F1 Fanatic round-up: 27/7/2010

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Thanks to Cari for taking care of yesterday’s round-up. Here’s today’s selection of links and Comment of the Day:


Whitmarsh to hold private Ferrari talks (Autosport)

“You can go back to the late 90s and all sorts of times when things have happened – but we decide to race. I think having our drivers racing, in the longer term, is a healthy thing to do for this team. That is my decision and that is what we want to do. Others do what they want to do, and it is for the FIA and Ferrari to determine what they think is right. We were racing our two guys until the end of the race.”

Formula One, Integrity Nil: Ferrari and the worst brand of cheating (The Guardian)

“Today we should be celebrating the [Ferrari] team’s resurrection in Germany, for the prancing horse can now be added to what was already an engrossing two?horse race; unfortunately, though, we are looking at five drivers, not six, for Massa appears as a stooge, cut adrift for the sake of his demanding team-mate, for whom this drive-through was more welcome than the one he received in the previous race.”

Comment of the day

Over to Beneboy for a Ferrari fan’s take on the Hockenheim controversy:

I still don’t support their actions this weekend, in fact my heart sank when I heard Felipe being advised that Fernando was quicker than him as I knew it meant that Felipe would have to give Fernando the win.

It ruined the race for me and has also left me feeling pretty disgusted at Alonso, I never wanted him to join the team but I had slowly began warming to him over the last few races. Hearing him complaining to the team while being unable to pass Felipe has got me back to the situation I was in before the season began; there’s a guy driving for Ferrari and I don’t want him to win or even do well. It’s very difficult to balance this with my desire to see the team do well.

I watched the race with some friends who are also Ferrari fans and up until the message had been sent we were really enjoying the race and we were so happy that Felipe was going to get the win. The guy has been with the team for about a decade now and he has always been a team player and has shown a great deal of respect towards the team and the fans and we thought it would be a great boost to him if he were to win this race, especially given the significance of the date in relation to his accident last year.

Had the result not been changed the team would now have two drivers sitting 5th and 6th in the drivers championship and the team would be in the same position in the constructors championship, as it stands the drivers are 5th and 8th, the team are yet again being publicly disgraced, have been fined for cheating and could face an even more serious punishment from the WMSC.

From the forum

There’s controversy in the IndyCar series too.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Christian Briddon and Spud!

On this day in F1

Gerhard Berger scored the final victory of his Formula 1 career on this day in 1997. It was also the last Grand Prix victory for the Benetton team.

In an unusual coincidence, the pair had also scored their first wins together in the Mexican Grand Prix 11 years earlier. And they hadn’t won any races together in the intervening period.

Here’s a great piece of footage from that race:

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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46 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 27/7/2010”

  1. inc0mmunicado
    27th July 2010, 1:49

    “Today we should be celebrating the [Ferrari] team’s resurrection in Germany, for the prancing horse can now be added to what was already an engrossing two‑horse race; unfortunately, though, we are looking at five drivers, not six, for Massa appears as a stooge, cut adrift for the sake of his demanding team-mate…”

    Replace “Massa” with “Kimi” in that sentence and it still reads the same way. But Kimi got a lot of to not compete against Alonso this year. That Guardian article talks alot about how asking someone not to perform their best is cheating the sport. We’ve been cheated by Ferrari since the start of the season because Kimi would have been competitive somewhere else. So while Kimi has the money, and while Alonso has his two wins and presumably a large contract too, Massa has only gotten shame for being a team player.

    BTW, my prediction for this week’s Hungarian GP pole/win – Massa.

    1. BTW, my prediction for this week’s Hungarian GP pole/win – Massa.

      I think he’ll have a lot of people cheering for him, both because of this debacle and because of the spring that the Brawn spat at his head last year. He’s definitely going to be heading into this race with something to prove.

    2. I too want Massa to win in Hungary but after what happened in Germany after the race I think both Alonso & FERRARI will try everything in this world that is possible to stop Massa winning it,even they may this time slow his car intentionally.

    3. I don’t mind if you’re correct but as long as Alonso is in the race, hell will freeze over first.

  2. it could happen again this coming weekend?

