Ricciardo has upper hand at Toro Rosso – Marko

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In the round-up: Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko says Daniel Ricciardo has the beating of Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne at present.


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

Webber may be replaced by Ricciardo (The Age)

“In general we are happy with both [Toro Rosso] drivers. Ricciardo is currently the better one.”

Small windows – Daniel’s blog (Toro Rosso)

“I just got it – but that last lap was tight. Coming out of turn ten he got nearly alongside me and we were both sideways out of there. I was desperately trying to hold on to it. It was a great relief when I crossed the line in front.”

Whitmarsh denies employing team orders (The Telegraph)

“Did we ask him to back off and not fight? No, we didn’t. In truth, there was a battle on in prospect, but at the end Checo’s tyres were completely shot.”

Bernie Ecclestone slams tyre quality (Daily Express)

“The tyres are wrong, not what we intended when we asked Pirelli to produce something which did a half race.”

Pirelli urges Formula One to relax testing rules (Reuters)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “We have absolutely no in-season testing, we can’t have access to these cars going around now and have to run around in a 2010 car. It’s alright to sit there and criticise but you’re not exactly given the tools to do a precise job.”

Changes won’t shake order – Pirelli (Autosport)

“Hembery made it clear that Pirelli’s changes were not the result of lobbying from Red Bull, after its owner Dietrich Mateschitz this week hit out at F1 by saying it had “nothing to do with racing anymore.”

McLaren tight-lipped on 2015 (Sky)

“The discussions about ’15 are between myself and Mercedes and not for newspapers.”

Domenicali: “A win without ifs or buts” (Ferrari)

“We have won two of the five races so far, but we can do more. For people like us, who always aim for the maximum, it’s hard to swallow having missed some opportunities. In Barcelona we won without ifs and buts, we won fair and square.”


Sebastian Vettel visited the Renault factory and sampled their extraordinary Twizy F1 Renaultsport concept car – more pictures of that here:


Comment of the day

@Ella on the topic everyone’s talking about at the moment:

I haven’t been the biggest fan of the racing thus far in 2013 and I’m certainly not unbiased when approaching the tyre issue (Ferrari fan) but I feel like this is such an unfair development. I felt the same way when EBD was drastically reduced in 2011. They’re moving the goal posts mid-season (not even) and completely invalidating the hard work some teams have done to properly understand the tyres. All the teams have the same tyres. Some have obviously done a better job. Unfortunately they lie in the minority.

I completely get the need for structural change to the tyres – the delaminations are dangerous and unacceptable. However, I feel like compound changes are jumping the gun – Spain and Bahrain are two of the hardest circuits on tyres and the teams will eventually get on top of them. They always do.

In saying that, I didn’t particularly enjoy Sunday’s race – four stops is excessive. But it’s the first race we’ve seen like that this season (unless my memory fails me) so I’m not sure why everyone seems to expect, and attacked Pirelli as if it were the case, that the rest of the season would be much of the same?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the teams pushing, I want to see the cars being driven to the limit (with a good dose of strategy) and this year’s races haven’t been that great but I’m a big believer in keeping the goalposts the same for the ENTIRE season. Change it for next season. The other teams just have to suck it up and work harder for this year. Unfortunately, knee-jerk reactions seem to be the norm in this sport.

I’m not blaming Pirelli, they’re only doing what’s been asked of them and it’s been equally unfair that they’ve been consistently lambasted since they came into the sport. It feels like fans are never happy – in 2012 all I read was that the racing was too unpredictable. Then before that in 2010 too predictable.

I get the feeling after these changes the complaints aren’t likely to stop (yes I realise this entire comment has been a big, fat complaint, won’t happen again). Pretty disappointed that this has happened. I just hope it won’t change the order as much as I think it will and that the racing will truly benefit.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Keke Rosberg scored a brilliant win in the Monaco Grand Prix 30 years ago today.

Starting on slick tyres on a wet track, he passed Alain Prost for the lead at the end of lap one and was never headed.

