Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2012

Rosberg: Mercedes can “annoy” leaders in 2012

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2012
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2012

In the round-up: Nico Rosberg says Mercedes will “annoy” the teams fighting for the lead this year.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Rosberg: Mercedes can annoy leaders (Autosport)

“It’s still going to be the teams from last year that we need to beat, but I think we have a good chance to annoy them a few times early in the season.”

BBC F1 analyst Gary Anderson on the upgraded Red Bull (BBC)

Video showing the rear of the upgraded RB8 (UK only).

Webber plays down RB8 changes (Sky)

“I suppose the thing that everyone’s obviously asking about is the changes we made to the car but I have to say the car was not massively different to the one I drove on Thursday.”

Ferrari look in turmoil as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are gagged (The Guardian)

“It was a particularly unpopular decision not just with the Italian but also the Spanish media; Alonso is mobbed whenever he is in action in his native Spain.”

New HRT is a step up, says Karthikeyan (Reuters)

“I’ve seen the car and it looks a lot better [than last year’s]. We have a lot of experienced people in the team and everyone knows what they are doing. This is not a Mickey Mouse team. We are definitely in a better position than last year.”

Comment of the day

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes W03 launch, Barcelona, 2012

There were many great suggestions for yesterday’s Caption Competition involving the two Mercedes drivers. And some of them didn’t include references to David Hasselhoff.

Among my favourites this week were suggestions from Chris, Robk23, JamieFranklinF1, Hey (bonus point for the Monty Python reference), Sam3110, Chris Gascoine and S.J.M.

But my favourite is the one which appears on the caption here, which was suggested by Plutoniumhunter.

The Caption Competition appeared on the site a little later than usual yesterday so if you’ve not had a chance to post your choice of caption yet head over there now and I may pick another selection of the best for tomorrow’s round-up.

From the forum

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During this time you may notice your comments do not appear after they are posted, and possibly some interruptions in service. If so, my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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On this day in F1

Denny Hulme won the 1972 South African Grand Prix for McLaren.

Emerson Fittipaldi and Peter Revson completed the podium at Kyalami.

Image ?? Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic

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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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  • 67 comments on “Rosberg: Mercedes can “annoy” leaders in 2012”

    1. I really don’t understand what Ferrari are doing at the moment. Gagging their drivers is the worst thing they could have done. Who’s idea was that? What a mess.

      1. Ferrari generally don’t like their drivers talking unless they have to do so (their social media policy is but one example). Telling them not to speak to an audience likely to grill them with questions they probably can’t answer is entirely in character for the Scuderia.

        1. Indeed. Seems like quite a crucial time to keep the press on-side though. Perhaps it’s time the Ferrari PR department acknowlege that things have changed in the world… the current approach can’t be good for wider team morale (i.e. the designers, mechanics, etc… back at Maranello) especially in this 24hr news culture we now live in.

          1. @john-h Too right, they’re not making any new friends by alienating themselves.

      2. I think it’s typical Ferrari act.

        1. It was just for the last test, so I don’t really see a big problem. I think Ferrari of all teams is well aware of their duties to the media and the fans, but at a test session where they are trying to focus on putting their best foot forward in a few weeks? I’ve got no problem with them trying to compete, trying to do their best, and if a rare gagging is something they felt was prudent, so be it…they must have really felt the focus was necessary, and I’d rather see them fighting with Red Bulls and Macs all season than to have read a couple of more generic quotes from a media scrum.

    2. I feel Ferrari are in a lot of trouble to start the season on pace. Gagging their drivers makes all of us thinking that they are desperate. Honestly, I’m really beggining to think that if they don’t catch Red Bull and McLaren this year and then stick to them in 2013, they won’t be able to fight for the title until 2014.

      1. Actually, this series of rule changes has helped Red Bull a lot. I think it’s highly likely that they will be the team to beat until the next series of radical rule changes.

