Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012

Lotus told Grosjean not to hold Raikkonen up

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012In the round-up: New video from the Bahrain Grand Prix shows Romain Grosjean was instructed to let Kimi Raikkonen past for second place.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bahrain video race edit (F1)

Highlights from Sunday’s race, including Lotus telling Romain Grosjean: “Kimi is faster than you, do not hold him up.”

Romain Grosjean ?ǣ “I Hope the next step will be wins, and then maybe more…” (Lotus)

Teams: Perfect strategies key in 2012 (Autosport)

Ferrari head of race operations Diego Ioverno: “I would expect in three or four races that the field will be more spread. The top teams will go away and the others will stay the same, because the top teams can develop their car more. But saying that, understanding tyres is much more difficult this year, so anything may happen.”

Pirelli responds to fans criticism that tyres are too big an influence on racing (James Allen)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “At the start last year there was a lot of discussion and you will find that two or three races from now we won?t be having this discussion. Because the engineers will work out how to maximise the performance on the car they will find a balance and a relative level of normality will occur.”

Too much emphasis on Pirelli tyres (MotorSport)

“Surely we want to see a race that is not governed by tyres, that is run without constant interruptions for rubber. There is a balance of course and we should not return to rock-hard tyres. But Grand Prix racing must now take a step back, review the rate of degradation, and settle on a less extreme strategy for mixing up the order. We want racing on the track, not in the pit lane, please.”

‘F1 is the new cricket’ (The Times of India)

Narain Karthikeyan: “The popularity of the sport is growing by the day. Formula One is in India to stay. Cricket has always attracted the crowds and hence the sponsors in India but with the IPL (Indian Premier League), a saturation point is fast approaching.”

Bernie and Fabiana to tie the knot despite him vowing to ‘remain single for the rest of his life’ (Daily Mail)

Ecclestone is getting married for the third time.

Comment of the day

Lots of interesting points on yesterday’s discussion about tyres. DaveW believes the pendulum has swung too far:

If your car lacks basic balance, there is no driving around that or managing it any more. Look at Button, not known as a tyre destroyer. He had a dynamic imbalance in Bahrain from the start his race was basically finished?ǣthis tires would simply evaporate way early, forcing an early stop, and a spiral out of contention. Pirelli is not allowing ??car control?? or anything else to prevail over a poor handling car. It actually punishes this skill. More generally, Pirelli threatens to take complete control of the ??racing?? and to put it in one dimension?the sphere of guessing-managing the degradation curve.

If, as Keith says, as in 2011, the teams will crack the code and figure out how to lower and smooth the degradation curve, what will have been the point of Pirelli?s attempt to create fun chaos? It will have just been an experiment in computer modelling for the teams. Will they then revise their construction formula to start the game over again?

As far as the race ratings going up due to Pirelli, I think people are going to soon realise what is happening is not the racing they know and love. Like doughnuts and other sugary treats, this product will give tummy aches in large doses.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

The 1957 Grand Prix of Naples – a non-championship event – was won by Peter Collins at the wheel of a Lancia-Ferrari D50.

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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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  • 45 comments on “Lotus told Grosjean not to hold Raikkonen up”

    1. @ DaveW
      That comment is spot on and I agree with every word.I made a comment similiar about 2 years ago about the best drivers in the world hobbling around like lame ducks to manage tires.Its like putting flip flop sandals on Olympic runners.

      1. We all should thank Michael Schumacher for raising the issue.

    2. Interesting Race edit, always great when these come out and reveal a tasty morsel, Rob Smedley telling Felipe to ruin Lewis’ race in Singapore 2011 for example. This one with some nice highlights of the close racing combined with a few radio calls I hadn’t heard previously was great! The call from Lotus to Romain sounded much like the Ferrari call that caused so much controversy but was it just a call not to fight hard or did they intend for him to just move over which it didn’t appear he did. In the end the pass was a DRS assisted and looked fairly consistent with other passes completed by other drivers.