Having started on wet tyres his rivals fell over a minute behind in the early stages. Although he lead was more than halved over the rest of the race he still had enough in hand to win:

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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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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84 comments on “Ricciardo has upper hand at Toro Rosso – Marko”

  1. So now if we could get rid of him and put Felix Da Costa in the seat, that’d be great.

    1. @vettel1 Why? What did Felix Da Costa do in his career, that JEV didn’t? Really overhyped based on half a season really. Not saying he’s not good but he doesn’t deserve to take JEV’s seat yet

      1. @montreal given a season’s more experience and if he continues on last year’s form, I think he’s looking better than JEV easily. His FR3.5 season last year looks better than anything Verge did in junior categories IMO…

          1. @vettel1 I perfectly understand you may have a personal preference for AFC. However facts doesn’t back that up. Looking back at their junior careers I cannot understand why AFC has better potential than JEV? When JEV arrived in WSbR at the end of 2010 he took 4 podiums out of 6 starts including 1 win. Then in 2011 he fought for the title with team-mate Wickens and narrowly lost. So far this year AFC fares worse than that if anything.

          2. @montreal95 if we base it purely upon their debut seasons in FR3.5 (as that is a common denominator) then in 12 starts AFC scored 166 points (13.83 points per start average), compared to 53 points in 6 starts for JEV (exactly the same: 13.83 points per start) when converted to the 2012 points system.

            However, the reason I find AFC’s stats more impressive is because of his rough start (bear with me): AFC had a measly average of 2 points per start over the first four races, but in the last 8 he had a quite remarkable 19.75 points per start (averaging 1.75 better than a second place). In Vergne’s best 8 race spell (rounds 9-16 of the 2011 FR3.5 season) he scored only 16.5 points per start on average, despite the extra experience.

            That’s what I found most impressive about AFC in 2012: his quite incredible late run of form. If he makes up for his slightly unfortunate start to this season, I think he’ll be in F1 sooner rather than later because the guy seems incredible.

          3. @vettel1 I agree that AFC’s rate of improvement has been impressive. But also we shouldn’t forget that 2012 was his team Adren Caterham’s first season of WSbR. So naturally they were finding their feet at the beginning of the season. It’s not just AFC pace has improved, also Rossi’s, although not by as much. AFC did beat the aforementioned Rossi handily, although how much does it tell us is open to doubt. And when JEV arrived for the last 6 races of 2010 he beat none other than Daniel Ricciardo in the same car.
            All of that doesn’t bring me to any conclusion at all, apart from one which is OT: What the hell is Robert Wickens doing in DTM instead of F1?! :)

          4. @montreal95 as always, the proof is in the pudding! If we were to solely judge it based on junior categories then you could draw the conclusion Paul Di Resta is better than Sebastain Vettel, but that’s clearly not the case!

            As of now though, I really want to see what AFC can do in a Formula 1 car.

            Completely agreed on Wickens though, his 2011 season was incredible! He doesn’t seem to be doing anything remarkable in DTM though judging by the results, although I don’t follow it so I can’t really judge…

          5. Regarding Wickens, he’s been very solid in his rookie DTM season with a second tier car, though he didn’t always have results to show for it. This year he received a current spec car and immediately qualified in the top 4 for the first race

            Back on topic, I agree the proof is in the pudding. And the only thing I disagree with you on is that AFC hadn’t yet proved he deserves to be promoted to JEV’s seat. But it might not be necessary at all. A very plausible scenario is: MW leaves RBR, DR gets promoted as SV’s sidekick, and AFC gets a Toro Rosso seat alongside JEV

          6. @montreal95

            A very plausible scenario is: MW leaves RBR, DR gets promoted as SV’s sidekick, and AFC gets a Toro Rosso seat alongside JEV

            Agreed: I’d like to see him in Toro Rosso by the end of this year, but it’s far more likely he’ll end up there in 2014 and if he lives up to the hype I think Ricciardo will be shown the door (unless by some miracle he beats Seb)…

            This is if Webber does indeed retire – he might yet stay for another year! It’s not looking likely though…

          7. @vettel1 By Ricciardo shown the door, you mean at the end of 2014 at RBR?

            If Webber won’t leave RBR things will get very complicated indeed. This whole news article is being generated by Dr. Marko to spur his drivers on, and also to prepare the ground for one of them replacing MW. It’s no coincidence he said it to an Australian newspaper. Australian out, Australian in, no problem, is what he’s essentially saying. If however by the end of the year JEV gains the upper hand he’ll try to promote him instead. Even as a Webber fan I understand him completely: Marko’s responsible for the junior program, he doesn’t want another generation of his juniors to go down the drain

          8. @montreal95 yes I do: if he isn’t stern competition for Vettel, and if AFC performs as well as he is hyped to, then I think it’s bye bye Ricciardo! I can’t see him beating Vettel – many people seem to think he’s not talented, but he’s the best driver Toro Rosso has ever had by a country mile certainly. I can’t see Ricciardo being a really serious threat to Vettel on a consistent basis – in essence, I think he’ll be an upgraded Webber!

