#F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday 8th December 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

The Top-20 #F1 Constructors who Failed to win a Championship – 2nd: Ligier

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Well that solved entirely nothing…


OTD Lite 2004 – Enigmatic Carlos rides the Prancing Horse again

McLaren power struggle intensifies

Hamilton doesn’t want ‘easy’ victories

Alonso saddened at Leaving Ferrari

Truli says smaller teams’ add nothing to F1’

Ecclestone critical of both Vettel and Alonso

Message from Lewis

Shout out to Estonia


OTD Lite 2004 – Enigmatic Carlos rides the Prancing Horse again

On this day – ten years ago my namesake, Carlos Reutemann, took the the track in the championship winning Ferrari at Fiorano. Since his departure from the Italian squad after the 1978 season this was the second time he would drive an official Ferrari with the works team.

His first demonstration run came during the Argentinian Grand Prix weekend in 1995, driving a glorious V12 412 TB which proved the old enigmatic masters skills were still evident.

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Fast forward nine years and he attended an invitation to test one of the current cars: “It was an unforgettable experience. The car is impressive, especially in terms of the power from the engine. It is completely different to the car that I drove in my day. Watching on television Formula One today can look easy, but having tried it myself I can guarantee you that is not the case.”

A legendary driver who on his day was simply unbeatable and yet the demons would counter his ability and would ultimately cost him the 1981 title.

The Grumpy Jackal

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McLaren power struggle intensifies

McLaren have spent much of this season prevaricating, since Martin Whitmarsh announced during the autumn of 2013, that the Woking team would be announcing a title sponsor on December third. This never happened.

The team were never going to sign a one-year title sponsor, given in their history they have only ever had 4 title sponsors – and that Honda would become both title sponsor and engine partner.

The apparent indecision over their driver line up for 2015, is not a reflection on which drivers have been analysed as best for their cash infusion vs on track capabilities, but more an indication of an intense political struggle taking place within the team.

On the Sky F1 show, Eric Boullier was categorical. “There is no problem, it is just taking the time to consider what is good for McLaren. Unfortunately I cannot give you any tips as I do not know. No decision has been taken yet”. 

It is beyond dispute, that the choice between Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen is obvious, should the criteria be who will score the most points for the team over a season.

Magnussen flattered to deceive with a second place in Australia – 18 points – yet finished the season with a mere 55 points to Jenson’s 126. During the last 10 races of the season from Germany to Abu Dhabi, Button scored 65 points to the Dane’s questionable 18.

“I know there are a lot of fans, Jenson’s fans, Kevin’s fans, other drivers’ fans and hopefully some McLaren fans,” says Eric, “but it is just about taking the right decision for the future, not only for next year but also for the next years.”

Boullier continues, “Our responsibility is to make McLaren win again and I would be happy because both drivers are terrific drivers,” the racing director added. “Jenson is obviously a world champion and we would love to carry on with both of them, but we have to decide what is the best position for the team.”

The F1 world expects Fernando Alonso to be announced as McLaren driver, yet is there a hint in Boullier’s rhetoric which suggests that he – and by default – Ron Dennis have other preferences?

Certain media outlets would have us believe that the decision is all about sponsors, and Ron Dennis has been bending Lego’s arm to join McLaren as a major sponsor.

Really? Lego McLaren Honda? – well that could explain a thing or two.

Remember, it was Alonso who made his position clear back in September 2013, when rumours were rife he may be considering a return to the Woking team. There were so many rumours that we had a lot of problems that year [2007] but I always said that there are no problems with anyone, it was just the philosophy of the team, especially one man in the team that is not there [anymore]”.

Yes, and at that time Martin Whitmarsh was in charge of the McLaren race team and also the CEO of McLaren Group, whilst Ron Dennis was apparently out in the cold.

Of course Big Ron did attempt to put to bed the idea that he had any personal grudge against Alonso for his part in exposing the ‘spygate’ affair which cost McLaren a $50m fine and a loss of around $70m in prize money when the team was disqualified from the championship in 2007 following Alonso’s revelations.

“Fernando would be welcome back at McLaren,” the McLaren supremo stated back in May this year. “You’re surprised that I’m talking about Fernando? I don’t have any problem – the most important thing is for us to win again. In 2015 we have the Honda engine and we need a great driver.”

However, at that time, TJ13 learned that the final detail on the Honda contribution to the joint effort going forward was being finalised, and it could just be Ron Dennis did not wish to appear obstinate over a driver.

So the F1 media have speculated merrily away as to who will partner Alonso at McLaren next year The list of candidates produced has been pretty much restricted to Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen or even Stoffel Vandoorme.

