Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Red Bull out-developing Mercedes, claims Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel believes Red Bull have made larger strides forward in the development race than Mercedes at this stage of the season.


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

Upbeat Sebastian Vettel claims Red Bull are ‘making bigger steps’ than Mercedes (Sky F1)

Vettel: “We can see that the others, especially these guys [Mercedes] are quite a bit ahead, a little bit quicker than us and always have enough in hand to respond. At the moment, though, it looks like we are making bigger steps than them and let’s hope it continues like that.”

‘I thought he was going to put me in the wall’ – Rosberg (ESPN)

Rosberg: “I had a really good start, so I was happy about that because it’s not so easy this year. So it’s very difficult to get it right – but it felt great and got away well and then Sebastian, I thought he was going to put me right into the wall, but he stopped just before – so thank you for that!”

Jenson Button wants more from McLaren (BBCF1)

Button: “I don’t think the high speed here and the heat worked for us but there is no getting away from the fact that we are weak in high speed. We do have strength and that’s why we are able to keep teams behind us but at speed we have got a lot of work to do.”

Lewis Hamilton Q&A: All our hard work paid off (

Hamilton: “It was pretty special to win this race. In the past I’ve always had a difficult time here in Malaysia. It was never that the pace was not there – it simply never went my way. So today: what a great feeling.”

Something NOT about a head injury! (A Former F1 Doc Writes)

“I needn’t go into ANY detail about why this regimen of starvation and dehydration is ridiculous from a medical point of view. This has got to stop. And it’s got to stop now. And given the competitive pressures of the sport, this will not be easy.”

Williams having financial problems according to Todt (

Todt: “I am worried that we will lose teams. Many are crying out for help, and our job is to listen to these cries. Formula one is in intensive care and time is running out — by the end of June, a solution to this problem must be found.”

Ecclestone brings his top guns to the table as trio hold high-level meeting to thrash out F1’s future (Daily Mail)

“Bernie Ecclestone brought together Donald Mackenzie, the affable but publicity-shy head of F1’s owners CVC, and Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal whom he has nominated as his preferred successor.”

F1 Savaged for ‘Worst Minute’s Silence Ever’ Before Malaysia Grand Prix (International Business Times)

“Formula One bosses have been savaged on Twitter for holding “the worst minute’s silence ever” before the Malaysian Grand Prix to remember the passengers on flight MH370.”


Comment of the day

After Daniel Ricciardo received a 10-place grid drop for the next race in Bahrain following his disastrous third pitstop, @Rigi believes that a harsh punishment for such incidents is the correct approach for the FIA to take.

It’s a shame about it being Ricciardo, who is a great driver but just very unlucky at the moment. But I see it this way; pit stop safety is very important. I’ve been at the Nurburgring race last year, and when Webber’s tire hit the camera man I was shocked because I genuinely thought that guy might’ve just died live on television. I do not wish to see this again, and any penalty for infringements during pit stops is, in my opinion, very justified.

Punishing Red Bull only instead of Ricciardo? How? A £20’000 fine won’t really matter in a £200 mil budget. In my view, there is no way to punish a team properly in a way in which the driver won’t be affected. It’s not the drivers fault, one may argue.. well, the driver is a member of the team just like lollipop man and the cook of the motorhome are. So if a team gets punished, the driver should be punished a swell. The way the FIA runs penalties for pit stop infringements is good and I sincerely hope they stand by it.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Yuri Kofman and Shortstick1!

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

1994 F1 seasonJean Alesi broke his neck when he crashed his Ferrari while testing at Mugello on this day 20 years ago. His C2, C3 and C4 vertebrae were damaged in the accident at the Arrabbiata corner.

Doctors at the track initially failed to diagnose the injury, which was only discovered after Alesi’s mother told him to go to hospital for an X-ray. He was forced to miss the Pacific and San Marino Grands Prix while he recovered.

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 102 comments on “Red Bull out-developing Mercedes, claims Vettel”

    1. I get the impression the International Business Times is having a slow news day if they’re resorting to complaining about the length of the pre-race silence…
      Anyway, I’m really interested to see how this season’s development race turns out. Red Bull have clearly made lots of ground, and teams like McLaren and Williams seem to have more untapped potential as well. A lot of it may boil down to how much Mercedes have already extracted from their car, like Brawn did early in 2009.

