Vergne’s Monza crash caused by suspension failure

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Toro Rosso confirm Jean-Eric Vergne crashed out at Monza due to suspension failure.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Dusting himself off (Toro Rosso)

Jean-Eric Vergne: “After the race, we established it had been a failure with the rear suspension. In the end you just have to put it down as one of those things that happen when you go racing. I do feel pretty stiff across my back and neck but I think that will go away over the next day or so and I’ll get on with what is going to be a pretty busy schedule until Singapore.”

Mercedes: Drag Reduction Device (ScarbsF1)

“The additional ductwork emerging from the engine cover routed up to the rear wing and back to beam wing, apes the Lotus device. This device was run again in the Young Driver Test this week and closer images show the device departs from the Lotus design in the way it blows the rear wing to stall the airflow.”

Bird encouraged by Mercedes updates (Autosport)

“We covered the mileage necessary for the testing of the new components, and there is now a lot for the team to go through. That will be down to the guys at the factory, but my feeling is positive.”

Sid Watkins dies, aged 84 (The Telegraph)

“Sid led neurosurgical units in New York and then London, pioneering brain surgery for Parkinson’s disease and the first implantable electrodes to relieve crippling disorders of the brain and spine. If the remarkable drugs we now use for Parkinson’s had not been developed, he would have been as famous for his neurosurgery as Christian Barnard was for the heart. His sports achievement would have been but a footnote in the career of a medical genius.”

Obituary – Professor Sid Watkins OBE, 1928-2012 (F1)

“‘I said: ‘Brain damage, foot damage, it doesn’t make any difference. You’re not fit to drive.’ [Nelson Piquet] cried on my shoulder, begged and screamed, but I said to Bernie [Ecclestone]: ‘If Nelson gets into a car, I’m leaving this circuit.” Years later, Piquet admitted that he didn’t feel right until the end of the season.”

Brawn tips Schumacher to move into management after retirement (Daily Mail)

“We are not discussing that in detail because that is not a consideration at the moment. But Michael’s experience of motor racing, his judgement and so on, would be an asset to any team.”

Hamilton’s tough decision (BBC)

“Already on about half of what Alonso earns at Ferrari, one can imagine how that has gone down with Hamilton – especially as McLaren’s portfolio of sponsors makes it very difficult for a driver to do personal deals elsewhere to top up his earnings. That’s because almost anywhere he looks there’s a clash with a company that has links with McLaren.”

F1 track now fully funded (Austin-American Statesman)

“In all, slightly more than $200 million (124m) in financing was raised to construct the 3.4-mile circuit.”

Countdown underway for third F1 Korean Grand Prix (Korea Times)

“For 2012, organisers said an additional 132 accommodations, including traditional Korean houses for bed and breakfasts, will open for the race. A web site providing information on accommodation can be reached at*. It’s available in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.”

*This URL did not appear to be working when the round-up was finished.

Memories of Monza (ESPN)

“Italy has a way of its own, so it’s not travelling the right way around the circuit and there’s a marshal sat in the car enjoying a little play with the wheel. Red Bull mechanics were probably a bit unhappy when he arrived back outside their garage! It just sums up the Italian Grand Prix in a way, as there are so many punters without tabards that are able to get trackside; it’s a bit corrupt in that sense because all of the ‘Controllo’ and people in a position of power seem to help their mates get close to the action without the necessary clearance.”


Comment of the day

Is Luca di Montezemolo wrong to suggest Sergio Perez isn’t experienced enough for Ferrari? @JayMenon10 tries to look at it from the Ferrari president’s point of view.

On the flip side, Montezemolo’s comments makes sense. I don’t think he has any doubts about the potential Perez has to go on and become world champion somewhere down the line..and the best for him to do that is with Ferrari.

Everybody looks at his performances this year and says he a shoe in right now, but that’s just our opinions, the fans will always have emotional leanings toward any debate of this nature. The point Montezemolo is trying to make here is that, Ferrari want to hire a driver that is seasoned and well rounded in all aspects of F1, a driver like Alonso essentially. No doubt Perez is fast, but at this juncture, he probably hasn’t developed his abilities in other areas that will ultimately make him a Ferrari driver.

