Disagreement over Young Drivers Test venue

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: F1 teams are divided over whether to hold the Young Drivers Test in Britain or Abu Dhabi.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Spanish GP – Conference 2 (FIA)

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael: Sam Michael “I’ve got exactly the same view as Giorgio [Ascanelli] and Adrian [Newey]. Our plan at McLaren at the moment is to test in Abu Dhabi. We’re not testing at Silverstone for all those reasons.

“Engines is a significant factor, as Giorgio said. If you want to test at the end of the year, you have so many part-mileage engines with the race team that all have a little bit of mileage on them so you can effectively do it for free, in terms of your race engines. If you try and do that in the middle of the year, you can’t use your race engines so you have to prepare a special test engine.”

Practice…perfect? (Sky)

“Ferrari: The much-predicted ‘B car’ hasn’t appeared, but a raft of changes and tweaks have. These include a new floor, updated elements on the rear-wing and a front-wing tested by Felipe Massa throughout P1. To be honest, we expected more.”

McLaren makeover could help Lewis Hamilton win the Spanish Grand Prix (The Guardian)

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “When you look are everybody else’s car, and they’ve all done something different, you do have a sharp intake of breath and you ask yourself ‘Did we miss a trick there?’ But I don’t think we have. And we have brought a reasonable upgrade here. I would be surprised if the nose is more than 20% of the performance improvement we have put on the car this weekend.”

Horner: Understanding tyres is key (Setanta)

“It is the same for everybody and it is ultimately healthy for Formula One to have a single tyre supplier. In years gone by, when there were two tyre suppliers in some instances teams would sometimes not have access to tyres that were the preferred ones.”

Pirelli says it will not change approach (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “There has been one particular comment made in the last few races. But at the end of last season the number of people who came to see us and say they were unhappy was zero. And the number of people who have come to see us this season is one. So you have to be reasonably pragmatic.”

American dream takes shape for Rossi (Reuters)

“It’s a long process I think but with two races on the calendar and hopefully having me on the grid next year, we’re working very hard with corporate America. I think it’s all coming together but it is a long process.”

Formula 1 drivers debate penalties for going off the track (BBC)

“The F1 rules dictate that a driver is not allowed to gain an advantage by going off the track. Some drivers felt there should be a zero-tolerance approach to this – with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa particularly vocal.”

Formula 1 Weather – Spain: Friday Review, Saturday Forecast (F1 Weather)

“The most likely scenario at this stage is that any shower will be after the race, as the teams begin the de-rig, ergo a dry and cloudy race.”

An F1 Driver’s Seat: The Pursuit of Racing Perfection (Gizmodo)

“Drivers often have coverings or padding added for their own comfort. The fastidious [Michael] Schumacher has all this done for him, but then the seat has an additional series of inflatable cushions added, to bolster him in the right position for complete security and comfort when he’s driving.”

Formula One Betting: Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying (Unibet)

My new article for Unibet.

Comment of the day

Mclaren thinks McLaren look strong this weekend – or is that just wishful thinking?

It is very tight between the top teams, and the three-week gap seems to have tightened the grid further. On lap qualifying pace, I think McLaren look the fastest, with Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus following. In race pace however, McLaren again look very strong, but seem to have a bigger advantage over the Red Bulls. Hamilton, especially on the hards was mighty in the long race stint. In the long stint on softs, it was more accurate to look at button as Hamilton’s tyres had been used for his previous two hot laps whereas Jenson Buttons were fresh.

Overall, an unpredictable weekend, here we go!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steven!

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

Controversy ten years ago today in the Austrian Grand Prix after Rubens Barrichello was ordered to hand victory to Michael Schumacher.

In the aftermath of the row the FIA introduced a ban on team orders. Eight years later, after much the same thing happened at Hockenheim between Ferrari’s current drivers, the ban was lifted.

Here’s the footage from 2002:

Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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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41 comments on “Disagreement over Young Drivers Test venue”

  1. McLaren thinks McLaren look strong this weekend

    REALLY messed with my head.

    Too much revision…

    Anyhow, it looks so close at the top. McLaren and Mercedes has the one-lap pace, but Red Bull and Lotus seem to have better race pace. I’d be foolish to count out Alonso in the new Ferrari too… Shaping up to be a great race weekend!

    1. From the lap charts from FP2 that Keith posted, I would say it indicated Lotus to have the best race pace, followed by Mclaren and finally RBR. But hey ho, it’s only FP2!! Come Sunday, the Sauber and ferrari could be fastest again!!

      1. especially so with rain not unlikely, eh @timi

        1. After watching FP3 I’d be crazy not to count out the Saubers and the Williamses too!

        2. Quite right @bascb. I’m really excited now. Very little idea of what will happen in qualifying. I just hope the drivers in Q3 do more than one run.

