Coulthard hits 300kph in Lincoln Tunnel demo run

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Video of David Coulthard racing through the Lincoln Tunnel as part of a demonstration run for Red Bull.

Red Bull in New Jersey

Here’s Coulthard racing through the Lincoln Tunnel. According to Red Bull he reached 305kph (190mph) during his run:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Massa ‘knows what he has to do’ (Autosport)

“He needs to maximise the performance that he can because we need his capabilities behind the wheel. We need points to try to attack first place in the constructors’ championship, and also to take away points from the other drivers in the drivers’ championship.”

Q&A with Narain Karthikeyan (HRT)

“I think that my race performance has been very strong, with my 15th place in Monaco standing out, but in qualifying I’ve been a bit weaker. Right now I’m about three tenths behind Pedro and that’s something I have to improve in this second half, no doubt about it. The tyres have been quite difficult to get used to and Pedro has a lot of experience with Pirelli and McLaren. He’s a very good driver who hardly makes mistakes and I must learn from him to improve.”

Is TV killing Formula One? (ESPN)

“[Sky] does not publish viewer statistics, but external TV auditors provide figures that indicate that there has been no significant audience growth over the course of the season. Instead, Sky’s viewing figures rise and fall depending on whether or not it has sole live broadcasting rights of the race in question.”


Comment of the day

@Chalky on Nigel Mansell leaving F1 as champion at the end of 1992:

I was really disheartened to see Nigel leaving F1. I’d watched all 3 of his nearly years and 1992 was a great achievement for him. However, 1993 and the Indycar championship really was great entertainment and that was because of the hard charging Nigel Mansell. I clearly remember his domination at round 1, Surfers Paradise. Simply awesome display.

So was he right to leave? Well he proved in his one off drives in 1994 that he was still up there, but back then you still needed a decent car / team so maybe yes he was right.
Although McLaren, compared to their usual standards, had slipped, they still were a top team.
Maybe that’s how McLaren tempted Nigel into that calamitous and quite awful 1995 season that he ended up walking away from.

Personally I think he did the right thing. I only wish he had pulled off the Indy 500 too.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Luts and Electrolite!

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

The Netherlands held a round of the world championship for the first time 60 years ago today. The race at Zandvoort was won by Alberto Ascari, who had already been crowned that year’s world champion.

For the second race in a row the podium was an all-Ferrari affair, Giuseppe Farina taking second ahead of Luigi Villoresi.

Images © Red Bull/Getty images

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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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54 comments on “Coulthard hits 300kph in Lincoln Tunnel demo run”

  1. A Formula 1 car in a tunnel? Am I the only one who thinks he should have been driving on the ceiling instead? :P

    1. Men In Black Style

      1. @celeste Ah, the nostalgia! Location’s about right as well!

    2. I wonder if he had the DRS open :P

  2. I can’t say I’m surprised that TV figures on Sky aren’t that high. Despite the money they’re pouring in, there are only so many people willing and able to pay for Sky in this economy. I don’t want to get into a religious debate on this matter, but from the point of view of the sport I would have preferred the proposed Channel 4 bid.

    1. Yes an excellent analysis of the problems facing F1 and clearly pointing to the root cause, the sale for personal gain of half of all F1 managements profits in perpetuity to CVC by Bernie Ecclestone, making it near impossible for the teams and circuit owners to gain a higher share of that income.

      The Golden Goose is now cooked and like a left over Xmas turkey is providing the Ecclestone family with delicious sandwiches but as time goes by their is less and less to go around.

      1. The sale to CVC has absolutely nothing to do with the BBC’s decision to split their broadcasting with Sky. That was a decision made by the BBC as part of cost-cutting across the network. Bernie Ecclestone tried to keep the sport on free-to-air television, but the nature of the contract meant that the BBC still retained power over the broadcast rights even if they gave a portion of them up. As Bernie pointed out, he was powerless to do anything unless the BBC gave up full control of the broadcast rights.

        The BBC essentially did what Red Bull have repeatedly done with the rules: found a loophole and exploited it to get what they want.

