Hippo’s View From The Waterhole: The Bigotry of F1 Contenders

Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.

hippo-1Every other day a former or current driver comes out and says that they want to see people fight for the win, yet when it comes to having real competition, each and every one of them chickens out.

Example?

“I feel for the fans because I remember the period of time when Michael Schumacher was winning.

“I remember waking up in the morning to watch the start of the race and then going to sleep, and then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen.

“I am pretty sure a lot of people were doing that, at least in my family.

“It’s strange, you know. Me and Fernando in fifth and sixth at the end, and having our own little battle, we are of higher calibre than that. We should be further ahead and fighting with the world champions at the front, and with Sebastian.”

“I guess that shows where the sport is today.”
Lewis Hamilton, October 6th 2013 on the topic of Vettel winning his 4th race in a row without really being challenged.

Fast Forward >>

“If we’re serious about winning the world championship, probably not.

“Red Bull is a great team, but it’s like giving Ferrari our engines.

“We don’t really need it. We are good where we are.”
Lewis Hamilton, September 6th 2015, on the topic of supplying engines to Red Bull

And don’t think I’m singling Lewis out. He learned that from the best. Ayrton Senna vetoed competitive team mates at Lotus and in his later years he had exclusion clauses in his contracts to avoid being partnered with Prost or Mansell. Michael Schumacher fancied himself subservient team mates, and although Vettel lobbied at Red Bull to sign Kimi, he certainly wasn’t too saddened by the fact that he got to overshadow an increasingly hopeless Mark Webber for another year, even if he would have preferred the better team atmosphere. The easy wins probably made up for it.

Let’s face it, what we fans want is not what the teams want. They want easy wins and preferably no competition whatsoever. Monza and Mercedes are a case in point.

The tyre pressure saga really divides the TJ13 team. There’s Hippo and there’s the rest of the team. While I find Mercedes’ story just a little too riddled with plotholes to believe it, most of the crew blame it mainly on FIA.

What it shows is, that in a pinch teams will do whatever it takes to win, and even when they are ahead as far as Merc are now or Red Bull was in 2013 or Ferrari in 2003, they still continue to push the rules to the breaking point. Why? To secure their domination. And we fans are becoming just the same. The whole Lewis Hamilton brigade is utterly content with the state of F1, because their idol gets an easy win every two weeks. Mind you, that are the same people who were giving eulogies to F1 in 2013, because they thought it was utterly ridiculous if one team won everything.

Truth be told, back then in 2013 I had nothing to complain about. My favourite driver clocked up the numbers and I liked it, but watching him this season taught me just how hollow those victories really were. I remember only a single race of 2013, and I don’t even remember if it was Korea or Singapore, where he opened a gap of 24 seconds in half as many laps after a safety car, but that’s as much as I remember beside Multi21.

Malaysia and Hungary this year, now that’s two races that will stay on my mind as will China ’09, Abu Dhabi ’10 or Monza ’08.

The fact of the matter is: By the end of 2016 Lewis will have climbed to the very top of the record books and it will be as meaningless a bunch of stats as those of Vettel, because, first of all, they will still be miles behind Schumacher and people will always remember that they achieved those numbers in cars that had no competition whatsoever.

You could say the same about Schumacher, but he built the team he won with. He went through five hard-fought seasons until they became a dominant force. Vettel and especially Hamilton came into competitive teams right away and neither of them has helped to ‘build up’ those teams. The pre-Vettel Red Bulls were mostly hampered by hopeless or past-their-sell-by-date drivers and Lewis reaps the harvest that’s been sown by Brawn, Schumacher and Rosberg.

That’s why Lewis’ u-turn irks me. Vettel at least tries to emulate Schumacher and went to Ferrari at a time when they were definitely not at their best. Two years ago Lewis was the biggest and loudest proponent of closer competition. Now that he can collect his 30 second gap wins with his thumb up his bottom, he doesn’t fancy the other world champions fighting at the top any more. In hindsight it was just his way of saying ‘I want the dominant car’. Just like everybody else in this business. Make no mistake, Vettel might have gone to Ferrari when they were down, but his ultimate goal is getting back with them to the days when he starts on pole and just disappears into the distance unchallenged. That’ll be the day when I fondly remember that magnificent drive in the Toro Rosso or sitting in a London hotel, laughing at Richard’s sour face when Vettel scored this year’s Malaysian GP win that Richard had assumed as Lewis’ god given right before the race even began.

