Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Bahrain, 2012

Button doubts benefit of Mugello test

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Bahrain, 2012In the round-up: Jenson Button says McLaren won’t have “massive updates” for the Mugello test.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Testing is pointless! Button dismisses Mugello session despite Bahrain woe (Daily Mail)

“The reason why we’re not there is because we’ve never been to Mugello before. I don’t really think we will be a benefit because there aren’t any massive updates to try.”

Sebastian Vettel says his Red Bull team have lost confidence (BBC)

“It is tight and we’re not as confident as we used to be. So small things can make a difference in qualifying and have a big impact on the race.”

Daniel Ricciardo blog (Red Bull)

“When I came around to begin the second lap I knew I was 16th, I knew I had a damaged car and I knew the advantage I?d had starting sixth had blown away. You want to pretend it?s not happening and imagine you?re going to get another chance. The pitboard says otherwise.”

Protection Bracket (FIA)

“Meet the forward roll-hoop ?ǣ the latest step in the FIA Institute’s meticulous research into improved cockpit protection for Formula One and other open-wheel single-seater drivers.”

How F1 dodged a bullet in Bahrain (Autosport – subscription required)

“In the final analysis, F1 had no business being in Bahrain ?ǣ and ducked a bullet for three straight days; for that it should be truly thankful and not patting itself on the back.”

Schumacher: get a grip (MotorSport)

“Speed, within reason, is contextual. I have always been quick to shout at the TV whenever a director has lingered on a car in qualifying that is obviously on an in-lap. Yet a wheel-to-wheel dice has me purring no matter what the (F1) speed at which it is being conducted. Michael, you might be having to pussyfoot at the moment, but it?s making for great viewing.”

F1 gears up for Singapore float (FT, registration required)

“Mr Brabeck-Letmathe will take the chairmanship if the flotation proceeds, which is pencilled in for June and which is expected to offer up to 30 per cent of shares to investors.”

Formula One Revs Up IPO (Wall Street Journal)

“Sports teams looking for cash from Singapore have stumbled in the past, though. Manchester United?s planned IPO last year turned into a tough sell as potential investors balked at the heavy debt load of the team. Formula One could run into similar problems. According to a statement from CVC last month, Formula One Group refinanced part of its debt to cut its debt load from $2.9 billion to $2.2 billion, extending its maturity by four years to up to 2014.”

‘Red Bull must have breathed a sigh of relief’ (ESPN)

Karun Chandhok: “A slight tweak to the rear bodywork around the exhaust seemed to help the team and when it came to qualifying, Seb once again delivered one of his special Q3 laps to take pole. Just when Mark Webber must have started thinking he was going to have the upper hand this year, the reigning world champion bounced back on the first weekend where the Red Bull had race winning pace this season.”

‘State tourism dept keen to promote F1 demo drive’ (The Times of India)

“Kerala tourism department was pleasantly surprised to learn that Narain Karthikeyan was interested in holding a demo drive in Thiruvananthapuram. After a brief interaction with the driver at his office here on Thursday, tourism minister A P Anil Kumar said: ‘This is such a novel idea. I have a fair idea of what it entails. Kerala tourism department is definitely keen to promote an F1 demo drive.'”

Comment of the day

Yesterday’s debate on whether Lotus should have used team orders in Bahrain to let Kimi Raikkonen past Romain Grosjean prompted interesting points from both sides:

I, too, find it commendable that they decided to let the two drivers figure it out. If Grosjean had been in any other car, Kimi would have had to pass him legitimately in just the same way. It?s a race and likewise you must be able to prove your worth. With two cars on the same strategy, Kimi had the same tools/ability to put himself in the position that Romain was in. And he did thusly once he passed him. You?re there to race against your team mate just as much as every other car on the track.

I voted yes. People are correct in saying it didn?t necessarily cost Kimi victory, but the team should make every effort to ensure that one of their drivers takes the top spot. F1 is both a driver and a team sport, and in this case I feel that the advantage should have been handed to Raikkonen, as Grosjean wouldn?t have been disadvantaged by the order ?ǣ he would be overtaken anyway.

The poll is still open, add your vote here:

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to El Gordo!

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

Heinz-Harald Frentzen scored his first Formula 1 victory for Williams in the San Marino Grand Prix 15 years ago.

The Ferrari duo of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine joined him on the podium.

Championship leader Jacques Villeneuve easily led to begin with, only to drop out with gearbox problems.

Here’s the start of the race:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-up

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 110 comments on “Button doubts benefit of Mugello test”

    1. the proposed f1 floatation will change very little, imo. it would still be outside ownership, with the wealthier teams buying in a minority. actual progress would be team ownership of the sport, but then again how would teams own the franchise when they can’t even own themselves?

      1. F1 in an alternative universe

          1. Wow, can you say “plagiarism”?

            That’s pretty much the backstory of the videogame Wipeout Pure used to write the series’ reboot into its own storyline (not that it had much of a storyline to begin with).

            1. Bernieslovechild
              27th April 2012, 9:23

              @PM You’re funny (funny ridiculous -laughing at you not with you). Looking for something under the carpet when its staring you in the face from the mantlepiece.

