Red Bull “have a fantastic car” – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Red Bull will be very competitive once they find straight-line speed to go with their cornering performance.

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

Merc: ‘Red Bull the benchmark’ (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: “I have no doubts at all that Renault are going to fix that and when they do, you’re going to see a big race between us and the Bulls. They still have a fantastic car. I’ve looked at the GPS; they had the same speed as us through all the corners.”

Driver rivalry will boil over – Wolff (ESPN)

Toto Wolff: “You cannot be complacent because we have seen a Red Bull right up our arse here. If you consider they have missed out on two thirds of the testing it was a necessary wake-up call for us.”

Overtaking your team-mate (MotorSport)

Stirling Moss: “In his shoes I’d have done exactly the same as Massa.”

Lotus believes McLaren is ‘catchable’ (Autosport)

“Racing for tenth is not what we want to do, but when you look at where teams like McLaren are, they certainly look very catchable.”

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen will learn from Malaysian Grand Prix error (The Guardian)

“McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier has admitted to locking his rookie driver Kevin Magnussen in a room over grand prix weekends and giving him a pep talk.”

Petronas comes of age (New Straits Times)

“Affected by the country’s mourning over the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 tragedy, attendance dropped to the lowest in history with just 62,340 spectators present on Sunday, a 25 per cent drop from last year’s.”

Early day motion 1194 (Parliament)

“That this house opposes the staging of the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix due to ongoing human rights violations in that country; notes that Human Rights Watch’s 2014 World Report highlighted that Bahrain’s human rights record regressed in key areas in 2013 drawing particular attention to arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture of activists, prosecution and harassment of government critics and a failure to hold those guilty of human rights abuses to account; expresses deep concern that in previous years Bahrain has implemented a severe crackdown before and during the Grand Prix, restricting freedom of movement of persons in the country, detaining and deporting foreign journalists and conducting mass arbitrary detentions in towns close to the Formula 1 circuit; recalls with concern that previous Grand Prix have coincided with the extra-judicial killing of protester Salah Abbas in 2012 and the arbitrary imprisonment and alleged sexual abuse in custody of protester Rihanna al Mousawi in 2013; further expresses disappointment at the continued failure to hold security forces to account for these abuses, as well as the arrest, detention and torture of 27 employees of the Bahrain International Circuit in 2011; and urges the Government to make strong representations to try and prevent the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix from going ahead.”


Comment of the day

To what extent is over-complication F1’s biggest problem now?

F1 has produced great races in its history. But rule changes after rule changes brought F1 in a position where overtaking was getting harder and harder which caused even more rule changes that have done little to improve the sport, or had no positive impact whatsoever.

For me it’s getting a bit frustrating. All these changes to artificially change the racing DRS, double points, tyre rules… It makes me a bit sad that we can’t have simple racing that anybody can enjoy.

A friend of mine who is into cars, but not F1 was joining me Sunday morning after half the race and he had literally no chance of understanding half of what’s going on without explanation. It’s tiresome.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Majormilou, Nico Savidge and Ripping Silk!

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

Five years ago today Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the results of the Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton had originally been classified third after Jarno Trulli was penalised for overtaking him during a Safety Car period. But it was later discovered McLaren had decided to allow Trulli to pass Hamilton and had denied doing so when asked by the stewards.

Today is also three-times world champion Jack Brabham’s 88th birthday.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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

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87 comments on “Red Bull “have a fantastic car” – Hamilton”

  1. I have never understood the derision that team orders get. I wouldnt have minded it if much of it was consistent, but it never is.

    People are, especially F1 fans, are hypocrites. Vettel got lambasted for not obeying team orders, while his then teamate Mark Webber was praised for doing the same a year earlier. Massa has much derided for following team orders, but now he is praised for disobeying team orders. Nico was praised for adhering to Ross Brawn’s chime in on the radio at Sepang last year, I would like to see what happens later in the year when a similar scenario crops up at Merc.

    I understand that circumstances play a huge part in people’s emotion for any given time, which leads to these inconsistent responses to team orders. However, the point is that, you cant agree with team orders when its convienient and disagree with it when it not. Team orders are team orders, make up your bloody minds for God’s sake, you either agree with its validity at all times regardless of circumstance or you dont. Period.

