Mark Webber, Ciaron Pilbeam, Red Bull, Jerez, 2012

Raikkonen and Webber trade race engineers

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Mark Webber, Ciaron Pilbeam, Red Bull, Jerez, 2012In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber will be paired with each others’ former race engineers in 2013.


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

Webber and Raikkonen swap race engineers (Reuters)

“Red Bull said Ciaron Pilbeam, who has worked with Webber since 2007, had taken a new role at Lotus while Raikkonen’s 2012 race engineer Simon Rennie had moved in the opposite direction to team up with Webber.”

Dr Roberts is new FIA F1 Medical Rescue Coordinator (FIA)

“Dr Ian Roberts has been appointed FIA Formula One Medical Rescue Coordinator and will work within the FIA medical team at Grand Prix during the 2013 F1 season. He will report to Professor Jean-Charles Piette, the FIA?s permanent Medical Delegate to F1.”

I considered quitting F1 – Massa (BBC)

“I thought about so many things. I thought maybe I was finished. I thought about not staying in Ferrari. I did not know what would happen. So many things were inside my brain.”

Di Resta eager to get back in fashion (Autosport)

“It will be quite nice to race Nico [Hulkenberg] without having team orders. He will be the main competitor for us – Sauber and Williams.”


Comment of the day

@A-Safieldin says F1 needs to lead and not just follow in pioneering energy-efficient technologies:

I agree that F1 most be relevant but to be honest they are currently following in the footsteps of the car industry. They may like to claim that KERS is some new innovation which (with the possible exception of the flywheel systems) is most certainly not, it?s essentially a glorified Toyota Prius system.

Turbocharging for fuel efficiency is now common protocol and F1, despite being one of turbo?s pioneers, is following the car industry’s lead. KERS and turbos will not filter down as they already exist. People need to realise this. However there are many other things to try.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to KeeleyObsessed!

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

Gilles Villeneuve was born on this day in 1950. He died in 1982, and today would have been his 63rd birthday.

Today also marks 60 years since the 1953 Argentinian Grand Prix. An article on that race will appear here later.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 79 comments on “Raikkonen and Webber trade race engineers”

    1. I thought Mark Slade was Raikkonen’s race engineer???

      1. @lord-stig Rennie was Kimi’s engineer in Abu Dhabi (not sure about the subsequent races), but Mark Slade was his engineer for most of the year.

        1. @brazil2007 no he wasnt. Simon Rennie handles the team radio sometimes, but even in Abu Dhabi it was Slade engineering Kimi. It’s an odd system, I grant you.

      2. As I see it, Mark Slade is still Kimi’s race engineer and Ciaron is getting a “promotion” by being team’s race engineer. Where Rennie is “demoted” from being team’s race engineer to a driver’s race engineer.

        The way I see it, this will work out good for both parties. Ciaron brings a fresh look into Lotus and Rennie hopefully brings a better race starts to Mark :)

        1. Mark Slade was barely ever on the radio to Raikkonen as far as I know. I only seem to recall hearing Slade say “yeeeehaaaa!” after Kimi won in Abu Dhabi. Perhaps Slade was the engineer and Rennie was used as the messenger. Either way, Rennie isn’t getting any lesser a job at RBR (or is it IRBR?) if I’ve read this correctly.

          1. @commonmonsoon

            at RBR (or is it IRBR?)

            It’s officially Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault but really it’s the same as Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes; I always call the latter McLaren so I’d call the former RBR or simply Red Bull. ;)

    2. I guess that Simon Rennie will in fact be leaving Kimi alone now.

      1. @repete86 – It’s no laughing matter. I’ve heard that Rennie quit Lotus because he felt Raikkonen didn’t respect him and was rude with him on a number of occasions.

        1. That’s probably true, but it doesn’t seem that anyone was harmed by it as he still has a job with a top team, so I still think that it’s fair game. It’s not like he’s being forced out of the sport or anything. He’s going to a bigger team with what seems like a more friendly driver, so good for him.

          1. +1 . Agree , Weber must be much more friendly to work with. no question about that. I think all in all both are getting a good deal. One getting a better Position and other getting a better team.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys I think that Kimi just needs some getting used to. Mark Slade has always been fine with him, since he’s gotten to know him well over the years.

          1. The fact that Mark Slade in post-Abu Dabi race interview said that he told Rennie, Kimi is not going to like it, definitely shows that there are gaps between Kimi’s and Rennie’s understanding of things.

