F1 Fanatic round-up: 28/5/2010

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It’s Turkish Grand Prix practice day – see you in the live comments soon! Here’s the round-up:


Ferrari set to hold on to Felipe Massa for 2011 (BBC)

“Although Domenicali’s words are not definitive, his tone and manner in the interview give the impression that keeping Massa is the team’s strong preference.”

What went wrong with Williams? (Doctorvee)

Williams lay the blame for their early-2000s dip at the door of BMW. This ended in an acrimonious split in 2005, by which time each party had become convinced that the other side was not pulling its weight. But BMW did a pretty good job when they joined forces with Sauber, the disappointment of 2009 notwithstanding. Meanwhile, Williams became inert ? a permanent fixture of the midfield.”

Photo reveals details of Alonso’s Ferrari (James Allen)

“The double diffuser entry section is pretty large, but not extreme by today’s standards, apparently. It is also believed to be quite close to the Toyota design, which may well be because of the aerodynamic expertise hired in from Toyota over the winter.”

Comment of the day

If you read Fer No. 65’s excellent piece on TC2000 yesterday make sure you saw his follow-up comment too:

If this works on Sundays, switch on an hour after the F1 race finish this weekend and you’ll be able to watch Formula Renault and both TC2000 races:


Maybe Keith could post the link on the article.

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 Simtek team made their final appearance at a Grand Prix on this day in 1995. Their were created by present-day Virgin designer Nick Wirth.

Neither of the cars, driven by Jos Verstappen and Domenico Schiattarella, officially started the race: Schiattarella’s was damaged in the first-lap crash which triggered a red flag, and Verstappen was pushed off the grid with a broken gearbox before the restart.

The loss of Simtek deprived us of comedy moments like this one:

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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33 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 28/5/2010”

  1. AAHH thank god for par drivers!! they were certainly a laugh to watch

    1. Now that’s what I called OVERDRIVING

    2. How on earth did he get as high as 8th place?

  2. Ned Flanders
    28th May 2010, 0:27

    For anyone who finds crappy teams and pay drivers interesting I’d highly recommend http://www.f1rejects.com/ They have profiles for some of the most unsuccessful teams and drivers in F1 history, some of which you may have heard of, other you probably haven’t. They also do a great podcast after each race.

    1. I’ve spent hours and hours at a time reading F1 Rejects. Some really fascinating stories of ineptitude there.

      1. If I didn’t like it so much I’d say that site is ruining my life, so many hours wasted. :(

        1. It’s a bit like TV Tropes, for those who know it – you go on there with the intention of looking at one article, then you end up clicking link after link after link and suddenly it’s three hours later and you should’ve had dinner ages ago.

          …Or is that just me?

      2. I have a bad feeling that the Bruno Senna entry is writing itself right now .. I can imagine the opening lines already – ‘Highly-anticipated nephew of the late world champion debuted with a team, HRT, that lasted only 8 races – when they sacked their chassis manufacturer only to discover that they did not have their own factory. Senna was out-qualified in every race by fellow F1 reject Karun Chandhok [link]’ .. etc. etc. :)

        1. Although Senna has out-qualified his team-mate every race but one. :P


    2. F1 Rejects is a wonderful site, and I’ve spent many an hour there reading all the interesting stories about how these drivers and teams were able to fail so well.

      I do miss Simtek though. I demand more purple cars in F1!

      That video also reminds me that I miss the proper Rascasse.

    3. Good idea posting it here. A must read for anyone thinking the new teams are not doing a good job at it!

      And driver cock ups as well.

  3. With all due respect to Massa, I wonder if Ferrari found it difficult to attract an alternative of sufficient caliber to play second fiddle to Mr. Alonso.

    I hope Felipe continues to progress this season, but at least his struggles relative to RBR and Alonso have meant we’ve suffered fewer shots of his father in the pits.

    1. Keep in mind last year Massa was out performing Raikkonen, and that he obviously is struggling with the car, I think it’s just a tad early to right him off yet.

      1. Bigbadderboom
        28th May 2010, 8:36

        Agreed, Massa is often underated, he has played understudy to some very big names, often out performing them, he needs time in the new car which is obviously tilted in design towards Alonso, personally i’m amazed he returned from his accident so much on the pace anyway. I definatly have new found respect for Massa, takes a hell of a character to go through what happened to him, jump back in the seat and be on ther pace. Especially with a young family. I think Ferrari know that there simply isn’t a better all round proven option at the moment.

