Setback for Russian Grand Prix bid

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: An impasse between the Russian Automobile Federation and the promoter of the planned Russian Grand Prix puts the race in jeopardy.


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

Russia’s F1 Application Snarled Up in Red Tape (RSport)

“The issue at hand is a spat between the Russian Automobile Federation and the race promoter Omega Center, which is also building the 5.9km track around the coastal Olympic Park. The RAF is refusing to file a race application with the FIA until Omega, which is tied to the Krasnodar region government, agrees to bear the cost of training the 700-800 personnel required to staff the race such as marshals and security.”

Franz Tost Q&A: Vettel’s team mate has to bring a lot to the table (F1)

“Remember: when Seb left Toro Rosso to join Red Bull Racing, the team was in no way the winner that it is today – Seb has contributed a lot to make it happen. So if you want to be the new kid on the block you better have all these facts in mind – and show even more commitment to come at least close to Seb. That will be a rough ride!”

Indian Grand Prix to take one-year break (The Hindu)

Indian Grand Prix promoter JPSI managing director and chief executive officer Sameer Gaur: “October-November period suits us better, both weather-wise as well as it being the festive season. But if the Formula One Management (FOM) wants us to hold our race in March 2015, we don’t have any problem with that.”

McLaren Formula One team improving, but still struggling mightly (Autoweek)

Jenson Button: “You can run your own strategy, because you can overtake easily. As soon as you get to tracks where you can overtake you can then just run to optimum performance, and you get a better picture of where you are then.”

Maldonado expects Williams surge (Autosport)

“Before, I was completely dominated by the tyres and the car. They were not working at all in my case. Now, I think it was so clear that my level was a step forwards and I was able to fight with cars that are stronger than us.”

A miracle from Lewis (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “It was cruel that [Romain Grosjean] was penalised for completing the move on Massa while being marginally all four wheels off the track. Without doubt the drivers will see this as a disincentive to ‘have a go’ and create those magic moments people still talk about years later. The trouble is that the rules are very clear about leaving the track between the white lines and gaining an advantage or position. If it was a barrier or a gravel trap he wouldn’t have even contemplated it.”

Gary Anderson on Hamilton, Ferrari and scrapping DRS (BBC)

“The FIA has its priorities wrong in taking away the potential for drivers to do moves like [Grosjean’s on Massa] but giving them the ridiculous DRS overtaking aid to create artificial overtaking manoeuvres.”

F1 flashback: Driver illegally starts German Grand Prix (NBC)

“A dismayed Heyer was just four hundredths of a second of Rebaque’s mark – and there were two other drivers quicker than him who also fell short of qualifying. But Heyer was not to be deterred from making his grand prix debut by the inconvenient fact of having failed to qualify for it.”

Becca and Lisa’s Silverstone Adventures, Part 1 (Motorsport Muesli)

Nice cartoon.

Mark Webber: Five things I can’t live without (Daily Express)

Something tells me one of these five was inserted for PR purposes…


F1 Fanatic reader David Wallace (Twitter: @davidhw2506) got a close look at the Lotus during the young drivers’ test at Silverstone and sent in this picture of the car.


Comment of the day

Nick says the problems faced by the Indian Grand Prix shows F1 needs to work harder on its races in new venues:

F1 needs better entry-strategies in new countries. People aren’t going to warm up to F1 if it’s the only race to come around to their country, once a year.

Bernie [Ecclestone] and the FIA need to drag along more series and the FIA (provided that they or an affiliate are present in such a country) could try to introduce karting championships or celebrity races with touring cars. Not just go ‘Oh, well, F1 is amazing, so they will flock to us!’
Nick (@Npf1)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The last German Grand Prix at the Nordschleife is mainly remembered for one thing: the fiery accident that almost killed Niki Lauda, which is set to feature in the forthcoming film Rush by Ron Howard.

The race was stopped after Lauda’s crash and James Hunt won ahead of Jody Scheckter and Jochen Mass. Meanwhile Lauda was fighting for his life.

Here’s some footage from the race:

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...

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142 comments on “Setback for Russian Grand Prix bid”

  1. Q: Sebastian comes across as every mother in law’s dream: he is so well behaved, so accessible, so polite. But with just these qualities you’re unlikely to make it to the top – there must be something under the surface; a completely different side of the same coin. What is it?
    FT: His fighting spirit. Yes, he is open and honest, friendly and accessible, but behind his façade there is a massive fighting spirit and, if that sets in, his opponents have a problem.

    That’s what I admire so much in Vettel, the way in which he so peerlessly switches between “mother in law” mode to “eye of the tiger” mode!

    All that aside though the interview is actually very interesting I felt and it will be intriguing to see how Ricciardo would react if he were put in the same team as Vettel I think.

