#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 29th August 2014

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Previously on TheJudge13:

#F1 History: Part 2: Juan Manuel Fangio and the Lancia-Ferrari D50

TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Episode 2

The #F1 Bar Exam: 28 August 2014


OTD Lite: 2004 – Mclaren finally emerge from self-inflicted doom

Jordan attacks Mercedes management

Ferrari looking to Haas for F1 ‘satellite’ team

Teen Verstappen ‘not ready’ for 2015 debut – Hakkinen

Caterham on the brink of extinction

Niki Lauda changes tune – again


OTD Lite: 2004 – Mclaren finally emerge from self-inflicted doom

If you have Adrian Newey on board then success is guaranteed; or so the popular opinion is within Formula One. But whatever the truth about Mclaren’s fabled matrix system, Newey at Mclaren failed miserably once Rory Byrne and Ferrari came on song.

In their desperation to counter what many believed was a perfect Ferrari system, Newey developed ideas that pushed the boundaries of physics into esoteric realms with the experiments culminating in the abject failure called the MP4/19. A reworking of the previous seasons MP4/18 proved no more competitive and Mclaren undertook a hugely expensive campaign to build the 19B which debuted in France.

pa200414006_corr_

On this day, Kimi Raikkonen took the vastly improved ‘B’ spec car to victory in Belgium. Starting the race from 10th position, safety cars and cold conditions aided his drive to the front. Of particular importance for his win was the fact that the Michelins had vastly quicker heating up properties in comparison to the Bridgestones on the Ferrari. At the restart, Raikkonen passed a slithering Schumacher and romped away to victory.

Schumacher began to close once his tyres had reached their operating temperature but failed by three seconds to take victory. The Mclaren victory was only the second time that season that Schumacher had failed to win a race – a scarcely unbelievable twelve victories from fourteen races.

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Jordan attacks Mercedes management

In Italy, they have Giancarlo Minardi. In Canada they have been blessed with Jacques Villeneuve but for our sins in the UK we have the imported lunacy that is known as Eddie Jordan.

There are times his questions failed to make sense to even his co-hosts, leaving Jake Humphrey and David Coulthard smirking whilst they attempted to recover some broadcasting ability. It can only be imagined what the BBC executives thought when he introduced one of the most famous musicians of the last fifty years, Paul Mcartney, as deceased fellow band member George Harrison.

Yet at times, his nuggets of insider information have left people bemused with his audacity and then staggered by his accuracy. For instance he was one of the first to put his name to the suggestion that Lewis Hamilton had signed for Mercedes. All parties denied this rumour at the Italian Grand Prix yet mere weeks later, Niki Lauda proudly confirmed that Lewis was indeed joining the Silver Arrows.

With his sporadic visits to the Grand Prix circuits this year, we have heard far fewer brown-nosing comments from the fashionably dyslexic Irishman and less seismic revelations. Which probably explains why he is so late to the party in regards his views on Ross Brawn and Mercedes.

“The fault of what happened at Spa is down to the team. They said they were allowing them to race and there would be no team orders, yet in Hungary they made a mistake by issuing them. Hamilton didn’t respect the instruction who didn’t want to let Rosberg past because they are fighting for the championship.”

“But who is there to tell them that whether right or wrong they have to be followed. I remember clearly Ross telling Rosberg that he wasn’t allowed to pass Lewis. If Brawn had been on the pitfall at Spa the SIlver Arrows would have finished 1-2. The drivers are like spoilt children who just do what they choose.”

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(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

Ferrari looking to Haas for F1 ‘satellite’ team

Ferrari is looking to deploy the Red Bull-like approach of installing a ‘satellite’ team in formula one. Alarmed by its poor start to the new turbo V6 era, it has been all change at Maranello in 2014, including the ousting of boss Stefano Domenicali and engine chief Luca Marmorini.

New chief Marco Mattiacci is now plotting a further change of gear for the iconic marque. “We have decided to invest in new infrastructures and people to create a more modern and slimmed down organisation, but one that at the same time puts the emphasis on the team and on individuality,” he said recently.

One of the new strategies, according to Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, is following the lead of Red Bull by having a Toro Rosso-like ‘B-team’. Ferrari has historically had close alliances with ‘customer’ teams, such as Sauber, and also Marussia, where leading team ‘academy’ driver Jules Bianchi is currently housed.

The report said Ferrari is not looking to ‘buy’ a second team, as Red Bull did with Minardi, but to trial and develop technology with a preferred partner team. The obvious candidate is the new American team, set to debut in 2016. Gene Haas’ machine tool company Haas Automation has already joined Ferrari as a sponsor.

Haas also intends to deploy Ferrari technology throughout its F1 project, while other ‘academy’ drivers like Raffaele Marciello and Antonio Fuoco are frontrunners to take a race seat. La Gazzetta said that, ahead of the Haas tie-up, Mattiacci is lobbying hard for alterations to the rules in terms of the allowed transfer of technology between teams.

He also wants teams to be allowed to use more components and engines per season, and a relaxation of the engine development ‘freeze’.

“To return to winning ways, Ferrari must first think of improving itself, the performance of the group and the development of the car,” Mattiacci said recently. “We must be innovative and ahead of the others. As for making its weight felt, the voice of Ferrari, one of formula one’s main players, is always listened to: clearly we need to work with common interests to truly understand what formula one should be in the future,” he added.

TJ13 comment: Stop the press! Stop the press! Mattiacci has been trained by LdM and Enzo’s ghost. We are Ferrari and we won’t play with the others if you don’t follow our rules.

The chambers have been speculating for some time as to the reasons behind Mattiacci’s true appointment. With LdM still ‘in charge’ at Maranello observers have to respect what the company reports but as suggested when Gene Haas first put forward his proposal of entering F1 it appears that the intention was always to be a satellite team to Ferrari. 