        1. Mike, I think that’s exactly what Pedro was getting at..

        2. …and who’s to say Red Bull won’t be the team to beat once the new changes happen as well. Newey has said many times that he hates restrictions of current regulations, but relishes a totally new set of regs. After all, once they had the DDD, the RB5 was the fastest car of the current set of regs, and the basis they’ve built on to get to the RB8. I think this year & next year the other teams have a decent chance of competing with them, but something tells me the RB10 with the new 2014 regs could be another RB6 level ultra dominant car that’s a second a lap faster than the competition. Who knows though, by then maybe Ferrari will have achieved the impossible and hired Newey away from the UK, stranger things have happened!

    3. I get very sick of the UK only thing -.-

      1. You’re not the only one…. :-/

        1. Yep. Cockblocked.

          1. @infy wat’s cockblocked mean?

      2. Yea..and I pay the tv license! I just dont live in the uk all the time! They should make it so that ppl create an account with a valid tv license number and are then able to watch all content from anywhere in the world.

        1. That would be far to sensible for the BBC

      3. pretty sure there is ways round it, such as sites that trick the BBC servers into thinking you have a UK based IP (or something to that effect)

        I know how it feels, ive been on non-UK based websites and not been able to view videos on them. It just happens that some of the time this site a UK Only video is linked. But if it was a different race series, NASCAR site for instance, it might be a USA only video.

        Just saying ;)

      4. Seconded.
        It plain sucks. It is due to these so many additional features that UK viewers get (Forum, videos on websites, etc.) that I fail to feel sorry for them while they are losing the free BBC service.
        People in other countries don’t get so many features no matter how willing they are to pay. The Sky deal is good in that sense, it will make the UK viewers no more special than the other viewers.

        1. It plain sucks

          We would happily give up all of these ‘features’ and no-adverts during races to be able to watch the actual F1 race free-to-air (just lights to flag will do). This is essentially what F1 on ITV before 2009 was in the UK anyway.

    4. Someone described to me what exactly does ‘gagging’, Is it not allowing them to do a particular thing?

      1. making them keep silent. No talking. Litteraly = Putting something in or over their mouths so they cannot talk.

        Click here

      2. I mean ‘describe’, oh my what a post fail. Either way it’s simply not pretty at all for the Scuderia, Montezemolo would probably have been watching & afterwards, proceeding to smash a TV.

        1. Gagging means to stop someone from being able to talk. So “gagging” the ferrari drivers means not alowing the ferrari drivers to talk.

    5. I’m guessing but red bull must have something significant around the rear wing because they instantly covered it up when the car stopped. They could just have easily covered the front wing.

      1. Yeah, knowing Newey, there will be something on that car of interest.

      2. A lot of other teams do the same. It’s only because RBR have brought new bits here everyone is going nuts, but it’s pretty much standard procedure for pre-season testing.

      3. The “tunnel” at the car’s rear end was quite interesting. Or so I thought.

        1. yes, it shows exactly that nack Newey has for giving an idea tought and take it a step further in his mind than most others would dare to go.

      4. they always cover the back of their car!
        just look at the grid pictures from last year

      4th March 2012, 1:27

      ‘New HRT is a step up’

      HRT, give CaterhamF1 a run for their money and then talk to me, until then I am simply not interested..

      1. You’ll have even more harsh words for Marussia for sure ;)

        I hope they can get towards the midfield like Caterham (although they fell well short of their targets for 2011), but I’m not getting my hopes too far up.

      2. “New HRT is a step up…nose”

      3. Interesting enough, Pedro de la Rosa says he is quite positive about the car as well, stating its a completely new car, not a development of what they had last year and before.

    7. This is quite a weird scenario but it’s been on my mind for quite a while now.

      What would happen if a team were to apply for a design patent on a part of their car.