It’s not only Lewis or Seb either. Lewis’ employer puts it into much more unmistakable words:

“We have waited sixty years to attain a dominant position in F1 again. Helping a team with Red Bull’s resources would make no sense as they could become a serious opponent.”
Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche.

If we ever want to see F1 the way it should be, the powers that be have to drop the current rules and make ones that let other competitors catch up. Watch the 1997 season. Look where Ferrari was at the start of the season and where they were at the end. Testing bans, wind tunnel restrictions and faux green engines and token limits have given us the meaningless circus we’ve been watching since 2009.

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61 responses to “Hippo’s View From The Waterhole: The Bigotry of F1 Contenders

  1. In its current state, F1 needs to get rid of manufacturers. They, even Ferrari, should only sell engines to teams and not run factory teams. Mercedes and Ferrari just sell lower spec engines or give less data help to anyone but themselves. Honda simply refuses to let another team run the Honda engines. Renault wants to get rid of Torro Rosso once they buy Lotus (because Torro Rosso has a way better chassis than Lotus).

    Maybe WEC is different, but I can’t see Audi really seperate from Porsche. And they all only sell outdated stuff to private teams or let them run in a lower class of their own. So they are actually no different.

  2. +1

    I think think you make many strong points here. Well done. Enjoyed reading it also.

    • Clearly I think (*think) too much, approximately twice as much as is nessecary. LOL

  3. F1 is dead. Long live f1. I too want to go back to the old days. But that will never happen. Forget it.

  4. Boo hoo hoo cry me a river hippo!

    You say in the beginning that the piece is not a dig at Lewis, but he’s the main focus of the entire piece?

    Exactly whose benefit did Seb reap when he moved to Red Bull?

    Lewis walked away from a car that could’ve easily won the championship in 2012, to a car that had only one race win to its name since 2010. The whole world thought he was crazy and now that he’s reaping the rewards for his decision, you and those who hate to see him win, sit in a corner and bitch about the quality of the races? Seb joining Ferrari was far less of a risk than Lewis’s move, because he knew that the Red Bull era had come to an end and he had nothing more to prove. Ferrari despite their failings last year, were still a championship pedigree team with all the resources to get back to the top.

    So gimme a break and get outta here with that crap!

    When Seb and Red Bull was ruling the roost, no one said, “hey Christian and Newey, share your secret with the rest of the grid”…. So why are you so pissed off because Mercedes told Red Bull to hit the road and go beg someone else?

    Go back to your watering hole, I think the sun in the Serengeti is playing with your head.

    • I had expected something more intelligent from you, you’re just crying because someone dared to criticise your love interest,

      You’re right, nobody asked RB to share their secret in 2013, but everybody cried for aero being lobotomized because they were all hopeless at it. And, I might add, back in the day other teams were allowed to bring aero updates to catch up without having to count tokens. They were just too crap at doing so,

      • Oh so now you’re admitting that the article was indeed a dig at Hamilton? I thought you said it wasn’t?

        But I’m glad how you conveniently chose to ignore my question about who’s benefit Seb reaped why he joined Red Bull.

        “My love interest”…. That’s the sort of infantile response I anticipated you’d come with to anyone who dares call you out for your bullshit.

        I bet you wouldn’t have written such a piece had it been Red Bull/Renault who were dominating right now? I’m even wondering if you would’ve written anything like this had Nico been whooping Lewis’s behind. In fact you’d be over the moon with praise for Nico.

        And I hope Lewis and Mercedes continue to dominate the sport for the next 5 years so that I can just sit back and watch you all suffer.

        #44
        #Hamfosi
        #stillherises

        • Especially after how he squealed at the piece earlier in the day by Tourdog.