              “plagarism” of a video game????????????


              Its obviously the way major sports are run in N. America

            2. I’m aware that it outlines the way major sports are run in America.

              However, it’s the way the whole sequence of events that plays out – crippling corruption in the organisation of the series inspiring the teams to break away and form their own championship is basically the backstory of the Wipeout game. I very much doubt that every major American sporting league was formed on this basis.

              I shouldn’t be surprised by this, though. It’s written by thejudge13, and he always assumed that the sport was corrupt simply because he disagreed with the choices made by the organisers when ironically enough, he’s in no position to know what is best for the sport and just assumes he knows best because he’s the one saying it – which, to hear him tell it, is the way the sport is being run.

            3. How do you know thejudge13 is male?

              I guess in your own logic – its because you say so – so that’s the way it is

            4. Because he once posted “I’m a guy”.

            5. Somehow I think you’re making that up. lol. We’ll see.

            6. maxandjohnfanclub
              27th April 2012, 13:13

              Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th April 2012, 11:45
              Because he once posted “I’m a guy”.

              Was that this comment I found from “him” in an unspecified article…..

              @thejudge13 “I’m a guy….by the way……just in case anyone mistakenly refers to me as ‘he’ and needs some justification for it”

            7. No, it was a case of “I’m a guy who thinks that …”.

              I know what you’re trying to do – you’re trying to discredit my argument by using the same argument to poke holes in mine. The problem is that it’s very obvious as to what you’re doing, and many people who are better than you have tried and failed in the past.

              Frankly, you don’t stand a chance.

            8. bernieslovechild
              28th April 2012, 8:37

              @pm think you crashed and burned in “great balls of fire” on this one

      2. You can’t have teams totally owning the sport. That’s asking for trouble. There’s a reason why the teams race, the FIA sets and enforces the rules, and FOM controls the commercial rights to the sport: it’s a separation of powers that prevents one entity from gaining too much power.

        1. dysthanasiac (@)
          27th April 2012, 2:15

          @prisoner-monkeys Oh, I don’t know about that one. I think you’ll have a hard time finding anyone who thinks F1 has an appropriate separation of powers or the checks and balances such a system would seem to imply. FOM operates with impunity, which has a profound effect on every aspect of F1.

          There’s nothing inherently wrong with the teams owning the sport in which they participate. That’s the very model used by each of the four major North American sports, and it’s hard to argue against the success they’ve achieved.

          1. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the teams owning the sport in which they participate.

            I, for one, would not trust the teams to own the sport. Silverstone last year proves as much.

            There is the assumption among many fans that the teams are inherently good because the FIA and FOM are automatically wrong. But during the off-throttle blown diffuser saga, they demonstrated a willingness to use underhanded tactics that showed what they can really do if they put their minds to it. They agree to a full OTBD ban by the British Grand Prix when they were in Barcelona. But as soon as the ban came into effect, they were queued up at the stewards’ door requesting dispensations and exemptions to the ban. Some of them were getting up to 50% of the downforce back. It was immediately obvious that as soon as they had agreed to the ban, they went over the rules with a fine-toothed comb looking for whatever excuses they could find to salvage as much downforce as possible. Now, some fault rests with the FIA for granting these exemptions, but the simple fact is that the teams didn’t honour the ban they agreed to. They had no intention of honouring it. They agreed to it, and then demonstrated every intention of ignoring it.

            Some of the decisions the FIA and FOM have made have shown that they cannot be trusted. But sometimes, I think the teams can be trusted even less.

            1. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 2:47

              I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you faulting the teams for asking for special dispensations and then subsequently being granted them? Every team will go as far as they are allowed to go; that will never change. So it seems like your gripe is with the FIA.

              The only real change that would occur with team ownership of F1 is that FOM would be shown the door to be replaced by a commissioner of sorts who would represent the collective business interests of the teams. Otherwise, F1 would still be sanctioned and regulated by the FIA, who would continue to issue its regulations after consulting the teams.

              Overall, such a change would be technically minor but could have a major impact on the future of the sport since it would finally be run by an entity for whom sustainability is paramount to immediate profitability.

              Or, to look at it from a different angle, why you not want to eliminate one third of the untrustworthy trifecta that is contemporary F1?

            2. Are you faulting the teams for asking for special dispensations and then subsequently being granted them?

              Yes. Because even though they all agreed to the ban in the first place, they clearly had no intention of honouring it.

            3. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 8:28

              I didn’t read the situation like that at all, but to each his own. Either way, the FIA wasn’t obliged to grant any dispensations, but they did anyway.

            4. he FIA wasn’t obliged to grant any dispensations, but they did anyway.

              That doesn’t diminish the effect of what the teams did. If they can’t be trusted to observe an agreement they all sign onto, how can they be trusted to own the sport?

            5. bernieslovechild
              27th April 2012, 11:11

              But you can trust my ole daddy and his mate jonny to do the right thing.