          But I get the feeling Sunday will see an absolutely great race unfold.

  2. F1 teams are divided over whether to hold the Young Drivers Test in Britain or Abu Dhabi.

    Don’t the individual teams have the chocie of running at Silverstone or running at Abu Dhabi? And if so, why the debate? It’s not like they’re being forced to go to a venue they don’t want to be at.

  3. It makes we wonder If McLarens new nose is giving them that much more performance could we see them introduce a step nose in the future??

    1. I doubt it. The design of the nose has a lot of flow-on effects for the rest of the car. Introducing a step-nose would require redesigns of the entire car.

      At a guess, I’d say the new nose is designed to promote airflow under the car rather than over it.

    2. strictly commercial (@)
      12th May 2012, 5:56

      I’m fairly sure Neale means that 20% of whatever performance they might have gained since last GP could come from the new nose, not that it gives them 20% boost.

      1. I think you are right. Ill put my mistake down to the fact that I had just woken up when I read it.

      2. That is exactly what he says, its only a fith of what they brought to the car since Bahrain. For me, the more important part of McLaren getting things right this weekend are the changes to the wheel nuts and pitstop procedures, as that is where they really lost out the last 2 races.

  4. The Ferrari this weekend pretty much is a B-spec isn’t it? Different floor, different exhaust layout, they are considerable changes to the overall car aren’t they?

    1. Apparently Sky only saw three or four modifications rather than the 10 or 11 that Ferrari brought. I wonder what Ferrari should have brought to impress the writers there? A newly shaped nose perhaps?
      Pretty sad that Sky has such shoddy writers considering their current position as one of the official broadcasters in the UK.

      1. Not sure why they complain, about having expected more. Its exactly as Horner says in that other article, with the tyres’ sweetspot not that easy to find, it makes team bring smaller steps for fear of losing track and completely missing the operating window.
        I would think Ferrari will bring further steps in the coming races, building on the positive direction they now found.

      2. Yeah that was miserable. They changed more than half the car and Sky saw nothing.

  5. Got a survey from circuitofamericas.com today regarding non-premium tickets. As I recall the options were grandstands at turn 2, turns 3/4/5, turn 11 and turn 12 plus general admission (grass) in 3 spots. No single day tickets will be sold, they say, just 3 day passes with free shuttle from downtown Austin. [Circuit parking is just for Premium seating for which the PSLs still apply]. Proposed costs in the survey ranged from $150 to $600 for the 3 days.

  6. Pirelli say they had no complaints last year and have only had 1 complaint this year, so effectively they are saying ” we don’t listen to the fans we only listen to the people we give millions of dollars worth of tyres to” obviously ” never look a gift horse in the mouth” is not a saying Pirelli like to give credence to.
    Could it be that no-one complained last year because last year the tyres did not melt whenever a driver pushed hard like they did in Bahrain this year.
    Pirelli seem very vocal in their dismissal of “only one complaint” so hopefully they have actually absorbed the message and will save the melty tyres for cooler climate races, selecting the softs for this race may be a facesaving show of bravado while protecting their backside by making the prime tyre the “hard”.

    1. so effectively they are saying ” we don’t listen to the fans we only listen to the people we give millions of dollars worth of tyres to”

      Um, who else but Michael Schumacher has complained about the tyres? Nobody. When asked, everybody else in the paddock loves the tyres. Schumacher is the only one complaining about them, probably because he finds them frustrating. So why should Pirelli ignore the way everyone in the paddock – the people who actually use their tyres – and instead listen to the fans, the people who don’t use the tyres? Every fan complaint has stemmed from Schumacher’s initial criticism. If Schumacher hadn’t said anything, the fans wouldn’t have complained.

      1. themanwiththechequeredflag
        12th May 2012, 9:37


        Every fan complaint has stemmed from Schumacher’s initial criticism

        Not sure this is quite true – old boy. Think there’s been strong debate prior to that.

      2. Exactly @prisoner-monkeys It’s like people want to be seen as having the same opinion as the most successful driver in F1 history just to bolster their somewhat lack of knowledge. It’s getting tiresome.

        Majority rules. Simple as.

    2. At the start of last year, the tyres did go off quickly…

      Like last year, as the year progresses, you will most likely see the teams gain a better understanding of the tyres, thus, they will last longer.

    3. bernieslovechild
      12th May 2012, 9:31

      Last look I had – vote on tyres – majority was for tyres to stay as they were here on F1F poll.

      Which fans should they listen to?

      1. Thats how the poll was here, However every other poll i’ve seen on every other site which had a lot more people take part saw the majority vote against the current tyres.

        On James Allen’s site for instance 90% of the several thousand fan comments are negative regarding tyres & James has himself said that the majority of comments he hears from fans on twitter & some of the fans he speaks to at the tracks also don’t like the effect the tyres are having.

