F1 comeback is “nearly impossible”, Kubica admits

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Ahead of his WRC debut later this month Robert Kubica admits his chances of returning to F1 are very small.


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Kubica F1 return ‘nearly impossible’ (BBC)

“Driving on gravel is very demanding. There are lots of movements on the steering wheel which put a lot of stress on my arm and my hand. But I know this does not help my biggest limitation, which is driving a single-seater.”

Nico Hulkenberg will not replace Kimi Raikkonen for final two races of Formula One (The Mirror)

“Nico Hulkenberg will not step into Kimi Raikkonen’s shoes for the upcoming US Grand Prix, a spokesman for Sauber said Tuesday.”

Lotus no utilizar?? a Davide Valsecchi para sustituir a Raikkonen (El Confidencial, Spanish)

This report claims Lotus third driver Davide Valsecchi will also not get to drive in place of Kimi Raikkonen this weekend.

F1 teams worried about ‘ugly’ 2014 cars (Autosport)

“That raises the prospect of slender, drooping nose tip extensions to meet minimum rules requirements for this section, protruding from a higher, more bulky, section that will pass crash tests and fit teams’ aerodynamic needs.”

Ecclestone’s ex-wife lent adviser $17m, court told (FT, registration required)

“[Bambino trust representative Stephen Mullens] said Mr Gribkowsky was seeking an agreement to become a F1 consultant but had been making ‘insinuations’ about a supposed relationship between Mr Ecclestone and Bambino. Mr Gribkowsky was prepared to reveal information to the Inland Revenue if he did not get his way, Mr Mullens said.”

Bernie Ecclestone admits to memory loss over details of Formula One reign (The Guardian)

“I’m learning a lot, for which I thank you, because this was 12 [sic] years ago. I have a bit of difficulty to remember what happened last week.”

Formula One boss Bernie Eccelstone says his trial ‘good’ for F1 and hasn’t damaged brand (Herald Sun)

“After he finished giving his evidence, Eccelstone – who testified for three days in all – was asked as he left London’s High Court whether the case had damaged Formula One. ‘I don’t think so,’ he said. ‘It’s good because a lot of facts come out of it.'”

Silverstone, home of British Grand Prix, is changing hands for just 10m (The Independent)

“The accounts show that at 31 December 2012 the track, plant and machinery had a value of 10.8m. This is about a third of the amount that the BRDC spent on building a new pits and paddock complex, known as The Wing, which opened at the track two years ago.”

Red Bull invested $108.9 million in Formula One team in 2012 (AutoWeek)

“Energy-drink manufacturer Red Bull reduced its investment in its championship-winning Formula One team by $28.5 million to $108.9 million last year according to its latest financial statements.”

The Physics of Diffusers: How to Make a Car Really Suck (Car and Driver)

“The laws of fluid dynamics state that as the velocity of air increases, its pressure decreases. An F1 car is low to the road, and thus its flat bottom acts as a venturi to pinch the air and force it to move faster relative to the air above the car. This pressure differential manifests as increased load on the tyres.”

Thanks to Chris SZ for the tip.


Comment of the day

@Trido is disappointed McLaren are rumoured to be dropping Sergio Perez:

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.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Thenikii and Sid90!

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 F1 race contested by turbo-powered cars was won on this day 25 years ago by Alain Prost. Appropriately Prost won the race in a McLaren powered by a Honda engine, which was the dominant power plant in the last three years of the ‘turbo era’.

Ayrton Senna, already confirmed as that year’s world champion, came second to give McLaren their tenth one-two in the sixteen race season.

Nelson Piquet made it an all-Honda podium in Lotus’s last race with the Japanese engines. They will return as McLaren’s engine supplier in 2015.

However the opening stages of the race were led by Gerhard Berger who threw caution (and perhaps his fuel mileage concerns) to the wind as he caught and passed both McLarens:

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Sauber

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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171 comments on “F1 comeback is “nearly impossible”, Kubica admits”

  1. Nick Jarvis (@)
    13th November 2013, 0:02

    I’m seeing this guy race at the Clocaenog Rally course tomorrow. Literally can’t wait.

    1. Robert Kubica says a return to Formula 1 remains a “dream” but is “nearly impossible”

      Well duh!

    2. @nickj95gb – If any rally stage is a true test of a driver’s ability, it’s Clocaenog (and if any language is a true test of someone’s jaw muscles, it’s Welsh). It’s been used on and off over the past few years, but this year it’s going to be run in its full, unabridged version, which hasn’t been used since the Group A era in the 1990s.

      In fact, the first day of Rally GB is going to be a real treat. The first leg of the competition will be run at night in Snowdonia, which have some of the most terrifying roads that have ever held a rally. The very first stage is Gwydyr, which has not been used since the 1960s. Then they go to Penmachno, which hasn’t been used since the 1990s, and mostly consists of a high mountain pass where snow is common. And then they take on Cloacaenog, which for want of a better word, is exhausting.

      If they survive the first day, the second day is run over familiar stages before the third and final day is made up of new and returning stages.

      1. Good luck Robert but for national pride let’s hope young Mr Evans can ‘upstage’ him even in his WRC2 car.

  2. So, if it’s not going to be Hulkenberg, and it’s not going to be Valsecchi… who will it be?

    Maldonado or Perez?

