Coulthard’s concern over closing speeds

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Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Valencia, 2010

David Coulthard has blamed Mark Webber’s spectacular crash in the European Grand Prix on the difference in speed between the Webber’s Red Bull and Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus:

Obviously the Red Bull [has] massive top speed relative to the Lotus and it just catches the drivers out. You don’t want to have more than six, seven eight kilometres an hour difference between the fastest and the slowest cars.
David Coulthard

But speed trap data from the race shows the Lotuses were faster than the Red Bulls in a straight line in qualifying.

It’s clear Webber was going much faster than Kovalainen when he caught him and failed to avoid running into the back of the Lotus.

But perhaps the situation is not quite as straightforward as Coulthard – who remains a Red Bull employee despite having stopped racing for them in 2008 – makes out. Here’s how the two cars’ top speeds compared in qualifying at the race:

DriverCarTop speed (kph)
Jarno TrulliLotus-Cosworth309.5
Heikki KovalainenLotus-Cosworth308.1
Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault307.7
Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault307.3

Coulthard’s words give the alarming impression that the Lotuses are far too slow to participate in F1 because they cause accidents like the one suffered by Webber.

In Q1 at Valencia Trulli was just 2.5s slower than the fastest driver. The new teams are getting closer to the front runners with every passing race.

And as the data above shows it’s not as if the T127s are cruising down the straights, massively slower than the front runners on every lap. If they were, Webber would have got past them very easily.

Part of the reason Webber was going so much quicker than Kovalainen was that he was slipstreaming the Lotus. We’ve seen other drivers hit cars while slipstreaming them in recent races – though not with quite such disastrous results.

Lewis Hamilton, for example, clipped Rubens Barrichello while overtaking him in Interlagos last year and Felipe Massa while passing the Ferrari at Melbourne this year. On both occasions one of the cars involved suffered damage.

If, as Coulthard mentions, the crash comes up for discussion in future drivers’ briefings, a reminder to drivers not to pull out of the slipstream too late would certainly be appropriate.

Especially as FOTA prepares to introduce adjustable rear wings next year, which could increase the chance of the kind of scenario Coulthard describes.

Read more: Webber hits Kovalainen and flips (Video)

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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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Posted on Categories 2010 F1 season, Articles in full, F1 drivers (active), Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber

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  • 79 comments on “Coulthard’s concern over closing speeds”

    1. Nathan Bradley
      2nd July 2010, 11:23

      Hmmm… Not entirely sure where DC is going with this.

      The Lotus has been demonstrably similar to the Red Bull in a straight line for a while now. If it was going through a fast corner, I could understand.

      Perhaps he is just trying to make Red Bull look good again, but I don’t think he should be complaining about closing speeds.

      Nathan

      1. I remember Couthard defending the Red Bull failures at the begining of the season. Attempting to move blame of the failures to non Red Bull parts (i.e. suppliers).

        As it turns out, most of those failures were Red Bull parts. And as Edie pointed out, the design of a car will push the tolarances of the supplied components to their limit, and may not be the fault of the part, but the way it was used in the design.

        1. I guess what I’m trying to say is I take DC’s comments like a pinch of salt. Always remember he is paid to represent Red Bull.

          1. Ino what u mean, he’s too bias towards Red Bull, I think he should remember the teams he actually did well for! Who he actually won with!

            1. In America we would call David Coulthard a Red Bull Shill.

              He’s never said a bad word about Red Bull. It always somebody elses fault. He tried coming up with an excuse when the two RB’s collided a few weeks ago but was stumped.

              Its insulting as a viewer to listen to DC.

              (Yes I watch the races on BBC. Excellent coverage compared to SpeedTV here in America. Oh and the American announcers are even worse than DC.)

            2. Hmmm…. I think his bias comes from being with the team. but I don’t think it’s quite as bad as you guys are saying.

              I think people need to remember that this was a comment he made during the race.

            3. I think it had much more to do with the fact that the Lotus breaked and hence the closing speed became huge, I think normal passing next year won’t be dangerous at all with flat wings.