            6. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 11:34

              @prisoner-monkeys I have a terrible memory. So, even though I don’t remember anything at all about teams agreeing to the ban on EBDs, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. (And frankly, I didn’t want to make an ass of myself.) That is, until I looked around and found nothing that indicated the teams agreed to such a ban in the way you describe.

              The FIA announced in early 2011 that the ban would happen at some point that year; then they announced it would take effect from the Spanish GP. The teams lobbied against the timing of that change, for cost reasons, and had it pushed back to Silverstone. As we all know, that’s when Renault, Mercedes, et al., pressed for special dispensations, which were granted and subsequently withdrawn when the ban was withdrawn entirely.

              The ban, as far as I can tell from cursory research and by what fragments exist in my poor, poor brain, was the FIA’s baby from Day One. The only input from the teams concerned timing.

              Perhaps none of this is news to you, and this is what you have in mind to justify your position. If that’s the case, I think it’s a bit unfair to say that the teams are somehow untrustworthy because they successfully lobbied against a change they themselves didn’t initiate in the first place.

        2. maxandjohnfanclub
          27th April 2012, 11:22

          @pm Not sure you thought this one through which is unlike you.

          Seems like the chairman of the football clubs in the Premier League pretty much make all major decisions and are served by PL employees.

      3. NFL is great model. Teams own it and leagues’s commissioner runs the operation.

      4. Their’ parent organisations could though, so we would not have Scuderia Ferrari, McLarenF1, and Red Bull Racing own portions, but Ferrari or Fiat, McLaren’s holing company, Red Bull itself, etc.

        On the other side, how realistic is it to expect this flotation to go through? After all, so far Bernie has publicly stated he had agreed with these 3 teams, and Williams seems to have gotten on board after Parr quit.
        But I doubt the fact someone now is under a time limit to agree a new Concorde Agreement (how could a flotation work without that being done with?) will persuade Mercedes to swallow the fact they would get nothing much out of such a deal compared to the other big teams, when they can easily talk up about asking questions to the EC, or go to court, or threaten to quit the sport and stop supplying engines for 25% of the grid.

    2. If McLaren come up with a winning innovation at Mugello which changes the course of the championship, I’m sure he won’t see it as “pointless”. Anyway, Ferrari took great advantage of the otherwise unused Fiorano and look what that led to…

      1. dysthanasiac (@)
        27th April 2012, 0:53

        To be fair, it’s not made clear in the – extremely brief – “article” that Button actually used the word pointless to describe the Mugello test or that he even suggested the test wouldn’t beneficial. What is clear, however, is his view that it’s not necessary for him be there to do any of the testing, because he doesn’t need to know the circuit and because test drivers are fully capable of testing any new parts or other solutions.

        I’m afraid this is a needlessly sensational headline for a complete non-story. It must be a very slow news day in Britain.

        1. I don’t know — I found this story pretty interesting when I first read it (although, granted, it was a different version). Considering how much trouble everyone’s been having getting a handle on the tires so far this season, I guess I assumed any track time would be good track time! I liked Lewis Hamilton’s attitude:

          “I need to get back in the car. We need to figure out why the tyres are going off”.

        2. @dysthanasiac Yeah, Button didn’t say “pointless”, it was Keith exercising his poetic license for a headline. Certainly got me to read the full article haha!!

          I can’t say I blame Button for not wanting to test himself, he has a fair understanding on the tyres, and if there are no new bits to test then it will most likely be a boring tedious day for him.

          1. dysthanasiac (@)
            27th April 2012, 1:20

            @timi The “pointless” part somehow got worked in by the Daily Mail, which was then brought here. Evidently it was a mistake so nice it had to be made twice.

            Either way, non-story. Though, I must admit that it’s quite refreshing to see F1 journalism back to screwing up in its own back yard rather than in the politics of Bahrain. It’s comforting, yanno?

            1. @dysthanasiac Oh I see it now. Ah the world of journalism!

              And I couldn’t agree more!

            2. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 2:31

              For the sake of clarity, I’d just like to say that my comment about F1 journalism screwing up in its own back yard wasn’t necessarily directed at this site. I was critical of certain aspects of this site’s coverage of the Bahrain situation, but my views were never censored here, and I think that, overall, F1Fantatic came out of the weekend looking far better than other outlets, a few of which, based on their utter incompetence, seemed to be competing for a sort of anti-Pulitzer prize.

          2. it was Keith exercising his poetic license for a headline.

            If there’s one thing Keith can not be accused of it’s that.

          3. Bernieslovechild
            27th April 2012, 9:54

            Cos driving an F1 car is so obviously boring

      2. @lin1876 Given all the drum-banging by some teams in favour of more in-season testing, I think it’s interesting one of the top drivers is questioning the benefit of going there.

        There’s also the fact that they’re testing at Mugello which is not exactly typical of a normal F1 track. It has few large braking zones, slow corners and significant ‘traction events’.

        1. dysthanasiac (@)
          27th April 2012, 8:25

          @keithcollantine That’s just it, though. I don’t think Button is questioning the merits of the test at all; he’s questioning the need for the race drivers to be there.

          Maybe it will help to somewhat rephrase his comments in the article.

