#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 20th November 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: I can Shoot People in South Africa

#F1 Circuit Profile: Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit – Round 19


OTD Lite: 1957 – Germany’s lost champion born

Mclaren delays announcement again

Schumacher and Bianchi facing long road to recovery

Mercedes desperate to avoid title breakdown – Lauda (GMM)

Massa is Rosberg’s best hope for title – Glock (GMM)


OTD Lite: 1957 – Germany’s lost champion born

Stefan Bellof was a mercurial talent who would be killed in an accident at Spa’s Eau Rouge corner as he attempted to pass Porsche team-mate Jacky Ickx into the fearsome corner.

A winner in Formula Two, the feeder series to Formula One back in the 80’s he rose to prominence with his works Porsche Group C drives and racing for two seasons with the Tyrrell organisation. Perhaps his most famous race was the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix when he finished third behind Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

Of course his sweet handling naturally aspirated car was the perfect tool around the rain swept streets of Monaco but his daunting speed in the Group C championship underlined his ability for the future.

At the time of his death, many thought that he was scheduled to become Germany’s first F1 world champion

The Grumpy Jackal

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Mclaren delays announcement again

It would appear that Ron Dennis has learnt some valuable lessons at the hands of Eric Boullier this season. Throughout the year the french Racing Director has stated dates for a major sponsorship announcement and these have all slipped by.

In a similar vein, as recently as Monza at the start of September, Dennis stated that: “As for a decision on driver line-up, it certainly won’t be in the next few days and it won’t be at the end of the season, it will be something in between.”

Obviously as we enter the final two weeks of November this date has been changed once again. Mclaren issued a statement via their Twitter: ‘Guys, we know you’re awaiting news on our driver line-up. We’ll announce after Dec 1 – you’ll hear it here first. All eyes now on Abu Dhabi.

Therefore, in what appears to be a hugely discourteous campaign Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will have to wait until after the first of December for their futures to be resolved. With Fernando Alonso expected to return to the Woking-based team from 2015 the choice for the second seat is still undecided. Boullier prefers to keep Button due to his experience which would assist Alonso and Honda upon their return whereas Dennis prefers the youngster.

The Mclaren statement concluded that: ‘Selecting the optimal driver line-up for a Formula One team is clearly an important process, and it is therefore one that requires precise and prolonged analysis.

‘That being the case, and in order to avoid distracting the race team from its primary objective during the final grand prix weekend of the season, which is to secure the best possible on-track results, we have decided to defer our final deliberations relating to our 2015 driver line-up until a date no earlier than Monday December 1st.’

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Schumacher and Bianchi facing long road to recovery

Phillipe Streiff reported to the media yesterday that Michael Schumacher remains unable to speak, he has memory problems and is confined to a wheelchair. Streiff himself suffered an accident whilst testing in Brazil in 1989 which left him a paraplegic.

The Frenchman, who is a good friend of Schumacher’s, said: ‘He is getting better but everything is relative. It’s very difficult. He can’t speak. Like me, he is in a wheelchair paralysed. He has memory problems and speech problems.’

Streiff is a good friend of Schumacher’s and visited him whilst he was in hospital. With a personal fortune of close to half a billion the family has the funds needed to pay for the army of physicians that he will need in his recuperation but the process will be a long one. Perhaps more poignantly is the family are still struggling to deal with the hand of fate that devastated the Formula One legend after a seemingly innocuous fall.

Further news from France confirms that Jules Bianchi who also suffered severe head injuries during the recent Japanese Grand Prix was flown home to Nice on Tuesday. It was decided that although his condition remains serious he was stable enough to be moved back to his home country.

Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury to his brain and had been kept in an induced coma since his accident but having been removed from the ventilator and breathing unaided the decision was made to return him home for the next stage of his recovery.