          Beautiful irony indeed

          • You two deserve each other, really. What I criticized about Tourdog’s article was that he used Vettel’s outburst at Spa to mock his comments about losing Monza as a race venue. Two things that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
            Here I present a statement from Lewis and a completely contradictory statement 23 months later, showing he’s just a bigoted as the rest of the lot, which prompted you to insult me. Grow up.

          • Hyprocrite, yes.
            Human nature that applies everywhere, including F1, but hippos do not seem to comprehend.

            Bigoted? How so?

          • p.s. my previous comment was in reply to Hippo

            Bigot – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially one who regards or treats Hamfosi with hatred and intolerance. 😉

  5. But isn’t this just the result of rich bar-stewards creaming off most of the money from the sport? That, plus the ludicrous system of payments to the teams that just keeps the status quo; the top teams remain at the top and the smaller teams have limited resources and little money to develop. Plus Bernie’s way of using “divide and conquer” to keep the teams fighting amongst themselves instead of fighting him.
    It was said all the restrictions would lower the costs, but this isn’t really the case in reality. It also doens’t help the teams, the drivers, upcoming drivers, or tyre manufacturers to limit testing or innovation. Surely we deserve something better from the sport we all love.

  6. I started to research about the costs to the teams to run a car each year before the new rules and regulations and compare it with now, but unfortunately I ran out of time to do it properly. If anyone has the figures I would be very interested to see how much, if at all, the new system has reduced costs.

  7. Good for Redbull. They hate fair competition. They pulled out of FOTA and stole the lion share of Bernie’s handout to the detriment of the other teams especially the smaller teams. Now we are supposed to weep for them. Lewis is right, Redbull have been paid too much money which they use to keep other teams behind.

      • What do you base that on? Other than sharing a few bits and pieces between the 2 RB teams, they’ve never put anything into F1 that wasn’t for their own benefit, unlike some other teams. McLaren allowed Brawn to use the Mercedes engine, to their own detrement. They’ve also sent engineers to other teams, viz Force India, in an effort to make them more competitive. The Red Bullies have shedloads of money, because they sell snake oil at an incredible profit. Even if they have to pay for engines and lost 2 major sponsors, they will hardly notice the extra cost.

  8. “If we ever want to see F1 the way it should be, the powers that be have to drop the current rules and make ones that let other competitors catch up. Watch the 1997 season. Look where Ferrari was at the start of the season and where they were at the end. Testing bans, wind tunnel restrictions and faux green engines and token limits have given us the meaningless circus we’ve been watching since 2009.”

    First of all, I think 2010. was way better than a lot of previous years before, with actual overtaking on track in stead of in the pits, which happened when refuelling was allowed. (You can check the numbers on ClipTheApex.com/overtaking for the numbers). And that even without DRS and fast degrading Pirelli tyres.

    Second, lifting all those limitations would reduce the number of teams in F1 fast, because costs will rise rapidly as a result of a spending war as we have seen before. These limitations prevent that. You only have to look at the sorry state teams like Sauber, Force India, Lotus and Manor are in to know they really cannot spend more than they do now.

    For example, the tokens for the engine are in place for just that. To limit the development cost passed on to the teams. During this season there was discussion about lifting the engine freeze completely if the manufacturers would not pass the cost for the development during the season to the customer teams. Some refused, arguing that they spend a lot more on their engines because of the many teams they have than for example Honda, who only supply McLaren.

  9. I think I’ve said that before and will say it again.

    Schumacher proved himself in less than dominant, non-championship winning cars..and then he dominated.
    Hamilton, equally the same.
    Vettel, he’s currently doing it the other way round, which is fine.

    But it’s not an excuse to discard Hamilton and Vettel’s dominant years as ‘meaningless’ and Schumacher’s as not! Let’s not forget that he did bring the Benetton team with him at Ferrari.

    In any case, I’m glad to read the below paragraph, but I’ll disagree. As long as Vettel keeps performing well in the Ferrari, these victories won’t be hollow, just the prequel to his legacy.

    “Truth be told, back then in 2013 I had nothing to complain about. My favourite driver clocked up the numbers and I liked it, but watching him this season taught me just how hollow those victories really were.”

