Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

McLaren tipped to sign Magnussen for 2014

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: McLaren are increasingly strongly tipped to be about to sign Kevin Magnussen as a replacement for Sergio Perez next year.


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

McLaren chooses Magnussen for 2014 (Autosport)

“The team has decided to promote the Formula Renault 3.5 champion, although a contract has not yet been signed.”

Magnussen to replace Perez at McLaren (BBC)

Martin Whitmarsh: “We haven’t confirmed our driver line-up. We haven’t signed contracts with drivers.”

Perez out at McLaren (Joe Saward)

“The news has yet to be confirmed by McLaren, but it appears that the team chose not to take up its option for the Mexican to continue in 2014.”

Bernie Ecclestone signs $600 million Formula One deal (AutoWeek)

“I travel the world making business on a hand shake. And all of a sudden I’m no longer in any position to do anything, so who would want to accept my signature on a contract? I’ve just signed a contract now for 600 million-odd with people over the weekend. I can’t do that if people think I’m going to be fired in the morning.”

Ecclestone shows powerful grip on F1 (FT registration)

“What has emerged from all of Mr Ecclestone?s testimony is a brusque, unyielding management style spanning many years. He revealed his liking for shredding documents and letters, and his dislike of shareholder democracy. ‘I’ve never been interested in corporate governance and I?m not today either,’ he said.”

Bernie Ecclestone tries to clear F1 float by giving FIA a 1% stake (The Guardian)

Ecclestone: “The FIA gets 1% if F1 floats but the teams don’t have shares.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Shanghai, International Circuit, 2013Motor racing-Williams end tie-up with major sponsor PDVSA (Reuters)

Deputy team principal Claire Williams: “There is no (further) connection with PDVSA as obviously Pastor [Maldonado] is now leaving the team.”

Q&A with Felipe Massa on 2014 driver line-up (Williams)

“[Valtteri Bottas has] proved this year to be a very good driver and very quick. Pastor was always very quick, especially in qualifying, so to keep pace with him in the first year is impressive.”

Rookie diary – with Marussia?s Jules Bianchi (F1)

“The Suzuka accident was really strange – and frustrating. I could not do anything as my arm was stuck and I was reduced to passenger. It was doubly frustrating as the pace was really good until then, so it is hard to let things slip out of your hand. And of the tracks new to me this season, Suzuka was my favourite. It is simply amazing. I knew Spa and love it dearly, but Suzuka is really, really different. A race driver?s dream come true!”

Lewis Hamilton: I?m driven to educate the world?s poorest (Metro)

“After the Indian Grand Prix in Delhi, I took time out to visit a Save the Children project in Kolkata and meet some of the kids the charity helps.”

BT plots major raid on Sky (The Telegraph)

“Sky Sports? coverage of England cricket and rugby matches, British and Irish Lions tours, the Ryder Cup golf, men?s tennis and Formula One could all therefore come under threat in the coming years, never mind the broadcaster?s strangle??hold on Premier League football in the next round of bidding.”

Bernie sells his G650 to Thai Businessman for $72 million (BizJetBlogger)

Only of tangential interest but an article I missed when it first appeared two months ago.

F1 contracts: Don’t rock the boat (ESPN)

[Ayrton] Senna was suspended forthwith. There would be no racing for the Brazilian that weekend at Monza. Doubly unfortunate was the fact that this would be the home grand prix for Sergio Tacchini, the Italian sportswear company with whom Ayrton had a personal sponsorship deal.”

Emmo: Can Austin build a US legacy? (McLaren)

Emerson Fittipaldi: “The self-proclaimed Circuit of the Americas is a truly sensational racetrack – very technical, very challenging, full of elevation changes, full of daunting turns. The facilities are excellent, too, and the safety features are state-of-the-art.”


Comment of the day

@Fixy, whose avatar is Felipe Massa’s helmet, on Ferrari’s farewell to their loyal lieutenant:

It?s indeed a bit sad Alonso didn?t turn up, especially as he was the one who Massa sacrificed himself most for. Schumacher, maybe Badoer and Fisichella would have been nice additions too, and perhaps Raikkonen could have popped up to thank his team mate and the driver he is replacing.

But to have Luca di Montezemolo, Sergio Marchionne and Piero Ferrari all there to wave goodbye to Felipe just highlights how important and loved he was at Ferrari. And despite what joy the 2008 title could have brought, how can one be sad when he says: “I am happy with the way my time with the Prancing Horse turned out”? Even only driving for Ferrari is a privilege, and Felipe almost turned it into a dream.

Very nice to see his F2008 hasn?t been repainted, and that he got to drive it to return, at least with memory, to those wonderful moments I remember so vividly in Brazil. I ended in a bad way, but a Formula 1 season is long and brings many joys over its course. 11 wins can?t be forgotten, and his relevance goes beyond those numbers.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Christian Briddon and A-Safieldin!

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

And happy birthday to George Eaton, who is 68 today.

Eaton entered just over a dozen races in the early seventies, qualifying for most of them, but never scored a point. His only full season came in 1970 with BRM, where he scored a career-best tenth on home ground in Canada at the Mont Tremblant circuit.

A one-off return to F1 the following year, also at home but this time at Mosport, saw him classified 15th after tangling with Ronnie Peterson five laps from home. He ended his racing career the following year.