      1. Brawn had the luxury of a factory budget and large number of staff to make a real push with development of the 2009 car as a result of Honda sacrificing the 2008 season to take advantage of the regulation change that was coming in 2009. However their resources were severely hit over the winter and that carried through the season with staff layoffs and no major sponsors or full manufacturer backing. The car was brilliant but got pegged back as they couldn’t keep development up over the course of the season – Ferrari, Mclaren and RedBull’s bigger budgets, staff numbers and resources really showed as the season progressed.

        Mercedes appear to have had a similar start to Brawn GP but will have the advantage of full manufacturer budget, no need for staff cuts. That will mean they should be able to keep up development up over the course of the season, in theory. Of course there are no guarantees their updates will work!

        1. the were also very fast last year at the start of the year, but history proves, since 2010, Mercedes have gone backwards as the year goes on, especially relative to redbull.

          1. Previous years where all about aero performance and getting your car to use those very dodgy tyres in a very specific working range without damaging them, this year is all about engine performance/drivability and efficiency, Merc have a superior engine to Renault and the PU is already homologated, this season is like no other we’ve had in recent years.

        2. @calum Excellent point, I didn’t realise that was a factor as well.

        3. Whats more significant about Mercs advantage over Brawns, is that Mercs advantage is the PU, a homologated part of the car. Renault cant suddenly make their PU even as strong as the Mercs, nevermind them making it stronger. Not only is the Merc engine stronger, but did any notice how fuel efficient it was on sunday despite being quicker and more drivable than the Renault?…..

          In 2009 Brawns advantage was all aero, so the big budget teams could catch up in that area. This year though, is an entirly different ball game.

      2. While not the biggest issue in F1, I was certainly squirming with discomfort in how something so sensitive in nature was handled so very poorly. It wasn’t just the silence, but Bob Constandurous babbling about on the speaker not realising he was on live international feed. While I sympathise with Bob’s logistical dramas, I just think that the touching sentiment was well and truly lost and for a professional sport, which F1 claims to be, it was very shambolic.

        1. I don’t know if they said a ‘moment’ or a ‘minute’ of silence but it was about 15seconds and too short. If you’re going to do it, do it properly I say.

          1. @bazza-spock I just replayed the sequence, it said 1 minute silence… One more funny thing, I think it was only Massa who ran from the back of the track to join it having told by Brundle… It was a farce

    2. Doctors at the track initially failed to diagnose the injury, which was only discovered after Alesi’s mother told him to go to hospital for an X-ray.

      After just reading that blog entry by Dr.Hartstein, it’s a bit funny..

      About drivers de-hydrating themselves and taking extreme measures to lose weight, let me say from personal experience (albeit not in a sporting environment) that not eating to lose weight can do very funny things to people under pressure. I’ve crash-dieted in the past and I’ve been in a handful of dangerous situations because of it, either in traffic or simply passing out without precedent. I really don’t want to see someone go off at Bahrain because they’re sweating, under pressure and have had an absolute minimum of energy consumed.

      But, knowing that this is something the FIA and teams have to solve, I say it’ll take an accident or without an accident about 5 years before something is done.

      1. True, it’s ridiculous what it has come to with the weight restrictions. I think minimum car weight should be completely separate from driver. For drivers, just make it like a driver package, say 90kg. If he weighs less than that, add ballast til 90kg. Problem solved.

        1. Your arguement is flawed – it’s far too sensible an idea for F1 to implement!

          1. @Ian W: hehe, a sad truth.

        2. The idea in prinicipal is good but ultimately is flawed. For example: “Hey, Lewis! For every kilo you lose, we can put an equal amount of balast on the floor of the car and lower the car’s center of gravity a mm.”

          Obviously the numbers are ones I pulled from nowhere, but there is definitely a correlation between the two. Losing weight would mean getting the car’s COG lower (or moving the balance fore or aft).

          1. Make them add the ballast to the chair. Problem solved!

            1. Absolutely.

    3. Yes, outdeveloping them, with an increasing stench of shady illegalities and similar dodgy “accidents”. I have never despised a team as much as I despise them.

      1. It took until the third comment for the Vettel/Red Bull conspiracy theories to appear. Come on guys, you’re slacking.

        1. Wow, you really care about people with other opinions. It’s good to know you’re always going to report when someone has a different opinion to you ;)

          1. Report? He said something, I replied. How is that different from you replying to me? I thought that was the point of these forums.

      2. No need to despise them OBE, not being a fan is enough.

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      31st March 2014, 3:24

      Finally Hartstein is talking sense. If what I’ve heard about drivers going to radical extremes to lose muscle mass and weight in general, then Formula One must address this, and fix this issue quickly and properly.

