#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 4th October 2014


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Previously on The Judge 13:

TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast – Episode 7

The Art of #F1: Heroes

Vettel Leaves Red Bull For Parts Unknown

2014 JapaneseGP Qualifying – Results

Toro Rosso considering Sainz for 2015

McLaren will ‘take time’ to decide drivers (GMM)

Vettel Leaves Red Bull For Parts Unknown

The rumours had been about for a long time, but it still caused quite a stir, when Red Bull dropped the bomb that Sebastian Vettel was leaving the stable. Apparently the team had been caught on short notice, but not unprepared.

According to Christian Horner, he received an SMS from his driver last night that asked him and Red Bulls motorsport consultant Dr. Helmut Marko to meet him in his hotel room. The group of three met at 10pm and Vettel informed them that he would activate the exit clause of his contract that allowed him to legally terminate the contract at the end of the season, should he be placed worse than third in the championship by September 30th.

As after a year of appalling reliability, repeated team errors and problems to adapt his driving style to the new characteristics of the car, this goal had been spectacularly missed and the German decided to pull the Get out of jail free card. The fact that only a few hours later the team had already announced the promotion of Daniil Kvyat to the big team, means that the Red Bull management knew they did not have a great defence for Vettel to stay where he was.

Not only will the combination Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat be the most awkward combination for TV reporters since Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle, it will also be interesting to see if Horner & Co. will be summoned to the carpet dance in the Kremlin if young Daniil’s car should turn out as fickle as Vettel’s 2014 steed. Comrade Putin does not manage failure very well.

Where Vettel is off to was relegated to worst kept secret when Horner announced that Ferrari obviously made a lucrative offer. The fact that rumours persists that Alonso’s contract termination was agreed to on Thursday evening, would explain Vettel’s timing.

The German has never made a secret of the fact that he wanted to drive for Ferrari one day and there is no better time than now. Alonso is gone and his potential team mate is the nearest thing he has to a friend in the paddock. On top of that, several people defected from Red Bull to Ferrari and there ís still the possibility that Ross Brawn might fancy himself a second stint at Ferrari with a German driver as the main attraction. For all intents and purposes, the switch would have some very interesting parallels to Schumacher’s move in 1996.

Like his childhood idol Michael Schumacher, Vettel is said to have a talent for integrating with the team and pushing them to extra efforts and he takes some trusted people (like Handkammer) with him. He is also young enough to be able to afford two or three seasons in obscurity before reaping the rewards, a luxury that Fernando Alonso cannot afford due to his age.

There is of course the outside chance that Vettel might end up at McLaren or even Mercedes, should Lewis somehow manage not to win the title, but Horner’s and Marko’s statements make that improbable.

Both sides are keen to point out that the split happened without hard feelings, and one might even be inclined to believe that, but the fact remains that Red Bull have let Vettel down spectacularly all through the season. If a team has to change the chassis three times in a single season, there is clearly something wrong in the manufacturing department which accounts for his abysmal reliability in comparison to his team mate.

On top of that several key figures in Vettel’s success were removed or slated to be removed – Adrian Newey, Rocky and Chief bolt Handkammer, to name a few.

It was not too hard to see that Vettel was pushed out of his comfort zone and increasingly used as a guinea pig for risky tactical gambles, which only paid off at Singapore, but ended up humiliating him at Monza for instance. The exit was as foreseeable as the Amen in church with the only surprise being that he made hay immediately and didn’t repeat Mark’s mistake of taking such a season more than once.

The silly season has now started in earnest.


2014 JapaneseGP Qualifying – Results

As Typhoon Phanfone bears down on Japan Nico Rosberg took pole for the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. He was followed closely by team mate Lewis Hamilton and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas rounds out the top three. Look out for Mattpt55‘s qualifying report a bit later.

# Driver Ctry Team
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams
4 Felipe Massa Williams
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren
8 Jenson Button McLaren
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
12 Sergio Perez Force India
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus
19 Marcus Ericsson Caterham
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
22 Max Chilton Marussia


(source from (GMM) with TJ13 comment

Toro Rosso considering Sainz for 2015

Red Bull has not denied that Carlos Sainz jr is the obvious choice to replace Daniil Kvyat in 2015.