As to his rhetoric about improving itself, the group and development of the car, it seems that the senior management have finally caught on to secret behind the other teams design culture. Wasn’t it the racing department that wanted a new wind-tunnel six years ago..

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(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

Teen Verstappen ‘not ready’ for 2015 debut – Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen has added yet another disparaging response to the news Max Verstappen will make history next year as by far F1’s youngest ever driver. And the 1998 and 1999 world champion does not only criticise Red Bull’s decision to sign the young Dutchman just half a year out of karts, but also his former F1 rival Jos Verstappan, who is Max’s father and manager.

“In no case is a driver ready for formula one at 16 or 17,” Hakkinen said in an interview with his sponsor Hermes. Hakkinen, who was involved in Valtteri Bottas’ management and also has a son (Hugo) in the world of highly-competitive karting, insisted: “Either as a manager or a father, I would never let a driver as young as that race in F1. It’s too early, and if it fails, it can cause considerable damage,

Meanwhile, Hakkinen said Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo cannot be ruled out of the running for the 2014 world championship, amid the escalating in-team battle between dominant Mercedes’ warring teammates. “Mercedes’ dominance has decreased compared to what we saw at the beginning of the season,” he noted. “In my view, Ricciardo is dangerous. He drives for a team that has won the championship several times in a row, they have a lot of experience in these situations and show a lot of composure. At Mercedes, there is more pressure and the conflict between the drivers is not helpful to the aim of bringing home the title.”

And he predicted that despite Mercedes’ concerted efforts to cool the feud between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, the pair will continue to wage their war. “Both drivers will be saying ‘Hey, I want to be world champion’. Of course,” Hakkinen explained, “the team can implement internal rules, like collisions early in the race cannot happen under any circumstances. But then the next race comes. I believe that despite every effort, no one will be able to stop the intense competition between Nico and Lewis.”

TJ13 comment: It appears that the recruitment of Verstappen by Red Bull will continue to make waves through until the 2015 season begins. Some have considered arguments whereas others seem to be stuck in the belief that Formula One is still comparable to their time in the sport.

As to fears of Red Bull being a dangerous adversary, when their poor start to the year is taken into account and historically their progress after the summer break is unparalled by the others, concerns within Mercedes must be mounting. As an ambassador for Mercedes – the source of Hakkinen’s words could well be senior management within the Stuttgart concern.

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Caterham on the brink of extinction

Rumours are reaching the Judge’s inner chambers about the health of Caterham F1. The team are appearing in court today against the ex-employees who are seeking damages after being made redundant without warning.

With the team costing airline tycoon, Tony Fernandes, £500k a week he gave it all away including the assets to the new Swiss/Middle Eastern consortium run by Colin Kolles supposedly backed by Arab money. The first move by the new ‘owners’ was to make 50 employees redundant without warning so as “to prioritse the future of the team”

Chris Felton, partner at Gardner Leader law firm, said “the employees concerned were dismissed without consultation or warning, either in person or on the telephone”.

“They have not been paid for July or offered any further payments in accordance with their contract or their employment rights,” Felton added. “The fact that they are not being told anything at all by Caterham is concerning.”

“Running roughshod over employees’ rights is not usual behaviour in Formula One where, although difficult decisions are sometimes made about appointments, employees are always adequately compensated and usually treated with dignity by their teams.

“We would not expect any former Caterham employee to be prejudiced for standing up for their rights when they have been unfairly dismissed with no pay for July, no future earnings and families to support.

“The FIA expect certain standards from its F1 teams and it is these standards we are asking them to uphold and provide assurances that the new owners of Caterham are seen as fit and proper.”

The solicitor has told them that they will win the case, which is to be expected, seeing as the fee involved included an initial payment of £150 per person. The class action the legal team are chasing is for £30k per person of which they are contracted for 10% of the victory.

Caterham have funds in place that will see the team survive until the middle of October which is why Kamui Kobayashi stepped down in favour of Andre Lotterer last weekend and Roberto Merhi is scheduled to drive the Monza weekend. These pay drivers are bringing between £0.5-1 million per weekend which allows the team to continue, but if the todays case goes against the Caterham owners, their time in Formula One will be over.

One thing that won’t save Caterham is holding out for the $35million payment that the teams are paid for arriving in Australia. Bernie Ecclestone does a health check around the September/ October period which prevents this form of action.

Which could well explain one of the more spurious rumours emanating from the Leafield factory that it is being stripped of equipment at night time which is then taken to a holding company in Germany close to the old Toyota premises. Against this background, staff have been ‘borrowing’ equipment themselves to use as collateral…

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Niki Lauda changes tune – again

Mercedes’ chief rantist Niki Lauda, who blasted Rosberg mere minutes after the checquered flag as being the sole culprit and had recently updated his stance on Nico’s move to “unforgivable mistake” and “a huge damage for Lewis and the Mercedes brand as a whole”, did now change his tune to “normal racing accident, that came however at the wrong time and the wrong place.”

It makes one wonder if Niki might have long-term memory problems as in forgetting what he said yesterday, or if the fact that the head honcho of Mercedes-Benz, Dieter Zetsche, has thrown in his two cents on the matter has anything to do with the U-turn that is remarkable even for someone as two-faced as Lauda.

Lauda confirmed that Zetsche had summoned him to a talk and that Zetsche was ‘not amused’ about the public image the team is currently presenting. The F1 team meanwhile is busy on Twitter, asking their followers what sort of sanctions they are supposed to impose on Rosberg. The options seem to range from a one-race time-out to setting quali slots or imposing team orders, although the latter was voted against by 92% of the users. Considering that most of the Mercedes followers are likely to be Hamfosi, they’ll probably get ‘creative’ suggestions like public beheading or immediate dismissal.

The one question that presents itself however: If even Lauda now claims that it was a normal racing incident, if perhaps a rather unfortunate one, why is there a need for punishing Nico? Isn’t the nature of a racing incident that, while avoidable, it is not a punishable offense?