      Not some botched DRS, Pirelli tyre, or Double Points “solution”. The health of the drivers is far more important than the quality of the “show”. They need find a way to increase the minimum weight of the drivers, so that the engineers can’t simply tell the drivers to maintain the same anorexic weight, just so they can add some ballast to the car.

    5. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
      31st March 2014, 4:09

      Hopefully someone catches up with Mercedes, I don’t care if it is Red Bull, Ferrari, or Williams. If Hamilton and Rosberg win every race by 40 seconds all the excitement over the new engines will be wasted. I was hoping the new regs would increase competitiveness but that has definitely not been the case thus far. Rosberg is no match for Hamilton so I don’t imagine the fight between them will make up for one team dominating.

      1. @yesyesyesandyesagain It wasn’t that long ago that people were complaining about RBR’s domination. Truth of the matter is, Mercedes engine department and aero department and greater team have put together the best package given the huge amount of changes to the rule book this year. While the 40+ sec victories maybe boring, hats off to them for getting it so right. Look at RBR still fighting with Kintetic recovery issues and poor starts which has hampered every single season that I can remember they’ve been in competition. Renault also have a part to play in this, they’re very very behind the 8 ball. They will struggle to remain in F1 post 2014, because the deficit is too much to gain in 1 season, and all the good will in the world will not attract top teams like RBR to re-sign in 2015.

        Through all the gimicks, sport is the winner here, everyone thought the changes would bring the field closer together, what it is has done, is reset the playing field and the best team with the rule changes has risen to the top.

        1. @dragoll I’d be interested to understand what other engine option Red Bull have from 2015 (assuming their current contract isn’t longer than that anyway), surely Mercedes and Ferrari will not want to supply them and Honda will be unable in 2015 and possibly beyond depending on contract terms.

          1. This is what I’ve been thinking.
            Red Bull have been used to having a close relationship with Renault for years, they wouldn’t enjoy such a relationship with two engine manufacturers who have their own teams and are their rivals. They will also not want to play 2nd fiddle to McLaren and apparently Honda can only supply them anyway.

            They might have to stick with Renault by the looks of things at present, and you never know, Renault may claw some performance back. A new manufacturer may be on the cards but that’d be 2016 at the earliest. BMW, VW or Ford (Cosworth) could be my guesses if so.

            1. At the moment, the only independent supplier that does have an engine design ready to go would be Cosworth (although they currently lack the backing to put it into production).

              Whilst Porsche, who are part of the VW Group, claimed they considered an F1 program, they went for an LMP1 car instead (though the talk is that there is an abnormally high staff turnover rate on that project due to poor management, suggesting that program is not going well).
              As for BMW, I can’t see them entering again given that they are more focussed on trying to push the DTM series into the US market right now.

            2. @deej92 Porsche keep making noises at a potential return, however, now that F1 has gone back to V6 turbos, this does fit the mould of a lot more manufacturers and has a closer link to their production vehicles, if only by a tenuous link between the number of valves and the word “turbo”, as technically there will be 0% of any parts matching.

    6. Having seen that bit at the start with Vettel pushing Rosberg to the wall, I’m rather surprised it didn’t get a similar reaction to Schumacher vs Barrichello a few years back.

      1. Webber pushed Vettel a whole lot closer to the wall in Malaysia last year. It’s called racing.

      2. Because Vettel left Rosberg far more space than Schumacher ever did. Not to mention Schumacher pushed Rubens over the pit exit line, what if there had just been a car getting back on track there?

      3. Rosberg didn’t need to move. Other than panicking when Vettel moved towards him there was no reason not to stand his ground.

        The Schumacher / Barrichello incident was very different (especially given Barrichello had absolutely no room to start with).

      4. Vettel often does that chop at the start. Remember when he did it to Button in Japan? One day it may end badly for him, but yesterday was far less severe than Schumacher/Barrichello at least.

        1. Yes he does this very often actually.

          Sometimes if the other sees him do this and then tries to change direction, he again moves to block the other.

          Very dangerous indeed.
          All drivers should jus be requested to drive in a straight line from the start if passing or avoiding another car.

      5. He commented on this one post race. Basically he tried to get into Lewis’ tow – underestimated the starting performance from Rosberg and stopped moving to the right once he saw him. All in all it was close but I don’t think it was particularly dangerous or with a similar motivation MSC had when he pulled the move on BAR.

    7. Regarding the COTD. Why not penalize the team with negative points, say 25, the same as a race win? That way the driver wouldn’t suffer such a harsh penalty, because it isn’t his fault after all.