However, TJ13 sources have revealed, it is Alonso & Dennis who have been the sticking point – and there may yet be a rather big surprise in store.

The idea of a power struggle between a driver and the team boss who made McLaren great, is more than surprising. But for now – it is uncertain whether both will be part of the Woking F1 race team in 2015 – unless huge helpings of humble pie are shared.

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Hamilton doesn’t want ‘easy’ victories

An F1 driver is by definition a competitive animal. From childhood in karts, they strive to attain perfection in every discipline, they train at the same level as Olympic athletes and they fight for every victory in similar cars to their opposition.

When they finally arrive in the upper echelon of motor sport, these competitive animals goal is to continue winning and ultimately take the top honour of World Title glory. Part of achieving requires a driver to align themselves with a team that has both the required funding and technical infrastructure to deliver those aims.

If the team delivers for a period a dominant car, then driver can secure the ultimate glory they crave. That said, unless the fight for the title is a close fought affair – as when Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost shared the spoils in their personal battles over 1988 & 1989 – then the satisfaction derived from the ultimate prize may be somewhat diminished.

Whilst there is little doubt Michael Schumacher deserved his tally of seven entries on the FIA record books, it is not known if he enjoyed his harder fought battles more than the dominant years, where only his team-mate offered a semblance of competition.

however, Lewis Hamilton was in reflective mood after his recent success and picking up the trophy at the FIA awards on Friday.

“I don’t think you ever want to have it easy, you always want to have a fight. Easy championships, I don’t know, they’re just not as… you want that climax.”

“This one definitely feels sweeter than the first,” Lewis claims. “But that’s probably just because I’m older and because of what I’ve gone through to get to this one and the decisions that I’ve taken and all those kinds of things. For the next one – if there is another one – at least in the championships I’m going into I want to fight as high as possible and try to work on and improve on the things that are not strong enough and could be better but overall it’s been an incredible year and I’ve been very blessed to have a great team around me.”

“Going into next season, you’re hoping that you’ll be competitive again, you hope you’ll have a chance to fight for the championship again. The good thing about this period of time in Formula One is that when I won the championship in 2008, the following year we had a year like this with some new rules and regulations and as a team we didn’t do a good job to adapt to that, so I didn’t have a chance to fight to keep my championship. Next year will be an evolution of this year’s car so I’m hoping that we’ll be at least able to fight.”

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Alonso saddened at Leaving Ferrari

Although the paymasters at Woking haven’t officially confirmed his arrival, Fernando Alonso has spoken of his sadness at leaving the Italian giants after five years together.

“It is very difficult to close the door on Ferrari knowing that I will not work in this red colour next year. That’s a very, very difficult decision to make, but I guess that was the same for Felipe last year – after a long relationship saying bye-bye to the team.”

“But I miss being on the podium, I miss celebrating with champagne, I miss to celebrate winning races, winning titles, and I think a new project for me will bring that possibility closer. Maybe not in one year’s time, but in the future I have no doubts I will fight again.”

The F1 media, as one, believe that the Spaniard is an extremely difficult man to work with and the UK publication Autosport reported last fall that an ex-Renault engineer said Fernando was “the most difficult driver he’s ever worked with..”. Even this season, the Italian media has at times reported that disgruntled Ferrrari engineers claimed the Asturian was ‘persona non grata…’

Yet Alonso states that everything written may not necessarily be the case. “It seems the people who work with me give me one door open when it is normally the opposite of what I read – that I am very difficult to work with. I went from Renault to McLaren, and then I went back to Renault; I come to Ferrari, maybe I come back to the team. At the end of the day, the teams I work with I can come back to, so that is a good sign.”\

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Truli says smaller teams’ add nothing to F1’

Formula E team boss and driver, Jarno Truli, has attacked the smaller F1 teams, “Unfortunately, Bernie Ecclestone was right when he says that some teams are just disorganised. They add nothing to Formula One.”

Truli recognises the history of small teams, but believes their role has changed. He told blogF1.it, “It is true that small teams have always been there, but in the past they were good teams”.

“Minardi – for example – they had young drivers but not just because they pay but because they had talent; most of them then stepped up in F1, but I doubt a Caterham or Marussia driver will make the same leap”.

Having praised Ecclestone for his shrewd analysis of the state of the modern back of the grid teams, Jarno adds, “The big mistake F1 made was letting the manufacturers go elsewhere. This marked the end of the golden age, during which I had the honour to be able to live.

“Today the situation is totally different, with a few real teams and many other small teams trying to stay alive.”

Sometimes it’s important to know who commissioned the opinion poll and why someone may be claiming what they do.

Jarno Truli conveniently forgets that the failure to control escalating costs in Formula One – which Ecclestone did little to assist with – was the reason manufacturers left the sport.

