A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
Early deployment of handbags in the Mercedes camp
After the race at Shanghai, which saw both Mercedes cruise to an easy victory, Nico Rosberg was less than impressed with his team mate’s approach in the first two stints. In a bid to preserve the option tyres Lewis Hamilton idled around the Shanghai circuit, backing his team mate into undercut range of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. When the Gestione Sportiva tried exactly that, Rosberg was forced to cover with an early second pitstop, forcing him to do a long third stint which was just a bit too long to make up for the W06’s appetite for Italian rubber.
Hamilton cheekily told Rosberg to ‘just overtake then’, knowing full well that he had ample speed to prevent that from happening as he demonstrated when Rosberg had peeled off into the pit lane. Lewis instantly picked up his pace, lapping at over a second a lap more quickly – and on worn soft compound tyres.
Martin Brundle marvelled, “Hamilton smashes the fastest lap of the race.”
He continued to taunt his team mate on Sky Sports F1 by claiming to have driven with just two fingers on the steering wheel. According to Toto Wolff he was consistently slower than the delta time the team demanded by at least 0.2 seconds.
Toto Wolff backs Rosberg’s opinion, but also tries to defend Hamilton. “Lewis has needlessly put Nico under pressure, but as the race leader it’s his right to do so.” Asked why Rosberg didn’t just drive past, the Austrian explained. “We’ve seen in free practice that the tyres die instantly if you just push a little too hard for two or three laps.”
“I don’t know if Lewis did that deliberately,” a frustrated Rosberg said after the race and tried to put out the fire by dumping a bucket of gasoline on it. “In the press conference he said he only thought of himself, which I think is an interesting statement.”
Putting aside the fact that this is known to anyone with half a brain since last year’s Hungarian GP, it means that the fireworks are on in the Mercedes camp quite early this year and today has shown that should the fight escalate, there are two scarlet pizza mobiles which could be in a position to profit from it.
Mercedes’ foreign Minister Niki Lauda said “The one who has pole has the advantage with the strategy, because he is first.”
There also seems to be a communication problem between Mercedes’ two Austrians, as Toto Wolff reveals that Mercedes contemplated putting an end Hamilton’s dawdling via team order. “We very nearly reached the point at which we had to make ourselves very clear over pit radio, saying ‘you have to do this and that’ to secure the team result. We were about to say that they have to increase their speed. It was exactly the scenario we spoke about in the morning. There was always the scenario that Vettel would be running closely behind our cars.”
Rumour has it that Gucci is running double shifts on their handbag production line.
Relight my fire: Renault News
According to Christian Horner. Red Bull and Renault have negotiated a cease fire in their latest war of words. The Red Bull mouth-piece and Cyril Abiteboul of Viry fame, allegedly sat down on Sunday for a discussion. It was either a trucker’s joint or one’s first instinct would be to cover the ears of all the minors in hearing range. It is hard to fathom that Horner would have been delivering gentle sentiments in light of Kvyat’s V6 flambé and the smoking remains of Verstappen’s Toro Rosso.
Renault admits that they have been slow to react to Red Bull’s needs and promises improvement, insisting that the remaining development tokens are enough to catch Mercedes. The French insist that they have a plan and that minor niggles like the fact that already three power units detonated in the back Kvyat’s car would not cause any rash action. Somehow this sound’s eeriely similar to the schedule of Hamilton’s contract negotiations.
Karaoke Homework: Sing to the tune of Paul McCartney’s “Mull of Kintyre”
Far have I travelled, and much have I seen,
Brakes are just knackered and gone is my spleen.
Past Pastor’s Lotus is the place I desire,
as I open DRS, my engine’s on fire.
My Red Bull’s on fire, oh my team mate is nowhere, I’ll see
if I can hire a seat with Marussia.
My Red Bull’s on fire…
Hippo’s View from the Waterhole: Incest wars – Unexpected Chance for Audi?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.
If your mother is a b*tch and can’t stand your girlfriend, get rid of her – the girlfriend that is, as there’s no real legal way to get rid of your mother.
Why is that? you may ask. The reasoning is simple. If those two women can’t stand each other, there is a high probability the reason for that antipathy is that they have exactly the same personality and in that case you may wish to re-evaluate your choice of partner. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that and still has the XXL sized t-shirt.
It appears the same tenet actually applies to the male species. How else would you explain that Volkswagen’s Ferdinand Piëch and F1’s Bernard Ecclestone hate each other with a passion. Old? check. Cranky? check. Manipulative? check. Greedy? check. Ruthless? check. The list goes on.
Those two men are the sole reason why we see Audis at Le Mans, but not at Monza or Barcelona. The German car maker has won everything in the world of endurance racing since the Romans departed, so the only way is down.
To this end, they recruited former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali along with former BMW Sauber engineer Jörg Zander. They were tasked in the Autumn of 2014 to evaluate the costs and benefits of entering the F1 circus.
Despite the negativity of the Mateschitz cost/benefit current algorithm, these two men agreed this was a great Idea!
In January this year Volkswagen’s board of directors discussed the issue, but mum BoD chairman Ferdinand Piëch vetoed the idea, citing the continued presence of Bernard Ecclestone as the the reason for his non-negotiable nyet.
Two days ago Mr. Piëch, who is a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, decided it was a good idea to grab a firearm and shoot a bullet in his foot. For no reason whatsoever, Piëch announced: “I have distanced myself from [VW CEO] Martin Winterkorn.
In realistic terms, as Winterkorn’s predecessor Bernd Pischetzrieder can confirm, that mean’s Winterkorn is now officially toast.
This time however, Mr. Piëch faces something he has little experience with – differing opinions. The state of Lower Saxony, a shareholder in VW, basically said “WTF?” and the Porsche clan, represented by Piëch’s cousin and VW board of director member Wolfgang Porsche announced in no uncertain terms, that ol’ Ferdie’s logorrhea was his personal opinion and in no way connected to what the family thinks. It appears Piëch has taken a page out of Bernie’s book and started to self-destruct.
I wouldn’t burn those plans yet, Audi.