Lotus approached Schumacher to replace Raikkonen

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Nurburgring Nordschleife, 2013In the round-up: Lotus tried to bring Michael Schumacher back as a temporary replacement for Kimi Raikkonen.


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

Lotus fail with sensational attempt to bring Schumacher out of retirement again (Daily Mail)

“It is unclear whether the appeal to Schumacher came prior to an offer to fellow German Nico Hulkenberg, who Lotus want to fill the vacancy brought about by Raikkonen?s return to Ferrari on a permanent basis next season.”

Vettel rivals ‘encouraged’ booing (BBC)

“It has been convenient for some of his rivals to treat him like [the bad guy] and they have encouraged it, whether that’s Fernando Alonso taking off his cap and throwing it in the crowd as soon as Sebastian talks on the podium to get a reaction.”

Moscow F1 Plans Move Forward as Architect Tilke Drafted In (RSport)

“Plans for a new Formula One track on the outskirts of Moscow took a major step forward Tuesday with the announcement that prolific motorsport architect Hermann Tilke?s company had been tasked with designing the circuit.”

Piquet hospitalised with heart trouble (MSN)

“The 61-year-old retired Brazilian driver [Nelson] Piquet underwent surgery on a blocked artery late on Tuesday at Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo.”

‘Being a simple sponsor is like paying for sex’ (ESPN)

“There are other things that are less obvious, and you may have Adrian picking something and saying ‘I’m interested in scratch-shield paint’ and we wonder why he would be interested in that because it seems like a cosmetic benefit, but he’s interested in it for its aerodynamic properties. Or there is light-weight magnesium which we have and the team is now using.”

Lewis: F1 will crack America (Sky)

“The more I go to the States, the more I meet people who are crazy-passionate about it.”


Comment of the day

@Fer-no65 on McLaren’s decision to drop Perez:

I still maintain that his performances haven?t been specially bad considering the circumstances. Neither he nor Button did well, and neither got the chance to do well either. The car was just a complete failure.

It?s hard to compare drivers when one has been a multiple grand prix winner with the team on his fourth year at the same factory with the new guy that wasn?t even in F1 when Button joined McLaren.

But (and it?s a big one) they are replacing him because they feel there?s a Vettel/Hamilton in the making in the shape of Magnussen, good for them. We?re all very vocal about how the best drivers should have the best lineup, and if the rumours are true, then it?s good news for F1.

On a side note, a bit harsh on Mexican fans who might lose the Mexican GP and just about lost their main driver?s seat ahead of their second “home” GP.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sridhar!

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

Happy birthday to Eliseo Salazar who is 59 today. Salazar, the only Chilean to ever race in Formula One, started 24 grands prix in the early eighties, scoring a best finish of fifth for ATS in the controversial 1982 San Marino Grand Prix.

But he is best remembered for this incident later that year when he was attacked by Piquet after knocking the reigning world champion out of the lead while being lapped.

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  • 133 comments on “Lotus approached Schumacher to replace Raikkonen”

    1. Lotus fail with sensational attempt to bring Schumacher out of retirement again

      Driven by desperation, Lotus is rapidly becoming the butt of their own jokes.

      1. They probably just thought….hmmmm….who can we get that has so much money he won’t mind not being paid!

        1. I don’t have much money, but I would drive that car for free for the last two races.

          1. Hope you’re in shape or you’d likely quit halfway through one lap…

            1. I’ve seen a lot of races. I think I can do it.

            2. HAHAHA ^ nice one

            3. probably most would quit after 1 metre as the car’s anti-stall kicks in repeatedly ;)

      2. Schumacher is better than Kovalainen, an idiot could tell you that

    2. Mexico will start building the pit lane in January of 2014 to get it ready for it in two years time. Mexico is joining the ever increasing calendar in 2015 which should be 23 in total.

      1. Where did you read that?

        1. Adam Cooper told me that but the last sentence is just all me as I believe Morroco will be ready in time to host it in 2015. Which brings the total to 23 excluding New Jersey

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      14th November 2013, 0:19

      That’s just desperate lol.

      1. Lol honestly. But I do like how optimistic they are with their frugal budget.

        1. If Ayrton Senna was alive they would probably try to bring him back too.

          1. hahhahahhah…………..LMAO

          2. Hm, you think they asked Alain Prost too? He was planning to be there as the Renault ambassador so …

        2. I’m surprised they didn’t wander down the pit lane to ask Mercedes if they could borrow Lauda for a weekend or two

    4. Schumacher is the kind of option someone would say as a joke. What is wrong with Lotus?

      1. I suspect this is more a case of the Daily Mail‘s tabloid tactics than a genuine bid from the team.

        1. I expect someone from Lotus enquired to see if he was available but that doesn’t mean that he was ever really in their thinking. I’m sure they’ve checked up on lots of drivers to understand who is the best option.

