F1 Fanatic round-up: 18/5/2010

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Coming up later today we’ll have the results of the Monaco round of the Predictions’ Championship. For now, here’s the daily round-up:


What happened to Button’s McLaren on the grid (ScarbsF1)

“Although this was a rare error, as the car has these fans fitted when it pits during testing and free practice. One still wonders if McLaren will revert to a one piece design or tighten up the grid procedure to prevent another similar situation arising at future races.”

Damon Hill rejects accusations of bias after ruling on Michael Schumacher (The Times)

“Partly, of course, my discomfort was because I was called to make a ruling on an incident involving Michael. I acted entirely properly but I have already received some stinging e-mails accusing me of prejudice.”

F1 2010 Interview: Andy Gray (Gamespot)

More on the forthcoming F1 2010 game which is available to order.

Why Schumacher broke the rules in Monaco (BBC)

“[The] interpretation was shared by all the team managers bar that of Mercedes – I understand that upon seeing Schumacher’s move every single one of them got in touch with race director Charlie Whiting to say it was not allowed.”

Comment of the day

HalfVector made a great contribution to the ‘stats and facts’ article with this data on Alonso’s climb from 24th to sixth:

Fernando Alonso matchs the best recovery in Monaco: 18 positions. From 24th to 6th. The other ones:

Andrea de Adamich from 25th to 7th
Guy Edwards from 26th to 8th
Eric Bernard from 24th to 6th (not starting from last position and with 19 DNFs)

Site updates

There’s a lot of discussion going on between people heading to up-coming races. In the past 24 hours we’ve had comments from people who are going to the Belgian and Canadian Grands Prix:

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The original Lotus team started their first F1 race on this day in 1958.

Two Lotus 12 cars were entered for Cliff Allison and Graham Hill in the Monaco Grand Prix, Allison bringing his home in sixth.

The team went on to start 491 races in their original guise, winning seven constructors’ titles and six drivers’ titles.

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...

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58 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 18/5/2010”

  1. Ned Flanders
    18th May 2010, 0:13


    Here’s a video of the two first lap collisions from the 1998 Canadian GP. I’m bringing it up for two reasons. 1: I reckon that was the last time until the race on Sunday that a car ended up parked on top of another, and both times it was Jarno Trulli. Coincidence?

    2: That Japanese commentary is hilarious!! CRASHYYYYY!!

    1. HAHA yeah it was, best not re-post all the videos from tonight on here though ;) lol

      although it is not the first dodgy parked car at rasscasse as Mr Capelli would testify: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTAK2m6YXGA

      1. and ooohbviously I’m not very happy. I’m very angry.

        Only a Finn can say that and mean it with absolutely no facial expression or shown emotion.. (Just for clearification I’m originally a Swede and love my old Finn neighbors, grew up with some of them)

    2. Haha, its all hyperactive like the cbbc commentary!

    3. Best commentary ever! :D

    4. That was hilarious.

      I live in the US and watch all my F1 on iplayer (don’t tell the BBC and Mr. E) but now I am going to have to find a way to watch F1 with Japanese Commentary. This is too funny CRASHYYYYYY!!! I think Brundly should be forced to scream CRASHYYY after each crash. It would make the races slightly more entertaining despite the teams’ and FIA’a best efforts.

      1. So you watch F1 on iPlayer? What exactly is that, and how much does it cost? I also live in the US and I am paying way too much for a premium cable package, just so I can see F1 broadcasts. Any guidance here would be most appreciated!

        1. There are sites available that you can subscribe to which will give you a UK proxy, and thus be able to watch F1 races live, let alone re-watch them on the iPlayer (for two weeks, I think).

          Given that you’re already paying for F1, you might even end up saving money using such a service. Just type it into Google and you’ll find lots of links to forums where people more in the know discuss the various options and give recommendations.

          Hope this helps!