Suzuka and the sport was rocked on Saturday when it emerged Sebastian Vettel is leaving Red Bull’s senior team, with the 20-year-old Russian Kvyat to replace him.

“I was very honoured,” Kvyat told the BBC on Saturday, “and very surprised.” It leaves a gap at Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team, who had already announced that Kvyat would be racing at Faenza alongside rookie teen Max Verstappen next year.

Until the Verstappen news, 20-year-old Spaniard Sainz, whose father and namesake is the well-known world rally legend, had been the favourite to step up at Toro Rosso in 2015. He is expected to wrap up the Formula Renault 3.5 championship later this month.

Christian Horner, the team boss at Red Bull’s senior team, was asked by the Spanish daily AS on Saturday if Sainz will now be stepping up at Toro Rosso.

“We’ll see what happens with Carlos,” he answered. “It’s something to talk about. We always look to talent and try to make the right decision,” Horner added.

TJ13 comment: It was suggested some weeks ago that if Vettel left for another team, Kyvat would step up to the mother ship with Sainz taking his place. Felix de Costa claimed his F1 career was over after the signing of Verstappen and as Henry Ford once said – “If you think you can , you think you can’t, you are absolutely right”.

You take your opportunities with both hands and shake themuntil you have exhausted every possibility, but it highlights Frank Tost’s views on the credibility of Jean Eric Vergne.


McLaren will ‘take time’ to decide drivers (GMM)

All eyes are on Ferrari and Fernando Alonso in the wake of Sebastian Vettel’s shock news on Saturday. Although some think Spaniard Alonso’s exit at Ferrari and move to McLaren-Honda is now obvious, others are not so convinced.

Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo thinks a sabbatical for the 33-year-old is even a possibility, as his plans to set up a professional cycling team take shape.

It is an option that he takes a break for a year,” agreed former team owner and serial F1 prognosticator Eddie Jordan. “I don’t think Fernando is going to go to McLaren to struggle and build a team up. He will take a year off,” he told German broadcaster Sky.

Alonso is definitely not going to Red Bull to replace Red Bull, and Christian Horner said on Saturday that the energy drink-owned camp had never even considered Alonso.

In all honesty, no,” Horner told Britain’s Sky at Suzuka.

Ferrari has confirmed in Japan that it is not currently planning to make a driver announcement this weekend.

But McLaren and Honda are obviously “considering” putting Alonso in a Woking-built car for 2015, reportedly after he and Ron Dennis recently sat down and put their horrendous 2007 collaboration in the past. It is even rumoured Alonso arrived in Tokyo on Monday, where the Honda Motor Co is headquartered.

Asked about that, Alonso laughed and denied he had visited Honda. But Honda is obviously keen on having F1’s best driver in a McLaren next year.

When asked if the carmaker and McLaren have already signed Alonso, Honda chief Yasuhisa Arai turned to his McLaren colleague Jonathan Neale on Friday and said: “Should I answer?

Not only McLaren-Honda but also the other teams want to keep the good (best) driver,” he said.

Eric Boullier, McLaren boss, is now admitting Alonso is actively under consideration.

We are still trying,” he told Spain’s AS daily, “and we will take our time not to make any mistakes. We have a good chance and we don’t want to lose it.

We will take our time but the decision will anyway be soon — in a couple of weeks.


86 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 4th October 2014

  1. Seriously – the big news as a GMM item?

    Anyway. I think it was inevitable. Vettel lost trust in the team months ago. They had to change the chassis three times until they finally managed to build a proper one, car kept blowing up in his face with so many lost sessions and the little detail of the stolen win at Canada. On top of that his innermost circle of trusted people was more or less disbanded (Newey, Rocky, Handkammer). They didn’t really try hard to keep him aboard, did they?

    • I think there’s a lot more to Vettel’s decision than the trials and tribulations of a woeful Renault Power Train and difficulty adapting to the demands of the regulation changes. From what I can make out, Vettel had a performance clause in his contract which he exercised to make the move to Ferrari happen. Pretty clear that Vettel has always wanted to drive for Ferrari to emulate his hero Schumacher. He’s got the most out of Red Bull and so it’s time for a new Challenge.
      Red Bull have little sentimentality for drivers it seems, they’ve moved on though not before ruining Ferrari’s PR. I’m sure we’ll get one last Vettel and Red Bull love in for PR purposes before Marko gets the knives out on the 1st of January.

