Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014

FP3 no-shows and waiving of 107% rule mooted

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Bahrain, 2014In the round-up: Teams could elect not to run in final practice to avoid any problems ahead of qualifying – and the 107% rule may have to be waived this weekend.


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

Teams set to miss FP3 to preserve their cars (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

FIA race director Charlie Whiting: “I’ve even heard teams saying that they will skip P3 to make sure that they’ve got the car ready for qualifying.”

Stewards to be flexible on qualifying rule

“What we have out here at the moment are 11 teams that we know are capable. They may be suffering a temporary performance loss but I’m sure the stewards will look very sympathetically on any team that doesn’t make the 107 percent.”

‘Doomsday scenario unlikely’ (Sky)

Whiting: “If the race couldn’t be restarted as the rules say, then the results would be declared on the lap prior to the one during which the race was stopped and whoever was running at that time would be the winner.”

Hamilton on Schumacher: ‘Things happen for reason’ (The Telegraph)

“I feel like all things happen for a reason, I think that [Schumacher’s accident] is an experience that will really show his character and depth and even more so than any other experiences he’s had.”

F1 bosses tweak formula to attract viewers (FT, registration required)

Jean Todt: “I was not expecting such a negative reaction [to double points]. On occasion, decisions have been taken without a deeper vision.”

Jean Todt interview: Michael is my best friend… a true fighter! (Daily Mail)

“[Bernie Ecclestone] will be 84 this year. His motivation, his passion is as strong as ever. He could be 50 rather than in his 80s. When CVC, who own the sport want to move him on, they will let me know as president of the FIA. There has been no talk of that with them.”

Caterham, Bahrain, 2014Wind of change as F1 enters unknown (BBC)

“One senior figure with in-depth knowledge of Renault’s situation predicted this weekend would be ‘ugly’ for the French manufacturer.”

Tyres still dictate driving style – Kimi (ESPN)

“The different tyres will change the driving style much more than the rules that have changed.”

ERS Safety (Imgur)

Photographs of the ERS safety information given the marshals at this weekend’s race.

Brave New World (Toro Rosso)

“A driver might choose to use the DRS when he’s within a second of the car in front, as demanded by the rules, but he might not try and overtake. Instead, he will sit behind saving fuel by being able to lift off the throttle, because of the slipstream effect.”

Australian Grand Prix heralds biggest set of rule changes as F1 goes green (The Guardian)

“But the worst change of all, a crass piece of thinking that cheapens the sport, has been to award double points for the last race in Abu Dhabi on 23 November, to help sustain interest until the end of the season. This forgets that two of Sebastian Vettel’s four championships went to the wire. Having got many things right, this is an absolute howler.”


Comment of the day

F1 finance journalist Christian Sylt responded to a criticism of a recent article of his in City AM. Here’s a portion of his comment:

My article in City AM ( clearly states that “team prize money is F1’s biggest cost and yields five times more than CVC’s profit share, which is equivalent to 8.4 per cent of the sport’s revenues.” This is entirely accurate and is in fact overly generous to the teams. The figures used in the article are the most complete set of publicly released data which is for 2011 and is contained in the F1 Group IPO prospectus. In 2011 the F1 Group did not declare a dividend at all so in truth CVC got nothing from F1. This is why its benefit is referred to as a “profit share” (because it was still entitled to it even though it was not paid out) rather than a dividend. The following year the F1 Group declared a significant dividend as I reported here ( but the profit and loss data for 2012 has not been released so could not be used in the article.
Christian Sylt

From the forum

Formula E Beijing Grand Prix circuit

This is the circuit which will host the first ever Formula E race in September. More details in the forum:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Patrickl and Chapmankillie!

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

While McLaren continued to consider its driver options for 1994 a fourth driver tested their MP4-9, Philippe Alliot, joining race driver Mika Hakkinen as well as Martin Brundle and Alain Prost.

Images © Lotus/LAT, Caterham/LAT

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  • 57 comments on “FP3 no-shows and waiving of 107% rule mooted”

    1. Ironic that Formula E will start in such an unfortunately smoggy area.

      1. Seems a perfectly reasonable place. Irony would be if they chose China for its green view on tech and it’s beautiful and clear skies, then the day of the race is the worst smog of the century.

        You don’t go somewhere with an answer to a problem they don’t have and expect results.

    2. Looks like a Tilke-designed circuit.

    3. I’m a bit shocked about Hamilton’s comment. I’m sure he wants to be positive but given that there is a significant chance that Schumacher will not even be close to the person he was, it frankly reads very insensitive.