    1. Every topic where Vettel is mentioned there you are praising him, it’s getting a bit repetitive…

      1. God forbid that in reply to a teamboss praising Vettel, a fan does the same in a well-worded way…

        1. Every time in every topic.

      2. @deurmat judging from your past activity you seem to be very fond of jumping at every opportunity to criticise Red Bull, specifically Vettel. We have different interests but are we really much different?

      3. @deurmat I agree with you but isn’t that @vettel1 good right, if he wants to praise Vettel then let him, this is a free commenting section is it not?

        God some people on this earth………..

        1. @force-maikel I wasn’t exactly being provocative about it! I thought it’d be easy enough to tell from this:

          switches between “mother in law” mode to “eye of the tiger” mode!

          That it was at least partially intended for humour value.

        2. So I have no rights to express my thought. Ok noted.

          1. @deurmat no, quite the opposite but there’s no point in making a pointless statement. It hasn’t lead to any sort of intelligent debate or indeed in itself is a point of interest for any other readers so why bother?

    2. I also found this comment very amusing!

    3. He would smile, I guess

      1. @verstappen most likely, or maybe all that conspiring Red Bull do against their second driver would drain his smile away when he’s had his 15th ERS failure of the season ;)

    4. From my reading, Ricciardo will get the seat. But I’d love to see Seb vs. Fernando or Seb. vs. Kimi.

      Seb seems better than both Fernando and Kimi on Sutardays and very good at controlling races from pole, so I supect both Fernando and Kimi risk their reputation driving alongside Sebastian Vettel. However, I think his team mate will be another Aussie.

    5. That’s a pretty good example of why personalities are what creates the most interesting topics even in this highly technical sport. To me the ever so open and talkative Seb comes across as rather sneaky two-faced. I certainly can’t foul his skill much but I also don’t like him much.

      1. @poul

        +1, completely agree with that

      2. @poul that’s absolutely fair enough, I’m exactly the same with Alonso (who I find to be a person that bathes in his own glory) and Hamilton (who’s emotional rants and “rap” image I am not very fond of as a heartless Scot!) but both are stunningly good drivers.

        1. Agree; I admire both Hamilton and Alonso, but I don’t personally like them (although I am starting to like Alonso a bit) and I like half of the grid! That being said though, I never wish anything ill as they are making the races much more interesting.

          The driver I really like and support is Kimi; Laconic and matter of fact: he sometimes comes across as if he doesn’t take this who F1 dramas not all too seriously. But being a Kimi fan is a pain. He has the terrible habit of coming second and often it’d not his car or teams’s fault.

  2. Surprised to see Webber back on Top Gear! They seem to be bringing in an F1 driver every series now!

    1. I hope he can beat Vettel’s time. That said, it was raining in silverstone. Such a shame.

      1. I hope he beats Vettel and Hamilton, just to show how irrelevant Top Gear times are

        1. @mnm101 exactly, I really like seeing the F1 drivers going round in the old Liana purely for the entertainment value (as of course I’m not used to seeing them going so slow!) but taking anything from it is a bit daft.

          1. No it is not. You can take from it that Lewis is faster than both Vettel and Webber in a Liana. Surely, there is nothing daft about that. It also hints at adaptability. Without a hint of bias, it is surely no coincidence that the fastest driver in F1 over a single lap, is also the fastest in the Liana over a single lap at the Top Gear track…is it?

          2. @kbdavies the 1.1s gap clearly shows how representative the times are in the slow, cumbersome, heavy saloon car with economy tyres on a track completely unlike any in Formula 1.

        2. @mnm101

          If Web fails to beat Vettel and Hamilton Top Gear times are relevant?

          1. @jcost haha hell no, but if he doesn’t beat them, people can still argue that the times are relevant, I just want him to put those arguments to bed

      2. Why do you mention Silverstone, have theychangd the format this series? TG used to be filmed at Dunsfold in Surrey with the test track painted out on the runway and taxiway.

        1. It still is.

        2. @timothykatz it still is filmed at Dunsfold although we do have a new reasonably priced car (which Webber won’t use)!

    2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      1st August 2013, 11:11

      Mitch Evans also posted a photo of himself with the Stig, hoping it might be a double guest spot.

  3. For some reason she wasn’t on the birthday list, so I’d like to wish a very happy 21st birthday to my amazing girlfriend (and also fellow F1 Fanatic reader!) @Ldawson.

    1. Happy birthday then @ldawson, enjoy it!

      1. Happy Birthday @ldawson.

    2. Happy birthday @ldawson Have a turbocharged birthday!

  4. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    1st August 2013, 0:50

    Is that stuff about Alonso really true? I’d like to know how he knows all that.