      Vettel going to Ferrari may not pay off, but I’ve been expecting him to leave Red Bull for a while now (Multi 21 exposed some cracks between Vettel and the team). It’ll be interesting to see if Vettel can build Ferrari around himself and develop a car that can challenge for the titles.

      Red Bull had a good run with Newey and co, they are a team in transition and probably face more lean times given the state of the Renault Power Train.

    • Maybe the team finally realised the vettel hype is gone once he doesn’t have a car that is far superior to the rest in terms of downforce and driveability. Ricciardo’s been schooling him so far, and dont feed us any more BS about how vettel has not had time to adapt due to limited running – it has nearly been a full season now, and the best drivers can adapt in a relatively short period of time…

    • @FH
      “They had to change the chassis three times until they finally managed to build a proper one, car kept blowing up in his face with so many lost sessions and the little detail of the stolen win at Canada.”

      A lot of hippo-spiracies there.. But I’ll just focus on the most obvious one: Danny boy won Canada fair and square, because he overtook Perez—audaciously—just in time to allow him to put a knife in Rosberg’s back. Last I checked Finger boy finished 3rd in that race, and with his hindsight you simply cannot know if Seb would have made the right passes in time had he been in front of Danny boy after the pitstops..

      • That’s wrong. At the time of the second pitstop Vettel was comfortably ahead of Danny. Team called him in at the wrong time due to misreading GPS poisitons and released him into traffic. They apologized for it afterwards, publically, ancknowledging they had cost him the win.

        • I see. However “misreading GPS poisiton” doesn’t sound like a “stolen win”. It’s more like a team cock-up. Just ask Lewis and Nico about their experiences this year..

          • Stolen in the sense that the team nixed his achievement on the day. It’s still used as “Ricciardo beat Vettel” when without the team blunder he would only have finished second

          • Well, that’s one way to see things, Hippo..

            Team cock-ups happen all the time, and at the end of the day is better he who finishes in front (either in the race or in the points). Just as an example, I don’t hear you often complaining that Lewis should have been a 2-time WDC, Massa a 1-time one, and Fred a 4-time one. You choose which point of view to take on each of these occasions solely based on your preconceptions and personal bias for a given outcome. Of course we all do this, more or less, but in this specific instance it is glaring.

            “still used as “Ricciardo beat Vettel””

            I hope you don’t disagree with the fact that this year, for whichever reasons, Danny boy has shown more class on track and has obtained better results on average than the 4-time WDC. Luck has of course something to do with it, but I suspect you weren’t complaining too loudly when Seb didn’t get completely wiped out on the first lap in Brazil 2012..

          • You are mixing up several things here. The fact that Fred isn’t a 4-time WDC is down to Ferrari being fooled in 2010 and Anlonso being unable to overtake a Russian pay driver in a souped up Clio. In 2012 he wouldn’t have been in contention anymore if it wasn’t for the drid manipulation at Austin and Webber disobeying team order. Vettel would never have been in a position to tangle with Senna had Webber not blocked him at turn 1.
            Danny boy was generally quicker than VET in the car, but he was slower in canada, yet still won, so it was solely down to the team, else they wouldn’t have apologized.
            Let’s just wait for the coming years and we’ll sort it out. Either I’ll be proven an idiot or some of you detractors will.

          • “In 2012 he wouldn’t have been in contention anymore if it wasn’t for the drid manipulation at Austin and Webber disobeying team order. Vettel would never have been in a position to tangle with Senna had Webber not blocked him at turn 1.”

            O boy. In 2012 VETTEL wouldn’t have been in contention anymore if it wasn’t for the drid crashes at Spa and Suzuka. VETTEL would never have been in a position to tangle with Senna had HE HIMSELF not taken such an aggressive and risky line through turn 3.

            So who’s mixing up stuff here? It was Vettel btw who was spilling points everywhere at the first half of the season and was fortunate enough Newey and his team enabled him to do his magic in the 2nd half.