          1. Outstanding. Thanks for the help Icthyes!

    5. Speaking of cars on top of each other, when I saw the Trulli accident on Sunday I was kinda reminded of this one:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRXymgWiRcY (@0:16)

      Still makes me wince today, this kind of accident could always end badly. Thankfully, in both instances no one was hurt.
      At least I reckon in F1 with the high noses a car cannot crash frontally onto another as easily

      1. That was a scary sight for sure!

      2. Ned Flanders
        18th May 2010, 10:15

        Wow that was incredible. That marshal was so lucky he didn’t get hit. Intersting that, just like Chandok, the driver put his hands over his helmet to protect himself. Stupid counter productive survival instincts!

        1. Magnificent Geoffrey
          18th May 2010, 12:47

          Interestingly enough, a very similar accident occured on the first lap of the opening race of this year’s IndyCar Series in Brazil that was caused by ‘Mr KURASHUEEEEEEE!!’ himself – Takuma Sato. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYO62EjMje4

          This one really scared me when it happened because Moraes landed literally on Andretti’s head. I was very relieved when he got out the car just fine!

        2. Ned, I’m pretty sure that he was putting his visor back down to protect his face. Watch the part where they replay the video zoomed in on him.

      3. Yikes!

        They weren’t the best-looking of cars, but the way those CARTs moved was beautiful. Reminds me of F1 in the Prost-Senna-Mansell-Piquet era

    6. I’d forgotten what an idiot Wurz was in causing that first crash in Canada. Did he really think he was going to be able to drive over the grass without running into the side of somebody?

      1. Interestingly Wurz had David Coulthard go over the top of him a lá Trulli in Melbourne 2007. By instinct, he tucked his hands into the cockpit. Half a second later and the Red Bull would have done some serious damage to them. Goes to show what amazing reflexes even the average F1 driver has.

    7. Al Crashennnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!! :P

    8. Sideshow bob
      18th May 2010, 17:04

      There was another scary instance in the ’07 Australian GP, where Coulthard flew over the top of Wurz’s car, not far from the latter’s head.


  2. Perhaps more interesting is the other blog entry on the BBC site: ‘Alonso over-reaching in fight with Red Bull’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2010/05/alonso_overreaching_in_reargua.html

    Interesting for this part:

    This has never come out before, but it was Dennis’s actions after that race that so angered Alonso, and which convinced him the team would always be behind Hamilton and not him. That was the backdrop to the tumultuous fall-out that enveloped McLaren and Alonso as that famous ‘spy-gate’ summer unfolded.

    As a McLaren insider revealed to me: “Fernando won in Monaco fair and square in 2007.

    “Lewis was generally quicker through the weekend, but in qualifying Fernando did it and Lewis didn’t. Lewis was quicker in the first run but then he made mistakes and Fernando got pole.

    “Fernando won the race because he pulled an 11-second gap in the first stint when Lewis had (tyre) graining and after that Fernando was just cruising because we had rear brake issues.

    “But after the race, Ron said to Fernando: ‘Be nice to Lewis because we had to (pit) stop him early.’ And Fernando said: ‘What do you mean? I was just cruising.’

    “He got very annoyed about that because it was like Ron saying we handed you the victory. Even after that, the relationship was unrecoverable.”

    Now I don’t know what Andrew Benson thinks, but to me it’s a small thing over which to believe the team’s against you, especially when it can only be reached on an oddly defensive interpretation of what Ron Dennis said to him.

    The way I read it, Dennis thought Hamilton would (and did) believe he had been denied victory because of his early stop, and so asked Alonso to be nice to Hamilton and not gloat over the victory. How Alonso could interpret this as “we like Lewis more” is beyond me, but maybe not beyond Alonso. And if this was the point Alonso felt like the #2 at McLaren, why did he only wait until Hungary and a further incident (which ironically was caused by Hamilton breaking McLaren’s order to favour Alonso, given that it was supposed to be Alonso’s turn to enjoy the more favourable Q3 & race strategy) before attempting to blackmail Dennis over the Ferrari data?