          9. @vettel1 Depends on what you mean by upgraded? If you mean a dutiful number 2 to SV then yes. If you think Ricciardo will be closer on pace to SV than MW is though, then you might be disappointed

          10. @montreal95 I think he will be as it stands now, as I think Mark is clearly starting to show his age (he has been really since 2011). I think in the final points standings he’d be closer to Seb, but yes I think he’d end up in the dutiful number two role (in terms of the fact he is not as good as the lead driver – I actually rather like the way Red Bull in general give their drivers equal footing).

            The only person I can actually see being a threat to Vettel in the pipeline is Felix Da Costa, but that’s a leaping assertion based on very little. Again, the proof is in the pudding.

          11. @vettel1 If it was age, then how his 2012 was markedly better than 2011? Mark’s one of the fittest drivers in the paddock and at 36, he’s younger than some relatively recent world champions such as Mansell and Prost. Car characteristics are way more important than MW’s age and 2011 car was the deciding factor. So, I’m not sure if Ricciardo can be faster. About AFC, don’t know yet, it could be you’re right, but as of now it’s anybody’s guess. The only threat to SV’s dominance at RBR in the next few years would be if KR went there IMO

          12. @montreal95 well as you said, car characteristics influenced that (and exemplified how well Vettel did). I think he really hit his peak in 2010 and he’s been in decline since then: whether it’s age or whatever I’m not too sure, but he really doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to Seb (in fact, quite the opposite). So I think Ricciardo could be an improvement but definitely still not a threat to Vettel – I don’t think Räikkönen would even be able to beat him.

            In fact, I think the only man who would probably beat Vettel right now is Alonso (yes, I’m paying Alonso a compliment – the world is ending)!

    2. That’s what I’m expecting. AFC will be driving a Toro Rosso in 2014.

    3. That.

  2. Same number of points after 26 races (17), but Ricciardo has only ever been outqualified by Vergne 6 times.

    1. after 26 races … Ricciardo has only ever been outqualified by Vergne 6 times

      It’s actually 5 times in 25 races.

      Keith’s 2012 form guide has the head to head qualy score 15-5, but it’s wrong – it was actually 16-4 in 2012. Dan is ahead 4-1 this year.

    2. @david-a

      Danny boy has the upper hand because Helmut Marko is propping it up! It not difficult to tell that Ricciardo is anotehr one of Marko’s blue eyed boys. I think JEV has been very good, he seems to keep his head down and gets the job done. Not saying any less of Ricciardo, I think he has great potential.

      I think both of them will do well in the parent red bull car…but we all know which one of them will be at RBR next year.

      1. @jaymenon10

        It not difficult to tell that Ricciardo is another one of Marko’s blue eyed boys.

        HM’s comments do suggest Ricciardo is favoured. But of course, as with Red Bull’s current 3x champion, it’s based on results and potential, of which I think Ricciardo has shown more. Even in 2012 when Vergne scored more points, Ricciardo I think, lost a chunk of points at Monza and Korea with car failures. And then of course you have those qualifying results (16-4 last year, thanks @tdog).

        I think the current pair are much better than Buemi and Alguersuari (not sure if better than Mark Webber at his best though). Hopefully, Vergne can be picked up by someone else if he gets dropped.

        1. It doesn’t matter whether RIC is getting better results. Marko shouldn’t be favouring anyone.

          1. Just to add, if I were Red Bull I would be sceptical about the abilities of either of them. I just have a feeling that 2014 is just a bit too early for either driver to make a jump to a big team. A the moment i genuinely believe Hulkenberg is a better option than either of the Toro Rosso drivers. I mean he has poled a Williams, he led a race in a Force India and a Sauber this year; surely that’s no coincidence.

          2. @Ferrari_412t – It’s natural that the best drivers will get the most praise and would be seen as “favoured”. However I agree that Hulkenberg is even better than either STR driver.

