you out.
      If Vettel for example carries on with this year’s performances for the next few years he will eventually be seen as another Damon Hill, Villeneuve or Button. Just that his dominant car lasted longer. Don’t think that this will happen with Vettel, but just to illustrate my point.
      Stats, numbers, titles, team-mate comparisons, all these tell only half the story. Unless you live in a given era and follow the races, you cannot have the full picture.

      • I don’t disagree he works mircales sometimes, but so did Mark Webber, it was only against Vettel did he look ordinary.

        Its just a thought thats all, i think he’s bought into his own hype a little and thats why he’s struggling more than anything else. I still think if you had to bet your house on of two drivers to do something special in a rubbish car, you’d pick him or alonso, just Alonso seems to of matured and hardly ever drops the ball these days.

        • That is very true. Yet again Alonso has the full backing of Ferrari and a Massa that was clearly a no 2. If a team nurtures a great driver, then they work wonders and overachieve. This happened with Schumacher, Alonso at Renault and Ferrari, Button at Brawn, Vettel at RBR, even with Lewis when he was partnered with Heikki.

          • Good call, I often wonder how much the backing of team effects a driver, JPM at Mclaren, HHF at Williams, I think if Williams gave DH thier full backing, he might of been 2, maybe 3 time world champ, other drivers just don’t care, Irvine, Webber, or at least it effects them less, even Prost won in what could be perceived to be a hostile environment.

    • Is he falling apart or his car is falling apart?
      His driving has not been affected by any emotional breakdown despite being under a lot of pressure to break.

  10. What promised to be a report on the MB situation in the “fatherland” turned into the usual myopic ramblings we’ve come to expect from that author.
    How about a real round up of what the German press has to say, however unfavorable it may be to Rosberg?

    • There are a number of articles on the subject on the Auto Motor und Sport website.
      None of them absolves Rosberg of any blame, nor do they point out that the team is to blame. Rosberg gets a 5 out of 10 rating for his weekend.

      But of course, none of this is worthy of mention here.

        • Well I’d be happy to, but whoever wrote the article above did a bit of improvisation seeing as it’s stated that:

          ‘when it comes to the embarrassing farce […] has been met with universal disapproval back home in Deutschland’ – which is untrue.

          • Personally I tend to get myself a hefty provision of salt whenever I sense hippo scribblings.. Unfortunately they rarely strive for impartiality..

          • Ok… So help us out… I’ll get John Myburgh our PM to contact you… If it’s just an hour a week you can give…. That’s great…

          • Tell me one publication in Germany that didn’t say that Lauda’s and Wolff’s immediate public slating of Rosberg was ‘good’. Most made it clear that they didn’t think much of it.

    • The usual hateful drivel of that reader. You noticed the author and decided that you don’t really need to know what the article is about. It was never meant to be a press roundup.

  11. “Button for example is disappointed that it’s not a cleaner fight on track, which sums up his career and fortuitous title perfectly and possibly explains why Honda are looking to get one of the true superstars aboard.”

    Bit harsh on Jenson, what does his supposed credentials have to do with his opinion on the crash? It was just poor judgement by Rosberg, but seeing a clean fight between the two rivals without any dirty tactics is surely what the majority of fans and drivers want to see.

    Also while his speed is probably on the wane now, he fully deserved the 2009 title – he showed a clean pair of heels to Rubens, making the most of a car advantage which rapidly vanished over the season – his drive in Brazil to claim it was top drawer. Two of Vettel’s four were in my opinion easier title wins.

    • Button and Hamilton had multiple dogfights without damaging each other once. Button has actually shown how to race clean and effective. Rosberg hasn’t. The only thing Rosberg has ever shown is raw speed.

      But of course Button gets the criticism.

  12. I’ll steer clear of all the Rosberg / Hamilton stuff because frankly I don’t care…

    But, all the talk about Ricciardo having a shot at the title….