          2. That’s not something that should be excused. I doubt Rennie left because of one incident, which suggests that Raikkonen has been difficult to deal with on a personal level all season long. He might be fast and he might have won races, but there is no excuse for being rude towards his engineers.

            1. Maybe Raikkonen felt Rennie was patronising him. If Rennie was telling Raikkonen things he knows Raikkonen doesn’t want to hear, then the problem between the two was Rennie’s fault.

            2. @prisoner-monkeys Sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory. Obviously there was some tension between them, but the only person saying that Kimi was unprofessional and rude to Rennie is you. And what’s your source? You’ve heard it somewhere. I usually value your comments, but this one is a bit “out there”.

              It probably wasn’t down to one incident, but there’s nothing suggesting that Kimi was disrespectful and insulting “all season long”. You jump from one extreme to another. How about this explanation: they have different characters and they didn’t click, had some misunderstandings, like many people do, and they probably share the responsibility for what happened.

            3. Rennie has been involved in F1 for a while. Unless he’s spent a lot of time with some very good ear defenders on, I’m sure he knew of Kimi’s unique personality.

        3. I find it quite funny.

        4. Awh, poor ittle diddums! Did the nasty man upset you ?

      2. @prisoner-monkeys

        Wow, I didn’t know that you’re an acutal insider, knowing every single detail about what has happened, and their relationship.

        You must be working for the team I’d presume? Or a well known figure who’s actually involved in F1/FIA/one of the teams with tons of insider info?

        Please tell us more about how and from where have you’ve heard of all this so called info?

    3. I saw that comment from di Resta yesterday and had a bit of a chuckle. Is he trying to imply that somehow he was held back against Hulkenberg by team orders? If not, what is he trying to say?

      1. He could be referring to general team tactics, having had split strategies, orders for holding/switching positions accordingly, being cautious when overtaking etc. but I wouldn’t be surprised by any other interpretation being correct.

        1. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: world class driver he is not; world class moaner and excuse giver he is.

          1. Haha! Agreed.

            1. He isn’t terrible, he’s simply average. The reason he gets praised left right and centre by the BBC and Sky is because he is best friends pretty much with DC and Brundle. Neither of them never seem to miss a chance to ‘big him up’.

      2. As @glue says, just being teammates in a team where constructors’ championship is the most important meant they were not competing against each other in races as they would have otherwise. Singapore being a good example, where Nico had to led Paul through because of different strategies.

        1. @enigma I like your example, it shows that di Resta has a point, but equally shows the issue with what he his saying,well done.

    4. F1 needs to lead and not just follow in pioneering energy-efficient technologies:

      That comes at a cost. They are too worried about it (understandable) to make that happen. Development and innovation comes after a huge amount of money only…

      The engine freeze might have been necessary, but it doesn’t make the world move. They are letting free the only bit that’s slightly irrelevant to the world (aerodynamics). The road car industry won’t benefit from F1 unless they free up the other stuff: the engines, the way they use power and use it as efficiently as possible.

      1. Yes, sir.

        In 1999-2000 Mercedes would not have come up with a MUCH lighter engine if freeze was in place. Not talking about hundreds of other things that lead to another.

        1. At the risk of boring everybody again I have to agree.
          Why did Williams develop their flywheel technology? Were the design engineers bored because they had nothing to do or were Williams expecting to be able to use the system on their F1cars ?

    5. “It will be quite nice to race Nico [Hulkenberg] without having team orders. He will be the main competitor for us

      A typically inelegant swipe at his ex teammate there from DiResta. First he was getting beaten because of “modern tracks”, only to be trounced at one of the classic drivers circuits. Now his own team were handing out preferential treatment, seems to be the insinuation of choice. The same team he’s spent three years softly denigrating while setting out clearly that he considers them an inconvenient stepping stone to where he really belongs. Alonso isn’t under pressure from this quarter as the most perceptive man in the paddock, anyway.

      Sadly for him, the paddock doesn’t seem to agree, and he’s not the marketers dream Hamilton is.

      He would be better served letting his driving do the talking, with the proviso that his driving improves…

      1. Give me a break! He’s just saying that he’s looking forward to racing uninhibited against Hulk next year. Obviously as teammates you don’t get to do that very often/ever.

      2. @hairs

        A typically inelegant swipe at his ex teammate there from DiResta.

        Indeed. Why is it that every time di Resta opens his mouth, he says something that makes him come across as a spoiled child? When he said he wanted to race Hulkenberg without team orders, the first thing I thought of was that he wanted to race Hulkenberg without team orders so that he could prove to other teams that they had made a mistake by putting their faith in Hulkenberg instead of him.