      2. Mark (@bladeaddict)
        18th August 2012, 23:43

        Sorry, but the blame falls on the BBC in this case. The Sky coverage is far superior anyway, and we dont get the irish idiot :o)

    2. I would love to pay to watch Sky, but as I’m not in England, I have to watch sky by other means.

    3. I dont like their coverage i prefer BBC but I rather listen to Brundle than Coulthard, perfect would be to put Edwards and Brundle, i have nothing against Crofty but he keeps screaming over Brundle. In the end the double race driver line-up of 2011 was quite funny.

    4. I’ve just cancelled my subscription. I really really can’t justify the cost anymore. Especially during this five week break and when absolutely zero of the other sports available on Sky Sports interest me. If you get the F1 package without any of the other channels, I’d maybe go back as their coverage is generally pretty good, but I don’t feel like you actually miss out on that much with the BBC offering.

      1. Don’t they have reruns, analysis of incidents and great overtakes, extended F1 shows taking up items that they couldn’t fit in earlier and the like @danbrown180? I thought that especially in this break they should do that to keep viewers enthused. It seems a commercial certainty that the break is a risk for pay channels, and would seem logical to fill it with bits of F1 that could deepen interest. Perhaps classic F1 races too?

        Maybe they too too much of that already during the rest of the year to have something exciting left? Seems bad planning to me!

      2. Mark (@bladeaddict)
        18th August 2012, 23:39

        You can get the F1 channel without the other sports channels, just get the HD package.

  3. Massa ‘knows what he has to do’.
    right – do it then, felipe.

    “I think that my race performance has been very strong, with my 15th place in Monaco standing out”.

    er, you finished fifteenth and last, narain. had pedro not got wacked and the start by maldonado, and losing his rear wing, he probably would have finished ahead of narain.

    1. But a cucumber can still dream…..

    2. Massa ‘knows what he has to do’

      How many times have I read this headline in the last 3 years? Please Ferrari, this is so boring. If ever there was a time to employ a new driver it really is now…. really… Luca, the time is now. Sorry Felipe.

      1. Yep, shame he doesn’t go on doing it on a regular basis when he knows what to do

        1. I’d be a little concerned if, after these many years on F1, Felipe Massa didn’t already understand the importance of maximising his performance and helping his team win constructors’ and drivers’ championships. I don’t think anyone with a brain in their head honestly thought that Massa’s performance problems were down to him forgetting that he’s meant to be racing..

          For whatever reason, Massa has lost it over the past few years. I’m sure in that time Ferrari will have been trying everything they can to restart his stalled career, but by this point it seems there’s pretty much no way back. Felipe shoudl go over to the US and race some NASCARs or Indycars, and I’m sure he’ll be able to recapture a little bit of his previous gusto, but in F1 I’m afraid he’s finished.

  4. What? We should do this more often in the us!

    1. Red Bull have a strong market on the US, they are fending off Monster and indirectly helping F1 in the states, in the end having a team named after beverage is not very common in Europe, but i must say they do it brilliantly, the name ends to be pretty adequate.

  5. From the linked ESPN article:

    If fans are staying away from the circuits because they have more information and better access in their living rooms, they’re not watching the races lives on Sky. While it’s only to be expected that a subscription-only service would fail to attract the numbers of their free-to-air counterparts, viewer numbers on SkySportsF1 are significantly lower than the millions who watched Formula One on the BBC

    Pandora’s box is open. I’m an F1 fanatic and even I haven’t watched all the races this season. Sure then, perhaps I’m not a fanatic because I haven’t subscribed to Sky or gone out and found a local pub to watch the races in… well, perhaps if that’s the line of reasoning then yes I’m not a fanatic.

    But, I once was…. to be honest, since the Sky deal there is less and less incentive to get excited for the races I can sit back and watch (not just the race, but the practice and qualifying live).

    You could pan people like me for not being fanatics for not paying for Sky, but I would remind you all of a certain man called Rupert Murdoch that I do not wish to subsidise, plus the fact I have a family that comes before a sky subscription.

    Yes it’s a broken record this rant, but man does it grate…. maybe the fact that it does still makes me a fanatic. Hope so.

