“This isn’t good enough” – Button

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: After both McLarens finished outside the points and a lap down in China Jenson Button says the team’s performance “isn’t good enough”.


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McLaren not good enough – Button (BBC)

“When you have as bad a result as this it’s tough for everyone. Hopefully the team can stay positive and update the car because this isn’t good enough.”

Driving style behind struggle – Kimi (ESPN)

“My view is that it’s probably more to do with driving style, plus the weather with the cold conditions and not getting the tyres working. Obviously if there was some issue then we would not be fast or happy with the new tyres, so I think it’s a combination of cold conditions, the circuit layout and my driving style.”

Alonso credits Domenicali after Ferrari podium (Reuters)

“I think this podium should be dedicated to Stefano [Domenicali], as everything we do up to July will also be the result of his efforts.”

Christian Horner: “Sebastian is having a tough time at the moment…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“He’s tremendously sensitive to certain aspects of the set-up, and he’s not getting the feedback from the car that he wants. And then the compound effect of that is that he’s damaging the tyre more.”

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to hand sport over to Sacha Woodward-Hill (Daily Mail)

“Although the court will sit for just two days a week, Ecclestone will rely on Sacha Woodward-Hill, his chief legal officer who is little-known beyond the terraced walls of his offices in Kensington.”

‘Red Bull should reach out’ (Sky)

Ron Dennis: “What I’m particularly uncomfortable with is that people just don’t change their minds, they induced to change their minds. People being induced to break contracts, it’s just wrong.”

Horner: Fallows made his own decision (James Allen)

“Dan [Fallows] decided that he was going to leave Red Bull for reasons of his own but with the changes that have happened at McLaren he decided that he didn’t want to join, and it was 100 per cent his choice to approach us and see if there was a situation still open. So it was his choice.”

Wheel mix-up cost Massa sixth (Autosport)

Felipe Massa’s disastrous pit stop, which cost him a likely sixth place finish in the Chinese Grand Prix, was caused by the team attempting to fit the replacement rear wheels to the wrong side of the car.”

Ferrari F14 T – blown wheel hubs (F1)

“Ferrari introduced a new front axle and brake duct assembly in Shanghai that bleeds airflow from the brake cooling duct through a duct in the centre of the axle.”

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen determined to avoid the parent trap (The Guardian)

“[Father Jan] asks questions, because he’s been out of Formula One for a long time. He has a lot of questions for me. A lot of stuff has changed and a lot of that he doesn’t know about. He’s learning as well. He’s very interested in what’s going on.”

F1 should be all about the noise (The Telegraph)

“Fundamentally, this is a question about what sport should sound like. So much of the intangible emotion generated by sport is bound up in its acoustics, and as F1 is swiftly discovering, you tamper with them at your peril.”


Comment of the day

Is anyone going to beat Mercedes this year?

Could Mercedes be the first team to win every race in a season? They’re so far ahead that they’re not even racing at 100%

Hamilton’s fuel usage was lower than anyone else in the top ten, so there must’ve been bags more pace in that car if he had had to push harder.
Alex McFarlane

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80 comments on ““This isn’t good enough” – Button”

  1. McLaren’s struggles are a bit painful to see, but you have to wonder how much of it is down to the drivers. After a dream debut, Magnussen has been a little disappointing, and Button has a rich history in tyre warm-up problems. With McLaren’s current struggles partly related to getting temperature into the tyres, I’m sure they would still like to have a benchmark driver like Hamilton in the car, so at least they would now for sure whether their car is rubbish or not.

    As it is, McLaren have lost their way. Ron Dennis may be back, but he still hasn’t secured them a title sponsor, and car development still seems to be floundering. Looking back, it all started to go wrong for McLaren when they rushed into signing Perez. Was their initial contact with Sergio a strategy in their negotiations with Hamilton, perhaps? Anyway, if they had waited a little longer, it would have been obvious that Hulkenberg was the driver to sign (and they had another chance last year). If they had a driver like Hamilton or Hulkenberg, who always get close to the maximum out of the car, it also becomes easier to determine whether the chosen development direction is the right one.