          “For his part, Button sees no point in taking part as he said: ‘The reason why [the race drivers are] not there is because we’ve never been to Mugello before.’

          ‘I don’t really think [the race drivers] will be a benefit because there aren’t any massive updates to try.’

          ‘For the test drivers to put some miles on parts and try some very extreme things, then I think it’s good, but it’s not necessary for [the race drivers] to be there.'”

          (All emphasis and brackets are mine.)

          I may very well have misinterpreted his sentiments, but it seems to me that Button really just wants the weekend off. Otherwise, you pretty much have to conclude that he contradicted himself at the end when he said, “[…] I think it’s good.”

          1. Button really just wants the weekend off

            Well, he wont have it, he has PR work to do :) I’m going to Budapest at May 1 he will put on a show in front of the Parliament.

        2. Why don’t they go to Algarve in Portugal?

    3. Button is so right plus this mid season testing may harm Mclaren.

      1. Sorry, how might this harm Mclaren? Do you mean because other teams may improve because of testing?

        I am surprised at button saying this though he did reference it specifically to the lack of updates at the test. I would have thought that any additional time spent in the car by the race day drivers would be beneficial considering the key to this season so far seams to be the tyres and how the drivers manage those tyres to get the best out of them.

        Most commentators seem to be saying tyres are the thing this year. Schumi is complaining because of the tyres. Fans are arguing about tyres cause it makes the racing fun but some say contrived and others say it restricts drivers from going 100 percent.

        Tyres tyres tyres.

        1. At least Lewis thinks it’s a MUST GO.

        2. I think that he knows that mclaren has the most to lose and like you’ve said its all bout tyres.

      2. @ukfanatic Mid season testing may harm Mclaren IF they don’t treat it seriously and miss the opportunity to improve the car. Other teams won’t be wasting time. In that sense Button is wrong. Testing is important and you can’t disregard it, because you will pay the price later on. I think it won’t hurt them if at least one of the regular drivers will participate.

        1. Mclaren had an undoubted advantage at Melbourne, perhaps because they were able to understand faster what they needed to perform, possibly having something in the car and setup that gives them an advantage if you put mid season testing you give an opportunity for other cars to copy your hard work and take out the momentum of the start of the season, above all that theres no point in aero testing if the cars are already capable of surpassing the tyres possibilitys.

    4. I see different journo’s siding against Schumacher’s comments about the tyres but most of the drivers on the grid it seems don’t like the tyres, It’s just that Schumacher is the only one that has really spoken out against them.

      Pirelli has done a great job but when every driver’s only concern before a race is how they can keep their tyres together then it is obvious they have went too far. Listen to the pit radio at Bahrain and all you will basically hear is about taking it easy to make the tyres last. At one stage I think it was Vettel though not sure was told not to try to pass the car in front because it would take to much life out of the tyres.

      Nice to see Ricciardo being so open about his nightmare grand prix, pity more drivers weren’t like this.

      1. I’m sure there are a lot of drivers who would agree with Schumacher, in fact even I do agree.

        Button.. and maybe the Sauber drivers are probably the only drivers delighted with the amount of importance put on tyre management recently. Button wouldn’t be within a shout of Hamilton’s performances if we still had 2007-2008 style of racing.

        I think it’s a hard line to draw for Pirrelli between improving the show for users and keeping the fast racers happy. I honestly believe that they have put a little too much emphasis on tyre management since last year. Sure, we enjoy more overtaking and drama with tyres, but racing is primarily about going faster than your rivals and then about maintaining your machinery/tyres. Pirrelli seems to have ignored the thorough bred racers, and are gradually losing the plot on what racing is all about.

      2. Regarding that article: give me proper battles at high speed with somebody losing his car and end up in the gravel – instead of someone losing 12 places in one lap because his tyres don’t hold up.

    5. With all the uproar over the tyres at the moment, I have to wonder whether Mugello was a wise choice of venue for the mid-season test. The teams don’t have any data on the circuit, so before they can start making any progress aero-wise, they’re going to need to take time to learn how the tyres respond to the circuit. And naturally, all the time they spend on the tyres is going to mean less time for aero development.

      1. I think they are only using mugello because Ferrari are letting them use the track at operating costs.
        So basically because it’s cheap.

        1. I wasn’t aware Ferrari owned Mugello. Are you sure you’re not confusing it with Fiorano?

          Whatever the case, the decision to test at Mugello was made before pre-season testing had even begun. In the time since, it’s become apparent that the tyres are a real issue. It makes far more sense to me for the teams to go back somewhere that they know well. Like Jerez.

          1. Oh :s I’m not to sure myself but read something a while ago about the test being run at the operating cost so it would be cheaper for the teams with a smaller budget.
            I could be confusing it with something else though.

            1. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 8:36

              No, you were right. Ferrari does indeed own the Murgello Circuit, and they’re allowing it to be used gratis for the test. w

              My guess is that they offered the free testing as way to nudge the FIA and the teams toward agreeing to an in-season test, because they knew just how desperately they were going to need one to have any hope of making the F2012 competitive.