You may wonder why they would not want to blood him starting next year. I think they just want to sign a more experienced driver, who is quick enough to bring the car home on the podium every race, possibly nick a few victories and help develop the car and team while he’s at it.

I guess after Felipe’s catastrophic demise in recent years, they probably want a safe bet and Perez isn’t one at this point. I would have loved to see Mark Webber in the Ferrari next year, but that’s not going to happen now. My personal pick for Massa’s replacement would Adrian Sutil or Timo Glock.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Gwenouille!

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 only time the Italian round of the world championship was held at a track other than Monza was on this day in 1980. Imola, appearing on the calendar for the first time, held the 1980 Italian Grand Prix.

Ferrari demonstrated their forthcoming turbo-powered car in practice and Rene Arnoux put his turbocharged Renault on pole position.

But the usual turbo unreliability struck on race day and the points places were filled by Cosworth-powered cars. Nelson Piquet won for Brabham followed by the Williams pair of Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann.

During the race Gilles Villeneuve had an enormous crash when a tyre failed at the high-speed kink before Tosa, which was later named after him:

Image © 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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58 comments on “Vergne’s Monza crash caused by suspension failure”

  1. Wow. Ma Qinghua is getting a real trial by fire at HRT. Singapore is not a circuit that I would want to make my second-ever appearance at.

    1. Indeed, I hope they give him a car with an even bigger barn door than he had in Monza, would be a shame to crash over those kerbings. Given the amount of running he is getting, I can even imagine they are preparing to give him the China race next year.

      1. @bascb – I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave him a start in Melbourne (or wherever the first round might be). Ma was plucked from relative obscurity to join the team, so he’s either got a backer that wants to increase their involvement in the sport, or the team are trying to lure in investors from China.

    2. @prisoner-monkeys Add rain and you’ve got D’Ambrosio’s debut two years ago!

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    14th September 2012, 0:33

    I’ve just read Andrew Benson’s article about Lewis… Let’s remember Alonso was on an uncompetitie renault for a couple of years but showing he could win a few races (bar that singapiure one) make possible for him to finally arrive at Ferrari. lewis shouldmn’t worry if Mercedes is not as good as he would want. He is still young and if he manages the situation well, he can build up a team around him again, as it has been all this McLaren years.

    1. @omarr-pepper I wouldnt say Alonso was ever really in an “uncompetitive” renault. The car was at it’s worst in ’03. In his first season there he got a pole position, his first win, a second place and came sixth overall. After that the car just improved and improved until the two WCC’s. The renault was competitive from 03 onwards.

      1. @timi I think he’s referring to Alonso’s second stint with Renault in 2008-2009.

      2. He’s talking about the 2008, 2009 Renault with the ING livery. It was about as fast as it was pretty.

        1. @julian I liked the 2008 Renault ! I dunno why, but that ING livery gew on me fast !

          1. yeah the 08 was very nice.

            the 09 on the other hand…..

          2. Ahhh I hated it. Each to their own I guess :)

    2. Good point, kind reminds me that relaxed Alonso is actually under extreme pressure to win this year. Despite all the fuss around how bad F2012 is (actually it’s not bad) Alonso is yet to deliver a WDC since 2006, we can discount his last stint at Renault but he’s lost a WDC behind Petrov in 2010 and with the advantage he has now there’s no option other than land the WDC to justify not only all the praise he gets (an admirer is here) but also his hefty pay check. Short memories make us forget Schumacher’s first seasons at Maranelo…

  3. I think for any driver who thinks seriously about future and championship, the next year will be essential as a lead up towards 2014, development wise. This said, I reckon unless Hamilton moves to Mercedes for next year, none of the major players will move teams. Vettel will stay with Red Bull in 2014, as Alonso will be betting his life on getting dominant Ferrari after 2014.
    For Kimi these last races will be the deciding factor, if Lotus does not give up and bring a better car for the remainder of the races – I can’t see him leaving for McLaren even if they are very interested.