    1. This is just getting old. There are quite a few top teams spending quite a few Euros on assuring they spot and attract the best drivers they can get. Somehow it hasn’t been so blatantly obvious to any of them that Hulkenberg is the best top driver the world has never seen.

      1. You’re right. If Hulkenberg were really that good, that fundamentally better than average, with that much untapped potential, we can rest assured that he would’ve been purchased by a top team for use on their behalf.

        That he hasn’t been – and that Force India doesn’t even see fit to pay him his full and complete wages in a timely fashion – is a strong indication that comments like those above and below praising him as some great unappreciated future champion are just hype (and they always have been).

        Hulk hasn’t even been on the podium yet – ever! And the reason he’s never been with a top team, and is always driving for midfield runners is because he himself is just a mid-field driver.

    2. Very correct. Hamilton get’s the best out of the car day in day out. Button is a great safe pair of hands, but he hasn’t have that out and out speed Hamilton has.
      And indeed I can’t believe Hulkenberg isn’t in a top drive, especially the McLaren, but I can understand they took Magnussen this year. But taking Perez was a mistake, he had some standout podiums.. but Hulkenberg is doing a superjob race by race.
      Just look this year, Perez has that one podium.. But Hulk has been there or thereabout every race. Brilliant season by him so far!

      1. Button does indeed seem to struggle to get heat into the tyres. However normally this has the positive effect of his tyres lasting much longer than others. The issue is that in China he could not get heat into the tyres and also had poor degradation which suggests very poor down force. Mclaren must have a bunch of monkeys designing their aero as they consistently have poor down force and even force India are out designing them in that area!

      2. Now let’s see, out of 3 races (we cannot consider Malaysia as Perez did not participate), Hulk aheads 2-1 on results (and I would question Austrialia, as Perez being new with the team struggled with the car…). I am getting tired of people praising ‘his majesty’ Hulkenberg, it is still too soon to call that he is “mopping the floor” with Perez, and certainly there must be a reason why no top team (the ones with money) have not even approeached him (perhaps he is not a driver aggressive enough to win races?)… I am just saying, they know better…

        1. I rate Hülkenberg very high. He has beaten every team-mate so far. The problem is that every team bar Mercedes have their ‘young driver programme’ and they want to hire someone from that programme. Look at the new drivers in the Red Bull and the McLaren. Mercedes isn’t an option for Hülkenberg (Hamilton and Rosberg are firmly in place). The only option for him is to get that Ferrari seat in 2016.

        2. I think Hulk was quite close to drive a Ferrari this year, so it isnt that no top team even approached him to drive for them. Or may be I’m dreaming.

      3. I don’t think it’s quite that. I think button can get the same speed but he needs everything matching his style. Hamilton can adjust and drive over the car. On average that works out better. I don’t know if the gap is that big it’s just Lewis is that little bit better everywhere and over a lap/race that adds up.

    3. Is it because of the nose change McLaren did in Malaysia?

    4. When Hamilton and Button were driving identical cars it was pretty much of a dead heat between the two, and Button led the way on set up. I don’t think Hamilton could add anything to the development process that Button can’t, and don’t think he would be getting any better results. The car is turning out to be another lemon…that’s the bottom line, IMHO.

      1. Button led the way on setup? That’s a joke, right? The same Button that was repeatedly lost at sea, lamenting his AWOL balance & repeatedly falling back on Lewis’ setup come Saturday Morning? Button did little more than ride on Hamilton’s coattails, IMO. I think that was a huge part of why LH left McLaren, watching Button get loads of credit for basically copying him. Jenson’s a safe bet when the car is perfect, but painfully ordinary when the situation requires him to drive around any deficiency. Hamilton couldn’t add anything to the development process? That’s a laugh… Prior to copying LH @ McLaren, how many cars has Jenson regularly helped keep at the sharp end of development? Zero, that’s how many. He goes backwards during a season… always has. The infamous “balance” always goes missing… ALWAYS. McLaren will never improve without a more consistent & tenacious driver… especially on these tires.

        1. Agree w/ your slagging-off of Button vis-a-vis Hamilton (who made him look decidedly ordinary), and I think you get the tone right b/c JB was, afterall, WDC (and we can see in your post that you kinda acknowledge this by deigning to call JB “safe”), but what you conclude w/ (“McLaren will never improve without a more consistent & tenacious driver… especially on these tires.”) is wrong.