    1. I guess it came out after poking around about potential talks now? German press has always had a good inside line into Red Bull (and Mercedes)

      1. It’s been out there for a while now, but at the time nobody took notice because no one considered RedBull to be a threat. Certainly, even if they had offered Alonso more money the seat to be in at the time was Ferrari.
        Anyway, I don’t see how Alonso would even contemplate joining now with the new rules coming. He would be better served to wait another year then see who has got the best baseline in performance and then make the switch, or not as the case may be. He would hang himself to switch next year and find that Ferrari were better than Redbull.

        1. @blackmamba you could say the same of Hamilton to an extent but look how well that move’s turned out. I highly doubt Alonso would make a move to Red Bull but they have Adrian Newey and a whole fleet of other great engineers – I wouldn’t bet against them remaining competitive.

  5. at the end of the day, the indian track has produced 2 boring races, so i find it hard to care.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      1st August 2013, 2:54

      But I don’t think contracts have a “boring –> sacked” clause. I think it can be for what the other day was published, said by Jaipee race organizers, that they still need ot improve a couple of things. (it can be a statement to diminish the shame though). However, I would have liked it to still have the race next year. It was a grand Chelem for Vettel :P

      1. But I don’t think contracts have a “boring –> sacked” clause.

        For which fact Hungary, Valencia, and (for all those dismally awful years) Mangy-Curs (yes, I know) can thank their lucky stars.

      2. John (@johnmyburgh)
        2nd August 2013, 7:54

        Does that mean we are going to lose Monaco as well? :)

  6. I guess Bernie forgot to mention the 7-800 track personell required when he was explaining how much money the organizers would make from holding the Russian GP. Does seem like a lot though.

    1. Oh, I imagine that he would have mentioned it, or that everyone involved would have at least been aware of it from the start.

      No, it’s more likely that this is just a case of both sides trying to dodge an expense by trying to pass it off to the other party. It happens in business all the time.

    2. 700-800 sounds like a lot, but I think I remember reading at the time that there were about 400 marshals from Bahrain to help out/train people at the first Indian GP, and I think they mentioned looking for about 600 volunteers for the next indian GP too @hohum

      1. Could be added security personnel to keep race fans from entering the Olympic Park?

    3. It is not a lot and they will possibly do something to make it happen. But I have to say that I won’t miss if this GP is cancelled. I don’t sympathise with a country with that amount of hate and discrimination.

  7. When Brundle left the BBC for SKY he left a big void in the Beebs commentary team. However I think the BBC has struck gold with Gary Anderson. His insights during the race and his written articles are always well informed, interesting and relevant. He brings credibility and is a racer through and through. I always look forward to his contributions both written and during the race.

    1. I was surprised to see Anderson ripping into DRS, but he makes a good point.

      (Note the bias, as I a am anti-DRS myself)

    2. At the expense of the people who are on ESPN Star Sports, since that’s where Gary was before he moved over to BBC. Much enjoyed his insights and technical knowledge, and he’s probably the only competent person other than Alex Yoong, and the occasional cameo from Karun Chandok.

      On the plus side, now we have commentary from Sky Sports.

      1. @goondu86

        Allan McNish is good when he is on BBC as well.

        1. @calum It’s weird, Allan was, for me, awful last year with Sky; he always spent half of his screentime explaining what a slipstream or DRS was (which was good, but he did it every time he was on).

          But for the BBC this year, he is much, much better.

    3. Their current team is solid, DC is making a top job as well.

      1. DC is ok, I think. He does an ok job, but I think he lacks charisma. Maybe that’s just me?

    4. Whils ti agree that Gary Anderson’s contributions and insight has been priceless, lets not forget that this was the same Gary Anderson who rubbished the W04, and heaped praise on the MP4-27 at the begining of the season – before either car had turned a wheel. Good as he is, he is not infallible.

  8. Q: But we’ve also seen that two ‘alpha dogs’ in a team can lead to headaches…
    FT: I would love to have these headaches! I would even skip aspirin!

    Good answer Franz. Go on RBR for the Seb and Kimi dream team.

    1. Red Bull would be the last team on the grid to hire two drivers who could actually race each other.

      And if they dud, it would only be fir show. They would manipulate things behind the scenes to favour Vettel.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys

        Red Bull would be the last team on the grid to hire two drivers who could actually race each other.

        No, the last team to hire two drivers who could race each other would be Ferrari. Webber has been a far more competitive team mate to Vettel than Massa has been to Alonso:

        2012 in statistics part one: The year in context

        Which is hardly surprising given that Christian Horner has repeatedly made it clear he wants a strong driver to partner Vettel, whereas Ferrari stated last year they don’t want ‘two roosters’ in the same team.