      1. Because there is no logic to what you suggest. It’s not the driver’s fault, but equally it’s not the fault of the guys back in the factory who build the car either, yet they get punished by a loss of constructors’ points.

        Unless you want to start punishing individuals for mistakes they make, it makes sense that the team is punished collectively. That includes the driver.

        1. Otherwise we would have to be consistant and only penalize the drivers (post race?) for bad driving, not the team, as we do now with handing out a stop and go, drive-through or 5 second penalty during a pitstop @toiago, @red-andy

    8. This season is like 2009. Brawn (Mercedes in this case) had best car for 1st half of season and then RBR caught up, and dominated for next 4 years.

      1. With the chassis they have according to experts i see the same but this time they have Ferrari along side them and also Mercedes but first things first lets see how This season goes

      2. @nin13 or more like 2000

    9. I do think penalties in two events is harsh, but otherwise agree with COTD. It’s a *team sport* people! For better or worse, team and driver have to sink or swim together.

    10. I’d love to see the data Sebastian is basing his statement on. Compared to the Aus GP, the fastest RBR car finished farther away from the fastest Mercedes…

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        31st March 2014, 8:16

        Also the Mercedes were far quicker than the Red Bull’s and they weren’t even stretching their muscles. They were just cruising, and Rosberg was able to pull out multiple second gaps to Vettel with ease. All the while being more fuel efficient.

        People think Red Bull will catch Mercedes by the mid year break, and I kind of wish it were true, because it’s not good to have one team utterly dominate, but I just can’t see it happening.

        Mercedes is just about evenly matched with RBR in the aero department and much further ahead in engine reliability, power and efficiency.

        1. @tophercheese21
          You can’t see it happening and Vettel can.

          I’ll go with Vettel. … :D

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            31st March 2014, 12:38

            Haha fair point! Just giving my 2c from the impressions I got from the GP yesterday.

            Just didn’t look like Mercedes were even trying to push their car. It was very impressive. I still feel Red Bull have a looooong way to go.

            But yeah, I’d say Vettel is far more qualified to say something on the matter than me! Haha.

          2. @jason12 don’t think vettel would be openly pessimistic about his teams chances this early…2nd race of the season: Vettel ‘ I dont think we will catch red bull’ . No, I dont think we would hear him say that, even if it were true

        2. I’d disagree that Merc are level pegging with Red Bull on aero, or downforce in particular. Red Bull’s cornering speeds and apparent grip level especially in wet conditions indicates they’re still top in the downforce stakes.

          I don’t think Merc are doing too bad in the aero department but the advantage they have on race day I’d suggest stems from their top end power and potentially more from their powertrain efficiency driven by the ERS where they seem to be the clear leader.

          As the season develops we may see Red Bull start to topple Merc on Saturdays although in a reversal of last year I doubt them being able to keep up that pace over race distances the way the Merc can.

          1. Merc’s advantages are definitely top end power, and probably also engine drivability, where Renault are still clearly suffering. With the MGU-K, the MGU-H, the turbo, and brake by wire, there’s a much wider range of drivability in the engines this year than last and it’s not something that Renault is yet on top of, but since that will mostly be down to software they’ll certainly have the ability to improve that despite the homologation now being passed. On the NBC broadcast! Steve Matchett was saying that Merc are rumored to be running at the full 15,000 RPMs allowed, while Renault teams are running nowhere near that still due to reliability issues when they run at full RPMs.

      2. But Ricciardo was driving it.

      3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        31st March 2014, 10:16

        @timi – Well, I think some of that is the fuel effect of an easier track on fuel, if we accept the fact that Mercedes is easier on fuel, some of it is the longer straights of Sepang and some of it is the Ricciardo versus Vettel effect.

        However Vettel is, as he’s apparently learnt from Alonso, playing mental games with Mercedes (as we saw with his claim that starting on the other side of the grid, despite the rain negating any advantage, would be an advantage off the line). The reality is is that the only steps Red Bull have taken have been in the form of reliability, not performance.

        The chassis was inherently excellent, and simply masked by the issues of testing; issues that were over-exaggerated by the media in a way that not only suggested Red Bull had an unreliable car, but a slow one. However it’s nice to know that the voices of reason rising above the rowdy mainstream media reports of testing, those of Autosport and Martin Brundle, also saw an inherently excellent chassis in the shape of the RB10. In reality it is probably actually Ferrari, not Red Bull, who have made the biggest performance steps since testing.