      1. dont forget they are kids…even hamilton.They dont think twice before saying anything

        1. He’s 29 years old. Excusing such a thoughtless comment when Schumacher is in such a condition as being down to him being a kid doesn’t cut it in my book.

          @mike-dee I’m pretty shocked at how insensitive it sounds too. I’m sure it wasn’t his intention, but spouting platitudes when there are other, simple answers that would have gotten across his concern for Schumacher’s well being and hope for his recovery strikes me as being air-headed. Definitely a case of opening his mouth before engaging his head.

      2. @mike-dee

        I agree that was a ridiculous statement from Hamilton. You can see from the video that he just said it without thinking it through at all.

        1. I think at this momment he was thinking of nikol ore some girl…
          I like him on the track.
          Remember ayrton was also not good with media )

          1. You mean Ayrton Senna, who had many poignant things to say on the nature of F1, the mentality of a driver, safety, and even being human? As in Ayrton Senna one of the most eloquent drivers I’ve ever seen?

            Stop making excuses for Hamilton. He said something stupid and insensitive. End of.

            1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
              14th March 2014, 1:20

              @colossal-squid let’s not take the extremes, I think. He tries to send some possitive wish, saying he will be stronger than ever and that we will see him recover. But of course Lewis is not the pinnacle of PR words and more often than not he says stuff like this one. Silence is sometimes the best answer, and Lewis should think twice when he has a mic in front of him.

            2. @omarr-pepper I’m not saying he did it intentionally (see my comment above). But people making excuses for him putting his foot in it by bringing up unjustified comparisons to Ayrton Senna annoys me greatly. Hamilton is a big boy and while his intentions were in the right place that doesn’t entirely excuse him saying something as insensitive sounding as he did. It’s all I’m highlighting here and I know he meant well, but bit more tact in these matters is needed from him.

      3. I think it’s just a case of Hamilton trying to be a very deep and thoughtful person when…. well….

        I think maybe not so much.

      4. He clearly believes that Schumacher will pull through.

      5. The correct answer was “next question” however not everyone can handle the press properly and McLaren didn’t give him the chance to learn. The real villian is the questioner looking to trap someone into a sensational answer.

        1. If he said ‘next question’ people would be jumping around the forum saying he doesn’t think Michael will improve etc. etc.

          He said what he thought. The guy cannot win.

          1. They guy can win, but he needs to think before opening his mouth. Saying that something bad happened to someone for a reason sounds like justifying the tragedy. To some it might sound almost like “he deserved it”, although I wouldn’t go that far.

            “Michael is strong. I hope he will pull through. I hope he’ll recover and come back even stronger”. There. It’s not that hard. The guy can win.

            1. Agree with you totally. Just pointing out that you cannot skip questions. Classic politics.

              He should have been smarter. Sad we are even talking about this on day one of the season.

      6. I usually defend Lewis when people are jumping on him, but “all things happen for a reason” regarding Michael’s accident is just too much for me. I think it’s not only insensitive but downright offensive. Whenever I hear someone saying that there is a mysterious reason justifying another’s person suffering, whenever I hear someone saying that a tragedy is a part of a some “plan”, I have a moment of instant revulsion. Lewis lost a lot in my eyes with this one.

        1. “He’s a legend in the sport, you know, who has achieved so much, a very motivated individual. So I feel like all things happen for a reason, I think that this is an experience that will really show his character and depth and even more so than any other experiences he’s had.”

          The ‘so’ part is probably an Americanism, as they, especially in California, have a habit of inserting that word at the start of seemingly ever sentence. But by using it in this context, he’s suggesting that there is a connection between the first statement and the second, which makes him look – to put it mildly – like a fool.

        2. I don’t think the comment is insensitive at all. As we all know, Hamilton has quite strong religious beliefs, and I assume that he would believe that the god that he believes in does things for a reason, even if it isn’t obvious. I would also assume that he believes that the god that he believes in will ensure that Schumacher will pull through this and make a complete recovery.

          In my opinion the comment was naive. As I am agnostic, I do not believe that any god guides us, also as I am agnostic, I’m not so sure that Schumacher will make a full recovery given the time he has been in a coma.

          As an agnostic and without considering Hamilton’s religious beliefs it would be easy for me to interpret the comments as being offensive, but when I consider Hamilton’s beliefs I do not believe that it was indented to be offensive at all.