      2. I think Marko favours the driver who’s scoring the most points.
        In the end, scoring points is the only way the Toro Rosso drivers can be promoted up the grid. I think if Vergne were scoring all the points the same would be said about him.
        The car is fairly average, but over the course of last season and this season so far Ricciardo has mostly had the measure of Vergne, getting into more point scoring positions (remembering Dan had crucial reliability issues when he was in sure fire point scoring positions last year.)

        1. Even last year when JEV ended on more points, you could still tell that Ricciardo had the upper hand (the results just didn’t quite go his way on race day). He has more one lap pace, and on average can out perform JEV over a race distance. I believe JEV does have the advantage in wet conditions though, which is no shock.

      3. i cant see how either are better than JA who was improving with every race and really embraced the pirelli tyres.

        1. Alguersuari was outqualified 32-14 by Buemi, outscored by Buemi 33-31 overall (with points converted to the current system). He wasn’t that good. In addition, the current pair scored double the points in their first season than JA/SB did in their first season together, in similarly competitive cars (with the 2010 and 2012 STRs being the 9th best car out of 12).

          1. Not to mention he had 46 races to show his worth

          2. you cant count the first half season. The guy had never driven an F1 car ever before being chucked in the car at Hungary. Look at the big picture.

            2010 was his rookie season and 2011 he had started to out perform Beumi in the races later in the season.

            he openly set the car up for the race so qualy stats mean little in todays F1. Didnt massa out qualy alonso 4 races in a row? lets fire fernando.

            If someones F1 career is over at 21, when they are getting better & better then the sport needs to take a long hard look at its self. We cant complain in 5years time when there is very little talent on the grid. They all got fired before they got out of school and had a chance to develop.

            He seemed pretty calm driver. The grit he showed to come over his early 2011 woes was pretty impressive. Dont remember him moaning about the tyres like others did who struggled to qualy on them

          3. There’s no point discounting 8 races is there? He did nothing to stand out either there or his rookie season. Trying to compare Alguersuari’s qualifying record to Alonso’s is a joke- Alonso isn’t at the point where he is unproven, nor has he been outqualified by his teammate for 2/3 of his career.

            And for a driver who supposedly set his car up for the races, he could barely outperform Buemi, who in turn was almost even in the races with Bourdais.

            The only thing I can slightly agree with is that JA could have been picked up elsewhere. But for a team looking for a driver as good as Vettel, or even Webber, JA didn’t cut it. Not even close.

        2. The same JA who was beaten in qualy by Buemi? Never was impressed with him. Being a tire-hugger doesn’t make him a superstar :)

      4. You know once upon a time people accused Marko of favouring JEV over Dan.

  3. Enough with the bloody tyres already! Everywhere you turn its about tyres and how the whole Red Bull management hierarchy doesnt like them!

    There is a very good article on Austosport by Jonathan Noble, if you dont have a subscription, please pay the 1 euro and have a go, because its very insightful.

    If I was Pirelli, I would give F1 the finger and walk away. They are being berated for doing what they were asked to do and when they raise concerns related to potential situations such what happened on Sunday…the teams dont budge. Plus, this must be bad PR…since every newspaper in the world would have been carrying statements such as Pirelli-tyre-high degradation-delamination-fallen to bits….not exactly the kind of words you want to associate with a tyre a manufacturer. If F1 want Pirelli to keep up with the development of the cars, with the view of supplying fine tuned tyre compounds…they there needs to be more testing…thats the only way.

    Just a thought…could we be left with a situation where F1 has no tyre supplier next year? Has it ever happened before @keithcollantine ?

    1. We were not all that far away from that situation when Bridgestone quit @jaymenon10, there was even a real option of FOM having AVON produce tyres and try to brand them in some way. Needless to say these tyres would have been far less advanced.

      Luckily in the end Pirelli did agree to a deal, although they did have very little time to develop them.

    2. @jaymenon10

      Hembery has said that they were looking for 2/3 stops per race not 4/5. So I think it’s time to stop saying “They are being berated for doing what they were asked to do”.

      1. @jcost 4/5 is an exaggeration. It is 3/4 to be honest.

        1. 4 stops on the 2 hardest compounds though… had it been Soft/Hard like 2012, it’d have been 5 stops minimum – actually they cant do moer than 5 stops because they literally dont have anymore tyres? But thats alright? right?