        Here are the facts: in race trim at Sepang, the W05 of Hamilton had nearly a second per lap advantage on the RB10; that is not going to be recovered any time soon, and with Mercedes likely to dominate Bahrain, Shanghai, Barcelona (maybe Vettel for Monaco?) and Canada, it is an uphill struggle for Red Bull, and that’s without further reliability woes. Whats more, the main source of deficit for Red Bull finds its form in an external supplier, Renault, so whilst they can develop their car and make it the undisputed most aerodynamically efficient car on the grid, key performance lies outside their control.

        For me, that is a political and plain untrue statement from Vettel set to get Hamilton dreaming of the RB10 with the theme from


        in the background…

        1. Ha Ha nice comment on “Jaws” . But why do you think Ferrari have upped their pace . I feel it was same in testing , Melbourne and Malaysia . But no one can discount RBR just yet.
          2012 comes to mind. They are resourceful , cunning and powerful with a hell of a driver also ;-) .

          1. In 2012 they benefited from no one driver or team being in control during the first half of the season. Alonso ended up ahead thanks to his consistency, but although he had pulled out a surprisingly big points gap he was clearly still vulnerable and had done so without any real car advantage. If the 2 Mercs win just about every race for a while, Red Bull and Vettel will have a much harder time pulling it back unless they have better reliability.

            1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              31st March 2014, 11:48

              @matt90 – I agree, many of the tracks between now and mid-season, apart from Monaco and Silverstone, I would class as lower downforce, and with Mercedes likely to dominate, Red Bull could find themselves behind Ferrari even. Once we arrive at the Red Bull end of the season in Singapore, it might already be too late for Red Bull and Vettel.

            2. @matt90 I brought out similarity to 2012 because of the huge advantage RBR got by singapore to say that they can make that learning curve and mix it with the top guys . Maybe the scenario is more close to 2009 with Brawn where Seb came 2nd at the end . But I doubt Lewis or Rosberg would like to leave it as close as Button once did ,especially with DoubleDhabi around !

            3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              31st March 2014, 13:25

              @hamilfan – Yes, I think it does bear greater resemblance to 2009, with Hamilton likely to go on a run of emphatic dominance in the coming races, but with a threat from Vettel in the closing stages.

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            31st March 2014, 11:43

            @hamilfan – Ferrari’s balance in testing was awful, hence Raikkonen, one of the grid’s most dexterous drivers, throwing in the fence. Their engine too was inconsistent in power delivery and thirsty on fuel, two things Ferrari appear to have since fixed, and they now claim that they will ahead of Red Bull in Bahrain mainly due to their new found fuel efficiency. I agree we have a similar scenario right now to 2012, with Mercedes taking McLaren’s place, but the gap between the top two teams is much larger, and with Silverstone and Monaco being the only higher downforce tracks between now a mid-season, some likely Mercedes dominance at Bahrain, China, Spain, Canada and Spielberg could put Mercedes comfortably ahead.

            1. @william-brierty
              Speilberg ? Oh Auto correct ..
              I guess Some Merc domination for atleast a few races then . Monza will be interesting for Red Bull this year with their low top speeds ;-).

            2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              31st March 2014, 13:21

              @william-brierty – Austria will both complement Mercedes superior top speeds on the three long straights and their superior fuel economy due to the stop-start nature of the track. At Monza this year we might just see the fastest F1 laptimes ever, with the new V6s rumoured to have a top speed of just under 400 kph.

            3. Unfortunately I don’t think we have had a comparable season for decades. It is certainly NOT like 2012 or 2009! In those instances the performance differentiator was aerodynamic, something that the teams could develop (Double/Blown Diffusers) whereas this year the differentiator is Engines. As the Engines have been homologated and changes can only be made on Safety/Reliability grounds, I fear the season is over.

              I think that the Mercedes/Redbull/Ferrari are already on a par aerodynamically.

              Anyone that thought the changes in this seasons regulation was going to bring the teams closer together was living in cloud cuckoo land. The teams have been as close as they ever were over the last few years and such a change in regulations was only going to hand one of the engine manufacturers a massive advantage.

      4. @timi Hamilton says Red Bull is already just as quick in the corners they are , just slower in a straight line and he thinks Renault will fix that

        1. Weren’t they slower in a straight line last year(s) too? They seem to prefer higher downforce for higher cornering speeds to higher top speeds as a team rule.