Get well soon gentlemen

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Mercedes desperate to avoid title breakdown – Lauda (GMM)

Mercedes is determined to ensure the 2014 title is decided in Abu Dhabi by events other than a technical failure. Team boss Toto Wolff has already said that given the unpopular double points system for the championship finale, it would be a “nightmare” if Lewis Hamilton loses to Nico Rosberg because the British points leader breaks down.

The German outfit is remaining impartial for the decisive round of the drivers’ intense title battle. “For me, both are now world champion,” team chairman Niki Lauda told the German broadcaster RTL. “I have seen two Alpha males, top athletes at the very highest level.”

Lauda denounced Bernie Ecclestone’s double points system as “stupid”, but said Mercedes is determined that the title is at least decided through a fair sporting outcome.

“Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe and myself have done everything possible to provide both drivers with the same conditions,” said the F1 legend, “so that technical problems do not decide the race. We have looked at every part of the car and engine and tried to shorten the life of the parts. Wherever we can, we have installed the newest components possible.”

“If there is still a technical problem,” Lauda concluded, “then it is not something that we could have done anything to prevent.”

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Massa is Rosberg’s best hope for title – Glock (GMM)

A strong Williams driver is Nico Rosberg’s best hope of winning the 2014 title against the odds. That is the claim of former F1 driver Timo Glock, who six years ago played a starring role in the championship showdown when Lewis Hamilton managed to pass him on the thrilling last corner of the Brazil finale.

The infamous Glock pass deprived Felipe Massa of the title, and the Brazilian has never forgotten it, remarking mere days ago that “a certain German” ended his title chances. “After so many years, that (Massa’s comment) was surprising,” Glock, now a works BMW driver in the DTM series, told Germany’s Sport1. “I read what he (Massa) said with a smile.”

Curiously, Massa has now been put in the middle of Hamilton’s latest championship battle, this time against his Mercedes teammate Rosberg. Rosberg needs a driver to split the two silver cars on Sunday’s Abu Dhabi podium, and in Brazil two weeks ago the German nominated the on-form Massa, who now drives for Williams.

“The best chance for Rosberg would be a technical problem,” said Glock, “but nobody wants to see the title decided by that. I also believed that Williams can be very strong in Abu Dhabi again, so he (Rosberg) can also hope for Felipe Massa or Valtteri Bottas (to do well).

He (Rosberg) still has a chance,” Glock continued. “I think in 2010 Sebastian Vettel was in an even more difficult position and he still managed it in the end. I think both of them would be deserved world champions,” he said. “At the end of the year Hamilton was definitely stronger, but Nico was stronger at the beginning.”

Asked about the highly controversial double points, meanwhile, Glock answered: “I have found the scheme of putting so much importance on one race a little strange. But if Hamilton’s car fails, then he probably would have lost the world championship with the normal scoring anyway,” Glock added.

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92 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 20th November 2014

  1. Am I the only one thinking that these delays by Macca are due to Lewis’ negotiations with Merc? Obviously Fred wants to see how the outcome of the WDC battle will influence Lewis/Merc negotiations and whether he needs to add any caveats in his contract at Macca to leave even after a year.

  2. Ferrari have confirmed the departure of Alonso through their twitter account @scuderiaferrari. Alonso in turn tweeted thanks in something sort of an acknowledgement.

    Clears the way for Vettel’s announcement.

    • With another tweet, they have announced vettel as a Ferrari driver. So effectively Ferrari has killed a tasty press conference later today.

    • So what about the $50 million that was hanging over the Alonso decision? Did Ferrari pay him to go, or did he go without the money?

      • I think that’s what the “I’ve proven myself as a team-player” bit was about, from Alonso’s press release. Basically him saying “I could’ve held them to ransom, but didn’t, I only got 10 million. Stugats!!!”

  3. Rosberg still crying over how Lewis is unfair when they’re racing each other as evident in that press conference – Lewis rose above it and just smiled.
    Utter toss*r

    • For someone who says, “I don’t think about the past”, he sure as hell think about the past a lot.