    1. I’m hoping for D’Ambrosio :)

      1. @mike-dee hope so too! Better to see him in a driving seat than in a commentator position

        1. @spoutnik True. ALthough I fear that the commentary without him would be even worse. Maybe RTBF can get Raikkonen as commentator instead if D’Ambrosio is racing.

    2. Kovalainen.

      1. I was just going to say, having done some digging. Kovalainen’s name is being thrown around a bit. This could be just the lifeline he needs, especially if he pulls out some stunning performances.

        Lotus to shock with Grosjean and Kovalainen for next season?

        1. Nick Jarvis (@)
          13th November 2013, 0:12

          If Kovalainen goes to Lotus, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Maldonado’h will go to Caterham, right?

        2. Lotus needs money, which Kovalainen hasn’t got. He’s a strong candidate for Caterham though, if they can manage 2014 with only one paydriver.

        3. @bradley13

          Dont know why people keep harping on about Kovalainen. He impressed in his rookie season, but was rubbish in his Mclaren stint. It was hard to gauge how good he was in a Caterham when he was paired against an aging Trulli. In his last season at Caterham he was matched by Petrov, who was pretty rubbish himself.

          I think there are at least a dozen drivers more deserving of that Lotus drive than Kovalainen

          1. It is widely understood that during his time at Renault he was an upgrade behind Alonso at most races and at McLaren the situation was even worse at times, often two upgrades behind as McLaren struggled with the MP4-24.

          2. @tonyyeb Given that Kovalainen and Alonso never raced together at Renault, I’d say that what is “widely understood” is nonetheless unlikely to be true.

          3. @red-andy Sorry my bad, I meant Fisi. I have Alonso on the brain after reading about his back injury.

          4. Anyone who can’t see that Kovalainen was way behind on updates for McLaren than Hamilton is probably someone who thought Hamilton was going to ‘trounce’ Button, when data shows Button at his peak (2003-4) was probably close to Lewis at a similar peak/age (2007-8).

            McLaren was basically a one-man team after Alonso left (which is why he left), to get the 2008 championship after screwing up 2007. Hence the 2009 car was an afterthought, and until the B-spec (the proper redesigned car) came out, McLaren were nowhere in 2009 (but were up to speed in the second half). Lewis got his 1/2 a season in a bad car! While Kovalainen then got another three…

            Kovalainen is their best chance for getting that extra $7.5m prize money, and they know how good he is from 2007. They can directly compare him with Alonso, Fisi, Kubica, Raikkonen, along with the test drivers….

          5. Also Rosberg turned down McLaren for 2008-9 as he didn’t want to be second fiddle to Lewis. If he did, would he have gotten the Mercedes seat in 2010? His career might have been kiboshed like Kovalainen’s was.

          6. Although, now he is arguably playing second fiddle to Lewis on occasions once more… but when he is ahead, at least Lewis is second fiddle to him this time..

        4. I would be surprised if they signed Kovalainen for 2014 but he’s clearly the best choice for the remaining two races. It’s obvious that he is stronger than Valsecchi and d’Ambrosio and could score more points for the team that finds itself only 26 points behind Ferrari in the standings. If the team isn’t able to put its 2014 driver in the seat for Austin & Interlagos, it simply needs to get the best driver available.

      2. Kubica! :)

        1. Wishfull thinking ;)

    3. I’m going with d’Ambrosio or my wild card: Kovalainen (on loan).

      1. that sounds about right to me. I know Heikki 100% fit for the job (he keeps tweeting pics of his biceps) but D’AM is still employed by Lotus.

      1. I’ll dare to say it…


        1. @bradley13 LOL . As much as I like the guy , this is funny .

        2. Barrichelo.

          1. Lucas Di Grassi

        3. You’re all wrong!! There is only one name to consider for this illustrious job. Alex Yoong!!

          Or maybe Schumacher.

    4. SOme russian guy named Vitaly Petrov.

    5. With the Austin GP coming up the dream of Alexander Rossi, an American(!!!!!!), driving a competitive car has at least reason for happening. As much as I love Hulk, maybe Enstone could use Rossi to get some US sponsors, as unlikely as that is. Hey, a man can dream!

      1. And one major reason for not happening: he doesn’t have a superlicence.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys Doesn’t he? He has already done 2 FP1 runs (Spain 2012 and Canada 2013) and Caterham are running him again this weekend… he couldn’t have done any of that without a Super Licence.

        2. maarten.f1 (@)
          13th November 2013, 8:56

          @prisoner-monkeys He does have one, apparently the only American to do so.

          1. maarten.f1 (@)
            13th November 2013, 9:18

            @tonyyeb probably no longer. The costs for a super license have been ramped up quite a bit, and it makes no sense for him to keep it.

          2. @maarten-f1 Quite possibly. How much is it? He would be the last American to hold one then do we think?

          3. maarten.f1 (@)
            13th November 2013, 9:26

            I read somewhere the basic fee is $10,000 (and then another $1,000 per scored point, but that doesn’t apply to him). A super license is only required for Formula 1, so it would be quite a big sum to keep it on while knowing he won’t race in Formula 1 anymore. And if he’ll ever get the chance (unlikely, but still), he does qualify for it, so I assume he can just go ahead and get one when needed.

            Scott Speed was the last American in Formula 1, it would be good if Rossi is the next one, but will see I guess.

    6. Nicolas Prost?

      1. @wsrgo You beat me to it! It sounds like a really good idea to me, unless they want him to deliver big points.