Then again, Truli has no love for Caterham or Tony Fernandes – who hauled him from the green goddess on the final day of Jerez testing – because his lap times were not impressing the sponsors.

Heikki Kovalainen was quickly recalled from the golf course and drove the Caterham car for the  final afternoon of the test.

Truli was formally replaced by Vitaly Petrov for the remainder of the season at the next winter test in Barcelona.

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Ecclestone critical of both Vettel and Alonso

Having spent most of 2014, stating the new V6 Turbo engines were a disaster for Formula One, suggesting race promoters had been short changed on their contracts and finally deriding the midfield teas of Sauber, Force India and Lotus as “idiots” and “beggars”, Bernie Ecclestone has his say on the F1.com season review.

“I’m a super supporter of Sebastian, but I’m a little bit disappointed with his attitude, which I think has changed; he’s acting like a defeated guy, and he isn’t – that’s not his mentality”.

Alonso too receives short shrift form the soon to be ex-F1 supremo. “Fernando got a little bit like Sebastian halfway through [the season], so I’m a little disappointed in him, too.”

Let’s see what the obituaries say when the dust has settled regarding Ecclestone’s attitude and behaviour during 2014, though the majority of the F1 accredited media may not feel it ‘appropriate’ to write anything at all – and if they do it could be rose tinted with line after line – sugared with sweet, sweet candy.

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Message from Lewis

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Hats on together at dinner… Ahhh.

Yet once again Lewis tweet is the source of amusement on twitter, as the like of @SniffPetrol question why he is celebrating eating roast ‘God’.

@almightrex responded, “I hope he doesn’t mean dog”

Other commentators questioned whether it was very British or mannerly to be wearing one’s hat at the dinner table.

Whilst another commentator wondered whether Lewis’ phone may have auto corrected ‘goose’ to ‘god’.

Another picture tweeted from Lewis is discovered and the pot is stirred a little more

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“Think hats are acceptable here. But seriously, JUST GET A TROLLEY”, is one suggestion.

Another wag observes, “Note, in that Waitrose pic they’re standing in the front of the fish section.

Lewis clearly believes it is important for him to repeatedly tell the world he believes in God and is therefore blessed – or maybe he realised he was blessed and so then believed in God.

It matters not. But in true martyr-like fashion, Lewis persists with his evangelistic theocratic message – despite all the mocking – Hamilton stands firm and will not be moved.

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Shout out to Estonia

In the past 13 weeks, TJ13 is the 1,003rd most read internet site by all Estonian IP addresses. Say hello in the comments section you good people from the east of Europe.

Further, each visitor has been spending on average 3:31mins on the site – up over 100% on the start of the year.

Around half our visitors on average read more than one page per day.

 

103 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday 8th December 2014

  1. So what was this 2014 championship? Hard? With a car 2 seconds faster than anything else? Cmon lewis. Don’t kid yourself… people gave vettel a hard time for winning in the best car… but his was even more dominant. He deserves to be champion this year but this is just utter bullsh*t

    • Ignorance is bliss hey? There’s no point in explaining this out to you as you will need step by step information to unscrabble your mind.

    • I’m not sure that you can call chasing down a 25+ points deficit on more than one occasion easy. Even with a car that’s 2 second a lap faster than everyone else’s, but for the man with that 25 pts lead, who’s guaranteed to finish either first or second when it doesn’t suffer any kind of reliability.

      • It was tedious, but not hard. He only had to beat a single driver. It’s like colouring your house. It’s not hard, it just takes a long time to finish.

        • Colouring your house is actually pretty hard work. Then factor in the amount of time it would take to do it all by yourself, then yes it does get pretty hard. You need to find a new analogy mate.

          • How hard it is depends on what kind of shape you are in to do the job. Getting into better shape will make the job easier but relieving the tedium is hard.

        • I think it’s fair to say it was hard. I’m not sure if any driver has come back from as far to beat their teammate, when all results counted. Lauda would’ve fallen further behind Prost in 1984, but he knew that any DNF with Prost winning was one of his 5 GP’s to drop.

      • At any point of season 2014, if you assume that both drivers were driving to the best of their abilities (on average), then bad luck and the vagaries of his own grey matter were the only things between Lewis and his title.

        Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton did well to pull it all together but it’s not like there was 7 winners in the first 7 races or anything.

        I think Lewis gets it, although he’s not saying it in do many words.

    • I think Lewis is struggling a bit with the fact that in the past he more or less implied Seb only won his WDCs because of his “dominant” car. And he wasn’t Pat in degrading Seb’s victories either.