        1. Which is hardly surprising given that Christian Horner has repeatedly made it clear he wants a strong driver to partner Vettel

          Unless that partner is Lewis Hamilton, @keithcollantine ;)

          1. @iamjamm there is a difference – Webber wanted an extension and he was always on Mateschitz’s short list. There was simply no chance for any other driver to get that seat last year.

        2. @keithcollantine – Webber has been far more competitive than Massa, but I think that Massa, at least, is allowed to compete with Alonso. Red Bull have never really let Webber race Vettel, except for when Vettel has won the title. So I think Ferrari would happily take two competitive drivers before Red Bull ever would.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys

            I think that Massa, at least, is allowed to compete with Alonso.

            Not at the 2010 German Grand Prix, when he was ordered to let Alonso past to win.
            Not at the 2012 United States Grand Prix, when Ferrari pretended his gearbox was damaged to give him a five-place grid penalty to move Alonso up one place.

            When Red Bull have used team orders they have been “hold position” instructions and they have been used against both drivers. Webber was given one at Silverstone in 2011 and Vettel was at Malaysia this year (not that either driver obeyed them on either occasion, but the intent on the team’s part was clearly there).

          2. @prisoner-monkeys
            With this you just disqualified yourself from being taken seriously. Massa who had to concede a win in Germany 2010 – taken a grid penalty to promote Alonso on the grid (Austin 2012) – had to stay behind in South Korea 2012 – is the guy allowed to race his teammate but Webber isn’t?

          3. @tmf42 – The incident in Germany happened three years ago. I don’t really see how that’s relevant, unless you’re assuming nothing has changed within Ferrari.

            As for the Austin and Korea events, you will note that Alonso was still in contention for the championship at the time. Massa was not. There’s a big difference between supporting on driver’s title bid when his team-mate is out of contention, and favouring one driver over the other from the start if the season, as I believe Red Bull do.

            All if this is a moot point, though. I never said that Ferrari would take two competitive drivers – only that they’d do it before Red Bull. They’d probably be the second-last team to do it.

          4. I think you are kidding yourselves there @prisoner-monkeys if you think Massa has a fair chance in the world at competing with Alonso.

            Sure, they let him set some quick laps last year, and it helped get at least some points in. But as far as strategy calls, friday program, which parts go on what car, as well as development routes taken, all of that is focussed on getting Alonso to the top step.
            How often have we seen Massa drop back during the race, even afte a strong start, because the team either used him to test the water or kept him out longer because they were minding Alonso?

            I know that Webber probably did not have all available resources Vettel had, and its clear that at least part of the team leadership are geared towards Vettel getting everything. But ITs certain that Mateschitz, and to an extent, Horner, want a strong driver there who can both challenge for results, as well as push Vettel forward by challenging him often enough.
            Massa has no hope of winning a race, or even getting points in front of Alonso unless Alonso would be out of it at an early stage. Webber knows that he gets the car to show that he can do it, even if its with the odds stacked a bit against him (which seems to beat him into greater focus).

          5. petebaldwin (@)
            1st August 2013, 13:20

            Webber is more competitive than Massa but you can’t say Massa is allowed to race Alonso! If Massa was 1st and Alonso 2nd at Hungary, they would have been ordered to switch places. 100%. Massa would have pulled over and let it happen.

            If Webber was 1st and Vettel 2nd, the orders wouldn’t have happened. If they did, Webber would have ignored them anyway.

            Massa knows he will only remain in F1 as long as he is 2nd driver for Ferrari. No other teams would be interested in him now surely so if he refused to follow orders, he’d be without a seat.

          6. @bascb – There is a difference between not having the talent to compete with your team-mate, but the team allowing you to if you can (as I believe is the case with Massa), and having the talent to compete with your team-mate, but not being allowed to by the team (as I believe is the case with Webber).

          7. I am convinced your belief is wrong there @prisioner-monkeys, because the odds are all stacked to not even allow him to try and challenge Alonso, but lets not lose ourselves in endless discussion, it was a nice exchange of opinions :-)

          8. @bascb, @prisoner-monkeys
            Isn’t the better interpretation that Massa is totally allowed to race, but just not allowed to beat Fred?

          9. @prisoner-monkeys – Well, with Massa, there are clear examples you’ve been given of him not being allowed to compete. That is not the case with Webber.

            And let’s face it, both Webber and Massa do not have the talent to compete with their champion teammates on a regular basis.

        3. @keithcollantine I think after “Multi 21” both Horner and Dietrich Mateschitz became very assertive on hiring a top driver to pair with Vettel, but I’m afraid they will pick Ricciardo (with all due respect) over Kimi or Fernando because Marko will flip the “Red Bull Academy card” and, somehow, hiring someone outside their development program would be a huge blow to the program itself for failing to produce a “good enough” driver in years.