      • He’s shown his true colours this season and the respect i had for him at the beginning of the season is gone – here’s hoping Lewis destroys him this sunday

        • I’m just a little bit bemused, because it seems like everyone thinks Nico is going to waltz off into the sunset leaving Lewis to fight it out with the others.

          As for him hoping for Felipe to do him a favour, he should go and look at the records. The only time a Williams has finished in front of either Mercs, was Germany and it wasn’t Massa. But before Massa can help him out, Massa must first get in front of Bottas, then the Redbulls and 5red.

          He knows deep down that his only chance is for DNF.

          • But what is his true colours? All season long all we’ve heard is ‘Nico the smart, intelligent, cerebral thinker and a man who would not cheat to win’.

            Now just like before the race at Spa, where said he was over what happened at Hungary and he has moved on, he’s yet again dwelling on things that happened in the past. So yes hes a to55er, because he’s acting like he hasn’t driven dubiously himself (race start Canada), didn’t hear Lewis coming out complaining about it. He took it on the chin, because it hard fair racing.

          • All F1 drivers are devious to varying degrees, the mask slips a little bit at times. Though the hunger to be World Champion is the same in Lewis as it is in Nico. Thus the problems we’ve seen this season. Whoever wins the title, the dynamics in the team will be interesting next season. If Lewis is smart he’ll stick with Mercedes for next season, see how Honda does and then McLaren can spin the prodigal son returns line if the Honda package looks good enough to Lewis. Guessing it all hinges on the outcome on Sunday. Lewis wins the title, expect a new contract announcement in a short space of time. If not, Lewis signs nothing and races until the end of his current contract.

          • @Hippo. You reckon this pair should get a room so they can continue their MAS?

    • ‘rose above it’?? He felt the need to employ mind games as early as Monaco. Your hero has nothing to show for so far other than a lucky WDC in 2008 helped by Renaults race fixing in Singapore and a braindead strategy by Toyota in Brazil.. After that he had to wait until he was given a ridiculously superior car and even then he couldn’t shake his team mate until the very last race. Even without double points he wouldn’t be safe yet. I’d say that proves he isn’t god, so stop pretending he is. He bends his knees when taking a dump, like all of us.

      • You’ve lost it mate, totally and utterly lost it. If I recall correctly, most were expecting Nico to take the championship this year because of his ‘superior intellect’ – now Lewis has proved he’s got what it takes in this formula, you mugs come out with attacks on Lewis’ performance in previous seasons to justify your preconceptions.

        With regards to it being decided on the last race – You have no hesitation in bringing up the number of times Vettel has been affected by reliability this season, yet fail to mention how it has adversely affected lewis in comparison to Nico. And that’s not taking into account Rosberg’s penchant for run off areas.
        I never said he was god, far from it – he has his flaws like everyone else.

        • Erm, how often has Lewis’s car conked out this year? I think it was Australia and Canada – that’s it. You can’t even compare that to the shit Vettel has waded through. He was busted twice in quali, but in a Merc this year that was still a guaranteed 2nd place, except for Hungary, when he f***ed over the team.Add to that disobeying team orders in Bahrain, being gifted the win in Monza by order de Mufti. Not exactly impressive.

          • Just out of curiosity, what orders were disobeyed in Bahrain?

            Did he f@*k the team over like Seb did in Malaysia last year? Did he not also do the same thing in China this season? What was he said when he was told to move over (yet again)? Oh yea, good luck.

            You sound bitter hippo, could that be as a result of the young buck spanking your boy sending him running with his tail between his leg, to the prancing donkey?