    • Yeah this is how I feel, its just Vettels ‘easy victories’ are being legitimised now, (even more so as Webber wasn’t always getting the number 2 slot), although Hamiltons were in 2007-13, when he was fighting for it, the win in 2012 America for Example; couldn’t miss a heartbeat against Seb in the RB that day, and Singapore same year the forgotten standout performances let down by a mechanical failures and teams. 2012 as a whole was a missed WC for Hamiltom fans, and it has to be said, a huge slice of that lies on the team, the Lewis of now, not 2011 was driving the bus, so many of the niggles of the past were ironed out.

      Lets be carefull slinging the word bigot about too folks, it means those who are intolerant of those who hold differing opinions. Often the only people that use and accuse with that word are bigots themselves… wait, did I just implicate myself? Shit!

  10. Much as I applaud your sentiments Hippo – and in part agree – there’s a couple of points that need correcting.

    Yes every driver since time immemorial had wanted the best car, to dominate and win but there are instances when like Schumacher they join a team and turn its fortunes round.

    My first point is to correct your Senna comments.
    1) he joined Elio de Angelis at Lotus in 1985. He decimated him – a driver who had previously been considered the equal of Mansell.

    2) he vetoed Derek Warwick joining him for 1986 as he selfishly believed the Lotus team had neither the finances or the structure to run two front running cars. Incidentally, both Warwick and senior Lotus team members are on record stating that Senna was absolutely correct.

    3) Honda wanted Nakajima at Williams for 1987. When Williams refused he was placed at Lotus.

    4) Senna joined Mclaren for 1988 alongside Prost who many considered the best driver in F1. Prost left at the end of 1989. He was replaced by Berger who was certainly top 4 at the time. Mansell was unavailable and Ron Dennis hated him.

    5) Mansell retired in 1990 but was persuaded by Williams to join them. Prost at the time used the Ferrari President to veto Senna joining Ferrari for 1992. When Ferrari sacked Prost at the end of 1991 – he took a sabbatical before joining the Williams team. Mansell was forced out and Senna offered to drive for free – against Prost – but he had a veto in place for 1993.

    6) Mclaren signed Michael Andretti for 1993 and Hakkinen; in the event Senna took a year out. Once again not anything which Senna had asked for.

    So please get the facts right before claiming it as truth.

    The second point is Schumacher. It was your fellow countryman who vetoed which team-mates Ferrari would run. Whilst Irvine, Barrichello and Massa were fair peddlers, they certainly weren’t amongst the best on the grid.

    In fact when Ferrari decided to recruit Railkonen for 2007, Michael took retirement…

    I think the piece is great but just wanted to add a little

    • Little correction. Senna is on record saying Andretti was one of the best team mates he had and criticised McLaren heavily for how they treated Mike. Andretti didn’t help though by refusing to relocate to Europe.

      As for Schumacher/Kimi. Yes, the decision was taken without consulting Schumacher, but he retired because staying would have meant to push Massa out and Schumacher thought he had had his fair share of time in F1. He didn’t leave because of Kimi, but because of not wanting to force the sacking of Massa.

      • always admired Andretti. Whilst Mansell’s move may have upped Indys profile over here, it was Andretti’s return in 94 that hooked me, and his efforts in 96 which really drew me to CART. Shame it never happened for him in F1, maybe if F1 had rolling starts he might have had a better go, a good start being half the battle and all.

        • Suddenly Andretti’s being remembered as a decent F1 driver??? WTF? Now unlike many here I really don’t recall so much detail about ancient races but I do recall Andretti being absolute rubbish.

          • Nope, it didn’t happen for Andretti in F1, that was a total disaster. I was interested to see how he would pick up back in Cart-land, and there he impressed. Did himself no favours by thinking he could commute to F1land (it used be europe back then 😄)- when will Muricans lurn (watching for Haas). But in Cart Andretti was well worth watching.