          • Wrong. Yes, his first half of 2012 wasn’t stellar, yet his esteemed teammate wasn’t exactly leading him by many points, was he? ‘Nando was the big profiteur from the gamble, but once RB had sorted our their car everyone else, including Webber, looked quite ordinary

        • Seems like you’ve been having a lot of cramping in your butt all season long.

          RBR didn’t try hard enough to keep him….. What a joke!

          They built him 3 different chasis, whilst Ric continued to use the same one. Seb jumped ship because he realised that the Aussie next door, is a lot better than the one he had the previous 4 years and then to suffer the humiliation of being told on 2 occasions to move over and let him pass, surely does not help his cause either.

          I wish him well at Ferrari, let’s hope he doesn’t endure a similar faith as the man he’s replacing. He’s moving from the 2nd best car on the grid, to the 4th and if he couldn’t get his current car to work for him, he’s surely going to need all the help he can get to get that Ferrari to replicate his previous Newey designed masterpieces.

          • Have you ever thought about the fact that there is something wrong if they have to build three chasis until they finally have one that actually works?

          • Nope, why should I?….

            You don’t see his teammate complaining about his. The team has made every possible excuses for him, given him new equipment so as to get him on level par with Ric, so I’m sorry, your argument doesn’t hold up in the courtroom.

            So what will be your argument if he gets pummelled by Kimi next season?……

            ‘Oh he’s new to the team and not familiar with the car?’……..

          • Are you really suggesting the team built two complete chasssis out of boredom? LOL, I just hope that Lewis loses the title to see you imploding. You have no other arguments but ridiculing other drivers so you can make your favorite look better, which still only has 25% of Seb’s title and can’t shake his team mate off his back.

          • @fat hippo – “Have you ever thought about the fact that there is something wrong if they have to build three chasis until they finally have one that actually works?”

            Nope, it reeks of a desperate attempt to find an excuse as to why on earth a 4 time world champ is struggling so much in the second fastest car, against a team mate who at times could be matched by Vergne….

          • @FH….

            Which driver have I ridiculed? I did not ridicule Seb, I’m ridiculing your comment. You’d have seen where I said, “I wish him all the best at ferrari and I hope he doesn’t endure the same faith as the man he’s replacing”

            No sir I’m not saying they built 2 new chasis out of boredom. You said the team didn’t do enough to keep him and I merely saying, the fact that they built him new ones, given that his original chasis was not damaged, showed they had not abandoned him, like you’re eluding to.

            Sure LH has only 25% of Seb’s championship, but that’s not the point is it? Sure Lewis can’t shake Nico, that’s because Nico has developed into a worthy adversary hence why the battle is so tightly fought. But your 4 times WDC is getting pummelled by a guy who last season was easily matched by JeV, yeah that same one who was handed his pink slip.

            Lewis can’t shake Nico, but apart from qualifying, he’s leading him in every other category, points, wins, DNF’s and even DoTD/W.

          • Lol nah kid, just find it amusing whenever you and sort|ts get into it, with anyone, you both fight in perfect unison, speak the same and either yours or his comments get immediate huge ‘like’ hits…

            Wondering when the Judge will figure it out. Lol

            It’s funny how much it all means to the cretin peanut gallery…

            Anyway fanboi, there there, it’ll all be ok. 😀

          • I do think that Raikkonen and Vettel will go well in the same car. They both do well at the same time, from wanting the front to turn in strongly to the apex IMO. You could say Ferrari have ran the top 3 drivers now of the 2012-13 period going by points.. just that Alo-Rai like totally opposite cars. Alonso matches better with Hamilton, as we saw in 2007..

    • “On top of that his innermost circle of trusted people was more or less disbanded (Newey, Rocky, Handkammer)”

      Oh, let me address this, too.

      Newey was hardly disbanded. If it were for him, he would have left even earlier. And he decided to stick up the finger *despite* Herr Dr Marko’s bullying.

      I would suspect that Rocky switched posts in full knowledge of Seb’s change of teams at the end of the year. When I first hear the news of Rocky’s promotion, my first suspicion was that Seb has already informed his inner-circle of his intentions to leave. His contract negotiations with Ferrari must have taken much longer than a mere weekend. And this also eerily recalls Podromou’s switch to McLaren, that was a first sign of Newey’s desire to leave.