      Let’s say at the beginning of the ’10 season RBR applied for a patent in their blown diffuser solution. It takes around a year for them to be granted said patent, would the FIA have stepped in for the ’11 season to prevent them being 2-3 seconds faster than the other teams? Or would everyone just have to put up with it until the next season if the FIA changed the technical directive?

      What would be hilarious is if RBR’s blown diffuser got out developed and they came 3rd or 4th in the WCC and WDC, but then decided to sue for patent infringement by the teams that beat them. They then win the championships by default haha.

      I’ve always wondered this, I know it’s weird, but I always think up crazy scenarios haha. I might have to start “Timi’s Wacky F1” or something!!!

      1. This should answer your question:

        And on top of that, im pretty sure that if you patent a technology you have to specify what it is and how it works. This would allow the other teams to see how it work, they couldn’t copy it of course but they could alter it slightly and use their own solution.
        But I’m pretty sure I could be wrong on that lol

        1. You’re mainly right. It would all depend on what is changed and what is used.. And most importantly, the judge or court ruling on the case haha!!

          And thanks so much for that link!! Very interesting. :D

        2. Having a patent myself I can assure you that the process does not lend itself to the F1 situation. It would be a complete waste of time and the patent would most likely be irrelevant by the time it was granted. A normal patent process tales years.

      4th March 2012, 1:31

      P.s. and show up for a test session, until then you are a Mickey Mouse team.. ;-)

    9. Apologies for the plug, but as mentioned above, the final round of the Collantine Cup is scheduled to take place this morning. We have 4 drivers battling for the title and as you can imagine, it’s very serious stuff! :P

      Click here for a preview/hype video. With any luck, we’ll be streaming the race somewhere online, so if you’re really bored at 11AM GMT, you might be able to watch 15 sad adults playing a video game as if it actually means something.

      The contenders for the title are:

      @Aus_Steve: 1st – 117 points
      @Magnificent-Geoffrey: 2nd – 109 points
      @ed24f1: 3rd – 103 points
      …and myself: 4th – 100 points

      It’s going to be epic.

      1. Hey do inform us here if you’re going to stream it live…:)

        1. I’ve just heard that apparently we are not streaming. Oh well!

      2. 15 sad adults

        I’m not quite an adult yet (I become an adult next month), so I’m not sad. :P

        1. @Slr Really? Wow, I thought you were about 20!

          And I just remembered, @jonnyw360f1 is also 17. But it still doesn’t feel right calling myself an adult. I’ve only been one since November!

          1. I will be an adult from May 15th!

    10. Great! My first COTD! :D Thanks Keith! Glad you liked the caption! :D

      1. @plutoniumhunter I liked it as well, so well done!

    11. UNeedAFinn2Win
      4th March 2012, 9:21

      Has this been posted here yet ?
      Hellmund sues COTA partners
      Not nice, but that seems to be the US way to do business.

      1. Looks like we might be able to find out more about what they have been up to last fall this way. Certainly looks like the money partners squeezing Tavo out.

    12. “Mercedes can annoy leaders”
      – Michael is now so slow, he will annoy the leaders with his excessive blocking style when they come round to lap him

      1. Total BS, what you just said :)

        1. Was thinking of a similar joke to make about them being backmarkers and therefore annoying…seriously though, I too hope they can annoy the leaders. After two years of being 4th in the WCC it would be great to see them at least be a strong 4th knocking on the door of 3rd, if not 3rd if Ferrari are struggling.

          That said, Red Bull is starting more and more to sound formidable again, Mac hopefully will be giving them a run for their money, and then there’s the likes of Lotus to consider, who have shown pace in testing…I know…nothing to go by really, but for sure we can say that Lotus has not been on the bottom of the time sheets and might provide some trouble for Merc in their effort to annoy the leaders.

          Hope it isn’t a year of Red Bull and then everyone else, but can see it being Red Bull and Mac and then everyone else, and even that would be better than last year.