      But now Lewis is wearing the same shoes as Seb… and… well… he doesn’t want to sound like a hypocrite, now does he?

      Kudos to Mr Hamilton for acknowledging and almost verbalising his dilemma in a round about kinda way.

      • If Seb had a more competitive teammate those 4 years, noone would question his wins and titles, the same way noone questioned Senna’s titles in an uber-dominant McLaren back in the day.

        • You can’t have it both ways. According to the Hamfosi crowd, Nico wasn’t particularly competitive either, which most of them were not tiring to point out by the fact that he never made an overtaking maneuvre on track, so that line of logic doesn’t work really. The RB merely wasn’t dominant enough to be guaranteed a 1-2 every time.

          • I think what gave Hamilton a hard time was chasing down a points lead, every time he caught Nico, there would be mishap. Nico didn’t have the race pace of Hamilton for sure, but over one lap, no two ways about it and hence he could win at Brazil by putting himself in that position.

            I regards to RB not being that dominant, i think at points it probably had the same advantage Merc have, the difference being, the RB was a great track car, but a not great race if that makes sense, bad in turbulent air and low top speed, coupled with Marks inability to get the thing moving at the start of each race contributed to a lack of 1-2’s

            NB Just a thought, Nico can out qualify Lewis, but not out race very often, Jenson couldn’t out qualify lewis very often, but could often match him in the race, and could overtake him.

            Cant help but feel if Alonso had been in the other merc, Lewis wouldn’t of been able to claw back the points. That said i think if Alonso had been in a Williams, we’d of had a 3 way fight for the title.

          • And you can’y say ‘you can’t have it both ways’ to MC78 and then address things ‘the hamfosi’ said. I know you don’t need me to elucidate why.

            Regardless of this, ultimately, even the frenzied ‘fosi (I don’t think me or MC78 count as that) were right in that Lewis beat Nico. 11-6= beat.

        • If Nico had managed to take the choccies this year I think most people would say Lewis was robbed given his poor luck throughout the course of the season – that tells you how Rosberg is rated in relative terms to his team mate.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat. Rosberg was lucky to get as close as he did. That’s my honest opinion – he’s good not great. Hamilton is the other way round.

          I really hope Nico proves me wrong next year though; personally I was far from enthralled with their on track “battle”.

          • You should also credit Merc F1 management for their attitudes towards their drivers during Spa.

      • But that’s what I mean lewis and Fernando both belittled his titels but neither one of them would not like to win in a dominant car… and now that lewis clearly has, he tries to cover up for the fact that he blamed vettel for having won it in such a great car…

        • Vettel hasn’t at any point this year shown the world that his talent is not in doubt. 2015 is make or break for him – if he cannot pull out the performance, then there will always be a question mark over how good he is.

          • So you call his talent into question because of a single bad year? May I remind of Lewis’ horrible 2011 campaign? Alonso in 2008 didn’t set the world ablaze either. Senna’s 1994 campaign didn’t exactly start in a stellar fashion either. Nobody would call any of these three people into question. That’s one nice piece of selective perception there.

          • @FatHippo – Lewis won 3 races in 2011 despite this, and some of his on track performances were brilliant.

            Germany qualifying 2011 – pulled out one of the best laps he has ever done and he got within spitting distance of pole position in a car that didn’t deserve to be there. Then went on to win the race with a pass around the outside of Fernando, where he should have been slapped off the track.

            Vettel has not shown anything near as special this year. The jury’s out.

          • Hippo, Lewis’s worst year in F1, was still better than Seb’s this year.

            Only none Redbull pole and won 3 races.

          • That’s not the point. By his standards it was a horrible year. He cluttered into everything that crossed his path, but he wasn’t immediately brushed off as ‘not quite good, really’. I think Seb is getting that much flak because many people are still bumhurt over his four titles because they had a different preference and the only way to ‘make them go away’, at least in their warped sense, is to talk Seb down. They even find ways to belittle his achievements in the STR. That says a lot about people, IMHO.

          • [Mod – enough of the Hippo vs Fortis or Fortis vs Hippo…. daily and seemingly endless and somewhat tedious debate please

            As the teacher at school would say – if you can’t be pleasant to each other – don’t speak at all :)]

          • OK, this is just my personal opinion, the only reason Seb is getting that much flak is when people like DC try to make us believe that he’s the best driver around by a mile, that his pole laps are all Senna-esque and that he’s the best thing since sliced bread that BBC had to include him at the 6th best driver of all time by the time he won 3 titles!!!

            Call him as one of the currently best 3-4 (the others being Alonso Hamilton and…don’t know Rosberg, Kimi of the past?) around and we’re fine, noone will contest that.