    1. The last time I got COTD, I commented on how Lewis should leave McLaren for Mercedes (of course providing Schumi vacates the seat)

      Going Mercedes will improve Lewis as a driver and as a person. This will be his opportunity to become a “team builder” like Schumacher and Alonso. It will improve him in areas where he currently lacks i.e. car development, strategy calls etc. Just look at how Alonso improved as a driver after 08 and 09 with an uncompetitive Renault.

      I wonder why nobody has asked Nico what he thought of all this? It would be interesting to see how Nico fairs in a similar car to Lewis. They both have similar styles, very aggressive and quick.

      1. Really @jaymenon10? IMHO drivers who have done nothing but driving racing cars all their lives understand how a car performs and can give accurate feedback to engineers who ACTUALLY DEVELOP the cars. It’s a big myth that good drivers develop cars, it takes a good engineer to do that.

        You need money and engineers who understand the rules and can use their knowledge to produce a winning car. Plus, younger Hamilton won a WDC when his teammate was Heiki, look at Sauber’s young duo and their good car… I don’t think it was either Button or Barrichelo who turned Brawn into a winning machine.

        1. @jcost

          You have your opinion, I have mine. I can agree with your views, good engineers are a key factor in the equation. However, it depends on the quality of the feedback, this will help the engineers do their work better. I remember Olivier Panis was often touted as an excellent test driver because of his very deep understanding of how the machinery worked, this in turn helped the engineers.

          I am an engineer working in the oil business. Of course, there is no comparison between the level of technology used in F1 and what I do, F1 is on different scale. However, the concept is the same. We work with Operators (oil companies) from all over the world to help improve the systems we sell them. It always makes my job a lot easier when I get proper technical feedback from the operators. The operators who understand the system well, always give you the best input, which results in a better end product…and in the end everybody is happy.

          This is the point I was trying to make.

          1. @jaymenon10

            That’s why I pointed out that the bulk of F1 drivers have been driving single-seaters all their lives, it’s plausible to believe there’s no major differences between the quality of feedback among them. I’m one of those who believe engineers and funds are the key factors to properly develop a car.
            It’s like saying a good pilot makes a good airplane, I’m trying to say his views are not important just trying to say must properly prepared pilot will provide a valuable feedback to engineers.

          2. @keithcollantine

            We need and ‘edit’ button :)

            It’s like saying a good pilot makes a good airplane, I’m NOT trying to say his views are not important, just trying to say most properly prepared pilots will provide a valuable feedback to engineers.

          3. @jcost

            it’s plausible to believe there’s no major differences between the quality of feedback among them.

            Sorry, I disagree with that. That is like saying it’s plausible to believe that all drivers are the same, and they clearly are not.

            I’m one of those who believe engineers and funds are the key factors to properly develop a car.

            No one is disagreeing with that point. However, while that is true, it is also true that the ability of an “operator” of a specific plant or equipment or “race car”, to interpret (i.e. understand) the components of the equipment, helps provide crucial and valuable feedback to the engineers.

            Furthermore, in a sport situation like this, if the driver is not willing to go through the hurdles, remain positive, and continue to motivate the team (despite difficulties) that is also going to show. This is where Alonso and Schumacher have prevailed and this is where I think Hamilton has failed because all he seems to be interested in is to have the best equipment at the outset and at all times. But what is he willing to do to achieve this? Is he going to post telemetry data on twitter when things go wrong, or is he going to make an effort be a team player?

            All of the above is what it means to be a “team builder” like Schumacher and Alonso. Until proven otherwise, Hamiltons true test of abilities and strength of a driver and character will come when he gets out of McLaren and joins another team and perhaps becomes a part of a team that makes a slow car into a winning car (works for it a little bit ). Otherwise to me personally, Hamilton will remain to be somewhat of a “spoiled celebrity wannabe driver” (perhaps little harsh words there – i know) who got lucky as a rookie and had the benefit of racing with one of the best teams and cars on the field the whole time. Yes he is a very good driver, but in my book he will never be an exceptional driver like Schumacher, Alonso, Prost, Senna… etc, until he can prove as discussed above. So I completely agree with @jaymenon10 that going Mercedes will improve Lewis as a driver and as a person.

