Test has restored Massa’s confidence – Smedley

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Rob Smedley says last week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya helped restore Felipe Massa’s confidence in the Williams after a couple of difficult races.


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

Smedley expects stronger Massa (Sky)

“That just gives us all a great deal of confidence in our analysis methods and then going to test those methods in the track, it gives Felipe confidence that ‘I had a problem in the last two races, the guys have got stuck in and they’ve come out with a bunch of things, we’ve tested that all in Spain and it’s all worked’.”

Mercedes turbo not ‘game-changing’ (Autosport)

Rob White: “We haven’t got anything in the engine that we think is insurmountable, in time, bearing in mind there are sporting restrictions and the real world development restrictions.”

The scores are in: How our athletes fare on Repucom’s DBI Index (SportsPro)

Lewis Hamilton is named as the world’s most marketable sportsperson ahead of Virat Kohli (cricket) and Robert Griffin III (American football).

“I could have a race at Long Beach this afternoon” says Ecclestone (Forbes)

“‘I could have a race at Long Beach this afternoon if I wanted,’ says Mr Ecclestone though he suggests that this isn’t a top priority as F1 ‘left there 30 years ago.'”

Mark’s statement about Sir Jack Brabham (Mark Webber)

“He provided me with endless support and advice over the years and became a close confidante – even right up until the last couple of years when, after hearing the rumours that I might move to Ferrari, he told me he would be very disappointed if I went there because for him, it was the absolute betrayal because they were his motivation – the ones he wanted to beat in his day!”

Sir Jack Brabham: Old foes recall the late ‘Black Jack’s’ exploits in F1 (The Guardian)

Jackie Stewart: “Jack was a master of his art. Combining a fine brain with great experience, he would only have to drive a car around one or two corners to decipher what component area was preventing him from making the car do what he wanted.”

F1 champion Brabham ‘one of the greats’ (The Telegraph)

Alan Jones: “I think Jack’s achievements to win a Grand Prix in a car that he actually designed and built and engineered is an enormous achievement.”

‘A true racer of the old school’ (ESPN)

“He knew how to play the game. ‘Crafty’ doesn’t make a start. The change of engine formula for the 1966 F1 season sums up his attitude perfectly.”

Talk (Joe Saward)

“What did happen in Albert Park is that a few drunken fans shouted abuse at Ron Walker and threw their earplugs at his car one evening when he was leaving. This seems to have made an impression on sensitive old Ron.”


Comment of the day

There were many fine tributes to the late Sir Jack Brabham yesterday, here’s

As an Aussie I can say its a sad day, not only for motorsport but for Australia. Jack Brabham was in the same class as our other sporting icons such as Sir Donald Bradman (cricket) and Dawn Fraser (swimming). I’m not sure if he realised just how much us Aussies are proud of his achievements on the world stage.

The only driver to win the world championship in a car of his own design and manufacture, the Repco V8-powered Brabham BT19 in 1966. A feat yet to be repeated and its highly unlikely if anyone will ever do that again.

Australia has lost three sporting greats in the past eight days. Rugby League’s ‘immortal’ Reg Gasnier, legendary Australian rules football coach Tom Hafey, and now Sir Jack Brabham.

I remember seeing Sir Jack at the Historic Sandown meeting in late 2009, though unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him as his health wasn’t the best. It was about 38 degrees that day and the heat was really affecting him, though he did tough it out to watch his grandson (Geoff’s son Matthew) go round in a Formula Ford.

Rest in peace Sir Jack Brabham. A true Australian icon.
Peter Hunter (@Holdenv8)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ned Flanders, Rui Pinto, Thed4N1El and Dirk!

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

The last F1 race at Dijon was held 30 years ago today. Patrick Tambay took pole position for Ferrari, lapping the short track in just 62 seconds, but finished second to Niki Lauda’s McLaren.

Nigel Mansell finished on the podium for Lotus, grieving for his mother who had died of cancer before the weekend began.

Image © Williams/LAT

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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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74 comments on “Test has restored Massa’s confidence – Smedley”

  1. GoddamnVictor
    20th May 2014, 0:22

    And in other news the venezuelan ministry for sports has declared they will not suport any more motor racing drivers saying quote: “Venezuelan sports have other priorities, and it would be very unjust to use state resources in disciplines that are not in the line for the country’s sports development in high performance as in massification”

    So… no more bucks no more Pastor? I’m from Maracay-Venezuela where he was born, we don’t like/respect him much here

    1. Do you have a source for that quote?

      1. Here’s another one.

    2. If this is followed by acts, then we may well soon see the back of PM. He will not remain on the grid thanks to his performances alone, especially if he goes on with the kind of form of last weeks.

    3. See you Pastor, don’t crash into the door on the way out…

      1. This had me in tears… :D

    4. I’m from Maracay-Venezuela where he was born, we don’t like/respect him much here

      No even hometown love? Oh my.

