#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 6th November 2014


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Previously on The Judge 13:

#F1 Circuit Profile: 2014 – Brazil, São Paulo, Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos) – Round 18

OTD Lite: 1931 – Birth of a ‘Giant’ of a man

McLaren gives Alonso deadline for 2015 decision (GMM)

Rosberg missing aggression for 2014 ‘combat’ – pundits (GMM)

Brazil moves tractor after Bianchi crash (GMM)

You know you’ve never been in the Judge’s bunker…

OTD Lite: 1931 – Birth of a ‘Giant’ of a man

Today we celebrate the birth of one of the legends of motorsport. Peter Collins would go down in Italian motorsport lore as one of the most honourable men in racing history. Having won two Grand Prix during the 1956 season, he slowed and allowed Juan Manuel Fangio to take over his car at the Italian Grand Prix after the Argentinian had retired his own.

This self-less move stunned the great Fangio “I was moved almost to tears by the gesture… Peter was one of the finest and greatest gentlemen I ever met in my racing career” With the result, Fangio would take his fourth title – Collins had been in line to win the crown himself! Enzo Ferrari also took the young Briton as if he were a son, so touched was he by his graciousness.


Collins’ friendship with Mike Hawthorn would become a tale of two great drivers who would forever be known by the tag “Bon Ami Mate” and he would race in support of Hawthorn’s bid for title glory in 1958. After a quite stunning win at the British Grand Prix, he lost his life tragically at the Nurburging when he spun out of control and vaulted a banking and slammed into a tree.

Hawthorn was devastated and decided to retire at the end of the season. He too would be dead after a crash on the highroad in Engand proved fatal that winter.

The Samurai Jackal


McLaren gives Alonso deadline for 2015 decision (GMM)

McLaren has warned Fernando Alonso he is running out of time to commit to the British team for the 2015 season. Media reports in the last days have suggested the Spaniard, whose five-year stint at Ferrari appears definitely over, has now decided to re-join McLaren to spearhead the team’s new works Honda era.

Italy’s Tuttosport said the contract is for two years with a total value of EUR 70 million. On a visit this week to Mexico City’s rejuvenating F1 venue for 2015, however, Alonso denied the reports.

“There is nothing new,” he insisted. “I have decided nothing for next year — nothing is definite yet. With Ferrari I am seeing what is the best decision for next year, whether I continue or not, but I will try to choose what is best for my future.”

“I have something in my head, but every week for the past two months there have been these rumours, always with a different team. I respect Ferrari greatly,” Alonso said. “It is a team that I love. For Ferrari it has been a difficult year, and for me it has been five difficult years.”

On the face of it, it seems Alonso’s only choice is McLaren or a sabbatical, leaving Jenson Button increasingly nervous about the likely end of his F1 career. In his latest interview with Hermes, former McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen agrees: “Jenson’s behaviour lately reflects a certain loss of confidence. I think when you are striving for success in the long-term, your behaviour looks different.”

McLaren acknowledges that it has put Button and Kevin Magnussen in an awkward position as the Alonso talks drag on. Team boss Eric Boullier may now be losing patience. “We want to have Fernando’s decision between Brazil and Abu Dhabi,” the Frenchman is quoted as declaring clearly to the German newspaper Bild. “We have had good conversations with him, he would fit well with us and he has signalled that he wants the job. However, we want a long-term solution – three years – not just a contract for one.

Honda is making no secret that it wants a driver of Alonso’s top calibre for 2015. The BBC has reported Alonso is on the verge of agreeing a two-year contract plus a further option for 2017.

“We cannot comment on the drivers as it is a subject for McLaren and Honda,” said the Japanese marque’s F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai, according to Spain’s Marca. “But Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton are very strong drivers and all the teams want them. Any one of them has a chance of being in the team in 2015,” Arai added.

The big favourite is clearly Alonso.

“There are simply moments in your career when you know that you have to change teams,” McLaren legend Emerson Fittipaldi said. “Fernando has arrived at such a moment.”


Rosberg missing aggression for 2014 ‘combat’ – pundits (GMM)

Lewis Hamilton has produced championship-winning performance alongside former title favourite Nico Rosberg in the latter stages of 2014. That is the claim of former F1 stars turned pundits including the outspoken 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who said Mercedes’ British driver deserves his title ‘check mate’ following five straight wins.