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137 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 29th August 2014

  1. This Verstappen stuff is getting worse than the Lewis and Nico crap.

    The constant need for the media and F1 outlets to relentlessly seek ex-drivers/team managers/stewards/team mascots/random people passing by for opinions on events is symptomatic of the crappy way the sport as a whole, and particularly the teams engage the fans, and equally dire use of social media/the web. There is so little official output in an era that seems to demand constant output.

    Mercedes try a bit on twitter, but frankly look like a piss poor lotus rip off, and their YouTube page is a back slapping exercise. Saubers YouTube channel is quite nice, but the fact that the places who do the best jobs at engaging fans and followers are This site, James Allen, Peter Windsor, Badger GP, F1 Fanatic, etc etc etc is quite telling.

  2. Which could well explain one of the more spurious rumours emanating from the Leafield factory that it is being stripped of equipment at night time which is then taken to a holding company in Germany close to the old Toyota premises. Against this background, staff have been ‘borrowing’ equipment themselves to use as collateral…

    Wouldn’t that be illegal behavior in either case? Employees basically stealing company property to ransom, or the team itself hiding assets – literally (although not very well, apparently, if it’s already reported in Court) – in preparation for going into receivership or being dissolved or however y’all do it over there?

      • Pillage? I wonder if there’s any rape and burnings a too? It’s all very Viking.

        Bet Geido is looking over his shoulder. He’s a good looking sort. Don’t drop that soap Geido, whatever you do.

        • Giedo is Sauber test driver. So you probably mean Christijan Albers – who once was called ‘a tasty gay snack’ – by a horrible tv presenter.

        • assuming that Van der Garde’s family has lots of dough, he was just playing around, so why don’t pursuit a career somewhere else …

          I don’t know, if I was in his position I would be pounding half of European jet set best p___ies, models and actresses, and f_ck, who cares

        • Still

          I was pleased to know you’re from greek heritage
          you know, I said before, I have lots of friends who are greek or sons of greek people

          also I like there, my city has a greek community, greek restaurant, and despite myself being from french and belgian origins, even these greek friends say that I relate more with greek people given my penchant for drinking and partying heavily and also going for girls relentlessly, so they even call me “ellinas”

          best regards

          • Ahah! Opa R/T!

            -Slaps R/T on the back!-

            Firstly I’m an Aussie, mate. Born and breed.

            But all I need to do is look in the mirror, or visit my mother and she force feeds be dolmades and lamb, or talk to my father who is reading some Greek poetry/myth/philosophy and telling me “you know son, we are the greatest ppl in the world”, to know where my blood is from.

            The fact my daughter eats Vegemite and Tsatziki in equal amounts over a week with their bread tends to remind me too!

            As for the girls R/T, well obsession is rarely, if ever, a good thing. But if you are going to be relentlessly obsessed, may as well be for women.

            😉

  3. Lauda’s word is final. You simply believe the latest thing he said and move on.

    Viva le Laudfosi

  4. “The fault of what happened at Spa is down to the team. They said they were allowing them to race and there would be no team orders, yet in Hungary they made a mistake by issuing them. Hamilton didn’t respect the instruction who didn’t want to let Rosberg past because they are fighting for the championship.”

    A sensible analysis. Amazingly so considering its provenance.

    • I’ve just seen on twitter that the Mercedes drivers can continue to race each other for the title, but there is a no contact rule. They won’t tolerate another incident like Spa. That reads as though it’s come from the very top of Mercedes Benz to the team.

      • The no contact rule has been in place from the very start. Breaking it was what their ‘disciplinary measures’ against Rosberg are for. Apparently only one driver is responsible for avoiding contact. They could just as well tell Nico that he’s the clear #2.
        As it looks, the ‘obey the bloody team’ rule and ‘it is called an internal meeting for a reason’ rule are not as vigorously enforced. Quite shambolic.

          • Well the difference is that the team order from Red Bull actually involved Christian, the team boss, coming on the radio. All be it in rather a feeble attempt to get Seb to back off – “come on seb, this is silly”. Neither Toto or Paddy came on the radio to lewis

          • What FH’s “boy” might or might not have done last year has precisely zero bearing on the matter.

            Different team; different policy; different drivers; different circumstances.

          • formula, what is the difference in WHO gives the team order. You’re mucking about in semantics. Why was Vettel wrong to ignore a team order and Lewis was not, apparently in your opinion

          • “What FH’s “boy” might or might not have done last year has precisely zero bearing on the matter.

            Different team; different policy; different drivers; different circumstances.”

            Nigel said this on August 29, 2014 at 14:00

            Agreed.

            I’m still bullish on TJ13 and don’t see that changing (even though the commenting system seems to have a gremlin in it that banned or blocked my WordPress identity from posting), but the Whataboutery™ really needs to stop and should be called out & mocked mercilessly.

            Not only are arguments embracing Whataboutery™ logically-fallacious, they’re lazy and don’t really advance the discussion or enhance the discourse.

            It should be accepted as a given that we all have the potential to favor certain drivers and loathe others, but we should hold ourselves personally accountable to manifest truly rigorous, logic-tested arguments in their favor, and concede gentleman-like when clearly out-dueled.

            Wishful thinking, I know, especially given how many Rosberg fanboyz are also out-and-out Hammy Haters…lol!

            😉

        • To be honest I’m surprised it took this long for the team to start imploding. Having watched that clumsy attempt at an overtake several times, there is not a lot Lewis could have done, other than giving way to Nico to avoid contact. Though I’m sure if he’d done that you’d be questioning Lewis’s mental strength. FYI – I like both drivers on track, not so much off track. And I’d rather see Riccardo win the title, purely to pour a bucket of cold water on Nico and Lewis. They are both behaving like a pair of 2 year olds.