    F1 is a team sport. I havent seen anything out there to suggest that it isnt. Sure racing drivers will be racing drivers, but the team pay them a salary to do a job. Just like any job, you are obliged to meet set expectations and be willing to accept orders. I personally feel that, the team’s interest lie ahead of the driver’s interests. Money is earned through the constructors championship, a team has every right to whatever they please with their drivers, and it is the drivers duty to follow. Sure, wheel to wheel battles between teamates is great to watch, but we have to be realistic here.

    1. Jay your opinion is in the minority. Team orders is a grey area not black and white, mostly because of the wdc which is an individual persuit that the teams sometime hang their own teammember out for… its all about egos and ethics and is complex. As fans of sport it is ok to be biased and maybe even abit hypocritical, this is entertainment, not life and death stuff.

    2. I think it’s a case of underdog vs favorite. Vettel disobeyed team orders while being the absolute favorite, then-triple and reigning World Champion who regularly kicked Webber’s butt, so gallows were built. Webber did the same thing while being the underdog, so it was seen as an act of courage and defiance. I don’t agree with that view, but I think that’s what goes through many people’s minds.

      As for team orders in general, I agree with them when it’s an obvious situation. Driver X is fighting point-by-point for the championship, it’s one of the last races, his teammate is in 5th place in the standings and 40 points behind, then yeah… Felipe, X is faster than you. But not at the beginning of the season, and not just to avoid the risk of collision for the team.

      And in this particular case, Massa can be criticized for first asking the team to hold his teammate back, and then ignoring the team’s instruction to let him through. He can’t have it both ways.

      1. “But not at the beginning of the season, and not just to avoid the risk of collision for the team”

        If it was a front running team like Merc, RBR or even Ferrari, I could agree with you. But for the likes of Williams, every point counts, it could be difference that leads to finishing higher in the WCC. If I was Claire Williams, I would have given Felipe an ear full.

        For a sport that prides on its so called professionalism, at the core of it, time and again, F1 has been found wanting.

        Gary Anderson’s article on Autosport pretty much sums up the team orders situation.

        1. Yeah, but it’s not all about points either. The Bottas-Massa duel was one of the highlights of the race, they were on-screen for quite some time, and later there was a lot of discussion. If it would’ve been just Massa automatically letting him through, Alonso style, nobody would care. As a team, I would rather have an entertaining driver duel that captures attention than simply the mathematical way to add more points.

          1. As a team that is struggling financially, every chance to finish higher in constructors standings should be taken. They are running a business. Would Massa agree to a pay cut if this move cost Williams a place in constructors standings and corresponding additional revenue at the end of the year?

            F1 would continue on without Williams if they cannot raise the required funds for next season. Drivers would try to find a seat in a team that would be on the grid. Increasing entertainment value of F1 in general is FIA’s worry and not for Williams or any other team. What you mentioned above “as a team” is actually your view “as a spectator”

          2. Not all the money from the teams comes from the constructors championship. They primarily have sponsors for the team as a whole, and for each driver in particular. If they have a very clear number 1 and number 2 drivers, they lose appeal. I’m sure Massa’s sponsors don’t want to sponsor a lap dog for Bottas, or at least there’d be fewer sponsors paying less money than if he’s given equal rights. And team sponsors would also prefer two strong drivers duking it out and attracting attention. “As a team”, I would rather have that, and risk the once-every-many-years-if-ever collision between teammates.

    3. @jaymenon10 Completely agree with what you’ve said. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent too much time doing a business degree, but I always like to approach issues like team orders from the perspective of a team principal, and I always seem to conclude that prioritising a team result over the individual driver’s efforts is more important than letting drivers have a blast on track and potentially ruin a race weekend.

      1. Hm, maybe it is, yes. I on the other side have spent enough time as actually being the team principal/manager to know that it can really put down the efforts and team spirit if you DO use team orders @ciaran, @jaymenon.

        1. @bascb: You are right. As team-orders are used up until now in F1, with apparently no consequences, what so ever, if You disobey, they are very harmful to the teams total working spirit and internal cooperation. Either You don’t use them at all, only attracting the drivers attention to the fact that they must take care of each other, not to collide. Or You enforce them, and demand them to be followed or it has severe consequences. In many other situations where an employee blatantly disobeys his boss, like Massa did, it will lead to a written warning first time and unemployment the second time. In F1 I clearly go for the first solution: It must be so embarrassing for a teams pit wall to issue a team order on a public communications channel and be ignored. They hire the driver to race, so save Yourselves the embarrassment, shut the f… up and let him race.

