Whiting praises “world-class” COTA after inspection

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: FIA race director Charlie Whiting is pleased by the progress being made in the construction of Circuit of the Americas, ahead of F1’s highly anticipated return to the United States in November.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

FIA pleased with Austin progress (Sky)

Charlie Whiting: “From the world-class motorsports facilities and fan areas to the racecourse itself, which promises to be one of the most challenging new additions to our season, I believe Circuit of The Americas has the ability to put on a great show and spectacular Grand Prix in its inaugural year. I look forward to my next visit in August.”

Montreal nearing new long-term deal, says Ecclestone (SPEED)

Bernie Ecclestone: “We don’t need it to look like Abu Dhabi; we just want an upgrade. We want a facelift. If they do here what they’ve done at Silverstone, that would be good. Canada is important to us.”

Sauber eyeing qualifying improvement, but without compromising race pace (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “It is our clear target to improve on the qualifying because if we can manage to get the car further in front on the grid, we can be far quicker and show even more the potential of this car, so this is really going to be our target to get further in front.”

Mario Andretti Q&A: Time for US F1 fans to rejoice (Formula1.com)

“I said it a million times and I will continue to say it: the Formula One fan base in the United States is very much understated and I think it will be embraced now to have a proper, solid home. Something that you can look forward to every year and not just move around – put up a tent there, take a tent down there. This now is solid.”

How Alonso and Vettel could have beaten Hamilton in Canada (BBC)

“I wrote in my post-race analysis column on Monday that Alonso and Ferrari could have beaten Hamilton had they have come in for a second stop before the McLaren driver. But after looking through the numbers in more detail, it is now possible to see that both of them might have beaten Hamilton if they had made second stops after him as well.”

Hamilton wins for McLaren – but will he stay? (Unibet)

Keith’s latest article for Unibet, looking at what possible options exist for Lewis Hamilton as he ponders his F1 future.

Timo Glock via Twitter

Want to be Marussia’s social media driver over the British Grand Prix weekend?


Comment of the day

The announcement that Bruno Senna would be the recipient of this year’s Lorenzo Bandini trophy surprised many Fanatics yesterday, but damonsmedley thinks fans should not be so critical.

Bruno actually did a great job last year apart from that one little mistake in Belgium (after a pretty astonishing qualifying performance). He came in half-way through the year with next to no experience and started outperforming his team-mate in a way even quick Nick wasn’t managing. There were plenty of impressive drivers, but Bruno wasn’t exactly bad.

And on the subject of crashing, how often have you seen Bruno make mistakes that cost him his race? He was running in a position to score strong points in Spain before being taken out, and he had a collision with Massa over which no driver could really be blamed. He spun on lap 1 in Malaysia but on that occasion, he more than made up for it with his pace and scored a big haul of points.

He’s certainly been doing better than many are giving him credit for. And I really wish the Bruno-Ayrton comparisons would stop. That’s just plain mean. Ayrton’s death is actually the reason Bruno couldn’t follow his passion for a large portion of his life, and despite that, he’s still in F1 and doing a fine job.

From the forum

For the second year in succession, some of F1Fanatic’s PS3 owners will compete in the 24 Laps of Le Mans using Gran Turismo 5. There are still places available on the grid for the race this weekend!

There is also growing anticipation on the forum for the actual race as well.

Fanatics are also discussing Sebastian Vettel’s appearance on Letterman too.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sudhakar, Sankarjune14, Tifoso1989 and Winterwarmer!

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

Gerhard Berger won the Canadian Grand Prix 20 years ago today in a race of attrition.

Nigel Mansell crashed out early on while trying to pass Ayrton Senna.

Senna later retired along with Riccardo Patrese and Martin Brundle – the latter giving chasing Brundle in the closing stages.

Here’s onboard footage from the race with Michael Schumacher – who finished second that day and went on to win the Canadian Grand Prix a record seven times:


Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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78 comments on “Whiting praises “world-class” COTA after inspection”

  1. “We don’t need it to look like Abu Dhabi; we just want an upgrade. We want a facelift. If they do here what they’ve done at Silverstone, that would be good. Canada is important to us.”

    Why can’t Bernie make more sensible, grounded comments like this more often? ;)

    1. there is no way a silverstone-type renovation is going to happen. where will the money come from?

      1. Not Bernie’s pockets that’s for sure!

    2. must have cought him off guard, its a very un-Bernie thing to say @pjtierney!