    1. @john-h, more and more people especially the casual fans will be behaving exactly as you are john and it’s all down to the current business fad of CEOs of taking massive short term profits by gouging the customers, these CEOs grant themselves massive bonuses and like the customers move on to another business that has gained a large and loyal following by offering good service and value.
      Bernie locked in his bonuses when he sold F1, if F1 fails due to to the fans and promoters moving to more affordable entertainment Bernie (or his trust) will still be earning hundreds of millions of dollars from the earnings of F1.

      1. I agree with both of you there. The article very accurately describes a downward spiral the sport is getting into.

        The classic tracks getting to drop out for money reasons, or hiking up their prices and seeing visitor numbers decline (Spa), TV getting so expensive that for some its a choice between watching all the races and actually going to one a year and the lack of bang for your buck when you actually go to a track. Not to mention the largely repetitive content on the sky channel outside of the F1 weekend.

      2. I do agree, although I’m not sure that the deal signing commercial control of F1 to Ecclestone for nearly 100 years could be considered a ‘short term’ strategy. In fact it looks like F1 is being treated as an enormous cash cow being furiously milked dry by the CRH and his business partners, while the sport’s investors and participants are left fighting over the scraps. I don’t think the current situation is tenable, however the teams and the FIA are easily divided and ruled by the CRH that I can’t see how the situation is going to be reversed. Until the teams present a unified front with each other and the FIA, unfortunately they have no power to use Concorde to address the financial and political problems which are driving the sport into the ground. The sad thing being this happening against a backdrop of racing which has never been better in living memory, with a field of drivers which is collectively stronger than at any other time in the sport’s history. This should be a golden age for F1, and yet instead it feels as though F1 is teetering on the brink of implosion.

        However, despite this, I would point out that the situation with Sky is a little more complicated, and can’t actually be attributed to the CRH, other than the fact that the TV rights are extremely expensive. For the cause of this situation you need to look at corruption at the heart of the Uk government and the BBC, which has been manipulated by lobbying from BSkyB and NewsCorp. It’s no secret the amount of power that news corp has had over the government over the past few decades, and as a result the government has always worked in the interests of BSkyB. The proposed deal over complete control over Sky News in a move which would hand an enormous amount of public influence over to Murdoch’s companies is a case in point. Overruled only as a result of the shocking revelations which have come about as a result of the hacking scandals which seems likely to see plenty of Murdoch’s people finally put behind bars.

        This is by the by. But what does seem to be clear is that it was the BBC who approached Sky to take over a share of the TV rights, and they did that after agreeing (without protest) to a huge increase in their expenditure alongside a freeze in the license fee which would effectively have a net result of a funding shortfall of over a hundred million pounds a year. It’s not hard to see why the BBC felt they couldn’t see out their contract, although the fact that they themselves aproached Sky exclusively tells you what you everything you need to know about why the BBC accepted these completely unnecessary measures from the Govt, and why the Govt proposed them in the first place. So you’re left with a BBC whose ability to create new programmes and buy up rights to sporting events, not to mention its generally unbiased news coverage, is completely neutered. Rendering it unable to compete with Sky. And then it rolls over and hands Sky an exclusivity deal, edging out the possibility of another FTA provider taking it over in their stead. All of which seems extremely cushy for Sky, espeically when you consider you’ve had the likes of Any Coulsen working as a Government advisor. You don’t so much need to join the dots, as just take a look at the bloody great neon sign pointing to it all being a carefully orchestrated job to give Sky a competitive advantage, in which both the BBC’s top execs, and ministers in central government, were complicit.

        1. COTD to this man.

    2. I agree 100% with what you say I will not on principle pay for Sky… so now I watch the highlights

  6. “He needs to maximise the performance that he can because we need his capabilities behind the wheel. We need points to try to attack first place in the constructors’ championship, and also to take away points from the other drivers in the drivers’ championship.”

    This could have been taken from today, last week, last month or any time during the last three seasons and I’d have no idea from the quote on its own how recent it actually is. That makes me sad- and I don’t even like Massa.

    1. @matt90, true ! and it could also have been said about any second driver in any team at any time in F1, it’s hardly a new idea, time to stop talking and do something.