          • I’d really like to know why my comments are being moderated? I did not say anything unpleasant to the hippo just now, so I’ve know idea what you’re on about.

          • Too many comments – you were almost 15% of the last 1000 comments made recently – more than 1 in 10 – we’ve been here before – plus you bait Hippo – he responds – I’ve had enough

          • @Hippo The big worry is that Seb is on a downwards slope, i.e. already past his best. This may sound odd, given how impressive he has been from 2007-2013, but some people simply peak earlier and never recapture that best form with age, say as Seb showed from 2011-2013. Still, 3 years at peak speed is still better than none.

            The other side of the argument is that he will now ‘do a Schumi’ and develop Ferrari around himself.. thus springing back to peak form in a few years before he gets much past 30. But Schumi had legendary endurance on his side – so far, Vettel is leading the way for the young crowd, i.e. everything achieved by mid-20s.

            Vettel climbed the ladder like Alonso – who is now at his peak in his early 30s, despite 10 years of F1. Alonso could be the next Schumi, so lets see if Hamilton or Vettel will be the next Alonso (so far it’s Hamilton, with Vettel resembling more Raikkonen than Alonso). I can see Vettel closely matching Kimi next year, just edging it like Lewis vs. Nico.

          • So you moderate my comments because I comment too much? Oh the irony!!

            everyone baits hippo, even you, so why am I being singled out?

          • …way too many comments – 3 times as many as the next commentator on last weeks survey of last 1000 comments – many of which little value but to perpetuate a rather tiresome debate.

            You are better than that.

            Time and effort is spent writing F1 stories – some of which receive little or none of your attention – as the Lewis war rages on day after day – and you are the lead protagonist – if merely by volume of posts.

          • @thejudge13: “…way too many comments – 3 times as many as the next commentator on last weeks survey of last 1000 comments – many of which [have] little value but to perpetuate a rather tiresome debate.”

            I tend to agree with your analysis of Fortis, and yet you keep adding pathetic non-stories about Lewis that you know are surely only going to bait the Hamfosi.

            What was Hippo’s quote? “You can’t have it both ways”

            Physician, heal thyself. “You are better than that.”

          • Point noted – the vicous circle has to stop somewhere….

            And if it is for the greater good – to ignore the one driver who pursues a never ending evangelistic religious message – which is strange and unusual – it is worth considering.

            Then again – if we censor what is acceptable to write – what happens next?

            I think if you examine the past 30 days of posts – this was the first making fun of Lewis – and it was a response to his slightly abnormal behaviour…

            So are the fanbouy exchanges really based on the articles written – I’m not so sure.

            People apparently believe TJ13 is predominantly anti Alonso – as per the link to Autosport forums I put up earlier – maybe Lewis isn’t so badly represented after all…

            I feel Lewis fans have to accept their hero is definitely – “different” – with a capital D.

            Which means he will at times get some stick for his off track antics – but this in no way diminishes his driving talent.

            And if we have a section of commentators who can’t be grown up about their hero – maybe they need to be moderated – and/or go elsewhere.

            What’s wrong with the idea of a crazy preacher who drives like hell?

            Having watched F1 for nearly 40 years – there are few heroes for me at present – drivers/team bosses/F1 writers, in fact anyone. The sport appears riddled with self interest full stop.

            Lewis is just one of the characters playing out the farce we see presently – but I do believe from the ashes of what we see now – will rise a stronger and better F1 – hopefully with people who can be respected…

          • Let’s just say I’m glad Lewis hasn’t had a year like Seb’s just endured … the abuse would be endless. “By his standards” …. you betray a lot with that statement. In 2011 it was 3-3 in wins, 7-7 in two-car finishes. Button won out, fair ‘n’ square, but Lewis had some stellar drives that year. His wins in China and Germany were the highlights.

            With Vettel it just went from bad to worse through the year, culminating in getting dummied by Ricciardo at Monza. Even if he had a good year, he wasn’t going to win this year, so best to get all the bad out of the way in one year.

            As for Senna in 1994, it’s not like Hill was beating him in that car. Who here thinks that Senna – had he lived – would’ve taken the Williams, once sorted, to a 4th title (assuming the DQ and race bans remained for MSC)? I assume most would think he would’ve.

          • Sorry, KRB, but that post just shows you actually didn’t watch the season or at least not very impartially. In fact by Monza Vettel was on the same pace than RIC. He was easily ahead for 40 laps until he got easily overtaken because his tyres had gonbe off the cliff. The reason for that was that he had an ultra-long seconds stint – too long infact. Only Massa ran longer on a single set of tyres and he too drove around ‘like a granny’ as he called it. The team in fact apologized publicly for effing up Seb’s strategy.
            As for him winning – he would have won in Canada, as he again was faster than RIC and shafted by the team – another public apology ensued.
            Sorry, but all your points were utterly invalid.
            As for Senna. I’m pretty sure one the williams would have been sorted out, he would have challenged Schumacher more than Hill, but let’s not delude ourselves, the car wasn’t a dog to begin with and it had a better motor. Senna’s races before his death were utterly mediocre by his standards. Yet nobody would dare saying he was overrated because of it.