        1. @shena Haha, yeah..indeed..

    7. Alexander Rossi sounds interesting (@somethingwittye) I doubt it will happen though. How about Nicolas Prost, if they don’t expect much from the stand-in driver? He did two last young driver tests with them and has been doing lots of sim work for the Enstone team. Also it will be a sure headline grabber no matter how competitive he might be.

    8. Let us dream of the wonderment that would be Zsolt Baumgartner in a McLaren…

      1. Er… of course, I meant “Lotus.” Yes. That’s what I meant. Entirely.

        (whistling tunelessly)

    9. De la Rosa? he’s every team’s reserve driver it seems.

    10. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th November 2013, 2:48

      Nigel Mansell still hasn’t officially retired….

      1. Martin Brundle for some colour commentary.

        Jacques Villeneuve for some off-colour commentary.

      2. Magnusen needs some track time and mclaren will likely bung them a few quid

    11. If we’re all going to be making outrageous suggestions, allow me to make one that sounds crazy, but might be secretly brilliant: Fabio Leimer. Or possibly Sam Bird.

      There is no immediately-obvious replacement for Kimi Raikkonen. Davide Valsecchi never looked like a serious contender for Formula 1, while Jerome D’Ambrosio was out of his league the last time he raced and finished thirteenth in a cqar capable of the top five. And the idea that Nico Hulkenberg could fill in is ridiculous because Sauber would not risk their own WCC position for the sake of Hulkenberg’s career with a team he has not signed a contract with (and if he has signed one, there is no need to go early).

      So the team need someone with potential speed and a superlicence, but who is only there for a short time, so it’s not a total disaster if they don’t come good. The team has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. And since the GP2 field was really competitive this year, and Leimer and Bird were the stand-out performers, they could be a diamond in the rough for Lotus – and it might help secure a drive for them next year.

      1. The team has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

        Nothing to lose except a few million dollars that they would gain if they finished 2nd or 3rd in the constructors’ championship. Nevertheless, I agree with you about Hulkenberg and I would also agree that it’s a chance to test a promising but inexperienced driver if we were talking about Red Bull.

        1. @girts – They will almost certainly lose that position putting Valsecchi or D’Ambrosio in the car. They’d be better off putting someone who might be quick in the car, rather than someone who will be slow.

      2. I don’t agree with you on Hulk there @prisoner-monkeys. If they had signed him, I don’t think Sauber would have anything to say about it, as he has quitted their contract for non payment in the summer already. Such a deal would have made a lot of sense. The Lotus is a better car, and its always good to get your feet under the table as soon as possible.

        But as Hulks management has already ruled out that he will drive for Lotus in these 2 races, its more likely that the Quantum money did not arrive and they will be looking into signing Maldonado (or maybe a Slim backed Perez?) or other options with money behind them.

        1. @bascb – I don’t believe that story about Hulkenberg quitting the team over the summer break was ever confirmed.

          1. It was. But by now I have seen comments that Sauber hurried to transfer his outstanding salary during this week (after Hulk had already been in Enstone for a seat fitting), making it a more complicating issue @prisoner-monkeys
            That means that we can cross Hulk definitely from the list for subbing for Kimi in 2 races, I guess

          2. Another crazy rumour for you now – that Ferrari made sure Hulkenberg wasn’t in the Lotus seat, to jeopardise their 3rd place in the standings.. suddenly Hulk’s salary has been paid by Sauber!

        2. That is right, now I remember that Hulkenberg terminated his Sauber contract in the summer. Still, there might be other obstacles. For instance, if Hulk still hasn’t an agreement with Lotus for 2014, he might as well be forced to stay at Sauber and in that case leaving the team now would not be the wisest thing to do.

          1. He may also be owed money by Sauber. Switching to another team might give Sauber a reason not to honour that debt.

      3. Well, maybe d’Ambrosio’s Lotus would have been capable of top 5 in Monza (or at least a points finish) if his KERS hadn’t failed in the sixth lap.

    12. Fabio Leimer!!!

    13. What about Petrov? He has been reported to have solid backing now, and he wants in. And Lotus could do worse than lure Russian interest, especially now that the whole thing with Sauber seems to have cooled a bit.

      1. @BasCB Yeah I think Petrov is a bit underrated and might perform pretty well if he was put in the car. But I’m not sure if that’s very likely, given that he and the Enstone team didn’t part ways in good spirits in 2011.

      2. @bascb I’ve come across 2 articles on Petrov in the last few hrs. One finnish, reported he offered himself to Lotus and then Russian media stating that he hasn’t He is rather coy regarding next year though.

    14. Michael Schumacher of course!

      1. Kai Ebel mentioned on twitter (probably in jest) that he met with Schumacher today / yesterday and that Lotus had asked Schumi, but he denied the offer :-)

        But what about Ralf I ask you @xenomorph91,

    15. Practice is 2days away, who has arrived with the team ?

    16. petebaldwin (@)
      13th November 2013, 10:28

      How about Algusuari or Buemi. DTM is over so Glock could step in as well. Petrov and Senna could return for the final 2 races – they obviously would be aware of Lotus’ proceedures etc and could perhaps fill in easilly.