          1. @jcost I couldn’t disagree more. I don’t buy this “Red Bull Academy relevance” argument one bit. There is not a single reason why Red Bull should pick one of its junior drivers when there are better, more experienced drivers around. If Red Bull still was the midfielder it was in 2008, then fine, I don’t see why they couldn’t take another driver from their programme, but they are F1’s top team now, fighting constantly for both titles. They can’t afford to take the chance with a (with all due respect) slower driver just to validate they driver development programme which, if you ask me, has already served its purpose with Vettel.

          2. I get your argument there @jcost – but I think your view is slightly overlooking the role of Mateschitz in all this.

            From what I understand, its Marko pushing promotion of Ricciardo VS. Horner pushing for the best available driver (probably Kimi). But ultimately it will be Mateschitz who decides. And while he certainly rates Makro highly, for Didi its the more important question what he wants to achieve with his team, rather than the driver program. If the program does not achieve what it was meant to, he can bypass it for his team to be successful.
            Lets not forget that Mateschitz had been in the know about Webber leaving/being interested in Porsche since late last year, neither Horner nor Makro figured in their discussions about RB backing Webber in a sportscar bid.

        4. No, the last team to hire two drivers who could race each other would be Ferrari. Webber has been a far more competitive team mate to Vettel than Massa has been to Alonso

          you forgot to mention that last year Ferrari made a serious offer to Mark Webber but Red Bull extended his contract after his win in the British GP

          1. And the deal did not happen – probably because the contract would have said that he would have been the number 2.

      2. I am sorry, but your comment is totally wrong and has no basis in reality and can only come from an unjustified hatred and understandable jealousy towards Vettel.

        You forget that Red Bull is a business and Dietrich Matechitz is a business man.
        Why on earth should he value the son of a German (bear in mind that Austrians don’t like Germans anymore than Brits do) carpenter so much? Vettel is only valuable because he could deliver so far. If in order to deliver, they need to literally sabotage his teammate, then he is not worth the money anyway and a new top dog is required.

        Finally, there is no guarantee that Vettel would stay in Red Bull after 2015. Should he win a 4th title this year, and perhaps one in the next 2 years (I doubt the 2014 Red Bull car would be a match for Mercedes and possibly McLaren), he might want a new challenge as Schumacher did. So it makes even less sense to demolish your other driver for someone you are not sure to keep.

        1. The comment was obviously a response to @prisoner-monkeys!

          1. Vettel is, and always has been, a Red Bull-backed driver. Mark Webber had not. It’s in the team’s interests to favour Vettel.

          2. Webber had been driving for Red Bull for two years until Vettel came along in the team. He was already a complete Red Bull member by then. If it was in the interest of the team to have Red Bull-drivers, why did they keep him for 7 seasons long?

          3. @prisoner-monkeys:
            I guess RAMBOII answered you. Vettel was in the Red Bull academy and went to the junior team, but so did Bourdais, Buemi and Alguersuari and they ended up nowhere. Why is so hard for you to accept that Vettel earned his position because he prevailed to deliver where others couldn’t??

            Also, if Red Bull was so protective and biased towards Vettel, why didn’t drop him and go for a more meek No. 2 much earlier, even when Mark’s contract was on a 1 year basis for a while now??

          4. Because they knew they could control him whilst establishing Vettel as a front-runner.

          5. @prisoner-monkeys – Control? I think Vettel established himself as a front runner, by winning races so early in his career, and finishing 2009 as runner-up (well ahead of Webber anyway).

      3. That’s carrying the rampant fan personiism well past the bounds of good taste.

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    1st August 2013, 2:50

    How come that Ricciardo has more races than Vergne. I thought they joined the team the same race.

    1. Ric did a few races with HRT in 2011.

    2. As @david-a mentions, Ricciardo replaced Liuzzi in the HRT for about 6 races in 2011

        1. Ah, yes. It was midway in the season, wasn’t it! A pretty significant difference having about 40 races under his belt now or having 11 less.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    1st August 2013, 2:56

    A simple example: if the car is not perfect, you override it and don’t lament. You work with what you’ve got as what you got is probably down to your own mistake – so go out and fight!

    Hear it F1 racers! Tost said it.

    1. Becca and Lisa’s Silverstone Adventures, Part 1

      You should see the women bathroom at the university I work…

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        1st August 2013, 3:59

        what? I can’t get what that reply means, sorry @celeste

        1. I guess @celeste did not mean that as a reply to you @omarr-pepper, it refers to the cartoon Keith posted in the roundup.

      2. @omarr-pepper @bascb exactly! I promise not to post never again when I´m having a rhinitis alergi attack and taking medicine

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          1st August 2013, 19:35

          @celeste I hope you get better!

    2. Don’t agree with him.

      If your equipment is bad you have the right to say it, it doesn’t mean you’re excused from trying your best. Why in the world I can say what’s good and cannot say what’s wrong?