          For me I think it is a no-brainer that when you are coming from what they did (didn’t do) in winter testing, then of course now the development might be more rapid than other teams. They’re having to play catch-up and most people have predicted that with more time the RBR should be a force to be reckoned with. How much time is anybody’s guess since some of this depends on the Renault P/U but I don’t think SV is far off the mark with his comment. Obviously at some point over the last few years Mercedes were out developing the rest of the teams with their 2014 project.

    11. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      31st March 2014, 6:46

      Honestly, I think the best method of punishing teams for team mistakes without affecting the drivers is to make it a constructors points loss.

      That way it is affecting something the team cares about and not affecting the driver, of course this would not be effective against teams with no points but it could be done similarly to the Americas Cup where Oracle started effectively on -2 despite the scoreboard saying 0, so teams would have to score X points before they registered as scoring any.

      1. It still wouldn’t work, because that means there is still something to win by doing so. Ferrari, for example gets enough money that they do not need to win the WCC (I guess the same goes for RBR), so if given the choice they could just “take one for the WDC” and help the driver @jarred-walmsley

        I agree with the COTD, that such a penalty can only be punishing both driver and team. After all, when a driver does something wrong there is no one sensibly arguing that they should just dock the driver his points and let the team keep its (which happens with every time penalty given).

        That said, I think the penalties given this race were over the top. Both 5 second ones were questionable IMO, and the stacking of penalties for Ricciardo/RBR also seems messy. I could understand if they gave the team the stop and go (like they did) for the pitstop thing and then would dock them points for having their car on track with a FW almost lodged under the wheel for a whole lap, but they didn’t. Instead they applied several penalties for one offence, which makes it strange and does not give off a clear message about what and why penalties were handed at all.

    12. Let me add to articles from AMuS (german) offering a bit more background to the fuel flow thing and the appeal and one interesting point: 95% of sensor issues have occurred at RBR, STR and Lotus, the 3 teams that decided to make changes to the sensor after calibration to fit it into the car in a slightly different way – hinting that maybe this influenced the working of the sensors.

      1. 95% .. haha, that sounds like a figure taken out of blue sky. Horner confirmed Perez also had a failure. Let’s say that’s to only non-Renault failure (which it probably isn’t). For the 95% number to be true, that means RBR, STR and Lotus have had 19(!) failures already? Unlikely.

        1. Well, haven’t read article @bascb linked to yet @me4me; I do agree 95% is a very nice round number; then again 19 failures would be about 6 per team; two race weekends in, we know RBR had trouble with both cars in AUS already – 2 up for them on Friday, Saturday,Sunday 2 = 4 in addition to failures they and Lotus had in Malaysia; testing could have given quite a few failures too, didn’t STR have troubled running with fuel pump/sensor? RBR and Lotus hardly got to running them :p though maybe that was due to odd install of sensor?

          Having read the article I’d say that in the end, the exact number isn’t so important, but if the vast majority of broken sensors are with teams that do something special when installing them, it might be worth checking the ‘special’.

        2. Yeah, its a rounded number and the specifics are not given (I guess no team wants to talk about it openly too much) @me4me. As AMuS have in the past shown they have good sources with all the german language teams (including Sauber, Red Bull – at least the top guys and Vettel, Mercedes, and part of FI – Hulkenberg) I do think there is ground to believe that a majority of issues are with these 3 teams.
          As for Horner “confirming” sensor issues for Perez, well its not surprising to hear from Horner, but I would only call it a confirmation if it came either from the FIA or from the Force India itself rather than a competitor who has clear interest in pointing out its not only their issue. Oh, and I would really like you to point me to where that “confirmation” is taken from (links?) as I have not seen it anywhere.

          The issue remains, that as @bosyber mentions, when the majority of issues are with teams who have (slightly) changed the sensors fitting then maybe that is (part of) the problem, not the sensors as such.
          The article also states that none of the other teams having issues with them ever had more than 1,5% deviation, while Red Bull had 4% in AUS.

          1. @bascb, you’re right, it’s Horners word. Not a proven fact. But not totally unlikely anyway. Here is the link

    13. So was the driver who was passing out Bianchi as he was “sick” from friday through the entire weekend? I know he’s just a bit shorter than BUT, SUT, HUL, and CHI, but I would hope his training was okay or it was in fact a sickness of sorts not derived from dieting…

    14. @rigi In response to CotD, while i agree in principle and financial penalties aren’t much use, how about constructor’s points? May be unpopular, but i see some advantages. Here’s what i wrote in the other thread on the penalty.