          1. 3 stops for Raikonnen with 3 stints on usesd mediums…

  4. Vettel on the Type A trying out Pirelli’s new lower deg tyre construction?

  5. The battle between Richiardo and Vergne is certainly heating up, although I hope none of them have bad luck and reliability issues like Buemi two years ago.

  6. The worst thing about the changes is that if they make it happen, people would try to run 2 stops.. or 1 stop, thus racing “a delta” just like they’ve been doing this season, according to most of them.

    It’s always been like that. There were some very very cool articles about the matter from Coulthard and Will Buxton. Specially the latter, it opens your eyes.

    1. @fer-no65 You’re right. I have a feeling that these hasty mid-season rule changes will turn the championship battle on it’s head. Wholesale changes mid-season, I feel, is bad. We are only speaking about the top teams. What about the midfield? What about the backmarkers? People don’t care. All they care about is who wins. And if it is Lotus, it is unfair because they have a tyre advantage. Why? Funnily enough, Pirelli tests their car on the Renault R30, an outdated chassis made in Enstone..

    2. Pretty much that, yes @fer-no65. Teams will almost always try and eke out one stop less (that’s why Schumacher winning with 4, or even Ferrari going for 4 in Barcelona was a bit special, its opposite thinking).

    3. @fer-no65

      Nice to see also a Red Bull fan that have a fair opinion about tires

      1. @nomore thanksfully, I’m just a MW fan :P

    4. Yes, but I’d still say the racing would be better with less stops: that way, moves actually have to be made on track and not in the pits. I we have four stops, you might as well wait until they go in, or try and undercut them. If we had two or one stops, that wouldn’t be practical.

      1. Breif point, there are no pit stops in MotoGP or WSB and the racing is better for it.

    5. Isn’t 2 stops good enough?

      1. @jcost I’d say so: that way we keep strategy and keep it interesting, but we get some proper racing because drivers aren’t always on different strategies, so they’d actually be proper fights for position (provided DRS didn’t rob us of it anyway).

  7. Here’s something very, very interesting..
    On Page 45 of the FIA technical regulations, is Article 12.6.3: “Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous
    season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during
    the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.”
    The big question is, does Pirelli have the agreement of all competing teams? I’m sure Lotus have not done so.

    1. I guess that if they do say they are going to change, they have gotten all teams to agree. Unless Bernie agreed with Todt to put it down to “safety” and push it through without asking off course.

    2. And thinking then about next season.
      What vehicle will be testing the 2014 tyres on before their specification is finalised oon 1 September?

      1. Oon? What’s oon?

      2. That is exactly what Pirelli is asking too!

      3. Last year’s McLaren would probably be the best choice.

        Not only is it a very competitive car, but its low nose is perhaps the closest of any recent design to what the 2014 cars will look like (though it’s not a perfect representation). Furthermore, using the MP4-27 addresses one of the major isses Pirelli have had: they have been trying to develop tyres on cars that are two years out of date, and because of the rapidly-developing designs, the disparity between the testing chassis and the racing cars has meant that Pirelli have been getting some odd and unexpected results in their tyre performance.

        1. That’s my point.
          Next year we will have ( I think) higher minimum weight, different wing specs, totally different powerplant, different KERS and probably something else I’ve forgotten. All of which Pirelli have to estimate/guesstimate into the perfomance characteristics of a car that no one has seen yet. It’s not as if they can go to Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus and say “Can we borrow your engineers for a few months so we can work out what tyres to make?”, can they?
          So what’s the likely scenario? Pirelli coluld use a crystal ball and come up with some totally unsuitable tyres for a performance characteristic that is unmatched by the eventual cars, or they could go ultra-conservative and produce a tyre with the durability of granite, and the adhesion of a pencil rubber.
          Either way, the watching public will complain that the cars are slower, the racing’s rubbish etc, and the teams will blame it on the tyres.
          I’m not a supporter of Pirelli, but I’m just imagining where we could be this time next year.
          Would Pirelli be allowed to use the MP4-27 for testing this year? I thought the cars either had to be 2 seasons old, or out of competition – HRT?

        2. They bascially need to make tyres which are far less susceptible to overheating for the cars will likely wheel-spin more due to the different torque curve of the new power units and they will also have more lateral slip (such as oversteer) due to their being less downforce.

          So bascially, make harder tyres Pirelli and you’ll be fine!

