Kubica attends Ford World Rally test

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Robert Kubica appears to be considering a future in rallying.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Kubica a aid?? Ford ?? progresser (Lavenir, French)

Belgian website Lavenir reports Robert Kubica recently attended a four-day test with the Ford WRC team and drivers Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala at the Circuit des Ecuyers in France. Thanks @Cyclops_pl for the tip.

Pay TV switch ‘good for F1’ (Autosport)

Martin Whitmarsh: “I think Sky has put a tremendous amount of energy into the coverage. We used to be obsessed with bums on seats in front of television sets, but that is going to be as antiquated as considering the lending of library books as a measurement for literature.”

Paralympics 2012: Alex Zanardi back at Brands Hatch on a hand bike (The Guardian)

“It’s not much different to Formula One where they are improving the cars constantly. The difference is every hand biker needs a different bike depending on their residual ability.”

Williams in 60 seconds: Machine Shop (Williams via YouTube)

New FIA Formula E Championship powered by electric energy (FIA)

“The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has reached an agreement to licence the commercial rights of the FIA Formula E Championship to a consortium of international investors, Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH).”

Penske engineer recalls the day Ayrton Senna drove an IndyCar (Auto123)

[Emerson] Fittipaldi’s best lap was a 49.70 compared to Senna’s 49.09. At the end of the day, Emerson did a 48.5 in the new car, and that was just 0.6 second quicker than Senna. That was very good considering Ayrton was driving a year-old car on old tyres.”

Will a woman ever win F1? (Channel 4)

Suzie Wolff: “I train for the next level, so I’m training at the moment not for GP3 but GP2, I’m training my neck for G-forces of GP2 or Formula 1 so hopefully if I get the chance to move up my body is ready for it and my neck won’t be screaming. You’re always training for the next stage up.”

Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan is looking to shift gears (Daily Mail)

“There’s everything to learn from Pedro’s vast experience. The Pirelli-McLaren tyres have been quite difficult and they have been specifically designed to make the races interesting. It is one of the reasons why this season has been so exciting. A lot depends on tyre pressure and temperature and all these aspects need to be taken care of.”

“Pirelli-McLaren tyres”? Post your best guesses on that one in the comments…

When Spa Was Deadly (F1 Speedwriter)

Stirling Moss: “The next thing I remember is being on my hands and knees in the dirt. I was scared and thought I was going to die. I couldn’t breathe, you see. I couldn’t see either, and that worried me, but mostly I couldn’t breathe.”

Brundle: Alonso not title dead cert (Sky)

“I think Alonso’s going to have to rely on Red Bull and McLaren and Lotus taking points off each other and he needs [Felipe] Massa to get in and help him by taking points off his main rivals.”

Is there a star at STR? (Podium Finish)

“Although neither of the two young [Toro Rosso] drivers has set the F1 world alight so far this season their predecessors, Alguersuari and Buemi, were given three seasons driving for STR before they were deemed not to be good enough. It is far too early, therefore, to decide whether Vergne and/or Ricciardo might up to scratch after just 11 races with the team.”

Is Bernie Getting Soft? (F1 Goggles)

“I?m wondering if the external hardened shell is showing signs of softening in its old age.”


Comment of the day

@Colossal-Squid’s view on the outcome of the championship:

I said after Australia that Hamilton would win the championship and I still believe that today. He?s been driving brilliantly, and the McLaren is back on form. I think Hamilton is in the position to start to dominate the second half of the season a little bit. If he starts doing what he did in 2010 ?ǣ stringing together podiums with a few wins ?ǣ he?ll have Alonso within his sights by the last few races of the season.

I want Alonso to win, and I believe he?s the best driver right now, but Hamilton and McLaren are looking too strong and too confident to ignore. As for Kimi, unfortunately I don?t think he?ll get that breakthrough win this year, while Vettel and Webber will have a continuation of fortunes from the first half of the season ?ǣ good but not enough to take it all.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Malibu_GP!

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 Dutch Grand Prix was won by Niki Lauda on this day in 1977, putting him comfortably in the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Two of his rivals, Mario Andretti and James Hunt, collided at Tarzan, as you can see in this video:

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...