          1. It all depends in how big a part of your business depends on your workers doing their work with dedication and using their brain, skill and intelligence though @palle.
            But I fullly agree that either you use them and stick with them (see Brawn and the Merc guys last year) or rather refrain from their usage because there is not enough to be won. If you issue them and get ignored it will hurt the one giving them (reason for me to believe Horner is not a great team principal despite the success) and the team spirit.

    4. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      2nd April 2014, 6:17

      agree @jaymenon10: massa should get fired!

      1. Massa as far as i am concerned was worried about his result,
        the team thought they just might be able to attack button and receive a few more points,
        they even stated that in the likely hood of Botta not being able to pass Button then then they would revert back to statuesque…
        so should have Massa given him the chance or not is really what its about…

        1. “they even stated that in the likely hood of Botta not being able to pass Button then then they would revert back to statuesque…”
          For this to succeed You need a trust between the drivers on an impossible level or a clear knowledge that disobeying will cost the job.

    5. @jaymenon10 for me its pretty simple when I support or don’t support team orders. Overall I agree with team orders because Formula 1 is a team sport, this is undeniable. If you disagree with team orders then by definition you disagree with the teams racing with more than 1 car

      Situation when team orders are damaging to the sport: when the team sacrifices one drivers position for the other purely to donate points blatantly to their preferred driver

      Situation when team orders are acceptable, necessary and adds to the spectacle: when the team manage their drivers according to each drivers strategy for the good of the team. Massa not letting Botass through on the weekend was not team play and deprived all us spectators from seeing a potential duel bottas vs button

      I say let team mates race…but sometimes a team should be able to manage the shortsightedness of their drivers and skip an inter-team battle that would harm the team and fight for the bigger picture

    6. The main problem with F1 and team orders is that only half of the competition is a team sport in terms of the whole team. The other half, the WDC, is much more individual. This, along with driver egos, creates a conflict.

      For me, the best way to resolve this would be to say “One car per team”. It is still a team sport: The team is needed to develop the car, change tyres, strategise etc, but there is only one championship. (The other way to achieve this would be to drop the WDC, but I doubt many would go for that). While ever you have the conflict of interests, you will not get a consistent approach (from drivers or teams) to team orders.

    7. Rui Pedro Moreira
      2nd April 2014, 11:26

      I will never forget the 1999 season. Ferrari had a very competitive car, perhaps the best car in the grid (that eventually gave them the constructors championship that year), but if it wasn’t for stubborn early season team orders we would have seen Eddie Irvine become world champion after a brake failure that put Schumacher out of contention for most of the season.

      So yeah, I’m agaisnt team orders ever since.

      1. Eddie Irvine battled for the 1999 WDC after benefiting with two wins resulting from team orders (one by Salo and another by Schumacher) – he was hardly a driver who lost out because of team orders. I can’t recall any early season team orders impacting negatively on him.

        1. I must say that every time I look back on the 1999 season (it happens more often than you’d imagine every Malaysian GP since that season was the first for Sepang on the Championship and played a key role in that year’s title race) I shudder with horror at just how close we had Eddie-freaking-Irvine being inducted into F1’s pantheon of champions.

    8. All you need to see is the reaction from everyone to give you an indication of what is right and wrong.

      Massa’s fastest time was a 1’44.897, Bottas’s a 1’45.475. So Massa was the faster driver over the whole race. He earned himself track position and thought that Bottas would probably not get through past Jensen. He is fighting to stay in F1 and has a lot to prove this year. People respect this

      In the Webber/Vettel position last year they were both being told to slow down and hold position, which Vettel directly disobeyed, in contrast to Rosberg who followed team orders. People forget how young Vettel is and this showed a lack of maturity in my eyes.

      The whole beauty of F1 is that no matter how predictable it can be, at the same time it can be completely unpredictable. F1 is the sum of all it’s parts, not just a few overtakes on a Sunday afternoon. As soon as you get this, the whole thing is so much more enjoyable.

      1. Massa’s fastest time was a 1’44.897, Bottas’s a 1’45.475. So Massa was the faster driver over the whole race.

        That’s an enormous leap of logic right there.

      2. @paulipedia & @jerseyf1 – An enormous leap, JerseyF1, and a faulty one by Pauli. Keith provides the stats for you.