      It’s too late now as the rules have been applied as they are written. But is there an argument for punishing the team separately from the driver? For example, for unsafe release the team is ‘fined’ 5 constructors points, or points equal to the team’s highest finish with one car, or 50% of the team’s highest race points score, or whatever formula is deemed fair and equivalent between all the teams.

      1. @keithdin, while the teams get money based on WCC, the prestige and commercially biggest hit is the WDC; teams might well decide it is more profitable to sacrifice the WCC to gain in the WDC.

        Ferrari get enough money regardless of where they finish in WCC, maybe RBR nowadays too, and perhaps even Merc (though they have other motivation to want to win the WCC), that they can easily afford to do just that, for example.

        1. True, there is always that danger, particularly later in the year where they might be competing for a drivers championship but be out of contention (or have a large safety margin in front and behind) in constructors.

          But there is still a lot of prestige for constructors championship – for example i’m pretty sure this year Ferrari would settle for any championship given how long it’s been since they won one.

          And also, in this instance it was an operational error that caused the penalty, not intentionally sacrificing one championship for another. So it’s not something that could be intentionally exploited, and there must be other examples where this would apply.

    15. I read Hulkenberg’s caption as “10 pints”…
      Does an extra 5kg really make a blind bit of difference? I mean is Button consistently a second slower, or using way more fuel, than Magnussen? No. So let the drivers eat properly, instead of the relentless micro-management and fun-sucking. At least put the geeky nagging engineers on the same diet, see how they like it.

      1. geeky nagging engineers

        Bit of a strong reaction to somebody doing their job.

        1. When ‘doing your job’ becomes harmful for someone else, you need to find another way.

    16. Exactly and maybe also a fine. The driver realising the situation stopped immediately to comply with the safety regulation, why should he now take further punishment for the team.

    17. Looking at the 1994 feature, was there any sense at the time of impending disaster, or that the cars were too dangerous? Or was it just regarded as bad luck that Lehto and Alesi had been seriously injured in testing crashes?

      Lehto’s return to racing, and his first attempt at a standing start in the Benetton, played its part in the dreadful events at Imola.

      1. I do recall worries that the cars would be difficult to handle since everyone had been reliant on traction control over a mechanically good suspension @bullfrog, and the 1st races showed that Williams clearly lost a lot (but that meant others had a chance), I think, but it has been 20 years, so I can’t say for certain now, and at the time it was only the 2nd F1 season I consistently watched.

      2. I would say no.

        There were predictions before the season about big accidents. But there were big ones in the seasons with active suspension so it’s not like they were rare events.

        Even after the big collision at Interlagos between Irvine, Verstappen & Brundle the talking point was “look at how strong the cars are after something so big” instead of “these big accidents are happening too frequently”. There was an over-confidence that the drivers were safe from serious harm because no one had suffered serious injuries for almost 10 years.

        As I’ve said elsewhere on this site: The “ancient era of Formula 1” ended on May 1 1994. It was like a meteor hit the earth that day.

    18. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      31st March 2014, 9:46

      Wow, yesterday was surprising. Not so much in the result itself, but in the seventeen second gap between Hamilton and Rosberg. Had someone said that one Mercedes would finish seventeen seconds ahead of the other before the race, I would have suggested that Rosberg finished ahead of Hamilton struggling with tyre degradation, but no. It appears I have been brainwashed by the Sky F1 pundits into thinking that Lewis is too hard on the car! But did Rosberg not have an issue? He used more fuel than Hamilton but found himself seventeen seconds behind and, for much of the race, in the sights of Vettel; how does that happen? Maybe we’ve just forgotten what an incredible racing driver Lewis Hamilton is? When he’s happy, knows he’s doing a good job and has got a “sweet balance” as he described it after the race, he’s invariably the best racing driver in the world, which just confirms the value of operation Hamilton appeasement. He’s great at “wow” qualifying laps, “do-or-die” maneuvers and extracting the maximum from his car, but pace modulation and race control were never Hamilton strong points; are they now? Yesterday affirmed two suspicions of mine: 1) that Hamilton is indeed the title favourite and 2) his main title challenger, if he can maintain the internal team momentum, is Vettel, not Rosberg.

      And that is your Radio 4 style “F1 Thought of the Day” with me, WilliamB.

      1. The way I read it was that Merc wanted to keep the RBR pushing to its limits just in case that would trigger a failure on it. They always had enough to pull away if they needed and keeping Rosberg baiting Vettel would also give them good data, preserve their engine a bit (Lewis didn’t race in AUS so he was fine), keep their drivers from fighting and valuate just how much the RBR can push.