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107 comments on “Kubica attends Ford World Rally test”

  1. Nick Jarvis (@)
    28th August 2012, 0:26

    hopefully Kubica is using Rally as a sighter as to whether his arm is up to driving an F1 car again, and not an alternative career. if it’s good enough for rallying on uneven surfaces and constant jerking, it looks promising for him to return, maybe at Williams or Toro Rosso?

    1. I disagree – if Kubica were in a Formula 1 car, his range of movements would be limited by the shape of the cockpit. Most of the steering would be done with the elbows. But in a World Rally Car, there are no such restrictions, and Kubica would be free to steer with his shoulders. His tolerance for being jerked about is not the issue here – its his range of movements that is the problem.

      I think it is unlikely that Kubica will return to Formula 1. If he was serious about it, he would be testing a GP2 or Formula Renault 3.5 car, which teams have openly offered to him in the past. I’m interpreting this test with Ford as Kubica considering a move to rallying.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys It seems to be exactly as you said, reports from Italy suggested his problem is currently restricted to the elbow. While testing in a simulator (presumably Dallara’s) it occurred that the single-seater’s cockpit restricts his movements to such extent he has to let the the steering wheel go and turn using only left hand. Thus he underwent another surgery in May on the elbow to enable the full scope of movement, allowing him to steer using both hands.

        1. this test was done after that, we have not been given the results – as kubica wants everything to be quiet until he is certain a return is possible, but from all reports and quiet insider comments, he is still slowly moving forward, with rallying looking to be the best choice for now until full operation returns. this way he can keep his mind sharp in a fast racing car before moving back into the cockpit. its good for his mental well-being too, by facing any fears he has from that trauma in a rally car, by jumping back into a wrc level rally car.

          1. Nick Jarvis (@)
            28th August 2012, 17:45

            so what exactly happened to his elbow? was it completely shattered? and how did it break? i.e crushing it under pressure or whacking the door/wheel too hard when he crashed. thanks.

          2. He had the steel guardrail that got pushed right into the car slice up his whole arm @nickj95gb

          3. @Nick Jarvis
            no one is sure – details are scarse. from the start what we knew that he badly damaged the right side of his body legs, arms – most notibly his right hand was splice in half up between his middle and ring finger up through his wrist. this nearly called for an amputation. in the initial crash he lost a lot of blood and was lucky to be alive. the most amazing thing of his recovery is he has regained use of his hand and fingers after a year and a half of rehab, said to be up to 5 hours a day. his manager gave false hope to the public last year, with claims that he could be back for the last race of the season etc. kubica tested earlier this year in a rally car (visible on youtube, acknowledged in an autosport magazine that is was his) and proved to himself he can still be quick, but then did an open wheel simulator test and realised he did not have enough rotation in his elbow for open wheel driving, so underwent another surgery (his 10th i believe since the crash, and over 24 hours in total surgery over the course of all those surgeries). this surgery was supposed to free the rotation issues, and this news of him testing the ford wrc is the first we have got since that procedure, so hopefully it went well. for a few months there has been word that his elbow (and the rotational issues involved to the hand) has been the final stumbling block for a return to racing.

    2. Would be great to see him in any form of motorsport.

      1. Defenitely! And after reading that article on Zanardi, there really is no need to give up on anything because of having a disability, if willpower can help a determined person find their way to compete.

  2. can’t believe the FIA haven’t shortened the DRS zone at least.
    imagine what rosberg could have done without Vettel DRSing past him on lap 3 last year.

    1. Didn’t Vettel overtake Rosberg at Pouhon? Or was it Blanchimont?

      1. AJ (@ascar2000us)
        28th August 2012, 5:34

        Vettel did not overtake him.. it was the EBD/flexi-wings and all other aids one could think of that drove around rosberg….
        @sumedh it was blanchimont..