          Obviously it reads better to say that they “failed in a sensational approach to bring Schumi back out of retirement” but in reality, they probably just asked around to see who was available and Shumi came back as negative.

        2. Only the Daily mail copied that from BILD @prisoner-monkeys. And while Bild might be a tabloid as well, they tend to get really close enough to real sources for F1 news, so I wouldn’t be surprised if true.
          Remember that tweet from German TV pundit Kai Ebel yesterday, that mentioned having met Schumi somewhere 2 days back? He confirmed it, although that did look as if it was in a joking fashion. I think I saw other serious journalists mention that they believed it to be true.

      2. Maybe Lotus grabbing “the legendary” Schumacher for a couple of races, especially the American one, might raise the eyebrows of a couple of potential sponsors.

        It’s my theory on the matter, anyway :)

        1. I see your point, but I can’t imagine a sponsor wanting to plough money into a team because a certain driver is driving for them for two races.

        2. So they shoud hire Danika Patrick :)

      3. I like the picture Keith chose for Schumacher article. It’s like,
        Lotus: “Hey Michael, would you like to come back with us?”
        MSC: *LMAO*

      4. If true, that’s funny… first of all, someone like Schumacher wouldn’t be interested in driving for them, against Grosjean who has been exceptional lately and after an year out of F1 cars. And having “betrayed” Ferrari for Mercedes I wouldn’t think he’d do the same for Lotus…
        Also useless, because he has shown since his comeback to be very slow at adapting to car/tyres or simply to get up to racing speed, so I’d dare say even Kovalainen is a better choice. Hulkenberg, if signed for next year, would have been great for both, but a blow to Sauber with who, after all, he has a contract.

    5. Disappointing. Having Schumacher drive in a relatively fast Lotus for two races would surely have been entertaining, but it’s understandable that he rejected the offer.

      Interestingly enough though, when Schumacher and Rosberg were teammates in 2012, Michael performed at least as well as Nico, relatively speaking, if not better. Without bad luck for either drivers, Schumacher would have scored more points than Rosberg in 2012.

      Now that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are teammates, Rosberg is at the very least matching Hamilton in overall performance.

      Using deductive reasoning, you can then conclude that Michael Schumacher, even at the age of 43, was at least equally good of a driver as Lewis Hamilton is today. :O

      1. Schumacher was quite serious about the comeback from his original retirement. This would have had circus atmosphere all over it.

      2. Nico Rosberg was clearly the better the driver of the two, it’s just hard to tell given the unreliability of Mercedes.

        1. @dpod

          Nico Rosberg was clearly the better the driver of the two

          Qualifying battle in 2012 was 10-10, and Schumacher beat Rosberg 7-3 in races which they both finished. Schumi also would have scored more points than Nico without his abysmal luck in the first half of the season.

          Rosberg is now matching Hamilton, both drivers are 28 and in the prime of their careers. Schumacher as fast as Rosberg, hence Hamilton, at the age of 43.

          Just think about that for a minute…

          If Schumacher in his 40’s is as fast as the top drivers in Formula 1 today, then just how fast would Michael Schumacher from the late 90’s have been?

          1. Or one could just as easily speculate that with less bad luck on MS’s side would have come more collisions by him driving into more innocent drivers than he did.

            Personally I think the fact that it took him 3 years to just match NR, or maybe if one wants to use MS biased speculation, even better NR some days, shows just how much he needed all the advantages he had at Ferrari in order to compile the numbers that he did.

          2. That’s ridiculously speculative; I can’t even be bothered to dissect it.

            More interestingly, I think Hamilton is the sort of person that performs best if he’s thoroughly challenged. Not taking anything away from Rosberg, and Button, the first of whom I highly rate, but I do think that Hamilton is the sort of guy that could match the very best, but might get outscored by a slightly lesser teammate (i.e. Button) for no rational reason at all. I’d argue that motivation, commitment, and a conception of self-worth, even if at a subconscious level, is hugely significant here. People like to ‘write’ Hamilton ‘off’, in terms of perhaps not living up to his potential, but let’s remember that the guy essentially beat (i.e. was much more impressive than) potentially the strongest driver in F1 in his debut year (ergo when he was highly motivated and not so much interested in a rubbish but superficially hot female singer, was focusing on impressing the team and the F1 world in general, and, once he started to give Alonso a run for his money, his ego).

            I’m not arguing that Hamilton is better than Schumacher or anything of the kind, but I do think Hamilton’s pure talent to put his foot down properly seems to be at its best when he’s being truly challenged. The human brain is a weird thing…

            1. @victor

              That’s ridiculously speculative; I can’t even be bothered to dissect it.