          • See, fortis, your problem is that you get all emotional when your god is not worshipped by those you want to blackmail into it. I’m gonna write a little slower, knowing that you can’t read so fast :

            a) Bahrain: Both Lewis and Nico were told to turn down the engine – Nico did, Lewis didn’t, which is why he could stay ahead on older tyres – that and his usual chopping antics of course.

            b) Seb@Malaysia – The team lied to him, telling him mid race that he should wait until later to attack Webber. When he caught him, the team issued team orders to the contrary. Both were told to turn down engine, both didn’t. Seb deserves criticism for the piss-poor handling of the aftermath, but the team-order was a clusterfuck to begin with.
            Hungary with Merc this year was a different matter. Nico, like Bottas and Seb got massively shafted by the safety car, while Lewis profited. massively. Nico was put on a different strategy and there was a clear agreement within Merc – you don’t obstruct your team mate if on a different strat. Lewis broke that agreement, knowing that on a track like HUN Nico couldn’t come too close. In the end that gifted the win to RIC.

            c)As for Vettel being spanked. He still has for times as many titles as Lewis and as of this weekend, it will still be twice as many. I don’t think he’ll lose any sleep over it.

          • @Hippo – Get your facts right – Nico was the one who used the engine setting he was not supposed to in Bahrain. Please get this into your head if at all possible. Lewis did it later in spain. Nico still couldn’t get past in Bahrain despite that. Lewis’ racecraft was superb and fair – Still you keep b*tching about that. If you can’t handle watching hard racing then please stop watching and whining at how unfair life is when racing against Lewis. It’s getting f*cking old now.

          • I agree, I mixed up Bahrain and Spain. Hard racing is one thing, Lewis has been downright brutal in that regard and paid the price for it in Spa, when Nico for the first time refused to be blackmailed into backing off – guess what – he was punished for it. Lewis is a bully who like almost all other champions before him needs a superior car or blind luck to win. The last ones to win against the odds were Rosberg in 1982 and Schumacher in 1994.

          • Oh hippo my good man, i think you need to check your facts again….

            After Spain, Nico complained that Lewis used an engine mode that he wasn’t suppose to, so as to defend his position. But what Nico failed to tell the public, that it was that very same engine mode he had used in Bahrain in his attempt to try and pass(which failed miserably). So you see Hippo, Nico started to use underhand tactics as early as the 4th race of the season. So why come out and b!tch about it, when you were the first to do it.

            Again you keep talking about Hungary, so ok lets get into it….

            Mercs policy has always been that both drivers will be on the same strategy, so why was Nico put on a 3 stop strategy and Lewis 2? Why was Lewis put on the medium tyres, when he had 3 brand spanking new sets of the faster soft tyres available to him? Nico cost himself any hance of winning when he let himself got overtaken by JeV with his blow dryer and then proceeded to spend the next 10+ laps behind him. I guess he still expects to be spoon fed race wins.

            As for Seb and his titles, sure he won’t lose any sleep over that, but what he will lose sleep over, is knowing that he got absolutely spanked by the new boy in his own back yard, so badly that people like you start to cry how badly he was being treated. I guess he now knows what Webber was feeling for the past 4 years.

          • “Mercs policy has always been that both drivers will be on the same strategy, so why was Nico put on a 3 stop strategy and Lewis 2?”

            Very simple, young man. Nico, without fault of his own was massively disadvantaged by the failed timing of the safety car that disadvataged the three leading drivers (ROS, BOT, VET). To make up for it, he was put on a different strategy that even would have worked out, but Lewis broke the rules. So if you criticise Seb for Multi21, you can’t defend Lewis’s behaviour in Hungary without looking hippo-critical.

          • You forget one thing, my dear clueless one. RIC barely managed 12 points more than VET in the second half of the season and that includes the win gifted to him by Merc in HUN and Seb being shafted at the same race as well as the botched strat at Monza, which the team needed to apologize for. RIC made the best out of his early season advantage, but in the second half he wasn’t even half as dominant as the numbers suggest 🙂

          • Poor poor hippo…

            Does it matter how much more points he accumulates over the 2nd half of the season? the fact still remains, even if Ric doesn’t finish the race, he’s still going to finish in front of Seb and he’s still going to be the one that has won all the races or the team and that’s even if he somehow manages to win te race. But that might be a very hard task, given that he has only lead 1 race lap all season, very poor showing for quadruple WDC. Even my ‘god’ in his dog of a car in 2009 was even able to win 2 races abd collect a few poles 🙂

            As for the Hungary race, so are you trying to say, so as to compensate Nico for getting caught out by the safety car, the team felt they had to do something to get him back to where he was in the first place? So is Nico capable of doing anything for himself? Maybe they should’ve had a word in his ear and let him know that if he wants to win the race, he’ll need to get pass JeV.