          1. I’m not saying it was intentionally foolish or offensive, but it was foolish and offensive nonetheless. I don’t want to dive into his religious beliefs and I support his right to believe in whatever he wants to. If something bad happens to him, then he can say that it happened for a reason and I’ll have no problem with that. I’ll probably feel sympathy for him and wish him well. However when he talks about the misfortune of other people, he should understand how bad it sounds.

            1. I disagree.

              Everyone always wants Formula 1 drivers to speak their minds. Every time Lewis Hamilton does, everyone jumps on his back about it, getting their knickers in a knot, pretending they have never said anything that was misinterpreted, just like everyone is with this comment, calming he was being offensive, when he quite simple wasn’t.

              Just because he said something that you don’t personally agree with doesn’t make offensive or wrong, which is the point I was trying to make in my original comment. Part of comprehension is understanding the indent behind what the person is saying. Can anyone who is familiar with Lewis Hamilton truly calm that he said what he said to be offensive or insensitive? No.

            2. And most of the time when people jump on his back, I defend him. Not this time though. Let’s agree to disagree in this case.

      7. @mike-dee Other than reading the article I didn’t see the context he was saying it in, however, in this case I think he has stepped over a sensitive boundary. Having said that, I don’t think its worth flaming him, just pointing out that it wasn’t right and moving on.

      8. Just another case of Hamilton saying what he thinks in the worst way possible. He means well, let’s move on.

      9. jeez people don’t get his comment at all! Hamilton is a religious, spiritual guy. Saying things happen for a reason isn’t him saying Schumi deserved to crash! He’s just saying things happen out of our control and that Schumi’s character and strength will be there for all to see when he pulls through his recovery.

        1. Exactly. It was doubtless quite a silly thing to say, but the way that article (and most responses here) frame it, you would think he went into the hospital room and stood pointing and laughing in full view of his family. He said it without malice. More importantly he said it because he clearly believes that he will pull through and some good somewhere will come out of it all, even if it was a traumatising experience. Such a comment generally annoys me (because I am atheist, not spiritual, and rarely see good come out of truly bad things), and certainly should never be said directly to the people who’ve been offended, but jumping on it so much is unnecessary. He said something worthy of an eye roll, maybe a shake of the head as well. Let’s move on.

          1. but the way that article (and most responses here) frame it, you would think he went into the hospital room and stood pointing and laughing in full view of his family.

            I’ve yet to see one comment here that’s as hyperbolic as what you’ve just said.

            Most people are fully aware that there was no malice in his words, but he was dealing with a very, very sensitive issue and several people have pointed out that such a comment comes across to some as crass when a man has been severely (and perhaps permanently) injured.

    4. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      14th March 2014, 0:33

      Hahaha does anybody know where I could watch that Thursday’s Press Conference?

      1. I watched it on YouTube earlier.

      2. It’s on youtube as ecw says but do me a favour now count the times Seb says “obviously”

        1. for years now i’v been wishing someone made a compilation of F1 drivers saying “obviously” – in no other sport this word is spoken more often. i think shumi set the trend, as i started noticing it as early as the 90s.

          1. @zimkazimka @peartree Agreed. I’ve not been following the sport in-depth like I do now for very long (checking the news daily, or more often) but the past few seasons I’ve noticed that quite a lot of drivers say ‘obviously’ far too much and it comes off as rather condescending, especially when VET is saying it two or three times in one answer.

            1. It is not always easy as a non-native speaker. People have told me that I use ‘basically’ in almost every sentence. I don’t do it on purpose.

    5. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      14th March 2014, 1:26

      Press conference for dummies:
      “You know, that for sure, there is obviously this thing, right? Even more, it’s like,…uhm, as I said before, mate, this is it.”

      1. Press conferences have become too boring for a couple of years. If 2014 wasn’t such a radical year, it would have been even more boring, not to say this was very interesting.

        Firstly, I find drivers rarely showing emotions. They have plastic faces and rarely a smile barring a few and then those journos…my God!! Some horrendous questions. Fancy this for example

        “Question for all except Romain. When will you become a father?” I mean what? Seriously?

        There was a time I really wold enjoy these conferences back in 2006 to 2010 but now….I don’t regret if I ever miss. In fact sometimes I regret wasting my 30 mins on it.

    6. I can see why no one has bothered to comment on that Formula E image- predictably, that circuit makes Abu Dhabi look like the Nordschleife. Yes, I think it’s that bad.