              It is speculative, but not an idea that is snatched out of the blue sky. Schumacher and Hamilton can be directly compared through Rosberg, and despite Lewis being some 16 years younger, he’s looked no better against Nico than Michael did.

              As for the rest of your post, that what I would call speculative. Hamilton beat Kovalainen easily at McLaren, so I’m not sure if Lewis’s performances fall off even when his teammate is of lesser ability.

            2. ergo when he was highly motivated and not so much interested in a rubbish but superficially hot female singer, was focusing on impressing the team and the F1 world in general

              Ha Ha .LOL. Good point there . Maybe he should stop being in the news for a while and try harder to beat Nico .

            3. @kingshark

              Comparing two competitors on the basis of their record against a third competitor neglects too many variables to make much sense (unless it is completely one-sided).

              As to my statement, it was merely a casual observation rather than being meant as an objective assertion. Regarding Kovalainen: fair point. Perhaps it’s not a matter of comparison to a teammate, but an issue of motivation/commitment full stop. As well as Hamilton performed in ’10 and ’12 (and parts of ’13), I do feel like some of the flair is gone, and it’s a much more inconsistent pattern (although, really, the two seasons I mentioned were arguably his most solid seasons, so I don’t really know what my point is…). Perhaps I’m trying to point at a sort of hunger, which both Alonso and Vettel have in abundance, but Hamilton seems to be lacking.


            4. Hamilton was good in his.first 2 years when tyre wear was not a factor. Since then he is still only fast in that scenario (qualifying). Alonso has matured and adapted as a driver whereas hamilton has never improved on his sensational start to f1. vettel, now he is so consistently sensational

            5. @kingshark
              “Despite Lewis being some 16 years younger, he’s looked no better against Nico than Michael did”.
              In his first year at Mercedes, where it’s Rosberg’s fourth, Hamilton is still outscoring him (and that includes a potential win robbed at Silverstone), and winning in the qualifying battle, which Schumacher didn’t achieve in any of his three years. If that doesn’t look better than Schumacher against Rosberg then I don’t know what does.

            6. I agree @kingshark .

              Schumacher and Hamilton can be directly compared through Rosberg. Enough said. Rosberg has always had strong qualifying form, but was not in any obvious way better than Schumacher, especially in the races.

              I felt that Schumacher had lot of bad luck, but as we can see now, the Mercedess car is very strange and unpredictable in its performance.

              If I had to rank the three drivers, based on their overal performance seen in the past 3-4 years, it would be:

              1. Hamilton
              2. Schumacher
              3. Rosberg

            7. We have a direct comparison of Schumacher and Hamilton – karting WC? at Kerpen in 2000/2 sometime. I think Schumacher beat Hamilton that day.. Rosberg too? :) Although Liuzzi beat him Schumi to the World Karting Title, who came second.

        2. Except for everyone at Mercedes saying how with Lewis’s arrival, Rosberg had to up his game – despite having whipped Schumi for 2 of 3 seasons

          1. But he didn’t “whipped Schumi”… , It is more likely that Rosberg became better as a result of Schumacher influence.

      3. Michael Brown (@)
        14th November 2013, 2:43

        This. I’ve been thinking this since Hamilton joined Mercedes. However, I noticed the majority of the comments saying it was a mistake to come back, citing his clumsy accidents. The car was horrible, and Schumacher struggled to adapt until 2012, when he was on it, but lost too many points due to unreliability.

        How many other F1 drivers have been able to race as competitively as Schumacher did in their 40’s? I think his comeback was a success, but the team was goin through a hard time.

      4. @kingshark I’m not convinced Rosberg is as good as Hamilton just yet. It’s Hamilton’s first year in a car that he is still getting used to. Rosberg has spent years at Mercedes.

        I’m not saying that Rosberg isn’t as good – just that it’s too early to say either way. Not many drivers get in a new car and instantly hit the ground running for the first season.

        1. @petebaldwin I agree with that. I pull for NR moreso than LH but I too have been impressed with how well LH did out of the box. I didn’t doubt he would do it, just thought NR would have more of the upper hand initially. So I think this is a great pairing. NR has a few wins now. LH will push him just by his presence. They will continue to be fun to watch.

          I think one of the issues with MS has to have been that he was coming from not just time away from F1, but a situation that could not possibly duplicate all that he had at Ferrari, and that had to have felt to him like F1-lite in a way. In his past not only was his car tailored to him, but if it didn’t feel quite right they could get it feeling right much more quickly, much more often, and more consistently than was possible at Merc. I’m not an MS fan so I was thrilled to see how well NR did once MS was there. It not only didn’t phase him…it seemed to invigorate him. And here he is in a see-saw dual with LH too.