    17. Time for a return from Michael maybe? ;)

    18. I would love it if Kobayashi was to get the seat, he deserves it for being dumpoed by Sauber

  3. After clicking on the link regarding possible ‘ugly’ 2014 F1 and looking at the artist rendering I was shocked. Terribly ugly. It looks as if the entire car is flipping you off. Or the edges were hacked off the a buzz saw. If that is in fact the front end that most of the 2014 grid will adopt, the ‘stepped noses’ that we all groaned about in 2012-2013 will seem like a by-gone era of beauty.

    1. I’m remaining optimistic. In my eyes the 2007 (first year of the V8 KERS era) cars were hideous, with their anteater noses, flat, stiff, awkward rear decks, and overall messy design. The 2008 cars were a bit better, but not by that much. However, the 2009, 2010 and 2011 cars looked solid (some were better then others), while we all know why nobody liked the look of the 2012 cars. In my eyes the addition of vanity plates made the 2013 cars look fantastic, easily the best of this era. Of course we are losing steeped noses next season, but for once I have faith the FIA might actually do something about it.

      1. 2006 was the first year with V8’s. 2009 was the first year with V8’s, KERS and silly low wide front wing and narrow tall rear wings. The cars all looked awful but I agree they have gotten better looking as the years have gone on.

        1. @geemac
          I thought some of the 2009 cars were really pretty; the RB5 with the narrow nose was epic, and I also thought the Force India looked pretty good as well.
          Most people don’t share this view, I know.
          Therefore, I can only assume people got used to them.

          1. They looked good in 2010, but the majority of the 2009 field were ghastly. The RB5 only started to look good when it got the wider nose I thought, but the best in the field by far were the FW31 and FF109. The worst of the bunch were the R29, F60 and MP4-24.

          2. The problem was and is that the front and rear wings are such different widths that they look like they belong on different cars. 2009 was worst because the cars were also shorter, which only accentuated the disproportion. Next year should be better with narrower front wings. Although I think the biggest problem is the rear one being too narrow, this should go some way to fixing the look.

      2. The 2009 – 2013 look horrible in my opinion, they just look so awkward and nothing really like a racing car. With the tiny toy rear wing and low, wide flat front wings they actually look way too long.

        I actually really like the slightly bizarre look of the 2006-2008 era – fundamentally they still had the low wide rear wing and low noses of years past, but had these futuristic growths protruding from seemingly random points on the body. They had a sculpted beauty and most cars had a distinct look, whereas now they all look the same except for the livery and some front wing winglets.

        Tell me this doesn’t look like a mean, awesome and deliberate racing car: http://www.wmdportal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/bmw-f108-01.jpg – it’s like the whole thing is sculpted from a single piece, instead of the pieced together frakensteins we have now.

        1. Looks like a bomb’s hit it.

          Each to their own…I never liked all those twiddly bits (and still hate the ones on the front wings) – I think today’s cars, from a rear three-quarter view, look great – clean and purposeful. I hope they finally get decent noses too next year – something like Formula Renault 3.5 would be fine.

          But it’s surprising how quickly we accept ugly cars – the ones in Rush weren’t exactly works of art.

        2. The one wing I hated most from 2005-2008 was the height of the front wing. I also really disliked the shape they began to take- the 2007 ones were worst. They looked like amazing pieces of art on their own, but attached to a car they gave the whole front end a pinched look. To my mind, regardless of the width (as long as it is in proportion with the rear), a front wing should be low to the ground and mostly flat on its lowest edge to make a car look good. The current wing achieves that (although they looked a little simple and bare in 2009). It just needs to look like its from the same car as the rear wing.

      3. Anybody who is a pretty large fan of F1 well no doubt get used to the the look. A poor looking car isn’t a deal breaker for me by any means. And F1 has gone through ugly and beautiful eras. Everybody has their likes and dislikes. It’s just a shame in my opinion, because I’m big builder of scale F1 cars, and I haven’t even wanted to build a car from 2008 and beyond. I just find them visually attractive enough to place a replica on my shelf.

    2. @skitty4lb, looks like an aardvark but I suspect reality will be more walrus.

      1. Hopefully, since the teams have already been discussing this issue, they’ll do their best to keep the appearance pleasing. I’d like to think that it is in the teams’ best interest not to be known to have an ugly car, nor The Ugliest. Respecting at the same time the complete necessity of function.

        One thing I do believe…even if we retain our certain eras of preference in terms of car aesthetics, as each year’s cars appear and some races go by, we do get at least somewhat accustomed to them, if not wholly so. And I also believe that when we look back at other eras, the cars, even our favorites, look outdated and primitive to some degree or other. Perhaps that is inevitable.

        The ‘perfect looking car’ would not look perfect to all (thank goodness or wouldn’t life be boring) and would only be changed eventually, and often annually, such is the way it works. I find myself trying to see some level of beauty in, if nothing else, the purpose for the design, the functionality and how it contributes to the whole car, even if it is from a safety standpoint, let alone as a contributor to downforce, or balance, or cooling etc etc. Or even for the aesthetics.

    3. Regarding the worry or ugly cars in 2014, could teams not consider the ‘walrus’ style nose Williams used on the FW26 to bypass the ugliness if you get me!?

      I actually really liked the look of that car!

      1. See what I mean!

    4. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th November 2013, 3:42

      Its very difficult for the FIA to enforce a mandatory low-nose as they are trying to do. Any worded regulations regarding such bodywork are un-enforceable because they are ambiguous. All the rule makers have at their disposable are imaginary boxes around the car where bodywork is or is not permitted or required.