          Rosberg committed the cardinal sin, he lost the team a certain 1-2 finish with a PR nightmare rather than “Mercedes dominates Spa” PR spin. The statement reads as though Dieter Zetsche has read Wolff the riot act “Get the team in order or else”.

        • Apparently only one driver is responsible for avoiding contact.

          Not at all.

          Both have an obligation to avoid contact, but if there is a collision, it will be judged on its merits/demerits as to who (either or both) might be responsible.

          Hamilton’s racing last weekend meets the test; Rosberg’s doesn’t (IMO).
          I am quite prepared to accept that had Rosberg hit Hamilton in Bahrain on the occasion of the ‘chop’, a quite different case might have been made.

          I don’t blame Rosberg for trying to be more forceful at Spa – merely his foolishness in the way he carried it out.

          • “Hamilton’s racing last weekend meets the test; Rosberg’s doesn’t (IMO).”

            Well your O is wrong. Two cars into one corner does not work, and Hamilton had as much responsibility to give Nico room as Nico did to give Lewis room. Hamilton’s assumption cost him dear.

          • Well your O is wrong

            In you opinion.
            🙂
            Which seems not to be shared by Rosberg himself.

          • I can remember a certain pass where a German using his front wing as a weapon against a certain Britain, at Spa, under braking, oh wait it gets more ironic, the German gets back to pits and changes front wing and continues where the Britain is forced to retire. After race it was the German driver who was quoted as the clumsy driver…. Just ironic.

            Anyone care to guess who ?

          • @Nigel
            “Which seems not to be shared by Rosberg himself.”

            I call bullsh*t on that. Looks to me like Nico’s been bullied into taking blame for a racing accident. This is scandalous, and unsporting behaviour by the team.

        • The no contact rule has been in place from the very start

          As was the “we will let them race” policy – until the team order in Hungary…

          • It was not a team order to change the result. Merc have a clear agreement that cars do not interfer with each others strategy if they are different. Lewis did interfer though by holding Nico up.
            It is not the same as the teamorder given in Malaysia to VET/WEB and HAM/ROS where they were forbidden from changing positions as in final result

          • Given Rosberg would almost certainly have finished in front of Hamilton had he moved over to let him past, self-evidently it was a team order to change the result.
            They were effectively racing for position at the time, different strategies or not.

          • And Hamilton has benefitted on 3 occasions from Rosberg being given the same instruction from the team. He complied….

          • So now Rosberg should stop complying… after all… The Big Bear is not more and neither of the three managers nor Zetsche seem to be able to control the two school boys…

          • @FH…

            It was JeV who interfere with Nico’s race. Maybe if he hadn’t spent 15 laps breathing in the fumes of a asthmatic Renault engine, then merc wouldn’t have needed Lewis to offer him sim help.

            Oh I forgot, he doesn’t know how to overtake cars in front of him.

          • Yes, he would have ended ahead, because he was on the quicker strategy and the agreement is in place to give both drivers the equal chance to make their strategy work. Evidently Lewis decided to break that agreement and made himself the one to decide if Rosberg will be given a chance to make his strategy work.

            Lewis only honours agreements that fit his interests, which is why his ‘I always put the team first’ talk is major league bovine excrement. Now, both of them have decided to ignore team interests, apparently.

          • fortis, there are times (rare, admittedly) when you can be funny. [MOD] It has been a hallmark of Hungary since day 1, that you can hardly overtake even slower cars. And when you want to play that game, you should also say that JEV would not have been there without the 1st SC screwing ROS,VET and BOT over, while Lewis massively profited from it.

          • @FH

            [MOD]

            But let’s get back to your statement…

            Yes it’s been a hallmark of Hungary that you can hardly overtake there, but I’m not talking about past races, but rather this one and in that race, we say numerous overtakes carried out by various drivers when they needed to (except for one).

            How exactly did JeV get in front of Rosberg again? Oh wait, he overtook him at T1. How did Ric manager to win the race again? Oh wait, he overtook 2 WDC’s. How did Lewis get pass JeV? Oh wait, he overtook him….I think you get the point now. So clearly on that day, it was possible that you CAN overtake. It just so happens that Nico forgot that he needed to do that to JeV so as to make his strategy work and that’s why the team boxed him earlier than he should’ve.

            BTW…. Are you forgetting that Alonso and Ricciardo also benighted from the safety car as well, or was it Lewis alone? So it’s a pointless argument bringing up the safety car.

          • @judge13: “And Hamilton has benefitted on 3 occasions from Rosberg being given the same instruction from the team. He complied….”

            Hmm, what would these 3 occasions be then? I hope you don’t mean either Malaysia or Germany in 2013, seeing as in the former, it wasn’t the same instruction (“let Lewis through”), and in the latter, he was told to let Lewis through, but didn’t comply for over 5 laps (hardly helpful).

            http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/external_archive/node4112/Race%20History%20Chart.pdf

            Hamilton was less than a second behind Nico in Germany on lap 8, after he had pitted. He then spent 5 full laps behind Nico before Nico let him through at the start of lap 14, and after Kimi was all over the back of Lewis.

            I’m interested to know what the other occasion was though.

          • @FH: Yes, he would have ended ahead, because he was on the quicker strategy.

            Which begs the question why didn’t Mercedes put Lewis on the quicker strategy then, seeing as at lap 36 he was effectively ahead of Nico on-track (Tony Ross to NIco: “Lewis is safe to you”) b/c of Vettel’s spin, and then Lewis clearing Vergne within one lap?!? Any forecasted race outcome for Rosberg could only have been bettered by Hamilton on the same strategy, as he was ahead on track, plus he had all brand new option rubber. So while Wolff can say Lewis holding him up might have cost Nico a win, it should be said back that the Merc pitwall cost Merc a 1-2 that day b/c they couldn’t see the forest for the trees! Plus no team orders controversy to boot!