    The other thing is that although Alonso was leading Hamilton and cruising after the stops, none of what ‘has never come out before’ disproves the theory that McLaren stopped Hamilton early so that there would be no temptation to race Alonso, and for Alonso to have to respond in kind, damaging the chance of a 1-2. All it tells us is that Alonso did a better job in qualifying and was faster in the first stint, which we knew anyway.

    Furthermore, this version of events contradicts Dennis’ insinuation that the drivers were made to hold station because it was Monaco and dangerous to let them race. Of course, Dennis could have been lying to the press – but in any case, why did he not explain to Hamilton that Alonso was always going to win the race, before Hamilton made his “I’m the Number 2 driver” comment? And why lie to the press when he could have simply said “we brought Hamilton early as a precaution. Alonso would have won anyway”?

    Benson’s theory that there were no team orders makes no sense. For it to do so, he would have to give us more information, information he doesn’t even hint at having, having gone this far in “exposing” a McLaren secret.

    And in an alternate interpretation of events, it makes Alonso look even more petty than some have judged him.

    1. Sorry, an amendment:

      “Benson’s theory that his new information disproves the traditional reading of events makes no sense”.

      And of course, “brought Hamilton in early”!

      1. Magnificent Geoffrey
        18th May 2010, 2:10

        You know, Fernando is an incredible driver and thoroughly deserves his double-World Champion status – but I lost a fair deal of respect for him during the 2007 season.

        1. so did i, but for some reason, that respect has crawled back. he’d be in my top 5 now.

        2. Ned Flanders
          18th May 2010, 10:22

          Me too. Funny to believe I actually supported him back in 2005 and 2006, and initially in 2007. I lost so much respect for him when he began to throw his toys out the pram at McLaren, and again last year for his unrepentance about crashgate

          1. Alonso really brought me into F1, my dad being a full on Schumacher hater when somebody started beating him he got all excited about the sport again.

            Still I used to support McLaren in my very young days, an when I started watching again in 05, it was Kimi I supported, though I definatley liked Alonso, could’nt tell you how excited I was when he came to McLaren.

            But he had a maturity failure, followed a year later by a complete loss of integrity during crash gate, so I respect him as a driver still, but certainly not like I used to, or really as a man.

        3. I wonder if the same situation wouldn’t happen again if Massa was beating Alonso.

          1. Things at Ferrari are completely different, as Benson points out in the same article.

            “For one thing, team principal Stefano Domenicali appears to have a deft hand when it comes to handling human relationships. For another, Massa, unlike Hamilton, clearly does not have the all-round ability to threaten Alonso on a regular basis.

            But largely it is because Ferrari could not be more impressed with their new driver.

            I understand that, even after just six races, they already feel that as a whole package – being a team player, technical feedback, his ability to read a race weekend and speed – Alonso is even better than Schumacher, the man who won five championships and 72 grands prix for the legendary Italian team.

            Yes, you read that right. Ferrari have the feeling that Alonso is faster than Schumacher was at his best.”

          2. yeah, Ron Dennis was hardly a great man manager, popmpous git more like, sledge hammer style tact, still Alonso over reacted to a completly inoculous remark.

          3. I liked that last bit, Ads. As if Ferrari are going to say they’d rather have Schumacher back, especially given how sensitive Alonso may be!

    2. Icthyes, really? I can clearly see why Alonso was ****** and you said it yourself “Hamilton was denied victory because of an early pit stop”….No, he was denied victory because Alonso beat him….

  3. Get used to it Seb, there’s two championship contenders at Red Bull now, should watch the celebration


    1. Seb looked really awkward in that video…trying to pull Mark in, then push him, then he jumps in kind of oddly after Mark’s back-flip. I think Seb isn’t too sure what to make of all this. If he wants to win the WDC this year, he needs to get some confidence.