      If you consider just the nose section on its own, the current high-nose layout actually generates lift but it’s influence on airflow further down the car contributes to greater overall downforce (negative lift) at the cost of a more rearward aero balance. A low-nose layout generates a more forward aero balance which the current generation of cars have no need for as the front wings are so wide and contain so many additional winglets and turning vanes.

      If the FIA want proper ’09 Brawn GP style low noses they need to compromise the front wing in order to cause the designers the need to pursue a more forward aero balance. Take the 2005 McLaren for instance, the regulations for that season severely compromise front wing performance so the nose gets lower and much wider in comparison to the ’03 and ’04 cars in order to compensate.

    5. It has a penile look to it.

    6. The word ‘flaccid’ springs to mind.

    7. We are entering the “cock nose” era in 2014! :))

      1. I thought about adding this to my original comment, but knew somebody else would point it out anyways! Exactly what I was thinking.

  4. Michael Brown (@)
    13th November 2013, 0:26

    That’s strange that Lotus won’t use their own reserve driver. Are they trying to snatch a driver on the grid? Because I personally think Valsecchi is a better replacement than a former F1 driver like Kovalainen.

    Also, the rendition of the 2014 noses almost made me vomit

    1. Some legal issue prevents Davide for racing in Austin.

    2. @lite992 That article in spanish doesn’t actually confirms Lotus won’t use Valsecchi, it says:

      Lotus has tried to replace Raikkonen with Maldonado first, then Hulkenberg. But when the first option seemed possible Williams has demanded a compensation.
      If Valsecchi were to race it would be because of the problems Lotus has had to find a driver with experience in the current grid.

      So there you go, maybe it will be Valsecchi after all, but it definitely isn’t Lotus’ first (or second) choice.

      1. You are right @mantresx, I stand corrected, they ran into legal trouble getting someone else to drive, so It very well could be Valsecchi in COTA and Interlagos.

  5. [S]ome senior Formula 1 technical personnel have already called for changes to improve aesthetics, but this was not successful due to a lack of agreement on the need to do something.

    That has to be the very definition of politics.

    1. Awesome phrasing is awesome.

  6. For Kimi’s replacement; let me guess – Pedro De LaRosa? :D

  7. I think everyone who’s wanted to see Kubica return to F1, however unlikely the prospect it has seemed has kinda known for a while it wasn’t to be. It’s a pity because on track his opportunistic passes and ability to wring the best out of an inferior car reminded me a lot of Alonso. He was a great talent in F1 and I hope he continues his success in rallying for a long time.

    1. @colossal-squid His qualifying in Monaco 2010 was massive . It is sad that a man of such talents was to go down into oblivion.I know that DTM is a good option ,but I just feel sad here that he was not to reach his potential, not even half of it .

      1. @hamilfan It is truly sad that he wasn’t able to show what he could do in a top car. I know that they’re two completely different drivers, but the buzz around Hulkenberg reminds me strongly of what people were saying about Kubica in 2008-2010: He’s an immense talent, a future world champion and he deserves a seat in a big team. Both have had deeply impressive races under their belts in inferior cars too.

        I firmly believe that Kubica would have gone to a big team and won several races by now. The ‘Big Four’ drivers people refer to would probably be the ‘Big Five’ with Robert. It’s a huge loss to F1 that he can’t return.

  8. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    13th November 2013, 1:36

    Lotus should get The Stig on the final 2 races.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th November 2013, 5:24

      If that happened I wonder how Sky would explain Anthony Davidson’s absence from their coverage.

      1. Hahaha love this!

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    13th November 2013, 1:37

    That picture in Autosport about 2014 design is really scary (aestethically talking). It looks as if the F1 car is showing “the finger” but upside down.

    1. @omarr-pepper – Fear is what the team’s want. There is a genuine solution to the design regulations that is aesthetically pleasing – something similar to what McLaren did last year. But that would mean giving up on the aerodynamic advantages of a high monocoque, so the teams find it cheaper and easier to keep those benefits and make an ugly car to manipulate the public into putting pressure on the FIA to change the rules to something they would prefer. It has nothing to do with aesthetically-pleasing cars, and everything to do with preserving their current positions.

      They did it last year, so they know it works.

      1. It has nothing to do with what the teams want in terms of preserving their position. It’s merely about aesthetics.

        McLaren in 2012 changed what was by far the best looking car into a far uglier one because it was the fastest solution given the rules. It didn’t end up looking as bad some other cars, but it didn’t win any championships either. Last season’s McLaren is hardly a good gauge for performance.

        The article states the fastest solution to 2014 is an ugly one. The teams never will and never should sacrifice performance over looks. If the FIA wants pretty cars, they should set the rules so that fastest car is also the prettiest. Even if you could develop a front end that has the best of both worlds, which the article and the noses of recent seasons speak against with more evidence that you could possibly need… why spend time and money into making a car look good when you can spend that money making the car faster?

    2. ha ha What a description ! But it sure looks ugly . In fact the actual cars may look even uglier as I feel that the front wing here has been made more beautiful than what it is likely to be . I remember Ross brawn saying they won’t focus on front wings as that concept becomes redundant for 2014 as they may have to design a new type anyway.

  10. Oh god, my eyes are on fire!!!!

  11. Does anybody else find it weird that Luiz Razia keeps taking the side of over-talented and under-funded drivers trying to compete for seats with under-talented and over-funded drivers, given that he himself is the very definition of the latter and was only competitive in GP2 because the talent pool had less depth than a wading pool last year?

