#F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday, 27th May 2015


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

No sanctions against Manor for de Villota accident

Wolff confirms that Lewis influenced pitstop decision

Lewis en route to break more records

Engine manufacturers preparing regicide?

No sanctions against Manor for de Villota accident

The testing accident of Maria de Villota in 2012 has been investigated by her Majesty’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for almost three years. The Spaniard had hit a team truck, suffered severe head injuries and lost an eye. In October 2013 she was found dead in a hotel having succumbed to long-term neurological injuries that resulted from the accident.

An HSE spokesman has now confirmed to BBC that no further action against Manor GP will be taken and that both team and next of kin have been notified of that decision.


Wolff confirms that Lewis influenced pitstop decision

Our Chief Editor got some flak from some fans for his audacity to insinuate that Lewis has contributed to the erroneous decision to stop under the safety car, but confirmation for that does now come from none other than Mercedes motorsports director Toto Wolff himself. Facing the wrath of the Hamfosi, Mercedes set up an #AskToto session on Twitter:


Lewis en route to break more records

It might be little consolation, but with his Monaco performance Lewis edged closer to breaking some records. His first pole in Monaco means he has now started from pole position on 21 different tracks. The current record is held by Alain Prost, who started from pole on 22 different tracks. If the Brit manages to clinch pole in Austria and Mexico, the record would be his.

Three streaks of Lewis continued despite the lost win – consecutive podiums (13), consecutive front row starts (14), consecutive races with at least one lead lap (15). If he manages to lead laps in Montreal and Austria as well, he’ll match the 1970 record of Sir Jackie Stewart.

Other records that were broken or matched in Monaco:

  • By collecting McLaren’s first points in Monaco, Jenson Button managed his 16th consecutive season with points, thus matching Michael Schumacher’s record
  • For the first time in his career Nico Rosberg won two races in a row.
  • After six races, only Mercedes and Ferrari drivers have been to the podium. Such a monotonous start to a season is unprecedented.
  • For the first time in history the Virtual Safety Car was deployed – for 31 seconds.
  • Mercedes engined cars have started the last 25 races from pole. That beats Renault’s old record of 24


Engine manufacturers preparing regicide?

According to reports in German media the CEO’s of Mercedes, Dieter Zetsche, and his counterpart at Renault, Carlos Ghosn, have met on the morning of the Monaco GP to discuss ways of ousting Bernard Ecclestone. According to Ralf Bach, Ghosn explained that Renault wants to be present as a works team by 2017, but cites Ecclestone’s departure as a requirement for that step. All three manufacturers are reported to blame the declining interest in F1 on Ecclestone’s dictatorial style and his refusal to bring F1 to the new media.

Ferrari and Mercedes have so far already presented a unified front against Ecclestone. If Renault now joins the alliance, Ecclestone’s old tactics of divide and conquer may soon be rendered useless and CVC will sooner or later be forced to show the old man the door.


17 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday, 27th May 2015

  1. Interesting then that Todt was saying not much wrong with F1 but that the move to pay TV costing viewers and that needs to be addressed.

    • I would like to see it happen, just to get Audi and Renault teams into the sport. What happens after that is interesting, as apart from Red Bull buying F1 with Horner in charge, I can’t see what would happen. CVC bringing in a CEO? FIA continuing to be marginalised under Todt or a replacement? European Commission investigation to sort things out?

      FTA would be better, but I can’t see a move back to it now that there is revenue coming in from the PPV.. it would need long term thinking and boosting sponsorship revenues, and what happens when races are live streamed vs. FTA?

      • Did you see or rather hear Joe S talking to Ted Kravitz post qualy report Sky?

        • Yep, he’s the go-to man for historical F1 anecdotes.. seen him a few times now linking up with Ted, also in the paddock background at a few GPs.

      • I think there would be plenty of interested buyers for F1. Red Bull owning the commercial rights to the sport makes sense for them, all the glory none of the failures and they can still help nurture driving talent. As I think much more needs to be done to open the sport up to more young drivers who don’t have the funds to make it to F1 but have the potential to do so. If you want to engage young people with the sport you have to dismantle the traditional notions of what the sport is and who it’s for. Social media is one of the tools F1 can use to do that.