      2. miguelF1O (@)
        2nd July 2010, 13:43

        those top speed numbers are from Q3 or race i saw those images and i agree with coulthard about the difference in speed on that particulary spot of the track and in racing situation dont know why that happen but as we know redbull was probably running the engine at its highest power mode anyway mark was too impatient

        1. miguelF1O (@)
          2nd July 2010, 13:45

          i think coulthard hes just defending his friend the difference in speed at that straight was clear and it was the cause of the incident but web fault

        2. I think the difference in speed at that moment was there as Heikki was starting to decelerate (brake) earlier than Webber would, therefore the speed difference with Webbers fullspeed car in its slipstream as increasing until Webber brakes as well, but by that time he was already heading airborne.

      3. D.C is not quite righ that the closing speeds are the problem.

        Webber said he was surprised at how early Kovalienan had to break for the corner. This is becasue the new teams lack the downforce of red bulll ,mclaren, ferrari etc, so need to be much slower through the corners.

        Surely now when the new teams catch up and have more downforce on their cars then everyones breaking points would be relativly similar. so this will not be much of a problem of having acciedents of this magnitude next year.

        1. It’s also the lack of downforce (and therefore drag) that allows the Lotus to go through the speed trap so quickly.

          Remember Force India’s success at Spa last year due to their low-drag design. Watch out for the new teams when we return to Belgium!

    2. I dont think it was the top speed of the Lotus’s caused the crash like the above data suggest. Heikki had to brake earlier than the Redbull to take that corner, which caught Mark by surprise.

      1. Exactly. DC should do his homework better.

    3. The answer is extremely simple and nothing to do with speed difference.It’s simply braking ability.
      The Red Bulls have by far the greatest downforce,and consequently much greater aerodynamic drag.This gives them the ability to brake much later than the Lotuses or similair.Webber got caught out by Kovalainen having to brake some 50 metres earlier than he Webber needed to.
      The end result we we all saw.

      1. Yep, downforce a key factore, and probably the brake balance of the Lotus not yet sorted out.

    4. clearly kovy was on the brakes much earlier than the red bull. this coupled with the slipstreaming effect gave webber the extra speed on closing that caused this accident.

      It’s also worth noting that this WAS NOT a straight per-se. The curved “straight” at valencia given they are travelling at over 300kph are pretty dangerous if you ask me, i didn’t think kovy was wandering too much side to side at all, but as you can see neither of them are travelling in a straight line, and so moving out of the slipstream woudl have been much harder.

      If i was kovaleinen, i would also not have been entirely sure which side mark was going to pull past on, in that respect, kovy held his line giving as much space on left and right for webber to overtake, webber seemed to hesitate, and at 300+kph, hesitation causes accidents.

    5. I have no idea what Coulthard was on about to be perfectly honest, he talks some right BS at times, I think he thinks because he was a driver he knows better than anyone else, but obviously had not looked at any of the telemetry. I heard Webber say that Kovy put his foot on the brake 80m before he did on the last lap! Which is obviously a huge difference and when your travelling at 200mph I can only guess you have no chance of reacting fast enough. But to be fair I think that Webber should have know he was following a much slower car and should have gave him a little room. I think that he was still angry from the previous pit error!

      1. Exactly – if Webber admits that he knew the Lotus would be braking much earlier than him because he had seen it happen on the previous lap, then he should have made allowances and probably didn’t really need to slipstream much anyway, because the difference in the braking points would have made it practically impossible for Heikki to defend his position. Perhaps because he had dropped back so far from the start Webber was taking an extra risk to gain a speed advantage and try to catch up to the leaders faster.

        DC is not an impartial observer in this case, so we have to take his comments with some degree of scepticism…

        1. I thought Webber was just out of the pits and next lap he crashed. I’m not sure he had followed the Lotus for long enough.

          1. Yes he hadn’t but he the pit crew messed up and think he was really going for it, and ended up in an incident like Melbourne when he went into Hamilton. And I guess he just was in a zone he needed to catch the leaders and wasn’t taking any prisoners!