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        1st August 2013, 19:37

        @jcost but complaining publicly doesn’t help either. I guess Vettel also complains about the car, especially after Hungary, but he complains when the people who can fix the problem are listening. To do it as PR discharge won’t give him a faster car.

  11. Deepak (@thenameisdeepak)
    1st August 2013, 5:28

    “#F1 Did you know: Alonso was in talks with Red Bull 2008, but wanted to much money. So RB took Vettel 2009. Alonso stayed at Renault. ”

    Is this really true ?

    If so, I don’t blame Alonso. I mean come on. Who would’ve thought a company that makes sugar water would give a good pounding to the cornerstones of a vastly different business.

    1. Adrian Newey?

    2. @thenameisdeepak you have to remember that they aren’t simply a “drinks company”, they are just owned by one. The team has it’s foundations in the Jaguar Racing team which in turn had its origins in the Stewart Grand Prix team. They are a racing team through and through and they made their intentions known very early on by hiring Adrian Newey.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      1st August 2013, 14:57

      @thenameisdeepak well, Schum won 2 championships in a “clothes company”

  12. If that Alonso-Red Bull story is true, that makes it at least three bad career decisions from him now:
    1) Going to Mclaren for 2007.
    2) Turning down Red Bull for 2009.
    3) Going to Ferrari for 2010.

    He needs to find a better manager. I believe Briatore was behind most of these decisions, right?

    Briatore also managed Webber if I am not wrong. Not very effective there too. Webber spent most of his prime in midfield cars and when he finally got a fast car, along came Vettel.

    1. Alonso also turned down a drive with Brawn for the 2009 season if I remember correctly. But you couldn’t blame him for that… Honda were a mess at the end of the 2008 season.

      Its sad.. because Alonso could easily have been a 5 time WDC right now if he had been at Red Bull… and a very likely candidate to beat Schumacher’s record

      1. You dreaming mate, he is lucky he got two.

        1. Yeah .. because Alonso would be able to seal a championship in a championship winning car.

          Heck, he came within a couple of points of winning it in 2010 and 2012 with the 3rd fastest car on the grid. But you’re right… he would have failed miserably with the fastest car on the grid.

          Any logic behind you’re thinking?

          1. I think @Kimi4WDC’s username gives away where his misguided logic comes from.

          2. @todfod obviously your logig considers a team of Webber and Alonso because, IMHO, Vettel is good enought to beat him once or twice in the same car.

            Alonso did not beat a rookie Hamilton back in 2007, who knows Seb could not upset him.

          3. @jcost
            you did forgot that Alonso was racing Hamilton in McRON team , another thing Vettel has never been as good as Hamilton ask him if you want

          4. @tifoso1989

            Vettel has never been as good as Hamilton ask him if you want

            Hamilton has never been as good as Vettel, ask the team bosses over the last 4 years if you want.

          5. @david-a

            ask the team bosses over the last 4 years if you want.

            Which you clearly missed 2 of them

          6. @tifoso1989 – You said “Vettel has never been as good as Hamilton”. Vettel was ranked 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd by the team bosses from 2009-2012. Ranked 1st in 2010 and 2012 was Alonso, not Hamilton.

    2. I don’t think the McLaren move was a bad one persé, it just turned out that way when McLaren felt confident enough in their new double WDC signing to risk giving a rookie a drive and that rookie turned out to have quite the racing spirit!

      By the way, Alonso decided on the McLaren move without telling Briatore up front (who was afterall the team principle of the Renault team at the time). And Webber has mentioned it several times, that Briatore stongly adviced him against first the Williams move as well as against the Jaguar drive

    3. I don’t think his decision to go Ferrari in 2010 was wrong. That was the best seat available to him and 2010 Ferrari wasn’t too bad. That being said, while my respect for Alonso’s driving skills and strategic approach in race is increase, I never liked him for snapping the 2005 WDC from Kimi (admitted, the main contributor was rather the reliability of Newey’s McLaren). So it gives me a certain pleasure that Kimi is the last Ferrari champion :)

      1. And that pleasure is even bigger since we know how they introduced Alonso to the team almost 4 years ago! :D

    4. Briatore also managed Webber if I am not wrong. Not very effective there too. Webber spent most of his prime in midfield cars and when he finally got a fast car, along came Vettel.

      What do you want Briatore to do if Vettel beat Webber in Red Bull, to drive for him ,this is absolutely ridiculous just like blaming a football coach for a player that missed a penalty

    5. I disagree, there. I don’t think any of those decisions were poor, just unlucky.

      He signed with McLaren shortly after the end of the 2005 season, when they had built the quickest (albeit an unreliable) car. He was unlucky to end up with a competitive teammate in 2007. If he had someone more submissive in a clear #2 position as a teammate (as he had expected), he would almost certainly have won the championship.