        Anyway Netflix has undermined traditional methods for broadcasting tv shows, while the WWE and others are forging ahead streaming live events to the masses over the internet direct to fans for a set price (WWE network was £9.99 a month including all the PPV’s last time I looked). It’s where F1 should be going, not asking for ever increasing fees for tv deals when viewers are dwindling and not enough younger fans are being attracted to the sport. It will make broadcasters decide to spend money they do have elsewhere. Basically I think Bernie has become risk averse in his old age, which will be what unseats him in the end if the grim reaper doesn’t get him first.

  2. ” An HSE spokesman has now confirmed to BBC that no further action against Manor GP will be taken and that both team and next of kin have been notified of that decision.”

    Will there be a report, or are they all written in invisible ink nowadays? We still don’t know much if anything about this latest F1 death…

  3. Hippo…

    What about the same 3 drivers being on the podium in 5 of the first 6 races?

  4. As far as Lewis, steady podium results through the season win championships for drivers and teams. Hopefully, the way Toto addressed the issues publicly will allow people to move forward towards Montreal. The issues will be addressed internally instead of being played out in the court of public opinion. This will teach lessons and hopefully refocus the team while Toto provides steadying leadership until the controversy passes. Lessons will be learned and people will grow as team members and people.
    Hippo, you made my night. I have always loved the way Dieter Zetsche ran things at Mercedes and thought he was a great leader. If he and the heads of Ferrari and Renault can manage to get Bernie sent on his way, I will think tha Dieter Zetsche is even more awesome. Bernie has done so much damage to the sport and all he cares about is his bank account. How many pairs of shoes, dresses, handbags, etc do he relatives need? I’m beginning to think that he gets such a rush from being able to say the promoters pay my high fees or else no GP that he can’t live without the rush. I hope the dictatorial dwarf’s days as the CRH of Formula 1 are over.

  5. “Mercedes engined cars have started the last 25 races from pole. That beats Renault’s old record of 24”

    Perhaps, but what was Ford/Cosworth’s record?

  6. Re: Engine manufacturers preparing regicide?

    I really hope this story is more than some rumors about what could have been said during a meeting between the bosses of Renault and Mercedes. Bernie has been out of touch with the reality of today’s commercial world for several years and he needs to go for the health of F1. Why is F1 not gaining any popularity with young people? Why doesn’t any of the major tech companies feature as a sponsor?

    There is one thing I do wonder that might have been said at that meeting. Could Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari be talking about buying F1 and run it in a similar way that DTM is run? With DTM the manufacturers are the owners and it seems they do a decent job of running and promoting the series.

    • Ralf Bach is working for Bild, a tabloid. But in terms of sports they are usually more serious than the other content and Ralf Bach has good contacts within Ferrari and Merc as Bild obviously hypes both Rosberg and Vettel. His reports of team-internal goings-on are usually quite accurate, if perhaps presented in a somewhat sensational style, but I’d chalk that up to what his employer demands.

      • Thanks for explaining the credibility of the reporter who wrote about this first Herr Hippo ;-D

        My follow up than would be if Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are actively campaigning against Bernie Ecclestone is there any clue about how the manufacturers see F1’s future without Ecclestone? Do they want to run the sport themselves? (DTM model) Or are they happy with anybody but Ecclestone? (Same governance model just a replacement for Bernie) Or are they teaming up so they can protect their investments in engine technology and don’t care about anything else? (Bernie stays but won’t get the V8 engine he desperately wants)

          • Traditionally Ferrari never advertise, they depend upon their race results to spread the word. The new boss at Fiat is increasing the production of Ferraris by a third. It looks like allowing Bernie to get away with not doing his job of promoting F1, has bitten Ferrari on the arse.

        • The V8 he claims he wants. I have no faith that he speaks truly; I think he’s just stirring the pot (sound, maybe a little fury, signifying nothing).

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