          • “even if Ric doesn’t finish the race, he’s still going to finish in front of Seb and he’s still going to be the one that has won all the races or the team ”

            That is, because you twist the facts as you need them. With a bit more level-headedness you would acknowledge that Seb would have won Canada without the team ‘botching’ his pitstop. In Hungary he was nobbled by the SC. Considering that it was enough to prevent a Merc from winning, I invite you to guess how big a disadvantage that was.

            Little interesting fact (*putting on tinfoil hat*) Vettel’s exit clause said, that he could leave RB if by Sep 30th he wasn’t 3rd in the standings or had won at least 2 races. RB had a vested interest in making sure he didn’t win, considering that Marko admitted in August that they tried to get the exit clause stricken from Seb’s contract over the summer break and couldn’t manage it.

        • “most were expecting Nico to take the championship this year because of his ‘superior intellect’”

          I can’t work out what this sentence means. Most people were expecting Lewis to win the championship this year, including, it should be noted, the Mercedes bosses. As for superior intellect, it’s likely gone the same way as Lewis’s blistering qualifying pace.

          • His qualifying pace has not been as great this year due to the brake by wire taking some of the feel away – never before has he had so many lockups and strange spins at any point in his career. Despite that he has always been right up there. I expect next year to be better when they can start to refine the systems more. A lot of his time comes from braking late and the feedback the driver gets from the brake pedal is consequently very important. So you can easily lose half a tenth here and there if the feel just isn’t as good as before.

          • “His qualifying pace has not been as great this year due to the brake by wire taking some of the feel away – never before has he had so many lockups and strange spins at any point in his career.”

            Funny, as the same has been said about Vettel, but according to your gospel, he was just beaten into oblivion by a bloody rookie (with 3 years of F1 experience).

      • Yet another one of your pointless rants. How convenient that you mention Singapore, but what about Spa? Did you not only a few days ago, said to someone that up until those last few laps of the race, Massa was never going to win the championship and if Toyota had pitted Glock, he would’ve gotten passed anyways and the result wouldn’t have changed? So now you’re saying it was luck. Sometimes you make your ow luck.

        It’s kind of hard to shake your teammate when he’s in the same car, that’s just as ridiculously fast and is pretty much guaranteed of finishing either first or second barring any reliability issues.

        Incase you’ve forgotten, your ‘god’ Seb, also had to wait until he got a ridiculously fast car before he could win his 4 titles, couldn’t do that with a slow car now could he?

        • “Did you not only a few days ago, said to someone that up until those last few laps of the race, Massa was never going to win the championship and if Toyota had pitted Glock, he would’ve gotten passed anyways and the result wouldn’t have changed? ”

          Correct. That was written with an isolated view on the Brazil race. Without the race fixing at Singapore Lewis would not have been within a shout anyway. And you conveniently omitted that the article closed with the assertion that Massa should be bitter about Renault and SIN, not Glock, but that of course didn’t fit your argument now, did it? 😉

          • And you’re conveniently ignoring Spa.

            Sure Renault fixed the accident, but unless I’m mistaken, what cost him the most was him and the teams haste to get out of the pits, forgetting to disconnect the refuelling rig, before leaving the pits, that was far more damaging than the crash.

          • That haste was the direct result of the crash – as the leader at the time, Massa was the first one in and Ferrari had barely any time to prepare.
            As for Spa, it is debateable I agree, but had lewis won,. Massa would have finished second. Without SIN, Massa still would have sealed it before Brazil, so it’s nothing more than smokescreen.