    Well, maybe in another season he would, but with the Renault fiasco at the start of the season they must be on the verge of running out of working bits and be on the way to a penalty before much longer.

    It’s a crying shame as it could have been a great finale to the season and would also be another reason why the parts limits should have been relaxed a little for this first season.

    • Dan is only the longest of long shots to take home the choccies this year. He and his car are merely the best of the rest – no mean feat in itself, but no-one should get too carried away. The guys in the silver pyjamas would have to resort to playing bumper cars in the remaining seven races for Dan to come close. And I don’t think the MB reliability is going to head south rapidly enough to stack up DNFs at the required rate to blow the WDC for Lewis and / or Nico. And also, as pointed out by Hughesy above, I’d be surprised if a few substantial grid penalties aren’t headed RBR’s way as their sanctioned parts bin runs dry. Excrement – inclined surface – sharp stick.
      Ricciardo has been lucky this year – doors have been opened by MB stumbles. However luck favours the prepared and the persistent so his wins have genuine merit.

    • At this moment in time, it’s Vettel that is surefire for a penalty at least, possibly along with Daniil Kvyat. But what the first two races did is put Ricciardo at a disadvantage – take those two out, and the standings look like this (giving Dan 3rd at Bahrain, from not starting with a 10 place grid penalty):

      Rosberg 177, 8 podiums, 3 wins – 1 retirement (gearbox)
      Hamilton 166, 8 podiums, 4 wins – 2 retirements (brakes, puncture)
      Ricciardo 159, 7 podiums, 3 wins

      Considering the car deficit that Ricciardo has, he’s easily the outstanding driver this year. He’s capitalised on 3 Mercedes errors to basically tie them on points. It’s also noticeable that Rosberg was ‘lucky’ for all 3 of his wins: Monaco Q3 yellow, Austria Lewis Q3 mistakes, Germany Lewis Q2 car fail.

      Alonso 97, 2 podiums
      Bottas 96, 4 podiums, 1 retirement (engine)
      Vettel 83, 1 podium, 2 retirements (car)

      IMO, with 2015 engine development from RB in at Viry, we could have the follow up to 1984-5: 1986, i.e. one driver sneaks it in the dominant car. Said driver is then the dominant one in the team, if they stick together that is. But once the next team catches up (and swap them around) – it’s the one leading driver that will win the title as the would-be dominant two take points off each other..

      PS. If we give Ricciardo 2x 4th places for the first two races, and re-instate Hamilton’s lost win at Melbourne, we have:

      Hamilton 216, 6 wins – 2 retirements (brakes, puncture)
      Rosberg 213, 3 wins – 1 retirement (gearbox)
      Ricciardo 180, 3 wins

      Ricciardo’s season thus looks a lot like Hamilton’s debut 2007. 4ths, 3rds, breakthrough win mid-season, followed by first ‘poor’ results of 8th and 6th. His formerly dominant team-mate is also looking out of sorts from recent changes.

      Rosberg’s move now takes on the significance of allowing him to claw Hamilton back to level pegging in the title hunt, after his gearbox failure in Silverstone let Hamilton get back to where he was pre-Canada failure. A 3 point deficit thus matches Austria as the closest Rosberg has gotten to the points lead.

      However, if we give Nico Melbourne and Hamilton 2nd, then Canada puts him ahead by 4, 11 after Austria, 14 behind after GB, 4 behind after Germany, with Hungary making it 7. But now, Nico would be ahead again by 11, with Hamilton’s maximum lead only 21 ahead after Spain and not 35.

      Considering that under all scenarios, Lewis hasn’t had a clean weekend since his maximum lead in Spain, it has to be said that Rosberg’s plan is working….

      • I.e. in the top example Dan would have an excellent chance if anything happened in Abu Dhabi. In the lower one, he’s still within striking distance, while for now he’s just slightly outside of it…

        • Just to work out how close Mercedes came to really needing team orders! Who could have predicted Ricciardo to still be within striking distance, with no retirements, if there was a Senna-Prost collision at Abu Double?