      The Pirelli thing seems to be going crazy at the moment, the COTD makes a lot of sense and I agree that the tyres shouldn’t be entirely about management the whole time particularly when they remove the influence of skill, last year the teams got on top of them and were able to push them pretty hard for periods when necessary, Jenson in Canada seems like a good example, once he was on the slicks he just pushed and pushed to the end of the race. I could be wrong though, I don’t recall the length of that stint.

      The problem as ever is that people will moan when teams get on top of Pirelli’s tyres and this mismanagement issue where drivers find the tyre going off too early is no longer happening, fans are never happy with the situation and Pirelli are only doing what was asked time and again by the viewing majority regardless of what the fans of ‘racing’ want.

    3. “He is faster. Don’t hold him up.”
      To me that translates to “if he makes a move, don’t do anything silly” and I see nothing wrong with that.
      They are not ordering him to let him past.

      They were running two different strategies, both had the potential to challenge for the win so long as they didn’t hold each other up by fighting for second.
      So yeah, I agree with their decision.

      1. Not only that… Sometimes we tend to forget that drivers tend to race for teams. In any team sport, everyone applauds putting the team gain above the individual one, so why should F1 be any different? After all, if you want to be favored by your pitwall, all you have to do is drive fast. Very fast.

      2. wasn’t Grojean on a 2 stopper and Kimi on a 3? nothing controversial about the order at all then.

      3. Yeah I agree.

        Kimi was on the softer compound, and going close to 0.6s a lap faster than his teammate. Lotus had a good shot at a 1-2 if they didn’t waste anytime battling with each other, so I cannot disagree with the decision to let Kimi past.

    4. bernieslovechild
      28th April 2012, 0:30

      Just as last year, the teams will work out the tyres and an established order will settle. McLaren have consistently been the best team devloping the car during the season for some time. They may have missed the boat a little having started with a car relatively better than what they’ve produced for a number of previous seasons.

      Ferrari are nowhere, and their lack of organistation will make it difficult for them to fight back such a big gap.

      Mercedes are looking to do what they did in ’54 and ’55, but may be a year early. Sure they can seriously dominate, but probably not this year.

      Williams are quite remarkable when compared to last year. It’s a shame thy don’t have an experienced driver to give us a base line comparison. They could have a top 4 car, but we’ll never know this year.

      Red Bull – aah Red Bull. Never count Newey out, but his best cars have been the best from the off.

      Lotus are like a mecurial prize fighter. They can win or come 15th. The team don’t seem to make consistent good decisions and appear suspect when under pressure. Some in the paddock suggest Boulier should carry the can.

      As to the rest, in the words of my old daddy. No one realy cares who comes 9th etc…..

      Being serious. In reality, the rest are doomed to mid table mediocrity and worse.

    5. I’m finding it difficult to pick a side in the tyre debate. I agree with the comment piece about there being other issues and that tyre preservation should be a racing element, but I also believe the current tyres might be a bit too weak. One indicator is how much it takes out a of a drivers tyres just running in dirty air and trying to get past slower cars- they then can’t really attack those further up the road. I’m not sure I like that. I also agree about finding the tyre-lottery situation strange, and not necessarily a good thing.

    6. Regarding the tyres, I agree entirely with the “Motorsport” writer and I agree with Keith that the rules need to change, they are not mutually exclusive, the teams need greater freedom for strategy and the drivers need a tyre that will allow them to attack and will consolidate not negate gains made by driving hard.

      1. @hohum drivers feel that they must nurse their tyres all the time because when they go off their pace drops ridiculously, remember Kimi in China?

      2. A good point. Getting rid of the mandatory tyre change opens up so many possibilities, if then the softs and hards were made to last much different durations things could be far more interesting.