    1. @prisoner-monkeys I find that Razia has a very high opinión of himself, people around him had lie to him or is on drugs…

  12. Kubica’s absence from Formula One is a such a big loss for the sport, probably the biggest in its modern era. :(

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th November 2013, 2:37

      @rav luckily, his loss was “just” a scary accident and not a loss of a life. The biggest F1 loss recently has definitely been Maria de Villota. Not for talent, where she had little chances to prove if she would have become better, but for her life itself. And Kubica had that accident outside F1. Of course it’s a shame I share with you about how Kubica “could have”, and “would have”, the big ifs.

    2. Am I the only person that doesn’t miss him at all?

      1. @spinmastermic something personal?…regardless if you miss him or not, kubica’s abilities were un arguable. Was as good as any of the world champions i’d say

        1. True, I don’t like him. I dont subscribe to the overhype, good as Button but not Alonso (dont like him either).

          1. Overhype… like him getting podiums at Monaco and Spa 2010, real drivers tracks, where you can overcome car deficiencies easier (see Kimi’s record at Spa)?

            I’m sorry, but Kubica had the potential to be in that top bracket, and was just getting there at the time of his accident, which is sad for us as we’ll never know how truly great he could have been.

          2. Steph (@stephanief1990)
            13th November 2013, 14:23

            I’ve got to admit I was no fan of Kubica as I thought he was massively overhyped. Now I’ve stated by bias though I will say this- I don’t want to say what a “shame” it is because I think Robert’s recovery has been absolutely amazing. What he’s achieved since is far more significant than what the sport is possibly missing out on. What’s more, it’s been a joy to see him in a different series to see what a versatile driver he is. I hope he isn’t frustrated with what he’s doing, and that he’s not in F1 any more because he’s achieved more than most drivers and looks like he can still have a hugely successful career.

      2. @spinmastermic

        Am I the only person that doesn’t miss him at all?

        That’s probably the case. It’s impossible to say if he was as good as Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton or Räikkönen and we will never know that, but he was definitely top-tier. F1 needs more drivers like him.

      3. I didn’t like him either. Very boring personality he was imo. Yes, he had flashes of very strong talent, yet he was very often loosing to Heidfeld.

    3. Yes it is. He was one of the top drivers on the grid and could’ve been a World Champion. He might’ve ended up in a Ferrari in 2012 – how different things could have been.

  13. Regarding the worry or ugly cars in 2014, could teams not consider the ‘walrus’ style nose Williams used on the FW26 to bypass the ugliness if you get me!?

    I actually really liked the look of that car!

    1. @nemo87 I’ll join you on that. I wouldn’t call the walrus nose great to look at, but it certainly beats the… Let’s say sausage look of the new nose cones.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        13th November 2013, 5:40

        Agreed, dangling todgers have no place being on the front of an F1 car.

    2. the walrus nose looked bad, go back to the duck bill noses, at least some cars were competitive last year with those, and also all the cars look the same

  14. Bernie Ecclestone has no shame. What a distasteful, slimy little weasel. But anyhoo, Kubica not being in F1 is just one of those odd warps in the time-space continuum I think – it just plain shouldn’t be this way.

    With Scarbs’ 2014 illustration: why does the extension have to be just this skinny weird thing rather than something like the skinny-tipped noses we used to see circa 2007?

    1. The rules for next season require a high chassis of 525mm and a low nose tip at 185mm.
      But the regulations only demand a relatively small nose tip cross-section, and teams will want to minimise the width of this area to improve air flow under the chassis.

      The stepped noses don’t look so ugly now eh?

  15. first off, there is no point in Hulkenberg driving for Lotus because He’s already driving for Sauber, and the second reason is that it throws the whole driver line up way off, if it’s Jerome, then it’ll be fine but there was no point in trying to convince the F1 community about something that is a load of rubbish, and the claims that he’d drive for them because of this ‘Quantum’ thing with Lotus is also rubbish. Also about Kubica coming back, this is also a load of rubbish, look what he did in Canada a few years ago, if he’s that good at GP racing, it’s no wonder that he is winning rally races and becoming a championship contender.

  16. What a shame about Kubica, a golden driving talent wasted. I personally thought that he was at least as good as Rosberg.

    1. Hamilton and Alonso both rated him as a force to be reckoned with if he had the machinery.

      I honestly rated him as the top 3 drivers, ahead of even Vettel at the end of the 2010 season. But unforunately we never got the opportunity to see him drive in a race winning car.

      1. I would say he would’ve been a top 4 driver, with Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso. He was a very good qualifier as well. I think Rosberg is below that tier with Hulkenberg and Raikkonen, then the third tier contains Button and Webber.
        It hurts that he isn’t in F1 anymore.

        1. @deej92
          Now I would not claim that Kubica was better than Rosberg. In 2010, both Kubica and Rosberg drove second tier machinery compared to the top 3 teams, Renault and Mercedes were very evenly matched throughout the season, and Rosberg outscored Kubica 142 – 136 that year.

          Likewise, Rosberg is currently matching Hamilton in equal cars, which would imply that Kubica would have to be an even better driver than Lewis in equal equipment. I don’t believe that either.

          I’d say that Rosberg is very equal to Kubica in driver performance.