            2. Mugello does appear to be owned by Scuderia Ferrari through Mugello Circuit S.p.A..

            3. @dysthanasiac
              I’m pretty sure you are bang on the money about the test, (crappy pun intended) but not about their motives for it.
              I don’t think Ferrari knew their car was flawed until it hit the track the first time.
              But they’ve wanted an in-season test for ages.

            4. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 10:20

              @julian Oops. You’re right. For some reason I had it in my mind that the upcoming test was announced this past winter.

          2. @prisoner-moneys actually @julian is right. Ferrari owns both.

            I don’t know where you got the notion that the teams need to understand the circuit first though. A simple back to back is more than enough, and they’ll probably do some constant speed runs for raw numbers data anyways

            1. P-moneys :p haha. If he ever decides to get into rap, we’ve got his name sorted.

            2. I don’t know where you got the notion that the teams need to understand the circuit first though.

              Uh, because that’s how you test. How can you expect to make any sense of the data gathered if you don’t know how the circuit affects the car?

              Let’s use the F2012 as an example. Ferrari can’t just stick the planned aero upgrades on the car, and then go out, do some laps and tell if it is working or not. They could get figures that tell them the aero upgrade is causing high tyre degradation because of the way it directs air over the tyres.

              What they need to do is go out with a Bahrain-spec car and do some timed runs. This establishes a baseline for data. Then they put the new parts on, go out and do some more timed runs. This way, they will have something to compare to the baseline. If they found high tyre wear on both runs, then they can be confident that this is down to the track, and not the car upgrade.

              Do you see what I’m getting at here? Testing is like a blind science test. The teams need data to understand how the current car works in comparison to the upgraded car. It’s not like F1 2011 where the driver goes out, meets all his R&D targets and then something something someting progress. The problem is that the teams don’t have any data on the Mugello circuit, so they will need to collect that data before they do anything else. But if they were going to a circuit like Jerez, which they all know very well, it would be less of a problem and they could get started on their actual development programmes sooner.

            3. dysthanasiac (@)
              27th April 2012, 12:05

              What he meant is that it’s completely unnecessary for a team to have knowledge of a circuit before they arrive for a test. They can easily develop a baseline the first morning and work off of that for the remaining sessions.

              Moreover, the nature of the tires and track conditions require them to gather baseline data anyway, no matter where they test or how many times they’ve been there.

            4. maxandjohnfanclub
              27th April 2012, 12:47

              @PM Uh, because that’s how you test. How can you expect to make any sense of the data gathered if you don’t know how the circuit affects the car?

              Guess Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffatt got 100’s of laps at Mugello already under their belts.

              Austin going to be problematic too! Maybe Jenson won’t bother racing there

            5. @prisoner-monkeys you test against a baseline of the car, not the circuit. The variable that is changed is the parts, not the circuit. It’s no different to testing in Jerez or Montmelo, because you will have to do a baseline run anyways. Weather, temperature, track conditions change year on year and you cannot not do a baseline run.

              You never compare with peevious data. The first thing you will always have to do is establish baseline data through a run. Or did you actually think teams,when testing at Jerez/Montmelo, just compare it to last year’s baseline? Of course not. Circuit track surfaces change. Last year’s data really is irrelevant.

              If they brought their test-spec cars to Montmelo now and did the identical same test programs, they’d get different laptimes.

              I’m not saying they don’t compare – but it’s smething they have to do anyways.

    6. Oh cool :). I think that’s CotD 3 for me. Or is it 2 1/2 since it’s shared? ;)

      1. LOL, I’d count it as number 3!

    7. ”Michael, you might be having to pussyfoot at the moment, but it’s making for great viewing.” I don’t know what season your watching. But for me and many more F1 Fans, watching FORMULA 1 Cars go around at 200kph isn’t great viewing. I wanna see real racing and overtakes..

      1. Hear hear!

      2. I wanna see real racing and overtakes..

        Because this year that feature has been turned off??

        I don’t get it. You are seeing real racing. That’s why it isn’t always that exciting.

        1. Well, if by “racing” you mean “drivers tiptoeing around the circuit terrified of pushing the cars because their tires will disintegrate”, then yes, this is “real racing”. This year’s Pirelli tires are a joke, to be frank.

          1. Yep, and Bridgestone did a bangup job giving us variety and action by allowing the drivers to not give a damn about the tires over the course of an entire race. /sarcasm

            Y’know, for how much people tout F1 drivers as being the pinnacle of racing talent, you’d think they’d be okay with the idea of expecting them to deal with difficult situations such as having to be both fast and smooth. I, personally, like how the Pirellis play into the action. It offers us yet another display of skill and continues to make F1 a proving ground for the best of the best. And on top of that, it creates more variety in the strategy which means more tension and action as drivers are forced to overtake.

            1. I have an idea: enforce a minimum amount of tyre stops, because if at Monaco the minimum is 3 stops for arguments sake, then we saw last year that JB was able to do most of the race flat-out, so you get the best of both worlds, and then if there is a wet race, then the rule is discounted, like with the 2 compounds rule.
              Yes, it takes away from strategy, but it’ll stop people having to do effective economy runs, an then just to make sure, the FiA could enforce a minimum amount of fuel to be used during the race so there’ll be no ne for fuel saving

              Any ideas?