          McLaren’s problem is not that they lack talented drivers. Button – for as ordinary as he might’ve looked next to Lewis – is a proven race-winner and former World CHampion for chrissakes. But he – like almost every driver except perhaps Alonso and Hamilton in exceptional circumstances – needs a competitive car in order to win even one race. And McLaren did not deliver that car in 2013, obviously, and they’ve failed thus far in 2014…which indicates not a lack of driver talent, but rather, deficiencies in design, development, engineering, technical, etc.

          What McLaren needs is a brilliant aerodynamicist and the technical, design, engineering, etc staff to support them in realizing design, production, running and development of a competitive car.

        2. The Button chat is getting decidedly boring, the guy is an outstanding driver and can race with the best of them, if the aero on the car is bad and the car lacks downforce and aero efficiency then tit doesn’t matter who the hell is driving it they won’t win a race against the guys in cars that are spot on, the Mercs are so efficient at the moment that I think any of the t op 10 drivers could win in that car. The car is the most important tool in the box, are you telling me that Vettel is a has been now that he can’t compete at the front…NO…simply the Red Bull is not yet at the level of the Mercs….& Alonso ?? ….same story, if his Ferrari was at the level of the Mercs he would be challenging for the wins. So it is not Button as he is a proven GP winner , put him in the current mecr and he would win. It is more a sign that McLaren have really lost their way in recent years and lost the plot in the design dept., they need a reset and to get back to a decent baseline design to move forward

    5. McLaren’s car philosophy is still wrong. Their suspension geometry caused exacerbated front graining, and this is caused by their camber and suspension travel, it targets front grip unlike for instances the red Bull geometry which tries to lean on the shoulder of the tyre and uses more camber. Obviously McLaren must be aware of their front geometry woes, they’ve had time to trial these tyres and assess the other tracks on the calendar. I’m sure they’ll rethink some of their car concepts for Spain as changing such a dramatic setting during China would be too risky. They have to stay positive, they’ll have the newer exhaust layout profile ready for Spain and also probably revised cooling and aero, they have time in hand but perhaps not enough time to change their front suspension layout. On the other side the team has tried pessimism and after the Melbourne lucky strike, they were less gloomy but after Bahrain they went to surrealistic optimism, only to end in doom again, and justified as they stand to be all round with a worst aero and mechanical grip balance than all teams but 3.

  2. RE: COTD.
    Have wondered about this too but history is definitely against Merc winning every race.

    McLaren in 1988 came within a whisker of doing it but I’m not sure Merc a) have quite the level of utter dominance McLaren had that year b) the opposition had almost given up developing their cars as new regs were coming in ’89 whereas Ferrari, Red Bull will be working flat out this year and of course c) they had 2 of probably the top 5 F1 drivers of all time in their cars!

    In 1992, Williams had the out and out performance to do it but reliability and operational errors cost them when like Mercedes they could have on pure performance walked it. The 2004 Ferrari again had the potential to win everything but there were individual tracks (Monaco, Spa, Interlagos) where one guy would just get it hooked up and worked better.

    My own bet is they’ll win in excess of 15 races this year but they will mess up eventually. Note I think they will “mess up” rather than actually get beaten by someone on pace.

    1. I agree. Williams ’92 seems like the closest comparison, though that dominance was due to the car not the engine, so the tracks where they’re susceptible won’t be the same. With their downforce I expect Red Bull could bring the fight to them on tracks that are less engine dependent such as Monaco, Hungary, and Singapore. The fact that engines will have less of an impact in Monaco coupled with the increased torque and reduced downforce has potential I think to make it not only one of the more interesting races of the season, but certainly one of the most exciting Monaco GPs in many years.

    2. Mclaren did not win it all because both cars had problems in Italy. Looking at how far Mercedes is from the second best, I can only imagine a similar situation (both cars DNF) preventing them from winning every race this year. Our best hope should be either Monaco, where full power is less a factor, or a big leap from both Ferrari and Renault engine departments.