    6. Kovalainen will probably end up racing for Lotus in America and Brasil. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; he’s mediocre at best. He was pretty bad at McLaren, he wasn’t exactly showing Petrov who was fastest and the other teammate he had at Caterham, Trulli, was nearing his 40’s when Kovalainen beat him. I’m getting sick and tired of Kovalainen, he’s had his chance. I don’t know why Caterham seems to think he’ll somehow be faster than VDG and Pic. Lotus’ got reserve/test/third drivers, use them. Plenty of young talent that would dream of a chance to prove themselves like Kovalainen was given the chance all too many times alteady.

      1. I don’t really know what the hype around Heikki is all about either. He was demolished by Lewis, and not much better than Petrov. Sure, he looked good against a prehistoric Trulli, but we don’t really know just how capable those Caterham’s really were.

        Robin Frijns would have been a much better choice.

        1. A much better choice for what purpose, exactly?

          Frijns would have been a sensible choice of driver to put in the car if Lotus were looking for someone to fill a seat in 2014. If they’ve already settled on Grosjean and Hülkenberg, then it’s completely understandable that they’d go for someone who has driven the 2013 machinery (albeit at a different team, and only in free practice), who will settle in quickly, who isn’t likely to put the car into the wall, and, given the recent financial struggles of the team, who won’t ask for much compensation.

          1. @estesark McLaren should pay Lotus to put Magnussen in that car.

        2. Not if you want someone at short notice for little or no pay with the best shot at bringing home some (any) points. Hekki is seriously the most sensible option…

          1. Should gave said that I agree with Estesark… And a typo on Hekki’s name… My comment as meant for Frijns or Schumacher possibility… I think Kovalainen will fare better than D’Ambrosio did in sub. Personally, I would have loved to see Ant Davidson get a shot, but he’s probably too long out of F1 and has no KERS or DRS experience outside of a simulator…

            1. HeIkki – silly Apple auto-correction…

        3. Agree with almost everything you wrote.

        4. Frijns isn’t a better choice. Remember that Lotus is looking a replacement for the last two races only. As long as they can’t hire any of the current drivers, Kovalainen is their next best shot. He was a race driver until last season and he’s been driving Caterham this season. Given that there will be no opportunity to test before these two races, I think Kovalainen will most likely gather more points than Frijns (or any other option) would.

          1. @hotbottoms I agree although I understand why some fans might prefer Frijns or Valsecchi to Kovalainen as it’s always exciting to watch a new driver come into the sport. But Lotus has to think pragmatic. Yes, there is no guarantee that Kovalainen will score a lot of points in the next two races. But there is also no reason to think that a rookie, who has spent just a few laps testing an F1 car is better than an experienced race driver, who has outperformed all his team mates during the last three seasons.

      2. Heikki isnt going to win you a grand prix, neither is Valeschi. However, Heikki will be solid enough to bring the car home and possibly score a few points.

        Its a logical thing to do. This is a stop gap, get an experienced guy in for a couple races.

        1. I don’t know, since when is Heikki a “solid” consistent driver? In his Mclaren days he was terribly incosistent and at times finished outside of points when his team-mate won the race. Yes, he was consistent in Caterham, but being consistent in a slow car and doing that in fast car are two different things. Max Chilton is consistent in that Marussia, maybe Lotus should being him in so he scores a couple of points each race?

          1. @einariliyev

            In his Mclaren days he was terribly incosistent and at times finished outside of points when his team-mate won the race.

            I don’t think that ever happened.

          2. @einariliyev – in defense of Kovalainen, he wasn’t very consistent but that was partly due to him joining McLaren in only his 2nd year in F1. It takes time to become consistent and having now spent 7 seasons in F1, I would expect more from him.

            Whilst there are probably rookies out there who would be faster than Kovalainen, they are also much more likely to bin it on the first lap. I would fully expect Heikki to get the car to the finish and with the pace the Lotus has, he should bring home some points.

    7. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Sebastian Vettel’s rivals have encouraged the booing of the four-time world champion.
      “It has been convenient for some of his rivals to treat him like that and they have encouraged it, whether that’s Fernando Alonso taking off his cap and throwing it in the crowd as soon as Sebastian talks on the podium to get a reaction.

      What on Earth is Horner talking about? 0_O

      1. Mansell's_Stache
        14th November 2013, 0:36

        I thought this matter was put to rest. BBC: Let it die, already. I could not determine who the author of the story is. Would not attach my name to it either.

        1. It’s a partial transcription of this podcast. Don’t know if people outside the UK can download it, but it is a direct link to the MP3. Get it while you can though – it’s only up for a few weeks.