            2. Well said @joey-poey This is a formula, that implies hundreds of rules that need to be followed. The tyres could be much easier, but that wouldn’t be difficult, would it? I want a variety in strategy.

            3. I really dont understand this argument. Why is it a problem, that a driver has to look after the car, and the tyres, few years ago, we had stone hard tyres they had to look after the engine and the gearbox, noone complained. This is a special thing, looking after the car and being fast.

              I really like it when some “drivers” think they are good because they are fast on the straights, but you are a good driver, if you are fast in the corners. Same analogy here, the good racingdriver can bring home points with a car that is trying to fall apart, and it does not matter witch par of the car is failing.

      3. What we are having this year is not real racing. Tires are making everything.

        F1 has always been 20 cars going around at an average speed over 200 Kph. And there are many things in F1 to make it exciting, not only overtaking.

        I like scores in football, but not by creating artificial rules to promote scoring.

        1. @IDR Yep. For some reason people think overtaking is F1’s only exciting aspect. Rubbish. I’d rather risk boring races than have rules in place that make it artificial.

        2. Bernieslovechild
          27th April 2012, 10:15

          Funny how over the past 10 years – football rule changes and referee’s mandates have been designed around promoting attacking play then!

        3. @idr so you prefer football where they knock the ball around in the midfield the whole match and no-one gets close to scoring? That’s what F1 was like before pirelli joined (with odd races excepted).

          I dont think the current tyres are perfect, but they are a lot better than we had previously.

          1. What I’m saying is I would not like football rules as take out the goalkeeper for a period, or random penalties… I appreciate things when are authentic not provoked by artificial circumstances.

            Of course I don’t like football matches around the midfield, but I prefer so much that, than to convert the play into a pantomime.

            Take out all that aero dependence and give more mechanical freedom to all teams. F1 has now the worst of mono and multi series championship.

    8. I agree with Schumacher here. I know most ppl favor tire management over outright speed, but I do think Pirelli is falling too much on the tire management side of things. This championship can easily become a runaway championship for the team that figures out how to make the tire work. F1 in return will become a bore fest.
      The focus should be on true racing with confident drivers.

      1. It’s not tyre management vs speed.

        Pirrelli have been told to make a tyre where the teams need to make several pit stops. This doesn’t mean the drivers can’t push if they want to, but it just so happens that you are quicker, throughout the race if you preserve them.

        Honestly, a bore fest? This is how quickly people forget early and mid 2000’s where cars just couldn’t get past each other.

        1. @mike
          It’s not that simple. Having slightly softer tires than we experienced under the latter Bridgestone era is certainly desirable, but again, Pirelli has (seemingly) gone too far in the other direction. There is absolutely something wrong when a three stop strategy is the (nearly mandatory) norm for the teams.

          I, and I’m sure many others, want to see tire degradation be a factor in racing. But Pirelli have literally made it the ONLY factor. All I’m thinking about when watching F1 is the tires, and it’s nearly taken all the fun away.

          This is what Pirelli should attempt to achieve.
          1) Make a two-stop race strategy the “norm” and go-to scenario for most races. The tires should be designed to be driven aggressively over these stints, but those wishing to nurse them may be able to make them last a bit longer in the first two stints, and then push really hard in the last stint.
          2) The three stop strategy should be the more extreme and risky strategy, but it could used brilliantly (a la Schumacher in Hungary 98), as long as the the driver does qualifying lap after qualifying lap.
          3) 1 stop strategies should be the general alternative to the two stop strategies, and will require a great showing of tire preservation skill. I could see a lot of mid-field teams, such as Sauber, using this routine to jump a few spots up the grid.

          Instead, as I’ve said, the norm has become 3 stop strategies that don’t allow the tires to be pushed at all, so instead we see queues of cars lapping to a specified delta time waiting for each other’s tires to fall off so that they can make a drs “pass” and then continue driving at a liesurely pace and constantly worrying about when their tires will fall off the cliff. Not a lot of fun, in my opinion.

          1. So you want less degradation. But that won’t stop them trying to eek out the tyres as long as they can, because that’s the quickest option.

        2. You have to include exceptions like 2003, 2006 and 2007 when there were more overtakes than the other races. In fact, as opposed to the belief of many that passes dried up in the Schumacher-Ferrari era, the year in the past decade with the least number of overtakes was 2005. For more evidence, refer to

          1. I watched that era, and all I saw was lap-time battles, the only guy who put on a decent show half the time was Montoya, and they penalized him, penalized him, penalized him, and then they kicked him out.

            1. He got penalized often because he kept running into other drivers. And you mustn’t have been paying attention to guys like Schumacher, Alonso and Raikkonen.

            2. @david-a “He got penalized often because he kept running into other drivers.
              You mean when JPM drove into Shumi on Lap 1 in Malasia 2002, and when JPM drove into Rubins in the 2003 Indianapolis GP.
              They are 2 of the worst penalties ever issued in the history of motorsports.
              Shumi/ Alo had some good lap time battles, but not much more than that.