      2. Raikkonen’s Ferrari was breaking down in the first few races. Smoking KERS or misfiring engine.

        When they finally got the problems fixed, Massa was out already.

    2. We’ve never suffered as much of Massa’s father as we did of Hamilton’s.

  4. That Williams article has been a bit much, Yeah ok things haven’t been great, but it’s not that bad is it?

    1. It ain’t great.

    2. The Motor Sport magazine podcast, with Patrick Head has some counter-arguments (or excuses, depending on your point of view). Much of it seems to boil down to money, so for optimistic fans of Williams (like me) there’s always the hope it’ll come back to them if future F1 budgets are cut.

      Patrick Head’s always worth listening to anyway in my view. Great stories and some interesting KERS stuff…

      1. Thank you Bullfrog,

        That podcast was very nice, great link. I like the old stories, the Kers background is good as well.
        Also a nice insight in Newey with Red Bull as well as comparing to McLaren.

  5. Those Simteks were mighty goodlooking, though.

    1. Agreed. One of the best looking liveries ever! Certainly best of the 90’s.

    2. Ned Flanders
      28th May 2010, 13:05

      That yellow car (I think it’s a Forti) that goes past at 0.25 in the video is even better

  6. Exclusive Ross Brawn Q&A: Don’t rule Mercedes out yet. “Don’t rule Mercedes out yet” We’ve never heard that before, have we. Perhaps they should focus on improving the car instead of telling their opponents to worry.

  7. Simtek was actually one of the more promising new teams of the mid-1990s – certainly a much better prospect than Pacific, Forti or Lola.

    In hindsight, Worth taking the company into F1 in 1994 wasn’t the soundest of business moves. But at the time it looked like the only way Simtek would be able to showcase its product – it produced an F1 design for BMW in 1990 but the German company went for touring cars instead, Andrea Moda picked up the BMW design for 1992 but managed to redefine the very meaning of incompetence during their part season. Another F1 commission for the fledgling Bravo team again came to naught in 1993.

    Going it alone was therefore the only way Simtek could show they were capable of designing a decent F1 car, but that was never going to be easy in 1994. The team had very little money and its design was conservative, overweight and powered by the asthmatic Ford HB engine. It suffered the death of one driver (Ratzenberger) and the injury of another (Montermini) – not to mention the mounting repair bill. But it easily beat 1994’s other new team, Pacific, which had a much stronger racing pedigree and occasionally mixed it up with some of the established teams.

    The new design for 1995 was considerably better, although the money still wasn’t there and the car was still underpowered. Verstappen qualified 14th out of 26 in Argentina and ran well in the race, even mixing it up with Berger’s Ferrari at one point. The team pulled out after Monaco with debts of £6m. If it had found a way of securing the necessary backing to continue and make the car more reliable Verstappen could well have scored points later that year.

    F1’s failed teams tend to naturally divide themselves into utter jokes and good efforts – Simtek were definitely the latter.

    1. Seconded. I do wonder how 1994 would have gone for them if their car wasn’t predominantly designed based on the 1993 regulations.

  8. BBC have announced a new HD channel: BBC One HD which will simulcast BBC One regardless of whether its in HD or not.

    F1 will therefore from later this year more than likely be on BBC One HD as ‘upscaled’.

    1. So we are not seeing Michelin, & why won’t they supply super soft tyres? Does this mean that they will bring all the three compounds of tyres & the drivers get to use all three of them in a weekend like Moto GP

      So will the mandatory stops rule be still there or will they be free to use whatever they want in a race?

  9. Oh dear, I’m sure bellows of furious smoke are coming out of Ferrari’s camp with that photo of Alonso’s undertray…

  10. I think it is sensible to keep Massa.

    He is a nice guy, almost won the WDC in his last full year. He was managing pretty good with the not so good Ferrari last year.
    And he is not too far away from Alonso, so his accident probably did not hurt his driving (as it did for Panis, discussed here this week). Also he is a team player.

    1. Jose Arellano
      29th May 2010, 0:55

      i think (sadly) that the champ he fought with lewis was his only chance of being champ….

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