          1. It’s a lot more complex than simply “making harder tyres” – Pirelli are asking for information on the weight distribution of the cars (because, unlike the current cars, that is not fixed), the aerodynamic balance, the torque characteristics and a wide range of details that determine how the tyre will be loaded and interact with the cars, both in terms of mechanical performance and their aerodynamic impact (factors like tyre squirt and aero profile), information that the teams currently cannot agree upon and therefore cannot provide.

            Even then, what exactly do you mean by “harder tyres” – are you referring to the rubber itself, the construction of the tyres (i.e. the deformation characteristics), or something else? When you start looking at the situation, Pirelli are pretty anxious because they have no idea when, or even if, the 2014 rule set will be finalised and whether the teams are going to co-operate with them over testing.

  8. Hey Keith, I haven’t seen the caption competition in a while. Kinda miss it.. When is the next picture out?

  9. K0V4LA1NEN
    15th May 2013, 7:04

    do red bull have some Australian sponsors, because if Webber might go would some sponsors go unless Ricciardo takes the seat. btw I think if ricciardo doesn’t get the seat when webber goes F1 in Australia will be lost.

  10. I guess Ecclestone shouting about the Tyres is a good way of taking away attention of the court thing in Germany. By the way, the formally very well informed “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports that the Munich prosecution has indeed filed a case against Bernie.

    I guess we are now likely to see Bernie negotiate a settlement with the prosecution (after actually receiving the english translation of the file against him, which may take a couple of months too.)

  11. but Massa came in 3rd and not 2nd.

  12. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    15th May 2013, 8:59

    “Hembery made it clear that Pirelli’s changes were not the result of lobbying from Red Bull”.

    No, the changes were the result of complaints from just about everyone in Formula 1; Drivers, Team principals, race engineers, fans, and now Bernie Ecclestone.

    The changes were needed because of an overwhelming consensus in the Formula 1 world that these tyres just aren’t good enough, and Pirelli have gone too far in the “new and exiting racing” (which isn’t exciting at all).

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      15th May 2013, 8:59

      woops. didn’t mean to quote and bold my answer.

    2. @tophercheese21 well it’s emphasised a rather good point, even if accidentally ;)

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        15th May 2013, 13:41

        Lol Ty.

  13. Alexander (@)
    15th May 2013, 9:01

    Great COTD, exactly what i was thinking.. Wasn’t it also last year the same moaning about the tires in the first races but halfway trough the season the teams started to understand the tires better and then no one was complaining anymore.

  14. I’m wondering, based on an article someone posted yesterday, whether the change in construction is going to help the likes of McLaren. The article suggested, from what I saw, that the way the new tyre had been constructed combined with the coanda exhaust was causing problems due to altering the ride height at the rear, which would of course effect the diffuser height and the general consistency of downforce. Based on what they’ve said, its the consistency of downforce, which has been their main problem.

    Although unlikely, wouldn’t it be a huge turn of events if the new tyre construct somehow helped them get to where they thought they’d be at the beginning of the year!

    I believe this was the link – http://somersf1.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/pirelli-are-they-really-to-blame.html
    And the quote I’m referring to:

    “The 2013 tyres by virtue of their Sidewall construction move dynamically throughout the course of the braking and turning motions. At the rear of the car their movement is in contrast to the exhaust plumes influence between the tyre and Diffuser’s edge, reducing the downforce by virtue of more ‘Tyre Squirt’ impinging on the Diffuser. Perhaps even more critical though is this causes a dynamic change of ride height which also leads to a change in Diffuser height thereby also dynamically altering it’s ability to produce a consistent level of downforce in the corners.

    This aerodynamic head scratcher is the principle reason we see the likes of McLaren, Williams and Sauber struggling as they failed to foresee the influence the tyre dynamics could have on downforce extraction.”

  15. I’m pretty sure the article of regulations saying you need to have permission from all teams to change tire specs mid-season was somehow circumvented. Ferrari and Lotus would simply block the changes if they had chance to do so. Very much like other teams are blocking Ferrari’s attempts to bring back in-season testing.

  16. Thanks for COTD of the Day Keith :) Lovely surprise!

    Not as miffed as I was yesterday, now that I’ve vented. It was therapeutic ;)

    1. I don’t really see the competitive order changing because the tyres are changing significantly: Lotus may then just be able to pull off a two stop regularly, whereas Red Bull will for now be stuck to threes. It’s just that the racing will also be better though as drivers will actually have to fight on track and not just pass due to different strategies or hold back a bit and then go for the undercut. That’s going to be the only major change as I see it and it’s for the better.