          1. @kingshark I didn’t claim Kubica was better when they were both racing. As you said they were very even. I’m purely speculating that he would’ve been. In 2010 Kubica’s stock was rising. He was thought of as one of the best drivers then. He could possibly have been in a Ferrari in 2012.

            What I was saying was Kubica would’ve been a top driver by now, while Rosberg’s form this season shows he could become a top driver, but I wouldn’t yet put him in the top 3 category.

  17. I had heard the rumours about the possibility of the 2014 noses looking even worse than the stepped noses we have now but my goodness I never imagined anything quite so horrid as that. If the technical rule makes want to know what a good nose looks like they should have a look at this (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/images/large/2237-2.jpg) or indeed bin the raised noses altogether and go back to this (https://www.racefans.net/2012/07/01/1980s-f1-cars-2012-goodwood-festival-speed/jord-191-good-2012-3-2/).

    1. That pic of the Jordan is very pretty.
      Look, no flip-flaps, tuning vanes, potato graters or toast racks. and what looks like only two elements to the front wing. Mind you, three elements to the rear wing is a bit complex!

      1. I rarely need an excuse to wax lyrical about the Jordan 191…it is absolute motor racing perfection. To think that in the time I’ve been watching the sport we’ve gone from that to what Scarbs thinks we are going to have next year incredibly sad.

  18. surprised no one has suggested this, so i’m just going to throw it out there and if it happens claim I got the inside scoop.


    could happen?

    1. It would a wise choice @graham228221, but I don’t see it coming, the same team that a year ago picked Sergio Perez for his good season at Sauber now overlooks Hulkenberg after another solid season…

    2. Not possible mate. Kev magnussen is partnering JB. Hulk is returning to SFI at Silverstone alongside Checo mostly..

      1. The fact they haven’t announced Magnussen by now indicates they are at least considering other options no? Everyone seems to be saying it like it’s already confirmed, but it hasn’t yet.

        Not everyone thinks he is ready, so why not take a shot with another driver with a lot of potential and experience and then replace JB with Magnussen in 2015?

        Makes all the sense to me, but then I’m not Martin Whitmarsh.

        1. There were news that officially they won’t announce that Perez is sacked before USA as a lot of mexicans will come to the race – so it would be a bad PR for the team.

          1. Probably more likely to be a case of Andrew Benson jumping the gun again, with his playground-style reporting (“a big boy told me but I won’t say who”). Even if he turns out to be right, he was way too early.

          2. @red-andy Andrew Benson is just one of the many journalists, who have reported this without naming the source (I think he wasn’t even the first) so I don’t understand why some fans are pointing the finger at him this time.

            It’s obvious that F1 journos cannot reveal their sources, otherwise no one will trust them any unofficial information anymore and the F1 websites will consist of teams’ press releases and fans’ speculations, which is not something that I want.

          3. @girts Because Benson has form for this sort of thing, and it shames F1 journalists when they report as fact something that hasn’t been confirmed officially. Benson’s story suggested that Magnussen to McLaren was a done deal, but also that the contracts had not been signed – which obviously can’t both be true. And here we are two days later and there is no announcement. He’s just made himself look stupid.

            I don’t agree that F1 journalists should use anonymous sources. If they do, then they certainly shouldn’t be claiming that what they know is undisputed fact.

          4. @girts @red-andy Can we really be surprised about this? I mean we are talking about Andrew “Assertion” Benson. If Carling did journalists…they’d be nothing like him.

          5. @red-andy I agree that journalists should pay more attention to separating rumours/opinions from facts, unfortunately that’s a common problem in journalism, not only in F1 media.

  19. All these driver possibilities must be a headache for Enstone’s hashtag department.

    1. Autosport are reporting Kovalainen to Lotus! Not sure if it’s just the last 2 GP or 2014 as well… I hope he does well, however would have to take very long odds at him beating RG in either race. But having said that, he’s probably both the most sensible and least expensive option for Enstone now…

  20. Hi, we are Lotus F1 team. We took a GP2 champion in our team as third driver, because we don’t want him to drive, except for exhibition drives and over show offs. Also we hope that everyday he dreams about an opportunity to race, and when the opportunity comes (which is rare in F1), we, of course, will not give him a shot! Yay!)))

  21. I’d say that £10 mil is Equity Value and Silverstone has debt that adds up to its enterprise value, that should be a good reason for BRDC unload the company.

  22. @william-brierty, so Valsecchi doesn’t get the drive, as I said …

    1. @paeschli – How was I to know that he was a “reserve driver” that wasn’t allowed to be a “race driver” when a reserve was needed? How was I to know that since Jerome D’ambrosio took Grosjean’s place at Monza, the reserve role had simply become a title as opposed to a job at Lotus? How was I to know that the rather promising data from all of Valsecchi’s tests had slipped the minds of senior figures in the team, along with the fact that he is a GP2 champion? Bye, bye, Davide Valescchi, can’t imagine we’ll be seeing much of you again.

      1. @william-brierty – Yeah I agree: what is the point of a third driver if you don’t allow him to drive? However, I’m pretty confident someone like Kovaleinen will get better results for the final two races than someone like Valsecchi (he only won his GP2 title at the fifth attempt).