      2. Unsubstantiated nonsense. His only example seemed to be that Alonso took his hat off once…

        1. …which makes me thing, I’ve never taken a hat off in Vettel’s presence specifically, but I have taken hats off otherwise- does that make me as guilty as Alonso, or do I need to be there when the booing happens? I don’t understand the sacred rules relating to headwear.

          1. Horner is just playing the blame game as usual. It’s not Alonso’s fault that he is more likable than the entire Red Bull team combined (apart from Webber).

            1. yeah, it’s not Alonso’s fault but neither it’s up to Horner and Vettel..

              So for me being German (and what a surprise supporting Vettel) it’s simply like that: Vettel is a true race driver giving a **** about being 2nd (even behind his teammate who is also a pure driver who deservers alot of respect!!) while Alonso on the other hand is kind of a politician who is always complaining and trying to force FIA into Ferrari-friendly decisions.

              But to be honest at this stage RBR is getting at least the same amount of questionable decisions in their favour. The difference is that their favours (like the change of tyres in midseason) is overall whilst Ferrari is claiming this and that on a decent racesituation.. I would love to see someone standing up to Vettel and make it a real combat for the championship because im getting tired of seeing Vettel in the lead as well!!

              Whatever even if i take all my national credibilties back Alo is still acting like a total douchebag off track while Vet is that only on track (which is natural). So what i’m trying to say is that Alonso is definitly not MORE likeable then Vettel..

            2. @kingshark
              Alonso more likable than Vettel? Well, I guess that depends on who you are rooting for.

              I’m not a fan of either one of them, but for me someone who held his team mate in qualifying, tried to blackmail his team, was part of crashgate and is constantly moaning off track isn’t more likable than someone whose biggest fault is that he has won everything.

          2. Normal behaviour: when there’s an interview going on you listen politely. If you’re a jerk, you ignore it and actively engage in hat-throwing with the audience.

            Having said that, Horner should stop about it. It’ll go away when he drives for Ferrari…

      3. Horner always spews this **, just ignore him and throw your hats as you like.

        1. Just not the German WWI hats with the foot-long spike on top, eh? :)

      4. Things like Horner’s (lately) cooky attitude are the motivation for the “booing”. Same for Adrian Newey.

      5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        14th November 2013, 1:55

        @kingshark My Ferrari fan, now I agree with you. Because even if Alonso threw his hat while Vettel was speaking in Monza, that doesn’t trigger booing, just cheering for the Italian team in Italian land. That’s not bad. And lately the booing has just vanished, just as many other trends that, good or annoying, dissapear frequently.

        1. +1.

          This can go both ways, indeed. But I see more chances for the opposite: by throwing something (cap, glove, helmet etc) at the crowd, that should stop/reduce the BOO because what Alonso throw is definitely more important and would shift the attention instantly. Plus, Monza is Ferrari’s home race, the most important race for them so, as long as a Ferrari driver was on the podium, he had to give more attention to the Monza crowd than every other GP.

      6. Poor Sebastien, everybody is picking on him Boo Hoo.

        1. If this is the best the BBC can come up with before the last 2 races imagine how bad it’s going to be in December : (

        2. Poor Sebastien, everybody is picking on him Boo Hoo.

          People are picking on Buemi?? Let me at ’em!

      7. This is just ridiculous…. So now they are making out Alonso the source of all the boos towards Vettel?? What a crock of poo!!!! Maybe the crowd feels something entirely different than what they want them to feel?? Has that ever crossed your mind Horner?? You cannot shove something down someone´s throat and expect them to eat it up… Not evrybody has to worship the ground Vetel walks on! Arrogance is the culprit, plain and simple! Get over it!

      8. So pathetic. Horner sounds like a dictator being contested by the youth of his country and telling “the kids” they’re just puppets of foreign interests…

        I understand the fuss, but I don’t get why people try too find exotic explanations for the boos! In my book, non-Red Bull fans boo Seb because they think his wins are mostly down to the car and he’s an undeserving winner; that’s the rational behind the boos, I’m not saying it’s correct assessment of Seb’s wins or if it’s fair, but that’s the root cause.

        Blaming Alonso is plain stupid.

      9. @kingshark

        You beat me to the same post.

        I think Christian and Sebastian need to get their eager for ‘high school popularity’ needs in check. None of their rivals have intentionally done anything to get the crowd to work against Vettel. To suggest Alonso intentionally threw his cap into the audience to bribe them to boo for Vettel, shows exactly how deluded Chiristian Horner is.

        People bee Vettel because they think he’s a dou che bag . As simple as that

      10. yeah – they should let it go. Alonso is known for his mind games and he definitely enjoys his current status, but saying things like this is just dumb and bound to backfire.
        Vettel is 26 and at the beginning of his career and in the end he still has plenty of time to win the fans over – latest when he joins Ferrari in 2016.