        Bottas was faster on about 35 of the 56 laps (I checked most but not all laps). And, crucially, he was faster than Massa the entire last (4th) stint. I don’t think Massa should be fired or it should be a continuing issue. But he should have moved, Bottas was faster.

        1. I was talking about the fastest overall lap.

          Massa was stuck behind Jenson, which would have compromised his tyres and lap times in the final stint. Bottas in my opinion would never have got past Jensen. The circuit proved very difficult to overtake.

          If Massa had let him through he would be now be being castigated and called a quitter. Williams have put him in a tough position which is a little unfair. Also at that point if you combine all lap times then Massa was still faster and always will be. This just goes to show that stats don’t always tell the whole truth.

      3. @paulipedia “In the Webber/Vettel position last year they were both being told to slow down and hold position, which Vettel directly disobeyed, in contrast to Rosberg who followed team orders. People forget how young Vettel is and this showed a lack of maturity in my eyes.”
        This is a total misconception – The year before Vettel won the championship with a smaller margin than he gained by pulling the stunt on Webber, and he was after all leading Webber 3-0. Off course he should do it. His only error was to try to soften it up by looking and acting guilty and sorry. He should have put on an Ayrton attitude and just shrugged it off – “I might need the points at the last race, and I’m the Champion, so shut up and lets race!”
        The reason many people got so angry on any primarily English speaking forums was that the majority preferred Webber over Vettel. And do I need to remind You that Webber in the past had ignored team-orders and had stated that he would ignore them in the future also. So holding it against Vettel, that he is a true racing driver in that situation is a bit hypocritical. Rosberg obeying shows me he probably isn’t going to make it and win a championship. Nice guy, talented, etc. but mentally not in the same league as Lewis, Vettel, Alonso, Kimi, Senna etc.

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    2nd April 2014, 0:57

    I can totally relate to comment of the day. The number of times I have sat down with my parents in the last 3 years to watch the GP only for me to have to explain all these different rule changes that don’t add to the racing is very frustrating. I don’t blame them for a second though.

    1. How did you have trouble explaining the double points at the Malaysian GP?! There were none. As for tyres, they wear out, which makes the car slower just like the past 50 years of F1. And DRS, they push a button which gets rid of the rear wing. If you want dumb racing go and watch any of the thousands of other racing formulas in the world. Half the excitement of F1 is the tactics and innovation and listening to Main Brundle talk you through it.

      1. Well, there was Daniel’s fuel flow meter.

      2. This is all so easy for you to comprehend though^ Imagine someone new to the sport and all of a sudden tyres don’t just wear out, but they change colour, both colours must be used and you have to start on the exact same set of tyres used in qualifying, what’s the meaning of it all?
        People don’t like general statements of rules thrown at them, they want understanding, they want to know why that rule is there and it’s this part, the explanation of what the rule’s for, that i find the toughest part of conveying any sort of interest to someone else. This where f1 is failing it’s fans, all too complicated and cumbersome.

        1. Well put @naz3012 . I think this is a big part of the problem – the fact that a lot of the rule changes are (or appear to be) totally arbitrary. Why is the fuel flow this amount and not another amount etc…?

          It used to be possible to explain why a car looked a certain way – it’s to make it quicker or safer. That was it. Now, with the dong-like noses it’s really hard to explain. I guess grooved tyres were similar (and it shows that crazy rules are nothing new).

      3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        3rd April 2014, 8:43

        No I wasn’t talking about the Malaysian GP specifically although I mentioned it over the winter and they thought it was nonsensical although they understood that rule change. It’s DRS and KERS they never got. Tyres as @naz3012 pointed out were also very confusing.

    2. I’ve never been a fan of DRS but this weekend there was one particular occasion where the car just got alongside the other and the rest was up to the drivers; that’s how it should be but realistically difficult to get so precisely implemented.

  3. I assume that parliamentary motion is just a token gesture, I’m not sure how these things work? I notice it has no Conservative support in any case.

    1. They always arc up when its WAY too late… token gestures with no real momentum from politicians. They should just ignore it like they do the rest of the year, or do something!

  4. So, if Mercedes uses Petronas fuel and oil, and Mclaren uses Mobil what do Force India and Williams use?
    It’s seems like a lot of hard work for Mercedes HPP to tune their engines for two different brands of lubricants.