Images ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Williams/LAT

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  • 115 comments on “McLaren tipped to sign Magnussen for 2014”

    1. McLAren has recently learned that giving young talent a change can work sometimes. Maybe KM will not cause a huge impact in 2014 like Hamilton did back in 2007 but from what I’ve seen from him, I think it’s a risk worth taking.

      And it’s great to see a driver from Northern Europe who’s not Finn :)

      1. Fix

        McLAren has recently learned that giving young talent a chance

      2. And it’s great to see a driver from Northern Europe who’s not Finn :)

        And I still wonder why there’s not a Finnish GP!

        1. @aish maybe because all people in the stands would be as cheerful as the Iceman :P

        2. @aish I’ve always wondered that too ;)

      3. McLaren is Button’s team. He is very cosy with Martin Whitmarsh. Even Lewis Hamilton could not hold up against Button-Whitmarsh alliance. So it looks Perez had no chance to start with. His fate was sealed when he was taking the fight upto button in Monaco this year LOL….

        I personally think it is little too early to sack Perez. maybe they should sack Button and keep perez and bring in Kevin. Start the foundation with a strong fresh team. Well it would be a good idea to sack Whitmarsh too. he has not been doing a good job like Domenicalli. Look at the shape of the teams that Dennis & Todt had handed over to them today !!! Whitmarsh & Domenicalli are proven failures. Horner-Boullier-Brawn are in a different class of their own. Bring in Brawn to Run McLaren, bring in Briatorie to run Ferrari , Boullier to run Williams then we can see a good Ferrari-McLaren-Mercedes-RedBull- Williams dog fight.

        1. I agree with most of what you have said even though I don’t think either Horner or Boullier are as competent as the other names you have mentioned I thi k that you’ve said is likely to happen.

        2. Briatorie is banned for life is he not?

          1. @nick-uk He is not. The FIA tried to (read: ‘Mosley tried to’) but it was overturned:

            Briatore wins appeal against lifetime ban from motorsport

          2. If only.

      4. Perhaps, after reading the alleged news that Perez was out in favour of Mag I was about to admit that I was wrong and delighted to see McLaren giving a chance to a real prospect, but apparently Autosport wants Mag for Christmas so there’s a big chance that the news is fabrication. All depend.s on McLarens new title sponsor

    2. I am really surprised. I thought they would keep Perez for another season. He had moments of brilliance in a mediocre car. It is rough to condemn him when McLaren couldn’t give him a car that could compete.

      1. As per BBC, their simulator data and KM’s testing data suggests that KM is already faster than Perez…

        I think Checo is a good driver but most his brilliant performances come from alternative strategies because he lacks qualy pace and sometimes fails to get into Q3 even when the car is capable of. Plus, not being able to convince Slim Helu family to title sponsor McLaren probably cost his seat… #justsayin’

        1. I think so as well, especiaaly that a few hours before the KM news came out Whitmarsh said that the planned [presentation of the new title sponsor that was supposed to take place early december would be cancelled…..

          1. I don’t think that has anything to do with the driver change.

      2. @jcost Danish and Finnish people are always faster but Checo had good racing material in him, maybe not WDC but he was good. It’s a shame because I thought that in a mediocre car he was pretty good. Better than Jenson at times. He deserved another year.

        Does Magnussen have a lot of money, can he be pay driving?

        1. @aish I think Checo in a top team would only land a WDC if the car massivley faster than the rest like Brawn was in early races of 2009. In a compact field with a good teammate he would not make it. On the other hand, future can prove me wrong, I see in KM the best thing out of McLaren’s pool since Lewis Hamilton and a guy who can win WDC.

          I think there many talented young drivers in feeder series deserving a chance and KM and Antonio Felix da Costa are already F1 material.

        2. AFAIK Magnussen dosent have any money to speak of, DK is small contry, and in addition dont have a very big motorsport scene. He was sponsored by Jack&Jones in FR3.5 though.

        3. @aish agreed people failed to see how good the sauber was that said Button has proved that he ain’t that good either and arguably he is slightly less valued sponsorship are concerned but he has enough sponsorship to find another spot perhaps.

    3. Perez out of Mclaren in just 1 year seems very harsh.
      But its not surprising. Being upstaged by Button in qualifying is a big mistake to do.

      Now that you take a good look at Perez’s performances of 2012, it was clear that all his podiums came from starting outside the top 10 whereas Kamui qualified in the top 10. Perez then had an extra set of tyres to make merry in the race. At the end of 2012, the difference between Kamui and Perez was just 3 points. Yet, one got an upgrade to Mclaren. The other got booted out of the sport. Now, it seems that both of them weren’t any good at all.

      1. The car might be ****, but when you only score 58% of the points of your teammate it’s difficult to justify another year.

      2. I’m inclined to agree with you, but I think you’re about to get a hellfire barrage of condemnation for slating Kamui! I never rated either of them either, so I always saw the inter-team battle as academic.

        I think dropping Perez was the right course of action if KM really is as good as he seems. He was always going to be a stop gap for McLaren in my opinion, and would only be kept on if he proved himself to be amazing.

      3. @gongtong is right. You are about to get a hellfire barrage of condemnation for slating Kamui.

        Kobayashi was brilliant for me! He would be one of the best if he was still in F1 right now (instead of the drivers with a heavy wallet).

      4. *hellfire barrage of condemnation for slating Kamui*

        1. Kobayashi’s results last year wast a true a reflection of his performances. Perez got lucky with tyre strategy for the podiums he got at Montreal and Monza, note that he had this advantage because he didnt make Q3.