      1. GoddamnVictor
        20th May 2014, 21:45

        Well, what do you expect when even when the dude came to the country for a demostration run he spun off and crashed the car? In all the videos you can hear people laughting at the guy who gets paid to crash. He is also disliked by many because of his blind and ilogical suport to the venezuelan goverment that has greatly polarized the country

  2. I can imagine Ron Walker being frightened of a couple of drunk fans outside of his window just like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons when he meets a drunk Lenny at the exit of an event. They’re probably as equally out of touch with reality.

    1. Breath reeking of beer and pretzeled bread

    2. +1 worth its weight in gold

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    20th May 2014, 1:25

    Massa needs to shine now, Valteri has more points and we remember the second team message “Valteri is faster than you” as much as “Fernando is faster than you”… if he doesn’t shine now, he will hear “Max is faster than you” very soon.

    1. “Max is faster than you”? We never get to hear Marussias, we’ll never hear “Max is faster than you”.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        20th May 2014, 2:50

        @austus I’m sure FOM would play it if it happened!

    2. @omar-pepper
      The points aren’t reflective, Massa has outqualified 3/5 of the races so far and barring Barcelona, he has finished ahead of Bottas when he wasn’t hit by another driver (Kobayashi in Melbourne) or be afflicted with a bungled pitstop (Shanghai).

      1. outqualified Bottas in 3/5 of the races*

    3. Massa has actually performed quite well against Bottas (I expected Bottas to be consistently better), I’d agree with @woshidavid95 that the points aren’t reflective of this. He only had one poor race in Spain, the incidents in two other races were out of his control.

      1. I have to agree with @keithedin on this one. I had high hopes for Felipe going into the season, but after Australia I was afraid Bottas would take him apart. But to be fair, when Felipe has had control of circumstances he’s looked really good and I think has slightly outperformed BOT.

        I think his confidence is still too fragile, but if he can get a run of good luck, I could see him jumping up the driver’s standings with a fairly competitive Williams car this year.

      2. I believe that the idea that Bottas (a solid and very consistent driver) could outperform Massa regularly was unrealistic from the start and based on the insanity of the bashing in the last two seasons. I strongly believe that Massa’s career went down for the coincidence of two main factors: Alonso in the team and his lack of flexibility to adapt to the melting tires (maybe a third: Ferrari loosing the north). A F1 driver with 11 victories under his belt should be able to adapt his driving style to the new tyres, adapt his mindframe and strategy to his new teammate. It took Massa way too long and paid a very high price for this. It’s funny, because this year we have Raikonen and Vettel fighting to adapt to their cars; maybe very soon we will have a new wild bashing trend. Watch this space.
        So far and in general terms Massa outperformed Bottas on every track bar Barcelona. But he MUST find a way to translate this scenario into championship points, or the team can decide to give Valtteri the top hand. Massa showed already what he can do with Williams this season, but the lacks of points will be a very heavy burden if he doesn’t start reducing that gap to Valtteri very soon. The fact that Williams brought “Felipe Baby” Smedley to the pitwall shows where the priority lies now for the team, but the points so far are on the wrong side of the garage.

        1. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I believe Massa has more natural talent than most drivers on the grid (Not HAM, VET, ALO or possibly GRO). But my doubt for Felipe is his mental state. He’s not tough enough to be the man on top. He needs approval from those around him to be at the top of his game and nothing can go wrong or he loses his composure. This is not a criticism but more an observation.
          The greatest athlete I’ve ever known was a quarterback in American football. But he absolutely fell apart if he threw an interception. The great ones (total jerks in every day life by the way) would throw that same interception and say: “That stupid receiver ran the wrong route…it wasn’t my fault”. and come back the next play like nothing happened still thinking they’re God’s gift to the world LOL
          Of course, the difference between them and Maldanado is that they know something has to be done different next time. He’ll run into the same wall next lap :)

          1. I’m an american, by chance are you talking about peyton manning? Because I wouldn’t agree if you are. I don’t want to get to technical but when u have tiny receievers and a bad defense you have to consistinly throw into small windows. He just always would run into the best defensive coach of this era and they would hold recievers to the point wherethe nfl changed the rules and now every quarterback can throw for 4000 yards. But I agre with everything else great comment

          2. Sam, Oh NO! I’m not talking about Peyton. He’s a great guy. He has worked with my mother on a number of United Way campaigns she has chaired and he’s genuinely one of the best guys in the world. My dad used to coach at Tennessee so we know him and his family pretty well.

    4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      20th May 2014, 10:33

      @omarr-pepper – But were we really expecting Massa, a man that scored less than half of the points of Alonso during their partnership, to be on the same page as one of the hottest young prospects in Valterri Bottas? I certainly wasn’t, and yet, although his races have been tales of woe, he has upper hand in the qualifying battle between the Williams drivers and finished ahead of Bottas in Malaysia. Personally, I think Massa has driven every bit as well as Bottas so far this year, and it certainly surprises me to say that, owing to the fact that I initially linked Felipe with a comfy Ferrari GTE drive rather than a Williams race seat. Certainly, the speed of the man that I thought was merely taking Maldonado’s baton as Williams’ main income stream versus his hotly tipped teammate is certainly a tribute to the Spaniard that is now ruining another formerly strong reputation.