    1. There are power economy and reliability gains to be had, often cars will run different oils to their sponsor, if putting oil X works better and Shell/Total/whoever cant reproduce it, they will use it. Ams oils used to supply synthetic oil to one of the major oil sponsored teams in the 90’s.

  5. Forgive me as I’m not up to standards on my foreign politics, but could this Early day motion 1194 actually stop the running of a grand prix outside of the UK if it actually gains traction? I don’t quite see how it could work but it would be great if something productive could happen from it.

    1. Neil (@neilosjames)
      2nd April 2014, 2:55

      The UK has no power to do that, but they could in extreme cases stop the British teams taking part. At South Africa 1985 Renault and Ligier didn’t go because of the French government being strongly anti-apartheid (not sure if they were actually banned from taking part or just ‘strongly convinced to not go’.

      But nothing will happen… the motion is purely a token gesture by a few opposition MPs, and I believe they do one every year.

      1. Those teams were pressured (and probably threatened, most likely in Renault’s case) by the French government- both of which had funding from the government itself not to go to South Africa in 1985, which they didn’t do. However Alain Prost (who finished 3rd in the race) and Phillippe Streiff, both French drivers driving for British teams, went to Kyalami that year.

    2. Early Day Motions are generally a way of drawing attention to a particular issue rather than enabling any concrete action. The motion “urges the government” to do something about the Bahrain GP but does not bind them.

      How useful EDMs actually are in serving their purpose is debatable. Some MPs don’t sign them at all because they feel that they are ineffective, and worse, give the impression that something is being done when actually nothing is.

    1. Sadly, that sounds like peanuts money in those spheres. It’s something they’ve started developing back in 2008 if I remember correctly, and after all these years, it’s sold for a fraction of team’s yearly budget.

      1. “Williams will receive a 3.5 percent share in the sales of the company for the next five years, and 1.5 percent for the following five years, GKN said in a statement.”

        1. So what does that mean? I’m serious, it’s a bit too convoluted for me. :)

      2. I think its a pretty good deal forthem Trotter. They get a lot more than they bought it for, free cash to invest in F1, and get part of future revenues.

        1. This time, next year, we’ll be millionaires (billionaires), eh? :)

  6. That this house opposes the staging of the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix due to ongoing human rights violations in that country

    We all knew this would happen, people would forget about the ongoing troubles in Bahrain until the week before the grand prix and then get on their high horses asking for the race not to go ahead. The troubles in Bahrain are exactly what that quote says, “ongoing”, so people have had plenty of time to try put a stop to the race. They should have been protesting the GP and parliament should have been lobbying papers like this for months and months now. It is too late to do anything on the Tuesday before the race when all the teams, drivers and their freight are already en route to the race.

    1. yeah, a token gesture with no meaning apart from making the PMs voting for it feel all warm inside for “doing something” @geemac.

      Either they should just not even notice F1 and / or Bahrain like they did for most of the rest of the year, or do something on time, and meaningful if they had really wanted to act on injustice there. Maybe we should take it as the april fools day in parliament.

    2. @GeeMac I agree. “Russia is aggressive! Bahrain violates human rights! The new engines are not as loud as V8!” All these statements were not less true or less relevant 3, 6 or 12 months ago. Democratic countries and F1 should work on long-term solutions and avoid knee-jerk reactions.

  7. Chuckling at the Guardian article referring to a team called “McClaren” and their young Finnish driver….

    1. The Guardian shouldn’t be allowed to write about F1. Ever.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        2nd April 2014, 10:40

        @craig-o – You didn’t need the “about F1. Ever.” bit of that comment.

  8. The Motorsport Magazine article kinda made an impression on me: I was thinking exactly the same way as Frankel, i.e. you should respect your team’s decisions, even if you don’t agree with them. However, Stirling Moss makes a good point, that if it’s not in your contract to let the other driver come past if the team so desires, then there’s no obligation for you to move over.

    Ultimately the team is at fault here, in my opinion, because the teams have a certain responsibility to provide us with good racing, and fixing the order of the field with team orders is just the complete opposite of that. However, I’m not sure if a ban on team orders is the way to go (look how well that went in 2010…). Then again, there’s really no other way to ensure that team orders are cleared from the sport – at least at the moment there is one team that lets their drivers race, and that’s McLaren.