            That comment from Wolff, plus his other gem after Austria (“the win for Lewis was never on, as he used up his tires coming through the field”, even though Lewis came through the field in one lap!) make me see him as fully aligned with Nico.

          • @judge13: Brazil 2013

            Not at all the same kind of circumstance. They were on the same strategy then (both starting on options), just that Rosberg was struggling.

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/11/26/2013-brazilian-grand-prix-team-radio-transcript/

            http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/external_archive/node4143/Race%20History%20Chart.pdf

            On lap 9 Rosberg radioes Ross saying he’s struggling with his rears. Ross tells him to change the balance, and to push if the tires come back. Lewis was less than a second back for laps 7-9 but they were doing similar times. On lap 10, LH’s lap is 0.23s faster, and they’re falling back from the leading trio. Both Massa and Button in behind radio in about Rosberg’s times (i.e. why is he off the pace?), and they’re told he’s struggling with the rears. Rosberg lets Lewis through on lap 11, after Ross tells him: “So Nico, we’d like you to let Lewis through. We think you may be holding him up. Just to build a gap to Massa.” The transmission is shown on the F1Fanatic page as lap 12, but that of course is when it was played over the FOM feed.

            Of course, the context of that race matter greatly to the suitability of the team order. Obviously both drivers were no longer in a title race, and Mercedes were trying to secure 2nd place in the WCC, having gone into that race only 15 pts up on Ferrari. So it should always have been about maximizing the team result in that race, and so Rosberg letting Lewis through, while hopefully keeping Massa at bay (Ferrari were running 2-6 at the time), was the best strategy for the team result, which is all that mattered to Mercedes at that time.

          • Every F1 on track encounter is unique… Point being Rosberg told by team to defer to his team mate on 3 occasions… He complied….

          • Further, Mercedes decided the way they would manage their drivers this year was to set out ‘the team maximum’ result is the goal….

            They have said when it’s mathematically all over for the constructors title, then the drivers can run over each other….

            Lauda post Spain. Hamilton 4 consecutive wins…

            “Lewis Hamilton is unbeatable. It’s very simple. Because he’s getting better and better every race. He makes no mistake whatsoever. He’s got a strong personality. He’s focused. Nico tried every trick today to get him. And he did a good job, but he couldn’t pass him.
            ‘Nico is aware at what level Lewis is driving because they both drive the same car. And Nico will continue to fight, which for me is the most important thing.
            ‘Because if Nico keeps on pushing himself to beat Lewis, the big advantage is that both cars will go quicker. So I’m in a very comfortable situation — outstanding by Lewis and Nico trying to catch up.’

            Lauda was not finished. ‘My strategy is very simple. We do not interfere with who is winning what. We let our drivers drive from beginning to the end. So far nothing bad has happened. If there is no third driver in championship contention then I’m completely relaxed.
            ‘Then they can drive over each other, and whoever is surviving is the world champion. This is my dream. But we’re not there yet. When we are, it’s really going to be warfare.’

            So when was that warfare declared by Merc to now be on? The strategist who has called every race this year wanted Hamilton to yield to Rosberg, to maximise the team result in Hungary….

            Lewis said Fck you lot….

          • Ok, but now you’re changing the goalposts. Before you said that Nico was given the SAME instruction as Lewis and complied. Only Germany ’13 was essentially the same, and it took him 5 laps before he complied, when there was no title race at stake!

            Hamilton said in Hungary “I’m not slowing down for Nico” … basically saying “I will let him past if he speeds up, I won’t block him from passing”. So while you see that as non-compliance, many saw it as a perfectly sensible response back to the team. I will let him by, but tell him to hurry the hell up. That they never told Rosberg to hurry up is not Lewis’ fault, but the team’s.

            It’d be like if RBR didn’t tell Ricciardo to “close up and overtake him” in China this year, after Vettel refused the team order. The car behind has to be told the appropriate information, if circumstances have changed.

          • Well we can all agree Merc are in disarray… “Negative Lewis…. Nico is on a different strategy” may have been a better way of dealing with the matter in Hungary, but Hamilton knew this….

            But the instruction was not inconsistent with the methodology Merc have declared their approach to be. Team first, driver 2nd… Until the constructors is decided… Then drive over each other….

            So Rosberg’s response may have been, ‘Ok the rules have changed, Hamilton has not been brought to heel….’

        • Oh c’mon now. Rosberg’s move on Hamilton at the start in Canada was quite robust, and cost Hamilton a position to Vettel. Hamilton’s moves on Rosberg at turn 4 in Bahrain were nothing in comparison. The move into turn 2 there was the only one that was questionable, and again Nico was in no position to pass then, at best it protected Hamilton from attack into turn 4 for just that lap. Hamilton’s move on him on the last lap in Hungary is stuff that is expected from racing drivers.

          Rosberg the clear #2 … come off it!!

          Can you comment on Vettel’s move (more of a dart) towards Magnussen (or was it Button?) as they were side-by-side heading up the pit straight to La Source?

          • So you are seriously trying to impart on us that Lewis is the ‘soft’ one in that driver pairing? Sorry, but everyone but rabid Hamfosi says that his defending in Bahrain was absolutely border-line

          • I’m not saying Lewis is soft at all … he races hard, but fair. I guess Rosberg is a Hamfosi then, seeing as he said after that race that all of Hamilton’s defending bar the one move into turn 2 was normal racing stuff. I think his exact words were “when you’re ahead, it’s your corner, you’re the boss”. Here’s one article where he talks about the one incident:

            http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/27056797

            The quote is likely on his video blog from Bahrain.

    • I can imagine the apology with words like “i was misjudging the situation, i was thinking Hamilton would leave me place enough to not hit him” 😉

  5. So I guess Lewis wasn’t lying when he said that Nico “basically” admitted to doing what he did on purpose.

    Breaking news on BBCF1…

    “Nico Rosberg disciplined by Mercedes for Hamilton collision”

    • What Nico admitted to was not backing down easily. Lewis had clained that Nico had said he deliberately caused a collision. So yes, Lewis was lying and his statement was countered by Toto Wolff on the same day.

