#F1 Daily News And Comment: Friday 3rd of April 2015


A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,

Hamilton: It’s kinda strange they say we’re team mates…

Jackie Stewart: Vettel and Ferrari are the perfect package

Dr. Marko is not quite done yet with criticising Renault and the rules

Fat Hippo’s Rant Lite: Force India’s pickpockets don’t give up

A last farewell to a friend

Hamilton: It’s kinda strange they say we’re team mates…

As a guest of the Claire Balding show Lewis Hamilton gave a very candid insight into the unique challenges of racing, now that there are actually other cars that can spoil the two-horse race that had been the 2014 season.

“Honestly, I love racing. I love having a fight with people, so I was actually happy to see Ferrari there,” the two-time champion said. “’course I’m no hat’n a leavin’ like t’loved ‘a won.”

The latter presumably is Welsh for his desire to have won himself, but the champ was in a magnanimous mood.

“But I have had a lot of wins in the last year and a bit and you can’t win them all.”

Asked whether he considers 2015 a three-driver battle, he gently corrects his hostess claiming it was a “two-team race”, obviously not willing to count out a certain Finn. But interestingly enough, the Brit then concentrated on the only real danger to defend his title.

“It’s kinda strange they say we are team mates,” he says in reference to Nico Rosberg. ‘cause we kind of are, we have the two cars and have over a thousand people in our team. It’s like one thousand three-hundred people to build those two cars. But then our job is to win the constructors championship. To win as many points as possible together. But again, we wanna beat each other, so you kind of always up against the rules.”

When asked if that would cause secrecy over data in the team, he replied “No, it’s only Nico.”

The psychological games are on in the Mercedes garage and if Niki Lauda ever talks about cost cutting again, make sure you laugh really hard at him – one thousand three-hundred people?!


Jackie Stewart: Vettel and Ferrari are the perfect package

“We’ve received a letter from a Scottish lady, called Jackie.”

That was how a clueless Richard Hammond once introduced three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart on Top Gear. And the ‘Scottish Lady’ has something to say about the state of affairs at Ferrari. He claims that after only two races the Iceman is destined to be the dedicated #2. Sir Jackie insists that Ferrari and Vettel are a perfect package.

“Sebastian Vettel drove a beautifully unspectacular and very solid race. That’s the kind of driving that wins multiple world championships,” said Stewart in an interview with talkSport.

While Vettel was at Red Bull during those four world championship winning years, they were by far the fastest and the best team on the block and I think he lost motivation last year to a ridiculous extent. He simply wasn’t going fast enough.

I think he was partially burned out. It’s not always that easy to be the reigning world champion. You have a lot of things to do. You have a lot of credit given to you and you’re being spoiled.

To keep up the sharp edge that you have to have to keep winning is not an easy matter and I think he realised he’d had a bad year.

When he joined Ferrari lots of people wondered if it was going to work and certainly last weekend proved it did work and he drove a very careful and well-calculated race, and the strategy was very good also.

And according to Sir Jock, it all came together in perfect harmony to to give the quadruple World Champion his 40th career win in Malaysia.


Dr. Marko is not quite done yet with criticising Renault and the rules

Ferrari managed to break the Mercedes streak of wins and unlike Red Bull last year they did so on merit, with a bit of help from the hapless Mercedes strategists of course. The first two races have shown that the Scuderia has improved by leaps and bounds.

In stark contrast to this, Red Bull has gone backwards and have mainly made their presence known by scathing criticism of the rules, their engine supplier, the weather, the particularly unlucky alignment of the stars and whatever. How did the Italians managed what was clearly Red Bulls job to do?

“Because they simply did the better job,” Marko admits on Red Bulls own broadcaster ServusTV, only to qualify the statement by saying: “But they’re still nowhere near Mercedes.”

“We don’t talk about engines anymore,” Marko droned on. “It’s a power unit now. You have the ICE and two hybrid systems and getting these three systems to work together his so complex. It’s an engineers’ formula now.