      11. Can someone explain to me how taking off a cap is encouraging booing at a rival? Horner has a tendency to talk nonsense when it comes to popular perception of Vettel.

    8. Looks like Kovalainen is getting the job according to multiple reports. Probably the best Lotus could do under these conditions. Would have liked to seen what Valsecchi could do, but evidently Lotus went for experience.

    9. I’m shocked to listen that Horner is still affirming that he does not know why people didn’t like Vettel’s attitude in Malaysia. In my opinion Horner’s at fault in that row.

      1. Not the first time… Seb should have got a b@llocking instead of a hug on the pit wall after the Turkey collision with Webber (crazy sign toward head).

      2. I agree with Horner. Fans say they hate team orders and want to see more non-DRS racing, but then there’s an outcry when a driver ignores one and battles cleanly for the lead of a race without DRS? Seems hypocritical to me and the only reasoning that makes sense to me is that Webber is popular and Vettel is not.

        1. I can see your point but the issue was that Webber was told he wouldn’t be passed so wasn’t prepared to defend.

          Having said that, I have no issue with what Vettel did. It was a shame he apologised initially but atleast he eventually admitted that he was racing and would do the same again. Good on him.

          The team still go the same points – it’s only a problem if they make contact which they didn’t. If you can’t trust your drivers to pass each other, you should get better drivers!

    10. Random thing, but I was watching Pointless (a BBC game show) today, and they had an F1 fact wrong. For a round where they had to answer facts about Monaco, one was ‘the decade in which it first hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix.’ They had the answer as the ’20s, which may well be the first Grand Prix, but was long before F1.

      1. @matt90 it’s incorrect then, isn’t it?! Should’ve been “the decade in which if first hosted a Grand Prix”

        Did they lose money because of the wrong answer? I’d go fuming to the studios :P !

        1. @fer-no65 Thankfully nobody elected to answer that one (they had a choice of 6 facts, and only 2 teams to give answers at that stage). I would loved somebody to have answered it and then corrected them, although I imagine if something like that happened they’d just void the question and never broadcast it.

          1. @matt90

            I imagine if something like that happened they’d just void the question and never broadcast it.

            Yep they would get it plain wrong rather than accept their mistakes .

    11. Nice COTD. With 2 typos :P. But well…

      Schumacher bck on F1? I thought Lotus wanted to challenge for points ! Heikki is a much safer, and better bet. Or maybe they wanted to grab the headlines… and get some money… thinking about it, it might have been good for the team’s finances, Heikki’s name won’t grab the front pages of the newspapers of the world…

    12. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      14th November 2013, 1:23

      I still think they should give Maldonado to race in COTA and Hulk in Brazil. I don’t specifically remember how well Maldonado was in COTA last year, but what I remember is Hulk getting impressive races in Brazil (and that slide against Hamilton which was half his fault and half the rainy conditions)

      1. Maldonado had a terrif fight in Texas vs his teammate (Bruno Senna), probably second to Lewis vs. Seb fight.

        Hulk usually shines in São Paulo (a pole included).

    13. I’m not sure why people are regarding the idea of Schumacher filling in for Raikkonen as so ludicrous. I mean, I think it should have been Valsecchi — but if the choice were between Schumacher and Kovalainen?

      Sure, Kovalainen has done some Friday practices, but they were in a Caterham. The last time either driver raced in F1 was last year. And Schumacher is Schumacher. He isn’t “legendary.” He’s legendary. If it were up to me, I’d be asking him, too.

      1. He wasn’t the creme of F1 since 2010, tho. The legend finished its job in 2006 and returned as an old fella with plenty of talent but not the correct circumstances.

        Also, he probably hasn’t trained for an F1 ride, nor competed professionally, nor took part of F1 weekends… not even other series, weekends. Appart from the Nurburgring ride he did in last year’s Mercedes.

        Plus didn’t he feel sick at simulators and couldn’t use them? Heikki probably did a lot of work in that department and knows these new Pirellis a lot better than Valsecchi, which, IMO, shouldn’t be picked either.

    14. Even as a Ferrari fan, I have to agree that Alonso especially tried to add fuel to the booing at times. I want to think he didn’t do it consciously, but knowing Alonso, he might well have done it.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        14th November 2013, 2:27

        @wsrgo really? I mean, you can play mind games, but “fueling the booing?” I’ve never heard Fernando saying “Vettel disrespected Webber so let’s boo him” or nothing like that. He can invent excuses to diminish Vettel’s talent on the eyes of the tifosi (and hence making him look not so far behind this season) but really, the maximum you can say about him throwing the cap is “breaking the protocol”, as Vettel and Kimi sw3ar1ng on live TV, or Kobayashi trying to give his speech in Japanese first. Minor things (even the sw3ar1ng is IMHO more rude, because of the family hour)

        1. So if FA tried to fuel the booing then that should just tell SV and Horner that the booing, or, the negative sentiment, was not actually as bad in reality.