    7. “Roman, Kimi is faster than you, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, can u confirm u undertand?”

      why team orders have to be so serious =P

      1. I must admit I laughed very hard when Grosjean was told ‘Kimi is faster than you’..

    8. I find it sad, but the reality is that F1 needs Pirelli tyres as they behave now not to produce dull and boring processional races. At the very bottom of the issue, we need variables to produce entertaining races and overtaking. Different drivers and cars (human and technical factor) shoud produce enough variables to achieve that, ideally, but that it’s not the case because of the fundamentally flawed relevance of aerodynamics in car performances. No attempts to solve that in the recent past was serious enough to succeed, so F1 was stuck at its core until Pirelli came into play.
      We need Pirelli (and his attitude about tyres) to introduce variables. At times (beginning of 2011, and now) I reckon this is rather chaos than variables, but I don’t doubt drivers and engineers will solve the riddle at some point in 2012 and restore a somewhat acceptable predictability and look more like pushing and less like guessing.
      But still, I need Pirelli as they are conceived to fix a problem which is elsewhere, at least until they decide to fix it for good. I have my take on the “Is this really racing?” (substantially agreeing with Keith and the “Fix F1 before please”) but it’s totally irrelevant here. Taking the pre-Pirelli era into account as the alternative, It’s a no-brainer. Pirelli is already doing a massively good job in fine-tuning the tyres as requested, so a middle point/3rd alternative is out of the question IMO.

      1. “a middle point/3rd. alternative is out of the question” why? it’s not all or nothing, tyres added to the equation last year but were thoroughly eclipsed by the off throttle artificial airflow gimmick, with that gone last years tyres would have added more than enough variables this year, next thing you know Bernie will be calling for track sprinklers again for even more fun and games Lets get back to skilled racing again where the best driver and car combination will be rewarded, not the lucky midfielder.

        1. Are you suggesting that the tyre rules benefit the midfielders over the front runners? O.o

          1. I’m suggesting that all these gimmicks designed to mix up the rules means that a midfield team can benefit purely by chance much more often than they used to be able to. That means that the best teams can be artificially handicapped by chance much more often than they used to be. In the USA they use the safety car as a regular means of disrupting of the running order and rolling the dice, is that what we want?

            1. …designed to mix up the RESULTS….
              … disrupting the running…

      2. @stefanauss To me it’s a no brainer that I reget the day I did that FOTA questionnaire. ‘more overtaking please’
        F1 overfixed something which I only now realise wasn’t broken at all.

        1. I think it needed fixing. But you’re right that it has been over-fixed.

      3. I like the idea of bringing 3 tyres to every race..

    9. Bernie getting married again! expect even more restrictive rules to cut costs just so Bernie can suck even more money out of the sport.

      1. I’m hoping she pulls an Anna nicole Smith on him.

    10. I don’t agree on this tyre debate. The last two years we have had some fantastic racing. I think people have just got used to this and now forget what it used to be like.

      If you want to scale things back again, fine. But when cars are ducking in and out of the pits, with performance levels changing all the time, and some cars struggling with degradation or cold tyres, and others flying, it makes things unpredictable and exciting.

      Things can always be better, but with the tyres, please guys, it’s good enough!

      1. I don’t agree with you, I think the unpredictability has gone too far, I prefer a game of skill to a game of chance.

        1. If the teams were all over the field from race to race, it would be unpredictability but they’re not. In he 4 races so far, the teams that posted good times in testing have been in the front, the fight for the top 10 is very close and the only real “disaster” due to tyres was Raikonnen loss of 12 places in China, but that was far from unpredictable as we did a very long stint.
          If we see Caterham getting a podium, Red Bull stuck in the bottom hald of the pack, McLaren going backwards not because of pit-errors in the next races, then I would agree with saying that F1 became too much unpredictable!

          For me I continue to think that people are over reacting to a tyre behaviour that is actually affecting everyone much the same way!
          And as I commented on the tyre article, I totally agree with Paul Hembrey that this will become a minor issue once everyone understood better how the 2012 tyres work.

