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OTD Lite: 1993 – Overrated Hakkinen legend created on this day.
Murray Walker would champion the Mika Hakkinen legend throughout his broadcasting career and his entry line whenever he rated him was that he had out-qualified Ayrton Senna once… Editors note: by forty eight thousandths of a second.
Mika Hakkinen had replaced, the frankly insipid, Michael Andretti and his first race against Senna was here in Portugal. After what had been a hugely disappointing season for the Brazilian, the Finn’s Mclaren debut woke up his combative spirit and Senna would go on to win the final two Grand Prix of the year – whereas Mika..
Of course when Hakkinen achieved success in 1998 and 1999 the mutterings of Walker would always bring up the fact he out-qualified ‘the great Brazilian’ without adding any context to it.
Perhaps of more interest was the fact that he considered Mika a great champion – ignoring the fact that his only success was in a dominant Newey designed car. Those championships proved how ‘great’ the Flying Finn was according to “good ol’ Murray”… yet Mansell, Prost, Hill and Villeneuve had only won because they were in ‘Newey’ cars.
For the lads and ladettes who are too young to remember events of 21 years ago, a modern day comparison would be the criticism that is thrown at Vettel. He only wins because he has the superior car – which makes one wonder what happened to perma stubbled Mark Webber?
As an aside, Prost secured his fourth World title and ended his 13 year career with 51 race wins. Over the same period Schumacher won 83 races and seven titles but maybe of particular interest to Alonso fans – over a 13 year career he has 32 wins and just two titles..
10 years ago today saw the inaugural running of the Chinese GP. It was won by Rubens Barrichello, 2nd was Jenson in the BAR and Kimi Raikkonen was third in a McLaren.
Jenson Button annoyed by radio messages
Jenson Button is an enigma? Certainly not in the enigmatic fashion of an Alonso or a Senna but in the way that no-one can really describe his talent with any real conviction.
The highlight of his professional career will rightly be his 2009 World Championship and yet for the fans maybe his courage to join the Hamilton-centric Mclaren and going toe to toe showcased a steely core that nobody expected.
Yet whilst some drivers and teams lament the FIA wanting to get rid of radio messages – Button welcomes the changes and perhaps gives away a little of why they have in fact been brought in: “The new guys coming in are told when to go faster, when to brake, how much heat, how much fuel – it is something that has annoyed me.”
“In the years I have raced I have had help from a team, which is what it is about – you learn from things, you make your own mistakes, and you benefit from that as a driver and individual. For me, the way I have learned has been the best way.”
“If in the new tech regs, the radio limitations end up where they should have ended up in terms of not telling us anything, that is what it should be,” Button said. “We should have to do our homework and plan ahead. And I think the more experienced drivers are better at that.”
What is perhaps ironic is that Button uses his radio to a greater extent than others – to complain of other’s driving standards or transgressing the limits of the track.
Rosberg – In my day lad, sex was safe and motor-racing was dangerous
Two steering wheels from an era that the modern viewers of the sport have never witnessed and yet the simple circle with the three spokes perhaps underlines the simplicity of a by gone era when the sport still had a soul and engaged millions of fans worldwide.
Nico Rosberg tweeted the above picture with the message:
“Just found my Dad’s steering wheel in the office. Dad, it was so much easier in those days!”
Britney, by all accounts speaks a number of languages fluently. He proved his cerebral capacity with exams at Williams and placements offered to study engineering at elite universities and yet he believes that the cars were easier in his father’s era – or does he mean they were simpler?
When readers comment on the misplacement of apostrophes and differences between choices of words maybe it’s time we all applied this critique! Of course if Nico was referring to the daunting fact that a wheel could actually be used to navigate a car around a track rather than control everything that the car is capable of doing then yes, his words are correct.
But what should be remembered is that both the Formula One wheel and the Peugeot sportscar wheels were attached to steering rods connected directly to the front wheels. Power steering had not been developed to any significant point at that stage.
It was only in the early 90’s that it began to appear on Formula One cars and in 1994 – following Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident – the Williams team disconnected the system on Damon Hill’s car due to safety concerns.
So yes, Mr Roserg Jr, F1 cars were simpler devices then but drivers had forearms to turn the wheel in their grip rather than what amounts to a tablet with handles today..
Ferrari testing ground breaking technology for the Fiat Group
Mattpt55 mentioned this incident in this week’s podcast but our sources from inside Maranello have revealed the real reason for Fernando’s off-track excursion. With the demise of Il Padrino and the newly self appointed President of Ferrari being none other than Fiat/ Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne – the new business plan is to develop technologies across all the companies in the group.