    So yeah, maybe Massa was right to ignore team orders, and maybe Vettel was right to ignore team orders last year – I still find it a tough call. Nonetheless, I still have massive respect for Nico Rosberg staying behind Hamilton last year.

    1. All of this reminds me why lifting the ban on team orders is a good thing. I think it emphasises the human aspect of racing and the characters of the drivers, and instead of coded messages, the viewer can now see what’s going on and there’s less speculation.

      The Massa situation and the williams team dynamic going forward is actually very interesting.

    2. @andae23 Great and well-considered comment!

      Even though I usually defend drivers, who disobey team orders, I agree that it is not a straightforward issue. Teams obviously want to score as many points as possible and win races and titles. Drivers want the same thing, only for themselves, not for the team. Yes, teams pay the bills but drivers bring the cars home so you cannot say that drivers’ wishes don’t matter, just like you cannot ignore the workers’ voice in a factory.

      The main problem is that letting his team mate past is against the nature of every driver. It’s like telling an experienced F1 blogger that he shouldn’t write an article because there’s another guy, who knows more about the issue and can do it better. Only worse. Moreover, you never know if you’ll ever get another opportunity. Salo never won a race and Massa never got a chance to win after the 2010 German GP, too.

      Of course, there are specific circumstances, when only one of both drivers is fighting for the title or when drivers are on different strategies. But neither was the case on Sunday. Massa was asked to let Bottas past just because the latter would PERHAPS be able to fight Button.

      I would say so: Drivers, who respect team orders, deserve a lot of praise for being able to resist their instincts but I don’t blame those, who disobey them. Like Bottas in the 2013 Australian GP.

      1. Drivers, who respect team orders, deserve a lot of praise for being able to resist their instincts but I don’t blame those, who disobey them.

        @girts I guess so. The teams shouldn’t ask them to move over in the first place.

    3. @andae23 request we address legends in full honor. Sir Stirling Moss.

      1. @egorov Even though I have massive respect for him, I think that’s a bit over the top, considering even the round-up itself doesn’t mention the knighthood.

        1. @andae23 Point noted. Personally, I would use my own knowledge rather going by what someone else publishes. Just because people call someone a ‘finger boy’ or ‘first lap nutcase’ doesn’t mean we have to follow them.

          It is Sir Stirling Moss (Source)

          1. It is Sir Stirling Moss

            … and this is internet. You seriously think it matters? Should we all address each other formally?

    4. Agreed that the issue is a complex one, but my default position is that F1 is a team sport and if the team make a call the drivers have to abide by it like any other employee.

      I think what is getting people worked up about Massa is that he benefitted from the call the team made to Bottas early I the race when Bottas clearly had more pace than him and then ignored the call late in the race when the team finally decided that Bottas had a better shot at getting past Button.

      1. @geemac: Yes, F1 is a team sport, but if You hire 2 racing drivers, You ought to be able to guess that You make their blood boil when You ask them to back off or let the team mate pas “for the team”. You can be rest assured that if Massa isn’t severely punished team intern, then Bottas have learned the lesson for next race and he will ignore any orders which will benefit Massa.

    5. I always struggle to understand why team orders are always so badly implemented, is it the fault of the drivers, or the teams? I am sure it would not take long for the teams, race engineers, and drivers to sit down and go through the situations where team orders would be implemented, and those where they wouldn’t (assuming equal parity between drivers).

      Do these discussions happen pre-race and then in the heat of the moment the drivers ignore them anyway? Sometimes ignoring them isn’t even to their benefit. For example, in Korea last year where Rosberg’s wing fell off while overtaking Hamilton, he still held him up for the lap, probably losing himself some time, rather than let him go. I’m not just picking on him either, seems to happen regularly when drivers are on different strategies. Can drivers really not be objective on these things?

      The Williams team orders last weekend were another example of either poor instruction from the team or driver disobedience, or both. We don’t get all the radio messages, but it sounded like they had not explained the situation/plan to Massa. Their plan was (supposedly) for Massas to let Bottas through, give him the 2-3 laps to have a go at getting past Button, then if he failed, switch their drivers back round for the finish. If they had explained this, he may have complied (although if Bottas had succeeded Massa would have lost a net 1 place by the finish, so maybe not). Instead, they used the most aggravating choice of words possible, seemingly without explaining the tactics, and only succeeded in frustrating both of their drivers – and then to top if off they tried to cover up the insubordination with conveniently spontaneous engine temperature issues.