          1. Couldn’t agree more. Some of you need to go back and watch some races from 5 years ago when it was flat out spriting with light fuel all the way to the flag and the first 60 seconds were all that really mattered. We’re seeing the unpredictable races mostly because of the parity of the field.
            Monaco and Montreal will produce some phenomenally exciting racing – and will be different than what we’ve seen so far. Wait until then!

      2. @mike

        I think the harsh reality of f1 is that a good show doesn’t neccesarily translate into true racing. Seeing drivers go flat out for every lap of a race is out and out pure racing, but that wouldn’t lead to a lot of overtakes, and would result in a predictable outcome every time.

        I’m loving the show since last year, but it also frustrates me that drivers cannot push themselves to the maximum. Their performance is based mostly on executing a tyre strategy. Thorough bred racers cannot show some magic when tyres dictate their ‘optimum’ pace.

        It’s a bit of a paradox, as fans want to see a great show, but also want the fastest and most aggressive drivers to win. Unfortunately, that is a hard balance to find, and a highly subjective balance as well.

        Pirelli have done a great job so far, but they will come under criticism from time to time. Some fans think they have put too much emphasis on tyre management and ruined racing, and some think they have improved the show tremendously. If I was Paul hembrey, i would just turn a deaf ear to some of these opinions for now.

        1. I think you’re right. I do see both sides, and really, in this I think there is no definite right answer… I think you perhaps deserve COTD for that.

          Either way, I think Pirrelli have to be commended, and how they react to the opinion of fans is fantastic.

        2. Spot on @Todfod Like everything else, it will calm down.

    11. Ecclestone is getting married for the third time.

      The though of him wooing a member of the opposite sex makes me want to throw up.

      1. “slowly Bernie slides the zip down a pushing her hand inside says “feel how thick it is, and every one is a 500euro note, now would you like to see my credit cards”

        1. Unfortunately 500 Euro notes aren’t worth that much anymore :P

          1. To us, €500 are worth as much as €500,000 is to Bernie. :P

            I’m also convinced that she married Bernie because of his looks, not his money. *Serious face*

            1. I think it’s personality, he’s so charming money and money money, money money money is money up to money and money.

        2. I was so worried there for a second when I began reading your post.

    12. Clearly Karthikeyan has lost his marbles. F1 is the new cricket?!?!? One billion people watch cricket in India… as compared to not even one million who watch F1. In India, the sport that has been gaining viewership momentum over the past 2-3 years is football, but I would still put it at a flattering 5-6 million viewers.

      Unfortunately, no sport can ever become the ‘New Cricket’ in India. Unless its a new version of cricket maybe T10 or something :P

      1. @todfod While NK might be pushing it a bit too far, he is partly right. Cricket viewership ratings are dropping due to poor performances by the team over the last 6-8 months. Cricket ratings for the Indian Premier League, a T20 based tournament, have dropped drastically. While F1 needs a long way to go in India and grass-root level motor-sport facilities need to be developed, it will certainly increase in fan base over the next few years. A case in point is the growth of European League Football, such as the EPL and La Liga, viewership lately.

    13. On my book, tyre degradation is more an engineering issue than a driver issue. Of course there are guys who manage their tyres better than others but if your car is poorly balanced there’s not much to do. It’s quire clear that Mercedes challenger is not as smooth on tyres as Red Bull, Renault or even McLaren. Last year, after tons of dull races I was very hapy with Pirelli’s rubber but it has become way too important for my taste and I think they must bring harder compounds.

    14. 81yr old Billionaire, to marry 34yr old Brazilian… Obviously that’s a match mad in heaven, lol

      1. Obviously that’s a match mad in heaven, lol

        Even the keyboard saw through the sarcasm :)

        1. Classic :D

    15. Was i the only one to hear that live.

    16. Having watched for over 20yrs I was reminded and impressed by the inboard footage in senna the movie. Driving the car on the absolute limit of grip lap after lap… Amazing.
      Now try that with a set of current day F1 tyres!

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