            And totally agree Coulthard is not impartial at all. no matter what whether he looks a complete idiot or not he always sticks up for Red Bull.

            1. Coulthard is that impartial he even made excuses up for Red Bulls failures at the start of the season, saying it must be an external part, turns out it was Red Bulls problem. Made him self look stupid a few ties this season!

      2. Yes, Webber did say that Kova braked 80 m before he did at that corner, but it seems somewhat implausible.

        Webber hit Kovalainen on approach to turn 12. That’s the biggest deceleration on the circuit, 315kph/195mph to 76kph/47mph. A normal F1 car brakes at somewhere between 4 to 5g, which is to say a deceleration of 40 metres per second squared or more (with apologies for mixed units). Decelerating at 4g from 315kph to 76kph, an F1 car should cover a distance of about 92m.

        I do not believe the Lotus is so slow that it has to start braking for Turn 12 almost twice as far away as the Red Bull. Especially given that the Red Bull is fast primarily because of high apex speeds in fast corners – Turn 12 is not a fast corner.

        1. You don’t need theory. Just look at the footage. Kova braked 130-140m before the corner from the onboard footage. The Red Bull was braking about 80m before the corner.

          That’s the facts.

          1. My guess is that the metric system is putting you off here (meters are not feet).. A F1 car is about 4.5 meters long, so 140 meters is about 31 F1 cars in line. Take a look at the footage again, pick the exact point where they collided, and see for yourself whether you could line up 31 F1 cars between them and the curve.

    6. your topspeed data has killed DC’s stupid argument.

      “Obviously the Red Bull (has) massive top speed relative to the Lotus”

      I’d like to add that its helps to have a differnce in speed to overtake, Lets try and not have all the cars limited to a top speed or it will be like lorries trying to overtake on a deul carriageway!

    7. Oh great another excuse to ruin the sport. I am very disappointed in DC.

    8. DC is wrong about the top speed…

      But in race pace the difference was massive and the difference in the breaking points might be the reason for that accident.

    9. The reason why Webber crashed is that he misjudge the performance of his car & he was in the slipstream for too long time & Kovalainen did braked early I don’t think this have anything to do with the top speed of the cars.

      1. Exactly right. I dont know why we people are looking for some kind of ‘a-ha’ explanation for this. Webber made a mistake, he slipstreamed too close and didnt expect the braking point for the lotus to be so early. Also, the hand-operated blown rear wing seems like a bad idea in this context. It was a driver error, and it happens.

    10. I loved watching Coulthard and Mike Gascoyne’s little “discussion” on the BBC after the race. DC said his point, wouldn’t listen or discuss it when Gascoyne told him he was wrong, and then hid behind Jake :)

    11. Don Speekingleesh
      2nd July 2010, 12:03

      Webber says Kov braked 80m earlier than Webber normally would for that corner. Which sounds odd, the differences in braking distances are hardly that big normally, surely? (Yes, yes, don’t call me Shirley (30 years today since the film was released!))

      1. Well RBR says they are 30-20bhp down on power, with that sort of precision in their comments, you can easily interpret the 80m figure no larger than 40m.

        1. cant you just look at actual footage/facts to determine the truth rather than make up theories when we don’t know all the data?

          1. I think his point was that Red Bull have been vague about the facts.

      2. Yeah, I just posted a short analysis of this further up the thread. Assuming the G-force monitors you occasionally see are accurate, an 80m difference in braking distance is totally implausible.

    12. “I sure picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue!”

    13. It’s amazing how often, Coulthard and Brundle get it wrong during live commentaries. Unfortunately as ex racers we often trust their opinions, which end up being misleading most times.
      Even while watching the race, I had a feeling Heikki was brake testing Webber. Although this turned out to be wrong, in actual fact he just had to brake early for that corner. Perhaps they have a lot of TVs and events to monitor simultaneously that they end up missing crucial details.