          • What was the running order before the crash Hippo? now if my memory serves me correctly, it was Massa first and Lewis 2nd. How exactly would he have sealed the championship. Lets not make excuses for Ferrari and their shoddy pitstop.

          • Very simple. With that order intact Massa would have taken points out of Lewis, but instead Lewis finished 3rd and Massa out of the points – add up and you’ll realize Lewis would have been out of the running before Brazil.

            Woulda, coulda and all that. His 2008 win was lucky as he and Massa were pretty evenly matched. It’s not like he owned the season. In fact Massa had 2 DNF’s and one ‘drop-out but still classified’ to Lewis’s one and still only finished a single point behind. Deal with it, Kiddo – he was lucky.

  4. I am really disappointed that Ferrari the best team in f1 and Alonso the best driver of his era have failed to deliver a championship. Goes to show nothing in this world is too good to fail. Being a ferrari fan since 98, i just cant digest this.

    Hope scuderia get their act together in future and deliver championships.

    As for Alonso, its pathetic that he could not deliver a championship with Ferrari. Love him or hate him, he is the best driver out there and in a sense wasted his prime years in an uncompetitive ferrari. Hopefully he finds that elusive third WDC he craves. It would be a travesty indeed if he ends up with two titles.

    As regards vettel, i neither like him nor dislike him. But watching him get the 2010 and 2012 titles from Alonso and Ferrari made me cry. Hopefully kimi can give him a run for his money next year. i could never ever have imagined vettel in a ferrari but now its a reality.

    • i think the years at ferrari did wonders for alonso. as senna did in an uncompetetive mclaren, he cemented his legacy through determination and awe inspiring drives in inferior machinery. however, through the meltdown he caused at mclaren, he created a situation where he had nowhere else to go and thus, stayed too long. had he not tried to blackmail mclaren, he could have won the 07 or 08 chapionship. he might also have been in a more favourable position to get a mercedes drive. but who knows, maybe he can pull a mansell, and fulfill his destiny at a very late stage in his career. i don’t see him winning with honda in the next three years though, so it depends on whether or not he has the patience to wait.

    • I disagree with the general consensus of Alonso as the best driver of this era. He’s very fast, adaptive and can drive the car beyond its base level. Ok with that. But clearly, he is part responsible (along with Ferrari management) of the current technical disarray of Ferrari. MS, RAI, VET and even BUT need their cars developed in an specific way in order to be fast, therefore, they can set an specific development path. When you only ask for a faster car and do not ask specifically what to improve, you give no clue about how to develop it. A clear example of this, is that Ferrari has been using a “poor” (being nice) pull rod front suspension for the last three years.

      MS needed three years to develop and shape Ferrari around his needs. After a slump in 2005, Ferrari had top winning cars for three more years. Thank you MS (and part RAI). After a poor design in 2009, in 2010 Ferrari gave to Alonso the “best Ferrari he had driven” according to his own words (actually, Alonso said this a couple of years ago, but I’m pretty sure these words are still valid). So, after which driver Alonso had his best car? (thanks RAI). Five years later what can we say about what’s left after Alonso?

      I really believe that after these years without clear development path Ferrari will raise and show what are capable of. MM seems to be a sensible manager and the technical staff is ok. If they can deliver what their drivers ask for, I’m pretty sure that Alonso will be fast and easily forgotten in Maranello.

      Finally, the signs that come from Woking makes me wonder about a decay similar to Williams had (which hadn’t fully recovery yet). It’s a pity.

      • I don’t think things are as bad at McLaren as some think. Sure this year has seen another rubbish car, but don’t forget they would have had the bare minimum input from Mercedes as regards the engine during the design phase this year because of them both parting ways. I think this season was always a bit of write off from the start they felt. A lot of resources will have gone straight to 2015.

        The rear of the car was a mistake with the suspension granted but providing Honda give them a decent engine next year, and mistakes learnt from this, I think they’ll be more competitive. With Alonso behind the wheel even if the car’s only good, not outstanding it should be up the front. Fingers crossed!