        1. (it was pure talent that allowed vettel to get Rosberg, and the accusation it was anything else is purely ridiculous, and furthermore, unfounded.)
          I’m guessing you’re going to say that mark Webber passed Alonso at eau Rouge due to driver aids, or maybe a secret engine that gives the driver a million horsepower. *Sarcasm*
          These accusations vettel is only good because of his car is getting incredibly tiresome, and are just general sniping that he is truly one of the best drivers in F1 at the moment.

          1. no, webbers pass was sheer stupidity with a large scoop of luck thrown in for good measure

          2. I think most people will disagree with you about the quality of Webber’s pass on Alonso.

          3. i dont understand @keith-collantine

            are you trying to say because people liked it that made it a safe and sensible pass? on the contrary, surely the fact that it was voted pass of the year substantiates the fact that it was dangerous and therefore by definition stupid

            watch this then pause and think for a moment…what would have happened had they touched wheels

          4. surely the fact that it was voted pass of the year substantiates the fact that it was dangerous and therefore by definition stupid

            Nope, not even close.

            That they didn’t touch wheels was not down to luck, it was down to the fact that these are two of the best racing drivers in the world. Webber was entirely within his right to draw alongside Alonso at that point and Alonso had the good sense not to turn in on him.

            That was F1 racing at its best. I’m sure if Alonso thought Webber’s driving was “dangerous” and “stupid” he would have said so himself and wouldn’t have waited 12 months for someone to stick up for him in the comments on a blog page.

          5. Webbers pass was risky, as are most overtakes, but he pulled it off because he was dicing with another hugely experienced F1 driver, who recognised he was under threat and saw Webber at the last moment; he turns in as he normally would, then he sees Webber and turns out of the corner.

      2. Blanchimont

    2. Where did you read it?

      1. (it was pure talent that allowed vettel to get Rosberg, and the accusation it was anything else is purely ridiculous, and furthermore, unfounded.)

        And the fact that he had much better tyres and had done one more stop. Vettel’s last lap before that pass was a 1:54.9 against Rosberg’s 2:00.1, he was over 5 seconds quicker.

        Do you honestly think that Rosberg would’ve let Vettel breeze past like that in on equal tyres, even if the WO2 was about 1.5 seconds/lap slower around Spa than the RB7?

        1. Er… I think you meant to reply to someone else, ‘coz all I asked was in which article is it given that the DRS zone has remained intact from last year.

        2. I meant the accusation of driver aids etc; the tyres are the same for everyone.

  3. Martin Whitmarsh sounds as convincing as a politician defending a policy U-turn, I can only think that this gush of drivel along with his decision not to run again for the FOTA top job means that he is positioning himself to succeed Bernie if Bernie decides to retire and settle in Brazil.
    Is Bernie going soft ? Of course not, he is merely facing the reality that if Govt’s pull their funding and private tracks are bankrupted F1 will have no-where to race. The implications of having to cancel half the season are huge for both CVC/FOM and the teams, quite possibly it could lead to the end of F1, leaving Indycar to rule the roost.

    1. I was fairly miffed at his comments too, he’s either completely out of touch with reality (the reality faced by the fans) or as you said, he’s up to something.

      1. And it’s not just the reality faced by the fans, it’s also the reality faced by lesser teams trying to sell advertising space on their cars.

      2. The quote made absolutely no sense. In what way is literature a valid comparison? It would perhaps make sense if people had previously been renting F1 coverage free of charge somehow, then more often started paying to own it, then starting buying it cheaper digitally (internet), if he wanted a library, book-owning, e-book analogy. As it is, his quote to me highlighted that there is no cheaper method to access coverage digitally (like e-books), such as watching races via Formula 1’s official site for a small fee. There is no free library-like access, such as FOM putting selected highlights on youtube and not taking down people’s videos for no good reason. There is only a transition from terrestrial to pay TV, which although might sounds like a move away from antiquity to people like Whitmarsh, it is actually the reverse- with digital freeview recently becoming default, particularly with red button access, keeping it on BBC would be plenty modern enough in terms of TV, and pay TV is in my mind something that certainly seems antiquated in comparison.

