Jean-Eric Vergne, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Six teams to begin Abu Dhabi Young Drivers’ Test

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Jean-Eric Vergne, Abu Dhabi, 2011In the round-up: Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Caterham begin a three-day test at Yas Marina today.

Abu Dhabi Young Drivers’ Test: Day 1

The three-day young drivers’ test begins at Yas Marina today with the following drivers participating:

Red Bull: Antonio Felix da Costa
McLaren: Kevin Magnussen/Gary Paffett
Lotus: Nicolas Prost
Sauber: Robin Frijns
Toro Rosso: Luiz Razia
Caterham: Giedo van der Garde

The remaining teams have already conducted their Young Drivers’ Test at Silverstone (Williams, Marussia and HRT) and Magny-Cours (Ferrari, Mercedes and Force India).


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Jenson Button says 2012 McLaren car is worst since he joined F1 team (The Guardian)

“This car hasn’t suited me as well as McLaren’s last two. Since I’ve been here this has been the worst year. It’s been tricky, even on good weekends. We’ve had a problem pretty much every weekend, lately. We need to stop it. I don’t get it.”

McLaren record offers cold comfort to Hamilton (The Telegraph)

??The [56 races] statistic is nice to have. But more world championships would be better. I?m sure McLaren would say the same.”

Force India wants no driver animosity (Autosport)

Bob Fernley: “The thing to do is to find out what happened, who squeezed what where, shake hands and make sure it doesn’t happen again. From a team point of view it’s obviously the ultimate sin to have contact with your own team mate.”

Sauber set for talks with Sergio Perez (The Independent)

“While [Sauber team principal Monisha] Kaltenborn is adamant the poor form since signing for McLaren is “a coincidence”, she will nevertheless sit down with the 22-year-old to discuss the matter.”

Newey: One-stop was very close (Sky)

“It was tantalisingly close that’s for sure but as we’ve so often seen, if you overcook it then suddenly you’ve thrown away crunch loads of time and instead of finishing, as it turned out, third he could have ended up back in eighth again or something.”

Organiser defends proposed Greek F1 track (Reuters)

Racetrack Patras head Evangelos Floratos: “This project belongs to the private sector, it does not expect state funding for its operational costs. It is also wrongly assumed that we are aiming at organising a Formula 1 race, which is an event often subsidised by the national government. This is not our primary goal.”

HRT: Beginnen sich die Finanzsorgen zu r??chen? (Speedweek, German)

Speedweek claim HRT cannot afford to pay the ??400,469 (??500,000) entry fee for 2013.

Kubica lines up two rallies in WRC-winning Citroen (ESPN)

“Rallying is one of my favourite forms of motorsport. After completing a test session so that I can get used to the car, competing in the Rally di Como will above all be an opportunity to get to a feel for the car and learn more about driving it in racing conditions.”

Kimi Raikkonen deals a sportsman’s blow against march of the robots (The Guardian)

“Although the teams have no control over the selection of these [team radio] snippets, they do have one weapon at their disposal: when passing information they are keen to conceal from others, they ensure that an obscenity forms a prominent part of the conversation.”


Comment of the day

@Svianna on Ferrari’s two biggest weaknesses:

Ferrari is a great team, there is no denying that. But someone has to be the best.

For the last three years, Red Bull has been the most efficient team in developing cars that could not be proven to break the FIA rules, and, as importantly, Red Bull has been the team which consistently brings upgrades at the fastest pace. The beginning of 2012 was not very encouraging for Red Bull, including some tough calls by the FIA about the legality of some components. Nevertheless, they have an incredible engineering group, under Newey’s leadership, bringing car enhancements all the time. Ferrari, for some reason, can not keep pace with Red Bull’s development speed.

Further, Felipe Massa?s first three-quarters of the season meant that Alonso’s did not have any support to steal points from Vettel, while Webber ‘stole’ many points from Alonso. If Ferrari had had a faster second driver this season, the standings in the championship board could be different.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to A.S. Mahesh, Claudio Sampaio, flowerdew and HawksFan!

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

Nico Hulkenberg claimed a shock pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix two years ago today.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
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  • 45 comments on “Six teams to begin Abu Dhabi Young Drivers’ Test”

    1. I love Williams’ piece in The Guardian.
      I know it takes 300 people to get a car like a RB8 to the track, but once it’s out there I’d prefer if it were just man and machine – give them a pit-board for all the info they need and let them race.

      1. Hearing radio snippets is interesting though, particularly during duller races. Without the radios, we never would have heard Kimi’s great comments the other day.