      1. You know yourself that’s not true. They always drive to delta, because every fight you have is slowing you down and using tires more. No matter how hard the tires.
        This is not some non-championship event for banging wheels.
        The whole purpose of those cars is to get to the finish faster than the competition and everything that is slowing them down (fighting and unnecessary abuse of tires or pit stops) will be avoided by all costs by every team, from Ferrari to Marussia.

  17. What Marko said is simply not true.

    I re-checked the Friday long run pace, Friday best sector times, qualification and race pace of the two so far this year and found that Vergne actually beat Ricciardo in Australia, Bahrain and Spain discounting incidents, which were not their own making.

    And boy, Vergne had a looot this year, lot more than Ricciardo. He was on the wrong end of pit lane accidents in Malaysia and Spain, got spun by Gutiérrez in Bahrain and by Webber in China – so he had just one smooth race from five, and none of the accidents were his fault. Impressively bad luck.

    Ricciardo beat Vergne fair and square in China, and they were pretty much inseparable in Malaysia.

    That’s not what I call beating, Helmut.

    1. @atticus-2

      I’m a Ricciardo fan and I agree with you. JEV has had some really bad luck and as far as I can see they’ve been pretty close performance wise since being team mates.

      But for whatever reason, Daniel does SEEM to have the upper hand in this team. Perhaps it’s the qualifying performances that are swinging it his way. Not that I agree with that at all, as we all know qualifying in this day and age of F1 is hardly very important any more. Race day is when it counts.

      But with comments like that from Marko, it does seem grim for JEV. I wouldn’t put any money on him to beat Daniel to the Redbull seat next year that’s for sure!

      1. Me neither.

        Also, I rate Ricciardo higher myself – but that’s largely down to last year’s performance/hunch.

        I just wanted to falsify Marko based on pure observable performance so far this year.

        1. The only problem I can see with that is Friday times are pretty much meaningless, as they could’ve been running to significantly different programmes. I do agree though Vergne has lost his four-leafed clover for sure!

    2. @atticus I believe DR has made his own luck based on his own performance. If you qualify higher up the grid regularly, you are obviously quicker than your team mate and at a lesser chance of getting into trouble during races. That could be down to single lap speed, better understanding of the car (which results in better set up) or just simple a better driver. I also believe that while Webber was punished for the China incident JEV didn’t exactly show great skill by putting his car in that position. Daniel also showed great speed when testing the RBR at the end previous seasons. Yes I am fan! I think he deserves a better seat

  18. Isn’t the Twizy pretty cute ?
    I’ve seen one once on the street, it’s very unusual to say the least !

  19. I prefer JEV overall but Marko saying this maybe dosen’t bode well for JEV getting thr RBR seat in the future. Although Danny Ricciardo is quick and impressive.

  20. I’m more impressed with Ricciardo, but Vergne is the one that tends to be there lurking when others falter. Vergne seems to come alive more in the races but had a very obvious qualifying weakness, but Ricciardo is the very impressive one on Saturday. Perhaps for the Frenchman it is the main area of improvement required

  21. I don’t see Daniel being any better than Mark, but his age is a big factor.

  22. @vettel1 – I disagree mate. I think while Seb may be quicker over one lap Kimi is a better racer, more level headed…….well……….maybe :) and I think those two in the same car a great battle!!

    @K0V4LA1NEN – No mate F1 wont be lost in Australia if Dan doesnt get the RBR drive- although dissapointed!
    When the Grands Prix came to Adelaide in 1985 Alan Jones had retired after his 1980 WDC- but he came back in a REAL bad car, mainly to get a Aussie on the grid. He drove 85 & 86 and retired again. So we didnt have an Aussie in F1 from then until then until Webber started- and the race very popular in Adelaide and Melbourne in the meantime (in the last race in Adelaide in 1995 there were 205,000 in attendance ON RACE DAY- GOLD!!

    We love our Aussies in F1 but just love racing……………….. my fav driver of all time is not WB but a Brazilian!! (but a close call LOL)

    I do feel sorry for Nico H in his change from last year. I really dont hope that he is a bit like Webber and takes too long to get a top seat as I think he really would shine……………… and win!!

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