  3. there’s a guy driving for Ferrari and I don’t want him to win or even do well. It’s very difficult to balance this with my desire to see the team do well.

    Wow, when I read this I thought I was reliving my thought on Red Bull. I want the team to do well but I despretly don’t want Vettel to win.

  4. interesting article at Adamf1 Cooper dot com.


    A big test for Jean Todt as Hockenheim result remains in the balance.

    stewards in referring the matter to the WMSC they are in effect indicating that they believe there should be a much greater penalty.

    the info why the rules where brought in in the first place is also interesting read, including when team order may be used, which is also a eye opener.

    1. I take the stewards ruling to mean both that they think the penalty should be steeper, and that it’s above their pay grade to make a decision as potentially controversial as this. All in all I think a very sensible ruling from the stewards.

      1. I think it was wrong for the stewards to award Ferrari a fine. Rather they should have referred the matter to the WMSC. Ferrari didn’t cheat.

  5. Jean Todt annoounced earlier in the year that he would not be part of any investigation, or involved in the rulings of such investigations. This would be left to others in the WMSC.

    I think he knew in advance that because of his past with Ferrari, that if he were involved there could be questions of bias, therefore he has deliberatly distanced himself.

  6. Keith, why don’t you put links to Andrew Benson’s blog or Martin Brundle’s race report on BBC. They completely had a different view about team order so i hope it can balance the general view a bit. since monday you only put links into article that seems attacking team order decision. and to be honest the article you’ve gave us on monday (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/mikenorrish/100011068/ferrari-and-fernando-alonso-backed-by-schumacher-what-does-that-tell-you/)it is completely unintellectual piece of journalism, it’s filled only by hatred and shallow view about the sport, really that’s a tabloid class of journalism by reading that too much it’s not going to make us wiser. there’s always two side of every story

    1. Fair point Tombong, but bear in mind neither Keith nor James Allen (for example) have to balance it out for journalistic reasons.

      These are their own sites and they write as they see fit.

      I always poke about lots of sites for an overall “feel” of opinion and you seem to do the same.

    2. The purpose of the links isn’t just to share articles I agree with, but also ones that are interesting for some reason. In the case of the Telegraph one whether you like it or not it does reflect what some people think about Sunday’s events.

      Also, I think someone else posted a link to the Benson article in the comments yesterday which is part of the reason why it didn’t get posted today.

      But I have to say, a lot of the reaction I’ve read to the incident on mainstream sites has been knee-jerk and poorly thought through. More on that later.

      1. “The purpose of the links isn’t just to share articles I agree with, but also ones that are interesting for some reason” I couldn’t agree more. perhaps it’s just me that always got mixed up between interesting = integrity or vice versa in judging an article or blog or whatever writings. That is why i rated your writings so highly Keith, there’s always an element of integrity in your article. Just like this one [ http://doctorvee.co.uk/2010/07/25/a-manipulated-sport/ ] .

        1. That’s a nice one Tombong. I also read Benson’s blog, and Brundles one on the BBC (both linked from postst here).

          The Telegraph is not very detailed in showing the depth of the problem, but it shows pretty accurately what i have heard even on the news here int the Czech Republic on Sunday, a rigged event.

          On the other hand, look at the Indycar controversy. They actually have a rule where the guy in front cannot go to the inside to defend his position!
          Castroneves was demoted for it and the public actualy puts up with it, because it is clearly part of the rules (compare with team orders being allowed openly)

    3. Soumya Banerjee
      27th July 2010, 16:16

      Exactly. Those guys know nothing about F1. F1 Fanatic rocks!!!

    4. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with Tombong and was going to make a similar comment before I saw his.

      But I don’t want to complain too loudly because this is an excellent site which has broadly impartial reporting. But the links over the last two days have been very one-sided when as Brundle, Allen, Benson and others show there is a large body of respectable motorsport journalists who think the team orders ban should be dropped

  7. I’ve been thinking about what happened in Germany, and while I thought my initial annoyance was at the team orders and Ferrari, after reflecting I have realised that it was more complex than that.