      1. Is their advantage over the rest of the field really that severe?

        Wow. No wonder Renault, Ferrari, and the teams they supply and ally with want to change the rules mid-season. Thank goodness that’s not possible?

    3. And I think Monaco could be Red Bull their first real opportunity. With some luck it might be possible.

    4. Alex McFarlane
      21st April 2014, 13:05

      Can’t disagree with your summations there. To win all 19 races would require a tremendous amount of skill, co-ordination and lots of luck. We saw it yesterday that Rosberg could easily have been taken out by that contact, I forget who it was with. There’s always the Maldonado factor as well :-)
      I was reading comments by Aldo Costa earlier in the week, stating that while Red Bull has an aerodynamic advantage in some instances, he doesn’t believe the W05 is that far off. Ominous if true, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see who develops what come the European stretch of the season.

      1. …Rosberg could easily have been taken out by that contact, I forget who it was with


    5. Considering how fiercely these teammates want to win, I think it is only a matter of time before Hamilton and Rosberg get too close and take each other out. There is also bound to be a pit mistake and mechanical retirement here and there. I see them winning most of the races, but not ALL of them.

  3. Asked if his lack of results affected his motivation, Raikkonen said: “I don’t know why you always come up with motivation. If I didn’t have motivation I wouldn’t be here answering these kinds of questions. It’s [….] all to do with that. We have bad races and it’s an unfortunate thing, but the aim is to improve and get where we want to be.”

    It’s funny. In the same struggling conditions, we’d be saying plenty of things about Massa… but not about motivation :P

    1. Good for Kimi for standing up for himself against this moronic journalists and bloggers and their inane questions and obviously-false preconceptions.

      No driver returning to the grid in 2014 lacks motivation, and even Button after the death of his father we wouldn’t have described as unmotivated, but rather, sad or situationally-depressed as a result of grieving for his old man…

      I think our intrepid hero @keithcollantine should take the lead in educating the wider F1 media that they insult our intelligence and are seriously disrespectful to Kimi each time they unjustifiably try to call into question his motivation!

  4. Regarding Kimi article and motivation. Those “journalists” really have nothing better to ask than what they’ve heard as almost a stereotype, and then just trying to cram everything into that image of him. I thought they should be asking questions to learn something new, not suggesting answers in order to propagate something heard millions of times before.

  5. Heard Button saying they are the second best team in Sakhir even though result doesnt suggest it. Now the results suggest it i think. If you have work to do, you have to accept that. Take cue from Williams, Force India, Red Bull and Even Ferrari

    1. Button was kidding us two weeks before…He was slower than the FIs and the RB of RIC, and told that a podium finish was possible. Looking back to the Malaysia and yesterday’s result we see that McLarens don’t match Williams, RBs, FIs and Ferraris. McLaren are in competition with STR at the moment. What an embarrassement.

      1. Yes. But they still maintain we were better in Sakhir. And we could have trumped FI for Podium. Then am asking why didnt you? Eric boullier said something similar. He said we had better pace than FI and Williams at Sakhir. That is nonsense. They were better than Ferrari in sakhir but Mclaren is not accepting that. They are saying we are the second best team which sadly they are not. So there comes the problem first they have to accept their position

  6. I really hope Kimi can do some setup work at the next test in spain to help him. As understeery as that Ferrari is, Kimi isn’t going to get anywhere near Alonso until he figure out how to balance the car to suit him better

  7. Button is not good enough. He reminds of your typical local council minister.

    1. @howard Ron Denis should have hired Nico Hulkenberg last winter.

      1. Why ?? Hulk has been overlooked for several years by the big teams so that must suggest that there is something we do not know

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      21st April 2014, 7:42

      I wouldn’t be surprised if his driving ability has been hampered by his extreme weight loss.

      Being that thin cannot be healthy. He looks like a skeleton of his old self.

