A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
Fat Hippo’s Rant: A Word About Fan Hysteria
As of yesterday the three top drivers of recent years share a rather undesirable memory – losing the results of their hard work to errors of their team. The first to suffer that fate was Fernando Alonso at Abu Dhabi 2010. His Ferrari team gambled on covering Mark Webber instead of the leading Sebastian Vettel and lost precious track position causing the Spaniard to get stuck behind a Russian paydriver in a clapped out Clio for the rest of the race. The Result: He lost the title in the last race to a driver who had never once led the championship all year.
Next time round Vettel was on the receiving end himself. Genuinely faster than his team mate for the first time all year, he would have inherited the win after the two Mercs cooked their brakes at last year’s Canadian GP. Instead the pitwall boffins misread the GPS output and released Vettel right into traffic after a mistimed pitstop. The Result: precious track position lost and Ricciardo inherited the win instead.
And yesterday Lewis suffered the same. A catastrophic mistake behind the pitwall cost Lewis valuable track position first and then the win.
So you would say that’s pretty much the same, right? Except for the fact that the Internet imploded yesterday. If you read the comments around social media and internet forums, you’d think Nico Rosberg has shagged Lewis’ girlfriend. The hysteria and the hate that suddenly erupted was nothing short of hilarious.
Probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve read – and I read it in hundreds of different permutations – was criticizing Rosberg for celebrating his lucky win. I’m sorry, what? People celebrate winning the lottery and they did absolutely nothing to earn a sudden influx of currency. People celebrate winning a bet, and all they did was being right in a guess. Nico grew up in Monaco. Even though he’s got a German passport, Monte Carlo is his Oviedo, his Heppenheim or Stevenage. He had every right to celebrate. I would have understood the uproar had he greeted Lewis with the L-sign on his forehead – a gesture that interestingly is used primarily only in Britain. On the contrary, Rosberg readily acknowledged that he only won because of luck.
What I don’t really get my head around is the hysteria. Lewis is still ten points ahead, a number that Rosberg will never make up if Lewis drives remotely as dominant as he did yesterday. It’s not like he has a year like Vettel or Alonso had last year. The amount of teeth-gnashing about a third place for a man who won all but three races since Belgium last year is bewildering to say the least.
After all, it’s only a race.
Best races of the year for beleaguered engine manufacturers
To say Renault and Honda didn’t have much to laugh about this year would be an understatement. But on a track where a good chassis is much more important than the most powerful engine, both Red Bull and McLaren collected their best results of the year.
Red Bull looked like dipping into Ferrari territory all weekend. Danny Ricciardo was right on Lewis’ tailpipe at the end, having been switched to a two-stopper during the safety car and the team waved him past Daniil Kvyat with the permission to attack the podium, but the caveat that he was to give the position back if he couldn’t make the move stick. He didn’t and the Russian got his fourth position back.
McLaren had once again a mixed race. Jenson Button proved that he is capable of delivering top results when he feels halfway comfortable with how the car behaves and collected the first points for the renewed McLaren-Honda marriage. Fernando Alonso’s race was a mixed bag. Punting off Hülkenberg at Mirabeau was not exactly his finest moment, but afterwards he ran strong until his gearbox packed in.
Lotus cars doped in Monaco
US musician Pharrell Williams becomes a marketing partner of team Lotus. According to Williams, the French team and his own business ventures will create a “worldwide multimedia partnership”. The cooperation started with yesterday’s Monaco GP, during which the cars were adorned with Logos of Williams’ movie “Dope”. Williams further advertises his own brand “i am OTHER”.