        1. Also, if ‘bum-on-seats’ isn’t important any more, I assume that it must be the count of people illegally downloading or streaming the footage, actually wishing to be a ‘bum-on-seat’, but either not wanting or not able to pay for the privilege. I assume the real reason teams don’t obsess over bum-on-seats now, when they used to in the past, is because they’re getting a particularly large pay-out from the sky deal. But they can’t say that’s the reason, so they make up nonsense.

          1. A lot of people cant aford Sky….also many dont want Sky so they loose out.
            I think it was a step back for F1 when this happened.

          2. I agree. Before the sky takeover I hadn’t missed a single broadcasted qualifying or racing lap since 1994. However, I don’t have Sky and I’m sure I’m not alone.

        2. not taking down people’s videos for no good reason.

          Its not actually FOM that does that, Its an outside company which monitors for potential copyright infringement & acts on the behalf of FOM.

          They were initially contracted around 2000-2001 to act on people uploading stuff from the F1 Digital PPV service, Then the contract was kept as copyright infringement remained an issue.
          Something else to consider is that the various worldwide broadcasters themselfs also request video’s be removed from sites such as YouTube.

    2. Whitmarsh is praising Sky because if you look at his cars they are advertising Sky around the back wing,”sky f1 hd” it says. McLaren are also advertising Sky on the car with a tuned or whatever you call it advertisement for the Sky McLaren cartoons.

      So with two Sky advertisements on each car, Whitmarsh is very far from a neutral voice. Also Autosport’s viewing figures compared to last year are Sky friendly since they are also getting Sky advertisement money. When comparing to last year Autosport doesn’t take into account the BBC’s highlight viewership for races early in the morning or overnight.

      So for example Autosport says Australia had more viewers this year than last because they don’t add BBC’s last year’s delayed figures which were higher than those who watched it live. So the reality is Australia was down 1.0m on last year yet Autosport say they had more viewers this year!

    3. Martin Whitmarsh sounds as convincing as a politician defending a policy U-turn

      What would you say if Whitmarsh was criticising the Sky deal?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, I was unaware that Sky were McLaren sponsors ( and it wasn’t mentioned in the article ) when I made the comment you quote above, had I been aware and had MW been critical I would have said he was a brave and principled man.

    4. I understood his comments to mean he sees that Sky have made their coverage available over several platforms (website, app) and not just through the traditional television set which requires people to have ‘bums on seats’ in their living room. The coverage is accessible even if you are not at home.

      This seems to make more sense with his analogy about libraries. Of course, this only helps if people are signing up to Sky to watch in the first place.

      1. Of course, this logic is ignoring the fact that the BBC have had F1 streamed live/time-shifted on the internet via the iPlayer since they acquired the license in 2009. They’ve also had a comprehensive and friendly web service (which is no more churnalism than Sky) and a huge archive of historic races.

    5. To be fair to Whitmarsh, he “cautiously praised” the deal as soon as it was announced, although that was based on the fact the BBC would show delayed full races, not just highlights:

      Bernie assured me, and I asked him several times, the deferred coverage will not be highlights, it will be a full race.

  4. I can understand how Ricciardo and Vergne would feel that they owe a lot to Red Bull and be at the mercy of what they decide for them while at Toro Rosso, but I can’t help but feel that if they really want to make a mark in F1, they need to step outside into another team. They both for sure have good talent, not everyone is going to be the next Vettel. It would be nice to see what they could do in a car like Williams has this year, just to get an idea of how good they actually are, because that Toro Rosso is a rubbish car! No idea how Ricciardo dragged it up to 6th in qualifying at Bahrain!

    1. @ivz, quite right, It will be interesting to watch where the dominoes fall when Ferrari finally decide their line-up for 2013.

      1. I know Perez is due sooner or later to be at Ferrari, but with no Italian on the grid, the closest thing that Ferrari could have is an Aussie with an Italian surname! haha. Would be worth a punt for Ferrari, I mean Ricciardo could not possibly perform worse than Massa!

    2. I bet it’ll be a lovely little car next year when James Key’s influence starts to come through.

  5. Pirelli-Mclaren tyres???

    Come on fanatics, I’m crying out for someone who knows what that’s all about!