          Kobayashi’s drive to the podium in Japan was proper class. He would have done pretty well at Spa as well, if it was for crashy Romain. Maybe Im being biased, but Kamui definitely showed more wheel to whell prowess than Checo…but hey, its no surprise the wallet gets you over the line.

    4. Bernie sells plane for 72 million. According to the same blog, comparable planes go for about 34 million.

      1. Man, Bernie should write a book.

        1. There are already so many books about him. He has not written any, but some renowned journalists have written about him. Try No Angel, it’s a good read.

        2. @jcost @aish “How to sell anything and everyting for the double of what is worth”– By Bernie Ecclestone. Foreword by Sebastian Vettel ;)

      2. Off course we do not know what the plane was loaded with (in perks, electronics etc), but as the stated reason for selling it off was that its said to not have enough power to start at some of the airfields Bernie wants it to go while fully loaded, I would imagine there is a LOT packed in @verstappen.
        Well, and this is Bernie doing business off course (who knows how much one pays to get a new jet immediately instead of having to wait 2 years or whatnot)

        1. @bascb Perhaps he is selling it off in anticipation of an EPIC fine coming his way as part of a legal settlement/sentence… I mean who spends that kind of money on a plane without checking into whether or not it would be able to take off on short runways while at maximum load.

          1. Maybe from when it was ordered and delivery time the airfields he wants to go to changed @nick-uk!

            As for the fine – there will most likely not be a fine. Although Bernie might take out some more money to put in “insurances” :-P

      3. There can be alot of difference in plane values at the high end, this can include what electronic suites are loaded, what kind of weather kit is in it, the number of air miles on the engines, which engines, the interior.

      4. A G650 has a list price of $65 million and that is without an interior. So $72 million is not an unusual price.

    5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      12th November 2013, 8:22

      Bad news for Perez.
      I don’t really know what Mclaren were expecting when even the chosen one wouldn’t be able to get that car on the podium.

      I think he deserves another year. Same for Button, it’s not like he’s been much better…

      1. Button has out qualified Perez 9-8 and is 12-5 up in the races. Considering that Button isn’t exactly rated as the best qualifier on the grid and the huge gulf in the race results it is no surprise that McLaren are questioning Perez’s abilities. Throw in the apparently significant difference in abilities between Magnussen and Perez in the simulator and it doesn’t look good for Perez. There is also the more human side of it, Perez just doesn’t “feel” like a McLaren driver to me whereas Magnussen does.

        As I said in the forum ( bagging him at the end of this year would be harsh on Perez, but it can be justified.

      2. I’d say we should rather understand this as McLaren wanting to give Magnussen the chance he deserves. They probably saw him coming already, although more likely would have wanted to give him a year in a Marussia or FI before promoting him. And a gamble on an impressive Perez last year was just the stopgap they were looking for.
        In the end the gamble did not pay off really (lacklustre car, no mexican money interests lured in and Perez not being a relevation but just a solid driver), but it did not hurt them either.

        1. I agree with your comment @bascb

    6. There’s nothing wrong about signing Kevin Magnussen except the fact that now I’m feeling old as I remember watching his father race! Seriously, there’s been so much talk about sponsorships, investors and money lately that it’s refreshing to see a young talent making it to F1 purely on merit.

      It’s really sad that Perez’s McLaren career turned out to be so short and so desperately unsuccessful. For sure, no one expected him to win the title and there is no doubt that Perez himself hasn’t performed well enough but I think several podiums and a win or two would have been possible if the car hadn’t been such a dog. The last McLaren driver, who ended his career at the team without scoring a podium for them was Mark Blundell (in 1995).

      I also believe that the fact that McLaren has been openly chasing Alonso despite everything that happened in 2007 and is ready to take a rookie to replace Perez indicates that the team isn’t very convinced about Button’s ability to win another world championship.

      1. I also believe that the fact that McLaren has been openly chasing Alonso despite everything that happened in 2007 and is ready to take a rookie to replace Perez indicates that the team isn’t very convinced about Button’s ability to win another world championship.

        I see what you’re saying but find it more than a little annoying! After all, JB is the driver who has got McLaren the closest they have been to the title in the last 4 years finishing 2nd in 2011.

        Their last ‘great’ driver only managed a highest finish of 4th in the same time period.

        1. No no Ham WC mclaren driver 2008, also 1 point behind in 2007. More than Button could achieve. Also Button was soclose in 2011 lol, ha ha are u for real. He came 2nd by miles he besst Ham in his mid life crisis. If Ham came 4th were did JB come last year.

          1. He came 2nd by miles he besst Ham in his mid life crisis

            Oh, was Hamilton the only driver Button bet in 2011?? Funny, I thought he also beat everyone else on the grid (exept Vettel) including Alonso.

        2. @nick101

          Be honest with yaself for once he is talking truth its doubtful JB will even win another race(i hope he does as a brit). At east Ham is still about to enter his prime, Ham as been poor last 2 races but he as had poles, and should be 2 wins. Ham is 28, But is 33. Ham will have plenty of chances, we will see next year Merc are supposed to have the best engine, we may even see a shootout. Their is still clever people at thats team, im just not confident in JB now?, is that wrong to say? He is getting older, and he is still fairly slow in qually. That is all im saying 9-8 v Perez in qually is not good isit?