        1. Time for Di Resta to put up or shut up. I’m tired of his tweets and excuses about qualifying, race performance, not being picked for McLaren etc. Now it’s snipes about team orders!

          1. How is it a “snipe” against team orders?

            I think the negative reaction to this comment comes from F1 fans continued general ignorance of the role of team orders. They are universal and innevitable. In 2012 di Resta and Hulkenberg (although the two closest matched teammates in terms of speed for the majority of the season) would, quite understandably, never have been permitted by the team to actually race and cost each other time. Di Resta would be fully understanding and accepting of this.

            Also, really quite ironic to hear serial internet whingers like @prisoner-monkeys @hairs @journeyer call someone else a moaner. Have a look at yourself peeps, what is it exactly that you are doing???

            Why some people would character assassinate a Formula 1 driver they have never met and will never know is quite beyond me. Sad.

            1. I don’t think f1 fans are ignorant of team orders at all. A (possibly large) proportion of them dislike team orders, and frame their comments accordingly.

              Whether I personally am a serial Whinger has no bearing on whether or not DiResta’s commentary against his own employers is wise, though.

              If he’s “fully understanding and accepting” of team orders, why have we heard comments from him in post race interviews where he frames them as a source of complaint re: “losing out” to a teammate? As brawn said to Rubens in 2009: “you’re the one who has to make the strategy work”.

              Why is he using them to implicate that “all things being even” he’d beat Nico? He’s done the same with vettel. Ultimately, the only person being harmed by these comments is him. Denigrating your own teams’ abilities and prospects isn’t going to endear you to teams you’re trying to woo.

      3. With every passing interview, Di Resta is going down in my eyes. Not only is he nothing special on the track, he is foul-mouthed and bad-mannered off-track too. This really begs the question, why is he still in F1? He doesn’t bring any sponsors, does he? He has Merc backing. That alone is keeping him in the sport?

        1. He also gets a lot of coverage from the British media – not so much as Button and Hamilton, of course – but no doubt the team enjoys taking advantage of that.

          1. Even for a British driver, he seems to get a huge amount of coverage by their tv channels. Watching Sky Sports F1 last season, it’s as if any time they ran out of stuff to say they pulled Paul out from somewhere.

            I equated Paul to Nick Heidfeld ages ago (solid if unspectacular journeyman). I think he’s destined for no further than the front of the midfield.

      4. It’s true that Force India have been splitting their strategies to make sure they do well in the constructors’ cup, which is what matters most to them. This means that one of their drivers often suffers from these team orders and it’s possible that di Resta was the one, who had more bad luck. However, I don’t believe that FI favoured Hulkenberg or deliberately did anything else to hinder di Resta, that just doesn’t make sense. The team probably won’t be happy about this statement as it leaves room for misinterpretation.

        Di Resta has said quite a lot over the last days… Is he trying to change his image as a boring person?

        1. @girts Well, it’s working. Instead of being a boring person, he’s now an annoying whinger.

        2. @girts

          Di Resta has said quite a lot over the last days… Is he trying to change his image as a boring person?

          Into what? In his shoes, I’d much rather be seen as a boring driver than as someone who constantly makes excuses for his poor performances, or as someone who complains about missing out on drives with front-running teams, or as someone who makes passive-aggressive statements to belittle other drivers. Somehow, Paul di Resta is managing to do all three.

          I think he had his heart set on a McLaren drive, making the fatal mistake of believing that his nationality would automatically grant him favour with the team. Not only that, but I think he leaned heavily on the media to try and get fans excited about him, and that he really wanted to be seen as the natural successor to Button and Hamilton; he probably already sees himself that way. But in the end, it all came to nothing, and he was bitterly disappointed by it. That’s when he started making these comments about other drivers, and in the end, he comes across as being more worried about the future than the present. We saw it in 2010 when Sebastien Buemi started talking up the idea of replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2011, and his performances suffered for it. I think Paul di Resta has done the same thing.

      5. DiResta should really just keep his mouth shut. Not only his results are average at best, but he seems really bitter and keeps on coming across as a spoiled child. I bet a few drivers already have him in their cross hair. I wouldn’t mind if he was political if he was a great driver, but he is not.