In contrast, Hamilton’s teammate Rosberg, once the runaway leader in 2014, has fallen 24 points off the pace with just Brazil and then the ‘double points’ finale in Abu Dhabi still to go. “In the crucial moments, Hamilton has just been more aggressive,” French Canadian Villeneuve told the German magazine Sport Bild. “And that’s the only way you win a world championship.

Indeed, in the wake of his latest triumph in Austin, an increasingly bullish and relaxed Hamilton said he found a new gear after Spa in August, when he and Rosberg famously collided. “Spa was like ‘I’m going to turn this up. This means war!’, that kind of feeling,” Hamilton said.

Another pundit, David Coulthard, agrees with his contemporary Villeneuve that Rosberg might be missing the final piece of the title-winning puzzle.

“I am almost embarrassed to criticise Nico,” said the former McLaren and Red Bull driver, “because he is 95 per cent the perfect driver. He is much better than I ever was technically, and he has the speed too,” Coulthard declared.

“But what he has not yet proven is that he has the necessary hardness in combat. He needs to change that urgently in the last races of the season — not only because of the championship, but because of his reputation.”

Brazil moves tractor after Bianchi crash (GMM)

Organisers of the Brazilian grand prix have tweaked safety measures in light of Jules Bianchi’s life-threatening Suzuka crash a month ago. Globo reports that the tractor destined to be on duty in the famous ‘Senna-S’ has been relocated.

“The Bianchi accident certainly made us think,” said Luis Ernesto Morales, the chief engineer at Interlagos.

“One of the changes we have made was the adoption of a new post at the new run-off area at the Senna-S, so that there will not be a tractor entering there. Undoubtedly, the changes have improved the safety procedures,” he added.

During the wet Brazilian grand prix in 2003, Michael Schumacher spun off and narrowly missed a tractor that was removing Juan Pablo Montoya’s stricken Williams.


You know you’ve never been in the Judge’s bunker…

if you think only Australia is full of scary creatures…


88 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 6th November 2014

  1. What is it with Alonso constantly referring to how special Ferrari is, and that it’s his home when he is asked about 2015? Everyone but him says he isn’t going to be there in 2015, yet he still seems to be dropping hints that he is staying.

    The only possible way this is going to work is Ferrari running three cars…is that he decision he is waiting on?

    There is no other reason to wait, there is nothing else on the table.

    • There seems to be conflicting reports flying all over the place. Many reported that Alonso signed the contract around the time of the japanese GP if i recall correctly and that McLaren are just waiting for Button to sort out his future before an announcement is mad. Yet others are saying that Alonso still needs to make a decision.

      I think he’s already signed but I’ve just seen that pitlane talk on twitter have deleted their account. They were the first ones to state categorically that Alonso had signed for McLaren and if they were wrong, they would delete their twitter account. And delete they did….

      • the rumor that this is about ferrari paying him a compensation makes sense i think. if alonso is hoping for a better seat than mclaren opening up out of nowhere he must be delusional.

  2. Nico’s not missing the aggression, it’s just that when push comes to shove and you need a driver to dig deep to get the result, Lewis is your man.

    Nico seems to be relying too much on data and what the track has felt like in previous runs, Lewis more on the feel. It was none the more evident than in Austin, where track conditions changed and adaptability is key. Lewis recognised this much earlier and consequently led to what was probably the defining moment of the race in changing the front wing angle. It’s all very well trying to trawl through the data to find speed, but if you can’t deliver when it really matters, then it’s a complete waste.

    Put simply, instead of trying to find where Nico is losing out, maybe Lewis is just the better racer.

    • Interesting radio exchange before the stop:

      “OK Lewis standard adjust will be down two turns, Let us know if you want two more. Box, box”

      “Car’s a little bit oversteery. But I’ll take the two turns.”

    • Let’s not forget what he said after the race……

      “I knew there was a strong head wind at the end of T12, so I knew I had to make the move”….

      What concerned me about Nico and that move was, Lewis showed his hand at the same spot when they were on the SSN tyres and then he did the samething again the lap before he got passed, so surely he should’ve been expecting it and done better.

      From the overhead shot, it looked like Nico was never going to make the apex of the corner even before Lewis was alongside him. Too many mistakes in the races from him, he did a Grosean rallycross move on I think it was lap 1 and he ran wide at T12 atleast another 2-3 occasions.

    • Of course Nico has lost his aggregation, he’s had it kicked out of him by his bosses, and then by the “fans”. So Mercedes wins. Their most expensive driver takes the championship. Yay.

