Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2012

Lopez targets top three in championship for Lotus

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2012In the round-up: Gerard Lopez expects an even stronger showing from Lotus in 2013.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Lotus boss sets bold targets for 2013 (James Allen on F1)

“Lotus F1 boss Gerard Lopez has set his team a bold objective for this season: finish in the top three of the constructors’ championship table this year and end the season on the same level as the best teams.”

Athletes pray for recovery of Venezuela’s Chavez amid growing concerns over leader’s health (The Vancouver Sun)

“Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado, IndyCar Series driver Ernesto Jose Viso and other pro-[Venezuelan president Hugo] Chavez athletes attended a mass at a church in downtown Caracas on Sunday to pray for the ailing president.”

Race calendar keeps F1 fans guessing (Reuters)

“Time is running out with local promoters usually seeking to maximise their chances of breaking even by putting tickets on sale for the race almost as soon as the previous one has finished.”

Analysis: Teams face dilemma over DRS (Autosport)

“Lotus and Mercedes both found that due to air pressure characteristics surrounding an F1 car, the speed at which the passive DRS switched off to re-engage the rear wing was not always the same as that where it switched on.”

The mystery behind the sacking of FIA doctor ?ǣ Gary Hartstein (Thejudge13)

“Clearly Gary has been hurt and most upset by this and in December he resorted to an extraordinary and extended expression of this hurt and anger on twitter. The twitter explosion included the following, ‘I might launch a crusade to get some answers, or get my f***ing job back, or let the world know what?s really going on the medical side of the FIA’.”


Comment of the day

@John-H reflects on yesterday’s F1 videos from 1991:

Watching that Montreal pre-qualify video from about four minutes in reminds you that F1 doesn?t have to be overtakes every few minutes and a spiced up show to interest some of us at least. It?s something deeper than that ?ǣ a feeling of being in awe of the machines and the drivers that have to handle them.

I don?t want to get too nostalgic about things (and go on about the past) because I love modern F1 too, but in a digital world where everything seems to be measured quantitatively (we want two pit stops per race, we want 100 overtakes etc…), it’s nice to be reminded of the beautiful things that makes motorsport and F1 what it was, is and should continue to be.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Michael Roberts!

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

Ahead of the first ever running of the world championship several top drivers participated in the non-championship Buenos Aires Grand Prix held at the Palermo circuit on this day in 1950.

Luigi Villoresi won for Ferrari after early leader Juan Manuel Fangio lost time with a pit stop.

Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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  • 29 comments on “Lopez targets top three in championship for Lotus”

      1. The old races were only good because there was no internet. People couldn’t comment & dissect & analyse & complain about every little detail or action of a driver/team.

        1. This qualifies to be nominated for the prize for the most stupid comment in the history of the internet.

          1. Before the internet you’d never have criticised that comment.

            1. Before that comment, you’d never have criticised the internet.

              Yeah, we could do this all day.

        2. I agree full-heartedly: because the information has become available to each and everyone to hear and read, it has lost that little element of mystery. And even though I appreciate the immense work of F1-blogs (such as this one) that really add something to the F1 experience, it has lost this mystery element in the process.

      2. Absolutely @john-h Well said! It seems to me that many fans consider that to be a way of measuring their personal entertainment, which for me is quite sad…they’re missing so much!

    1. It seems that, with minimal rule changes, a fundamentally good 2012 car is going to pay dividends going into the 2013 season. So I see no reason why that isn’t a realistic target for Lotus. Also, bearing in mind, their two drivers are no longer race rusty, and James Allison seems pretty handy/innovative when he needs to be too.

    2. I was about to say “there is no way Lotus is gonna get in the top 3 for 2013” & then I remember that the Green team is Caterham not Lotus haha.

    3. That article about Hartstein is very worrisome, Hartstein is the natural successor to Watkins, so for him to be thrown out like that is, rather ridiculous.

      I feel that the culture within F1 is rather sick at the moment.