          • @FH, seeing as you think Merc made Rosberg give up a win in Monza and Japan, and screwed him in Singapore, I’m comfortable with my version of events.

            Do you ever stop to think why Vettel got the strategies he got? Just like with Webber, his window of options on strategy was always smaller than that of his teammate this season.

            Vettel’s season was far outside the margins of being explained away b/c of reliability or poor strategy. I am still shocked by it. I’ve seen some Vettel supporters “accept” this season by elevating Ricciardo to demigod status (a sample would go something like “title race woulda been over after the 5th race if Ricciardo was in that W05!”). The term is overcompensating.

            Obviously the change in reg’s played a big part in Vettel’s abject title defence, but can anyone find another example of a champion driver (nevermind the defending WDC), well ensconced in their team, being so utterly battered about by a driver new to the team?

      • I’m not sure at no point did Lewis ever belittle any of Seb’s titles. Alonso has always been the one stoking the fire by saying he was racing against Newey and not Seb.

        @hippo….

        And it’s for that reason why it was hard for Lewis. It took 4 races to claw back 25pts and 2 reliability issues for Nico to get back into the championship. Now back in any of the 4 seasons that Seb won his titles, that 25pt deficit could’ve been wiped out in just 2 races. Because there was always the possibility that he could win the race and rely on maybe 2 or 3 cars finishing ahead of the man with that 25pt lead, that was not the case this year.

        • As I said. There is a difference between ‘hard’ and ‘tedious’. For Lewis it was tedious, not hard as he didn’t even have an Alonso to fight with or a Kimi driven Lotus, who at least occasionally could put pressure on the leader. He simply had nobody to fight with except Nico and not even that after Spa. It was tedious, but not hard or difficult in any way. Like Seb he made the best out of a dominant car, which is why his frequent comments about Seb’s car last year make him look a bit daft now that he’s in a car that is more dominant than any RB ever was and tries to talk some ‘difficulty’ into it.

        • Oh yes lewis did belittle the titels of vettel. Not as hard or direct as alonso but he did do it. And I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to do that. But i do say that he’s comming back from it because he knows that he won this tittle the same way.

  2. So Alonso left Ferrari to fight against Dennis, “he told McLaren shareholders, me or him”. Very credible. Worth note, that Alonso’s manager and Dennis were caught chatting in the last race, smiling and all.

  3. Re : OTD lite

    A fantastic livery and one of the most beautiful ferrari’s. As the saying goes, when something is beautiful, it almost always is also quickest. Today’s livery can’t match this one

  4. I doubt a Caterham or Marussia driver will make the same leap

    But for his accident, it’s pretty clear that Bianchi would have done exactly that.

    The big mistake F1 made was letting the manufacturers go elsewhere

    Agreed – but as you say, there are reasons for that having happened.
    Not so much ‘letting’ as ‘making’.

    • And Ricciardo’s step from HRT counts too.

      But to give Trulli some credit, both Bianchi and Ricciardo were not really employed by the small team they drove for — they both had a big name behind them. So I can see what he means: there are no longer successful drivers brought into the sport by small teams.

      • In other words, Mr.E’s and the FIA’s failure to control escalating costs has led to the midfield/backmarker teams looking for pay drivers instead of real talents like Alonso, Webber, Fisichella and some others. Atleast Toro rosso is trying to do some justice by their existence.

        • PS : I meant such real talents unearthed by the Minardi team which is being continued by Toro rosso ofcourse with Redbull’s backing.

        • Indeed. However, TR is of course also funded by a much bigger fish. So I don’t think that counts — it’s just RB.

  5. On the F1 show #askcrofty on Friday, one particular audience member said when asked, “what would you like to see in 2015″, to which they replied….”get rid of Bernie”. That got probably the loudest cheer that night.

    • Pffft.

      Big deal (no offense, Fortis).

      #askcrofty slagging Bernie when it’s so popular to do so that even the MSM is taking shots is bandwagoning of highest order.

      The people who merit praise for criticizing Bernie/Bernie’s F1 are the people who did it when it meant they were voices in the wilderness (pseudonymed or not). People like Adam Parr, and even His Honour and Hippo when he was regularly contributing AtL.

      imo, at least…

  6. RE McLaren

    Judge, so let me get this, are you saying that infighting between Fred and Ron has already started and the delay is all about who is gonna stay?