      1. I wouldn’t go that far- plenty of second drivers are at least vaguely competent.

  7. Does anyone have a clue when Ferrari will anounce next year lineup? they always do it rather early right?

    1. Monza usually?

  8. With all due respect, we’ve seen this before from Ferrari – Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello may not have been the top drivers in their day but both were quick drivers in their own right. Both mounted title challenges, after all, Irvine in 1999 and Barrichello in 2009. Yet put in the 2nd Ferrari seat alongside Michael Schumacher, both were comparatively nowhere – and yet, after Schumacher breaks his leg in 1999 Irvine suddenly finds form and comes within two points of the title. The only difference pre- and post-accident is that Irvine is the team’s focus instead of Schumacher. Now we have Felipe Massa, a driver who came within one corner of winning the title and who was outclassing Kimi Raikkonen in 2009 in a pretty rubbish car, apparently outclassed by a driver he’s beaten in straight fights before. Accident notwithstanding, something doesn’t add up. Perhaps this is just my cynicism in overdrive, but I’m not that big a believer in coincidence and given the previous the Scuderia has in this area, I think it’s more down to the fact they cannot (or will not) set up and run two cars competitively. One of the drivers ends up becoming favourite (in this case Alonso, in previous years Schumacher) and the other may as well write off any aspirations of winning the title. Martin Brundle actually joked at Silverstone last year that it was as if Ferrari made sure everything was spot on with Alonso’s strategy and pitstops first and only then turned their attention to how Massa was faring – the saying about much truth being spoken in jest springs to mind. It’s one of the reasons why I believe any frontrunning driver vying for the second Ferrari seat, as things stand, is effectively committing career suicide. They may get an equal chance at Red Bull or McLaren, but that doesn’t seem to be the Scuderia’s way.

    1. @ferrar_412t, good analysis however I think your analysis could equally apply to Red Bull.

    2. Your conspiracy theory ignores the points (validly) made by Ferrari in the quoted passage. First, they want to win the constructors’ championship. Second, they need Massa to take points off Alonso’s competitors for the drivers’ championship. It is not as though Fernando is winning and Massa is still placing well in the points. He is miles off Alonso, and that cannot on any rational basis be described as good for the team or Alonso.

    3. more or less agreed. Massa was on top when the accident happened, title contender in 2008, and pretty much the factor behind the recovery in 2009, highlightin in a podium finish in Germany. Massa definetley had what it takes. Did he lose it after the accident? Maybe a few percent, but not that much as we might think watching his performance. In 2010 he was relatively close to Alonso, not neccessarily in points, but in certain races. Since then, every season is getting worse for him. In 2009 he was in charge of setting the directions of the 2010 car, the job was more or less done until Hungary, then only the testing and fine tuning remained, so he came back with a somewhat familiar car in Bahrain 2010. But… if you have a driver of Alonsos class in your team, you would be stupid not to involve him into the car developing process, and altering the car according to his driving style, which looks to be different than Massas. But even if your team is as huge and well financed as Ferrari, you physically cannot afford to have two completley different ways of car developing, it’s a waste of resources. one of the drivers has to accept, that he only can ask for minor alterations and has to compensate with his own setups, meanwhile the other one enjoys a car that suits him perfectly.

      just an example, let’s take a look at Red Bull. in 2010 Webber was absolutley up to the challenge, a title contender, same performance level as Vettel. then in 2011, out of the blue, he found himself struggling in a car, that flew in Vettels hands. another season has come, new regulations, new cars, and Webber is able to perform on Vettels level, again. is he a different driver as he was last year? absolutley not. is his car different than in last year? absolutley yes. although this example is somewhat different considering that the car dveleopment process relies on both drivers, we can assume that Massa has not forget how to race, just simply cannot perform so well in a car that was designed around Alonso. does this make Massa an incapable driver? should he have been able to alter his own driving style to cope with cars like these in the last 3 years? maybe yes. would he able to be a title contender without Alonso on his side? surely not this year. should Ferrari give him another chance? they have been working together for like a decade, and they had many chances and occasions to part ways, and they didn’t, but i cannot imagine another year like this, considering that my theory is right, Massa won’t be better.

      if Ferrari wants to fight for the constructors title too, they would need to replace Massa for the next season. and i have a feeling, despite no signs of it in the media, that an Angry Bird would ride the Prancing Horse in 2013…

    4. I understand your reasons for saying what you’re saying but I just can’t agree with you. While Ferrari have generally had a policy of having a clear number 1 and number 2 drivers, generally the number 2 driver has had access to good machinery and been given support enough to maximise his performance. Barichello, in his stint as Schumacher’s understudy, more often than not finished right behind his teammate. How many 1-2 finishes did Ferrari score, and how many constructors’ championships did they win with that pairing? There’s no logical reason for deliberately hobbling your second driver, unless you have a bizarre phobia for prize money..