    3. Bernie using Silverstone as a benchmark… who would have thought it!

    4. @pjtierney Don’t worry, I’m sure he will be back to full health in no time.

  2. Have to stress why it’s the same old users getting COTD, don’t get me wrong they are there for several reasons such as language, perceptiveness, logic etc but it’s obvious why they are getting it. A weekly segment of it wouldn’t be ideal I know but… I just want to see other users have an open opportunity to express their intelligence I’m expecting an attack at a vast scale now.

    1. I’m expecting an attack at a vast scale now.

      So am I, to be honest…

    2. @younger-hamii Not attacking you but if Keith chooses some comment to be COTD it means that other commenters were not, in your words, expressing their intelligence sufficiently enough to beat it. You might think otherwise and you’re entitled to your opinion, as we all are but if you want to decide for others-run your own website!

      BTW great COTD @damonsmedley! Agree with every word

      1. Well, this won’t be comment of the day haha! I got my 1st one (that I’ve notice that is) a few weeks ago. So it’s not always the same people I don’t think.

        1. Well, Will actually wrote this round up, not Keith. I am not sure if that gives him say on who gets COTD. That said, I know it feels good to get COTD, I have 4 or 5 times now, but it isn’t a popularity contest. The COTD should be a comment that is thought provoking and sheds new light on a topic by giving us new information, or a fresh perspective.

    3. I just want to see other users have an open opportunity

      a) how do others do not have that opportunity now?
      b) more than likely, you remember the more regular contributors and forget the others

      1. Exactly, I have seen loads of comments getting COTD from newer and less well known users lately @maciek

        I must say, that I am not sure I agree with @damonsmedley‘s comment (Bruno being as promising as the likes of Alonso, or even Massa? Hm), but I think its a good comment to pick for COTD, as it did make me realise that we often remember the recent past and forget what happened only a couple of months ago.
        And off course a bit of a controversial COTD makes for good continuation of the discussion. So yes, well chosen @willwood (will you be using this account on here instead of the more well know now, or just for the “official” business?)!

        1. I’m not sure I agree with awarding this CotD, myself! :-D It was more of a reply to some of his critics, so without context, it mightn’t make as much sense. I certainly don’t think he’s the next world champion, but all I meant was that he is getting too much criticism and most of it is pretty horrible.

          1. I got your point, and I agree with you (and it’s nice to see it singled out here). :)

    4. I’m frankly amazed that you have such a strong opinion on this!
      I guess its a good thing that you are so bothered about it… I think.

      With regards today’s COTD, I disagree with it. The reasons why are in the comment itself:

      “There were plenty of impressive drivers, but Bruno wasn’t exactly bad.”

      Winning the award for not being that bad doesn’t sound that deserved in my opinion. Kobayashi would have been a much more worthy winner.

      1. Montezemolo won it in 1997…. perhaps Adrian Newey should have got one by now!

    5. I got my first ever COTD for praising Sakon Yamamato (ie. arguing why he should stay in F1) and it was like only my 20th comment on the site.

      1. I had a COTD once. I have to say, that comment was exhausting to write. I spent about an 2 hours checking my facts and re-wording.

        BTW Keith, can you send me a reciept for the Bribe that bought my COTD status? I want to claim it on my taxes..;)

  3. good job on your first (i believe) round-up, will. well done!

    1. +1
      Didn’t notice a difference until “Keith” started talking about himself in 3rd person.

      1. I just assumed he was crazy. ;P

    2. Is it just me or does the “How Alonso and Vettel could have beaten Hamilton in Canada (BBC)” link go to a youtube video?

      Sorry :-)

      1. Yep it does for me anyway, the same video that’s embedded on this page.

      2. The actual article is here

        1. Thanks, not being in the UK, the video won’t play unless I’d set up a proxy, which is too much work as I already have BBC on TV (and I usually prefer to read the article unless it is an interview with a driver/team member).

          But good work Will, thanks!

      3. @mopatop D’oh! I feel like Homer in that episode of The Simpsons: “It’s my first day!”

        Corrected the link, sorry everyone.

      4. I like Gary Anderson, but his analysis here is way off the mark. To say that Hamilton would have been 4 seconds behind Alonso at the end of the race had Alonso pitted assumes Hamilton would have driven in the same way as he did. Clearly he backed off after going past Alonso as seen from his lap times and the interview he gave after the race saying that there was still much life left in his tyres despite pushing hard.