    6. It will be quite nice to race Nico [Hulkenberg] without having team orders


      1. Is he trying to miss out on FI seat for 2013?

        1. He’s probably actually got a contract signed already, but nothing has been confirmed because Force India are in the habit of announcing both their drivers at the same time. Since they haven’t settled on a second driver, di Resta’s status within the team officially remains unresolved.

    7. With respect to F1 needing to look towards future technology.

      I think part of the appeal of F1 has always been that the cars were so ridiculously advanced compared to what you could buy as a consumer.

      The trouble is these days, that aside from aero innovations, the average joe can see that a lot of F1 technology is in road cars now.

      Carbon fibre? yawn, my phone cover is made out of it.
      ABS and TC? My car has it and F1 cars don’t!

      and so on.

      for F1 to be futuristic and spectacular, as well as environmentally friendly, I’d like to see them use Hydrogen power. Not hydrogen to produce an electricity to turn an electric motor, but liquid hydrogen as a fuel in a hydrogen-combustion engine. That way you get the wow factor, the spectacle (I’m sure that it’d still sound awesome) and clean emissions.

      Sooner or later, we’re going to have to use hydrogen power anyway. Why not have F1 be a testbed for that too?

      1. *edit:

        aside from the absurd cost of development (manufacturers are already worried about costs of developing the next F1 engine, which runs on conventional fuel), and the fact that petroleum companies have a vested interest in that kind of technology being buried until there is literally no more oil.

        1. There always will be oil, and they know it. It’s like cutting thing in half, you can do it forever and people with power in oil are looking forward to doing it. More money.

      2. Drop Valencia!
        18th January 2013, 0:48

        Love the cut of your jib but unfortunately it will never happen, just like gas turbine engines were banned from F1 because they would dominate, and no vested intrest is all that interested in gas turbines for cars.

        PS: Hydrogen gas turbine generator / electric drive cars would be EPIC – maybe 500kg and 4000hp on tap!

      3. Unfortunately hydrogen is more polluting over its lifetime (possibly unless it’s solely developed from renewable energy, or nuclear fusion in the distant future).

      4. @lurker

        ABS and TC? My car has it and F1 cars don’t!

        What’s wrong with that? By removing anit-lock brakes and tracton control, Formula 1 cars are harder to drive. That makes it more challenging for the competitors, which in turn produces better racing. There was a time when traction control was allowed, and all the drivers had to do was plant their foot down and let the electronics take over. I get that people want to see cutting-edge technology in Formula 1 cars, but as you say, road cars lready have traction control and ABS, and they have had them for years. Neither system would offer anything to Formula 1, and would arguably take away from the appeal of it.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          I agree entirely, F1 is better without traction control and abs. I would like to see a car made that has all the electronic gizmos to go as fast as possible around a track but I think F1 should be about competitive, exciting racing around circuits.

          F1 teams will probably still develop systems that’ll make their way into our cars and be relevant in other areas. Last year I read an article about a hospital working with an F1 team’s telemetry systems which were technically far superior in monitoring certain parameters than the hospitals systems.

          Whilst f1 remains the most expensive motorsport there will always be some cutting edge technology being developed

          1. @prisoner-monkeys

            I agree that not having TC or ABS ensures that more of the racing is in the hands of the driver, rather than the computers. I prefer it this way too.

            Perhaps I was unclear, but I was merely looking for an example of how F1 cars are not as advanced technologically relative to current road cars as they have been in the past.


            It is true that the biggest problem with hydrogen now is processing it in a non-pollutive way. But thats an engineering problem which can be solved if the time, money and interest was there. Having F1 use hydrogen as a fuel (even if it is, at the moment, more pollutive “over its lifetime” at the moment) would be a good way to raise awareness of it, and hopefully encourage investment and research to make it 100% clean.

            Hydrogen is the most abundant material in the universe… why aren’t we doing everything we can to harness it?! :)

            1. The easiest way to harness hydrogen would be electrolysis of water which would also produce oxygen – which is of course useful! If the electricity used for electrolysis comes from renewable resources then you’ve got a perfectly green fuel. Try pitching that to BP though..

            2. Direct electrolysis of water is indeed quite easy, just apply sufficient power and it goes, though then isolating the H and O2 before they explosively react to water is more effort. And it costs lots of energy, so mass production of Hydrogen is done differently, but it still costs energy.

            3. I don’t think that F1 adopting hydrogen would help promote it in any meaningful way whatsoever unfortunately.

      5. I have another idea, just try to make the engines more fuel efficient.
        How about having a racing series with one simple rule: You get x amount of energy for the race. The one who finishes first is the winner. How you do it is up to you.

