F1 Fanatic round-up: 9/5/2010

Posted on

| Written by

Join us for live comments during the Spanish Grand Prix here later today. In the meantime here’s today’s round-up:


Nico Rosberg says Mercedes have gone backwards in Spain (BBC)

“This weekend has to be a setback for us. I came here thinking we could really put on a challenge but it hasn’t worked out. We have made a small step back.”

Spanish GP – Press Conference 3 (FIA)

Lewis Hamilton: “I think generally, looking at the next few races, we go through different circuits with different downforce levels. I have no doubt they are going to be extremely competitive through Monaco, but Montreal I am hoping we will be a little bit closer to them. But the circuits where we have the high downforce like we have here, they generally have quite a good edge on the rest of the field. But hopefully when we get to the other circuits with a little bit less downforce we will be able to benefit the same as the other people with good straight line speed and hopefully we will be a little bit closer.”

What Went Wrong In America’s Comeback? (Speed TV)

“Efforts by Mullins on behalf of Hurley to secure the Dallaras from the Italian manufacturer or the Toyotas directly from the Japanese company ran into road blocks because of existing contracts. Mullins tried to secure a partnership with the team of Stefan GP to gain access to the ex-Toyota TF110’s. That failed, said Mullins, primarily due to team owner Stefanovic’s intransigence. ‘We offered a merger based on full retention of our staff in North Carolina and branding on the car,’ said Mullins. The offer collapsed because the Serbian seemed impervious to the fact Ferrari was F1’s best recognized team. ‘He wanted to have two red cars,’ said Mullins, who had also visited Ferrari headquarters in Maranello during his travels. ‘That would almost be sacrilegious.'”

Massa mystified by handling issues (Autosport)

“Something is not going like I want, so I can’t do the lap time or drive the car like I want. This is something that we need to understand, and improve. It will be difficult for tomorrow because we cannot change the car, but we need to do something for the next races.”

Comment of the day

Icthyes raises a good point about the discussion over splitting qualifying at Monaco:

I’m not sure why Senna suggested this. He has little chance of making it out of Q1 on pace, so what’s his reasoning? Altruism? He’s in F1 to place as highly as possible, even if he was so generously-minded – and if anyone’s going to benefit anywhere, it’s going to be someone like Senna in the HRT at Monaco.

Perhaps he’s worried about getting penalties for "blocking" other cars? But he’s at the back of the grid anyway!

Why Senna called for this makes about as much sense as carrying it out!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to kbc!

On this day in F1

The last Spanish Grand Prix on the original version of the Circuit de Catalunya was held on this day in 1993.

Heading into the weekend Ayron Senna led Alain Prost by two points in the drivers’ championship. But at a track which played to the Williams’ strengths Senna could do nothing to stop Prost taking his third win of the year.

Read more: Changing tracks: Circuit de Catalunya

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

26 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 9/5/2010”

  1. Interesting times at Ferrari, especially if it turns out – like Mercedes – that Fernando and Felipe need very different cars.

    Both teams should have the resources to handle these problems though, and I’m sure Massa will be back on form at Turkey in 3 weeks!

  2. Lots of rumors, mercedes are actually beter then worse.. Nico said really the car is worse? seems that schummi is a beter driver if he can drive faster in bad cars.

    1. Nico didn’t say it was worse, he said “We have definitely made a step with the car,””However, there must be some sort of unknowns.

      Also regarding Schumi being a better driver? that same argument could be applied to the first for races in Nico’s favour.

      I think we might just might end up seeing two very different cars in the one team… now that would be a headache for logistics!

    2. I think for Nico he was more upset, that the improvements did not get them that much quicker.
      For Schumacher the new chassis and improved car means, he can finally get on with the driving, so he does not suffer as much and gets to his limits.
      I feel McLaren were shocked not to be on the pace, as they expected to be close. Ferrari improved, but is losing ground to McLaren and Mercedes did solve 1 issue, but not really an improvement.
      Compared to Renault, who did not bring a lot of improvements Mercedes did not really improve. Red Bull just stole a march on everybody.

  3. Wow! Wasn’t expecting a COTD!

    Interesting to hear that Ferrari have got only a fine for releasing a car into the path of another. I didn’t actually see the incident (I was on a Toronto subway going to work, alas!), but it seems a bit lenient to me.

    Mercedes going backwards? Anything to do with being beaten by Schumacher for the first time? Although the said German qualifying 0.3 seconds behind Button in 6th is a bigger gap than usual for the highest-qualifying Mercedes. Then again, Barcelona always accentuates the differences in pace!

    1. By the way, I’m putting out an F1Fanatic Happy Birthday to my elder brother, a Schumacher fan from 1995 on! Dedicating my COTD to him ;-)

      Funny story, I remember asking my mother why my brother supported Schumacher and not Hill, even though we lived and grew up in the UK (I was 9 at the time). My mother replied: “You like Hill because he’s from the same country as you; he supports whoever he thinks is the best driver.”

    2. …but it seems a bit lenient to me.

      Only if you think a reprimand is worse than a fine.

      1. Well, I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a team “reprimand”, but I really should have said I thought the size of the fine was a bit lenient, given that it’s been a bit of an issue lately. Not that fussed though.

    3. Fines are the usual punishment for unsafe pit releases. The drivers tend to get away without punishment for those. Unless it’s a repeat offense.

      It’s only when the drivers make added on dangerous moves that they get penalized. For instance, Massa nearly running into the safety car in Valencia, Hamilton getting it sideways in the last race and Vettel pushing Hamilton into the pit boxes in the last race.