      • @DiegoP
        “When you only ask for a faster car and do not ask specifically what to improve, you give no clue about how to develop it.”

        Do you honestly believe that in the debriefing with his engineers, Alonso just say “make it quicker” and walks out. I think not, a driver can give the greatest feedback in the world, but in the engineers are not up to the task then the driver can keep giving his feed back but not a lot will change.

        I’ve penned an article that is just waiting to see if we can get some replies from teams to finish it off, the link below is a great little video by James Allen, I hope it helps everyone to understand that the drivers give feedback back, the engineers look for a solution, when they think they have found it they give the car back to the driver to see if it’s improved. The driver does not decided aero concepts or how to improve traction for example, the driver simply says, yes it’s better or no change or it’s worse, it does a, b and c in certain scenarios, then the engineers go away again and try to improve the situation. So as I said, if the engineers are organized and working well, the cars development will stall.

        Developing a Formula One car: F1 Driver Contribut…: http://youtu.be/PJpclhAIxyE

        • “Do you honestly believe that in the debriefing with his engineers, Alonso just say “make it quicker” and walks out. I think not, a driver can give the greatest feedback in the world, but in the engineers are not up to the task then the driver can keep giving his feed back but not a lot will change.”

          Alonso is known for not being very fond of using the simulator. So if a driver doesn’t participate in the development process, he’s likely to be limited in the feedback he can provide.

        • Very nice video ClearView! Have you heard what Mark William says? That’s exactly my point. And I’m making my case based on the results and current status of Ferrari after these five years. Do you really believe that Ferrari has incompetent engineers? Ask Mercedes about Aldo…

          BTW, what a beauty was that McLaren from 2010 <3.

          • @DiegoP
            It’s not the the Ferrari engineers are rubbish, it’s more disorganized, but a disorganized department will not be as productive. It’s a big pet hate of mine is when people say drivers can’t develop cars, they just give feedback back, it is the engineers who need to find the solution and when they think they have, the driver trys it and gives them a run down of what feels better and where and any other characteristics the car displays.
            I just feel people focus on this way too much.

          • Not to mention everyone at Ferrari had to put up with LdM meddling, the shumie era only finished because Luca wanted it that way. He tried to take control of things he didn’t fully appreciate, eg investment in the simulator and wind tunnel.

        • My thoughts exactly CV; well stated. Drivers give feedback and engineers solve the problems. The last engineer/driver I can recall was Mark Donohue.

  5. “At the end of the year Hamilton was definitely stronger, but Nico was stronger at the beginning.”

    Where Hamilton won 4 on the bounce after a machanic DNF? Go home Timo you’re drunk.

  6. Some interesting stats prior to Abu Dhabi.

    In the only other 3 tracks which are slower than Abu Dhabi (i.e. more slow corners), Lewis dominated in two of them (Singapore, Spain) and we know what happened at the other one (Monaco).

    However, when you look at the tyre combo that will be used (soft/supersoft), Rosberg has dominated all previous occasions (Monaco, Canada, Austria, Germany) with the exception of Singapore.

    It will be an interesting race for sure and something tells me that Massa would want to play a role in this title battle. Well Felipe, better keep your nose clean boy, we only want to see Nico and Lewis fight it out between them.

    • Saying Nico dominated Austria and Germany is going a little overboard in my view.

      He didn’t get pole and we all knew what happened to lewis in qually (his disallowed time was faster than Massa’s pole time, even though he went off at the last corner) and he hung on for the win that race. Germany is self explanatory.

      He may have dominated qualifying in Canada, but surely didn’t dominate the race.

      • Show your objective side Fortis. This was your chance to mention Hamilton wasn’t all that dominant in Singapore and Spain either….

        • Not much can be said about Singapore, because Nico didn’t take part in the race, so we don’t know for certain what would’ve happened.