        1. @plushpile @matt90 Yeah I’m a bit conflicted on this one.

          On one hand, I think it’s great that we hear so much more team radio now than we used to. It adds a new dimension to races, especially the less lively ones.

          On the other hand, races would be more challenging for the drivers without constant hand-holding from the teams on things like tyre temperatures and so on. And it would make it far harder for teams to use team orders, which would definitely be to the benefit of the sport as well.

          So there’s positives either way, I think. But if team radio is going to remain, we definitely need to keep hearing lots of it. And if the teams are using a dodge to get around it being broadcast, there needs to be a solution for that. Let’s put all the radio streams on the internet, uncensored, and let people listen in all the time to whichever drivers they choose.

          1. @keithcollantine maybe limit the teams the amount of stuff they can adjust from inside the car? or maybe limit the telemetry so the driver needs to tell the engineer what’s going on, instead of the engineer telling him what to adjust, or what to set, cuz the computer is telling them something’s wrong.

            But I agree, we need more radio messages !

            1. Perhaps limiting changes available from the cockpit is a best of both worlds scenario, good idea.

          2. I can’t remember if @f1pitradio on twitter is censored from swearing or not, but they transmit in text form all the messages live throughout the race. they usually appear on twitter before the TV feed plays them.

            About a day later they then produce a video and audio on ‘’ website edited down but still including all the radio transmissions.

            Here’s the Indian GP video/audio

            1. @thejudge13 I post a lot of it on F1 Fanatic Live on Twitter during all sessions.

            2. Sorry Keith didn’t realise – I need a far bigger screen during race. I have lap times from F1, twitter, f1pitradio on twitter – not had any room for F1fanatic feed yet. Christmas present list just been altered :)

          3. If teams / drivers deliberately swear on the radio to ensure that the messages are not broadcast, it’s simply disgusting tactics and they should be disqualified for that.

            Anyway, there have been cases when censored ‘dirty’ messages were included in the race edits, such as Kovalainen calling Vergne a ******* idiot at Valencia. I guess it really depends on FOM’s wish to air the conversations, many technical solutions are possible.

            1. Yep, the radio transmissions are delayed anyway during the programme – plenty of time to bleep them out, as they manage even on live radio call-ins. Possibly a technical step too far for the pinnacle of motorsport!

            2. Disgusting how?

            3. Its good that at least FOM have started to call Ferrari’s bluff and started broadcasting the ones in Italian (those are not in English for the same purpose as the swearing – to lower the chances of it getting broadcast.)

    2. “Although the teams have no control over the selection of these [team radio] snippets, they do have one weapon at their disposal: when passing information they are keen to conceal from others, they ensure that an obscenity forms a prominent part of the conversation.”

      “****! Felipe, ****onso is ******* faster than you, please confirm you understand this ******* message!”

      Ferrari really missed the trick there.

      1. I’d rather they be open about it rather than hiding it.

      2. How come we got to hear the classic JP Montoya radio message, “******* Raikkonen, what a ******* idiot”? :)

        1. It was back in the day, the BernieVision was a special service. I suppose you could compare it a cable channel in the US where you can say the f-word and show some boobies, but not on the network channels.

          It would be nice to hear more messages like Kimi’s, instead of the usual “boring” stuff like “The tyres are going off” “He’s catching you” and so on.

      3. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        6th November 2012, 6:43

        That guardian article sucked it had about 2 paragraphs about f1 which most people already knew. (that they don’t broadcast swearing) The rest was about football and tennis lol. I am marking your report card must try harder mr richard williams.

    3. I’ve followed the Greek story for a while and whilst desperately trying to avoid humour to do with ‘lost marbles’ all they ever talk about is the cost of track construction. Despite Floratos protestations all previous articles have all been about getting an F1 weekend. He even couches it in terms of ‘his life’s work’ and legacy to Greece. It looks like a one man mission and the Greek Government should talk to Korea who are realising the total cost of a 7 year F1 contract before gate receipts is around $700m.

      Also it appears 5,000 people at a fun run this Sunday caused gridlock for 2 hours on the freeway leading to the Austin track. Only 24 times as many will attend the GP in 10 days time.

      1. Despite Floratos protestations all previous articles have all been about getting an F1 weekend. He even couches it in terms of ‘his life’s work’ and legacy to Greece. It looks like a one man mission and the Greek Government should talk to Korea who are realising the total cost of a 7 year F1 contract before gate receipts is around $700m.