    F1 is a team sport, and team orders affect almost every part of the sport: from deciding the order of pitstops, the allocation of parts between drivers, telling drivers to hold station in previous years after the final stop (which was almost universally done by the top teams), to having one driver act as a ‘rear gunner’ for a title chasing driver.

    I think the team orders rule is pointless, and teams should be able to do what Ferrari did in Austria 2002, but they have to face the negative publicity that this attracts, and drivers have to accept that it taints their achievements in the eyes of spectators. What really annoyed me about Germany was that Ferrari broke a rule, whether it should exist or not is irrelevant, and then told bare-faced lies to everyone rather than owning up to it. The other annoying part was that the orders appeared to be invoked purely because a driver had a tantrum at his own inability to overtake someone in the same machinery as him, instead of the team telling him to get.on with it (as has been heard on team radio in the past).

    1. I complety agree with you, as a fan I was a tad cheesed off to see what happened to felipe, but on balance, as a logical, rational person I can see exactly why they did it, it is in the best interests of the team.

      1. I don’t think it made any sense in 2002 as Schumacher was always going to win the title, but on sunday it did, unfortunately, make sense as it helped bring Alonso into contention and Massa even had he won would have been almost a race win behind alonso and well off the Hamilton. I don’t understand why such a big deal wasn’t made in 2007 and 2008 when ferrari did the same. I assume that then it was near the end of the season so it was more obvious to fans that it had to be done to keep them in contention (and was proved correct when one driver won and one driver lost by a single point) and therefore seemed more acceptable- after all, could a McLaren fan argue when had Kovalainen been leading Hamilton in 2008 they themselves would probably have been screaming at the screen for him to let Hamilton by? If we see Alonso finish within touching distance of the world champion, or even find himself world champion come the end of the season, then it will have been justified as it kept him in the hunt.

        And I would like to add that similarly it left me with a bitter taste, but it made sense and could well create a more exciting season finale (as in 2007/8).

    2. I think Ferrari’s problem, or dilema was simply that, they had underformed in the recent races and had thus fallen further back behind a few teams, in both the drivers championships and constructors.
      As such, they are forced to play catch up.

      Ferrari’s primary objective is the driver’s championship, Constructors is secondary.
      In their haste to ensure they make quick gains in the driver’s championship, they had to put all their weight behind the driver most likely to give them that. And they had to do so midway into the season, as there is no gaurantee they will always perform as they did in Germany.

  8. Here again, with the WMSC, there is a delay before anybody actually DOES anything about it. Sure, you have to wake up the FIA bigwigs and get them from Monaco and Switzerland to Paris for the hearing, but all the time, the clock is ticking and Ferrari can get their lawyers and PR people to compose the perfect answers to any questions they can think of…..
    This will be another whitewash, whether Todt is involved or not. No doubt Ferrari are going to repeat their mantra that F1 isn’t F1 without them, and the FIA will be too scared to do much more than point a shaky finger at them and tell them not to do it again….

    1. I suppose Todt might try it anyway. Not much perspective in ruling on Ferrari only the 10th of September (planned meeting) in Como, Italy.
      That’s right before the Italian GP, so imagine the FIA punishing Ferrari there and then!

      1. Bernie would love te publicity of it!

  9. When is the next wmsc meeting???

    1. The next scheduled one will be at the end of the year, or thereabouts. However, in Ferrari’s case, it will be a special sitting because it’s disciplinary action. It’s scheduled for some time in August, possibly before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

  10. Austin are apparently going to be releaseing details about their race today: http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=379537&FS=F1

    1. Finally, let’s hope it’s worth the wait!

      1. I wouldn’t say “finally”. It seems to be my understanding that Hellmund wants to present everything as one. He wants to be able to tand up and say “This is our concept. This is how we intend to do it. This is how we intend to make it work.” instead of letting information trickle out in bits and pieces. It’s a very American way of doing things.

        And besides, if he doesn’t disclose where the money is coming from, then so what? He is not obligated to release those details to the world. In fact, if his backers ask him to keep it quiet, then he’s obligated to keep his mouth shut.