            3. @mattynotwo – “They are 2 of the worst penalties ever issued in the history of motorsports.”

              Hardly. The one in Malaysia was fairly controversial, the one in Indianapolis saw him simply ram Barrichello into the gravel. He was a decent driver, but error prone, and had a tendency to get himself into trouble, much like Hamilton in the last few years.

              Schumacher and Alonso had Imola 05 and 06, two of the greatest races of the last decade, where they soaked up pressure lap after lap. Kimi won the Japanese Grand Prix from 17th, passing Fisi on the final lap. They were three great drivers who were in another league to Montoya, who definitely wasn’t the only guy worth watching.

            4. @david-a Well, do you think that penality for JPM in Malasia was wrong?
              I’m pretty certain, even Rubins himself came out and said JPM should not have been penalized for the Indianapolis incident, and that penalty arguably cost JPM the championship that year.
              Yeah ,the Imola races were good, but that’s besides the point, most of the racing was lap-time battles- lap times, hit the pit lane speed limit, hit the marks in the pits, dont cross the white line when exiting pits, hope to have gained some track position, rinse&repeat. Montoya, on the other hand, was trying to get things done, on the track.

            5. @mattynotwo – It’s still a poor generalisation to claim that Montoya was the only one trying to get things done on track. Sure, he tried some overtakes, but there would have been times where he was trying to make up time in the pitstops. Likewise, while other guys would be making up time in the pits, they would also be looking to overtake on track where possible.

              The Malaysia penalty was 50-50 tbh, but in Indy he pretty much spun Rubens off the road. Rubens may not have wanted a penalty given out, but the FIA are the ones who make the decisions, and he cause an avoidable incident. The broader point about these penalties is that JPM received a lot because he kept getting himself into trouble. The Indy penalty also didn’t cost him the title- he couldn’t have gained the 11 points required to overhaul Schumacher and Raikkonen in that one race.

            6. @david-a It’s obvious JPM was the one trying to get things done on track, because he was one getting all the penalties dished up, like the 2 I’ve mentioned.

            7. @mattynotwo – No, the penalties dished out mean he got himself into trouble. Other top drivers got things done on track, but without being involved in as many incidents.

            8. @david-a “No, the penalties dished out mean he got himself into trouble.”
              But you said the Malasia incident was 50/50 so why should JPM be the only one dished up a penalty?

              And I cant recall many times a penalty has been dished up to a driver anywhere, and the other guy involved says that he should’nt infact have got a penalty, Maybe Rubins was being a wiseguy?
              ‘Other top drivers got things done on track’ Very rarely.

            9. @mattynotwo – Done some digging:

              To quote Barrichello:

              With Montoya, we were running side by side. I thought I had left him enough space, but he touched me and I spun./blockquote>

              He may not have thought Montoya should have been penalised (he didn’t actually answer the question Louise Goodman asked about the investigation, instead saying he wished he was still in the race), but it wasn’t up to him. It was up to the stewards, and JPM was given a penalty for causing the collision, in a situation where Rubens said he gave enough space.

              There was no plan by the FIA to kick Montoya out of the sport. If you overtake without contact, there’ll be no problem. Other drivers get along racing on track just fine. But when you get involved in collisions, like Montoya did, you’re bound to be penalised. Montoya was good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just false to claim that he was the only one trying to pass on track.

            10. @david-a “If you overtake without contact, there’ll be no problem.” Now, let me just twist that just for kicks: “If you try to overtake and make contact, you’ll get a penalty” Now, that’s what we’re talking about.
              Now, we can see clearly, that the risks of overtaking,= 1.penality due to contact, 2. damage to car : wing , suspension ,3. loss of position/time, probably something else as well. Result: loss of valuable championship points.
              Risks to overtaking in pits = NONE, that I’m aware of.
              So, to say, all these drivers, were making all these ontrack passes, particularly amongst key figures in championship battles, it just, didnt happen. Why would they?
              Hakkinen, Shumi, Alo won WDCs with lap-time battles, pit strategy, and the occasional ontrack overtake.
              As a viewer, just like youself, or anybody else, thats what I saw, and if something like Bahrain 2010 , the hammering it got, right here is any thing to go by, then that just proves what I’m saying.

            11. @mattynotwo – The skill in overtaking is in doing so cleanly. I’m saying that just because JPM received more penalties for contact doesn’t automatically mean he did more wheel-to-wheel racing than anyone else. It just means he was more error prone than other drivers.

              While you could argue that a year like 2002 wasn’t exciting, where there was a dominant team, years like 2000 are remembered fondly by most, more for great on-track battles between the main championship contenders than for any so called “lap-time battles”.

    9. Had the test been at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington, Aintree, or at Fuji, Suzuka… Button wouldn’t have said so. And anyway he’ll probably be forced to eat his own words(as usual) if McLaren either take a giant step forward or if they are gobbled up by the rest of the pack.