      2. Where exactly is the proof that Lewis “lacks” in car development? Have you spoken to his engineers? I guess this is one of those things where if you repeat it enough, it starts to ring true.
        On the issue of strategy calls, remember this used to be mainly the preserve of the team, with the drivers responding, or choosing options already discussed – as the team have far more data, and can crunch far more simulations. It is only recently that the issue of the divers making strategy calls have become prevalent. This was highlighted by Jenson’s lucky gamble in China 2010, and seems to herald the begining of the idea as mainstream.
        By and large, this is a misnomer, as it is stil mainly done by the team. It is still very rare for a driver to lead strategy in a team. At most, they are given options, which they then choose from, depending on the situation.
        On the issue of Sch and Alonso building teams, this is not because it is what they wanted to do, but rather the situation they found themselves in, so obviously had no options. No driver in his right mind would choose building a team, over being handed a fast car out of the box. Also remember that both the drivers you mention had the WHOLE resources of the team behind them, with the other driver being a clear No.2 – effectively they were given the responsibility, support and resources to build the team around them. This is not the case for Lewis, so it is understandable why he is less understanding.
        I cannot comprehend why this fact is always overlooked when criticising Lewis, as it is quite obvious. If Lewis were ever to find himself in a team with a poor car, i am quite sure he would rise to the challenge if he was given a clear No.1 status, and the support to do the job.

        1. If Lewis were ever to find himself in a team with a poor car, i am quite sure he would rise to the challenge if he was given a clear No.1 status, and the support to do the job.

          I am sure he could. But, that remains to be seen until he can prove it! Hence, this is why it is much better for him to move teams. It will help improve him as a driver and a person. I see it as a positive thing to his career.

  4. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
    14th September 2012, 1:36

    I think more than a few f1 fanatics owe ej an apology.

    1. about?

      1. Doubting him. Sensationalism. Assuming he was simply rambling. Allowing himself to be used by Bernie and XIX as a tool in Hamilton’s negotiations with McLaren. The list goes on.

        1. The first 3 can be applied to him in general, not just this case.

    2. Yes, he was kicked badly. But wait, it’s a done deal?

      1. @jcost – No, nothing has been signed or announced. Yet.

        I think that what Jimmy is trying to say is that most people wrote Eddie Jordan’s comments off as baseless speculation presented as fact when they should not have been too quick to do so now that the likes of James Allen and Andrew Benson and half a dozen other journalists believe the story has some degree of credibility to it.

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          14th September 2012, 11:25

          That’s exactly it.

        2. Indeed.

          I was in denial myself, because I want Hamilton to stay but some things cannot be ignored.

  5. Like the title says maybe sarcastically “Dusting himself off” Vergne sounds less worried about ultimate results but with his stay in F1.

  6. The Mercedes with the revised exhaust and a featuring a new shark fin looks promising. Will it bring Michael the win before he retires?

    1. I would imagine the duct thing might help them lure Hamilton over to win some races for them next year! Although a Schumi win in some place like Suzuka would be nice (maybe Korea is more of a track for this device though) so he can bow out with at least a win in his final part of his career

  7. Also on this day in 2008, Vettel became the youngest ever Grand Prix winner. Worth mentioning!

  8. @keithcollantine

    Thanks for COTD!

    1. I agree with you that what Ferrari needs most now is someone consistently being close enough behind Alonso to get the team points. Perez can do far more than that, but would be a bit of a risk. After all, they were able to give Massa a full year of testing before taking him to the main team. And at the time they had so good a team and car advantage in a less competitive field, that they did not have to be afraid of not winning because of Schumi’s teammate

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        14th September 2012, 11:31

        I think it would be a bit of a mistake for sergio to go to ferrari not because of fernando but because (sorry all tifosi’) they don’t seem to be very good at optimising 2 separate strategys. Even when one car is at the front and one at the back of the field let alone when they are close together.

  9. happy birthday to both @David-A and to @Gwenouille!

    1. @bascb @keithcollantine – Thank you! However, my birthday is actually on the 15th of June :P

      1. @david-a Sorry about that – have changed it.

      2. Ha, double celebration then! Have a great day anyway @david-a!

    2. Thanks BasCB and Keith !
      33 this time. And kids entering primary school… Ain’t it time to think about retirement :-) ?