Fiat asked Ferrari to test their new Sat Nav system..
Aussie Press call for Red Bull team orders
Following years of torment which saw their national hero ‘marginalised and abused’ by Red Bull, the Aussie press appears to have had enough. Speed, in an extensive article argues Red Bull must issue team orders to maximise Danile Riciardo’s chance of challenging for the WDC.
Team principal Christian Horner maintained that it would be “wrong” of them to intervene when both men are still in with a chance of the world title.
Speed’s direct response is, “Sorry, Red Bull, but no they are not”.
The argument is simple. Red Bull have no realistic chance of winning the constructors’ title, being 174 points behind Mercedes with just 215 on offer by the end of the season. There is a greater possibility that Ricciardoi could slip through and steal the WDC.
Had the team reversed their cars in Singapore, their Aussie driver would be just 57 points behind Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel is 57 points behind his team mate with an almost definite penalty coming for the quadruple world champion.
Ricciardo looks like a man up for the fight and he was a mere 0.166 seconds slower than Rosberg in Singapore qualifying.
Vettel raced in Singapore with his fifth engine, fifth turbocharger, and fifth MGU-H unit. With five races still remaining Vettel is expected to need, at the least, a sixth engine, more likely sooner rather than later.
Following an engine problem in Friday Practice, Renault conceded, “With this failure, we will have to commit to a sixth ICE (internal combustion engine for Sebastian’s car). It is now a question of where we are going to strategically introduce it, instead of how we are going to avoid it.”
In contrast, Ricciardo’s tally sits at four across each of his Power Unit’s parts, while both Mercedes drivers have an additional Energy Store and Control Electronics change up their sleeve.
If Hamilton wins in Japan and Vettel is lower than second, then the game s up for a fifth straight title for the German.
So why hasn’t Red Bull put their best foot forward in the drivers’ championship? Here are four possibilities. Firstly, Sebastian has an agreement that team orders cannot be issued to him.
Secondly, Christian Horner remembers all too well Malaysia 2013 and how Vettel usurped his authority and posed metaphorically before the world with his Geox clad boot firmly on Horner’s neck. Therefore it would be pointless issuing orders because Vettel just do his own thing anyway and make Christian look silly again.
Thirdly, Red Bull are making sure Ricciardo knows who is boss. Teach em whilst they are young… and all that.
Finally, Red Bull are a little sentimental over their time together with Sebastian. They have given him by far the worst car this year and don’t want him running off to Ferrari just yet – so be nice to Seb and he’ll stay.
Speed are not happy with Red Bull’s attitude as they conclude that failing to switch their drivers in Singapore could be costly for Aussie hero, the colgate kid. “Let’s hope those three points aren’t the difference between Ricciardo and the title”.
F1 calendar 2015
It’s been more than 2 weeks now since the draft F1 calendar for 2015 was
released leaked. It is with fear and dread that I dare broach the topic, because it appears to be the kiss of death . Yet once opened, Pandora’s box cannot be closed.
As expected the Mexican GP will return after 23 years absence. There is still no New York race and clearly all the talk of Baku has abated for now.
“We’re going to Azerbaijan,” Ecclestone told the world’s media in MArch this year. “The people out there are talking about holding a race in 2015. That may be a bit soon – unless it’s at the end of the season; that’s a possibility. But 2016 is more likely.”
It could be Ecclestone has learned from previous mistakes and
released leaked the 2015 calendar only with those races which are certain, whilst working behind the scenes on securing one more race.
Subtle hint at Alonso move to McLaren?
Sometimes the smallest hints can be telling. The McLaren website has a ‘heritage driver’ section, which includes Fernando Alonso, yet a friend of mine claimed it had only been added very recently. Thankfully there is www.archive.org, a website that stores archived versions of other websites – and lo and behold – at the start of the season, Alonso’s profile was not yet part of the ‘heritage drivers’ section. Hm…
Caterham. Is the game up?
Caterham Staff have been called at short notice this afternoon to an emergency meeting. The 2 cars from 2013 were removed yesterday, supervised by unknown men in suits – possibly administrators.
The race team were fed in Singapore by other teams, including Saturday breakfast at Toro Rosso. Reports are they owe Red Bull
Further, Renault are owed several million on the engine contract and similarly Red Bull Racing are owed a big 7 figure sums for technology they supply to the Leafield team.
Interestingly, the team have done a lot of work on the 2015 car, including wind tunnel testing in Germany. A cynic may suggest this is all very handy free information for Mr. Kolles.
A number of the race team were refusing to go to Sochi, though it now appears that Japan may be abridge too far for the green goddesses.