          Should be very interesting when NR points out that the first two races will be very different than conditions have been in testing, so much is to be revealed yet as to the teams’ relative positionings. And they are all dealing with less grip than last year due to the removal of EBD.

    13. I know Webber isn’t one to get over-excited about things, but his views about the update coupled with the secrecy displayed in that BBC video do get you thinking ;)

    14. “Rosberg: Mercedes can “annoy” leaders in 2012.” No surprise there, Michael has been annoying people for years. I want to see them really **** of the leaders! :)

    15. Looks like the troubled times for Kingfisher airlines are not going away anytime soon

    16. I found Pat Fry’s comments recently about the new car not even ‘fast enough to get podiums’ very interesting indeed, and disheartening for Ferrari fans. We were told midway through the 2011 season that the Scuderia were focusing completely on the 2012 chassis, to avoid any more disappointments! If Fry is telling the truth, and there is no reason to assumer otherwise, then this is beyond embarrassing for the sport’s most illustrious team. Basically, Ferrari have not been firing on all cylinders for years now all the way back to the departures of Ross Brawn and Jean Todt in 2006.
      In 2010 they were apparently paying Fernando Alonso $38 million a year to drive for them. Big money but not unusual, however they were still paying Kimi Raikkonen, the man Fernando replaced, $6 million a year and Kimi was not even in F1 at the time. Thats before Felipe Massa’s salary is put into the equation!
      Yet this team, which has won so much over the years, has now gone over four years without winning anything. This statistic is nothing compared to have to wait eleven years between championships (1979-2000) yet ten years ago it would have been unthinkable.
      Then there is Fernando Alonso! He maybe the sports highest earning current driver, saddled to a marathon contract, yet in his third year he has yet to win the title he obviously craves. For this, Ferrari have to assume the majority of the blame. The events of Abu Dhabi 2010 spring to mind, when a disastrous pit strategy destroyed Alonso’s hopes of the championship and gift wrapped the trophy to Vettel and Red Bull.
      There have been many other mistakes, but this one was the most damaging and glaring. This from the very team that, under Jean Todt’s control, very rarely dropped a lugnut nevermind a title winning opportunity.
      If 2012 turns up another blank for the Italian mark, I can really see DeMontezemolo swinging his axe and firing quite a few people. Anyone who follows F1 knows just how much Italy expects out of Ferrari, and the tifosi are not shy about venting their frustrations in public. Plenty of Ferrari fans around Italy have already condemned the ‘ugly’ 2012 chassis Maranello have spawned as the world Ferrari F1 car in history. If it turns out to perform as badly as it looks, come November the bells in Maranello will be tolling for all the wrong reasons indeed!

      1. Just a minor correction for you…it was 21 years that Ferrari went between WDC’s (not 11) and finally ending it took a massive push by the FIA, F1 and Ferrari contracting a subservient for MS so they could go ahead and design a car strictly for him.

        My point…F1 is hard…the success they had with MS was manufactured. The push they were on with MS was unprecedented, was massive, and was not sustainable. The course they are on now is much more normal. And if heads end up rolling so be it. Williams hasn’t won since JV in 97. Mac hadn’t won after MH until LH.

        And after having it rammed down our throats that testing isn’t anything to rely on, I think there is every chance that Ferrari just wanted to be further ahead with their new car by now and may yet surprise everyone given a little more time. And if that doesn’t happen this year, the world will not come to an end, and true F1 fans will honour the winning team for having done better and hope for better for their team in the future. What else can they do? Life will go on. Lots of people will still make lots of money. They will learn, and they will grow, and I just hope they don’t take the easy way out and sell out and forgo inter-team racing for the sake of a WDC.

        1. @Robbie
          “a massive push from the FIA” did you mean FIA help Ferrari to be world champion? please wake up from you dream :D. Remember 2005 FIA changed the regulation to stop Ferrari domination.