      With Red Bull, he turned them down in mid-2008, at which point they were a clear midfield team with only a couple of podium finishes to their name. It was either sign with them or stick with the team with which he had won 2 championships. And yes, Red Bull did already have Newey on board, but he hadn’t built a championship-winning car for a decade. His stock was probably as low as it’s ever been. How could Alonso have possibly predicted the meteoric rise of Red Bull Racing?

      As with his 2010 decision… well, as Tobias’ Tweet says, the chance to be a Red Bull driver had already been and gone. So other than that, I struggle to see how he could’ve found a better place than at Ferrari. With Ferrari he has been the only driver to really challenge Red Bull over the length of a season.

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing but you can’t blame him for not being able to predict the future.

  13. Seems Ferrari might be considering using a slightly adapted version of their 2014 engine to enter LeMans again with an LMP1 car, so they can compete with their automotive peers (Porsche, Audi, Toyota, Nissan, …) instead of “a fizzy drinks company”.

    1. @bascb I’d love to believe that was true. Ferrari back at Le Mans with an LMP1, going up against Audi, Toyota and Porsche, that would be epic.

      1. I don’t expect VW to keep both Audi & Porsche in LMP1 for much more then next year.

        1. That also never made sense to me. Why would Audi even be there next year?

          Back in 2003 when VW were promoting newly acquired Bentley the Audi team had suddenly (and very successfully) become the Bentley team.

      2. It sure would @keith-collantine, that would really make endurance racing the thing to look at.
        Would be nice to see Mercedes joining in too, although they are probably going to focus on F1 until they at get a championship (or pull out as a full fledged team and go back to supplying engines)

    2. @bascb Although the remark about the “fizzy drinks company” sounds like sour grapes. I mean, if they can’t beat the fizzy drinks company, what business do they even have with Audi, Toyota and Porsche? ;)

      1. Good point. But you know its often easier to walk away from solving one thing, when you can go and try something different @guilherme.

        It defenitely is a sour grapes comment, but from Ferrari’s perspective it does make sense. They want to be better than their competitors in the sports car market, and they won’t find most of them to beat in F1. In that sense Red Bull was never a competitor it made sense beating for the Ferrari brand as such (not that it made sense beating a clothing company in Benetton, but I guess thats long ago now :-) )

  14. Regarding Brundle and Anderson articles referred to above: Personally, I find the on track overtaking done without the aid of DRS to be so much more memorable and meaningful. When Hamilton got past Webber on the second occasion during the Hungarian GP, I was looking forward to seeing him take on Alonso next – only to see the Ferrari head into the pits for new tyres.
    There seems to be so many rules about how a driver must act when overtaking, not to mention the swiftness of stewards to intervene when a complaint is made, that it must at the very least, play on the driver’s minds. As a spectator, I want to see more on track passes. (Not kamikaze moves obviously but please don’t put them off giving it a red hot go.)

  15. Interesting thing to ponder: what would Red Bull have done with Sebastian if they had hired Fernando the year before? Leave him in Torro Rosso for another year, or say goodbye to Mark?

    1. Yeah definitely an intersting thought. Also have to wonder what effects that would have on the rest of the grid.. In 2009, the top teams could have had a line up looking something like this –

      Red Bull




      What a great season that would have been.

      1. @todfod

        Oh, I remember that old rumor about McLaren wanting Vettel for 2009, but it was blocked.

        Red Bull really fought for Vettel, first with BMW and then with McLaren

    2. @mnracer I would think Toro Rosso would’ve retained him for another season and if he kept up the excellent performances then they’d ditch Webber (provided Alonso behaved himself ;) ), so Alonso and Vettel in 2010. That’d be truly epic!

  16. Thank you Gary Anderson for summing up what is wrong and right with F1

  17. “The trouble is that the rules are very clear about leaving the track between the white lines and gaining an advantage or position. ”

    Except the stewards seem only to enforce the rules against someone overtaking.
    Vettel clearly (to me at least) left the track twice on lap 19 of the Hungarian GP when defending against a charging Grosjean. Doing so allowed him to carry greater speed through the previous corner – something he wouldn’t have been able to do had there been a barrier or a gravel trap there – and helped prevent Grosjean getting close enough to attempt a pass.
    That seems like gaining an advantage to me.

    If the rule is only to be enforced against someone attempting an overtake, then it should state as much. Otherwise, it should not be enforced selectively.

    1. Likewise Alonso clearly got an advantage last year in his pole-lap in Germany by leaving the track with for wheels of the road. It’s only applied for overtaking. In defending, a driver can put someone off track, when there is no gravel (see Hamilton – Maldonado at valencia) but you can’t put a driver off track when there is gravel (see Vettel – Alonso in Monza). Both moves are the same, they both push the attacking driver wide, but Vettel got the penalty for pushing someone wide, Hamilton didn’t.