    1. A Freudian slip ?

    2. I think I know what this is about. Narain just got his references mixed up. He had been praising Pedro’s ability to adapt to and understand the car and tyres, citing his years at Mclaren as test driver extraodinaire. Did Pedro also test the Pirelli’s when Pirelli acquired a test car from Toyota? Yeah, I think he just got himself in a pickle with his gushing praise of Peter the Red.

  6. I wish modern cars drifted like those ’77 monsters.

  7. “Pirelli-McLaren tyres”?

    damn google doesn’t work this time

    1. “Pirelli-McLaren tyres”?

      Hmmm, let’s see now:

      Pirelli makes the tyres for all F1 cars..and
      McLaren makes the electronic control units for all F1 cars..and
      Tyre degradation has been almost impossible to predict from team to team and race to race…

      1. 2 and 2 suddenly doesn’t make 4…..

  8. So Martin, what you are saying is, It doesn’t matter how many people are watching?

    Great… A giant hand gesture to F1 fans, but it’s ok, because they are making money.

    1. Pretty much. “So, millions appear to have turned off, possibly many of them our own team’s and driver’s fans. Who needs them?” Not what you want to hear from any team principle. It would be like a successful band’s label charging thousands of pounds for tickets to a show- they wouldn’t have many people in a venue, but they might find that enough rich people turn up, paying such a high price that the label’s pockets do better off- it later back-fires when they release an album which doesn’t sell because they’ve lost touch with their fans. In F1’s case, the label at least still organises a few cheap gigs. For now.

  9. Formula E ! Agag ? certainly sounds like an April 1st. press release.

    1. It’s good. Let them have it, Formula E, Formula Eco, Formula V1 :). Might let Formula 1 be Formula 1 for a change.

    2. I’m actually quite excited to see what electric cars can show on the racetrack. I think it’s new and exciting technology.

      1. I’d like to see an Electric versus Steam series, reckon it could be a long time before electric would win over a full race distance.

        1. Really? I assume you are thinking that the electric formulas should cruise around the track conserving energy, while some hypothetical steam-powered racing team could go full blast at all times? If that’s the case, then Renault Fluence ZE has a 22kWh battery pack which can be swapped in less than a minute, and in a street vehicle. How long do you reckon it would take to make the swap in a competitive environment with specially designed solutions?

          1. @stjuuv, Don’t you think changing battery packs would make a mockery of the whole thing.

          2. @hohum, It probably would, yes, just as refuelling used to make a mockery of F1, and actually changing tires during the race still does.
            From a technological point of view, it would make perfect sense – teams could only use perhaps 2 battery packs actively per car, and they would be limited for the season just as engines and gearboxes are right now. They could start the qualification with fully loaded batteries, and then start the race with whatever power is left in the battery on the car. The other would be recharged for the start of the race, and they could do a swap during the race if they so wanted, and then immediately start charging the used battery in case they need it to finish the race. This would promote developing faster and more efficient chargers as well, and give some tactical opportunities as well – do you finish the race with one battery swap or use more energy and risk a second stop as well for some extra power for the final stint.

    3. I am with @maroonjack here, its nice to have a racing series world championship specializing in electrical car racing. It could really spur developments in battery technology and how to bring power on the track.

      1. Count me in too @bascb & @maroonjack, electric cars can have great traction off the line and in low speed, and I battery technology improvements will be great to see (maybe fuel-cell to electricity later on?).

    4. Regarding FE: it all depends on the cars. If FE cars are fast enough to make it maybe à new step towards F1, than it’ll be good.

      Looking at current politics and political correctness, I think cities like London really Will want FE.

      And when it produces great drivers, I think it can work.

    5. Oh, and here’s – http://youtu.be/bOHE_c2D8Rg a video from the Rotterdam Racing event with a Ferrari and then one an electric formula car. Does not even sound too bad, with the high pitched noise when it drives away!