        2. Why do people always say that Raikkonen and Vettel were swearing on the podium? They used the s- and f-words, yes, but it was just used in slang terms for “I don’t care” and “make a mistake” – I would not call that swearing. Swearing is always directed at someone or something. @omarr-pepper

      2. Given that the booing started quite a bit earlier, there’s a clear connection between the reinforcement of your status as an appreciated person and a simultaneous depreciation of the perception of your main rival.

      3. @wsrgo

        Are you Christian Horner or Sebastien Vettel in disguise?

      4. What if fernando heard the boos and tried to stop it by throwing his cap to the crowd

    15. Valsechi should get a nod regardless, anything else is bull. Considering how Lotus management team running their business, standings in the Championship is irrelevant for them.

      Good luck.

      1. I agree. They have him in their “junior” GP2 team with Renault livery – he wins the GP2 championship. Its the end of the year – really not much chance to gain 26 points on Ferrari anyway. What is the point of a reserve driver then? Just in case someone gets sick on the Friday?

        Kovalainen is fine – but suddenly I’m reminded of the JV/Renault experiment in 2004. How’d that work out?

    16. i have a friend who was in the pit grandstand in Singapore, this is the exact reaction he has about alonso who was like encouraging the booing by distracting the crowd the moment vettel started to talk. he said it was disrespectful. at first, i thought it was just nothing, but now i know it means something as it also happened in monza..

      1. @maeve08

        distracting the crowd

        as long as Alonso does not show actions ( waving or throwing caps can only cheer them up ) or speaks wrong , I don’t think it can be blamed . Sometimes Horner has to deal with the fact that Ferrari or other teams just have better supporters . “Deal with the fact and try to improve”.

        In fact in Singapore during the booing, immediately after Brundle said ” don’t do that please” The crowd stopped and they started chanting Alonso’s name ( check out videos ). They just support the other driver better and want a bit of a fight for all the money they pay expecting to see one . It’s a spectator sport .

        1. Surely if the support Alonso and want a bit of a fight for all the money they pay then they ought to be booing Alonso as he’s the one who’s failing to deliver, not Vettel.

    17. It seems to me being a reserve driver is a total waste of the time for drivers. No matter what is your status with in the team you must compete and banging those wins regardless if it’s Formula Renault or GP3. You can’t afford sit on sidelines as a reserve driver today.

      If you keep on winning it’s not going to reduce your chances on getting a test call up.

    18. It’s calling your rivals “cucumbers”, general disrespect for your rivals, sense of entitlement, arrogance, having your “manager” openly taking shots at your teammate for no reason and nonsense that Horner keeps throwing in the wind, that contributes to the booing.
      I don’t really think that one bright sunny day Alonso just decided to throw his hat in the crowd in a slightly inadequate moment and all of a sudden, people around the world decided to take a great dislike towards Vettel.
      All that booing (which I couldn’t really care less either way), can only come from the way Vettel and Red Bull carry themselves and not from any outside factor.

    19. I used to moan every time I read that the newest F1 Circuit would be designed and built by Hermann Tilke and his company (which is always). But after reading the article that Keith Collantine wrote here on F1 Fanatic about the restrictions and safety standards imposed by the F.I.A. when designing a new track, I can no longer place the blame squarely on the shoulders on Hermann Tilke whenever a boring and uninspired track appears on the calendar. There is only so much that they are allowed to do when building a new track, and having little to no elevation to play with you’re even more limited. And besides, they’re not all bad tracks, even if the term Tilkdrome has been coined.

      So thanks @keithcollantine for the interesting article!

    20. Good to hear Nelson Piquet is recovering well from his heart surgery.

    21. Alonso throwing a cap to the crowd is now considered to be encouraging booing? Epic logic.

    22. Kind of sad that the booing of Vettel hasn’t happened for a couple of races now, but Red Bull still want to talk about it. You get the feeling they liked the attention.

    23. Lotus have failed in a sensational attempt to persuade Michael Schumacher out of retirement for a second time.

      Lotus couldn’t afford him for 1 race, let alone 2.

    24. Why stop at Schumacher?
      Why not Fittipaldi? Surtees? Mansell?
      Anyone but your designated reserve driver.

      1. @TimothyKatz I agree with the sarcasm, it’s obviously wrong that test drivers get overlooked when teams have to replace one of their race drivers. However, an even bigger problem is that a current GP2 champion and drivers like Kovalainen were left without permanent race seats in 2013.