    2. I’m not sure whether running wide is necessarily always faster. However, when you overtake someone, you would be in front so if the running-wide slows you down, you may still be able to remain in front if it is not possible to overtake afterwards.

  18. Thanks for the COTD, @keithcollantine!

  19. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    1st August 2013, 10:13

    In the highly unlikely eventuality that Raikkonen joins Vettel next year, I think it is Vettel that is in for a “rough ride”. I am being consistently bowled over by the sheer brilliance of Kimi’s races, such as that beautifully executed two-stop strategy to 2nd at the weekend. If Raikkonen joins Red Bull, can “settle down” quickly, I see no reason why he can’t summon more of that incredible race pace he has and put Vettel under real pressure. And remember, Vettel has’t exactly experienced real pressure for a teammate in F1 before, aside for midway through 2010 when Webber was flying…and we all remember Turkey 2010. It would be really nice to see Vettel under some form of pressure, especially because he is still a driver that arguably makes mistakes when under pressure, just look at 2010, and even during the race at the weekend, he made a rather over-optimistic attempt at passing Button, thus damaging his front wing, because of the pressure from Grosjean behind. And that is exactly why Vettel is stamping his feet in an office somewhere demanding that Ricciardo signs on the dotted line.

    1. Button went wide, so Vettel saw his chance. We were racing at the hungaroring, not an oval, so he had to try.

      Vettel also won 4 races in a row when he needed them en the pressure to perform were well and truly on him in 2010 as well as in 2012. Not to mention the points he lost due to mechanical failures in both seasons.

      And then you’re using kimi as the one to not crack under pressure? The only season he really had to get back on in, was 2008 and he crashed in both Singapore and Spa and made silly mistakes and rather dull qualifyings in other races, arguably costing him a chance of a world championship.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        1st August 2013, 17:37

        Vettel made a premature and ill-conceived lunge at a gap that didn’t exist. The fact that Button went wide arguably made it harder for Vettel to overtake, because it covered off the outside line around turn 2, which as Hamilton proved twice, is effective in that it places you on the inside for turn 3.

        Vettel never won four races in a row in 2010, and in 2012, Red Bull brought a raft of pieces designed for the RB9 and put them on the RB8 as of the Singapore GP. Because the RB9 was an evolution of the RB8, it allowed them to develop both chassis in tandem in later stages of 2012, unlike McLaren, who were taking a more revolutionary approach to the MP4-28. This gave Red Bull as sizable advantage for several races, and in saying that Vettel won four races when he needed them, you are simply illustrating the car advantage he had at that stage of the season. I don’t really see how that’s relevant anyway, because when Vettel has a car advantage Vettel is under no pressure at all…it’s not as if Webber is a threat.

        In terms of Raikkonen in 2008, that was a very different Kimi. Raikkonen always said that he was not comfortable with the F2008, especially in qualifying, and it was clear to even the most casual onlooker that it was a chassis that suited Massa better. The mistakes in 2008 derived from this lack of affinity with the F2008, not pressure, although how you can say that his spin in Spa on slicks in the wet whilst most other drivers were going for wets or joining Kimi in the barriers, was “silly”, seems rather harsh. Vettel’s mistakes in 2010 were done to pressure however. At the Turkish GP Vettel had had to watch Mark take another pole and lead much of the race, ontop of wins in the previous two races, so Vettel did something about… Then there’s the Belgian GP, where Mark took pole whilst Vettel outbraked himself in La Combes placing himself fourth on the grid, so Vettel did something about it…

        1. Then there’s the Belgian GP, where Mark took pole whilst Vettel outbraked himself in La Combes placing himself fourth on the grid, so Vettel did something about it…

          Yes, he did do something about it. And that’s recover from Spa to win 3 races on his way to the title.

    2. Was there something F1 related in that little “I hate Vettel” diatribe?

      1. Couldn’t find any. Just a lot of stamping feet, fairy tales and “see this one example? he does this all the time, despite the fact I only provide one example”. He must also believe Fernando Alonso misses chickens in Brazil all the time.

  20. Becca Cann (@)
    1st August 2013, 10:57

    Wow, thanks for the link @keithcollantine! Logged onto my blog this morning and was very confused about suddenly having a ton of views…

    1. thank you for the chuckle this morning @beshoreblue

    2. @beshoreblue Always good to hear :-)

  21. Like Mark, I can’t live without my [this space for sale].

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      1st August 2013, 15:16

      hahhhaaha… Mark’s “natural” statement reminds me of Forrest Gump and his Flex-o-lite table tennis racket

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