Force India benefitted from “sacrifices” – Hulkenberg

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg says Force India are reaping the benefits of the sacrifices they made with their car development last year to be competitive under the new regulations.

This weekend on F1 Fanatic Live

There are two Formula Renault 3.5 races from Motorland Aragon in Spain plus the third round of the IndyCar series from the Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on F1 Fanatic Live this weekend. Here’s when to join us:

  • Formula Renault 3.5 Motorland Aragon race one – Saturday, 1:30pm
  • Formula Renault 3.5 Motorland Aragon race one – Sunday, 1pm
  • IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama – Sunday, 8pm

Live coverage of all these races can be seen in the UK on BT Sport, where I’ll be commentating on the 3.5 races with Ben Evans. Race one can be seen live via the BT Sport app and on the website. Race two and the IndyCar race will be on BT Sport 2, where Ben and I will also be doing both Formula Renault 2.0 races live.

More details here:


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

Force India can keep up the momentum: Nico Hulkenberg (India Times)

“The team sacrificed a lot last year to concentrate on 2014 and I think it has proved to be a sensible decision.”

McLaren to stick with blockers (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “We are happy with this. In terms of downforce and drag numbers, it has been now validated, so we are now happy to carry on with this.”

Ayrton Senna at Ferrari: A deal that was stopped from the inside (Go Car)

Former Ferrari team principal Cesare Fiorio: “[Then Ferrari president Piero] Fusaro went to [Alain] Prost with the [letter of intent] and informed him that I was trying to bring in [Ayrton] Senna. From that moment onwards, I had trouble in my collaboration with Prost.”

For Mosley, safety is Senna’s lasting legacy (Reuters)

“Without that catalyst [Imola 1994], we would never have gone to Brussels. We would never have the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme), the crash testing, we wouldn’t have got the legislation through the European Commission that has upped the standards of safety.”

The First Time – with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean (F1)

“When was your first big accident in a race car?
RG: It was in Formula Renault 2.0 – I broke my little finger at a race in Zolder. It was a big shunt. ”


Comment of the day

@StefMeister on the latest brainwaves from the F1 Strategy Group.

The proposals to make F1 more spectacular are like double points the answer to a question that nobody is asking and does nothing about the other issues F1 needs to sort out.

How about focusing on what actually needs fixing? Making the cars more able to race closely (without needing gimmicks), better distribution of the vast amounts of cash which F1 rakes in, ensuring larger/heavier drivers are not penalised and having to starve themselves to meet the weight limits to name a few.

The main focus should be on the racing, that’s why people watch and why people keep watching. A good race won’t be made better by adding visual spectacle and it’s certainly not going to make a bad race more interesting.

I’m not really against any of these things been a part of F1, If the cars spark and brake discs glow then fine but I think spending time thinking about how to do these things in these ‘strategy meetings’ is a complete waste of time and takes the focus away from the more important areas which these people should be focusing on. These things should be the afterthought not the main ideas.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Markd!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Toro Rosso rookie and youngest ever F1 point scorer Daniil Kvyat who is 20 today.

Kvyat’s birthday is one day after team mate Jean-Eric Vergne’s (which is why they have numbers 25 and 26).

It’s also five years to the day since Jenson Button won the Bahrain Grand Prix for Brawn:

Images © Renault/DPPI, Force India

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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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33 comments on “Force India benefitted from “sacrifices” – Hulkenberg”

  1. I hope to hear far more from Keith this weekend than the previous weekend (from a fan’s POV, this is still fantastic news and keep up the amazing work!)

    Meanwhile with Force India, I suppose it made sense to focus on 2014 with the massive overhaul in the regulations, I just wish McLaren took the step to give up earlier last year. Because this year they seem to be already at the stage they were pacewise last year, which is a huge concern. 2 pointless races in a row, one for technical problems and one for pace problems should raise major alarm bells at Woking.

    1. They did give up early last year. It was around Spa I believe? And that is what makes McLaren’s pace this year even more unforgivable. They have had plenty of time to focus development on this year, as it wasn’t as if last year they were embroiled in a championship battle right until the end of the season. They were pretty much on par with Red Bull in Australia but it’s looking likely that it was just a one-off. For a team to have so much resources, budget and personnel to be pace-wise behind the likes of Force India and Williams in the last two races is quite shocking. Forgive me if I’m over-reacting, but I’ve gotten tired of how disappointing McLaren have been of late, and the same with Ferrari. Not because I’m a fan of theirs, but only due to the fact that I’d like to see both of them challenging for victories consistently in order to add more excitement. The more teams close at the top of the grid the better.

      1. Agreed.. they were closer to Caterham and Marussia at the last race than Mercedes. The backmarkers also have like 1/3 of McLaren’s budget..

  2. It is such a crying shame that Senna had to be the sacrifice, but Mosley is right. If we are to take positives from his death, it is certainly the profound safety improvements and a complete change in attitudes: revitalising Stewart’s safety crusade which was begining to stutter with complacency.

    1. And such a crying shame, assuming the article is factual, that he didn’t go to Ferrari with a teammate who would have been the best available, by his request, to challenge him the most, as opposed to what we got. What an incredible, purebred racer.

    2. Drives me crazy people fail to remember or mention Roland’s death that same weekend.
      Not towards you but came to mind when I read your comment

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        26th April 2014, 4:12

        I think you’ll find that many people do remember Ratzenbergers death.

        However, Senna was by far the more well know and respected driver, hence anything involving him is going to always draw his name first and cause people to relate it to him even when he’s not the only one involved.

      2. Read @jarred-walmsley‘s comment @bmk1586 – in addition to that, I would simply add that in this case (as I generally do recognise both their deaths) that Razenberger’s did not start the safety crusade. Senna’s did, because he was the idol of many, many fans – and his death certainly had a far more profound impact on the sport.