You could reply that F1 has always been just that. A team that did a better job and found the right loopholes in the regulations was ahead.

This is surely something that Mr. Marko’s employer is intimately familiar with? But the Austrian is having none of that.

“The [our] complaints are valid because the rules only allow certain changes and only in a limited scope. If you got the basic design wrong, it will become very, very difficult now. That’s the case with Renault. Or look at Honda. That’s a company who has a lot of experience in hybrid technology, but they are struggling too.”

What Dr Marko seem to forget is that this is Honda’s first year back while Renault had a year to learn, as did Ferrari.


Fat Hippo’s Rant Lite: Force India just don’t give up

Disclaimer: The views expressed in Fat Hippo’s Rants are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.

Earlier this year Force India voted against Manor taking part in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship. In a move that appeared to be a knife in the back of a fellow small team, all for a few dollars more (four million to be more precise) of Bernie money. The dogged determination of the Dinnington team thwarted the attempted heist though.

Although they couldn’t run their cars in Melbourne due to a software wipe-out, the Manor team delivered and sent out both cars in Malaysia, apparently much to the chagrin of Force India.  Perhaps Force India believes it is better to kill other teams for money is less embarrassing than staging a Sauber-esque travesty in court?

Will Stevens had actually been quicker than Merhi in practice but did not appear in qualifying and therefore wasn’t allowed to take part in the race. Bob Fernley believes he smelled a rat. As evidence he pointed to the fact that both Manor cars were never on the track at the same time.

This has led Force India to call for yet another FIA investigation.

That’s nothing new. The same happened in Melbourne and Manor was found to have done everything within their power to get the cars running. Despite that acquittal of any wrong-doing, Bernard decided to withhold Manors share of TV money in a clear breach of his own rules, demanding that Manor cars must appear in Malaysia. Now that they have done, the tune has changed to bring up yet more contrived accusations.

Nobody seems to complain that both Red Bull and McLaren did run only one car at Melbourne because their contraptions were too sick to make it to the grid. Yet, when only one Manor appears, a team that is actively targeted by Bernard and his henchmen from Silverstone, all hell breaks loose. F1 couldn’t wreck their credibility more comprehensively if they tried!

Manor’s Graham Lowdon has a Hippo-esque, uniquely diplomatic reply to that:

“Look at Melbourne – why would you not want to be in a race at the minute? You would drag the car kicking and screaming. It’s complete utter nonsense. Elvis is not alive on Mars and all the rest of it. We’ll just keep our heads down, crack on with what we have to do, and keep moving forward.”

‘Some’ in the Force India garage will not like that, so watch your backs, folks.


A last farewell to a friend

HippoLast night a good friend of mine died of cardiac arrest. A lively spirit and funny guy, just gone like that. 🙁 We’ll keep you in our hearts Ingo. Have this last greeting my friend…

See you in the eternal mosh pit when my time comes…


28 responses to “#F1 Daily News And Comment: Friday 3rd of April 2015

  1. Raikkonen just needs some wind in his sails. He would have been “there or thereabout” as Vettel would say. Arrivabene seems adamant in running a 2-man show instead of focusing on 1 driver and leaving the other out to dry (Massa in particular). If Vettel has an unlikely shot at the title this year, I’m sure his best bud Kimi will move aside once or twice.

  2. I believe it’s LdM (and NOT Todt) who brought in the “one driver above all else at Ferrari” mentality. And now with il Padrino out and Marchionne in, I suspect that if there ever was a chance for Ferrari to change this corporate culture glitch and drop their cherished #1 policy, it’s now with Seb and Kimi, giving both a fighting chance… Well, if they learn how to fit a wheel on Kimi’s car that is…

    • In response to this of course:
      “He claims that after only two races the Iceman is destined to be the dedicated #2.”