          1. @danclapp while I am more fond of HAM than I am of BUT ( I still like both which is something alot of their fans seem to have a hard time doing). I agree with @nick101 to an extent, he did get highest in the championship in the “Vettel Years” for Mclaren. I think saying he may never win another race to be quite harsh. He is not a blistering qualifier, he does hustle the car forward, especially through strategy in the race. Another JB win may be more than just a dream.

    7. McLaren yet to confirm. I wonder if this is gamesmanship to get a better deal on Perez? A lot of journalists reporting its truth, though.

      1. Yeah, I thought they would try to make a last minute deal with Slim and Co in the USGP but it seems they don’t even want their money anymore (also the reveal of the new title sponsor has been delayed, coincidence?)

        @keithcollantine Here’s a nice picture for a caption competition:

        1. I don’t know wich sponsor would pay to add in such a bad car.

    8. Can’t fault McLaren, they wanted similar impact Hamilton, Raikkonen or Vettel. They already have driver who drives well when everything is good, they want someone who can make impact day in and day. Worth a gamble.

    9. What is it with F1 and rash decisions at the moment? OK, Magnussen definitely deserved a drive, but he didn’t deserve to be parachuted into a top team either, especially if it is to the detriment of a strong driver like Perez; who was massively improving in the second half of season. When I initially floated the idea of Magnussen potentially replacing Perez several months ago on this very forum, I was shot down by incredulity and allegations of being deluded; and couple that with increasingly strong showings from Sergio, and his replacement never even crossed my mind until this week. But here we are, in the cold reality of a gloomy November morning when the career of yet another young hopeful, Perez, is being thrown to the dogs. I don’t really see any real difference between Grosjean’s and Perez’s seasons. Both started quite poorly, but got increasingly stronger as the season progressed. However whilst one is being heralded as a team hero, the other is off down the job centre. The difference? Perez’s stronger performances aren’t as obvious as Grosjean’s because he isn’t at the sharp end of the field like Romain. But surely McLaren of all teams can still recognize a strong drive when it sees one? No? Oh, so it turns out that McLaren and Helmut Marko are one and the same…run, young hopefuls, run…

      On another note – How can the BBC possibly know that…

      McLaren’s analysis of Magnussen’s performance in their simulator suggests he is already faster than Perez

      Oh right, it’s Andrew “Assertion” Benson writing…

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        12th November 2013, 9:12

        What makes you think McLaren doesn’t recognize a strong drive when they see one? Perhaps McLaren is seeing stronger drives by Magnussen in the simulator. It’s a cutthroat business, Formula 1. The number of potential drivers is much larger than the number of available seats, and you either make it or break it. You cannot take anything for granted.

        We only see the results, the team sees the whole picture. And they’re clearly not satisfied with the whole picture. I think Hamilton leaving the team came a bit unexpected to them and they had to sign someone, and that someone was Perez. Ferrari passed him up, and on hindsight, maybe a good decision.

        1. @maarten-f1

          What makes you think McLaren doesn’t recognize a strong drive when they see one?

          Sigining Sergio Perez is a good reason to think so

        2. @maarten-f1

          What makes you think McLaren doesn’t recognize a strong drive when they see one?

          The fact that they’ve obviously ignored Perez’s recent good form, including his Indian drive, by signing Magnussen. McLaren have handed Perez a substandard car, and because of its cross-channel-ferry-like understeer, Perez, who uses oversteer to rotate the car mid-corner has struggled all season. And details like that cannot, and should not be overlooked as they are very much the foundations of a successful season. And let’s face it, McLaren are essentially saying that they are bad at judging the talents of young drivers by dropping Perez, who was selected out of a market of drivers that also included a certain Nico Hulkenberg. Magnussen, as I have said time and time again as I will continue to do so deserves a seat in F1, but so does Sergio Perez.

      2. So, they have a seat to fill for a year and give it to a 22 year old who has shown SOME signs of talent. After a fairly mediocre year they make the (apparently) justified decision not to let him continue at the team so they can make space for… Their own highly promising, young driver academy, 21 year old.

        Yet you imply that McLaren have no time for helping out youngsters?

        Now, I think you should stop blaming the teams for the hopes of young driver’s being so slim and look to the governance. If there were more seats available, more young drivers would be getting a poke at this sport. If there were more testing opportunities they’d have more time to show their hand. If there was a cap on age for driver entry, they’d have longer in lower categories to get settled.

        I don’t know if any of the above solutions would necessarily be successful, but I certainly don’t think it’s fair to lumber the blame all on the teams.

        1. @gongtong – Yes, I am saying McLaren isn’t helping young drivers. Firstly, premature promotion is as bad a curse as any for a young hopeful. Now I’m not necessarily saying that Magnussen isn’t ready for F1, but I strongly doubt whether he’s ready for the onset of pressure that is coming his way through being parachuted into a top team. Now the paddock has a very short memory, so if Magnussen struggles to perform under motorsport’s most intense spotlight that’ll form most of the public perception of Kevin as opposed to any junior category heroics. In many ways Kovalainen’s career would’ve been much better had he spent several more seasons at Renault before being catapulted into a seat alongside “young gun benchmark” Hamilton. And it is the failure to acknowledge that different driver react in different ways that is going against both the McLaren and Red Bull driver programmes, who are both looking for another Vettel or Hamilton, but failing to realize the immense individuality of each promotion into F1.