    14. I’m getting bored of DC’s constant Red Bull praising.

      BBC should be impartial and until DC quits being a rep for RB, he should not be on the BBC. Bring in Eddie Irvine instead ;D

      1. Then it would get controversial!!

        On the Webber incident, nobody fault but Webbers, even though he doesnt admit it.
        http://www.planetf1.com/news/3371/6232778/Webber-Heikki-should-have-let-me-pass

    15. The proximity wing seems like it’s going to be something we have to face up to next season. While there are significant detractors amongst the drivers, certain members of FOTA, and as was made clear to FOTA at the fan forum a significant majority of the fans. FOTA’s approach to it apppears to be quite admirable. Lets try it next season to see if it’s any good.

      Personally I’ve changed my mind a little bit. On tracks like Spain and Valencia were it is held by all to be next to impossible to overtake due to aero, keep the proximity idea to spice up generally boring races. On tracks like Canada Spa and Intergalos were overtaking is common remove the proximity rule so as not to cheapen already good races.

      1. UneedAFinn2Win
        2nd July 2010, 13:12

        You have just defined “Manipulated Race” my friend.
        I am steadfast against having race results decided in advance by a committee or a computer simulation or an “expert” on when and where in a RACE another car will get an advantage, shooting past his opponent where the pre-approved overtake is to take place (be it proximity in time or yardage).
        IF there must be a gimmick to help overtake, have the EQU to allow extra 1000 revs for 10-15% percent of race distance, at the drivers discretion. Should be easy to implement as it’s a standard part, would open up whole new strategies for teams to explore without adding costs or compromising safety. This whole proximity based aero BS is based on a fundamental error in thinking that fans want to just see overtaking. No, we want to see drivers BATTLING for position for the entire race, pushing the boundaries lap after lap.

        1. UneedAFinn2Win point is that at certain tracks thats just not possible. In Spain, as proven by Schumacher and Button it is virtually impossible to overtake anyway. The wing wouldn’t make so much differance. I’m not entirley keen on the idea, however at certain tracks were the racing can be poor this alleiviates the dirty air effect slightly.

          Complain all you like about the artificial effect and lack of skills, but I’m not suggesting we implement it in places were the advantage given would be ridiculous. Merley at places were the dirty air effect has an extreme detrimental effect on the racing.

          An this in no way manipulates the result of a race pre lights out, or even after. it is simply a way of improving certain races on the calender which are a peranial bore and nightmare. Adds a new skill and ALLOWS drivers to fight for position in places were thats usually impossible.

          But don’t get me wrong, on most tracks I object to the proximity wing because of the unfair advantage it gives to the following driver, however in Spain and Valenica you could almost say the following driver is unfairly disadvantaged.

          1. UneedAFinn2Win
            2nd July 2010, 16:42

            You have just argued yourself that only certain “perennial bores and nightmares” are the tracks where the system is to be deployed, ergo, PRE-DETERMINED.

      2. The only thing FOTA want to do is contrive the manipulation into a more racing-like appearance. The cheapest, most direct thing to do would be to have the Command Electronics access a telemtry channel whereby some elementary software can cut a driver’s ignition to tune of 50hp whenever the GPS says he is less than one second ahead of a non-lapped car. The device should be called the “complexity wing.”

        It would also not be incredibly dangerous. It’s much better to have the car ahead slow slightly that have a car behind travelling at 200mph suddenly jump up 5mph seconds before a major braking event. What if the driver trail-brakes into the corner and doesn’t touch the brakes until he turns in, as, say at turn 1 in China, or if he has to avoid a dangerous “second move” from his quarry on a straight? The car will most likely snap around like a top, being grossly unbalanced. They are thinking about this at the level of a 10 year old or a Playstation game designer. Whitmarsh really disappoints me with championing this lunacy.

        1. UneedAFinn2Win
          2nd July 2010, 16:34

          All Pit-to-Car telecommunication is not allowed, and for heavens sake, not SAFE!
          The driver has to make split(thousands of a)second decisions to drive around basically a 200MPH carbon-fiber missile. If he misses a braking point, acceleration, turning into the apex, anything because some t**t in Race Control pushed a little red button to make the car do anything unexpected is stupidly dangerous! The BEST GPS in the world is accurate to within feet. These drivers need place their cars within centimeters in Monaco for example. No one outside the cockpit can have access to anything to manipulate the cars in any way!