    3. Yes he IS good enough.Where was LH since 2008 and his title?What did he do in 2009 bad car way up until mid season?He and Button were pretty even in their years together and if JB was a little bit better on saturday’s he would have bigger points margin after their 3 years together as team mates.Don’t tell me about LH “bad luck” and dnf’s cause JB had his share of problems also with that and with pit stop blunders.Little baby LH was in champ winning car from start and where was Button up until 2009 with Ferrari and Renault dominating those years of his carrier?He still was doing fine with BAR and got his win in 2006 Hungarian GP and took many podiums when BAR was competitive.JB don’t know to develop a car? Who was driving freaking Honda in 2008 before it became Brawn next year?If the Japs were little more patient about it 2009 constructor would be called Honda not Brawn.And why would Ross Brawn invite JB to Mercedes for 2010 if he wasn’t good enough?Ross don’t know nothing about F1 drivers and so he wanted JB in Mercedes?Yeah sure…. But JB wanted to prove something(and money was better) and went to take on “fastest driver of F1 today” and gave him great run for the money. So will u stop trash talk about JB seriosly?

      1. It wasn’t really JB’s input that led to brawn dominance in 2009, it was primarily the use of the double diffuser, and while brawn started that year with the best car they finished it with the third best, so clearly they fell behind in the development race, and thus their title challenge relied on their earlier dominance, which to give credit where it’s due button capitalised superbly on.

      2. And of all champions in recent history he is by far the slowest.

        1. No sam how could you say that he scored more points than Lewis lol. JB is doing awsome at devoloping Mclaren they still yet to win a race without Ham their. If Whitmarsh was still their id say they deserve eachother as the 2 Mr Nice guys

          1. Please stop replaying these silly debates about who is better: LH or JB.

            But even more seriously: please stop repeating fallacy that drivers develop a car.

            JB is doing awsome at devoloping Mclaren they still yet to win a race without Ham their.

            Designers and engineers and development staff evolve a car during the season to unlock additional performance. The driver’s role in developing updates is so much smaller and less significant than statements like yours suggest (no offense).

            @keithcollantine, would you please explain this to people??

      3. @dex022

        How is f1 for you lol because im loving it. What have Mclaren done sinceLH was their? You look very foolish dude when you trying to say JB scored more points. Did you no it was LH who won 2-1 in seasons? Did you no LH had a huge crisis in 2011 and what did he do well many said he was at his very best in 2012. Dont claim JB had same amount of badluck please back that fact up. LH was far superiour than JB even lapped his teammate in Canada on purepace howembarrasing for a WC for that to happen. LH matched Alo beat JB and is beating NR. He won more races more poles. It’s well known JB is over the hill thats why people were thinking about Per going as being quite harsh as he is younger and was outperforming JB. And guess what i said after Aus, KMag result was so overrated and its true he cant hold a candle to someone he should beat every week. KMag has been bad since Aus(cant fight in a pack of cars) and you telling me Lewis would have not got the 10th place Kyvat had today? I have nothing against JB but it annoys me so much when you JB fans hold onto he scored more points over 3 years lol when their is alot more people agreeing he is not on LH level. Also a nice stat you would like i dont have the exact right i seen it looking up JB finished ahead of LH around 15 times in 3 years when both finshed thats great huh?

        1. I’ll add to this that ron dennis repeatedly says they exist to win. While jenson is mr consistent he doesnt put mclaren in the spotlight in terms of wins or poles. I’d also add that yeah, JB beat LH in JB’s best year and LH’s worst, and when the championship was long gone, which tends to be a motivation killer

        2. Lulu trounced Jenson so much in 3 yrs together that it was 10 wins to LH and 8 wins to JB. That isn’t a trouncing by my standards. Poles don’t could for nothing neither, points are collected on Sunday folks

        3. Agreed. And I’m sure Hamilton is losing sleep over being outscored by Button at McLaren whilst he’s driving one of the most dominant cars in F1 history, as Button is having to slug it out with the Toro Rossos.

      4. Don’t tell me about LH “bad luck” and dnf’s cause JB had his share of problems also with that and with pit stop blunders.

        Don’t tell you because it’s convenient for your argument? Button did indeed have his share- but it was a much smaller share.

      5. I’m with you on this .Too many people have only watched F1 since Lulu came into the sport so only want to follow a winner, a bit like the sheep that follow Man utd.