          • “Trying to overtake”… Is that what he was trying to do?

            I would have thought that the man with so much intelligence, would’ve been able to do a better job than that.

            But let’s ignore all the fact and stick with, “he was just trying to show how tough he was”

          • Well, what was he trying then? deliberately crash? Or deliberately slash the tyre, which according to Pirelli is practically impossible to do deliberately?

          • Well, what was he trying then?

            Inadequately, to back out of a failed attempt to overtake.

          • So you’re telling us that except for rosberg last weekend no one ever crashed when they tried an overtake? Even lewis did it… and again im not defending rosberg because I do think he was guilty.

          • He was guilty of what? Guilty of misjudgment, yes. But not of a deliberate attempt to ruin Lewis’s race as fortis would have us believe

          • @FH

            Whatever it was he was trying to do, I have no clue, because if that was a poor attempt at an overtake.

            You’d expect something like that from Pastor, not some with Nico’s intelligence.

          • @FH…

            What, just like how he didn’t “deliberately” parked it at Monaco?

            And why wouldn’t he have tried to do so? After all, he’s a very bright and intelligent chap, so I wouldn’t put it past him

          • Which part of Pirelli’s “You cannot slash a tyre deliberately” statement eluded your understanding? You must hit a tyre at a very specific narrow area on the shoulder to slash it, but you can’t aim, because you can’t see the front wing. In 8 out of 10 such contacts the tyre stays okay and the front wing is damaged. Have you run so much out of arguments already?

          • No, my dear hippo. That’s what I mean. I believe the guilt for the contact lies with rosberg. But i do not believe his intention was to crash. I said, from the beginning, race incident. And i still consider it a racing incident. And that the whole thing is blown out of proportion

          • @FH

            The part where they haven’t provided us with the proof that this is not possible.

            We’ve seen on numerous occasions where contacts like that have lead to punctured tyres, so let’s not use that statement to say it’s not possible.

          • But the fact that you doubt it is enough proof to say Nico deliberately tried to slash Lewis’s tyres? That the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard in a while.

          • So too was there space on the other side of Hamilton to avoid the accident. Does not really matter now. All this arguing about it will not give Lewis any points so case closed… -29 and counting.

          • @FH, is that what Pirelli said? They said that if you hit the tread or the sidewall, there’s only a 10% chance of puncture. But if you hit the curved bit that joins the two (30mm), there’s a 90% chance of puncture. They then said that vulnerable section was more likely to be hit in any FW-to-rear-tire contact.

          • If you want to go down the same path as fortis and insinuate that he deliberately punctured Lewis’s tyre. Save yourself the breath…

      • @FH, I realize that reason and thoughtful consideration have absolutely no place in this discussion, but I don’t think Lewis ever said Nico crashed him on purpose. Weren’t his exact words Nico did it on purpose and then the media ran with crashed?

        I’m happy to admit it was equally inflammatory, but being a part time media critic and semantician, I find it important to try and be accurate as possible about what was said before jumping off the cliff and making assumptions about what it means.

        I also like typing big words and complicated sentences.

        • I thought Derek “you will not find a more honest driver in grand prix racing than Nico” Warwick put it quite well:

          “What was stupid or silly of Nico was he did it on the second lap of a Grand Prix. That is unacceptable. You can’t have team mates take each other out. I agree with Toto Wolff, it’s totally unacceptable.”
          “It’s a difficult thing. At the end of last year the drivers asked for the stewards to be more consistent, so we gave a few more penalties put for various incidents. Then about three races ago they asked the FIA to relax the rules and let guys sort it out on the track, and that’s effectively what’s happening at the moment. You can’t please the drivers either way. I think it’s something that we need to look at, but I think it’s an internal problem, not really a problem for the FIA or the stewards.

        • Quote Lewis Hamilton:
          “We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose”

          Given the context was regarding Nico hitting Lewis one could argue that what he was strongly insinuating was
          “We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it (hit me) on purpose”

          In vehicle terms to hit someone is to ‘crash into’ someone thus…

          “We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it (crashed into me) on purpose”

          So although he didn’t use those words, the context means it’s a fair reflection. Just as if I were to now write “he’s a tit for telling the media about the post race crash meeting” the context of this message means that I’m quite obviously referring to Lewis.

          Semantics eh.

          • Supplying context to words is what we all do, but Lewis should have been asked to clarify by media, my point as otherwise none of us know exactly what he meant. For that matter, he might not have either.

          • Good point, mattpt55. Although we know that Nico did basically admit to doing it on purpose, it’s the Hammy Haters only who claim to know what “it” is, such that they can use ‘it’ against Lewis in their critiques to further their agendas of advocating for Rosberg to unceremoniously escape sanction for doing “it” on purpose for the second time during a GP weekend (first Monaco, now Spa).

            Cue “Oops!…I Did It Again”!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CduA0TULnow

            Glad you’re on the case, mate!

        • “Weren’t his exact words Nico did it on purpose and then the media ran with crashed?”

          Oh come on! What other possible interpretation of “it” could there be? It’s obvious Nico was trying to pass. It’s obvious Nico was not going to allow himself to be pushed off the track (again) by Lewis. Given the fact that Lewis has been around for a while, understands how the media works, and employs a sophisticated P.R firm, if there had been a mistake in interpreting what he said we can be confident that Lewis would have corrected it there and then. It took the team P.R to try and step in and try and defuse the situation. Of course it was far too late by then.

          • His exact words were:
            “We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose,” said Hamilton. “He said he did it on purpose, he said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it to prove a point.’ He basically said ‘I did it to prove a point’ and you don’t have to just rely on me. Go and ask Toto [Wolff], Paddy [Lowe] and all those guys who are not happy with him as well.”