          McLaren’s failure to accept circumstance also makes them accountable here. They failed to give Perez a good car. They also failed to give Perez the necessary oversteer with which he rotates the car. So how can Perez be expected to perform outstandingly? And when he does perform, such as he did in India, why must they turn a blind eye?

          I don’t think a larger number of seats is remotely desirable. Don’t we want F1 to be hard to get into? A premier category? Do you want F1 watered down by the Stefano Colettis and Facu Regalias of this world? I do however agree with you on an age cap.

          1. @william-brierty I’m not sure if you got it from my previous post or not, but to clarify, I am well opposed to “premature promotion”. I think it’s a serious problem, hence my suggestion of the age cap (Although that is a bit of a brutal solution).

            I agree that it seems reckless for a team to hope for a Vettel/Hamilton, however, there ARE a lot of options kicking about right now. Sadly, for Mclaren, none of the options are proven championship winners. I think they took a punt on Perez and decided it hadn’t paid off. We do have to bear in mind that Mclaren have nurtured many talents over the years and have access to a lot more data than us.

            As for comparing him to Button, it pains me to say it as a long-term fan of his, BUT, he is in the twilight of his career and it is widely acknowledged that he is terrible in a bad car. I think Perez would have needed to be beating him comprehensively to retain the seat.

            I definitely don’t want the sport watered down by the types you mention above. But I do think that we could EASILY fill 30 seats with top-tier drivers if teams weren’t so desperate for the money. With proper cost controls, we could have ten teams running three cars and jobs for the likes of Valsecchi, Kovalainen, Kobayashi et al. Of course it should be hard to get into, but any fan of the above drivers will agree; not this hard.

      3. Oh, and the the difference between Grosjean and Perez is simple. Romain is managed by his team principle. They have both stood by each other, it’s a fairly suspect conflict of interests but it seems to have worked out well.

        Perez on the other hand was being backed by Ferrari. As soon as a McLaren seat was on the table he cut the apron strings and chipped.

        As stated above by Marteen, it’s a cut throat game. In this case, it kinda worked both ways.

      4. On another note – How can the BBC possibly know [the simulator]…

        Team in-fighting, divided camps as has been rumoured?, Whitmarsh’s weakened figure being torpedoed?

        It seems the musical chair games will be danced to the tunes Maldonado and now Pérez can get the jukebox to play, with their monies.

    10. I’m really glad that Magnussen is driving Mclaren next year (I hope these reports will come true). Many people say that Perez deserves another year. I would agree, if he was driving Sauber or other midfield team. But now he is driving Mclaren – a top team, which set high standards and he didn’t drive like a top team driver. He made lots of mistakes, he tried to stamp his authority by ‘dirty’ racing, but it didn’t impress anybody.

      Besides, rookie doesn’t necessarily have to start from back of the grid or midfield team. Some drivers start in a midfield team but never end up in a top team, although they deserve that (Hulkenberg may be good example if he doesn’t get that Lotus seat next year). Mclaren’s decision to give a race seat to Hamilton paid off more than anybody expected.

      1. Only problem mclaren produce a DOG or rather a puppy, Perez will go to Lotus any day of the week !

        1. I would Love to see Grosjean and Perez in Lotus, 2 underated young drivers, both kicking old fart whinner’s asses.

    11. On McLaren and Perez;

      Often drivers are without contract and they race like never before and I always wonder, where was that form in the previous races all season long. If they wanted that seat why didn’t they find the motivation to drive all that season fast and not just those few races.

      Take Perez now, he says ‘this is the most important weekend of my season’. So does he really believe that when he manages to get that McLaren onto the podium he will retain his seat for 2014? He had to perform all season and not just shine at two or three weekends. India did him good but in Abu Dhabi he really underperformed. Possibly stress and the idea that his career might be another Kovalianen-story without the victory.

      Take Ricciardo, Webber announces his retirement and all of a sudden Ricciardo qualifies three times in the top 10. Previous to that his average was 12th on the grid. 2,5 months ago he was anounced as a RBR driver and his form immediatly dropped dramatically scoring one point since Monza.

      Another example is Massa, everytime his seat at Ferrari was at stake he started to out-qualify Alonso. If Alonso wouldn’t be in for a championship like in 2012 he would also race him every race. Since he knows he cannot stay at Ferrari he scored 39 points. Out-qualifying Alonso 4 times in the last 5 races.

      So maybe a team like McLaren and Ferrari should work with one-year contracts and let their drivers know they can be sacked every race if they don’t perform. Put the pressure on and those who fail to perform under it don’t deserve to be in F1.

      1. When a driver’s seat is under threat, the team usually tell them what they need to do in order to keep their seat, unless they prove to be completely incompetent. So when Perez says this is the most important race of his career, it’s probably because it’s his last chance to meet his targets. Given some of his recent races, it’s probably a points target.

      2. I take your point to a small degree. While I do think it is valid to consider whether the threat of losing one’s seat makes a driver faster, I suspect most of the drivers in that position are already motivated enough and what we are seeing is coincidence moreso than ‘extra motivation’ by threat.

        Eg. FM’s Ferrari tenure has been questioned since 2010, so perhaps his recent form vs. FA has as much to do with FA’s bad back, a slowdown in car development now that RBR are the winners, and perhaps an FM that has no need to play second fiddle as his role in the team as he’s leaving, and they’ve already lost both Championships.