      • Lesson learned then: Don’t resort to cheating or karma will come back to bite you twice as hard.

          • “Merc blackmailing Nico into chucking a race win deliberately”…,

            I see you’re wearing your Jackie Stewart and Prost hat today.

            First it was Redbull giving your boy der finger and now you’re ranting about Merc fixing races…haha, you’re a joke!

          • @Fat Hippo

            Yes, lets totally disregard Monaco. It doesnt fit your needs, you know, bringing down Hamilton as much as possible. Monaco was a more obvious cheat than Monza. I’ve never ever seen such erratic driving in that particular braking zone.

            And Rosberg is like very cerebral (I learned that this year: thanks media) and such, it cant have been hard for him to know Hamilton was behind him, that it would have triggered a yellow flag, it would net him pole and therefore a 90% chance for victory on sunday. Which was much needed after the previous 4 races and it was his home race after all.

          • @Hippo

            “The only cheating involved in this years championship was Merc blackmailing Nico into chucking a race win deliberately.”

            It’s not over until the fat lady sings. Looking forward to a protest against the Mercedes PU. 💾💻

      • Nico and aggression doesn’t belong in the same sentence…….

        Maybe if he hadn’t gone into the team meeting still seething over what happened in Bahrain and Hungary, then started to run his mouth about he wanted to prove a point, then maybe they wouldn’t have had to kick his a$$!, but hey he’s the innocent party in all this. So yay!

        • You are still labouring under the assumption that he drove deliberately into Lewis ‘to prove a point’. That’s not true. Several times at Bahrain and other races Lewis had more or less blackmailed him into backing off with marginal overtaking moves, giving him a simple choice: “Back off or we’ll crash”. Nico always backed off and Lewis deluded himself into believing it would always be that way. Well, when presented with the same choice again he didn’t back off and the inevitable contact was had. That was the point he wanted to prove and it was a legitimate point to prove. Too bad only one in the team is allowed to break the internal agreements. The other one got bent over the nearest piece of furniture and was administered a darn good non-disclosed seeing-to. Since Spa Rosberg has basically been beside himself and Wolff’s and Lauda’s meddling had certainly to do with it.

          • And you’re still carrying on with your deluded conspiracy nonsense.

            It’s racing hippo and if the stewards didn’t see nothing wrong, then it was legal. You keep talking about breaking the rules, what rules did Lewis break? Please don’t tell me you’re going on about Hungary?

          • “It’s racing hippo and if the stewards didn’t see nothing wrong, then it was legal. ”

            Isn’t that what I’ve been saying about the Monaco practice incident of Nico? Yet people still call it ‘cheating’. Can’t have it both ways.

          • You’re never going to change their mind, FH. It’s hopeless. They have it truly imprinted in their minds that Nico viciously attacked brave, brave Sir Lewis, and justice armed herself in the coat of karma to smite the evil Nico down. History has already been decided upon, and to hell with the facts. Roll on 2015.

          • The fight for the title was always going to turn into a bun fight between Nico and Lewis. It should come as no surprise as to how aggressive Lewis has been this season, he wants to the win the title and will do almost anything to achieve it. When push comes to shove Nico has let Lewis push him around on track. What Nico did in Spa was stupid and reeked of desperation, Lewis was never going to give way. In fact I doubt Alonso or Vettel would have either. And this is not me being hamfosi either. I don’t much care who wins the title either as I like both drivers. Lewis biggest weakness is his fragility caused by off track things. He seems to have those sorted mostly this season. If Lewis wins the title, Nico will only have himself to blame for making a stupid mistake that’s cost him dear ever since.

            Put Alonso or Vettel in the Mercedes and I expect either would have destroyed Nico utterly and wrapped up the title by now (Lewis reliability issues cost him). Nico lacks the edge Vettel, Alonso and Lewis have. Unless Nico can find that, he’ll likely get hammered again next season as well. Regardless of who his team mate is.

          • What happened in Monaco was blatant cheating, you’re among the minority that think it wasn’t and don’t say those who think was are Lewis fans. You can’t compare that to the aggressive moves and passes you’re saying lewis made. Thats what you call racing, parking your car at the entrance of s run off and bringing proceedings to a halt, thus impeding everyone else, that’s not racing.

            The moves that you’re ranting about, affected only 2 ppl, not the entire field.