  4. I don’t think that Mercedes have taken the project backward. Schumi did some good lap time with that car, yes the car is still behind Mclaren, Ferrari & Red bull but it was nice to see that Schumacher P6 mixing it up on the grid. It will be on raceday when we will find out the true pace of the car.

  5. if the HRT’s are that much concerned about blocking drivers, they might as well just do one lap each at the start of the session and never come back out. Senna does seem to resign himself to the back of the grid with that comment.

    also, here’s some video of how Ferrari’s f-duct is controlled, spotted by axisofoversteer http://axisofoversteer.blogspot.com/2010/05/in-practice-and-qualifying-alonso-and.html

    they let go of the wheel altogether!

  6. Vincent1972
    9th May 2010, 6:55

    Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.

    1. Only in the States though ;-)

      1. And Australia ;P

  7. Very interesting article on USF1, It should have happened I think, Surely money would be easier for them than say, Campos, yet they managed to stay alive. almost anyway.

    It’s rather amusing that ken’s son didn’t share out the designs, I can’t understand it, surely if you were starting up like that you’d even want to ask the janitor what he thought! Progress would have to be made constantly, holding things up by trying to guard your designs was never going to work.

    1. Makes me feel even sadder about them not making it. One man (and his son) undid what could have been!

      If they would have got on with it instead they might have been with Lotus at the front of the new teams.

  8. Great link about USF1 but -and I may just be being an appalling morning person here- there is one bit which particularly infuriates me about Anderson.
    “As for the vote of no confidence, he said the staff never fully committed to his vision for a start-up team operating on a low budget. “I was very disappointed in the lack of commitment from many of the people we hired,” he said.”
    After everything the staff had been through, working without knowing where they would end up and what their financial position would be (if the outside world had worries then they must have) if they had doubts at that stage it isn’t surprising and in my opinion came about because of how the situation was managed.
    It was always going to be an enormous task to set up a new team nevermind one so far away but that’s what they signed up for, they said they could handle it then it failed catastrophically but to me, it is simply appalling to put the responsibility on the workers who, through little fault of their own, lost their jobs and their vision to make it to F1 too.
    Feel free to argue with my rant.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      9th May 2010, 10:49

      No argument, Steph.
      The obvious point is that if Anderson was disappointed with their commitment, he needed to look at the reasons behind that lack of commitment; maybe only having 15 out of 350 design patterns had something to do with it . . .
      Whatever, it remaind Anderson’s responsibility.
      And how do technical experts retain committment when their work is being compromised by continual rejigging of the overall chasis design that they were not permitted to see?
      This is the key quote; “Ken assembled a small, excellent team. But he didn’t allow them to execute.”
      Anderson and his son do not come out of this well, do they? And to say “the entity [USF1] is moving forward” with no design, no money, no employees is laughable.

      1. I agree entirely with you HBG. Great comment too.

        ‘ This is the key quote; “Ken assembled a small, excellent team. But he didn’t allow them to execute.” ‘

        Agree here, spot on. It gives a huge sense of futuility, paralysis and perhaps pointlessness to the situation they were in. He had the resources there (by which I mean the people) but they don’t seem to have been given any freedom or chance.

        Anderson comes out the worst and seems unable/unwilling to accept what went wrong and responsibility. You’re correct that his son doesn’t come out of this well either. There have been a few reports about lately so it’ll be interesting to see what actually is Anderson’s next move.

        1. Harry Plums
          9th May 2010, 18:45

          I agree with you as well HBG.

          But to me, the biggest joke in this article is the comment that Anderson is said to be one of the applicants for a 2011 entry.

          Is Anderson that out of touch with reality?

          At this point, I have a far better chance of being accepted in F1 than Anderson – and I haven’t even submitted.

          [by the way – I saw the HBG on my way to Heathrow last month – thouhgt of you instantly]

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            9th May 2010, 22:18

            You saw the heaven-on-earth that is Hounslow Bus Garage?
            You are indeed fortunate . . . not.

  9. Very interesting story about USF1. It’s really sad to see how a (kind of) promising new team was killed off through the incompetence of the team principal.

  10. Nathan Bradley
    9th May 2010, 10:57

    I know this is the wrong place, but I’m a little confused. Did Alonso himself get fined $20,000, or was it the team?

    I think it would be extremely unfair on Alonso if he got fined, he was looking the other way, and I think it’s the responsibility of the team to check the pit lane is clear.


    1. It was the team who were issued the fine, which is totally fair in my view, and another good decision by the stewards.

  11. HounslowBusGarage
    9th May 2010, 12:04

    A propos of nothing at all, I just spotted this article on a US site.
    It’s all about the introduction of ‘gimmicks’ into racing and the reasons behind it. The article doesn’t even mention F1 – it doesn’t need to – but the addition of gimmicks to NASCAR, NHRA and IndyCar will seem eerily familiar to anyone concerned with the ‘improving the show’ arguments.
    Here’s a quote
    “And it’s not just racing that is, depending how you look at it, either dumbing down or sprucing up. Baseball is “enhancing” its fan experience with everything from bobble-head nights to post-game fireworks. Football has become more about loud rock music and tailgating than blocking and tackling and the inside of the new basketball arenas are now lit up like the outsides of Las Vegas casinos.”

  12. Massa is mystified and Alonso drives the car to 4th on the grid and collects second in the race. I get the feeling Piquet might have been not that bad at all and the same goes for Grosjean.

    But it means Renault finally understood how to finalize the design proces, because this years car is pretty good for both drivers.

Comments are closed.