      1. Evidently, something has happened between Hartstein and the FIA to prompt them to let him go.

        However, I’m not sure how seriously I can take that article. I noticed the last two paragraphs contradict themselves. First of all, @thejudge13 has this to say about the situation:

        Some today have been criticising Gary Hartstein for not telling the world what the problem is, but you must remember he may have a legal case yet to bring and hence cannot be specific in any allegations.

        But then he criticises the FIA for not saying anything on the matter:

        It is suspicious that the FIA have made no comment or given explanation of the removal of their senior medical officer.

        So on the one hand, Hartstein can’t say anything because he may be pursuing legal options. If that is the case, then surely the FIA cannot or will not say anything for the same reasons. But instead, thejudge13 calls it “suspicious” that they haven’t said anything, even though he’s just made a case for why they might not have said anything for the time being.

        I’m sorry, but I can’t take thejudge’s blog seriously when he judges based on nothing more than supposition. The perfect example of this is when he recounts the situation with Adam Parr:

        It is not unusual for people in F1 to be ‘dispatched” quickly and without comment. Adam Parr discovered this following his criticism of Bernie Ecclestone’s future revenue model for F1. Parr questioned why F1 was only receiving the same amount of money for its global TV rights that Turkish football was getting for its annual TV coverage. 9 months later Parr fell on his sword.

        Did it occur to anyone that in the nine months between questioning the television rights and losing his job, Adam Parr could have said or done anything to get himself fired? Not according to thejudge13 – Parr says something, and then nine months later, he loses his job. The two may very well be connected, but no evidence of a connection is given. And yet the situation is presented as if one directly caused the other. This is a perfect example of post hoc ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”), a logical fallacy that claims that because Event X happened and then Event Y happened, Event X must have caused Event Y.

        And that’s why I can’t take thejudge13’s blog seriously. Something obviously happened between Hartstein and the FIA. But without knowing what it was, we can’t start judging either side. Just because Hartstein is angry, it doesn’t mean he was wrongfully dismissed.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I think that there is a difference between opinions that are expressed by fans, such as @thejudge13, you or me and articles that are written by professional journalists, F1 insiders like AUTOSPORT staff. We, fans, will never have nearly as much information as those, who themselves are in the paddock every other weekend. Does that mean we shouldn’t form our opinions about what happens in F1, even if they are often based on assumptions or speculations? I don’t think so. The article also contains some useful facts, such as review of Hartstein’s conversations with other people on Twitter.

          As for the lack of any statement from FIA, I think the difference is that they, unlike Hartstein, haven’t said anything at all. For instance, they could have said that both parties had different views on the future development of the FIA Medical Commission or that they have started legal proceedings against Hartstein (I don’t think they have but silence easily leads to all kinds of assumptions). It’s clear that Hartstein is angry at FIA but not clear what FIA thinks of Hartstein, that is the main difference.

          1. We, fans, will never have nearly as much information as those, who themselves are in the paddock every other weekend. Does that mean we shouldn’t form our opinions about what happens in F1, even if they are often based on assumptions or speculations? I don’t think so.

            There’s a difference between expressing an opinion and presenting an opinion as fact. thejudge13 offers nothing to substantiate his most-serious claims, and if he is relying on “useful facts” – like Hartstein’s conversations on Twitter – to establish some kind of credibility to his article and then trading on it to make those serious allegations seem more than speculation, then it is very, very unethical.

            1. You know, there are things of actual importance out there in the world to get upset about and expend energy on. Talk about brewing a tempest in a teapot.

            2. @maciek

              You know, there are things of actual importance out there in the world to get upset about and expend energy on.

              You’re right. Why are we spending all of this time talking about Formula 1 at all. So, what’s your take on the growing threat of a military coup in the Central African Republic? Should the West intervene in any way? And if so, how can they reasonably afford to ignore Syria any more?