          • You are contradicting your own statement, man. You said – the stewards didn’t see anything wrong with Lewis’s moves hence they were legal. But they also saw nothing wrong with Nico’s off at Monaco. So either you apply the same standard and logic to both of them or you expose yourself as a bit of a berk. So what is it? Stewards cleared Nico, Stewards cleared Lewis, so that surely means there was nothing wrong. Or was there?

          • Ok the other way around then, my dear fortis. All of lewis’ moves are racing. But only because rosberg doesn’t have the balls. And somehow somewhere in the mid season stop he found a pair. So the incident in belgium is just pure racing. But with two guys with balls. But only one of them gets punished. Why is that?

          • @bruznic….

            Why? Because none of those moves didn’t result in Nico having a DNF to his names nor did any of those moves happened on the first lap nor did it cost the team points as well as it gifted their rival Redbull a race win, a win that Mercedes still could’ve had, had he not encountered another brain freeze moment when he ruined his tyres when he tried to pass Seb at the bus stop chicane.

            Everyone talks about how mentally strong he is, but is he really or is that just a load of rubbish being spouted by the media so as to cover up for inept he is in races?

            It’s however interesting when a few weeks ago, when the judge made a mockery of his comments about “now he’s ready to hunt Lewis”, by basically labelling him a games console hunter, didn’t see anyone jumping to his defense then and talk about the new found balls he has suddenly grown. I guess he left those balls at home at for the last 2 races @ Suzuka and Austin.

          • @the hippo….

            If you look at my original comment, I made no reference to Monaco to what happened in Monaco, my comment centers around Austin.

            Also I’m not commenting under the belief that what happened in Spa was deliberately done, I’ve moved on from that. You however are still hung up on the racing moves and your conspiracy theory.

            Nico got punished because he was too cocky, had he gone into the meeting and just said, “you know what, I made a mistake, I misjudged my braking”, that would’ve been the end of it. But if you’re going to go in front of your paymaster and say you wanted to prove a point, then your dumba$$ should be punished.

            You along with a few others were screaming bloody murder that Lewis was at fault, because he chopped across Nico’s nose, one that was proven not to be true, by the analysis that I think was done by @Nigel.

            I can only imagine how you would’ve reacted had it been Lewis who made the contact, it would’ve been a rant of epic proportions!

          • And you’re still mulling over how unfair Lewis is to poor Nico on the track. Do you want him to leave space and let him drive off into the sunset or do you want a fight that is within the rules of racing, and yes that includes being a hardfaced tw*t on track by running the guy off the road by taking the racing line, which is in the rules else Lewis would have been punished by the stewards by now.

            When thejudge was harping on about how nico did well in utilising everything in his armoury to try and beat Lewis, including the monaco incident, it was all well and good, but Lewis using his racecraft to an advantage is not acceptable? If you can’t handle the heat then get out the kitchen. Hard but fair racing is what the fans want to see, not crying over how one guy is letting his rival for the championship some room to drive on through.

            Havig said that, I don’t see how Nico’s being a pushover. There’s not much he can do in terms of being more “agressive” if Lewis is simply quicker in the race….Not being “agressive” enough is just another excuse dreamed up by those that thought Nico was the best fit for this new Formula 1.

          • You can point out that the stewards found nothing wrong with what Nico did in Belgium…

            If he’d done the same on the other occasions where Lewis tried to put him off the road then things would be a little different in the championship – Merc would have far fewer points from the double DNFs that would have resulted and Lewis wouldn’t take it for granted that he just needs to show his nose and Nico would roll over and play dead.

            That said, this season does seem to have shown two things. Firstly, that Nico is a bloody fast driver – faster than Lewis over a single lap – but also that Lewis is a much better racer. More adaptable, more able to drive to the maximum of the car at any particular point in the race and, much as I hate to say it as I’m not really a fan, but a more worthy champion this season as he has consistently raced better over the season.

          • “Firstly, that Nico is a bloody fast driver – faster than Lewis over a single lap”…..

            That’s alittle misleading. Sure Nico has out qualified Lewis this season, but i wouldn’t go as far as saying that he’s faster than Lewis over a lap.

            This can be viewed in 2 ways, that that you have mentioned as well as Lewis choosing to sacrifice some qually speed for better race speed. He’s pretty much assured of starting on the first row each race and given that all season long he has had better race pace, then that’s not that big of a sacrifice to take, especially on the circuits where overtaking is possible.

          • That argument is a little circular… He is guaranteed to qualify on the front row yet needs to sacrifice qualifiying speed for race pace? If he just stuck it on pole he wouldn’t need to. By being behind Nico he needs to risk passing him….