  11. Berger’s victory at Hockenheim, I believe, remains the only victory for a Nick Wirth-designed car in F1. Of course, that was back when it didn’t matter that your fuel tank couldn’t get you to the end of the race…

  12. From what Withmarsh sais, it is pretty clear what his “private view” on this is like. He’s right, Ferrari is back to it’s old tricks. That makes it clear who not to support for me (as it did after 2000-2004/5). The Fans can vote with their feet as well to show them.

    Let us all hope Red Bull at least gets back to being fair to both guys after they lost out by favouring Vettel in Turkey and Silverstone. After all bid Dieter made it pretty clear he does not want Favourism, nor team orders, good choice.

    I also think the Fia should penalise Ferrari with taking away WCC points and giving a suspended ban as well as a bigger fine or breaking 151c (damaging the sport) and strong suspicion of infringing at least the spirit of 39 (teamorders).
    Then the FIA can have a look at this hard to enforce rule and make something that makes sense from it for the future (No team orders so early in the season, only when 1 of the guys has a very small to no chance at the WDC AND stating intentions to both drivers and the public up front so we know what to expect).

    1. I have never seen the point of a suspended ban in motorsport, I didn’t understand why McLaren weren’t just thrown out of F1 for a year or two after ‘Spygate’, after all, it happens to individuals like Flavio, and drivers can lose their Superlicences, so if the whole team is seen as doing something illegal, shouldn’t they be made to leave?
      To me thats a harsher punishment than any amount of fines could give, especially to the big teams, as it hits their fan base more than their wallet.
      And if they are replaced by a better behaved team in the interim, who stay in place and are successful, then why should they be invited back?
      The nearest we have got to this scenario is Bernie banning USF1, which was really pathetic since the team no longer exists.

  13. Martin Hathaway
    27th July 2010, 11:10

    Fantastic bit of film from 1997 ~ the 2 cars were able to run so close to each other through that sequence of bends. Watching Hamilton driving Senna’s MP4/4 on Top Gear last night ~ 50%extra power, much less downforce or aero effects. How can we reduce the aero in modern F1 and let the drivers race each other? Or is that just a pipe dream now?

    1. Damned shame, that land looks quite…. ‘Green’. I have no idea how the rest of Austin looks in comparison, but I quite like the look of that site. I do hope if this goes ahead it becomes like Melbourne, a nature-friendly track.

      1. The pictures in the article don’t tell you much – but looking at the terrain and satellite views in Google Maps, Tavo Hellmund wasn’t lying. There’s some nice uneven terrain in there. But don’t try looking at it in satellite view; it’s heavily forested at the moment, so it hides the topography of the land. I don’t have a link, but just search “Elroy, Texas” and you’re literally right on top of it.

  14. Hi Keith,

    Have you put the HRT team review for Germany up?

    I can’t seem to find it.

    1. Not yet, I’m trying to get a reply from them on some questions.

      1. Ah, okay cool. I’m not going mad then. :D

      2. Some questions = did Sakon Yamamoto actually start with the rev limiter on?

        1. According to Anthony Davidson on twitter his retirement was caused by him accidentally pulling the emergency engine cut-off used for when there is a fire in the car when he meant to adjust his brake bias.

          1. Maybe the actual question is “was that actually Sakon Yamamoto in the car, or are you letting random Japanese millionaires drive for £100k per race now?”

  15. Jan Magnussen and Norberto Fontana, two guys who for one reason or another never fulfilled their potential in F1 – shame. Great racing though!

  16. My second COTD, strangely both were comments that I considered not posting after reading them back to myself…

    Thanks Keith :-)

    1. well I have to say I think your first one was probably comment of the year, so you shouldn’t have worried

  17. I think Massa really needs to find some grit now and just perform. he’s proved he can lead a race – and defend it. I’ve said since the start of the season he’d need this sort of breakthrough to boost his confidence and I hope he starts to perform like Sunday for the rest of the season now. It also seems he’s getting to grips with the tyres, and what is a very good car.

    I think he was too nice and yielded too easy on Sunday. He’s got to dig deep this weekend and he’s made a lot of new fans to prove to.

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