              Perhaps there are more important issues out there. It’s a matter of personal opinion as to what should be given priority. However, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that someone who presents themselves as a jouranlist – as thejudge13 is doing here – supports their claims with actual evidence, rather than insinuations that dress up an opinion as a fact. Especially when those insinuations have the potential to be libellous.

            3. @prisoner-monkeys
              Neither consistency nor Sub-Saharan Africa have ever put so much as a wrinkle in the West’s geopolitical decision making, so what’s your question about? Well, ok, I’ll fess up, I don’t really want to know. This is about as much time spent arguing on the internet as maintaining a healthy life balance will allow.

    4. Not really buying that the R31 was a competitive car! Otherwise, good article from JAF1.

    5. hmmmm Pastor and company really should pray a whole lot more… If that guy kicks the bucket… it´s bye bye pdvsa money and it´ll soon be “hit the road jack!!”….

      I know it´s bad to think this but… at least with that guy gone, the people of Venezuela might have a chance to be the nation they once where!

      1. @catracho504

        If that guy kicks the bucket… it´s bye bye pdvsa money and it´ll soon be “hit the road jack!!”

        Only if you assume a) that Maldonado’s place within the team hinges solely on his sponsors paying for his seat, and b) that PDVSA want nothing to do with Formula 1 and are only involved in the sport because Hugo Chavez is forcing them to. I don’t see any evidence of either being true.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          a) that Maldonado’s place within the team hinges solely on his sponsors paying for his seat

          I dont think thats the case, but Williams often hired fast, talented and cheap drivers, now the trend is: fast, talented and stuffed. But if Maldonado would lose the PDVSA money, he would be in the first category.

          b) that PDVSA want nothing to do with Formula 1 and are only involved in the sport because Hugo Chavez is forcing them to. I don’t see any evidence of either being true.

          In my opinion if you could get in, you dont want to get out, for the big companies F1 is the ultimate marketing platform. So I dont see why PDVSA would pull out, BUT if the political regime changes, then get ready to learn a new name, because Rafael Ramírez (Minister of Energy and Oil) wont be the president of the oil company (imo). With such a change there is a possibility of financial restructuring, or even pulling out of a sport, and if there is less money to give, @catracho504‘s idea is not that far from reality.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys

          a) that Maldonado’s place within the team hinges solely on his sponsors paying for his seat,

          You might not be totally informed in life in Latin America and might just get information from what you see in the news. The truth is, Chavez´ regime is a communist regime, not socialist. It is just covered like a socialist regime but the truth is far from that and so, by PDVSA backing Maldonado… they are just giving another “face” to Venezuela. Sort of what Bahrain tries to do with having their gp every year… Chavez always struggled to make everybody think that it´s people is happy with their government and that is waaaaaay off… so in regards to

          b) that PDVSA want nothing to do with Formula 1 and are only involved in the sport because Hugo Chavez is forcing them to

          That is totally it… if you think of it… what does PDVSA directly get out of being in F1?? It´s not like Shell…. Shell being with Ferrari get global exposure and solidifies it´s stance as one of the world´s leading fuel manufacturers. What does PDVSA do?? They are just an oil company… it just shows that Venezuela as a country has a lot of resources, etc…
          And I think that @bag0 has a clearer view of what goes on in latin america when he says that

          BUT if the political regime changes, then get ready to learn a new name, because Rafael Ramírez (Minister of Energy and Oil) wont be the president of the oil company (imo). With such a change there is a possibility of financial restructuring, or even pulling out of a sport, and if there is less money to give,

          Is totally correct! They are looking for ways for Chavez to assume power without having to be present in the country… why??? because if he doesn´t… the present vice president, Nicolas Maduro has to call for elections all over again and they fear that with Chavez gone… things might go “south” for their regime…. Believe me…. I come from Latin America, Honduras to be exact, and that regime is the cancer that is eating up all the latin american countries… but, this is a subject way to complex to explain here and has no relevance with the matter at hand…
          The reason I said that Maldonado might lose his backing is because whoever gets the power in Venezuela… might not have the same way of viewing things as Chavez did in regards to “washing” Venezuela´s international face… and therefore.. might want to save that bunch of money that is being given away to back 1 person when a whole country is in a world of doo-doo… Everybody might think Venezuela is a healthy country but the truth of the matter fact is that hospitals there can´t cover the basic needs… And housing, criminality, employment, etc, are much more important subjects to tackle than just give the country a favorable face worldwide… They must take care of business in their country first and then, and only then, should think of backing sportsmen…