    16. Coulthard is wrong here indeed.
      The lotus was on old tyres for one and webber on fresh ones. We saw that scenario at the end of the race with Koboyashi.. Altough he managed to take 2 positions.
      Webber likes to drive to aggressive. I saw this crash coming from the first second. Why did Webber need to take that last little bit of slipstream, just no smart thinking there imo. He needs to work on that!

    17. Top speeds in F1 have been more or less static for decades now, it’s the cornering speeds that have increased massively since the advent of wings in the late 1960s.

      As pointed out above, the relative top speeds of the Red Bull and Lotus are not sufficiently different to present a hazard in themselves. The Webber/Kovalainen crash occured because Webber failed to anticipate the Lotus braking when it did – although why this should have come as a surprise is odd, given tha.

    18. Agreed, Couthard’s wrong. However, although Webber takes some of the blame, I don’t think Kovalainen behaved well. His car is much slower, he should have chosen either the inside or outside line and stuck to it, instead he sat in the middle of the track and weaved around a bit – it’s hard to say whether he was intentionally blocking Webber or not, but he didn’t make it easy for Webber to predict what he was going to do: with such a large performance differential Kovalainen should have behaved better.

    19. Okay, DC does sometimes let loyalty to RB colour his remarks but in this instance I don’t think his objective was to knock the newbies. From everything he said throughout I got the impression that his main thrust was against the introduction of the moveable wing which will increase closing speeds since as the proposals stand only the chasing driver will be allowed to use it. As for the incident itself, Mark must accept some blame because he did try to milk the tow and, as appears increasingly the case in F1, relying on expectations of what the guy in front ‘should do’ rather than the old adage ‘the guy at the back must be prepared for anything’. But, regardless of this, and previous straight line speeds, Heikki had to brake significantly earlier than the RedBull so the Lotus capabilities did contribute to the accident. As I said I think DC’s main worry is that the variation will be exacerbated if the new wing regs are implemented.

      1. Exactly right, I think Keith has done DC a diservice with this article. DC’s argument was certainly aimed at getting FOTA to rethink their appalling idea of wacky races style adjustable wings. DC is, i my opinion entirly correct in his assertion that artificially increased closing speeds will result in more accidents like these. A seriously retrograde step in terms of safety and in legitimacy of the racing spectacle.

        I’m generally a fan but this is one of your poorer articles I’m afraid Keith – far too ‘tabloid’!

    20. Yes remember when Hamilton in Bahrain went in the back of Alonso car because he lost part of his front wing

      then it also was to much difference in speed because of slipstreaming

      1. Indeed. It happened between Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves at Watkins Glen yesterday too.

    21. I think Couthard is right, GP2 teams shouldn’t be in F1 anyway.

      1. this type of comment has no place here.

        These “GP2″ teams you speak of are within the 107” that “F1” teams were failing to qualify at not so long ago.. the gap between 1st and 24th is more than last few years, but nowhere near as great as it has been in the past.

        Remember Lola? Failing to qualify for even a single race??

        1. of course i meant 107% not 107″

      2. Ricco try putting a GP2 engine in and F1 car and an F1 engine in a GP2 car, and the result may surprise you.

    22. This is the second rear end incident for Mark this year. Remember the Hamilton in Australia?

    23. As pretty much all the comments here state, Webber with all his years of experience (and, certainly out of the car, level head) should have been able to analyse his opponent in the few corners he had to, and make a clean safe pass without incident.

      Webber misjudged it, simple.

      As for DC, as also already stated, Red Bull still pay him some coffers, and his view has been blantaly pro-Red Bull since he started last year.