    I always thought is was about Ron getting a rookie in and pushing him as much as he can without that rookie becoming Alonso’s no2 which is what Honda would try to do.

  7. If I was Ferrari I’d send Kimi to McLaren, just for the whole ‘double-prodigal-son’ vibe, and give Jenson a drive for a year, to help Seb develop next years’ car.

    • But according to our commenters, JB can’t develop a car. Or was that Fernando? Both? I wish I had access to the big book of F1 driver development that everyone else has.

      • …and I’m one of these people that insist on the fact Jense and Fred can’t develop a car. Haven’t seen any proof of it to date. On the other hand, Seb and Lewis have shown that, just my two pence.

        • …Not sure any driver ‘develops the car’ – isn’t it the engineers?

          Plus giving feedback to the engineers on how to deliver the style of car one prefers to drive – isn’t really rocket science.

          In fact, I think you would find many of the team track side data analysts would suggest – it is they who ‘develop the driver’ from the feedback they provide him with – on slippage, timings of throttle application, angle of turn on corner entry, brake bias settings, pitch and roll created by various driver inputs etc etc

          • But isn’t driver input much more valuable these day due to limited time in the car? And the input can be different (read: better) from driver to driver.

          • …most of the hard miles is done by test drivers – who pound the simulator… give feedback – the model is tweaked… they pound it again – give feedback on the changes – the model is tweaked again …. pound it again etc etc

            The actual drivers are then given summary sessions – where the work of the test driver is distilled and comparisons are made..

            By the time the cars get to a GP weekend – for the race drivers it is mostly about getting the best setup – from what is available…

            Vettel was reported to have hit the simulator pretty hard on a number of occasions last year – however, that was mostly familiarisation work – which was focused on adapting his driving style slightly to the new components – specifically designed for the upcoming circuit.

          • I agree. Drivers can help make the car more drivable but they don’t make it faster. In the simulator test drivers test ideas. At the track drivers test completed parts.

          • Engineers and Test drivers do all the donkey work, it’s just not out on track day in out, week out as it used to be. Race drivers get the fruits of the design team design labour and test drivers work in the simulator. The race drivers are crucial because they give the team live feedback on the changes. Once a team gets those two sides in synch then a car can be developed fairly well. The hard part for Race Drivers is setting up a car for the intricate nature of the different circuits and weather conditions. Also I think it’s easy for us to say this drivers is rubbish at developing a car as we don’t have all the data and facts to hand. That usually comes years after a driver has retired.

            You can probably make the case that McLaren and Ferrari have suffered the most from in season testing of the unlimited kind being banned. Simulators are useful tools, but are like CFD they can only tell you so much until you hit a track to compare the physical data with computer models.

          • …Not sure any driver ‘develops the car’ – isn’t it the engineers?
            Plus giving feedback to the engineers on how to deliver the style of car one prefers to drive – isn’t really rocket science.

            While I’m on the side of those who say it’s up to the engineers to develop the car, I can’t help but remember the number of times when Button was bemused by the handling of the Mclaren, or it’s inability to warm its tyres, while Hamilton just got on with it.

            I suspect the engineers want a driver adaptable enough not to be flummoxed by a car not ideally set up to their preferences.

            Whether its possible for a driver to be so adaptable that they can’t give useful feedback (the usual Alonso bashing theory), I don’t know.
            I suppose a reasonably consistent style is required to get sensible back to back figures.

            in any event, I think the whole ‘driver developing the car’ thing is rather exaggerated these days.

          • @Thejudge13 THANK YOU VERY MUCH, I have been shot down siooooooooo many times on here for trying to dispel the myth of drivers being good or bad at developing a car. I can’t be bothered to go deeper as I’ve typed it too many times already, but I am so please the judge has passed comment.

            I have written an article but it’s awaiting some feed back of questions posted directly to a few teams to confirm the myth.

        • I think too much emphasis has been placed on Fernando ‘not being able to develop a car’. There’s only so much he can do to assist the engineers in how he likes the car to behave and then it’s up to the engineers themselves to actually produce a half decent car – something Ferrari have been unable to do for a number of years. It’s not fred’s lack of talent in this area that has lead to him not winning a c’ship with Ferrari, rather a team in crisis with no real direction and in light of recent revelations, out of date engineering systems to carry out the job.

          Jenson, on the other hand has never really been able to consistently pull out performances from a car unless it has a distinct advantage like in 2009.

          The engineers should know how their driver likes the car and advise and create accordingly – they’re paid for that. Some drivers will be able to provide better feedback than others maybe due to their sensitivity, but whether that has a clear cut advantage in developing a car is questionable at the least.