      As for Handkammer, it seems that Seb himself is luring the guy to Maranello.

      So much for the hippo-spiracy that Seb’s a poor, innocent victim in all this..

  2. I can’t wait to see Vettel go up against another new team mate next year and probably another once Kimi goes.

    He won’t be fighting for titles but he is fighting for the value of the 4 he has.

    Beaten by Ricciardo. . .

    If he only matches Kimi and then gets thumped by an incoming Hamilton. (Hypothetically. .. calm down) then the value of his titles may be in doubt.

  3. What I find amusing is that Alonso says he can go wherever he goes. Ferrari don’t want him any more. Merc wouldn’t replace Hamilton with him. RBR never considered him. So it’s only Macca or sitting out for a year. Are you sh/tt/ng me Fred?

    • Bar the bodily function part, my thoughts exactly.

      Alonso is now more or less a pariah for Ferrari, Merc and RBR. If he is in for a 2nd bout of Asturian handbag fighting with Big Ron, Honda or not he will be out before too long. And what next for “I give all my love to each and every team that I leave” Samurai? Before long we’ll see him happy to sign for Lotus or Force India, just like Pastor and Sergio this year.

      As I said before, it shall be sweet irony if the almighty Fred retires with “only” his two titles *and* as the perennial Ferrari wannabe..

      • “As I said before, it shall be sweet irony if the almighty Fred retires with “only” his two titles *and* as the perennial Ferrari wannabe..”

        Will not happen….ever. It was for all to see Ferrari couldnt come up with a winning car. Public opinion will tell you from now until eternity Alonso did everything he could but Ferrari simply failed him, the Tifosi and themselves.

        • Personally I still hold Fred partly responsible for Ferrari’s bricks while he was there. The team was clearly strapped around Fred’s back, and the car was being designed for his whims using all the might of Maranello. I’m actually wondering if Big Ron isn’t swapping one technically inapt WDC for another technically challenged WDC. That Fred can drive any piece of brick that you can throw at him doesn’t absolve him of the responsibility for developing the car in a sane direction..

    • Yesterday I asked the question, is he a poision chalice?….

      Like MB said, “he’s on the back foot now”…..

      Whatever bargaining power he had, was just taken away from him by RB. Now Mclaren holds all the aces in whatever deal that maybe offered to him.

  4. Fastest driver over one lap…? Beaten to pole, again, and on one of the few outright ‘driver tracks’ remaining? Isn’t qualifying Bling Bling’s speciality? it’s a curious…


    What are the excuses from him? Haven’t really been keeping up with the media stuff?

    • No excuses, he said rosberg was better today…. funny how you only comment when lewis gets beaten in qualifying but not the other way round. Belive it or not, people have good days and bad days and today lewis had a bad one, but apparently he’s not entitled to one of them according to you… waiting in anticipation for standard toddler response

    • Now that comment was not surprising at all. 2 weeks ago after qualifying, you had nothing to say, but oh today you’re full of it as usual.

      But since you’re so overly excited about Nico getting pole, let’s just drop some stats on you….

      Nico 8 poles ….4 wins
      Lewis 6 poles….7 wins

      Save your chest puffing speech until after the race, you don’t want egg on your face again like in Monza, when you quickly bragged, “perfect start, he got schooled” and ended up finishing 2nd, so to try and save face, you went into your conspiracy nonsense.

      • It’s amusing how much this means to you sonny… Methinks’ a life needs to be gotten. 😉

        Though it is humbling to know that you hang on, and remember, each and every word I’ve said. Like a fanboi I guess… Lol.

        Can’t say I recall any specific vitriol from the cretins, and king cretin (you), coming from the peanut gallery other than… “Blah, blah, Lewis is amazing… Blah, blah, Lewis is the fastest ever… blah, blah, Lewis is like Fangio… blah, blah, Lewis drove like Schumi at Hungary…”

        Keep it up kids, daddy needs his daily humour quota.