        SP saying this is a really important weekend does not mean he is saying the other weekends were not…he’s just stating a fact…and it’s no guarantee that means he will do better than other weekends. I suspect in other weekends where he seemed to underperform it was more because he was showing us his best, in a car that obviously lacks, which apparently is still not good enough for Mac, but I wouldn’t conclude he was showing us an unmotivated SP.

        Your suggestion does appear to hold a little more water regarding DR, but then his situation has (had) a different flavour to it and holds the concept that he is moving up within the same family, which is a bit different than most drivers experience, and it doesn’t appear that his job at TR was in threat…just that there was an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder, and it has worked out for him.

        Anyway, I doubt it is feasible to just replace drivers at the drop of a hat, on a race by race basis, and there are far more positive ways to motivate drivers on top of their likely already very high self-motivation, than a constant guillotine over their heads. Your suggestion sounds a bit to me like “the beatings shall continue until morale improves.”

      3. Take Ricciardo, Webber announces his retirement and all of a sudden Ricciardo qualifies three times in the top 10. Previous to that his average was 12th on the grid.

        Hehe you’re right, even Daniel admitted that he started to push a little more knowing that it was a competition to get the seat between him and Vergne, however, there’s a higher risk of making mistakes so I can understand why don’t drive like that all the time.

    12. it would be very harsh to get rid of perez after just 1 season, its not like he’s driven awfully, erratic at times but he’s trying to impress in a poor car. They surely didnt expect him to do a hamilton. Its not like Button has completely shown him up and he’s certainly been closer to his world champion team mate than the other drivers partnering a champion (rosberg probably being the exception though) he needs to be given another year, i cant see how magnusson could perform better in his debut season in 2014 than a more experienced perez

    13. It’s a done deal! Checo is looking for a drive along with Maldonado and the Hulk

      1. I’d love to know your source on that, since McLaren won’t even confirm if Button has a seat next year.

        1. Sorry, my source cannot be shared… time will twll

      2. @funkyf1

        I can see the picture.

        Pastor calling President Nicolas Maduro asking for money to promote Venezuela and that he could convince Vijay Malia rebrand the team to Forza Venezuela and change the livery accordingly. If FI plan fails they could make Lotus change name to Scuderia Bolivariana PDVSA Lotus F1.

        Sergio Perez is “touring” with his bag half empty but he would sell the idea that the coming Mexican GP demands a strong local driver that Gutierrez isn’t and Force India or Lotus would welcome a good driver with his Mexican sponsors or Sauber would be pleased to have to young Mexicans in their early 20s as they drivers in 2014 fighting to partner their Russian teenager who would be given another year to mature his driving. If that happens, Sauber would welcome the name Sauber Rent-A-Car F1 Team.

        While Hulkenberg will be sending digital CVs including videos of his performances in different teams and highlighting his skills while making a point on bringing nothing but his skilful hands and massive feet…

    14. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      12th November 2013, 10:12

      What we’re missing about the Perez situation, is that it shows how high (or low, in this case) McLaren regard Jenson Button’s speed. They expected a 3rd year driver to come in to a new team, compete with and even beat Jenson from the get-go. Maybe they really wanted to get rid of Button after the 2013 season, but with an under performing Checo, they couldn’t dump their better driver.

      1. You know for a fact that is what they expected of SP? Perhaps his role was to support the team’s veteran driver and assist in car development and to push the team forward, and didn’t do that to Mac’s satisfaction based on things we armchair fans cannot be privy to.

    15. The Lewis article says ex-world champion! Really annoys me when people say that about any champ, he is still a world champion just not the current world champ, dinwits.

      1. @zippyone
        He is a previous world champion. Isn’t that what “ex….” implies? That he has been the world champion? There is only one guy with the number 1 on his car, and the WDC trophy on his kitchen table. And that guy isn’t Lewis. So I don’t really see what is wrong about calling him an ex-world champion.

        1. @mads If an actor recieved an Oscar in 2007, is he an ex-Oscar winner because other people have recieved similar trophies since then, or is he an Oscar winner for the rest of his life? I think it’s the same with the F1 title. It’s the sort of title that carries on throughout his career. If Vettel doesn’t win next year, will he be an 4 time ex-world champion? The “ex” part doesn’t really belong, imo.

          1. @gicu
            There is quite a difference though. An Oscar is awarded to several people each year, and when they have it, no one can take it away from them.
            A world championship is a different matter however. Once you have won it, you are THE world champion. There can only be one reigning world champion at any time.
            The trophy is also a rolling trophy, so once you loose the championship you have to pass it on to the new world champion.
            That’s the way I see it anyway.

            1. @mads
              Fair point, but I still think that once you’re a world champion, you’re always a world champion, not an ex. A world title winner. The fact that it’s a rolling trophy doesn’t mean that when you pass it on, you also lose the accomplishment you worked for the year before. I see it as being disrespectful for the driver, as it’s just as easy saying “the [year] F1 World Champion”.

            2. @mads

              No, to me the word ‘ex’ implies he is no longer a world champ, of course I realise he is not the current world champ, for example, a common use of the term ‘ex’ is that of an ex-wife/girlfriend which means she is no longer your wife/girlfriend.

            3. @zippyone
              I don’t think we disagree on what ‘ex’ implies. My point is, exactly, that he isn’t the world champion any more. He has been a world champion. So he still stands as the 2008 world champion. But he isn’t the current world champion.
              Which is why I think that it is correct to speak of him, and anyone bar Vettel right now, as ex-champions.