            The telling bit is the “basically”. That implies it is his interpretation of what Rosberg said. Re Lewis correcting it.. he did, went from implying to stating.

            Now the only thing that springs to mind is the lie-gate 😉

    • “Disciplined” – that probably involved Toto saying “you were a bad boy boy in Belgium Nico, please do not do it again”, then proceeding to give him a warm glass of milk.

    • Paddy Lowe made it clear such actions were unacceptable and laid down strict guidelines for future racing between the two.

      Love to see a copy of those guidelines….

    • What’s diciplined mean?
      Yelled at?
      Bending over for Wolffs fist of fury?
      Kissing Lewis?

      Is there no tweet from Hamilton yet?
      (‘Boy, hope Nico can walk again in a few days! Ouch #germandicipline’)

  6. Nico had admitted responsibility for the accident and has been punished, although no details of the punishment were released.

    I read it on ESPNF1 website

  7. RE: Mercedes statement

    I know you all have been waiting for my learned opinion on this… especially you young Fortis. Well await no longer…

    -Bells ring in the background-
    -SiS steps out in to the platform, waves at the TJ13 adoring and cheering crowd-
    -Then quiet. They await-
    -SiS clears his throat-

    Bwah hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    -The crowd breaks into thunderous laughter-
    -SiS waves and returns to his chamber-

    (What a f&$king joke. Bring on Monza.)

  8. RE: Mercedes statement

    I know you all have been waiting for my learned opinion on this… especially you young Fort|s. Well await no longer…

    -Bells ring in the background-
    -SiS steps out in to the platform, waves at the TJ13 adoring and cheering crowd-
    -Then quiet. They await-
    -SiS clears his throat-

    Bwah hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    -The crowd breaks into thunderous laughter-
    -SiS waves and returns to his chamber-

    (What a f&$king joke. Bring on Monza.)

  9. Ok, so everybody is arguing over the fact that verstappen, this 16 year old boy, doesn’t belong in the sport because of his age. Yet on the other hand we have two of the top drivers this year, behaving like 6 year old. Crying who hit whom first. Blaming each other for everything. And then we have mommy punishing them. Just like we gave the best out there fighting a good fight with the last four years best. But both of them are bitching to the nanny that the same tricks they use aren’t allowed if the other one is doing them. Maybe the mental age of a 16 old driver and a 30 year old driver (and all ages in between) are just the same… They are all big kids. The only thing that verstappen has against him is that he looks like his mental age. But once he can start thinking about growing a beard that will be over too.

    • Considering all nasty stories about Jos’ agression and the divorce between Jos and his mum, I guess Max’ mental age might be higher than 16.

      • Yes I know. But you get my drift. Some of the older ones behave like they are boys.

        • So they could what, behave like “men” and either kick the crap outta or shoot each other, for example?

          Complaining that Nico vs. Rosberg is too childlike means saying pretty much the same thing about all scandalous, non-violent bad behavior in 2014 when it originates w/ adults, no?

  10. There’s seven races to go this season. Can we do a poll on the number of times Britney and Bling Bling are going to tag each other before we draw stumps for 2014?
    I’m thinking three more times (including Monza).

      • I actually went looking for who coined the moniker but couldn’t track it down on my phone.
        Indeed, I thank thee…*doffs cap*

          • LOL, knew you couldn’t resist, maybe I should have left the full 10 minutes up.

            It’s amazing what one learns when one has a daughter.

          • @Mattpt55

            “It’s amazing what one learns when one has a daughter.”

            Tell me about it.

            -we did it, we did it, we did it… swiper no swipey- sigh…

            I know the song from Frozen off by heart, and I can’t recall playing it ever. -Let it go, let it gooooo-

          • HaHa wait’ll she gets a little older. One Direction (or whatever group of mildly androgynous sexually non-threatening boys that has bought their way to the top) etc., await..

            I used to play her Miles Chet and Stan for sleepy time but apparently in vain. Little critters have a mind of their own. 😉

    • Oh and also Roger, I think Monza, like you do, and Abu Dhabi as well. At least two more times I suppose. The boys will get their hand bags out in Monza, no matter what piss weak statement is released by the three wise men. The track lends itself to wheel to wheel already, and in addition Britney and Bling Bling will also be under the microscope, which will intensify everything in that little F1 fishbowl. I hope F1 website moderators are ready, here and the world over. God save us all…

  11. F1 race in Russia? No way should it be done.

    I just watched the video of Vettel doing a lap of the new Russian F1 track. What a disgusting pathetic excuse for a race track.

    It is all soulless grey walls of concrete and Armco twisting around a background of ugly grey Soviet styled Gulag architecture.

    Add that parody of a race track to the current Russian invasion of Ukraine should tell any sensible person to shout NO to the thought of a Russian F1 race.

    Consider what could happen if the Russian invasion ramps up with consequences during the proposed race weekend. Will the teams and equipment be subject to “protective internment” and be held for ransom, or worse?

    How far will Putin go in his tantrums? I don’t trust them and the F1 community should not either.

    Frank Van Alstine

    • Well said, Frank.

      Russia criminal state is not deserving the legitimizing presence of the moral and upstanding, ethically-unchallenged and non-childlike F1 circus!

      Regrettable that Ukraine ever gave-up its nukes…

    • “It is all soulless grey walls of concrete and Armco twisting around”

      That’s *every* modern racetrack.

      Thank Tilke, kids.
      “Thanks Tilke.”