        1. @sonia54

          OMG hope you enjoy this season i can smell the bitterness from here. Ham 3 win 3 poles 1 retirement. #domination

      6. LH is FAR faster than JB on pure pace, better at setup, and now has consistency and maturity, and race craft to match. LH had on off year, otherwise their talents are night and day. LH at his best is easily better than JB at his

  8. Re COTD, I think it would be extremely difficult to finish all races on the #1 step of the podium. There is no denying their outright domination right now, however, as teams get closer to the team as the development curve comes at them, they will be pushing harder, and by pushing harder, things will go wrong, either a human error (driver or team), or a technical failure, or perhaps a storm brewing in terms of a potential team mate clash if things remain so close in the championship points fight.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      21st April 2014, 13:21

      Of course, being able to do it in theory and doing it in practice are completely different things. I think it will be key for the other teams to try an outqualify Mercedes, as getting stuck in traffic will increase the likelihood of accidents and mistakes. If the Mercs start in clear air I don’t see anyone catching them as they’ve won each race by 20+ seconds.
      It will be interesting also, to see how much more they can develop the car. It appears to be working well, and the laws of diminishing returns would suggest otherwise, but it could well be the case that even the Merc could still have plenty of development potential. I certainly don’t envy the opposition!

      1. As far as the laws of diminishing returns go, it seems to depend on the minds if the engineers, coz that should’ve been the case for red bull the last 4 years, but they, admirably, went from strength to strength

  9. Formula One should be all about the noise and the smell of oil

    Uhm, no.

    Re COTD: I was thinking about this too. I guess if there will be an ’88 Berger, it will be a Williams at Monaco or a Force India at Spa or Monza. But yes, I don’t see Mercedes not being the team to beat at any circuit.

    1. @andae23 Williams at Monaco? Rather a Red Bull I’d say.

      1. @ardenflo Williams has a very low gearing, so Monaco should suit them. But yeah, Red Bull shouldn’t be too bad around there either.

        1. @andae23 Their gearing will be fine but I doubt their downforce will be good enough to qualify far up front. Together with Force India their results are mainly due to the PU and a decent car. Take away the strong PU and they are right back there with Toro Rosso. So your second suggestion seems like more of a real option to me.

          1. @ardenflo We’ll see, I have confidence in Williams :)

        2. I’d say Vettel in Monaco, but even then he’d need his friends from Marussia and Caterham blocking the Mercedes in the tunnel.

  10. I really have been very disappointed in McLaren and a bit angry as well. They’re making changes on the technical side (some of which might be going through legal system) but it’s very frustrating to know that they have the most powerful powertrain of all in Mercedes and they are at the bottom of the Mercedes chain. Partly is due to their lack of aero efficiency (2013 again) and some of it is down to their drivers.

    Jenson is a good driver but in 2013 and 2014, his relatively team mates are not too far away from him in most races under normal circumstances.

    It really makes me think that Lewis would be so relived to have left McLaren or else he still would have been giving sulking interviews.

    1. Jenson is a good driver but in 2013 and 2014, his relatively new team mates are not too far away from him in most races under normal circumstances.

    2. I think nobody expected Lewis his departure to work so well for him. Neither could anyone predict the demise McLaren has had since then. Really only two podiums because of enormous amount of luck in Melbourne.

      1. A lot of people actually expected Lewis’ departure to work so well. Exactly as Lewis said, 2014 would be the year for Mercedes to have a good chance at success. Ther were the best engine manufacturer before and therefor it was same to assume they would come out on top for 2014.

        Besides, he knew from McLaren that even if they had a potentially race winning car, the reliability, pit stops or strategy would mess it up. Pointless to stay there.

        Whitmarsh’s focus on Button was doing them no good either. Forever chasing after the car with perfect balance when that isn’t the fastest way around the track anyway.

      2. Yeah, the switch to Mercedes was a brilliant one from Lewis.

        It’s funny to look back and to see how much he was criticised for it :P

        1. I don’t understand why he got such criticism. I thought it was always going to be a wise move, long-term. Even back in 2012 people knew Mercedes could be a front runner in 2014.

    3. It’s annoying for such an illustrious team like McLaren to struggle like this…With those facilities and budget, that PU there is no excuse for not catching up with Mercedes. McLaren is in all kinds of trouble, without title sponsor and losing the most powerful PU at the end of the year. McLaren is a shadow of its past. There’s a lot work to be done, and I ‘m not optimistic that transition to Honda will help(taking into consideration Honda’s later F1 history). I ‘m afraid tha McLaren will become an erstwhile British glory such Williams and the original Lotus.