        Why should the Greek government talk to the Korean? If this is indeed a “one man mission”, then why should the government in Athens care if one man is going to fritter away half a billion dollars realising his dream? It’s his money, and the construction is going to stimulate the local economy in an area that needs it by creating construction jobs (the backbone of economic stimulus, since you don’t need skilled labour – you can give most workers on the job training), which is probably why the government is subsidising a little bit of it; construction of a Grade-1 circuit generally takes about two years, so that’s two years of steady work that wouldn’t be there otherwise. In that time, the government can make serious inroads into turning around their economy, provided that they’re competent.

        And if you had been following the story as closely as you claim, you will see that not once is there any mention of plans to actually host a race – just to build a circuit capable of hosting Formula 1.

        Also it appears 5,000 people at a fun run this Sunday caused gridlock for 2 hours on the freeway leading to the Austin track. Only 24 times as many will attend the GP in 10 days time.

        I believe that is because Elroy Road, the main road leading to the circuit, is in very poor condition. It’s in serious need of an upgrade, and was originally planned to have one before the race, but when the stop-work order was issued and the circuit lost its funding from the State Comptroller’s office, the organisers had to scramble to find the finds to make up the sudden loss in income. It would appear that they were forced to raid the money set aside for the upgrade to Elroy Road to get the circuit complete. As far as I am aware, the road will still be upgraded, but only once they have received the money from the State Comptroller.

    4. How is the 2012 McLaren bad? Looking back we’ll see them 5th and 6th in the drivers championship and even behind Ferrari in the WCC but McLaren could so easily be leading this title, even won it by now.

      They locked out the front row early in the season and clearly had the best car. They dropped back a bit in the middle of the season but from Hungary to Singapore they were the team to beat again, but while one car won the other one broke down.

      Hamilton should have won in Spain, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. So many points lost due to stupid mistakes and car failures and that’s before we get to the pitstop problems.

      I think McLaren have lost at least 150 points this year, maybe even more.

      1. And when Button scored more points last year we were told by the media that he would get more influence on the design of this years car. So did McLaren not listen, or does a Button car suit Lewis better? Funny stuff indeed.

        1. @spinmastermic
          Before the first upgrades, I think he was doing well, compared to Lewis, but he really started to lose it with the new nose, while Lewis got better with it. Since the Belgium he was more comfortable, but McLaren lost the reliability. I think next year it will be easier for him, as he will be the “no1”, and the team might have Sergio to adapt to the car, not the other way around.

      2. The actual comment by Button was that it was the worst FOR HIM, ie it might be brilliant but does not suit his style as well as the previous ones. Catchy headline though.

        1. My impression of Jenson is that the initial euphoria of Lewis leaving McLaren and him becoming the clear number one driver has gone. I feel he is realising the burden of expectation that this role will bring for him and that while Lewis was in the team Jenson was under the radar at times. Next year there will be nowhere to hide for him.

      3. @thejudge13 Could be right! I think Jenson is 1 of them drivers that when the car is perfect he can be unbeatable (Spa 2012/Suzuka 2011) but when its not quite right, he struggles. A good case to back this up is his championship year, once the Brawn started to struggle, he was regularly out performed by Barrichello. And in 07 when Honda had that awful looking earth car, he was out scored by Barrichello I believe.

        This is where I feel McLaren will lose out with him as their no 1 driver. Even when the car isn’t perfect, you know Hamilton is going to wring the neck off it. Hamilton won in Canada, Button got lapped.

        I don’t know the exact figures but Hamilton has had more retirements this year than Button and he’s still ahead in the championship (only just now) I think it’s been a poor season from JB.

    5. Haha, backlash would never have happened..

    6. Two things: wasn’t Button that said it last year that this year’s car would more based on his feedback to the team?? Hum… And i could only imagine the reactions if Lewis said that Mp4/26 didn’t suit him…

      1. @edmarques – I don’t recall him saying that, but I’d be interested to read more if you can point out an article that says as much.

    7. Whilst waiting for the roundup, I commented on the piece about SebVs setup modifications, that I was surprised how well it worked and wondered why they had not tried it before for 1 of their drivers, they can’t both be on pole can they. Seems to me a split strategy would be a good way of ensuring regular points a la Alonso, at most if not all tracks.

      1. I think it only works at certain tracks. Abu Dhabi has 2 DRS zones fairly close together.

        To be honest although seb drove well he seemed to be out of control at times on the radio and this was an example of the team calling a good strategy for him (lucky some say). This shows it is a team sport.