      2. At one point LH was told NR was having rear tire issues so he (LH) should watch out for that too. I just wonder if this was just NR’s setup at this particular track that had him using his rears a little more, and if the next track might be different.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          31st March 2014, 14:37

          @robbie – Yes, I would imagine that would have been some tangible reason behind that seventeen second gap, because it rather goes against both testing and practice form in the race runs, although Hamilton was, marginally, stronger in those race runs on Friday, but not to the tune of seventeen seconds. Rosberg used more fuel than Hamilton and simply appeared not to have the performance of #44 car, although, as I said, Hamilton described his race balance as “sweet”, and we know the value of Hamilton appeasement. In essence, when Hamilton is comfortable he has the potential to be every bit as imperious as Vettel was last year.

      3. @william-brierty
        Spot on but i may add Fernando too into the list of WDC Contenders as Reliability is key which is what Ferrari has
        Currently Mercedes is the fastest car by a second over its rivals sounds too big but i think RBR will be there So we may see a 2010 showdown Style between SV and LH. Lets wait and watch the show.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          31st March 2014, 18:09

          @harsha – Oh my dear chap, Fernando will be right there, look, I’ve done the maths…

          Chaos(new technology + premature systems) – (cerebral racing + eyebrows) = Alonso’s got a chance!

    19. Re: Driver weight loss.

      Making a higher mandatory minimum weight limit won’t do anything to address the situation since lighter drivers will have the advantage of placing extra ballast on the floor of the car and drivers will still be under pressure to maintain stick figures.

      If they want to do something about the weight issue they can have 2 minimum weights: The CAR must be no less than 610 kg, the DRIVER AND HIS/HER SEAT must weight no less than 90 kg. The weights are not combined.

      Any ballast to make (minimum driver + seat weight) = minimum combined weight has to be placed in a specific location within the cockpit and at a minimum height from the ground reference plane.

    20. Well that’s about as clear and loud a warning bell over F1’s financial unsustainability as you’re ever going to get, isn’t it? I mean, there’s lots to dislike about Jean Todt (like the fact that there’s no way he should be married to a woman of Michelle Yeoh’s calibre – she was mine I tell you!) but when the head of the FIA comes out publicly in this manner… say now, wasn’t there a former head of FIA who warned about F1 finances only to have his kinky sex life dragged out in public while at loggerheads with a certain short British fellah? Just saying.

      And speaking of sneaky tricky, how healthy is it for the sport when it’s financial directors meet with one(!) of the team principals to discuss its future?

      Seriously, I think my brain blows a fuse every time I hear someone say how Ecclestone has been good for the sport.

      1. A bit fuzzy in the fact department but basically on the right path @maciek.

        The only way to get F1 out intensive car is to remove the giant parisitic tumor growing on its back.

    21. “We do have strength and that’s why we are able to keep teams behind us”…Which teams Jenson?Williams and Toro Rosso? And you call that strength? What about the 40secs behind FI? It’s an embarrassement for such an illustrious and historic team like McLaren.There’s a lot of work to be done, otherwise McLaren will become an erstwhile British glory (like the original Lotus).

    22. That ‘minute’ silence was miles too short and far too irreverent

      1. Mr win or lose
        31st March 2014, 18:11

        True. It reminds me of the eleven seconds of silence for Mandela at the World Cup draw last year.

    23. yay, i got my first COTD :D
      thanks @keithcollantine

      1. @rigi You’re welcome. :P

        1. @willwood i’m sorry, i only just noticed ou made the round-up! i thank you, sir!

      2. what is COTD?? i know there is a COTA

    24. F1 Savaged for ‘Worst Minute’s Silence Ever’ Before Malaysia Grand Prix

      That’s a shame, I myself timed this one right now and it was 30s only… even Bernie looked surprised that it was over so soon…

    25. Re comment of the day, fine the team 100k or dock them five points from the constructors if they have any, they will soon sit up, even 100k for Red Bull will get the team boss jumping on the pit crew to make it right.
      Also, perhaps the FIA should require all teams to demonstrate their pit stop procedures under controlled environment and if any practices that are highlighted as too dangerous or not within safety margins for the FIA then order a rethink. So things like a universal approach on release, all staff to have their hands up and wear bright gloves or something. I know it may sound daft, but to rely on teams to develop their own systems is proving very dangerous.

    26. Red Bull are not as close to Mercedes as they think, or at least are publicly admitting. Nico had some sort of issue or was intentionally running slow in Sepang, and Lewis was cruising for 90% of the race, both probably could have gone quicker.

    Comments are closed.