    24. Screw speed data, if the Red Bull is so much faster than the Lotus then it shouldn’t have had any problems getting past it! Every BBC employee suddenly started going to town blaming this crash on the speed difference and saying “The Lotus’ can’t pretend they’re in the same race as Red Bull” – this on a season where everyone seems to be going mad about improving overtaking, what was Kovalinen meant to do, just roll over and let Webber past – that’s not racing! BBC have really screwed up here I think.

    25. it’s not the speed advantage the top teams have… i remember Minardi during 2004-2005 weren’t really that slow at straights, but simply because they ran lower wing configurations than the others so they wouldn’t loose too much time…

      the problem is the performances of the cars as a whole, not just power and straight line speed. The Lotuses needed 80 meters of track MORE than the Red Bull to stop at the same corner… the level of grip overall it’s what kills the new teams, the entire performance hability of the cars, it’s what kills the new teams…

    26. TheGreatCornholio
      2nd July 2010, 14:22

      Webber must’ve know he was behind a Lotus and should therefore have anticipated that the Lotus would have a much earlier braking point than him. He could’ve then followed him round the turn and then taken him at the next opportunity. I mean, these guys are meant to be the “best” drivers in the world! And D.C. should be ashamed of himself for even coming out with that statement.

    27. trouble is craig alot of these fans dont remember the days when the tv only showed tenths of a second. I think, and im not old enouugh to rememeber, that Jackie Stewart won Spa by 5 minutes from the 2nd place man in the late 60’s.. in the wet. I bet his closing speeds were quite a bit bigger thean Webbers and in a time when an off, at that speed, almost certainly meant death.

      Red Bull seem intent on finding even more ways to blow a championship and bullying small teams thru comments by 3rd rate drivers is cheap in the extreme.

    28. Has Webber answered whether he has his left hand jammed in his F-Duct orifice when he needed to avoid Kovalainen? I think that would be a fair question. I believe some in-car video shows this to be the case. Even Fred has cited this danger, as have many other drivers. There is a reason why McLaren, with the freedom to design their tub around this idea, rejected hand-operation. This may cause more tears in Blanchimot if some measures aren’t taken.

      This incident should be examined in light of Webber’s sullen rage after qualifying. You add to that being dropped 7 places on lap one, having your team screw up what’s left of your race (again), and finally the affront of seeing a “Lotus” before you on the road, and you have a recipe for red mist. Webber gets down on himself, he makes rash errors pushing himself too hard. Because of these flaws he may well go down at the head of the list of the most skilled and gifted drivers never to win a championship.

      Regarding DC and whether Lotus belongs, what a joke. As far as I know, it wasn’t Kovailainen getting passed like a statue at the start and it wasn’t the Lotus pit crew who couldn’t execute a basic tire change.

    29. I agree with DC.. i personally dislike the idea of using rear wings to boost top speed to overtake. Its kinda dangerous definetely, but the most important thing is, it will make driver skill play an even smaller part. I definetely dont want to be having the situation where every 10min, i see all the 20cars switching positions non-stop. Its giddy after a while , u see.

      Well, overtaking is important,but i guess, what many fans, including me, wants is pure-skill base overtaking, like hamilton’s late braking, kobayashi ability and courage to make use of the non-racing line, and etc, but not something of a press, n pass system.

      I guess if such system is really imposed, we will well be looking at a dominance of one particular team again, because, whoever who perfects their wings, (the big teams usually do), will dominate in the race because even if opponent’s car overtake the driver, with a superior car, gap will be incredibly small, and we can all imagine how much inter-changing of positions on the top of our F1.COM time screen will be…..

    30. “Because of these flaws he may well go down at the head of the list of the most skilled and gifted drivers never to win a championship.”

      very very doubtful, depsite his best Stirling efforts

    31. Eddie Irvine
      2nd July 2010, 16:26

      Similar incident, Hamilton trying to pass Alonso in Bahrein 2008.. And of course, this also happened in gp2 race before the race where all cars are pretty much the same. So dear david lotus are not to be blamed

    32. Coulthard is getting on my nerves more and more. He seems to have forgotten how slow his Red Bull was at the start of their years compared to Ferrari & Renault.

      He is a fool.