            Sorry, I still stick with my view that over a single lap Nico can get more out of the car than Lewis. Unfortunately he isn’t as adaptable which means in the race he can’t match Lewis all the time.

            Even in Austin he made the comment that he didn’t get in the swing of things until 5 laps after Lewis passed him. That’s no good in a race as you are always going to be on the back foot while you aren’t in the groove, especially when the person you are racing against never seems to leave the groove.

          • There’s an easy way to ‘make it stop’. Just ignore it. That’s easier than trying to impose on others what that may or may not discuss.

          • I’m not trying to ‘make it stop’ I trying to ‘help it stop’. Where am I trying to impose on others what they may discuss? I’m just expressing an opinion, as you are.

  3. Re : Mclaren deadline

    As said many times in TJ13, this has been the most interesting silly season over the last few years. This creates fresh doubts in his as well as vettel’s destination. May be, both would end up in a Mclaren? Who knows?

    Just thinking differently, if everything is planned as he says, may be lewis winning the title and moving to Mclaren and Alonso getting his seat at Mercedes may be something that was agreed in the summer. For Lewis also this would give a fresh impetus to be part of a development Project.

    • If Hamilton wins the title this year and it became his third I think there’s a possibility he would be up for a move back to McLaren, having achieved his goal of three world championships, matching Senna.
      However, as it will only be his second I can’t see any way of him wanting to give up his seat in the most competitive car.

      Is anyone else getting really bored of Alonso now?? Just wish he would put everyone out of their bleeding misery haha

      • I think both Ferrari and Alonso wait for the other to say goodbye first. 50 million is a lot of money.
        I guess both parties have their lawyers doing overtime re-reading the contracts.

        • Sometime ago reports emerged that Alonso was allowed to walk free out of his contract. so if that being the case, Alonso won’t be delaying it unless he is not switching.

          The only curious thing why @pitlanetalk deactivated their account. Is it just that they are playing games with us or they really think otherwise.

          • If Ferrari fire him (say goodbye first) he gets a severance package of 50 million. If he is the one who decided to leave, he doesn’t get that. Free to go, yes. But the situation is now disturbed beyond the point of Ferrari wanting to keep him, so he gambles on them fireing him.

      • Button: “.. to quote another racing driver, I am very excited about my future. Except in my case, I actually mean it.”


  4. Is Ecclestone’s grip on F1 slipping?

    Wow! Autosport and Noble are outdoing themselves…

    “Bernie Ecclestone’s astonishing confession that he was to blame for Formula 1’s cost crisis may have been remarkable for the wider world”

    Here’s yet one more proof for the existence of multiverse, as we certainly are NOT from the same universe. No one should be astonished that Bernard has a hefty share of responsibility for the current cost crisis…

    “The history books are full of stories of teams in trouble being given a helping hand by Ecclestone – and maybe some advance payments to help keep them afloat so they can sort out their affairs behind closed doors without the bad news getting out.

    That it didn’t happen this time, and that Ecclestone had let Marussia and Caterham fall away so close to the end of the season sent the small teams into panic mode.”

    Oh, sure. Declare from the outset that you’re out to gut the small teams (not least by exhibiting untoward love to the 3 cars idea), force the rules of the game to have those teams starve to death, then hit them with a rock and hang them out to dry until they very nearly, almost suffocate… And THEN come on a wrinkled gray pony to gallantly lend a helping hand and avoid their final death. Sure, when you put it like THAT, then yeah, the “history books are full of stories of teams in trouble being given a helping hand by Ecclestone”… The bloody helping bastard!

    • But we’re not done yet:
      “They cleverly fanned the flames to prompt the media into a frenzy over a potential boycott. It was enough to force not only Ecclestone’s confession – but also a private acknowledgement from him that he was aware of the problem and would do all he could to find a solution. All eyes are on how that solution is framed.”

      Oh, those pesky small privateers can’t keep to themselves! They really need to get the media involved and force poor old and frail Bernard into public shaming… How could they? After all the goodwill that Bernard has shown them, historically we mean…

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. As far as Bernard is concerned: “I know how to fix it. But I don’t want to.”

      “Was the failure to help tide Caterham and Marussia over until the end of the season not actually part of a conspiracy to help the bigger teams, but evidence that Ecclestone no longer has the power to do it – for it’s his paymasters that write the cheques now?”