            4. @mads No sorry I can’t agree with that, it is not correct to speak of any champ as ex-champions, Schumi is not an ex-champ, he is a champ, Alonso is not an ex-champ, he is a champ, Kimi is not an ex-champ, he is a champ, etc, etc.

              Likewise when Vettel is no longer the current world champ he will still be a world champ not an ex-champ. It is illogical to say ex.

            5. @zippyone
              I think we should just agree to disagree and leave it at that, I don’t think either of us are going to convince the other. : )

            6. @mads Yes I agree to disagree but I am right though ;) (kidding!)

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        12th November 2013, 14:20

        There can be only one current World Champion, and that is Sebastian Vettel at the moment

    16. I am just wondering where checo will get the drive for next year.If hulk get the lotus seat then sauber will definitely welcome pastor with open arms as he is a GP winner and got 50 million sponsorship with him which is badly needed by sauber at this moment.This will only leave Force India to give him a drive but they already lined colado for next year.Hope we haven’t seen last of checo in F1

      1. There are two seats at Force India of course, and neither of the current occupants is especially secure.

    17. Those who criticised Ferrari for saying Perez was not ready for a top drive last year might need to think again, now that McLaren have essentially come to the same conclusion.

      I do feel bad for Perez though. His pace has had the usually serene Button rattled on occasion this year, and he was far, far better than the highly rated Kobayashi when they were at Sauber, despite the revisionist efforts of some.

    18. They only signed Perez because of all the hype that he was going to Ferrari, they should have signed Hulkenberg. Surely they still could and sign Magnussen when Button is ready to retire. But no, McLaren like to make things difficult for themselves

    19. BT Sport’s emergence after winning the complete Champions League package from 2015 in the manner they did makes me think they are potential future F1 broadcasters. In 2018, when Sky’s and BBC’s contract ends, there could be four bidders. Remember, ITV lost the F1 rights to concentrate more on the Champions League, so they might be looking for another flag-ship sporting competition – F1, for example.

    20. If anybody deserves to lose their job at McLaren it is Martin Whitmarsh. We can criticize Sergio Perez all we like, but at the end of the day it was Whitmarsh who hired him. However you look at it, McLaren Mercedes under Martin Whitmarsh are nothing short of an embarrassement, a joke!
      If this team is not carful, I can see them becoming the next Williams and if that happens I hold Whitmarsh personally responsible. This team is in freefall, its a shambles. They should be fighting for the championship, they should be fighting Red Bull and Ferrari. Its just unexceptable! A lot has been said about the new rules next year, the new engines etc etc. Every team is trying to convince us that they can steal a march on Adrian Newey and build a rocket ship equal to the recent Red Bull machines. I am not convinced, but it is the level that McLaren has sunk that is troubling.
      Ferrari have struggled this year, but with Ferrari you can see glimmers of hope. Kimi Raikkonen returning to the fold next year will be interesting, it means they have two world class drivers at Maranello for 2014 and that can only be a good thing. What have McLaren got? Can one really compare Jenson Button to Raikkonen or Alonso? Afterall, it took Button ONLY six years to win his first grands prix!
      The arrogance of McLaren to side with Button was mind blowing, and the decision to force Hamilton out of the team was as foolish as ditching Alonso five years earlier. They only have themselves to blame!

      1. McLaren has one bad season and immediately it’s a downfall? They went into the wrong direction with the car, and didn’t find out until the start of the season. Is that Whitmarsh’s fault? He’s not designing the car, a whole team of people are into that. Every person who has worked on that car is responsible for the bad performance. If next year is just as disastrous, I’ll go along with you, but not after just one bad season (Ferrari has had plenty of those as well). I expect they’ll bounce back.

        Besides, Whitmarsh isn’t doing that bad. Since he took over in 2009 they finished 2nd in the WCC twice, and 3rd twice. It’s not like the last few years under Ron Dennis were all that awesome, McLaren’s last WCC dates from 1998 (as in 2007 they were excluded).

        1. At last a common sense post from someone obviously in the know!

          People bang on about Ron Dennis, but Whitmarsh is doing a better job so far!

      2. Only if Brawn ran McLaren! Shame Perez isn’t given a year, and Magnussen spends ’14 in Marussia or FI. As I doubt Hulk will get the Lotus seat, hopefully it’s Hulkenberg-Perez at FI. Not ideal, then again, a year and a half ago I expected Alonso/Raikkonen/-Hamilton/Perez at Ferrari, Alonso/Raikkonen-Button at McLaren, and Hamilton/Perez-Hulkenberg at Mercedes for 2014.

        Ooops. Way off.

        1. Hulkenberg and Perez would be an excellent line-up for nearly any team.

    21. Thanks, @keithcollantine, for my fourth COTD! Over an year since my previous one, but I’m very happy this particular comment of mine has been chosen!

    22. Probably Checo isn´t the best driver in Formula 1, but the questions are, is Button way better than him? is he who deserves another year at McLaren after some seassons doing nothing special? is he a better option for McLaren after showing a spoiled-boy temper in his crying moments during this year when Checo attacks him and overtakes him? is he driving at McLaren just because his Champinship with Brawn?

      In my oppinion JB isn´t a great champion, when he won that title, Brawn GP was better just because the double diffuser making him an advantage at the begginig of that year.