        My point is you should not laugh people off by beginning your reply with “LOL!!!!!!!” as you did, Formula One is not always something logical as we can see now ^^

        1. @paeschli – Personally, I can’t imagine that Heikki will do much better. The last time he drove a car with anywhere near the level of downforce the E21 has was the MP4-23 in 2008, and let’s face it, he didn’t exactly shower himself with glory. He also complained of physical issues with his neck after the 2008 Malaysian GP, so that may be a concern for him. Valsecchi would also be more familiar with the team’s procedures than Heikki will be. I really am utterly befuddled by this…

          If you were the guy that thought D’Ambrosio, Hulkenberg and above all else Barrichello, than frankly, you deserved to be laughed at. Do you see any of those names even being remotely linked to the drive? Is Heikki’s surname D’Ambrosio, Hulkenberg or Barrichello? If you had named Kovalainen as a potential reserve, then I would’ve bowed to the feasibility of your proposal, but no, you didn’t, but I thank you for brightening and otherwise boring day with a sprinkle of hilarity.

          1. @paeschli Are you using the fact that Schumacher was contacted as evidence to say Barrichello may have hypothetically been contacted? That, my friend is a poor argument because whilst Schumacher spent his final year performing as well as a driver that is currently beating Hamilton, Barrichello spent his final year struggling to keep tabs on a rather mad young Venezuelan. If you had suggested Schumacher I wouldn’t have laughed, maybe sniggered a bit or said something along the lines of “He’d never accept in [insert hyperbolic figure here] years”, but I wouldn’t have laughed.

            Regarding Hulkenberg, he was never going to accept the offer. He is currently facing a 50/50 chance of a Lotus seat, and if that falls through he’s going to need as many midfield options as possible, so hacking Sauber off by driving for another team whilst they are in an intense WCC battle is not exactly a good strategic plan. And anyway, how do we know that seat fitting isn’t part of potential 2014 preparations at Lotus? Enstone have a habit of playing it close to the chest, it’s getting very late for a team not to know who’s driving for them bearing in mind how short the off-season is this year, and didn’t Kimi have a Ferrari seat-fitting for 2014?

          2. @william-brierty, 7 drivers were contacted by Lotus: Kovalainen, Schumacher, Nico Hülkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Rubens Barrichello, Kamui Kobayashi and Davide Valsecchi.

            Link :)

  23. What’s the point of calling someone “reserve driver” if he doesn’t get the chance?

    1. @f1mre You do have a point but I think it really depends on the situation. For instance, Ferrari preferred Salo over their test driver Badoer when they had to replace Schumacher in 1999 but put Badoer in the car after Massa’s injury in 2009 (unfortunately he wasn’t good enough so Fisichella had to replace him after two races anyway).

      I really doubt if Sebastien Buemi would be RBR’s first choice if they had to substitute one of their permanent drivers. Given the testing restrictions these days, I think that now “reserve driver” rather translates as “last resort”, which is not a good thing of course.

  24. El Confidencial has just edited the topic you’ve posted. That’s the reability of his journos… #facepalm

    1. It does appear to have been changed – certainly you can see the headline has. Haven’t got a copy of the original text, unfortunately.

  25. The article from El Confidencial about Valsecchi actually says the opposite. Instead of:

    This report claims Lotus third driver Davide Valsecchi will also not get to drive in place of Kimi Raikkonen this weekend.

    It should say that Lotus was trying to use the driver that they have already selected for next year during the last two races (e.g. Hulk), but given that they now know it’s not possible, they are considering Valsecchi for the seat.

    1. The article has been changed since the round-up was written (see here).

  26. If F1 cars resemble that Autosport illustration next year F1 will be a laughing stock. It looks like Gonzo from the muppets.

    The FIA should mandate the early season 2012 Mclaren style nose rather than allow teams to build stupid looking cars.

    1. whatever, people like you will disappear after the first 3 races of the season, just like they did this year. the nose is not everything. its about performance not looks, and everyone gets used to whatever looks f1 cars have after a race or 2, they have so for 60 years.

  27. According to Finnish MTV Sport, Kovalainen will replace Räikkönen for the remaining two races. http://www.mtv.fi/sport/f1/uutiset.shtml/2013/11/1831578/kovalainen-korvaa-raikkosen-lotuksella (finnish)

  28. It is better to hear Kubica actually speak then reading f1 website headlines, Kubica did 2 interviews that day. here is the bbc interview in video:
    tomorrow he makes his wrc debut at the Wales Rally of Great Britain ! he will do better then raikonnen did in wrc, maybe in his first outing – Citroens team principal Yves Matton today said that the difference with Kubica and Raikonnen, was that Raikonnen was in WRC for pleasure, while Kubica is giving a 110% effort and very focused on co-driver notes and reallyl learning the world of rallying. he has done that in only 8 months, having never driven on gravel before and is now WRC2 champion.
    I would like to make the point that Kubicas crash which gave him his injuries was not a very dramatic crash, the problem was he ran into an already damaged Armco, that is why it pierced his rally car. if it wasn’t already damaged, it would have been just like any ordinary rally crash, and he would have been uninjured.

  29. Kubica is not coming back to F1 back I think we are all really happy that doctors were able to save his hand and hes made a full recovery and is racing competitively in another category. That is really a great outcome, especially given the severity of his injuries.

  30. whoever drives the lotus for the last 2 races will struggle, its not a platform for anyone to impress, you cant just jump in a car mid way (end) of the season and be competitive

    1. Unless it’s a previous GP driver like Hekki, or Jerome, or some other driver with experience from as late as 2012

  31. also, its so sad about Kubica, if he never had that crash he would be one of the very best drivers in f1 right now

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