  12. I must admit to enjoying watching the sparks fly with each emerging development of Nico’s ‘inner bad-boy racer’. Lewis’ aggressive edge has always been apparent in the way that he drives, Nico has always seemed more cool and calculating, even more so after 3 years of jousting with a master of controlled aggression, Mr. Michael Schumacher.
    However, like Schumacher, when the pressure begins to build up, and little errors or indiscretions creep in, the facade of control slips a little, and we see the odd hint of a sneer, a pursing of the lips, clipped tones, a narrowing of the eyes… A glimpse of the ugly side of competition, the selfishness, the ego, the conviction that this prize is theirs by right. A reminder that the representatives of a team are two highly functioning individuals. A confirmation of the qualities that we know are required of a World Champion. Someone prepared to do whatever it takes to win, a bad-boy. Even Button was the bad-boy at Brawn, albeit by default – he was simply out-niced by Barrichello.

    • A confirmation of the qualities that we know are required of a World Champion. Someone prepared to do whatever it takes to win, a bad-boy.

      Jim Clark fans are scratching their heads a bit at that…

      • Whoa whoa whoa… Hang on…

        Jimmy C was blessed with a pile of talent that would reach higher than the top of Everest and a depth of class deeper than the floor of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific.

        He didn’t need the qualities Dobzizzle mentioned, and you subsequently quoted.

        Most “champions” in most sports, have a bit of mongrel in them. Nico is showing his. It’s more or less necessary for most “normally gifted” individuals.

        The fact one single generational prodigy did not fit that archetypical mould does not really counter the point, does it? Nico is not like JC… but neither is/was anyone else.

        If there is a guy who should be more than a double WDC, it’s him. His 45%+ pole rate is still astonishing. Only Fangio is better I believe.

        • Essentially, I agree.
          I just think the whole “we know are required of a World Champion…” thing is a little too accommodating of sharp practice.

          Mansell, for example, had quite a bit of ‘mongrel’ in him, but he was (IMO) a very fair racer.

          • Agreed, Nigel.

            The logical extension, for example, of the pliant “the qualities that we know are required of a World Champion…” thing is doping, for example.

            There’s either the fair, right way to do things, or there’s the wrong way, which is cheating.

            Suggesting w/ a wink and a nod that fandom should embrace reprehensible unethical conduct by its champions is morally repugnant. Or at least pretty hypocritical then if the advocates complain about cheating in any other walk of life…

          • @JoePapp

            Firstly I’ll preface this response by firstly saying I usually look for your contributions. I don’t always agree, but there is exp. behind your comments and that can lead to some wisdom in said comments.

            That being said, in this response of yours, I think it’s a bit black and white and I think perhaps a long bow is drawn here.

            I don’t see the extension of bearing ones teeth, being a little aggro, showing some mongrel and pushing the limits ending up at blatant rule breaches such as doping etc as an end game.

            In that sense, I would not jump on someone who was fine with a bit if argy bargy, but condemned other blatant forms of cheating, i.e. doping, hiding fuel tanks in others (BAR 2007), Singapore 08. I don’t see the hypocrisy in that.

            Just to clarify, I only picked up on the doping element as you yourself mentioned it and for no other veiled reason.

            I don’t see it as black and white, in that if one “cheats” or challenges the limit if a rule that they may as well go all the way sort of thing to the extreme, or alternatively only play by the exactitude if all rules, regs and guidance. I think

            Senna and Schumacher, I think, had an issue with this “grey” world too. You know, someone blocked Ayrton off, resulting in a crash, under braking in 89, so then in 90 he full pelt, throttle to the floor, rocketed into said person at T1 Japan! Like wtf?

            I’ll stop now mate. Just realised the length of comment. Maybe we should get a beer sometime.

      • Fair play. I’d forgotten, momentarily, of the quiet Scot.
        Continuing on from SIS’ mongrel analogy, I think most drivers, people really, will bite if they’re backed into a corner. It’s just good to see Nico bare his teeth. If he can take ownership of that then he might just have a WDC in him.

  13. I must laugh at Lauda’s about turn.

    It’s very hard to respect his views when they normally follow this pattern:

    1.) Defend the guy you brought into the team in front of the worlds media, after all you’re his mentor…
    2.) Contradict the team principle live around the world.
    3.) Reverse your decision after someone upstairs at Mercedes is asking what the hell your up to.
    4.) Issue a statement/soundbite and pretend you were towing the line to begin with.

    Even the comedy gold dream team of Christian, Dieter and Marko could at least cobble something consistent together for the worlds media on those days when Webber wasn’t pissing about in 6th place…

    Between Niki and Lewis they’re keeping an army of Mercedes PR folk in the job, Lewis brings a top quality driver to the team, albeit with some pretty hefty baggage and numerous cases of the sulks, but Lauda? What does he bring? A PR hand grenade and a faded non Mercedes red cap? Anything else?

  14. I rather like hearing commentary from the likes of Minardi, Jordan. Being Canadian, I’ll defend Jacques at every turn since he gave us our biggest moments in racing (Indy 500, WDC) and so as far as I’m concerned, he can say whatever he likes. Without the lot, the commentary would be BORING.

    In theory, I absolutely believe that 17 is not too young if you are indeed that generational talent that is able to drive the fastest and have the natural maturity to withstand the mental and physical demands of racing with men and of Formula 1 in general. In the case of Verstappen, yes he is the son of a driver and therefore understands better the life and expectations of an F1 driver but how his readiness was determined, I have yet to figure it out. He’s got a drive from bc RBR had to offer something that Mercedes couldn’t, not necessarily bc he’s ready. Really his father and management should have stepped in and said another year or two of seasoning might not be a bad idea if he is truly the talent. I really wonder how much of this is that he believes in his son’s talent or parental vanity.

    • Very good point, Ki Nam.

      If Verstappen is really a prodigy, then delaying entry into F1 by even a year and continuing development in lower formulae won’t compromise that potential.

      Rather, if anything, his performance may even be enhanced by further refinement before progression into the F1 “show”…unless he’s absolutely smashing all opponents in every race such that it’s obvious he’s so dominant that there is no challenge remaining for him in lower formulae.

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