        I’m confused by this analysis because so far he has been a great addition to te BBC team.

        1. Yeah, completely foolish analysis. They couldn’t win him by pitting after him and not even before him if they pitted just one lap before.
          I’m surprised that people following F1 so many years can be so blind and make some simple assumptions on overall timing without considering the details of the race.
          The only way to beat Hamilton was go for a longer first stint so the second set of tyres would last until the end and not go off.
          That was impossible for Vettel that had even bigger degradation than Hamilton did at the end of his first stint but Alonso might have managed it since the Ferrari seemed to still have a few laps on it’s tyres when he pitted.
          They got caught out because they went with a two stop mentality in pitting and saving tyres for the first two thirds of the race. If they had a one stop strategy from the beginning they might have pulled it off.

  4. I honestly believe that if Hamilton stays with McLaren now, then he’s there forever. I see no reason for him to be worried by the performance or form of his team, but if it were me, I’d be feeling a little ‘married’ to McLaren now.

    1. But the best option is for him to change teams at some point. Mclaren have a great engineering ability, but their operating philosophy is very uninspired. Of late, they seem not too bothered about getting results, but flying in formation. When pitstops and strategies are a corporate dicision, then you know innovation is on life support. They need strategists who make brave and inspired decisions, not the ones who rely on software project schedulers.
      Mclaren also have a relatively fresh driver in Button who can bring his speed and help the team challenge for future championships. Plus they could promote Paffett or get a new driver to replace Hamilton.

      1. Hamilton is 27? If I am not mistaken. 3 or 5 yr deal, at worst he is only 32, that’s not Mclaren for life. ask MSC according to him you can still be competitive at 42! Monaco pole!

  5. Nice roundup Will.

    Great to see Sauber pushing on like this, would love to see Kamui get on the podium too.

    Also the BBC link is going to the youtube video for Marussia at the moment.

  6. Canada doesn’t need a facelift. It’s perfect the way it is. Even the great tracks like Spa and Suzuka can throw out boring races, but I can’t remember the last time there was a dull race in Canada! Don’t change a thing, or risk ruining the magic formula!

    1. Canada does seem to get the short end of the stick when there’s a discussion of great tracks in F1 (something i’m also guilty of). It has produced great races and has it’s own unique atmosphere, it’s a shame it isn’t talked about more often.

    2. If last year taught us anything, they definitely need to change or at least improve their drainage systems, that’s for sure.
      But I think Bernie is mainly talking about improving the pits, the facilities and the stands etc, not the track itself (although he does mention resurfacing the track, but that has to be done eventually).

      1. Resurfacing the track is okay, as long as they don’t reshape it! Julian is right that they do need to work on drainage, but when the track in on a small island, that is always going to be a problem.

        That said, Canada truly is one of the great tracks, up there with Spa, Monza, Monaco, Suzuka, etc.

        1. Last time they resurfaced the track it fell apart during the race didn’t it?

    3. The track in itself is the best in the calendar and I agree with you completely. The track is conveniently connected by the sub way. I’m sure they need better grand stands and facilities for the fans though @colossal-squid although it is only a temporary make shift arrangement.

      The city rocks and their smoked meat is the best !!

      1. So I see you’ve tried Montreal smoked meat sandwiches… I miss them so! How about poutine?

    4. @colossal-squid

      Canada doesn’t need a facelift. It’s perfect the way it is.

      Bernie isn’t talking about making changes to the circuit. He wants the Canadians to swing the pits an upgrade. The circuit was first opened in 1978, and it’s been like that ever since. The pits are probably a little too small these days, and may not have the capabilities – like extensive access to power – of modern circuits. An upgrade to the pits probably isn’t critical (the way it was at Silverstone), but it would certainly make life easier for the teams. Especially if the Canadian Grand Prix gets a larger support bill. It’s being paired with the circuit in New York next year, which would make it a much more attractive prospect for a series like GP2 that is including more and more international races these days. But I don’t think the Montreal pits could handle Formula 1 and GP2, so an upgrade makes sense.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Small correction: it hasn’t been like that since 1978. The current paddock was built in the late 80s. Until then the start was after the hairpin. That doesn’t mean I say it couldn’t use a face lift but just to set things straight.