    • Lewis’s crash in FP3 cost him dearly, Nico did the job. Not much more you can say about it. Otherwise you sound like you’ve got a bag of sour grapes that you pick at when things go right for Lewis and then feast upon once he makes a mistake. It’s getting a bit old at this point. And no I’m not part of the Hamilton fandom. I’ve enjoyed seeing Nico perform better than most people expected i.e. Herbert and co.

      I’m a Team McLaren fan with a soft spot for Williams (1992 is the season that got me hooked on F1).

      • Wonder if he knows that to be called the “quickest over a lap” he actually needs to outqualify his team mate more often than not, and by a lot. Lol. 😀 The celebs probably don’t tell him that when he’s rapping and partying…

        It’s funny how he thinks he’s Senna in speed… The kid has less talent than what could be found in a single arse hair of Senna… Admitedly I am surprised at quali this year, but then I realised Lewey was qualifying Kovi and Butt, which ain’t an achievement on speed… It’s all been BS.

        It’s ok though, the team will ensure his salary is justified tomorrow.


  5. With the talent drain from Red Bull I’m not shocked, Newey Podromu et all.

    With Danny having a better season he took the opportunity to move to Ferrari while his star and the iron are still hot.

    Also, with the regulation change for the noses to be similar to Merc and Ferrari next year that gives both teams an advantage.

    Time will tell if this was a good move for Seb, but if he waited another year it might not have been possible.

    Looking forward to how this shakes the driver tree and definitely looking forward to the 2015 season.

  6. funny, the same shat as ever. hippo eagerly trying to defend an overrated driver, while sissy is trying to capitalize (or make up) every possibility to butcher lewis. the standard of this site and especially the comments has just gone down so much, sad to see.

  7. Blimey, A lot of keyboard warrior bitch slapping going on today.

    These moves are good news for fans, whatever your personal position. Vettel and Hamilton have lost a little stock this year to Ricciardo and Rosberg, indeed Raikonnen has too. Rosberg stood up to Schuey well, and Hamilton looked alright against Alonso, so I think they look reasonable as genuine talent, but Is Rosberg another win from the front guy though? His race craft has looked poor this year.

    I also half wonder if Alonso can’t develop a car, no doubt the man can drive what he has amazingly, but Raikonnen has made progress this year, as have Ferrari, so how much is new management, engineers, or Kimis input? People always deride Lewis in this aspect, yet he seems to be able to develop a car, unlike Button, and I read an article recently where a Merc engineer said that Lewis just gets it, immediately, no need to explain. Perhaps this is why Alonso has lost his lustre to Ferrari.

    Kvyat has looked good this year, so I’d like to see how he went in an RB, but could Alonso be going there? Even had Vettel had more support and a less crappy car this year, I don’t think he’d have blown Dan away, so I’d like to see him take Raikonnen and Ferrari on, see how it goes. Kvyat and Magnussen against the race winners circle, to give them some context? Sounds great! Long term I’d like to see Lewis and Seb at Ferrari, that’d be interesting!

    But given the current trajectory of the teams, how about Bottas for a 2015 WDC? Gotta be worth a cheeky outside bet!

    • “I also half wonder if Alonso can’t develop a car, no doubt the man can drive what he has amazingly,”

      Yup, my thoughts, too. See comment above.

      • Exactly what I was trying to get across yesterday when I was saying that the master manipulator that Alonso is will leave and everyone will say what a genious he is and it’s all Ferrari’s fault for not delivering. He’s very much responsible. 5 years is a long time

  8. On Vettel

    I think he moves at the right time.
    His big supporters (like Coulthard) will say that he was at a different stage of his career and that’s why Ric is beating him…bla bla bla…others will point that it was just bad luck, not the right chassis…bla bla bla…that Red Bull let him down and took his personnel…bla bla bla

    There’s only one reason he leaves now and not next year when he would have seen where Ferrari and Honda are. He’s afraid his stock will plummet if Ric beats him another year. And they probBly knew fr 2 months now he was going to activate the clause hence taking his team away.

  9. RED #5 is going home.

    Good choice by Vettel, I think he will fit the MM philosophy at Ferrari, he now has 2 driver who are very apolitical and not to forget, fairly good friends.