  8. LOL

    Where would this blog and comments be without Lewis?

    #LewisIsTheGreatestGiftToTJ13

    😉

      • Agreed Roger D.

        Maybe people should checkout http://www.F1Fanatic.co.uk type comments posted – they appear to be genuinely interested in the news stories posted that day. They are even are a useful source for research ideas at times…

        Its a shame because we started with engaging comments – which developed the knowledge and understanding of all.

        All too often now – its trite nonsense.

        Nobody wants a sterile humourless place to visit – but there’s a difference between humour and the constant polemics being reiterated here.

        Also our current comment content can be a barrier to new people joining in – we have had many new visitors since the podcast began – people finding us from the audio, who then visit the site….

        There have been some who join in – but I know if it was me – it would feel too ‘cliquey’ to bother.

        Still – its now dawn where I am – and a busy day ahead – back later – try not to trash the place peeps 😉

        • Very humble of you to make the statement above, your Honor. Really impressed to see you acknowledge this and not pretend or claim the opposite.

        • Very honest of you – but is there a solution.
          Speaking personally, I used to read the vast majority of what was written here, now I just quickly scan the comments. Not sure how I spotted the above.
          But dont give up on us:-)

  9. So, it will be Ron’s McLaren Honda without Alonso or Alonso’s Honda McLaren without Ron? I guess that would explain Alonso comment suggesting that once we heard what his new situation was, we would all understand. God help us all. I hope Lewis really didn’t gobble God up.

    • also, re. the Twitterer who said “Think hats are acceptable here. But seriously, JUST GET A TROLLEY”, is one suggestion.”, –
      I think the waitrose store in the picture is a “Little Waitrose” and there are NO TROLLEYS available in those stores.

      (excuse the shouting – just shouting back at the twitterer)

  10. Re : Roast dinner
    Water, orange juice, a pot of tea…but no wine? What kind of a roast dinner is that?

  11. FYI; a reddit user has translated a special on spanish TV about the last weekend at Ferrari with Fernando Alono.
    He inserted English subtitles and posted on reddit with links to the video.
    I am not a great Alonso fan but this was quite an eye opening look into his life.
    It is 37 minutes long and is the first half of the show, the poster said it took 6 days (not full days) to do the translation and is now working on the second half. I think he deserves a huge pat on the back!
    Enjoy

    http://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/2ogwhn/fernando_alonso_documentary_my_last_race_with/

    • ” the poster said it took 6 days (not full days) to do the translation and is now working on the second half. I think he deserves a huge pat on the back!” < < > > How frustrating that must be for him when he realizes that YouTube video playback features automatic subtitling and translation functionality (if enabled).

      lol!

  12. Lego McLaren Honda…..Lego McLaren Honda…..Lego McLaren Honda…..No matter how many times i repeat it, the pieces don’t fit.

  13. I bet the Estonian readers are actually Finns done “Lewis” and “moved” south to avoid taxes either over a one day booze shopping trips or moved their business there. A common practice in a high tax country like Finland, which most seem to think is well acceptable.

  14. Other commentators questioned whether it was very British or mannerly to be wearing one’s hat at the dinner table.

    Which just shows how pathetically snarky and busybodyish those twats are.

    And seriously – while I don’t believe in God and think religion sucks, equating Lewis to a proponent of Evangelicalism is disingenuous at best, ignorant or intentionally misleading at worst.

    Lewis’s references to faith and repeated expressions of delight upon perceiving to have been “blessed” can certainly grate, but why don’t you guys deliver an informed, effective criticism of the issue in the sporting context?

    Argue that b/c of his mega-star public profile, Lewis’s constant God-thanking/bless-claiming is insulting to his team and all of the rational, logic-wielding (but still passionate) people who harness science and technology to help him kick ass on the track. Their efforts are demeaned and devalued by Hammy’s incessant bleating about enjoying “God’s” favor.

    It is odd to hear a pro who trains and toils as relentlessly as Lewis constantly downplaying the scale and intensity of his own role in contributing to his success (and of course the team staff’s role), and it sends the wrong message to little kids that they should cultivate faith in a higher power in the hope of being “blessed” rather than work their asses off.

    At least if you made this argument I’d get behind the criticism.

    • Usually people (like certain F1 champions) are applauded for being humble about their efforts. No such thing with Hamilton. You do know “Hammy” hails the team in every team radio and interview opportunity he gets, right?

      And religious people are praying every day, isn’t the whole #blessed #godisthegreatest thing a form of praying? Point is he seems to stay very humble and he gives alot of his time to all the media and his fans. I dont see that much of a problem even though I despise religion.

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