      1. there will be a massive protest from ear plug manufacturers eh @bascb lol

        thanks for sharing

    6. ”sounds”

      a good place to start indeed, what does an electric formula car sound like??? its not going to be much fun to watch is it

  10. C’mon Whitmarsh we know that Mclaren as a deal with Sky Sports we can see the logo on the rear wing.

      1. It’s news to me, too.

      2. Actually, there it’s – as the tiniest, most obscure logo on the car. It’s on the inside of the endplate, and you would never see it if you weren’t looking for it. I had to go through a dozen pictures of the car just to find it, and there is no way that you would see it during a broadcast.

        I’m also willing to bet that, like the Pirelli and the Make Roads Safe decals, the SkySportsF1 logo is one that most (if not all) of the cars carry.

        1. Thanks for finding it @prisoner-monkeys, I guess we will have to go and have a look at the other cars to see if they sport that same sticker. Curious.

          1. @bascb @prisoner-monkeys It might have to do with that “Tooned” thing McLaren is airing on Sky before the races.

        2. I definitely noticed it during the broadcast, because Sky made a point of zooming in on it at least once! Maybe during the grid walk? I can’t remember now.

          1. How come you watch Sky from NY @aka_robyn? Its well possible though that they did want to show that logo like you say in the grid walk or something like that.

          2. @bascb I finally became entirely fed up with SpeedTV’s coverage (although I still love their live streaming of P1 and P3 without commentary). Plus, for a few races each year that are aired at a significant time delay, there’s no other option for watching the race live. :-\

        3. @prisoner-monkeys @chicanef1 @bascb I first noticed the German Sky sports logo on the German round, then I noticed that exact picture prisoner linked above while looking at my desktop background, this time it is the “original Sky Sports” and that got me thinking about their tight companionship, I can even remember hearing Whitmarsh some races earlier in the season saying that they “Mclaren” had always had a good relationship with you guys (Sky), and then there’s the tooned thing. I can’t imagine how much that tiny logo is worth.

    1. also them tooned cartoons,jenson and lewis do alot of the track guides in the skypad,and i cant =remember which race but the camre was on the sky logo on the rear wing wile brundle was saying they sponcer them

  11. Thanks for the birthday shout Keith!

    1. Make it a memorable one Malibu_GP!

      1. @Bascb Thank U very much! I had an awesome birthday, and knowing the GP @ Spa is this weekend only made it better. I really appreciate the kind regards… Be well Friend

        1. Looking forward to it as well. Great to read you had a great birthday too :-)

  12. Footage from Kubica’s test.

    1. Actually, I’ve just been told this is a fake.

      1. that was fake yesterday. also on facebook there were fake photos

  13. On COTD, I hope you’re right because this season deserves, at least, a three way battle for the last few races and for that to happen we need a dominant Hamilton and racy Red Bulls along with some disappointing Sundays for Fernando, it seems a very difficult mix to happen but we still can hope…

  14. I think SPA could do without DRS entirely. Or atleast don’t put it in most obvious place that is overtaking zone normally. I think that start straight could be better place to put it, because even if it’s short, it would bring tailing car closer, and then bring us some moves at the same place without making it obvious and fake(ish).

    1. Whoever decides DRS zones is idiot, as simple as that. To not change its placement after mockery of a race last year, you have to be either moron or simply someone who doesn’t give a **** about sport.
      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/94131 not a single lesson was learned, I hate them for destroying “my” sport.

      Since introduction of this ridiculous gimmick in 2011, I’m not enjoying racing at all. I can’t stand all fake passes, which are done midway through straight when driver can’t defend his position. It makes me really sad this is a direction in which F1 is heading :(

      I’m slowly starting to lose any hope F1 will be true sport once again. It’s all about show these days, no matter how fake it is. F1 = wrestling :(

  15. Jesus Christ. Put DRS at Spa on the start/finish straight, put it on the exit of Blanchimont, put it on the run to Eau Rouge, put it around Pouhon for fun, put it anywhere but the Kemmel Straight.

    1. :(

      “What we have seen with DRS was not expected to be honest because I saw a lot of people behind that were able to catch the tow of the front car already at Eau Rouge, so they were able to close up at Eau Rouge and arrive at [the] DRS [zone] very, very close to that, so I think they were not expecting a recovery like that in Eau Rouge, so today it seems to be quite easy to use DRS while some other times it was too difficult,” said Domenicali.