          Believe me, I know what I´m talking about when I talk about this… I actually lived through the whole outing of the former president in my country… Everybody called it a coup… but what everybody fails to see is that our country was actually headed in the same direction as Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Venezuela by having a dictator imposed on us… So yeah.. By this guy kcking the bucket, it´s actually gonna be a good thing for the whole of Latin America… And to let you know why… did you know that the former president of my country, Honduras, in the months following his outing… used a PDVSA private Jet to travel back and forth to Washington, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc. trying to get himself reinstated?? Now why would another country do such a thing if it didn´t have interests in another country?

          This might all be knews for you or it might not but, coming from a Latin American country, and a country that directly had issues with that guy, I know what I´m talking about… Maldonado might or might not lose his backing but one thing is for certain… with that guy gone, things will be different and that is what I´m hoping for because maybe the country will take a turn for the better… It´s sort of like… what will happen after the Castro brothers croack! Nobody knows for certain but I am sure most of the cubans are waiting for that to happen… The Castro bro´s will be dead and buried and then it´s people will have to wake up from the lies and realize that those two really screwed them up really bad! Same will happen in Venezuela.

          Just my 2 cents…

      2. @catracho504, This is not really the place to discuss politics, but since you have expressed a desire for ” Venezuela to be the nation it once was” I would like to tell you a short story;
        When I was 12 yrs old I had a school subject called social studies, the text book published in 1955 had a picture of Caracas in it, I remember this very well because I was amazed to see a city of skyscrapers and multilane highways with cloverleaf interchanges, Australia at the time had no such highways and few real skyscrapers, another fact I remember is that Venezuelans paid no income tax due to the countries oil wealth and yet 50+ years later Venezuela has a huge underclass of people landless and uneducated. Where did all the money go?
        Is that the Venezuela you want to see again? Little wonder that
        Chavez has come to power, the surprise is it didn’t happen earlier.

    6. I think Lotus and Mercedes have less to worry about with the DRS now. With the limited use of it this year, it will be far less effective in qualifying than it was last year anyway (as we saw Mercedes benefit from their DDRS at the beginning of last season). The potential downfalls and time lost trying to research something so complicated definitely outweigh the gains now.

      I could understand if Mercedes were to spend more of the off-season with continual research though. If they were to get it working more efficiently than last year, allowing them to focus more intently on exhaust solutions and whatever else might be this year’s must-have concept, then at least last year wouldn’t have been a complete write-off, and with the change in tyres this year, it could at the very least result in them being able to compete for the 4th/5th spots in the Constructor’s again.

      1. @jamiefranklinf1 There is a difference between the active DDRS systems used by Red Bull and Mercedes in races in 2012 and the passive DRS systems tested by Lotus and Mercedes in practices in 2012. The active DDRS systems which were enabled when the driver activated the standard DRS have been banned for 2013. The passive DRS systems which the article refers to will still be legal in 2013. As they rely solely on speed sensitive aerodynamic switching independent of the normal DRS, passive DRS systems can be used on any part of the circuit at any time in practice, qualy and the race.

      2. hi all. The passive DRS only gave a tenth advantage and took month to get working correctly. right? not worth it IMO.

    7. I agree with CODT, There is so much more to racing than quantity of passes, pit stops, winners & title contenders.
      I don’t watch motorsport for any of those things, Sure seeing overtaking is nice & a close title fight add’s some excitement but i’ve never felt any of these things were needed to make a race or season exciting or interesting.