      1. I hope Mclaren doesn’t make a lot of progress in this test, but either ways, this could just be another case of Jenson whining about anything and everything.

        1. Aditya (@)
          3rd May 2012, 7:42


    10. Jenson’s statements are like music to my ears, especially the part where they h ave no significant updates planned for Mugello.

      I would really like to see Ferrari and Lotus close the gap to Mclaren and Red Bull. Then we will have a real fight for the championship.

    11. I was under the impression that most teams would have substantial upgrades for the European season, so it’s surprising to hear that McLaren will, apparently, have no notable new bits on the car.

      I still hope Lewis puts his foot down (is that the expression?) and gets a day in the car in Mugello. As important as track time is for the test drivers, it’s equally important to see how fast the car can really go with whatever it is that McLaren will be testing, and also to allow the race drivers (or those that are interested in going…) to learn as much about the tyres as they can.

      1. @adrianmorse It seems to me McLaren’s time would be best spent practising pit stops.

        1. I agree, you can easily gain positions by making quick tyrechanges (Alonso), not just loose positions by making slow ones (Hamilton).

        2. Quite right Keith …… Bahrain was a nightmare for the team. Ted Kravits said it was a material thing (Allumin) but I don’t quite follow that as all other 3wheels apparently had no problems except the left-rear. The poor mechanic :(

          BTW, why is nobody mentioning Sam Michael? This guy was a failure at Williams yet McLaren hired him. Hope he improves ….. just saying

          1. They should put Sam Michael on Buttons car. They would work well together, I think.

      2. I agree with the (or those that are interested in going) statement, if my car wasn’t the best, I’d make it my job to be there and make sure the most was achieved out the car with MY feedback, not have a holiday and expect someone else to provide data.

    12. Helmut Marko turns 69 today

      1. @ridiculous Really? He doesn’t look it.

    13. Another Bahrain article? Haven’t we rode that horse already? Let it go, it’s bound to come back next year!

    14. I`m surprised McLaren hasn`g got any major new parts for Mugello. They started the season with the fastest car but seem to have lost a bit of the advantage they had. Some upgrades maght have fixed this, so why are there no new parts for Mugello?

      I`ve had a theory for some time that McLaren tried to do a “Red Bull” this year. McLarens car this year is an evolution of last years car (except for the things they had to change due to the new regulations). Remember that McLaren`s original concept for the 2011 season didn`t have a blown diffuser. This was added on as a consequence of copying Red Bull. McLaren then tuned their 2011 car and was probably as fast or sometimes even faster than the Red Bull at the end of last season. In other words, McLaren had a car towards the end of last season that was fundamentally good, the front end was low enoght to satisfy the new regulations. McLaren probably took this fundamentally good package and adapted it to the new regulations.

      This meant that McLaren started off the season wit a car they knew pretty well. They knew how to get the best from the car immediately as the car is an evolution rather than a brand new unknown entity. That`s why the team enjoyed a big advantage in at the start of the season. McLaren still probably has the out and out fastest package out there, but their advantage has decreased.
      That`s pretty much what Reb Bull did in 2011, the RB 7 was an evolution rather than a new car. As such Red Bull hit the ground running with a big advantage at the beginning of the season. During the season McLaren was able to claw back this advantage and towards the end of the season i think the McLaren was as fast or faster than Red Bull. This was due to the fact that a new “good package” has bigger potential than an evolution.

      This is probably the reason other teams are closing in on McLaren now. As the other teams get to grips with and develop their new packages they have a bigger potential for development than McLaren has. They learn more about their new cars every weekend while McLaren must fiddle with details.

      I think McLaren is working on a major upgrade, perhaps even an upgrade related to a fundamental change of the car. This package is not ready for Mugello but is in the pipeline.

      1. I doubt this theory. The entire aero concept (and the related organization of cooling and other ciritical hardware in the car) from the cockpit backwards is fundamentailly different than the 2011 car. And this is without even addressing the diffuser rules changes. McLaren started the season well because they were actually able to turn laps in testing this year without the car melting or breaking.

    15. I suppose it doesn’t matter if Lewis or Jenson go to Mugello, or whoever drives the car really.
      Especially when all they should be doing is rolling the car back and forth into the pitbox ;)

    16. Given the source and the comments I’m skeptical Button said such a thing in such terms. However, I find it hard to comprehend how Button can do anything but spend every minute he’s not at a triathalon or writing sonnets for Ms. Michibata figuring out how a couple Lotuses blew his doors off, and Mugello is a good opportunity to look into it. Bahrain race was an embarassment for McLaren. He needs to be down there participating in the debriefs, looking at the live data, and giving his input, you know, like the guy with red roll hoop.

    17. I wonder if McLaren are playing down the advances they’ve made by putting in a pair of rookies so the MP4-27(?) doesn’t look too far ahead of the field. Would be interesting to see how much the rookies improve their lap times over the 3 days. Obviously Mugello is going to favour those who’ve raced there before and know the track back to front. But to see gains in the overal development of the car you need drivers that are consistent, as opposed to developed that are specific to a driving style.

    Comments are closed.