    Regarding Alonso, he is now at a point where instead of demanding a gazillion € from a perspective employer, it’s more like, ‘take what you’re given’. McLaren/Honda may have just save a good €10m on the cost of a star driver. I rate FA very highly for his driving skills, plus the guy has a sense of humour, but he really has shot his own foot in the current situation. Instead of haveing the option to stay at Marinello anymore, he therefore has no bargaining tool to by which to get favourable terms and remuneration from any future contract. He just messed about for a fraction too long and now, instead of a hand of aces he’s on a pair of 2’s

    • Last time I checked, Alonso had a contract with Ferrari until the end of 2015. The most exposed party in all those musical chairs is Ferrari if they have signed Vettel before making one free seat in their cars. It could well be the case that Alonso is getting paid by two teams for a drive next year.

      I have read on autosport.com about Alonso saying that he will drive wherever he wants whenever he wants. Sounded a bit arrogant to me (and I count myself as a fan).

      And about something that I read above: “Vettel lost trust in the team months ago”… and his next movement is going to Ferrari. He might be changing bad for worse. But only time can tell.

      • Word in the Paddock is that Alonso was released from his contract on Thursday, hence why Seb has now given his notice to RedBull, he couldn’t before. I think Ferrari should have embraced the situation instead of staying quiet and really got some good spun in it. Nikki Lauda said he had heard FA was released by Fezza Thursday afternoon so he is now the one with no contract in had, maybe Ferrari told Seb to leak where he is going to screw Alonso’s new contract negotiations with a prospective employer, he can’t now say, “your terms are not good enough, I’m staying put” so if McLaren offer him €10m a year he has a choice to take it or not drive, unless he buys out the Lotus team and is an owner Driver later becoming team principal when the driving is over. What ever the case Alonso tried to play blackjack and busted, I bet Big Ron is rubbing his hands together now FA has no drive for next year, as yet. .

        Unless we get 3 car teams, the Ferrari will have THE strongest trio……..

        • LH when questioned by Sky’s reporter, was asked if he was surprised at the news that Seb was off to Ferrari, replied no, he had known for sometime now.

          MB stated that RB had played a blinder and by coming out with the news so quickly, has somewhat put Alonso on the back foot. This has in someways given RD extra bargaining power.

        • ” … FA was released by Fezza Thursday afternoon so he is now the one with no contract in hand …. ”


          just because Ferrari have ” released ” him – doesn’t mean that the contract is Null and Void, nor that Fred doesn’t have a contract with Ferrari.

          Maybe that’s why he said he can drive wherever he likes.

          Because HE ( Fred ) can still enforce his contract with Ferrari and drive for them next year.

          Maybe a well paid sabbatical a la Kimi ?????

        • I wonder if there would have ever been a stronger 3 car line up… 3 drivers, who had all been the fastest on the grid at some point. I can think of Fangio-Moss in the Mercedes-Benz, or momentary Surtees-Clark before Lotus’ peak. And of course Prost-Senna at McLaren, and Alonso-Hamilton, but 3 car line ups?

    • I think there’s still an ace in fred’s hand: Honda. They desperately want him and probably from next year on. ‘What? Only xx million? I think I’m going to focus on my cycling team next year.’

  10. Alonso’s no dill. I doubt he would have given notice at Ferrari without a golden new contract of his own already seen up for the next few years….
    Wasn’t word on the street that he was going to make a statement Sunday after the race – and Vettel usurped this by getting in first ( with the proverbial finger raised high) !!!!
    Can’t even imagine Alonso wanting to take a year off as reported in Spanish media.

    • It’s not as unrealistic as it sounds. He just started a second attempt at starting a top-level cycling team. He could concentrate on getting that going for a year before coming back, then knowing how good/bad Honda are. Honda could retain Button for one more year then drafting in ‘nando

  11. One interesting aspect that hasn’t been looked at is how Vettel’s move will affect a driver like Hamilton who’s contract ends in 2015, essentially putting him out of sequence to the other leading drivers. What happens if he doesn’t win the WC this year.

    Vettel clearly isn’t going to accept Hamilton into Ferrari as it appears the team is reverting to the Schumacher policy of a designated number one and two.

    If Alonso goes to Mclaren he won’t accept Hamilton there either.