          • I cannot entirely fault your recall. he screwed himself by not assimilating into the F1 culture, refusing to move to Europe, not participating in testing, feeling rather “entitled”, not learning the “first corner win or die” mentality of the drivers of the time, etc.. had he gone “all in”, I suggest he coulda been a multiple WCD – even as a teammate to Senna. having witnessed first hand, the bestest of the best since 1964, I can tell you Michael was as good as they get – except for his half-hearted attempt to follow hid Daddy…

      • My point being that other than the reasons already mentioned for Warwicks veto, Senna never blocked another driver being partnered with him

      • absolutely! I am admittedly a lot prejudiced. while Michael Andretti torpedoed his own F1 career, I still think he was one of the greatest and fastest race drivers the World has ever seen…

  11. yup, races with a dominant car are very very boring. I’m used to enjoying midfield F1 for the last few years, it can be entertaining, but as no championship on the line missing tension/drama.

    i confess to missing Italian GP (first miss in quite a while).
    I tuned in to see Kimi in 10th, thought o, he must have stopped first,
    oh shit he didn’t, sure I’ll check back in half an hour to see if anything changed.
    it didn’t really now did it.
    I digress.

    Its up to them/they/whoever they are/if they even know who they are/not sure they exist/possibly asleep somewhere under a table – those who
    regulate the sport to allow for true competition. no sign of this happening anytime soon.

    couldn’t agree more on testing bans, development bans, utter nonsense for me.

    But, to be fair, I hardly think it’s up to the drivers who strive for years to be in a car that
    can showcase their talent to volunteer to give up an advantage,
    can’t imagine say if the poor Hulk was dropped in a Merc with Lewis in the FI
    that Hulk would say hey, why not let poor Lewis/Seb/Fernando,
    you know those guys with the WDCs behind them have the same car as me?
    Wouldn’t that be fun.

    Sad but true.

    If you want a series where everyone has the same car and compete every week we have GP2 or Indycar(t).
    I enjoy watching them, but still drag myself to watch F1.

    Well, most of the time.

  12. …… Testing bans, wind tunnel restrictions and faux green engines and token limits have given us the meaningless circus we’ve been watching since 2009….

    You forgot to add historic payments and some other hidden payments.

  13. A solution, driver drafts:

    Basically, FIA and FOM rip contracts apart for 2016. Then, for 2016, worse team in 2015 WCC get first pick of any driver with a super license based on whatever criteria they see fit, then the second worst team goes on. And so on until all teams have one driver at at a time chosen their line up. Than, if Manor has Hamilton but Mercedes wants him, they negotiate with each other until they agree to terms, which can be an engine supply deal, or outright payment/sponsorship, or anything else. If there is no agreement, Hamilton races for Manor or simply does not race at all in 2016. Same applies to all teams and drivers until they have chosen and then negotiated their line ups. Driver contracts can be for one, two or three seasons, to assure the driver market is suficiently open before every season.

    So, in the end, we might have a scenario in which Mercedes aquires Hamilton from Manor in exchange for a 5 years cheap engine supply deal. Mercedes’ second driver might be Pascal Wehrlein himself, who they simply picked from the draft. Mercedes benefits from keeping their star driver and their development driver, Manor safeguards its future. The driver markets becomes less stale. Oh, and every driver selected has a minimum base salary – paid by FOM – designed to inibit the influence of out of their depth pay drivers.

    There you go. We lose the ‘thrill’ of drivers building up teams like Schumacher once did, but the market becomes volatile enough to inhibit drivers from benefitting from prolongued unchallenged dominance. Vettel might have left Red Bull earlier, maybe Daniel Ricciardo could have more wins to match his talent. Alonso might have left Ferrari earlier to revitalize his career, maybe some older more expensive drivers would have been retired more easily (sad for their fans, but ultimately inevitable) and opened the market for youg talent.

  14. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 2011: “Tasting wins and championships is something Ferrari is used to doing in the past decade and it’s something we want to do again. From the first mechanic to the last designer, I’ve seen an atmosphere of full focus and a huge desire to get a dominant car.”
    James Allison, Ferrari, 2013: “It is a team that is optimistic for the future and is looking forward to dominating the sport again.”
    Ron Dennis, McLaren, 2015: “And, as I’ve said throughout this interview, we’ll win again, we’ll dominate again, and we’ll do that together, with Fernando front and central. It’ll be a wonderful culmination to his glittering career, and all at McLaren and all at Honda are utterly dedicated to the task of working with him, with Jenson [Button] and with everyone else, to help him achieve it.”