  3. Fat Rant lite:
    Strange how these guys make up unbelievable complottheories!

    (And although we sometimes commented on eachothers comments, and thus I can’t say we know eachother, my condoleances)

  4. Hmmm wonder if FI is getting a little money under the table from Uncle Bernie at this point. First they try to scupper Manor at SG, now this.

    Survival is often an ugly business but wow, new low FI, new low. And as much as I have enjoyed Fernley in the pressers, his defense of Hulks and Perez driving make me question his reality based community credentials.

    • @Mattpt55 something is going down behind the scenes that’s for sure. I notice that Lotus have been very quiet and well, Sauber have their own saga going down. But FI are known to be in trouble and Veejay is broke, so some-one/thing is stirring the pot. If all this action by FI is down to simply being completely skint, then the financial gain for sinking Manor F1 needs to be more substantial than the few £million FI would gain if Manor’s money is just redistributed, as that would be a drop in the ocean if things are really that bad.

  5. Ferney said F.I. didn’t support the new Manor team because they didn’t have a good plan on the table. So far he looks correct. This is just a case of this sites propensity to always take the side of the underdog.

    It’s also a bit unfair to just paste F.I. over this since neither Sauber, Lotus or any other team had the chance to vote on the matter, and I doubt they would have done so much differently.

    F1 is dog-eat-dog, not a school playground.

    • He said that without seeing the plan that had to be submitted to FOM and FIA. Given the fact that they managed to get both cars to AUS and would’ve run were it not for missing software, I would think they have a reasonable organization.

      As far as only running one car, likely that’s down to not having spares on site, not a big surprise given the short lead time they were given in part due to the FI vote.

      And frankly, tend to think it’s more responsible than say, for example, Caterham duct taping Kamui’s suspension together in Sochi.

      As far as dog-eat-dog, well that’s the modern corporate interpretation but ask the Jackal and I’m sure you’ll find that there were plenty of examples of competitors helping each other out as they recognized that to a certain extent they need each other if the sport is going to survive.

      • “ask the Jackal and I’m sure you’ll find that there were plenty of examples of competitors helping each other out as they recognized that to a certain extent they need each other if the sport is going to survive.”

        Tell that to Red Bull and Ferrari… 😉

  6. ‘ if Niki Lauda ever talks about cost cutting again, make sure you laugh really hard at him – one thousand three-hundred people?!’

    Make sure we do the same to Arrivabene. I mean, it was only 3 days after Ferrari increased their budget by a €100m, he came out and said…”Formula 1 should be more affordable”


    This from the team who have undertaken a significant recruitment drive in the last couple of months.

    None of the top teams could give a hoot about controlling cost.

    • Can’t help but think that the whole of the engine operation has been included there – that’s technically separate, as it supplies all of the Mercedes engine teams. But it does hint at the mentality… they all work for us 😉 as works team.

  7. It would be nice to hear JYS say similar things about Hamilton. He seems to have some sort of axe to grind with Lewis. The best I can recall him managing is of the grudging “Lewis is a very good driver, who doesn’t need me talking him up” sort. I could be wrong, but would like to see one if anyone can link to it. I’ve seen quoted comments from JYS bestowing “future superstar” status on Rosberg and Grosjean, and of course gushing praise on Vettel. I recall JYS on with James Allen during FP2 for Singapore 2013, and it was more of the same. He never has even approached the same level whenever discussing Lewis, instead it’s ‘yeah he’s good; let’s talk about something else’. The other British champions (and Moss the people’s champion), have all been more magnanimous in their comments.

    FH, sorry for your loss.

  8. I clearly remember the Top Gear episode with Sir Jackie Stewart and, of the 3 hosts, Hammond is the only one with any knowledge of racing. He was being completely tongue-in-cheek about it. It actually was one of the most enjoyable episodes I’ve watched, with a master class on driving being imparted on the show by the Scottish Lady.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.