      1. Yep, exactly the right time to plan for enjoying yourselves in 5-8 years from now, after you call it a day :-)

  10. Sebastian Vettel won in F1 for the first time 4 years ago today!

  11. A friend on Twitter suggested Michael Schumacher be a one tear replacement and then sign Sebastian Vettel for ’14. Wasn’t too sure what to think of that.

    1. What about Vettel and Hamilton line-up in Mercedes 2014? By the way, when will they merge with McLaren?

    2. I don’t think that the Schumacher part will fly, but Vettel in ’14 is interesting, and not a bad idea at all.

  12. If hamilton moves to mercedese, then I see vettel in a Mclaren for 2014. With a seat filler in Mclaren for 2013. And who knows maybe kimi at Red Bull in 2014 along with one of the torro rosso drivers. In terms of Merc Gp pace I don’t buy the thought that they struggling thus hamilton should stay at McLaren. The engineers and designers(Aldo Costa etc) that merc signed will only come into play next year as it was to late for them to have any input on the 2012 car, so Merc Gp’s true potetial wil most likely be seen next year. Its also not impossible to go from the 4th or 5th fastest car from one season to a victory contender in the next. There is a lot of potential in merc gp for lewis and I do believe it wil be a smart move to move to merc gp. He has the oppurtunity of a fresh start in a competitive team, financial benifit, parent team aswel as an oppurtunity to build a team around him. I’d say its more important for a driver to look to 2014 to be competitive than 2013.

    1. Why do people keep saying it’s impossible to come from 4th or 5th team on the grid to a frontrunner when Lotus has proven this year that it is possible? They could have won 3 GP’s already.

    2. Should we assume that McLaren’s challengers for 2014 will fail?

  13. So so sad to hear the news of the passing of Prof Sid Watkins. A real Motorsport legend and a fine neurosurgeon. Anyone who has followed F1 for longer than 5 or 10 years will know how important he was to improving safety in F1. Great doctor and infectious character. Never forgotten, RIP.

  14. Andrew Benson’s article states

    you probably have to go back to 2005 to find the last time McLaren had conclusively the fastest car in F1

    2005 was a year in which McLaren won neither the WDC nor the WCC, so it hardly seems conclusive to me!

    1. Mclaren definitely had the fastest car in 05, it was also very unreliable though. Raikkonen would have won the championship if his car hadn’t let him down so often, it definitely was the fastest package across the season.

      1. Yes, the McLaren was easily fasther than the Renault on most occasions. However, mostly in the hands of Raikkonen, Montoya seemed to be adapted to the car a whole lot less. But I guess the same counts for Fischichella…

    2. @jerseyf1 McLaren won the most races of any team in 2005.

      I reckon they probably did have the fastest car that year. But that’s not the same thing as having the best car or being the best team. Having good reliability, solid strategy and quick pit stops all matter too – that’s a big part of how well Ferrari have done this year (well, Alonso at least).

  15. Another good article from Scarbs. I wonder how effectively they will be able to tune it though? They could compromise much more of their FP work if they’re constantly trying to adapt the passive DRS. I guess they will kow that already though…

  16. What bothers me is that i didn’t notice any discussion about these high Monza kerbs. It was just a week ago that we’ve seen quite a dangerous accident for which RG got a race ban (i do realize it wasn’t just for this accident). Now we’ve got a very similar situation! If there would be some cars in the corner it could be the same (or worse) outcome. This is the longest braking zone in F1 (~140m) with speeds reaching 340km/h just before it and we put a sausage kerb in this place? Luckily in previous year (2011) Liuzzi missed this kerb on his excursion at the start of the race.

    1. They did lower the kerbs there two years ago for precisely that reason:

      Kerbs eased at Monza for safety reasons

      But after Vergne’s crash you have to wonder if they need to go a step further. There’s an obvious risk had a car been on the track where he went off and there have been other near-misses there: think of Liuzzi’s crash last year, or Stephane Ortelli’s LMS shunt in 2008 (not that he needed the kerb to get airborne!):

      Video: Stephane Ortelli survives horrific crash at Monza

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