      I’m wondering if Bernard is taking a leaf from the book of our favourite doggy-eyed Romanian Collin “Who, me?” Kolles. No wonder Bernard considers him competent: his pal Kolles knows his stuff. Now Bernard comfortably wraps himself into “adviser” clothes (sound familiar?), and if we’re lucky soon enough he’ll promote a FOM cleaner to replace him…

      “In the jungle, the beasts prey on the sick, the wounded, the weak and the young – but never the strong. If you do not want to end up as prey, the onus is on you to do everything you can to stay strong.

      It’s something that offers food for thought about what is going on in F1 right now.”

      And lastly, of course, it’s the privateers fault for being so frail and helpless in the jungle… Was someone saying something about the “piranha club”? Over the years make sure that they end up on life-support, then express “sincere” surprise when they’re unable to breathe by themselves when cut loose…

      Talk about sycophantic and shameful rants from the nice professionals at Autosport…

      • Or it’s possible that Bernie’s grip on F1 was never what we thought it was, he was simply smart enough to take advantage of a once in a lifetime windfall that wandered in the door whilst he was running F1.

        • Do you really think that Beberstone just innocently ended in the position he is in ? This is the sort of person who fears absolutely nothing and would happily sell his family if it meant making a personal profit out of it. His level of greed is nothing short of what the guys at Wall Street have, he couldn’t care less how the sport is run, all he cares about is filling his pockets at any and all costs until his dying breath.

        • “Or it’s possible that Bernie’s grip on F1 was never what we thought it was”

          Not so sure about that. I think his grip on F1 was always more than what we thought it was. I believe the guy is a pathological blackmailer, and power addict. He really thrives in power plays, and he always stacks the deck in such a way that ultimately he emerges on top.

          Look at how he progressed from used car salesman to team owner (and we’re not talking of Cojocar here). From team owner, he manipulated his way around Spanky until he got a 100 year lease of the commercial rights to F1 for… a penny or two. Then he sold the damn thing to a venture capitalist group, but still masterfully retained his seat at the table. He managed to manipulate the situation in such a way that CVC, even if they indeed wanted to get rid of the wrinkled grumpy toad (including a seriously damaging PR from his bribery trial, from which he bribed his way out), were afraid of doing so. And never did.

          Why you ask? Recall the infuriating illusion that Bernard created and perpetuated that “it’s all in his head” and “only he can successfully manage the F1 business”… And it’s on this backdrop that Autosport professional journalists keep parroting the “all teams should gather around Bernie, he shall know what to do” nonsense tune, although only blind people would fail to notice how Ecclestone keeps gutting teams, track promoters, fans and assorted stakeholders, also known as headless chickens used in Bernard’s very own amusement park.

          • Oh, forgot this bit:
            Bribey bribed his way into selling his used cars dealership (also known as F1) NOT to the highest bidder, but to the bidder who would be stupid enough to keep him on the retainer in the emperor’s throne (also known as CVC). In the process he managed to put Gribkowsky, a half-wit idiot it seems, into a 8-year forced break for a bribe that Bribey never paid, well, at least according to German courts, that is.

            There are few people in this world who can wield something that would resemble “raw” power. Their likes include Murdoch (who sneered at the British MPs), Putin (who spits into whichever direction his c*ck points to in the morning), or Chavez (until recently). And our dear Bernard. For proof look no further than Bribey’s interview aired on Sky right prior to the US GP, in which the mumbling journalist was afraid of saying anything that might upset the emperor, including that the emperor had no clothes…

          • Oh, and talking about “raw” power, let us not forget how Bernard has run roughshod on Jean “the sleeping beauty” Todt twice this year, each time reinterpreting the regulations right from under FIA’s nose. On a whim he banned FRIC, via his pal Charlie Brown. And on a second whim he banned radio, well, almost, until Charlie went out tail between legs from an egg shelling by team principals and engineers.

            Say what you will of him, but the guy’s a genius at power-play. And he preys on the weak and confused, managing to outmaneuver them even in his senile phase… He would rather see F1 burn to the ground than see it slip between his fingers…

        • Interesting theory. Maybe iBernie’s top skill isn’t negotiating but just seeing opportunities and since he had everything he could ever dream off, he had nothing to loose – he already was a millionair.
          No risk involved in just talking to people and hear them say things you can use against others.

    • Yes, it’s quite good and easy to understand; I was going to post the link but you beat me to it. The numbers are from 2013, when all 11 teams got money; in 2014 only the top 10 get paid. Joe admits it may not be exactly correct, but it sure is helpful.