    4. It really makes me think that Lewis would be so relived to have left McLaren or else he still would have been giving sulking interviews.

      Lewis is probably the driver I consider myself to be a fan of, but make no mistake, he’ll be back sulking quicker than a cat covering-up [mod.] if Nicole breaks- up w/ him again!

      I empathize with Lewis on this point, but it’s simply not contestable that he has succeeded in effectively separating his professional and personal lives such that one is immune from negative influence by the other (and LH has admitted as much, that the reason he’s so positive is as much down to order and stability and harmony w/ “the family” in personal life as Merc’s awesomeness – tho Merc. is awesome).

  11. Winter is approaching in the southern hemisphere, but I’m becoming more and more ashamed to be wearing my Mclaren fleece jacket.

    The pace they have at the moment doesn’t give me any hope for 2015. If we look at Mercedes last year, they were at times challenging the Red Bulls, it seemed plausible that they could be a challenger the following year with further evolution to the package.

    Mclaren are nowhere near the front, and 2015 is not a major year for regulation changes. As far as I can remember, the team has done well in years of big changes, but this year is not one of them. We have managed to do the unthinkable, and that is to be crap with a Mercedes PU

    Here we were Mclaren fans quietly chuckling at Ferrari’s inefficiencies, it’s pot calling the kettle black.

  12. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    21st April 2014, 13:02

    You can tell Alonso had a lot of respect for Domenicali as a result of his comments on the podium.

  13. Just wanted to comment on Vettel & his struggles so far in 2014.

    Firstly I’ve seen a lot of comments about his struggles & Ricciardo been faster is showing him up as been overrated, His success was all about the car & was a fluke etc…
    Well why is it not been considered by some of these people that maybe Ricciardo is actually just very good & much better than they believed him to be? Afterall I saw some comments when he was announced as Webber’s replacement talking about how he was only signed because they wanted a weak teammate to play the clear #2.

    As to why Vettel is having a bit of a hard time, I think I share what Martin Brundle (And apparently others in the paddock) believe is the cause.
    That been that Vettel is used to having a ton of downforce with a very efficient blown diffuser & all the various engine maps & whatever else that Red Bull/Renault were using to increase downforce. By all accounts getting the most out of that setup required a specific way of driving, Something Vettel adapted to very well & something he changed his driving style to maximize performance gain in that area.

    With no meaningful testing Pre-season & the problems he had over the Melbourne weekend Vettel hasn’t had as much seat time to re-adapt his driving style to the new regulation & to start driving in a way to get the most out of the car under the new regulations.

    Daniel Ricciardo on the other hand was in a HRT/STR that didn’t have as much downforce, He never had the sort of performance gain from the blown diffuser that RBR had, He didn’t have to change his driving style to get the most out of that & the Renault engine maps.
    As such the banning of those things & effects the lower rear grip/downforce are having on this years car’s hasn’t affected him as much as it has Vettel & so he’s been able to jump in & just drive as he always has while Vettel is having to change his way of driving again to get used to the way things now are.

    Vettel will figure things out I’ve no doubt in that & I expect it to be soon. He will win races this year & I fully expect him to end the season ahead of Ricciardo in the championship standings & he will win more championships in the future.

    1. @stefmeister: I like Your analysis.

    2. @stefmeister

      Well why is it not been considered by some of these people that maybe Ricciardo is actually just very good & much better than they believed him to be?

      The thing is Ricciardo didn’t manage to be constantly fast in both qualifying and race than JEV, how is he doing this to Vettel. Either something is wrong or JEV is phenomenal and BTW i’m very far from being a Vettel fan. Remember with every child you have you lose half a second in F1 !!!!!!

    3. Agreed @stefmeister. Good analysis on Vettel. I’m not so sure about your ideas about Ricciardo, but I don’t have a better explanation – but it may be luck that the RB feels just like some other car he’s driven. I suspect he’s actually rather good.
      I’ve never been a Vettel fan so I’m really intrigued by how much work he will have to put in to show his (undoubted) true ability. I expect to have a lot more respect for him by the end of the season, and I agree that Vettel will eventually out-score Ricciardo. It’s one of the things I’m really excited about, even more than the Alonso-Raikonnen battle.