        1. Right, I forgot the old pits were at the hairpin.

          Still, the current pits are as old as I am. So they could probably do with some rennovations.

          1. and lets not forget:
            Does that mean you need some renovations too :p

            (Sorry, I have a weakness for making lame jokes)

      2. Upgrading the pits building itself would be fine but I’m against the ‘facelift’ moving or changing one inch of the track. To me the start finish straight is an integral part of the circuit’s character (maybe because I’ve seen some circuits so many times) so when Sliverstone got its new paddock it was a jarring experience watching the red lights go out at a different part of the track! I’d dislike the same happening to Montreal.
        If all Bernie wants is a better pit building or some more stands, fine, but anything else should not be touched in my book!

    5. @colossal-squid I expect it’s more to do with the facilities than the actual circuit?

  7. Congrats to Will, you newbie!

  8. The link to “How Alonso and Vettle could have beaten Hamilton” is broken i takes you to the Marrusia youtube ad

    1. @theoddkiwi it’s subliminal messaging. What it actually means is that Alonso and Vettel could have beaten Hamilton by being a social media driver for Marussia

    2. @theoddkiwi Changed it. Sorry about that!

  9. I wish today’s F1 cars would have flames coming out.

    1. But not like the Williams at the Spanish GP…

      1. Maybe like Barrichello at Spa 2009 then?

      1. I remember when he spun like a lap before that and when he accelerated away I saw blue fumes coming from exhausts I thought “cool, these cars do have flames coming out of exhaust, just the blue ones visible in night”… But then minute later Heikki had to extinguish it…

        1. In the first couple Singapore GP’s before the EBD’s you could see the flames from the exhaust. I thought it was really cool and it’s a shame we don’t see it anymore.

    2. Gotta love the flames and stick gear shift :)

  10. Am I the only one who read ‘Whiting praises world class comment of the day’ before doing a double take?

    1. I do it every time I see COTD and COTA lol its a real mind mixer for me

  11. It’s just as well that the link to the BBC article isn’t working yet, because it’s rubbish. The basic idea is that, by replacing Alonso’s lap times by those of Massa’s, from lap 58 onwards when Felipe pitted for fresh tyres, then Alonso would have finished the race 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

    Only at the end of the article does Gary Anderson concede the point that maybe Hamilton may have been pacing himself (ya think?). In the press conference, Hamilton stated that he was driving off the pace in order to just bring it home. Not just that, but there are three other points to consider:
    1. Hamilton lost 3 seconds on the lap he overtook Fernando, and I’m sure he lost some time behind Vettel too (though I don’t recall his laptime).
    2. Hamilton took it very easy on the final lap, dropping another couple of seconds.
    3. Catching is one thing, passing is another; with Hamilton on reasonably fresh tyres, if a safety car had put Alonso right behind Hamilton again, we could see in the race that cars KERSing out the final hairpin were usually able to hold off their DRS pursuers.

    1. Btw, good job on the roundup, Will!

      4. Alonso and Vettel would have to pass other cars on the way; at least Grosjean and possibly Perez, costing even more time.

      Indeed Ferrari should have pitted Alonso, but at no time other than a small window around Hamilton’s pit stop would this have given them a chance to win the race.

      1. No, indeed @adrianmorse, I think Gary Anderson did an interesting thought experiment, but it is too easy to say Alonso would have had clean air and pace like Massa at that stage.

        As you say, Grosjean (and maybe Perez, depending on when they’d pit ALO) were in the way at the least, possibly Vettel too, depending on if he also followed Gary’s advise (either that of Monday or of yesterday) I guess (and he’d be on fresh tyres then).
        I’d have liked to see that and the resulting close fight for the win, but it is by no means a certainty.

        I think the main point Gary made should have been: at least they might have been able to hold on to the podium had they pitted, which they could have seen from the team mates pace was a safer choice.

        But we already know that RBR thought they’d not be able to pass Grosjean again, so gambled on track position, as that’s what Horner said after the race, and we know Ferrari wanted a second win of the season to show how much the car had improved. Suppose consistency is nice, but Ferrari are really in it for winning, not just being consistent, so I can see why they tried.

  12. I just went back and rewatched the entire 1992 Canadian Grand Prix. I remember missing it first time round, as I was a Martin Brundle fan, and everyone told me that he drove well, but I missed it because our VCR didn’t record. Glad I finally caught the race.