  5. The pervayor of all things hypocritical in F1, Christian Horner, is at it again…..”teams must stop hurting F1’s reputation”….

    Mmmm is this the same Horner who at the beginning of the year, he along with the now departed LDM, Mr E and der finger has been doing that even before the season was in full swing. So what has changed?…..


  6. The statement that Nico is not aggressive is just rubbish. One can be very aggressive, and yet slow. The problem with Nico’s driving is that his pace is always slower than Hamilton. If Rosberg was closer to Hamilton more often, he’d try to overtake. However, the problem is that whenever Hamilton is in front of Rosberg, he simply takes off. If Rosberg doesn’t make “a move of desperation”, like right now, to overtake Lewis, he will never catch him. Hence, the desperate and botched attempts at overtaking Hamilton at the beginning of race in Belgium and Russia. On the other hand, if Hamilton is following Rosberg, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Hamilton will catch Rosberg and will try to overtake. Hence, Rosberg’s desperate driving to stay in front in Italy, until he finally made mistakes under pressure. The way I see it, unless the team is sabotaging Rosberg’s car on purpose, he simply can’t maintain the pace of Hamilton.

  7. Re: Hamilton vs Rosberg

    I see that the flaming Hamsberg tornado has descended onto TJ13 out of the clear blue skies, so what better way to calm it down than pouring some oil onto it….

    The F1Metrics blog has a refreshingly cool headed analysis of “The rules of racing”, providing an intuitive and serious overview of the rules of engagement when overtaking, including a breakdown of the Hamsberg incidents this year. For what it’s worth, it lays the blame squarely on Rosberg for the Spa events (not even close to a racing incident). (He also discusses the infamous Prost vs Senna in Suzuka 1989 chicane.)


    “In 2014, we have so far had four races in which a Mercedes driver attempted to pass their teammate around the outside. In each case, the driver on the outside has been closed out by the driver on the inside. However, the conditions and the line taken by the driver on the inside have varied from benign to extremely aggressive.”

    Case 1: Bahrain 2014
    “Several times during the Bahrain Grand Prix, Rosberg found himself on the outside against Hamilton. Each time he was aggressively closed out. ”

    “Like Senna before him, Hamilton engineered situations where it was up to the other driver to back out to avoid a racing incident where blame would be shared.”

    Case 2: Canada 2014
    “Hamilton attempted to pass Rosberg around the outside at the first corner after the start. He was fully alongside Rosberg at the beginning of the braking zone, but Rosberg braked slightly later and thus took a deep line into the corner to close out Hamilton, who was behind by corner exit and yielded.”

    Case 3: Hungary 2014
    “Midway through the corner, Hamilton spotted Rosberg’s move and suddenly straightened his wheel to aggressively angle out Rosberg before corner exit. This is getting very close to the limit of what could be considered an acceptable defensive line.”

    Case 4: Belgium 2014
    “Rosberg was behind throughout the corner and almost a full car length behind by corner exit. Hamilton took a fair line — just slightly more aggressive than the usual racing line. Rosberg jinked left momentarily to make extra room, but then maintained a relatively tight line leaving insufficient space for Hamilton on the line he was taking. This resulted in a front-wing/rear-wheel collision.”

    “Just what was Rosberg thinking here? We have heard from Toto Wolff that Rosberg was not intending to cause a collision, but he was intending to “make a point”.” [..] “Hamilton’s defenses at Bahrain, where he twice closed out Rosberg with their cars approximately level and nearly caused contact with another aggressive line, as well as his defense at Hungary, where he suddenly pitched his car onto a different line to close out Rosberg, were wading deep into this gray area.”

    “Still irritated by Hamilton’s earlier defenses, it seems Rosberg wanted to draw a line in the sand in Belgium. This time, Rosberg chose to pick up a new wider line mid-corner, but without fully conceding the corner. His car’s body language was saying: “You have the racing line, but you’re not going to squeeze me more than *this* much, or we’re going to come together”.”

    “Just as Prost was to blame for the Suzuka 1989 incident itself, Rosberg was unambiguously to blame for the Belgium 2014 incident. Hamilton’s line was not abnormally aggressive and Rosberg was fortunate to avoid a penalty from the stewards, given the poor precedent this may set. However, it’s vital to view both incidents in their full context to understand why they occurred. Neither incident occurred in a vacuum. Both were the result of drivers previously exploiting gray areas in the rules of racing and their teammates then looking to impose clearer boundaries.”