          Neither driver dominated those weekends, if anything it was fairly even and it could’ve gone in any direction.

    • “Well Felipe, better keep your nose clean boy, we only want to see Nico and Lewis fight it out between them.”

      Does that mean he isn’t allowed to fight for the win or P2? Or Bottas for that matter? Let’s say Lewis flintstones his tyres or Merc botches a pitstop. Are the Williams then required to ‘fall back’?

      • To fight for the win, first he’s got to be in contention for said win. The last time anyone saw that was way back in Canada.

        What if Nico flintstones his tyres? After all, he’s the master when it comes to lookups as we all saw at Monza…. :-p

      • Nope not that at all – Just no malicious or bitter side coming out of Felipe should he be in that situation.

    • As Gary Anderson has alluded to in the past, any drivers can be quick in the fast corners, it just takes some big brass balls of steel and a good car underneath you, the best drivers are the ones who are faster in the slow corners. That’s where the true driver skill comes to the fore, Vettel always beat Webber for this reason.
      I’m not really sure the tyre combo’s come into it as much. Think that’s just a throw away stat and circumstances out of his control haven’t helped Hamilton when the super softs have been at a Grand Prix weekend.

      As you mentioned Lewis has been better at all the tracks with slower corners so I can’t see Rosberg beating him this weekend. Provided Hamilton doesn’t let the pressure get to him. On the other hand if I were him I think I’d rather Rosberg was ahead of me. He can have the win, I’ll have the title, ta very much!

      • Tyres can come into it, for example, in GP2, Leal is only strong when there are harder tyre selections. Similarly, the Williams runs better on the softer tyres, hence Massa’s vociferous lobbying for softer tyres at his home race. It’s just a case of one suiting the car/driver better than the other.

      • ” it just takes some big brass balls of steel”
        Well, which is it? Brass balls or steel ones?

  7. People seem to be over-hyping this race a tad and hoping for a massive duel, ending up disappointed after the race should that not happen. It’s probably going to end up with people saying it was a boring race because of these expectations. Don’t be surprised if Lewis wraps it up with a clean and clinical win.

    Having said that, there’s been no shortage of drama whenever Lewis ends up coming to the last race with a shot at the championship….

    It may well be that Lewis qualifying behind Nico is the optimal result for the majority seeing as Nico seems incapable of catching and beating Lewis whenever he’s behind him on track. I’m honestly torn as to whether I would want Lewis to finish it off with a pole or hunt him down on race day. hmmm

    • Or maybe Lewis could do a good old fashioned crash at the first corner and take them both out. No risk of something going wrong later in the race.

      I mean in normal conditions there’s no question it’s Merc 1-2. So Lewis just need to take the car home and he’ll win, but there’s still that small risk that something goes wrong. In the end I’m afraid we are going to have a rather boring race as based on what the season has been so far Mercedes can start from pit lane and still be 1-2.

      • “Or maybe Lewis could do a good old fashioned crash at the first corner and take them both out. No risk of something going wrong later in the race.”

        Why taint the title? If Lewis’s car breaks down, so will Rosberg’s.

  8. Re Massa/Hamilton/Glock history:

    Am I crazy to think that Massa taking Hamilton out in a “racing accident” could be a possibility? You know, just to confirm that karma is indeed a b—h?

  9. Hmmm, Lewis didi’t look much of a haapy chap at the press conference, and not sure why he hasn’t any family members with him this weekend.

  10. What a bummer that the title has to be decided at such a bland, sterile and non-F1 place like Abu Dhabi, vs. Interlagos. Yas M. is such an uninspiring circuit. Double points is bad enough…but location, location, location…

  11. I wonder what would have happened for Bellof if he got the Ferrari drive the next year (we have a long list of these guys now, Kubica, Bianchi etc.). It seemed to me his career was always one year behind Stefan Johansson – Ferrari, McLaren, Ligier.

    But if he was successful and won a few races – Williams were driver poor before they became dominant – put him there, and he really could have done some winning!

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