      “I think overall people want it and go back – FOTA did the most extensive fan survey and whether I believe it or want to believe it, the fans wanted more overtaking and if you have done the survey and the fans tell you that is what they want, then I think you are fairly arrogant if you ignore it. So we responded,” Whitmarsh said.


      1. That second quote is awful. I’m sure that the survey never explicitly asked if fans wanted DRS, just whether they wanted more overtaking, which for some reason they took to be one and the same as DRS.

        1. I remember filling in those questions and they asked about how important overtaking was and another question on whether one would want more overtaking in F1 (I erred on the cautious side with both, because I was afraid they would start using gimmicks to achieve that, sadly that was exactly what they did)

          1. Guilty! :)

        2. I always thought those fan survey’s were stupid for the primary reason that the fans as a whole never know what they want & everyone wants something different.
          Also some of the questions of the FOTA survey were pretty poorly written & ended up with somewhat broad answers.

          For instance the survey asked if people wanted more overtaking, However never asked what sort of overtaking was important. They implemented DRS & yes that does produce ‘passing’ which bumps up the overtaking stats, However is DRS style passing really what most fans wanted?

          The problem with these survey’s is that they ask basic questions which give you basic answers when what you really want to do is actually ask opinions & get back some proper feedback.

          From memory one of the questions was ‘woudl you like more overtaking’, Well of cource most would vote yes. However if you actually go into detail I bet most would have also said they simply wanted overtaking to be more possible & not so easy that its almost guarenteed in many situations.

          We see the same with DRS. Most polls simply ask for an opinion on DRS (Do you like it yes or no), However when you go into more detail you get a better idea of what fans think of the DRS system, how its used & what they think should be changed.

  16. Seems Channel 4 are having some kind of problem with their site, the Susie Wolf story is now not available.

  17. Quote from Martin Brundle last year about Alonso passing Rosberg with DRS like he was standing still – “There is nothing other driver can do”

    Enjoy the race, DRS fans, enjoy “the show” :(

    1. Quote from Martin Brundle last year about Alonso passing Rosberg with DRS like he was standing still – “There is nothing other driver can do”

      I remember that pass. The difference in speed between Alonso and Rosberg was so great that Alonso would have made the pass without DRS, because Rosberg was slow through Eau Rouge. If I remember rightly, he was struggling there all weekend when the team was testing the car over longer runs.

      1. So DRS just made the pass even easier & then ensured Alson pulled a big gap which prevented Rosberg been able to try & fight back into the next corner.

        Silly artificial gimmick that produced silly unexciting, dull & boring drive-by highway passes!

        Did a poll on another fan message board in the summer break, 1,867 votes, 82% against DRS & only 18% in support of DRS.
        Fan opinion on the gimmick has clearly turned.

        1. Fan opinion on the gimmick has clearly turned.

          The fan opinion never turned. Most people don’t like DRS.

          But at the same time, none of the nay-sayers have come up witha viable alternative to address the problem: just how do you pass another car when the dirty air in its wake limits your ability to get close?

          I guaratnee you that if DRS were removed from the sport, the people who protested it will be the first to protest the sudden lack of overtaking in the sport.

          1. I guaratnee you that if DRS were removed from the sport, the people who protested it will be the first to protest the sudden lack of overtaking in the sport.

            If DRS was gone, the amount of overtaking wouldn’t go back to what it was pre-2011 because we’d still have the Pirelli tyres. If DRS was gone, it wouldn’t be missed as the only passing we’d lose would be the motorway passes, which aren’t exciting to watch.

            If DRS was used differently (e.g. limited number of uses during the race), then I think it would be received better in my opinion.

          2. none of the nay-sayers have come up witha viable alternative to address the problem

            We had a viable solution in place ready to be introduced in 2014 (Ground effects & less aero), However DRS ruined that & now has become the permanent solution rather than the temporary solution it was sold to us as.