          An interesting finding is how far back on points Vettel then is.. for me he’s equalled DR pretty much most of the time (with 3 races written off from early car failures). But Ricciardo’s winning mentality is really marking him out as a future champion, a ‘grower’ like Webber that might have the ultimate potential of Vettel 11-13 (i.e. best on the grid, if not arguably that this year).

  13. I hate to carry on about Ros / Ham as even I;m getting a bit bored. But, not being a troll I promise…

    But I do like Joe Sawards take :)…


    “…showing Lewis, presumably, that he cannot always treat the race track as his own territory as he tends to do in a fight…Perhaps it was a smart thing to do, to lay down a marker and try to destabilize Lewis some more, but the execution was flawed when it came to the media because an annoyed Hamilton saw no reason to lay the game any longer. If Rosberg was going to resort to dubious tactics, Lewis was going to make sure the world understood….

    “…So no action was taken because the FIA did not see the need and no team asked for the incident to be looked into because, even in the oft-bizarre F1 world teams are still smart enough not to be protesting themselves.

    However the post-race revelations end up making the FIA look foolish, because there was a level of intent that had been completely overlooked up in Race Control…”

    “As for Rosberg, the incident serves only to demolish his carefully-constructed image that he is a jovial boy-next-door kind of figure. And it raises questions about the incident in qualifying in Monaco, and the jumped chicane in Montreal. Lewis is a tough competitor, but he generally plays it fair. There’s nothing underhand about him.”

    I know that last point from Joe one will go without comment!) 🙂

    • I agree, although the parallels with 79 look set to continue, as pointed out by Carlo. Especially if team orders come in to lock down the title for the slightly slower, if more reliable, driver at Monza..

      • Even I smiled at that 🙂

        Yeah, maybe, in quoting Joe S, I did miss the bit where he describes Hamilton as having a “Peter Pan” like innocence.

        Of course though, in the end Forest gets what he wants.

  14. Driver for McLaren:
    From my point of view it will be the Mercedes driver, who will not win the championchip, regardless of contracted or not.
    But in any case, both of them will fail to be WDC, it will be Hamiltion, who will for sure not sign any contract with Merc soon.

    • I highly doubt Mercedes is beating down his door offering an extension.

      I stated a while ago there might be a possibility Lewis could walk away from F1, if not just for a year, in frustration and indignation. If he loses the title, and the fight gets worse, and he feels cheated, I think that speculation I contributed from post Monaco gets much more likely.

      • Would amend if he feels cheated by the team. He seems to have a real paranoia if he thinks the team are not playing fair, and I would hold up his radio calls in Spain as an example. Otherwise, he generally seems to bounce back between races fairly well, no matter how shattered he looks on Sundays.

        If he feels cheated by Rosberg fairly certain he might stick around just to have another go, unless convinced one of the other teams would be a proper competitor to Merc.

      • I’d like to see a Bottas/Hamilton swap, at least then I could get behind team and driver as frankly I don’t like Mercedes at all as a team, and never did. I’d love to see a Lewis/Williams pairing, but I’m damn sure Frank wouldn’t stump up the cash, he’d be pretty straight on who drives for whom, and it would be very amusing having Lewis and Felipe as team mates.

        Rosbergs ‘its not appropriate for me to… vomit’ responses certainly have him in the teams favour, but its pretty clear not everyone is happy, hence the boo’s. So what do we think from a marketing point of view is best, a wild cannon that is the F1 driver equivalent of Marnite, or a PR preened machine that has less appeal either way, and is currently getting booed?

  15. Soap Opera is exactly what F1 is this year. Might as well watch it knowing it is that, I’ll get even less emotionally invested.

  16. Something tells me, given the news from Eric Ijaz, sorry Boullier, about McLarens LT driver plan, that an article on McLaren’s future drivers sounds like a perfect article for TJ13.

    I would offer to do it myself, but quite frankly just don’t have the time at the moment to do it, unfortunately.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.