    Red Bull have made their minds up and the future is Riccardo and Kyvat.

    If Rosberg, now with a new multi-year contract, wins the WC, M-B have their own WC and don’t need Hamilton.

    Then either Hamilton accepts he is number two at M-B or he moves to Williams or NASCAR.

    • “If Alonso goes to Mclaren he won’t accept Hamilton there either.”……

      Did we all miss something, but isn’t Mclaren run by RD and not Alonso? Will he blackmail the team again if he rejoins?

      Why wouldn’t Seb accept Lewis at Ferrari? I’m sure a driver of his calibre is not scared of being challenged by another driver of equal qualities. What if Ferrari wants him in the team? Will he chuck it in and leave?

      How about this as another possible scenario…..


      • “Will he blackmail the team again if he rejoins?”

        Bwahahahahahahahaha. As much as Dennis and Boullier are putting on brave faces – Honda are calling the shots in McLaren’s F1 group. Without Honda McLaren would replicate what has happened to Williams over the last ten years and sink to a mid-field team without much hope of regaining their former glory. Sponsors are drying up and their spate with M-B, Dennis’s dislike of Ferrari and Red Bull as prime Renault customers mean they have almost no options for engines, and Honda know that. If Honda want Alonso, he be at McLaren regardless of what Dennis wants.

      • I saw Nikki Lauda state very clearly that Lewis is with Merc till end 2015 Defo and they want a 2 or 3 year extension. He came across as incredibly believable, no double talking at all.

    • I suspect that from now on neither ferrari driver, regardless of who it is, will be in such a position to veto other drivers – that management would like – from coming into the team…

      Gone are the days of nando, domenicali and LDM where Alonso once had that sort of power due to LDM’s soft spot for him and his buddy domenicali who would heap praise on alonso at every opportunity.

      Mattiacci’s arrival has put an end to this sort of thing happening again, and Marchionne’s shadow in overseeing the team being more and more obvious has bolstered this. You kind of get a sense they will not allow any driver to have such a hold over Ferrari as Alonso did and will do what is best for the team. And if that means they want Hamilton or any other driver down the line, and Vettel tries to veto it, he’ll probably be told to do one and bring in the driver of their choice regardless…..

      • Historically teams that have a designated number one and number two do better than those that have co-equal drivers, especially when it comes to winning WC’s. Bringing in a driver like Hamilton to partner Vettel simply creates the same issues that M-B have today. If Ferrari want to win they’ll use the Schumacher model – not the M-B model.

          • It’s a team sport, there will always be a number 1 and 2 pecking order in the team. Ferrari is more up front about it and somewhat clunky when asking the number 2 driver to move aside.

            Mercedes management is a bit out of it’s depth, I’m fairly sure Ross Brawn would have kept a tight lid on things and told both they could both race for the drivers titles once the constructors was secured.

        • And Bianchi is likely to be a good ‘team player’, just like Massa was from a similar situation (being ‘trained up’ by Ferrari).

    • I would like to discuss this comment with you again in two years time. But I suppose that if Vettel fares better than ‘nando it’s all down to the car again. And in a way it will, because next year they’ll have two drivers that prefer the same driving style, so in-season development will have a clear direction as opposed to trying to cater for two different sets of preferences.

      • It also depends on Ferrari getting it’s factory working properly i.e. James Allison and co being able to work without an overbearing boss breathing down their necks. I think it may just work for Vettel at Ferrari. The team appears to be making the right decisions, it’s just a case of sorting out the power train’s performance to match/beat Mercedes and sorting out the woeful chassis designs.

        I think it may take a bit longer than 2 years to fully sort out the problems at Ferrari. It just a case of everyone giving Vettel and Ferrari time to gel together before we can judge them.

        • most of the people won’t, because they are still bleeding from the arsehole over their driver being beaten between 2010 and 2013. They cant accept defeat.

          • while on the subject of arseholes……..that one seems to have slipped thru Judge….

          • Webber had his moments but he never really got the hang of driving Newey’s cars like Vettel did. That’s where Webber lost out and scuppered his chances of winning a title. Add in some steely determination from Vettel to win at all costs and 4 titles in a row is the result.

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