            There is also plenty of alternative ways to use DRS, The way they have opted to use it with gaps, detection points & zones just makes it totally artificial & a complete gimmick.

            If you enjoy seeing the style of straght line highway passes which DRS produces then go watch Nascar or drag racing, F1 should be about pure racing & hard fought, real & exciting overtaking.

            The argument that DRS has somehow saved F1 & made it exciting is a joke because the passing it produces certainly isn’t exciting to watch.
            The argument that without DRS the races woudl be boring is also a joke & those who spout that crap need to open there eyes to how totally boring F1 passes have become with the dumb racing system.

  18. On the face of it, Whitmarsh’s comments seem like a bit of a slap in the face for F1 fans. However, it’s worth looking at it with an unbiased eye and trying to see the positives. If you allow yourself to do this, then they’re not hard to find.

    Personal dislikes for the individual presenters notwithstanding, it’s hard to deny that the coverage provided by Sky has been second to none. By engaging directly with teams, the Sky F1 channel is given a level of access that other broadcasters can only dream of. The technical features are extremely informative and the race analysis goes to previously unfathomed depths. There can’t be any doubt that the coverage delivered by Sky is aimed squarely at the committed F1 enthusiast. On a fundamental level, Sky have set the bar very high. While I do still feel that it would be better if the F1 channel was available more cheaply, it’s hard to disagree that the standard of their coverage is helping bring F1 into the 21st century. That’s been what the sport has needed for a hell of a long time, it’s just a shame that some of the races had to disappear behind a paywall in order to make it happen.

    We’re now probably in a situation where the coverage is as good as it can be while the limiting factor is still the race feeds provided by FOM. I do believe that Sky is one of the few companies which the leverage to be able to work with FOM in order to improve this, and bring it up to a level closer to what you get from other sports. What you can count on is the commitment from Sky to keep driving up standards and to maintain its coverage for the long term, with none of the advertising restrictions or political issues faced by the FtA broadcasters. While I dislike them as much as the next man for their highly questionable business ethics (the underhanded way in which the BBC handed over coverage being a prime example, and something I’ve discussed at length elsewhere), as an F1 fan looking totally objectively at the package I receive from Sky Sports F1, it’s hard to argue that Sky’s involvement isn’t giving me better value than any of the other providers.

  19. I think Whitmarsh is right when he refers to people-in-front-of-TV’s not being the Holy Grail it once was. There are very, very few occasions this year where I’ve heard people complain about the situation, they seem to have managed to catch the race somehow, be it illegally or through shared SkyGo accounts.

    Credit where credit is due to Sky, they have done a fantastic job. We have uninterrupted coverage on a commerical platform, the channel is branded as Sky Sports yet requires no specific subscription to that package, the coverage is longer and they broadcast GP2 and GP3 live (you had to pay for a half-baked approach from Eurosport previously). It has annoyed me when i’ve seen people slating Sky who weren’t in the know about the way the BBC messed it up.

    The TV model is changing as much as anything else these does. As things become digitised it becomes easier for the broadcasters to control it and react to the public demand. Plus, with things like ‘Now TV’ it does seem that things will get easier for the television fewer to pick and choose what they want to watch.

    1. “television fewer” now that is definitely a freudian slip or a great gift to sky critics @andrewtanner.

      1. @hohum Ha! *viewer

        Baaaad typo.

  20. German Bild posted an Interview with Schumacher for his 300 race milestone in 2 parts.
    Part 1 – http://www.bild.de/sport/motorsport/michael-schumacher/im-interview-mein-comeback-habe-ich-keine-sekunde-bereut-25867754.bild.html
    Part 2 – http://www.bild.de/sport/motorsport/michael-schumacher/ich-habe-den-echten-wm-pokal-die-anderen-kriegen-nur-kopien-25876330.bild.html

    By the way is it a glitch that the buttons for formatting disappeared for the comments @keithcollantine?
    Its a good read (German), by the way in his view Alonso is the best driver currently in the field.

    1. @bascb If you think you’ve discovered a technical problem with the site please submit details here:

      Reporting a technical problem

      1. Ok, I will do that right now then

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