  15. Thanks for this, I could not agree more and its exactly what I been saying and seeing this season. At least the other drivers do not put Hamilton down like he did to Red Bull and Vettel to a lesser degree (I thought they were just a drinks company?). Vettel even said after Monza that Hamiltons tyre issues do not matter as Hamilton did a great job whereas hamilton used to say its to easy for Vettel. Just one more season after this one and he will finally equal Seb (in terms of Championships). Sure, my comments will be bashed, by the same dudes that bash you whenever you say something against Hamilton. Truth is F1 is the same as it was, one driver winning easily.

    • So someone saying “it’s too easy for him” is a sign of disrespect?

      So how would categorise Alonso’ comments.,.

      “I’m racing Adrian Newey”

      • It was utter disrespect for his opponent and the main reason why most people think he’s an asshole. And you have to be quite an asshole to be sacked by Ferrari for your rotten character.

        • “And you have to be quite an asshole to be sacked by Ferrari for your rotten character.”

          :)))))))))))

  16. I think f1 drivers know how hard it is to have the car of the year so when they are able to walk away with wins they are more hungry then ever.

    Alonso Hamilton and Vettel are all scratching the surface of the greats of this sport and can write their names in the history books forever. I think it’s naive to put the problems of F1 on the drivers. Remember they are still young men barely starting their adult lives.

  17. I like the tongue n cheek cartoon like rant articles, but they would be even better if there was some logic uderlying them

    Seb said it wasnt Red Bulls job to help their competitors, and that it would b better if they stopped dangling their balls in the pool and worked harder

    Lewis said he wanted more competition and preferred to win by beating worthy (competitive) competitors. English can be a bit of handful because of its subtleties, but this is in effect the same thing as Seb said

    Lewis wants competition, but real competition not those that need to be given handicaps or head starts. If Red Bull want to be competitors they should compete on all levels including bringing and engine from somewhere that allows them to compete with the package Mercedes have brought

    Therefore he is absolutely right in saying Merc should have no interest in supplying Red Bull if either of them want to consider Red Bull a worthy competitor

    This article is as pointless as saying a boxer should train his competitor as best as he can to make the competition more fun – nope the training is part of what makes competition

  18. Hmmm. Generally speaking, Hamilton is on record publicly stating that he loves close competition. Suddenly, when asked, he says bad idea to sharing engines with team most likely to provide close competition. The next day, Merc Board vetoes engines to RB. Not gonna say it happened this way, because I fall into the don’t willingly give up advantage group, but just sayin that perhaps Merc already knew which way the wind was blowing, and their PR peeps instructed Lewis accordingly.

    • Good Observation!
      We know Merc did string RBR allong over the engine freeze relaxation, only to turn around and say when time had lapsed, that they didnt really mean it.
      In this case maybe th same thing happened with Merc stringing them along, and asking them to ditch Renault formally first, and then Lewis says his piece just before Red Bull formally ditch Renault and then Merc say ‘its all been a big mistake afterall’
      In business any firm that spends the money Merc spent to get where they were and didnt do that to a competitor given the chance would probably be facing a change of CEO.

      These are the kind of angles that this article should be trying to uncover instead of an illogical pointing at fingers at Sportsmen doing what sportsmen try to do at all costs

  19. Fully agree with Hippo’s sentiment. Red Bull had their time, winning 4 championships in a row with Vettel as the lead driver. Rules changed and now Mercedes are winning championships with Hamilton as the lead driver. All top drivers want to do what Vettel did back until 2013 and what Hamilton is doing now : win easily. Which obviously clashes with what fans want : a good scrap between two rival drivers in two rival cars (at least).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m from the Hamilton brigade and I am enjoying watching him win races like Vettel did with Red Bull or like Schumacher did with Ferrari in the early 2000s, but at some point the winning run will end (probably through a rule-change) and then some other team will emerge and start winning winning winning. It’s the way it (always) is and that will probably never change.