      1. I love how people say that JB is no good and he only won because of the car.

        Yet the following year he joins McLaren as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate (who we are constantly told is the best in F1) and gives him a proper run for his money, becoming the only driver to ever beat Hamilton over a season. He scores only 2 less wins than Hamilton, more podiums, more points finishes and in the end, more overall points.

        Regardless of what anyone thinks, or how many points you think Hamilton was ‘robbed’ of for whatever reason, the fact remains that Button went up against Hamilton and more or less matched him over 3 years.

        All of this and people STILL tell us that Button is no good!!

        Honestly, do you people not see the stupidity in this? You tell us in one breath that Hamilton God’s gift to F1, then turn around and tell us that the guy who matched and beat him is no good.

        My God!

        1. Some could revert like this: how many years has JB raced in F1 and his only wdc was totally attributable to the double diffuser clever design, by Brawn’s team, while LH almost won a wdc in his rookie year and won it in his second season.

    23. Checo to Lotus? Or back to Sauber?

    24. Good riddance! Never really like Perez. Go Magnussen!!!

      1. I can only garante you things going to be worst next seasson!! McLaren is blaming Checo and not taking his responsability on the poor car development, let’s be honest, not even Alonso would have won a podium in that dog.

        1. I don’t think they’re blaming Checo at all.

          The car is the car and not Checo or Jenson’s fault.

          What they are looking at is the performance of each driver in the same car. Simple fact is Checo has not measured up.

          I agree that it’s a bit harsh to get rid of him after only 1 year, but they’ve gotta do what they gotta do.

          I really hope Magnussen does well, but as a Button fan hope he doesn’t beat him!

    25. If you take a step back at the Saward article though, you will see he says that Vandoorne is going to GP2. That we know to be rather false as McLaren have publicly stated that GP2 is not a good series with good drivers and does not support its drivers to go there. Same for RBR.
      But anyway, why would Vandoorne go to GP2 when his possible future employer does not want him to go?

    26. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      12th November 2013, 20:17

      Looks like Montezomolo was right all along about Perez?

    27. I find it interesting how many British fans turned on Perez the second Mclaren signed him & have hurled hate on him ever since.

      Everyone was saying he should replace Massa at Ferrari all last year, Then as soon as Hamilton left McLaren & Perez was announced as his replacement all of the same people who were praising him when it looked like he was off to Ferrari were suddenly saying he wasn’t good enough for a top seat?

      Why the sudden change? If he was good enough to deserve a ride at Ferrari (A top team) why was he suddenly not good enough for Mclaren (A top team)?

      1. British fans turned on Perez

        I see nothing to suggest this is actually true and would like to know how you’ve reached this conclusion.

    28. If Mclaren drop Perez and make a good car in 2014, will be unfair, but if Checo goes to Lotus and Mclaren make another dog will be funny, cause RG & SP will be awesome in tire preserving lotus, which is a most have in nowdays bubblegum racing !

    29. Amidst all this speculation over the futures of Perez and Magnussen, I’m actually more curious as to who Bernie is signing contracts with. It’s probably Thailand, and it might be Mexico, but I can’t help but wonder who else might be interested. South Africa? Somewhere in Scandinavia? Or a place in Eastern Europe, like Poland or the Ukraine?

      1. I’ve seen Marocco being mentioned – probably due to the king having been with Bernie in AbuDhabi @prisoner-monkeys

        1. @bascb – If that’s true, then I hope they could recreate the old Ain-Diab and Mellaha Lake circuits somehow. Neither of them were complex layouts and both of them would be too long for Formula 1 (and Mellaha Lake is now an air force base).

          1. I certainly think there is potential in it yeah @prisoner-monkeys

            But now that it was mentioned that Tilke has been drafted in to design a track near the new Moscow airpoirt, it might just as well be that this is what Bernie was talking about (with Moscow taking over the Russian GP from Sochi)

            1. @bascb – I see no reason to believe that Sochi won’t happen. The Olympic Park is almost finished, and while the tarmac for the circuit is yet to be laid, that is not going to be done until after the Olympics.

              Organisers from the DTM series have said they are considering two races in Russia in the near future, with one at the Moscow Ring and the second in Sochi. They pointed out that Moscow and Sochi are 3000 kilometres apart, and so will be drawing on different crowds. The same logic applies to Formula 1, although I can’t see Bernie committing to a second race in Russia before the first has started.

            2. It rather seems that Sochi won’t happen for long because, and after the first race the Russian GP would move to a different track @prisoner-monkeys, because Putin was not amused by how big an amount was stashed away by the people in the region.

    30. I think Perez has at least done enough to merit a drive for next season. Yes, he hasn’t impressed to the level we (and obviously McLaren) all expected. But neither has the McLaren team as a whole. Jensen Buttons results have been a bit more consistent, but only lower points finishes, and yet his drive isn’t under threat. It would be a bit of a shame for Perez to never get the opportunity to show what he can do in a race winning car if in fact McLaren show him the door.

      Why not sign Magnussen as a test and reserve driver for 2014 and start him the following year if Perez shows no improvement?

      1. You are assuming mclaren can produce a winning car next yr, they have to change engine three yrs in a row, and presumably if JB team member don’t drag the car to podium will be boot which adds to the stability, throw MW out in the process and Mclaren might not be in contention for quite a while, I guess Hamilton was spot on to jump ship before it start sinking !

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