      One of my criticism’s of the new style of F1 with KERS, DRS & pirelli’s is that were getting tons more passing yet 95% of that passing is of very low quality so to me at least is adding zero excitement or interest to the races.
      On the flip side however were losing a lot of the close, competitive racing & the truly exciting, hard fought overtaking which made F1 (And racing in general) so attractive to me. I always loved watching cars fighting over a position & always found the overtaking that resulted from that to be far more exciting & far more interesting that the push of a button DRS nonsense we have had the last 2 years.

      I said a year back & stand by today that I would much rather see 1 quality overtake than 50 boring DRS/KERS/Pirelli drive-by’s as quantity over quality isn’t an improvement.

      1. +1000, we are unfortunately outnumbered by the legion of fans who only started watching F1 this century, they have not experienced the thrill of seeing 2 cars with different strengths and weaknesses battle nose to tail lap after lap nor have they sat on the edge of their seat afraid their favourite drivers engine might not last the distance at this furious pace.

        1. i have to also agree here.
          its interesting when the drs & the high wear pirelli tires were announced & introduced for 2011 I was open to them & happy with the prospect of seeing more overtaking & more unpredictable racing due to the tire wear & strategies. however 2 years later im sick on the effect these things are having & would now much rather see the drs banned & pirelli bring more conservative compounds.

          the reason for my change is that i now think things have gone too far & its now on the verge of been far too artificial & that is an aspect of 2011/2012 i have not enjoyed.
          watching drs ruin a nice fight for a position because the driver behind only has to be within 1 second at a line & then only has to push a button in a designated passing zone to get an easy pass is way to artificial & has produced far too many uncontested passes which as you say have been of low quality & uninteresting to watch for someone who wants to see a real race.
          the pirelli tires have messed up strategy & did in early ’12 spice things up but there came a point where it all started to feel too random & artificial & i found myself enjoying the races later in the year where the tires played less of a role from a wear standpoint. hearing drivers talk of not been able to push because of tires or hearing kimi raikkonen back at bahrain say that the got 1 go at racing/overtaking vettel & then the tires gave out preventing another push & seeing teams/drivers struggling with the tires & also struggling to understand why they were struggling just turned me off the racing.

          i’ve attended many races over the years including usgp’s at indy, pheonix & detroit & decided to go to austin last year & was seated in one of the grandstands towards the end of the back straght.
          at those other circuits it was always fun watching the close fighting & the good overtaking, especially at indy where i always sat by f1 turn 1 & where there was always plenty of good slipstreaming & good racing/overtaking & i enjoyed going every year.
          last year all we saw was drs based passing which was often done well before the braking point & none of that was especially interesting to watch. i got to see hamilton pass vettel for the lead yet felt no excitement or satisfaction from watching the pass happen because it was a push of a button soul-less uncontested highway pass.

          watching motor sport in north america is dominated by nascar, a series which uses artificial means to as dizzy put it ‘artificially spice up the show’ & that artificial element is why i’ve never warmed to nascar & why i don’t watch or follow it.
          likewise oval racing is popular over here & on ovals you often get whats called the ‘slingshot pass’, a sort of pass similar in ways to drs passes in that the car behind usually drives by easily with the car infront powerless to defend & again that sort of pass is why i’ve never got into the oval racing. i watch indycar road racing & some short oval stuff but have never been into the big speedways because of what i describe above.

          to me f1 was the pinnacle, pure racing without artificial gimmicks & racing where drivers had to drive the cars & work hard to race close with other cars/drivers & where overtaking really had to be earned by drivers pushing hard & having to think about pulling off an overtake. i loved watching all that great racing & all that genuine & exciting overtaking.
          now i just find myself disinterested, the racing isn’t as close or hard fought & the overtaking is push of a button easy & no longer exciting to see happen.
          i’ve not yet booked tickets for this years race in austin & i plan to see what effect the tires have on the racing & how effective the drs system is before deciding if i want to attend this years race, based on much of what i saw in ’11/’12 i likely will not be attending & will not be watching.

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