        This would be an interesting concept for endurance racing. Petrol, Diesel, Hydrogen, LPG, Hybrid, exchangeable electrical batteries. All allowed.
        You get 64000MJ (abt 1800l Diesel or 2000l Gasoline or 520kg H2 or 2.7t of coal or 0.8g U235 ;-) to complete the 24h of Le Mans. Up to you how you manage to do it. Next year it will be 60000MJ.

        I think a series like that would significantly contribute to developing more efficient engines.

        1. Hmm, I just had a look at the energy density of Lithium-Ion batteries….
          So 64000MJ would equal 90tons of batteries… assuming they can replace 150kg batteries per pit stop, they would need 600 stops. LOL

        2. That would be painfully boring to watch I’m afraid. Last year there were already people that complained that drivers didn’t push their cars to the limit to save tyres, image a field of endurance cars that all go 50% of their actual pace just to save fuel.

        3. A good idea for an economy trial, but death to any race series.

      6. The energy density of liquid hydrogen is high (around 123 MJ per kilo), nearly three times that of petrol. However, the energy per litre is much lower – less than a sixth that of petrol.

        Aside then from the need for a massively larger fuel tank, the hydrogen also requires a system to store it cryogenically, or to store it under enormous pressures (around 700X atmospheric pressure). With current technologies, hydrogen is therefore entirely unsuitable for F1 racing.

        (The energy density of batteries is an order of magnitude worse than petrol – but as they are recharged every lap with ERS/KERS, they don’t have to store anywhere near as much energy.)

    8. Hopefully the new V6 will breathe a bit of fresh air into the automotive industry, particularly with the more sophisticated ERS built in. I’m keen to see what they will recover next.

      1. I do hope you are right Andrew but I am afraid that any apparent difference has been regulated out of the design and it seems that only a very short development period will be allowed purely to ensure identical performance.

    9. I’m glad Hamilton will appear to Top Gear again, I assume in the new series starting on the 27th. Interviews with him where they get down to the depths of his personality are fascinating, the emotion behind his eyes reminds me a lot of what Senna was like on camera.

      1. Let’s hope he can smash Vettel’s lap time too!

    10. I’m hearing talk that Force India is on the verge of collapse in light of Vijay Mallya’s financial problems. Can’t finda soruce, though. It will be interesting to see how this plays out – I’m suprised there haven’t been more serious questions asked about how Mallya can afford to run a Formula 1 team when his airliner is a billion dollars in debt, or how he can find the time to follow the championship from race to race when his companies are in crisis.

      1. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a sauce!

        Don’t know how reliable it is, though.

        1. Wow, I really wouldn’t like to see Briatore again. Thanks for a sourece @prisoner-monkeys, this has been brewing for months, puts some perspective on di Rests in the media too, he might have a contract, but with who if FI changes ownership.

          1. @bosyber – I’d say Kolles is the more-likely saviour of the team. Briatore probably wouldn’t be welcome in the paddock. With the Brabham family winning the rights to the “Brabham Cars” name, I could see Kolles running a reimagined Brabham team with Jules Bianchi bring Ferrari engines to the team, possibly alongside Adrian Sutil.

        2. You have sores? try Bacilin.

    11. Disagree with COTD. The KERS system indeed is nothing new because Mclaren experimented with a very similar system in pre season testing in the late 90s before the FIA told them they weren’t allowed to use it. This predates the Prius considerably,

      1. I’d like to know more, F1s advancement of automotive technology is an interest of mine! In case you hadn’t noticed. Do you have have a sauze?

        1. Drop Valencia!
          19th January 2013, 3:56

          I think it involved liquid compression or something, it wasn’t battery operated….

    12. If I was Force India team principle, I would be very concerned about Paul Di Resta. He never wants to take responsibility for his own short-comings, and his head doesn’t seem to be in the right place. All he talks about is his hopes of driving for a bigger team, rather than talk about what he hopes to achieve with Force India. If Di Resta performs poorly in the first few races of this coming season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dropped.

    13. @keithcollantine, STR (8) is also the Chrysler version of HSV, AMG, etc. Chrysler are now in the FIAT group which also owns STRs engine supplier!
      STR were around before the Chrysler/Fiat deal so it must be a coincidence but maybe a happier one than the Ferrari F150.

      1. Or maybe it’s SRT.

        1. I think he means Scuderia torro rosso

    14. I hope Ciaron Pilbeam knows that Kimi Raikkonen knows what he’s doing.

    Comments are closed.