  13. The COTA track looks amazing from all the pictures and artist recreations I have seen, not to mention the F1 game video. Most tracks that are being built today seem to incorporate the best elements of other awesome tracks such as Turn 8-11 in Istanbul, Becketts complex, Eau Rouge. Its funny that few tracks incorporate or think about incorporating an artificial tunnel section. I think the tunnel section in Monaco is as iconic as the track itself. That being said I am sure it must be on safety grounds and DRS is an absolute no-no then, but Im sure they could design a section like that which would be safe and fun to watch.

    1. I’ve often wondered why there aren’t more figure-of-eight circuits like Suzuka on the calender. I suppose it has something to do with safety; Suzuka’s fly-over is quite high and comes after a fairly slow corner so there’s not chance of a car becoming airborne.

      1. I thought about that as well. The flyover adds a totally different dimension to the track. And they could always maintain high barriers to prevent that. So many tracks could become better in layout.

        1. The danger in building an artificial flyover is that you run the risk of the circuit becoming blocked. High catch-fencing would be needed to prevent accidents, but all they’re going to do is keep the cars on the circuit, blocking the roadway. A flyover would only really be possible if the surrounding terrain allowed for it, as is the case at Suzuka; the flyover is on a spur, and the underpass is in a furrow that was carved into the earth. That said, artificially creating terrain like that sould not be difficult. Of the current circuits on the calendar, I reckon you could easily turn Valencia, India, Abu Dhabi and Singapore into figure-of-eight circuits.

  14. That video of Schumacher is awesome! Chasing the fire-spitting McLaren (I think), manual gearbox and the vicious downshifts make for one hell of an engine note! Keep up the great work Keith and co.!

  15. I largely disagree with the comment of the day. When Senna raced for Renault, he didn’t beat Petrov at all. He was fine in qualifying, only to drop back down the field in most races. This year, on pure pace Maldonado is killing him. The gap between Maldonado and Senna maybe the biggest gap between all of the team mates this year.

    With his crashing, when Schumacher took him out in Spain, Senna was in a strong points position because he hadn’t pitted. He would have finished around 15th if he made it to the end of the race. The spin he had in qualifying the day before was pretty silly also. And last year he had accidents in Spa and Interlagos which really silly and completely aviodable.

  16. just wrote this feedback on the gary anderson article:

    Just writing to say that I am really enjoying Gary Anderson’s articles – his analysis is excellent and provides a real insight. Shame the same can’t be said for Andrew Benson whose articles are mired in speculation and baseless claims.
    More reasoned and informed technical analysis, less gibberish “psychoanalysis”!

    it’s wonderful that the beeb are maintaining the F1 site, though i fear it won’t be continued if they lose what live coverage they have. maybe GA can write a column here???

    1. @frood19

      i fear it won’t be continued if they lose what live coverage they have

      There is nothing to suggest that they will. Bernie Ecclestone said that he thought Formula 1 could survive in the UK on Sky and Sky alone if the BBC lost its coverage, but he then went on to say that Formula 1 would not move exclusively to pay-per-view. Everyone over-reacted and interpreted this as Bernie planning to further carve up the bird and take Formula 1 away from free-to-air, when he said nothing of the sort.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys
        this is true, but i still think that free-to-air F1 is on a slippery slope. the same happened with cricket, so there is something of a precedent, regardless of what bernie has to do with it. i want to think that bernie has the interests of the sport at heart given that it is and has been his whole life, not to mention the fact that the UK market is significant, and limiting fans’ access would be a dud move financially.

        we will wait and see, but maybe not in hope.

        1. Um, Bernie doesn’t control cricket. At all. He does, however, control Formula 1 exclusively. So I hail to see how there is anything resembling a precedent.

  17. Sorry for messing up the link to the BBC everyone!

    1. Keith sometimes gets it wrong as well, good effort for a first! Actually when I saw Timo’s tweet yesterday,

      I thought it might be something for you (F1 – fanatic, Journalism, been around the world a bit, social website xp, even set up an own virtual racing calender).

  18. first of all, Happy Birthday to all of you – Sudhakar, Sankarjune14, Tifoso1989 and Winterwarmer!

  19. An interesting article about Renault having to decide after the summer about either supplying only 2 teams, or go for up to 6 teams (need FIA to agree with that one, possibly this fits right in with what Monti was talking about yesterday – money for engines)


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