      1. Actually the layout looks a bit like Sydney’s Olympic Park circuit used by the V8 Supercars, and that definitely suits the V8’s pretty well. Of course it’s hard to say how good it would work with open wheelers – probably not well at all.

      2. The circuit was designed on the understanding that Formula-E cars can only take corners at 90 degree angles.

    7. No Lewis, A man falling and hitting his head on a rock does NOT happen for a reason.

      Utter Clown.

      1. Many, if not most of us human beings, believe in Divine Providence and that things do indeed happen for a reason.

    8. The loss of sector times on is clearly designed to get people to buy the timing App…..thanks Bernie !

      1. I was thinking the same.. But on a positive note,
        the app’s premium cost is now just 9.99€ per year.
        Last year was in the region of 30€ if I’m not mistaken.
        I had a quick look in fp2, it showed apex speeds and telemetry per car.
        And it should be better in Qualy and the race.

    9. OK, Practice One just ended: I’m predicting maybe 8 cars will complete the race on Sunday. Looking brutal.

    10. I’ve noticed since Massa has moved to a British team he has changed from padding every sentence with ‘for sure’ to ‘you know’.

      Its nice to see he enjoys working in a new country and environment.

    11. @keithcollantine, sorry to bring the wrath of Sylt down upon you.

    12. It’s nice to see an F1 journalist defending his opinion and providing more facts on F1 Fanatic but I believe that the part of Christian Sylt’s comment where he accuses an F1 fanatic of making ‘defamatory’ allegations is simply distasteful and inappropriate. I fully support @BasCB here.

      Anyone can search internet for Mr. Sylt’s articles. I did it this morning and it doesn’t take long to see that their quality as well as the neutrality of the author seem to be questionable, to say the least. For instance, he this week he claims that “giving the teams equal rights may also seem logical but is a sure way of encouraging Ferrari to leave, which could be a catalyst for F1’s collapse”. This is a very debatable statement (don’t Mercedes and Red Bull believe that it is also ‘highly damaging to both their reputation and credibility’?).

      In 2011, he was involved in a similar dispute with James Allen, one of the best F1 journalists in the world. Among other things, he claimed that ‘legal sources in Germany are saying that the bribery charge against Gribkowsky and the bribery allegation against Ecclestone will be dropped.’

      Long story short, I definitely wouldn’t rely on Christian Sylt’s ‘analysis’ of Formula 1 business. Before Mr. Sylt sues me, let me state that this is just my opinion that I’m fully entitled to.

      1. :-) yes, I do try to pick my sources with understanding of the background of its authors and the media it is published in @grits, and its interesting to see how to be technically correct while at the same time giving off a perception that does not reflect the overall situation all that well.

        I am glad that @keithcollantine has updated the subtitle of F1Fanatic, because being independent is a very valuable part of free and quality media. Oh, and I think its a good COTD too.

        1. uh, sorry for misspelling you there @girts

      2. @girts That comment certainly did not read like a reasonable response. It must be annoying having your work questioned, but the whole thing read like a threat.

        For the avoidance of doubt, I reserve all my rights in respect of the defamatory material to which I refer. Rest assured that I will take any action necessary to defend my reputation though hopefully we won’t have to get to that.

        I’d like to know under what exact circumstances he was planning to ‘take action’.

        1. @matt90 and @Girts To give you some background, @bascb made a direct accusation that my work is biased towards Ecclestone which, as I explained, is both entirely inaccurate and damaging to my reputation. It would be no different to me finding out @bascb’s job title and writing, under a psedonym, in a relevant public forum that he is biased towards certain of his clients. If I have no factual basis for writing this it would be defamatory and I would be exposing myself to legal action. @bascb, like all of us on this forum, is personally legally liable for his writing.

          I am all for criticism where appropriate (especially if factual inaccuracies are discovered) but not for personal defamation as it could lead to comments being reported or, ultimately legal action being taken. @Girts It is not defamatory towards MGP or RBR to say that the departure of Ferrari COULD be a catalyst for F1’s collapse. The sense of the statement would be drastically changed if I had written that it WOULD be a catalyst but that would not have even got past the first stage of editing. As I pointed out in the thread here (, to get articles printed in a credible national newspaper they have to be seen by the business editor, the sub editor, the editor of the paper, the lawyer and sometimes the deputy business editor as well. Unlike publishing on a blog it is not a matter of hitting send after typing a stream of consciousness.