    4. Nice analysis done here.

    5. So Vettel is another Button? The fastest when the car is perfect, but when it’s not, he’s easily getting beaten by his teammates. Even Webber never had a problem with beating him when blown diffuser wasn’t as much of a factor, in 2010 and early 2012. That is why you will always hear people talking that Alonso and Hamilton are the only two drivers who are really the benchmark.

    6. They have a top notch simulator, surely that could have helped him adapt. I am not a vettel fan but have come to respect him greatly over the last few years, I especially respect how nice he seems out of the car. He still needs to prove his ability to adapt when he doesn’t have tons of rear downforce, if he can do that then the haters will have little to say. He has 4 championships but how he deals with these regulations may have just as great a bearing on how he is viewed in the future

  14. Regarding McLaren: their situation is remarkable, really. This is the team that had arguably the best car of 2012.

    Just when you thought 2013 was a one-off, the MP4-29 isn’t really much of an improvement, relatively. I don’t know how much of it is down to the drivers, but it has to have some effect. Is it a coincidence they have declined so much since Hamilton left? We’ll never truly know, but I’ll tell you it’s painful viewing when they are being beaten by the Toro Rossos just two years after they were beating the Red Bulls.

    No wonder they’ve got no title sponsor yet, despite Ron’s words. He couldn’t have expected this. Roll on the Barcelona updates, but I’m not holding my breath after last year’s failed updates.

    On a somewhat unrelated note: I still feel getting rid of Perez was a mistake, even though he probably wouldn’t have been able to do much more in this car in its current state.

    1. Agree that getting rid of Perez was a mistake. Though the dane showed he has good potential in Australia, he clearly hasnt done well with the car after that and has been beaten by Button in all 3 races. So obviously, he is not able to extract what Button is able to manage – be it the car or the strategy.

      Instead of getting rid of Perez and creating a huge hype for the Kevin, they have created an image which pretty much adds to the frustration within is something I am not sure everyone would voice out. Their performance surely is below par.

      Ron made it back but has not been effective in putting things back in control. I guess McLaren are and would be performing below par this year, their best bet is to work with Honda for the next one because they would just need that time to get geared up.

      1. With Perez, he was actually giving Button a hard time at the end of last season, whilst putting in some impressive performances. I thought he was finally blossoming.

        It’s clear to see that McLaren acted with haste after they couldn’t get Magnussen into another team. Such a leap may have been too soon for him. He didn’t have the Hamilton 2006-like testing to make the whole process go smoother, and the car is clearly a handful to drive for anyone, let alone a rookie.

        I agree with looking towards next season as it is a big year for them with Honda, but it will be frustrating if they write another season off early. They did that last year, which was the reasonable thing to do, but it doesn’t seem like it’s paid off. I mean, take away Melbourne and so far it’s arguable been worse than 2013 at this point. Who thought that would be the case with a Mercedes engine in the back of that car?

      2. @hemzshaw, @deej92
        The irony is that McLaren are moving away from the best power unit to something completely unknown just as all the other variables are in flux. Awful for them.

      3. @hemzshaw

        Ron made it back but has not been effective in putting things back in control

        I don’t think Ron has been back long enough to make a difference. When Prodromou starts his role the aero should improve massively. Agreed the big question mark remains on how good the Honda power unit will be

  15. It is all about Peter Prodromou and nothing to do with Dan. Dan is just the noise , Peter is the end goal for Ron. Given that McLaren was lapped in China, he would be even more desperate.

    It just seems like McLaren got lucky in Oz. Oz 2014 is just an abberation , otherwise McLaren is just continuing their 2013 form. I am a little surprised at this because the regulations were changingnin 2014. McLaren had a head start because they were not fighting for the championships from early 2013. On top of that they have a rock solid engine. Even Force India and Williams seem to be doing better than them.

    Time for Ron to bring about big changes.

  16. I think the hard part for Button was when Hamilton lapped him. Reality must have bitten very hard at that point.

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