      And also, what is the deal with the half-coded team orders?! They’ve been legal again for years, it’s obvious to anyone what is being said, and maybe they could avoid any missunderstandings, or driver excuses (“multi what?”) by just speaking in english, or spanish, italian, etc. Sorry, may have ranted a bit, but the team order issues often confuse or irritate me.

      1. @keithedin Agreed, it’s quite weird that they seemingly don’t discuss team orders.

        what is the deal with the half-coded team orders?!

        I think it’s team PR (as in “no, we don’t have team orders at Red Bull, we let our drivers race”).

    6. I doubt Moss would have asked Williams to stop Bottas from trying to pass him though.

    7. Teams will always have to work for what is in their interest than sometimes what is for the indivdual driver’s interest. Rotating drivers for no other purpose than to have one finish ahead of the other is pointless, but if it means they can win more constructors points, then it makes sense.
      Magnussen damaged his wing in Sepang and had to let Button past and held up the Williams for a while, this allowed Mclaren to secure more constructor’s points than would otherwise have been the case. And those extra points can make a difference is what position the team finishes in the constructors’ table which also infers a great prize fund.
      Mclaren don’t always allow their drivers to race each other, but that is less often.
      These days, teams can effect a team order via the timing and duration of a pitstop without the viewer being the wiser sometimes.

  9. Yes Lewis, great chassis.

    With that engine, though, I’ll be a grammar nazi and say the car itself isn’t, yet:)

  10. @comment of the day

    A friend of mine who is into cars, but not F1 was joining me Sunday morning after half the race and he had literally no chance of understanding half of what’s going on without explanation. It’s tiresome.

    A friend of mine who is into ball sport, but not football was joining me Sunday morning after half the game and he had literally no chance of understanding half of what’s going on without explanation.
    So what?

    1. @rankx22 Good point. To love F1 you gotta invest in understanding the sport, which unfortunately can’t happen in a single sitting.

    2. For a sport that has declining audiences for years now, making it even harder for newer audiences to understand is not the right way.

      If you guys have no problem with following a sport that needs weeks of preparation to understand, you can soon get a room with the other 3 people who will go on following F1 in the future.

      1. @dennis There are plenty of people who watch F1 without really knowing anything about setups, a full weekend, race distances, etc. The father of a friend of mine watches every race he can to support Hamilton but he can’t even name all the teams.

        So what, does that mean he can’t enjoy them? I think not.

        1. None of the examples you named are relevant in my opinion, because they don’t stop you from understanding what’s going on during a race.
          I started watching F1 when I was 5 and I could understand the rules.
          Try explaining DRS and how it can be used to a kid with today’s attention span.

          I’m not saying my friend was stupid and didn’t get it. I just think to gain more fans, F1 is too tiresome for many people to catch up with, even if they would be interested.

  11. After following F1 for over 40 years I have watched my last race. To me it isn’t about racing anymore and it is a sad realisation.

    1. hugo-the-rabbit
      2nd April 2014, 9:19

      Why do you come onto an F1 based web site, read the round up of what is going on in the F1 world, and then say you won’t be watching another race? People like you are rather odd that you take time out of your day to find out information on F1 and then say ” I have watched F1 since I came out my mothers womb but I have had enough of it.”
      If you don’t like it then don’t come on to a fantastic web site where people have a real passion for F1 come to read interesting articles and also see what fellow F1 fanatics think about the article. I don’t come on the site to read that you don’t like it and say you have watched your last race yet don’t put any real reasoning for it being your last race.

        1. @hugo-the-rabbit I would suggest that @cynical is here posting what he has because after 40 years he is probably struggling with his decision, and has been seeing what other people are saying, perhaps to find some reason to keep watching. He has given a reason, and that is that he feels it isn’t about the racing any more. His view is shared by others. Quite frankly, I hope he hangs in there for perhaps half the season to see how teams do as they lessen the learning curve and perhaps get closer to each other for closer racing as we go along. And if the season ends up being like the first two fairly processional races that have not garnered high marks here on this site, more people will be wondering why they spent all that time and money changing to a new chapter.