  20. Oh dear,
    “…And don’t think I’m singling Lewis out. He learned that from the best. Ayrton Senna vetoed competitive team mates at Lotus…”

    Care to tell when Lewis Hamilton vetoed a team mate?

    • I believe Hippo’s referring to the spirit of “competition avoidance”, of which this was an example. It can manifest in different ways given different opportunities.

      Perhaps Lewis hasn’t been afforded the contractual right to veto as a youngster at McLaren, and Nico was already present at Mercedes. Though that’s neither here, nor there and beside the point.

      • Cock. No driver has influence on a major decision about the supply of engines, especially with a huge multinational company like Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton is an employee, not a director and the decision regarding engine supply to the Red Bullies would have been made at boardroom level, not in a little room at the back of the pits.
        Fat Boy was attempting to muddy the waters with the phrase I copied. Lewis Hamilton was a former world champion when Button was taken on a McLaren, of course he had some input on that appointment, but like Fat Boy, you’ve chosen to gloss over that fact. It’s a fact that all of Hamilton’s team mates have had equal cars to himself throughout his career. There are not many multiple world champions who you can say that about.
        Sadly, far too many forum posters are not living in the real world. The world where thousands of race spectators get off their feet to applaud Lewis Hamilton for his successes. Instead they choose to nitpick and make up ‘facts’ and bend history to attack certain teams and drivers. Do their CVs state “I hate XXXX and make it my life’s work to score points about XXXX at every opportunity” ?

        • “Cock.”

          Didn’t get past that, but I’m sure you had a very compelling argument… so to that effect, I agree with you wholeheartedly and you’re probably right in every way.

          Have a nice day.

        • Lewis didn’t have to say anything though. Even if Mercedes made the decision (which is likely), he could just have kept quiet about it.

  21. @Fat Hippo, I totally agree with the points you make about the development and resource restrictions put upon the teams, its not really having the intended or desired effect it was meant to have. But is a wide open free-for-all really the answe?
    I like the idea of 5 engines a year, I think 4 is too few, 6 would be ideal. I also like the idea of free opened engine development, which I believe should have to be implemented into the engine cycle, so you can’t retrofit olDer engines with updated parts, if the allocation was 6 units per year, then that’s only 6 sets of updates, so I think that is a good balance. To stop teams playing the numbers as regards grid penalties to get a new development in early, there should be 10 place grid drop and 10seconds before the mechanics can touch the car the 1st pit stop, then it really hurts and teams will be less tempted to take the hit and the performance gains Would have to outweigh the losses over the life of that PU.
    As far as chassis goes, if a team can afford to run their CFD and wind tunt 24/7 I say let em and if they can afford to rent a second tunnel and even more computing power, I say let em do that too. It’s what F1 is about.

  22. I think what is really the saddest for me is that both Ferrari and Honda have the resources and the talent to improve their engines right now. Under the token system we have they are not allowed to. I find it astonishing that the F1 teams allowed themselves to get into this situation – obviously they each thought they’d be the ones in the Mercedes position. Really at this point the only thing left to ponder is who will win the 2018 F1 drivers championship.

    It seems that the token rules are hurting competition. The teams are still spending stupid amounts of money, but instead of spending it on things like engines and gearboxes where there can be big improvements they spend it on endless new variations on the front wing. We might as well abolish the token system, and let the likes of Ferrari and Honda start spending their money in areas that are actually going to lead to an improvement in the racing.

    And as far as the teams struggling at the moment, I guess the question is do we want the current status quo of stifled development and future Mercedes dominance so that we can keep teams like Lotus and Force India, or do we want actual racing at the cost of having less cars on the grid.