  9. That low shot from the nose of the red bull in the tunnel is amazing shame it was only shown for a few seconds

    1. I’m on an iPad and having trouble copying the link, but if you go to Red Bull f1 spy on twitter (or just go to RBR’s website and go to the sidebar on the left) there’s a link to a fantastic POV teaser video with amazing footage from the nose camera.

      1. @tdog That footage is in the video above.

  10. 300 kph in the Lincoln Tunnel? I wonder how may tiles fell out of the ceiling and walls in Coulthard’s wake. I took a slow bus through that tunnel when I worked in NYC and observed water leaking in spots and numerous empty areas where tiles should have been…

  11. So Coulthard did 300+km/h in the Lincoln tunnel, added to that he jumped a red light going into it, and drove a racing prototype without indicators, lights, its not even got an airbag! : O
    And he did that with police looking at him? Man those sport “stars” just get away with everything don’t they?
    I bet you, If I did that with the police looking I would not only be shot to death, but also send to prison for a gazillion years.

      1. Imagine Maldanado driving through it! Crash,bang, wallop

  12. A very happy Birthday to you @electrolite and to @lutz as well.

  13. The remarkable thing to my mind is not that Ferrari have stuck with Massa long after it’s clear that he will never return to form. After all, he is a nice guy, they are a (relatively) loyal team, and there is also perhaps a sense of responsibility towards him after his accident. No, the remarkable thing is that they have stuck with him quite so long, particularly given that they are or should be in the chase for WCC, and his performance makes this an almost impossible goal. Only four drivers in the history of the sport have driven more races with a particular team than his 111 for Ferrari, and only one man — Schumacher — has driven more races for Ferrari.

  14. I just found this video (sorry or the dodgy quality) showing the Raikkonen match in F1 2012’s “Champions Mode”, which styles the six World Champions on the grid after classic video game boss fights. The set-up is this: with three laps left at Spa, Raikkonen is seventh and on dying tyres, while you are (about) thirteenth on fresh ones and have to catch him before the end of the race.

    1. We’ve got a forum thread going which also has it in, plus some other info:

      Τhoughts about F1 2012

      1. Hmmm, I didn’t see that. I have a funny internet connection at the moment, so my computer doesn’t like going to the forums. I have no idea why.

        Thank you for pointing it out.

  15. I haven’t gotten around to unfollowing Lewis Hamilton. His tweets are not especially illuminating and sometimes the English he uses just goes over my head, but I haven’t. Because I am so happy that finally a driver is using twitter like a normal human being should and sharing a bit of what his life is. Plus, he gets good shots crammed in (loved the one for Alonso’s birthday). Good stuff and happy nobody has put the breaks on it (and I highly doubt it is a PR guy doing it..)

  16. Cute, David Coulthard in a championship-winning car, yet no chance of ever winning a championship himself. It’s like the good old days. ;-)

    What’s next, Eddie Irvine doing runs for Ferrrari?

  17. The fastest way between NYC and New Jersey :D

  18. William Brierty
    18th August 2012, 10:40

    Yes, Massa could keep his seat, just like Ferrari could get rid of Alonso and Massa altogether and opt for Narain Karthikeyan and Luca Badoer instead. Ferrari could also have their 2013 car designed by Mr Bean if they wanted to.

  19. I bet the noise in that tunnel was awesome, really awesome. The onboard made it look like something from a sci-fi film. I think some other teams would do well to get themselves some exposure over there, if only for sponsors.

  20. Formula 1 doppler shift in a tunnel? There’s my new ringtone.

    Of course it’ll probably scare the ^%@! out of me every time someone calls….

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