          For the sake of clarity, reserving one’s rights is a standard procedure that we are all legally entitled to do if damaging action of any kind has been taken against us. The statement is not confirmation that action will be taken. In fact, as I pointed out to @bascb, I am happy to leave the matter as it is. This is because @bascb set the record straight by openly accepting that “these financial facts do show that CVC gets 8,4% of profits from F1.” This is in contrast to his previous false and defamatory allegation that in arriving at the figure of 8.4% I deliberately disregarded F1’s loans because, he claimed, I am “Bernie’s media trumpet.”

          This kind of comment could be particularly damaging if left unchallenged (through a right to reply, reporting the comment or taking legal action) due to the large number and calibre of the publications that I write for. My colleague and I are the only journalists worldwide who specialise in writing about the business of F1 for national media and, as far as I know, we write for more publications (a total of 21 last year) than any other reporter who covers F1.

          We have been doing this for over a decade and the outlets we regularly write for include the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent, CityAM, the Mail, the Express and the Evening Standard. On top of that we write for many magazines such as Racer, AutoWeek, Evo, GQ, SportBusiness and I regularly comment about the business of F1 on TV for the BBC, Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC.

          These are some of the most widely-read and prestigious outlets in Europe and I am their representative which is why I had to take the false allegation about my professionalism seriously. They aren’t my only clients as I also run the annual Zoom auction ( of signed photos taken by all of the F1 drivers and team bosses which also requires independence.

          If I had seen the comments from @bascb sooner I would have addressed it them sooner. I only came across them because I was researching for a story in the sports section (which is not where my material usually appears) of today’s Independent:

          As I also said in the other thread, Ecclestone is integral to the business of F1 and since I am one of the only journalists worldwide who specialises in covering it I write about him frequently. It is no different to other other journalists’ regular reports on certain F1 drivers. I am not paid by Ecclestone or the F1 Group in contrast to at least one other journalist who is paid by a company in which an F1 team principal has a stake.

          1. It would be no different to me finding out @bascb’s job title and writing, under a psedonym, in a relevant public forum that he is biased towards certain of his clients.

            I get your point, and do believe that it is right to defend your work, though it must be very frustrating to have to do so. But as I doubt bascb’s work is publicly distributed as yours is, I would say that there is indeed a difference between the two, because in your situation you are maliciously seeking out and targeting an individual rather than criticising their work which is already in the public domain and must at least be open to criticism (if not defamatory remarks).

            But I respect the discussion you entered into here and on the original comment page, it makes for interesting reading and I thank you for it.

            1. It would be no different to me finding out @bascb’s job title and writing, under a psedonym, in a relevant public forum that he is biased towards certain of his clients.

              Actually, doing what is suggested there would be quite a step from my comment on the article discussed, and I am surprised if Mr. Sylt does do not see the difference, therefore I guess this is a use of “hyperbole” to make a point clear in this discussion @matt90

        2. @bascb @matt90 I see where you are coming from but, in fact, defamation is not judged on whether someone’s work is publicly distributed but on the nature of the allegation. As I mentioned in a previous comment, I’m perfectly happy to put behind us the comments which led to this discussion, as they have been dealt with, so the following information is simply general advice and not directed at either of you :)

          “Judges tell juries that a statement about a person is defamatory of him if it tends to do any one of the following: a) expose him to hatred, ridicule or contempt; b) cause him to be shunned or avoided; c) lower him in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally; or d) disparage him in his business, trade, office or profession.”

          The above details come directly from the journalism bible ‘McNae’s Essential Law For Journalists’ ( which I have relied on for well over a decade. Although I am not directing the above at anyone specific it is useful to us all. This is because anyone writing in print or online is legally liable for their comments. If a defamatory statement is written in any permanent form (even a picture) it could be subject to libel action and I have heard of at least one motor racing-related website which was put into financial difficulty as a result of this.

          Anyway, that’s the small print out of the way. Anyone got any questions about the business of F1? :)

    13. Is anyone watching the team principals press conference? Eric Boullier just said that McLaren had signed a deal with an online fashion retailer, one that is available in 9 languages and 234 countries. A quick google reveals this retailer to be I’m not sure how I feel about ASOS McLaren Mercedes

      1. graham221228
        14th March 2014, 8:16

        they have branding on the underside of the rear wing (where they occasionally had the Tooned logo before). They won’t be the title sponsor.

      2. graham is right. ASOS dont even have the finance to be a title sponsor! they just have an ad on the back of the rear wing.

    Comments are closed.