        As bad as it sounds, I doubt much would have been done had just Razenberger died.

      3. So true that Ratzenberger’s death the day before goes less noticed but perhaps that’s just human nature…which is sometimes cruel…but I do note that he is mentioned several times in the referenced article in Reuters and I’m sure when they decided they needed to make big safety changes they had Roland in mind too.

        To my thinking his family should take just as much comfort that he is part of the safety legacy too, even if more under the radar than Senna, and especially since Senna was extremely affected by Roland’s death and they all started that fateful race the next day with heavy hearts.

        1. I must say, as a rule, I don’t have a lot of respect for mad Max, but he deserves major kudos for being the only bigwig to go to Ratzenberger’s funeraln when everyone else went to Senna’s.

  3. What got me was that the strategy group were considering changing the aero to deliberately produce vapour trails for visual spectacle! Is this Wipeout 2097?!

    I do have an interest in the aero of the cars and I am no expert, however, I imagine that this would prove to have absolutely zero performance benefit and would be there just to look pretty. Judging by some of the previous proposals from the strategy group I assume that it’s their genius idea to distract fans from what has happened to the aesthetics (or otherwise) of the noses by trying to get us to focus on the rear of the cars.

    1. The way the quest for entertainment is going i actually will not be surprised if we end up with missiles, multiple routes and loop-de-loops by 2097.

  4. Hope Simona gets a race seat! F1 is a total sausage fest so would be nice to change that. More importantly she can drive! Good luck to her I say!

    1. Hehe, I’m sure some people must be thinking “She can’t do worse than Esteban!”

    2. Actually, given how overweight the Sauber is, they could probably go faster with the lightest two drivers out of the five they have. Would that be de Silvestro and Sirotkin?

    3. I dont care if she is a woman, she needs to be fast (or wealthy) enough.

      1. At the moment, she’s the fastest woman for the job. But she’s relying on talent and not wealth, so it’s hard to see her getting a race drive at the moment.. Also she won’t exploit her gender for extra sponsorship/PR dollars (cough).

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    26th April 2014, 1:02

    2 important newspapers in Peru talking about Schum having awaken from the coma. Can you confirm it in Europe press?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      26th April 2014, 1:14

      Sadly not true. Someone from Bild has had it officially confirmed.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        26th April 2014, 2:48

        @petebaldwin thanks for that, it’s sad.
        It really bothers me the low level of my country’s news regarding F1. The press should be the first to give accurate information to lure more people into the sport. Soccer monopolizes 95% of all the sports news articles, and that is so bad, considering our country is THE terrible soccer team. So our journalist feel they can deceive people or fill the blanks to their mood. For example, last yea they put a ROC photo of Vettel and Schum, with the caption: “Vettel celebrating his title in India with Michael Schumacher”. ROC wasn’t in India, and F1 has never been about 2 drivers in a car. Just the other day they wrote “Barhein is the only night race of the year”, it got me thinking, so I checked if Singapore was left out of the calendar, but no, there it is alongside Abu Double… aarrrrrrrrrgghh now I feel a little better.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          26th April 2014, 12:33

          @omarr-pepper – to be honest, I live in the UK and 99% of the news I get regarding F1 comes from the internet (and by internet, I basically mean this site!) Papers here are mostly all football as well. You might get a review of a race for example but that’s about it! Any coverage you do get in the mainstream press is catered towards people who don’t really follow F1 and is so dumbed down, it’s not worth bothering with!

  6. Can anyone help?

    I’m in San Francisco and would love to watch the European junior series in addition to F1 on NBC? Does anyone know how we in the US can tune in?

    1. Check in the shack at the end of the far side of the port. You’ll know you’re there when you start seeing a lot of promiscuous, sexy singles in the area. Third one on the right, by the “stream”.

      1. And then she says her name is “Google”!

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        26th April 2014, 2:16

        and then you complain when your comments vanish…

        1. They don’t vanish, they self-destruct. You can never be too cautious when you’re sailing the high seas.

  7. For Mosley, safety is Senna’s lasting legacy (Reuters)

    “Without that catalyst [Imola 1994], we would never have gone to Brussels. We would never have the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme), the crash testing, we wouldn’t have got the legislation through the European Commission that has upped the standards of safety.”

    The First Time – with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean (F1)

    “When was your first big accident in a race car?
    RG: It was in Formula Renault 2.0 – I broke my little finger at a race in Zolder. It was a big shunt.

    Says a lot, doesn’t it?

    1. Absolutely. The last big F1 accident I can remember in terms of the inflicted injuries was Massa in ’09: of course add any other, more recent ones but if there aren’t any that is 5 years without a major incident.

      Compared to the 70’s, that’s a staggering improvement – but more is still to be done, so long may progress continue.

  8. I think part of Senna’s legacy was also to inspire MSC to get the safety improvements in place. As GDPA chairman he was a big factor to get car regulations and safety regulations changed.
    It’s impossible to proof, but for me Senna’s and Ratzenberger’s death and MSC’s efforts saved lives.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      26th April 2014, 12:38

      No doubt. There have been plenty of crashes that would have caused fatalities (Kubica in Montreal for example) had it not been for the huge improvements in safety. Improvements would have happened eventually anyway but sadly, it often takes a death for people to stand up and realise things need to change.

      1. Kubica’s crash in Montreal was staggeringly horrific. The fact he got out of that in one piece is testament to the changes made. It also goes to show that F1 really does give a Damn about safety when you compare that to what ended Kubica’s F1 career (his rallying accident)

  9. Go Simona, I have been following your career and am certain you will make them sit up and notice.

Comments are closed.