        1. Yes, I agree.
          I haven’t voiced the opinion here, but I was a little disappointed when Massa was confirmed at Williams because that could have been another seat where a young-gun could have shown what he was capable of.
          The new drivers might be good or bad, but we’ll never know if one of the ‘senior’ drivers doesn’t move over to let them in.
          Massa’s a very nice chap, but he’s pretty close to his sell-by date and I would have preferred to see someone new.

      2. “Some say, that there is a book that has all the phone numbers of past drivers who have worked for the Enstone team.”

        Alexander Wurz
        Fernando Alonso
        Gerhard Berger
        Giancarlo Fisichella
        Heikki Kovalainen
        Jacques Villeneuve
        Jarno Trulli
        Jean Alesi
        Jenson Button
        JJ Lehto
        Johnny Herbert
        Jos Verstappen
        Martin Brundle
        Riccardo Patrese
        And so on…

        But still, on a serious side – I would give Davide Valsecchi a chance.

    25. The prospect of a second race in Russia is an interesting one, because Russia is one of the few countries that could pull it off. Sochi and Moscow are 3000km apart – roughly the same distance from Sydney to Perth. As such, they could comfortably have a second race and draw on audiences without trampling all over the race in Sochi. But to organise this second race without first having a Grand Prix is a huge risk. There’s obvious Russian interest in motorsport in general and Formula 1 in particular – aside from Daniil Kvyat, Sergey Sirotkin and Marussia, the country hosts a round of the World Touring Car Championship and DTM, with the DTM considering an expansion to Sochi in the future. There are Russian drivers all throughout the Formula Renault Series, and they have a presence in GP2 and GP3. But until such time as the first race is run in Sochi, it’s a big step into the unknown, and it seems a little presumptuous to organise a second race. That said, a lot of circuits are being built at a much higher standard than their intended purpose – many countries put forward plans to build Grade-1 circuits, but don’t hold Grade-1 races straight away.

    26. Did Red Bull switch alliances and Ricciardo is now their new miracle driver? Was it the first shot of a campain aimed at making Vettel’s life as hard as possible? I have no other explanation for Horner’s statements, it’s hard to imagine he might have really meant it. I mean, who would pour gasoline and thrown in firecrackers for good measure into a fire that is already dying?
      Horner is really very “special”, he never stops surprising us.

    27. Very entertaining rumors:
      Ferrari blocked Hulkenberg from taking the Lotus seat in the last races – by paying his salary and forcing him to fullfill his sauber contract (Motorsport-Total.com).

      Additionally Lopez suggested that the timing of Räikkönens operation was influenced by Ferrari, too.

      1. We’re through the looking glass now. The Maranello influence is there for all to see in the pitlane. It makes you wonder, though: Ferrari must have had a very good reason for allegedly spending over €1m on another driver’s salary just to prevent him helping Lotus make up an unlikely 26-point deficit. Perhaps Alonso is more of a doubt for Austin than initially expected.

        Raikkonen is a bit more understandable: Ferrari have something to gain from that and by all accounts he wasn’t thrilled about continuing to race unpaid anyway.

        1. At this point though, there’s zero proof Ferrari paid Sauber/Hulkenburg anything at all.

    28. If lotus wanted a publicity stunt maybe a front running US Nascar driver would have been a better option.

      1. Are there any in possession of a superlicense?

        1. I think the only NASCAR driver with one is Montoya, assuming he kept it renewed.

    29. Bring Bruno Senna back for Lotus

    30. Murray’s commentary on the salazer/piquet bust up is absolute gold, watched it so many times and never fails to amuse

    31. Bah, seems to me Schumacher wouldn’t have been a bad choice at all in terms of trying to secure points in the last two races – except that he knows better than anyone his motivation isn’t there anymore. Sure it’s sad the reserve driver doesn’t get a shot, but there’s so much money involved in the constructors’ standings that it’s hardly surprising they’ll opt for as much experience as they can get. And, case in point, this is another element of the F1 financial scheme that badly needs reforming.

    32. How pathetic of Horner to say that. Why on earth would rivals do that? Thats pathetic. Thats not being sportmanly. Red Bull are the biggest cry babies on this planet. When everything goes wrong, they blame everyone and cry like school children. Their public image is destroyed and is bringing Vettel down with them. I don’t like Vettel, never have done. But, you see all these people saying “Oh he’s a lovely man behind the camera.” I’d imagine he is, just like Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, etc, but he needs to change his public image. I love how Hamilton and others wear their heart on their sleeve and are very personal in F1. I loved the Hamilton and his dad days! That was just great! But RBR need to change. Very childish and pathetic. I really really really hope they do not tell Ricciardo to be like them because I love Ricciardo. Such a genuine man, always smiley, happy to be anywhere and deserves all the success, but I would be so annoyed if his public image is ruined by the cry babies.

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