      He has become too accustomed to close racing because of ONE YEAR. He seems to think because 2009 was so close… that’s how every single year should be. When there has ALWAYS been slower cars.

      And the above info shows how wrong he was since Lotus had a faster speed!

      1. I didn’t hear him moaning about the safety of F1 in 2008 when he was at the back with the Hondas, crashing into everyone every other race.

    33. I think DC’s right. he just shouldn’t have said ‘top speed’. if the lotus needs to brake that much earlier for a corner, then of course the closing speed is going to be dangerous given that 300km/h is 80m/s. what could webber do? no matter your reaction time, no one could have avoided that. i guess he (and others) will now now to stay well clear from the back markers heading into a corner now…

      1. oh yeh, and remember that DC said this just after the incident so of course he’s going to be a bit rash. i would be quite emotional too if one of my best buddies had just gone through an accident like that. scary stuff.

    34. I think the issue here is a lack of skill on the part of the leading drivers in dealing with traffic. They have become far to used to having a blue flag shown and expecting the slower car to jump out of the way. Surely part of the makeup of the best drivers is an ability to be able to judge and forecast how cars in front will react, brake into corners or accelerate out of them? Top class sportscar racers do this for lap after lap in multi-class racing where, if anything, the speed differential is even greater. Are those who suggest the closing speeds are too high saying that F1 drivers are second best to sportscar racers? Certainly didn’t used top be the case when the backmarkers were 6-7 seconds a lap (or more) slower and there were no blue flags in F1…

    35. Sorry DC, but while your still on the RBR payroll, your opinion simply cannot count.

    36. what’s the point of racing when the driver always expect people to simply others to give the an easy way to make a pass

      F1 drivers is said to be the best drivers in motorsport; so act like one and race like one. stop all these nonsense about team A driver or team B driver.

      I agree with eddie jordan in some point, the fastest driver (i.e webber) should know how to make a pass in safest manner possible in racing condition and don’t always expect others especially the slow driver to give an easy way for’em to make a pass

      we want to see racing in action not a taxi driver in action

    37. In 2006 at Silverstone for example, the difference between the fastest car and the 17th car was 2,1 seconds in Q1, and the difference from the fastest and the slower cars from the speed trap was about 16 kmh… These differences aren’t anything new.

    38. I’m heartened to see her unilateral debunking of DC’s comments. The annoying thing is he’ll be trotting-out this same silly line next weekend at Silverstone, and the BBC will give him air time.

      If DC wants to see a real difference in speeds looks like, he should try watching the Le Mans series…

    39. Nigel Nicholls
      3rd July 2010, 13:43

      Mark Webber is an accident waiting to happen. He spent most of his career driving a slow car, so he should know better than anyone else what to expect. David Couthard is becoming less creditable eveytime he opens his mouth . Remeber the accidents he caused towards the end of his career.

    40. Yeah, I though DC’s rant made no sense at all. It was obvious that Webber was caught out by the weaving and early braking of Kovalainen rather than that the top speed was an issue.

      “Lewis Hamilton, for example, clipped Rubens Barrichello while overtaking him in Interlagos last year and Felipe Massa while passing the Ferrari at Melbourne this year. On both occasions one of the cars involved suffered damage.”

      Actually Barrichello apologized for that incident in Interlagos saying that he defended Hamilton too harshly (he tried to push him into the wall when Hamilton tried to move alongside)

      I have to say the pundits at the BBC seem to get it wrong more often than not.

      Brundle kept on whining how racing in the pitlane should not be allowed. Charlie Whiting then says that racing is fine (as again demonstrated in Canada), but drifting and pushing each other into a pitbox is not.

      They claimed that Schumacher wouldn’t get a penalty in Monaco and obviously he did (although that penalty was wrong)

      It’s almost at every race that they get the big issues wrong somehow. Especially the ones where they keep hammering on their opinon all through the post race debates.

    41. All these comments are giving me pause to appreciate the fact I don’t have to listen to DC or Eddie during F1 broadcasts.

      Thank you SPEED for providing nominally independent observers.

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