  4. Very nice article on Button’s problem.

    To the people accusing Hill of favouritism, I’m a Schumacher fan through and through, and I’ve been arguing against his penalty this weekend on the site, But the absurdity of suggesting Hill would be biased? incredible. Hill, Must be one of F1’s most sportsmen like people, if Schumacher is the sports villain, Hill is on the other end of the spectrum. Even if Michael wins this championship by shunting Webber off the track (A driving error of course), I would still trust Hill to be unbiased.

    1. At first I thought that it was something they forgot to remove from Button’s car, but it might just be that the entire foam block on the cooling fan might have come off, stuck in the sidepod instead of being attached to the fan. The error might have been missed if the mechanics were previously used to having the whole thing come out as a single unit.

      And yes, I agree that Damon Hill made a very difficult but fair decision on the penalty, but remember he is one of the four stewards, so a consensus had to be reached too.

    1. 1 – Why would he want to go to Ferrari when he is in a car like Red Bull.


      2 – Australian Media.

      1. No, he’s going to retire. Just ask Hamilton.

        1. Actually, Webber later explained that indeed he did talk to Hamilton about Webber retiring.

          1. Yes, he said the remark stemmed from them having a conversation on what they would do after quitting F1 as a “pensioner” on the plane.

      2. ad 1) because they might replace him with someone else?

        Of course with 2 wins in a row that looks less likely, but after the first 4 races a 2011 contract at Red bull was looking pretty unlikely.

        1. After the first 4 races. What about the previous 3 years he’s spent with Coulthard making that team what it is.

          1. You mean to give Webber credit for what Newey, Mateschitz and Horner did?

    2. The fact is that Kubica may stay with Renault for quite sometime & Ferrari haven’t won a championship since 2007 so they may decide to have Webber who could bring some Red Bull secret with him & I wouldn’t be surprise if that happens given that fact that Kimi is linked with Red Bull but if Kimi not coming to F1 I don’t find a reason why Red Bull want to lose Webber & vice verse.

      1. Ferrari won the constuctors in 2008.

        1. I meant the driver’s championship.

    3. Looks like writing something based on some rumours heard here an there.

      I also read James Allen thinking about Webber joining Ferrari, after a nice comment on Mark from Ferrari.
      Sure Renault is keen to show Kubica it makes sense to stay and he might want to stay.
      If Kimi even wants back to F1 the Red Bull team would be the most likely outfit.

      But why would Webber want to quit Red Bull, or why would Red Bull want to dump Webber. He is on the form of his life, good for marketing, Horner has a GP3 team with him, so i do not see that happen. If Mark calls it a day, then i expect him to be involved in the team somehow.

      1. I think JA’s blog is where this rumour started and he made an interesting point, Ferrari might wan’t Webber to be a conveniant foil to Alonso, an Irvine a Coulthard, a Barrichello, capable of winning on the day etc. That’ll disapear the second, inshalla, he wins the championship though.

        When you think about it Mark Webber is a very attractive prospect for Ferrari, Ferrari however is not such an attractive prospect for Mark Webber, especially now he’s beating someone whose supposed to be one of F1 fastes (something I don’t really sign up to) an with the F1 rules expected to be fairly fluid over the next few years, a technical department headed by Adrian Newey looks very likley to continue to produce winning cars.

        Kimi Raikkonen is probably needlessly expensive, an his motivation isn’t guaranteed, especially now his scoring points in the rally, so Redbull, considering what Mateschitz said at the begining of the year, rough quotes “If Mark goes about winning things were not going to reward him by giving his seat to Kimi”.

        Now Renault seem keen to keep Kubica, he’s very happy there, and the team seems to be on the up, so he may well stay for at least two years (Renault target to start challenging for championships) McLaren’s drivers are both performing and both seem satisfied that their careers won’t progress faster elsewhere, besides where would they go. Mercedes simular, Schuey does seem likley to stay.