    The full analysis makes a lot of sense to me… Rosberg was very barely alongside Hamilton, Hamilton was on the inside and entitled to the racing line, Hamilton took the racing line and not some fancy aggressive line (unlike Bahrain, for example), and Rosberg was in a position to yield, which he did but only half-heartedly, hence the accident. Given the relative positioning of the cars, any contact within the corner would have been laid at Rosberg’s door.

    • Taken from James Allen’s review of Austin…..

      “Engineers who have worked with Hamilton speak of a driver with an instinctive feel for where to place the car in racing situations; this is one of the reasons why he was surprised in Germany when Button cut across him, as he read it that the McLaren was yielding and also why he was upset in Spa, because he wanted it to be clear that his car positioning had not played a part in that collision.”

    • “Hamilton took a fair line — just slightly more aggressive than the usual racing line. Rosberg jinked left momentarily to make extra room,”

      So, Hamilton took a more aggressive than usual line, and Rosberg actually made extra room? Well that sounds like Rosberg was trying to accomodate Hamilton’s aggresive move without simply giving up his chance of passing completely. Basically the opposite of what Hamilton was doing.

      “The full analysis makes a lot of sense to me… Rosberg was very barely alongside Hamilton, Hamilton was on the inside and entitled to the racing line, ”

      Actually Hamilton was on the outside, and Rosberg was still up to Hamilton’s rear wheel. Hamilton stated at the time he couldn’t see Rosberg in his mirror. One would think that lack of knowledge would lead to playing it safe rather than aggressive.

      • I’m feeling a never ending discussion popping up, so let me be brief.

        “Hamilton took a more aggressive than usual line”
        Hamilton took a just a very, very slightly more aggressive line than the usual racing line, and much LESS aggressive than what he indulged himself in Bahrain and Hungary (each instance having not resulted in a crash). And as Davidson points out in the video above, simply put Hamilton took the racing line. In other words still, “Hamilton’s line was not abnormally aggressive”, as in: this is business-as-usual from most F1 drivers.

        “Rosberg actually made extra room”

        Rosberg HAD to make extra room simply because he was in no position to overtake (again, as nicely pointed out by Davidson). He was eons away from being side-by-side, let alone ahead, at the crucial point on corner exit. So he must have yielded, properly. Which he failed to do.

        “Actually Hamilton was on the outside, and Rosberg was still up to Hamilton’s rear wheel. ”

        If we analyze Turn 7, which we did until now (Section 7 of F1Metrics), Hamilton had the inside and Rosberg the outside. In that situation—trying to pass on the outside—Rosberg had to back down.

        If we switch to Turn 8, then I believe Section 5 B of F1Metrics applies, namely a dispute over Apex where the car on the inside is less than half-way alongside. In this case Rosberg had to back out, too, since Hamilton on the outside (and well in front of the other car) had dibs on the apex.

        But I don’t think any of this would fit your world-view… In the mean-time, here’s what Nico must have done to pass Lewis. 🙂

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L2x0r12IGc&w=420&h=315%5D

    • The author of the spa ‘racing incident’, due to have been stewarding at Interlagos, now won’t be. Positive move…

  8. McLaren has given Alonso a deadline? I don’t believe it for one second. He is the best driver on the market and McLaren and Honda have decided that they desperately need a top-line driver for 2015 and beyond. They will wait for as long as it takes for him to decide.
    Whether the decision to emply Alonso is a wise one, only history will tell. Alonso has now fallen out with two top-tier teams in 7 years (McLaren in 2007 and now Ferrari). There is a pattern of behavior developing. If McLaren does not win in 2015, and the omens are not good for 2016, I would not like to be within 100 miles of the McLaren technology center at the end of next year.

    • McLaren can actually afford to do that to be honest. Vettel absolutely killed Alonso’s bargaining cards, it’s basically McLaren or leave F1. Any Mercedes would likely become available only after 2015 is done and by then Alonso will be past his best years and on a slight but certain path to decline.

      Honda may want a flagship driver but they could just as easily get a solid fast driver like Hulkenberg partnered with Magnussen. It’s a shame how Hulkenberg gets overlooked and prima-donnas like Alonso get all the attention. Especially given his past with McLaren…

  9. Wow, I had no idea that @Fat HIppo was so old.
    @Spanners has to change his introduction in the Podcast:
    He is big, he is so very very big and mature … 😉

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