      2. @hohum, I posted a link to this Gary Anderson article, in comments on Keith’s LdM/Ferrari article from yesterday:-

        As well as speculating on why Ferrari seem to struggle much more in qualy as compared to race pace (which is why I first posted the link there) Anderson makes a similar point to yours. Which is that rather than relying on their low geared, high downforce, quick out of the corners strategy which is dependent on qualifying well, Reb Bull might consider a setup closer to Vettel’s during the Abu Dhabi race for the next 2 races.

        I always enjoy Gary Anderson’s articles, this one is definitely worth a read.

        1. @tdog, thanks, excellent article, nice to know I am not totally deluded or if I am I am in good company

    8. Gary Paffett again in the YOUNG driver’s test? Now I know what’s going wrong with that team!!!! They don’t even know what a young driver test is about!!!!

      1. @omarr-pepper – The definition of a “young” driver is someone who has had less than three Grand Prix starts. As Paffet has not started a race before, McLaren are free to use him at the YDT.

        They do so for two reasons: first, it’s an opportunity to continue testing of the car, and gain data for the next year. And secondly, Paffet is an experienced test driver, someone who knows how to get the most out of the car. This makes the data provided by rookie drivers much more relevant, because the team have a benchmark to compare them to.

        1. I think it should be defined by mileage. I don’t blame McLaren for putting him in the car; it makes sense for them to do so, and it’s within the rules. But I’m sure it wasn’t what people had in mind when they thought of organizing young driver tests.

    9. This year is certainly the most depressing of the Lewis/Jenson pairing for Mclaren fans.

      – The car has seemed difficult to set up all year: almost never (australia alone?) have the team locked out the race. Seemingly every weekend, one driver stumbles whilst the other flies. That is, when the car is up to it.
      – The reliability is 2005 all over again. Even in 2010 red bull got past their issues with operational briliiance: this year Mclaren have crumbled.
      – Jenson’s inability to work around problems has been starkly exposed.
      – Lack of accountability: I got over the ‘fire whitmarsh’ ** but honestly, where is the criticism? Imagine if Stefano Domenicali let Alonso leave to an inferior team. Sam Michael, to be fair to him, got his **** together and delivered after the pitstop catastrophes, but that was just replaced by failing parts. Who really calls the shots at Mclaren? Who is in charge? The whole creature is headless. I fear the wake up call has been and gone, but no-one woke up.

      Guh. Enough.

    10. I wonder why Button made such comments as per the link in the article. He actually recorded his first pole this year and could secure front rows couple cases beside Hamilton. Judging from those, MP4-27 should be better than last year. Saying it fits Hamilton not to him only sounds very suspicious excuse. As somebody said, there would be no place to hide to him next year, again already saying 2013 car to be around him one more time. Time will tell again.

    11. Also waiting to see the test driver’s result, esp Robin Frijns against Reb Bull and McLaren.
      He tends to draw some keen interest with his impressive short success, but more so when saying “twice rejected RB offer to join their program’ and ‘They (Red Bull) treats you like a dog’. LoL. He also seems one cocky boy adamant to say ‘ He (himself) won more than Vettel did before he joins F1’. This is good as far as he can prove it.

    12. That video of Vettel’s wing change from the forum is quite interesting.
      Either the nose was broken from contact with the DRS sign or it is made of something that helps it flex under force.
      If it’s the latter, I wonder if we will see another clarification of the rules from the FIA…

    13. Will Ferrari regret doing their young drivers’ test earlier in the year (I think they went to the one in France)? They may be working hard in the simulator etc to keep Montezemolo happy, but meanwhile Red Bull and McLaren have got da Costa and Frijns and Paffett out track-testing all their new bits.

      And wouldn’t the Abu Dhabi race have been even better with no tyre warmers? Kind of related to the point about team radio nagging the drivers about warming their tyres – but there was lots of excitement in the early laps with the car ahead struggling on cold tyres (Kimi chasing Lewis and Alonso getting past Webber) and after the restart with Kimi and Lewis again. Banning tyre warmers could have prolonged the fun a bit, but that idea seems to have gone away – a shame.

    14. On the topic of Räikkönen’s radio, I’m glad to report at least one company has found a way to use it to their advantage :D

    15. That’s one lame excuse Mr. Button

      1. @wackyracer That’s pretty much him though. Brilliant driver on his day, just above average on other days. He rarely brings it home to the podium when it’s not 100% there.

    16. Just read that Kevin Magnussen did a 1.42.6, and topped the young drivers chart. Being a dane, this is great news :) !

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