        The only question is Massa, an his form might pick up, I don’t think think the drivers market will be particularly volatile amongst the big four this year, Massa being the one question mark.

        Further down it’s not that different, Petrovs seat might be up for grabs, Di Resta will get Luizzis seat on current form, Hulkenburg hasn’t impressed enough yet to move up but his potential is too great for Williams to drop him, Barichello will probably stay.

        Sauber will almost certainly drop De La Rosa, it was a very strange signing, Kobayashi is improving if you ask me, an may well hold on to it.

        Algesurari has impressed an will probably stay, Buemi hasn’t and might not, but isn’t in enough iminent danger to loose his seat before the end of the season.

        Di Grassi will probably have to pay again but he’ll stay if he can. Glock will be destinctly underwhelmed by his time at Virgin, they haven’t been magnificent really, if I was Tony Fernandes I’d sign him and sack Truli, whose been unmotivated an rubbish. An if I was Glock i’d go with Lotus, whose progress and professionalism has been simply sensational, clearly a team on the up.

        This post turned into a commentary on the driver market an statics the word if you ask me, high level of incumbancy returned, A few unsurprsing changes, some new faces from GP2 including whover wins it, an a lot less silly season stories for the journos this year.

        1. I always do this, write massive meandering posts at the end of the day when there no chance anyone’ll read them.

          Still why not rant if you can rant.

  5. Nice article about the mistake made by McLaren, especially that they were informed by Ted Kravitz. Thanks WasiF1 for the RedBull party video, a nice backflip by Webber, looks like it is not only Vettels team now.

    @Icthyes – i had the same thoughts as you did about that. Something is missing from his reasoning.
    The only thing i can think of being the reason of that upsetting Alono would be, that it showed McLaren was not able or willing to control Lewis directly. Instead they had to “trick” him into doing what the team wants.

    That must be a pretty frightening thing for a top driver, having a out of control team mate. Hungary confirmed, that Ron was not able to make Lewis do what the team needed him to do and what they had agreed on.

  6. Here is James Allen having some thoughts about Ferrari and how the team seems to be working pretty well. And how amazing it is to build a car from spare parts in a day and have it work without any failures.


    1. While he’s pointing out some problems at McLaren, why not see all the problems that Ferrar have had this year? Like a broken gearbox for Alonso, overheating engines in Bahrain, blown up engines. It’s not like they have been completely troublefree all year.

    2. You can hardly call it ‘spare parts’. Don’t the teams basically assemble the cars from kits at the start of every race?
      If they need to suddenly build a new one at short notice, its just a matter of waiting for a container load and following the instruction manual…. :-)
      Actually it was incredible that it was possible to do it all at such short notice, but what would have happened if it hadn’t been so close to home? Would the team be allowed to run with only one car all weekend?

  7. As Keith said to us yestarday here https://www.racefans.net/2010/05/17/williams-monaco-gp-team-by-team/ Adam Cooper had a look at drain covers where Rubens crashed.

    His thoughts on this are to be found through the link below. After Liuzii told Cooper, that he saw something move right next to the barriers, Cooper told Williams and had a look at those drain covers (pictures included). Pretty scary to have several of them loose like this.


      1. The theory may be right.

    1. Ned Flanders
      18th May 2010, 10:30

      Hmm, seems pretty conclusive to me. What I find most surprising though is that the manhole that came loose prompting the safety car was not welded shut, it was simply removed! Surely that left a huge gaping hole by the side of the track?!

  8. I’m going to throw in a belated birthday greeting for Ponzonha whose birthday was yesterday and I overlooked it. Sorry!

  9. Keith, could you have a thought about an article on weather bringing back a spare car would be OK?
    Ferrari is started pushing for it:

    I read somewhere, that teams save about 360.000 EUR/year by not having it, that sounds pretty low so not sure weather that is accurate. But it would take away the cost element, at least for the european races.

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