          Correction for you as well, they could go ahead much because of the dream team and Schumacher contribution to create the dream team was undenial, you can read the F1 Racing tribute to Schumacher and James Allen edge of Greatness or ask jackie Stewart.

          1. The FIA changed the regulations to stop the domination that they themselves helped create, because they know having the same old same old results is not the kind of predictability the viewing audience would prefer, just as BE has already said in recent weeks it would be good for F1 if someone other than SV and Red Bull would win the WDC this year.

            1. Fair enough, but my point more on about the domination wasn’t because of FIA helping them or bending toward giving them the serious advantage more or less like you suggested but because of the dream team put lots of dedication to build it much like from zero to hero(21 years without the world champion)

            2. But then there’s the numerous stories in magazines and subtle comments made by commentators throughout the races throughout the years that spoke of Mosley having Ferrari in his pocket, handing them an extra 100 mill a year just because they are Ferrari, claiming F1 is Ferrari and Ferrari is F1, allowing them to have 3 voting seats to the other teams’ one when it came to rule changes…rule changes that the FIA consulted first and foremost with Ferrari on, giving them essentially the first heads up as to what direction they were thinking of going as well as more power on the board to veto said rule changes. FIA shaped the rules so that MS eventually didn’t even have to pass any cars to win…that was done through pitting strategy and the races became passless parades. There’s things like Max Mosely not following through on his threat to ban for the first 3 races of 98 any driver who interfered with the MS/JV fight for the WDC at Jerez 97. MS was given a slap on the wrist for the ultimate in F1 crimes. Going back further the ‘dream team’ as you like to call them consisted of the blokes that came from developing the highly illegal Benetton of 94, and the less controversial 95 car that was still highly suspected of still using the newly made illegal traction control. The FIA allowed MS to keep the 94 title in spite of the media being incredulous at the time that there was no way that should have been allowed in such an illegal car and with the whack on DH for the ‘win.’

              I could go on but I’m sure with you I am wasting ‘ink.’

            3. Like you said numerous stories, imo speculation with no hard evidence but i tends to listen to imo more credible sources Jackie Stewart that Schumacher+dream team that contribute more on the domination era through their dedication etc , and the veto which they never used it.

              The 1994 Benetton wasn’t the only team that involved in the controversy:”Following the San Marino Grand Prix, the Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren teams were investigated on suspicion of breaking the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids. Benetton and McLaren initially refused to hand over their source code for investigation. When they did so, the FIA discovered hidden functionality in both teams’ software, but no evidence that it had been used in a race. Both teams were fined $100,000 for their initial refusal to cooperate. However, the McLaren software, which was a gearbox program that allowed automatic shifts, was deemed legal. By contrast, the Benetton software was deemed to be a form of “launch control” that would have allowed Schumacher to make perfect starts, which was explicitly outlawed by the regulations. However, there was no evidence to suggest that this software was actually used.” 1995 i never heard that the car was ilegal i guess just on your mind trying to find the other way around.

              As for whacking Damon Hill, Murray Walker doesn’t agree with you:”He’s just regaining his racing line”
              I agree with Murray Walker on that one so there you go.

              Same here i kind of wasting of time with imo nonsense post but if you like the lets bring it all the way :D.

    17. Btw…FM owned the WDC for half of the last lap in 08 when he did everything right within his control that weekend and LH did almost everything to lose it, so I wouldn’t say Ferrari has done nothing since 06.

      And oh yeah…didn’t KR win the WDC for Ferrari in 07?

      ie. I don’t think the tifosi have anything to complain about unless they already think they are in for another 21 year slide…and I’d be surprised if that is happening.

      I say they should be honouring Ferrari by having some patience. I don’t think even Ferrari knows entirely what they have on their hands with this car. They are still in the learning curve and I think that is perfectly normal for F1.

    18. that new bbc tech guy doesn’t quite have the charisma of ted kravitz!

    19. Very neat article post. Much obliged.

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