  23. may be your very bestest article ever, Hippo! I loved it!
    maybe the elite TJ13 crew and contributors can indulge me just a bit…
    I wish to sort of expand your thought process to what I experienced way back in late ’66 to early ’68…
    I apologize for not doing more hard research on the matter, but I chose one awesome old school track still in operation today – Mosport, Canada – my all-time fav. sorry, but I never had the chance to visit/drive/race/work the true pillars of racing such as Spa, et al…
    so here is my “Bigots of Competition” expose’:
    way back in the late ’60’s, I could see F1, Can Am, F5000, Indy Car , Enduro and Trans Am races at Mosport (and the Glen and to a lessor extent at St Jovite, Mid Ohio, Elkhart Lake, etc.). remember, there was a whole bunch of crossover by the all top gladiators of the time! while there were a BUNCH of the top line drivers in Trans Am and a few in Enduro, I will exclude them simply because the cars were not designed nor capable of the same sort of speed as the other 4 catagories… (but the skills and excitement were there in aces!!)
    as a paying fan, it was awesome to watch the crème de la crème compete in various venues. the ultimate fastest lap of the weekend over 3 seasons (2 1/2 years) at Mosport was merely less than 3.5 seconds among 4 different formulas/technology/budgets, etc.. the best of the slowest category could easily make the field in ANY other category had it been allowed!

    so yeah. I get it. bigotry among the F1 circus is rampant. but the Corporate/lawyer/Sponsor bigotry to NOT allow the gladiators an opportunity to “ramp up the volume” of the Sport in general with the upside being that we, the fans, can actually have TRUE and WORTHY heros…

    my take: the FIA/FOM/CVS/Bernie/Teams/others (on this singular entertainment event only) have conspired to totally dumb down the SPORT for instant bucks in the pocket and is hugely non-sustainable! there are NO more driver heros – mere monkey robots in a superior engineered seat.

    • Thoughtful comments, yet drivers of yesteryear got on with the hands they were dealt. There’s too much whinging amongst the current crop of drivers for them ever to be considered heroes.

      Something ‘brand Hamilton’ should consider.

  24. NO : – Hamilton DID take a “leap of faith” jump at least to an improving mercedes from a dominant mclaren, it did at least remind me a little of the time of schumachers move to ferrari from the dominant renault, and its kind of a nice continuation that the development of the mercedes was re started by schumacher before handing over to lewis –

    but

    YES!: Hippo is right, it is a shame that Hamilton has had the chance to say “give engines to whoever, I will race them” – he is towing the corporate line and it stinks, he should be a RACER first and yes, stand by his earlier comments as Hippo says….

  25. and let us not forget how much everyone was at least questioning it, if not at least saying it was a stupid move outright when he moved teams …mercedes have solidly earnt this, and lewis DID play a part of improving mercedes to a winning team like schumi did in the ferrari days, how much we wont know…not as much certainly, but those days and nights of endless testing at fiorano, special bridgestones etc etc dont pretend with rose tinted glasses schumacher had to fight that hard on many of his titles.

  26. I’ve no gripes with your main thesis, that all the teams and drivers are massive hypocrites when it comes to saying they want competition. For me one of the most entertaining parts of the last two seasons has been the schadenfreude of watching Christian “everyone else just needs to get better” Horner suddenly claiming that it’s really bad for the sport if one team dominates…

    Which said, I think you’re being massively unfair on Hamilton (and I don’t say that as a fanboi). Most people thought he was crazy jumping to Mercedes who, let’s face it, had been pretty dreadful over the previous few seasons. Yes, there was the big engine rules change coming but that was all potential and hope – and Honda have shown what that can be worth in the short term! One thing he was not doing was jumping into an already-winning car that somebody else had developed. Indeed the Mercedes of his second year in the team (which he would have helped develop) was a vastly more dominant car than the Mercedes of this first year (which he wouldn’t). And that’s not just the engine because it’s also dominating other cars with that engine.

  27. There’s a simpler reason for our discontent. F1 drivers are no longer the courageous heroes of yesteryear climbing into dangerous prototypes. They are now pampered rich kids driving over-engineered vehicles that have been slowed down to prevent driver blackouts. Awe has been replaced by schadenfreude as the driving motivation for watching.

    The days of Nigel Mansell quitting his aerospace job (after breaking his neck!) and mortgaging his house to pursue his F1 dream have been replaced by dainty young male models who have held sponsorship since their pre-pubescent years. I don’t know about you, but reading a story about Gilles Villeneuve flying a helicopter like a madman is interesting; reading dumb shit about Lewis Hamilton working on his rap album is not.

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