  12. Just wondering, what happens if the ICA delivers a judgement in Redbull’s favor in April? Does Jenson return the trophy (and the bottle) back to Daniel, along with the points? In a situation like this, wouldn’t it be prudent to keep the transfer of points and trophies on hold till the judgement. I mean let Daniel have 0 points, till the judgement is delivered, and if Redbull loses, then only pass it on to McLaren.

    Someone who has more indepth knowledge on this can enlighten us more.

  13. They should cancel the Belgian GP too. A friend of mine was robbed yesterday.

  14. If I watch a great movie (say a IMDB Top 100 movie) with someone, who likes movies, but keeps asking me all the time whats going on and I have to explain… and he has no chance of understanding…
    This happens. Now, is it the fault of the movie or my friend? Do I have to spell it out?

    F1 is like this great movie, you have to pay attention to understand it, and the more you pay attention and think about it, the longer you do it, the more you learn. If it was something that you can turn on and know and understand everything straight away, everything there is to know, then there would be no depth, there would be nothing mind stimulating, which is something I do not care for.

    Though there is a lot of content for those people who enjoy mind numbing experiences and have gotten so used to them, that they can not begin follow any other plot or system that has not been drilled into them for hundreds of times in “different” ways. So it is not like they can complain that they are not well catered for.

    If people don’t understand something that is know and understood by others, they have no one but themselves to blame.

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      2nd April 2014, 10:43

      @mateuss – That simile was so brilliant, I think I actually love you.

  15. And a week before the Russian GP, politicians who know nothing about motorsport will be waving their arms about saying “oh we shouldn’t go there” just like with every single country with any sort of human right issue or has decided to enter another country. I’m not saying that we should go to a country with major issues like this, but if you want something done about it deciding days before the race when the teams are already there isn’t going to do a lot.

    1. Also I would love to write for F1 Fanatic but I don’t think my writing ability is good enough compared to those who do write. :)

  16. Aren’t Lotus a bit too optimistic ? I mean, one of their drivers just managed to finish a race for the first time, and yet they plan to catch McLaren, twice on the podium and 4 times in the points.
    BEsides, JB’s gamble in quali put him in a bad starting position and Magnussen got a penalty. And still they were in front of RG. That seems a bit overly optimistic…

  17. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    2nd April 2014, 11:55

    I’d recommend any fan going for a guest writer opportunity. Some of my favourite posts have been done by fanatics such as Ned Flanders and Mag Geoff. I don’t think I’d go down well as my first post would probably be about the first trans F1 driver or about drivers starving themselves or something ethical or diversity related :P

  18. First, a word on Stirling Moss commentary: agree 100%!
    Team instructions should be possible, tough the pilots have to be free to respect them or not. They are the pilots. The are the racers. We want to watch them racing, not following instructions. Therefore, if some pilot (like Massa) should not to accept the instruction, the team manager will do whatever he feels he has to do. And that’s it. For the fans, spectators, there’s no reason to judge the pilot. The only thing that we should be concerned of is the racing and competition level. So, let’s put aside this “futile instruction’s discussions”

    Secondly, the level of spectators dropped (-25%). Shouldn’t that be a warning signal?

  19. 1) Mercedes will have to do a Brawn GP of 2009. If they can win all the races upto summer break then they will be in decent position for the WDC. Althought they need to make sure that all their eggs are in one basket. It is already divided between Nico and Lewis now. Once the problems with Renault engines are fixed, those bulls will be like 2009. They will be very strong in the post summer season especially on the Asian circuits which is their strong front. Needless to say the double points in the end. Honestly after their winter testing disaster I never thought they will be where they are today. I even commented that they will not get to the 108% of the pole sitter in qualifying.

    2) The F1 races so far in 2014 is a disaster overall. The cars indeed look ugly. It will be a quite while until it gets used to. I thought we will get accustomed to it pretty fast. More than that the engine sound in the TV is horrible. It does’nt feel like F1 anymore ? Is this a Formula Prius ? Silent engine, Fuel Savings …… Are we redefining motor-racing here ?

    3) When Massa disobeys team orders in Sepang 2014 he did a great job. When Vettel disobeys team orders in Sepang 2013, he is ridiculous and considered a perpetual villian and booed on the podiums….. Hmmmm……

  20. Moss I respect your career, but as Massa you know what is to be paired with someone faster than yourself and unlike you Massa hasn’t beat anyone in his F1 career in terms of pace therefore I can only guess that taking advantage of your team is the right thing to do.

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