        Also Schumacher is not the only driver complaining. Martin Brundle said he’d spoken to 2 others who had voiced similar complaints.

        Intrestingly Brundle said on Sky’s coverage that the drivers who complained about tyres to him in private have publically supported them after “Pressure from there teams”.

    4. I think that its this bigger step between the tyres was done especially because this is barcelona. Meaning that the teams will be best prepared to make the most of the tyres. And with the DRS showing to be not much use for passing because of gear ratios, having bigger difference between the tyres is the best shot to get a mixed race.

  7. “Going off track” I would like to express my disagreement with SebV on his excuse for drivers cutting a chicane, I well remember a race where for several laps Nico Hulkenberg held Mark Webber back by leaving his braking so late that he had to cut the chicane, not only did he prevent Webber getting passed him under brakes but he gained time and speed over Webber who had to stay on the track through the chicane and play catchup only to have the same thing happen again, why the Hulk was not penalized is a mystery to me, maybe nationalism was a factor.

    1. Wasn’t that Monza 2010?

      1. I believe you are right.

    2. I’m told that the reason the Hulk didn’t get a penalty is because he was in front of Webber when he cut the corners. Plus they looked like he lost the back end. Don’t ask me why he seemed to lose it when Webber started threatening him, but it is just what I’ve been told and what I saw.

      1. Hulkenberg didn’t get a penalty at Monza 2010 because the gps/timing data showed he wasn’t gaining an actual advantage.

  8. This going ‘off track’ thing wouldn’t be a problem if all circuits were lined with grass and gravel traps as they should be. I agree with what Ant Davidson and David Croft were saying on this subject in FP2.

  9. Just heard of the death of Carrol Shelby, A racers’ racer. R.I.P.

  10. I believe everyone is upset with the tyres because (I could be wrong) the tyres are tested throughout practice to get the best setup and then on sunday they behave like they weren’t tested at all. I think. :-?

  11. There’s another cool video from Mercedes regarding seating position in an F1 car courtesy Nico Rosberg.

    1. Funny the link did not come through. Let me try again.

  12. Ferrari were really stupid on that occasion. They could have celebrated a one-two, with both drivers happy, instead they messed it all up and Schumacher, who I think didn’t ask for that team order, was fair to give Barrichello the winning trophy.

    1. @fixy – If I remember rightly, Schumacher didn’t just not ask for the order, but he didn’t want it to go ahead. And when the order was actually given, it was several laps from the end of the race; Ferrari wanted Barrichello to gradually lose ground to Schumacher, to make it look like Schumacher reeled him in or that Barrichello had a problem (or both). Barrichello ignored the order, but he later said that Jean Todt or Luca di Montezemolo got on the radio and basically held his Ferrari contract hostage – if he didn’t carry the order out, he would be dropped by the team (and they would probably make sure he couldn’t join some other team).

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I’m sure, seeing how Michael behaved after the race in parc fermé and on the podium, that he didn’t want to take Rubens’ win – however I think he could’ve slowed down when he saw Barrichello was letting him pass.
        Schumacher had won 4 out of 5 races before Austria, Ferrari knew four points weren’t going to make any difference (and Barrichello had only 6 points up to that race, he was clearly not going to challenge Schumacher for the title), they were really cruel not only because they told Barrichello to hand his win to his team mate, but also for how they threatened the Brazilian.
        As I said, that event clearly worsened the feelings between Barrichello and Ferrari, and turned a happy day into a farce.

        1. Whether Shumacher was against Barichello giving him the win can never be completely concluded because the fans started booing and making thumps down even before he got out of the car. When he crossed the line he was waiving all happily and then the booing started.
          When he reached the parc-ferme the sound of displeasure was already obvious so he might have simply behaved in the way he behaved after getting out of the car because of the situation around him.
          I mean if he got in the top of the podium and started celebrating then the fans would have been even more angry and he knew that.

          Anyway, the most shame still goes to Ferrari. They are a very inhumane team no matter how they like to play the big family role.

  13. Why don’t YDT’s take place at both Yas Marina and Silverstone? One where it is really warm, and one where we can see who knows how to drive in cold or wet conditions. We can see who are the best drivers truly.

    1. Cost, driver.commitments and engine allocations wouldn’t allow it.

  14. The problem with the young driver test at Silverstone is how do teams know which young drivers to test?

    You want to test the best young drivers, Yet mid-way through a season how do you really know which drivers will end up winning those championships? Could end up with a situation where the eventual GP2 champion doesn’t get to do an F1 test.

    Plus it could be harmfull to take a driver out of his regular car for an F1 test mid-season. Theres been many examples of drivers doing 1 off races in one series & then having an off weekend there 1st race back in there regular series, That sort of thing could harm there championship hopes.

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