      1. @william-brierty
        I think we can conclude that part of Massa’s underperformance in Ferrari can be traced all the way back to his status as a #2 driver… initially Massa was at least able to keep Alonso honest (Much like Button/Rosberg to Hamilton) but then came ‘Fernando is faster than you’ in Hockenheim 2010 and that was when it began unraveling for Massa and started his 4 years of getting thrashed by Alonso. Now that he’s free of this psychological restrain, I believe it’s more of Massa showing what he is really capable of rather than any underperformance from Bottas.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          20th May 2014, 14:06

          @woshidavid95 – Yes, some of Massa’s form were the psychological effects of being #2 in status, but it would be unfair to suggest the effects of Hockenheim 2010 were consistently reinforced. More likely is the psychological effect of having a teammate so much faster, relentlessly and repeatedly extracting more performance from the same machinery as you every race. To arrive at Hockenheim 2010, to become a #2 driver, you have to be #2 in raw ability, and the psychological effect of that, having had the confidence of comparing to Raikkonen so well, is what I feel was Massa’s undoing. Having Bottas in the adjacent garage instead of Alonso may pick Felipe’s head up to some extent, but the effects of a) his accident and b) having someone score twice the points you manage in the same cars have unquestionably had a lasting effect on Massa’s performance level. Personally, I can envisage this as his final season in F1.

          1. Personally I consider these things when it comes to FM. When he wasn’t the designated number 2 at Ferrari he got as close as holding the WDC for half a lap…he did everything right that final weekend when the pressure was at it’s greatest.

            Hockenheim couldn’t have been too much of a surprise given that he had had first hand experience at Ferrari’s potential for being about one rooster, and he knew they didn’t hire FA so that he (FM) could win the WDC. So I’m not convinced he was psychologically damaged mid-2010 but rather put in his place on a team that behaves this way.

            So I thought his move to Williams was going to be great for him…a great fresh start without politics. And in terms of how he is stacking up against Bottas…it’s such early days…everything is so new…let’s give the teams and drivers some time before we judge too much. Let’s face it, the Williams is not being the race-winner we thought it might be in the pre-season, so if the car needs work there’s only so much each driver can do for now. I think FM will be fine. I certainly don’t think this is his last year in F1. Far from it. Let’s give him, and all the drivers, more time to become more at one with their cars like LH and NR are.

            Surely nobody realistically thought that 5 races in this wholely new complex format would be tackled, figured out, easy peasy, no problem, bring it on. If FM and team are finding things to make him more comfortable, confident, and in control, I’m not surprised. I’m sure FM and many drivers are being limited by their car right now. Given the car, FM was as close to being a WDC as you can get, and that experience will be etched in him…experience Bottas does not have.

  4. I’m slightly surprised that Hamilton has been ranked as the most marketable sportsman in all honesty. I quite often think his personality is at odds with his commercial success.

    1. I agree with that to an extent.

      Whilst they may not be Hollywood-standard, I always thought Jenson, Rosberg and co. all had better on-screen charisma, especially in adverts.

      I guess the driving does the talking, though :)

    2. @vettel1
      I thought that it was Fernando Alonso F1 most marketable driver
      According to the same list Danil Kvyat seems to be more marketable than both Rafa Nadal & Roger Federer which they are not included in the top 50

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        20th May 2014, 2:37

        @tifoso1989 let me telll you 2 curious things about this:
        – Repucom is cited by the artice posted today, so it’s strange that in 2 months he dissapeared from the list. I mean, I would believe the report more if they said: “Hamilton has more awareness now with all his victories in a row, and now Alonso is 2nd or 3rd”
        – I really feel as if I’m living in another planet here in Peru, where you go by and ask any pedestrian, even any “sportsfan” (namely just soccer around here) “name 3 formula 1 current drivers”, very few will tell you “Alonso”, and then their minds get blank. I showed my students (I’m a teacher) a quiz showing Jenson Button (who appears in shampoo commercials broadcasted here) and they said “who is he?” “ahh, yes, he is the model in the shampoo commercial right?”. Nobody noticed hiim IN the car during the spot!!!
        Ask people here who is Lewis Hamilton, and they will blankly stare at you.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          20th May 2014, 2:38

          Hamilton is subject of more awareness, oops

        2. @omarr-pepper
          Sorry for the late reply, i’ve been working flat out in the last couple of days, nice snapshot of information coming from Peru!!!

    3. @vettel1
      Another thing is that apart from who is the most marketable F1 driver, the real question is does a F1 driver deserves to be the most marketable athletes ?? I mean this year the TV audience felt badly, then how on earth Hamilton is ranked the most marketable sportsman.

      1. No. The real question is, is Hamilton the most marketable anthlete right now? However huge F1 is, it appeals to very few people, especially when you compare it to footbal, for instance.

    4. @vettel1, you have to look at the market advertisers target, people susceptible to celebrity, fashion, but mostly brand conciousness. Lewis might have $60+million worth but you are unlikely to see him spruiking investment plans, but with his tats, diamond ear-studs and celebrity connections he is perfect for young people aspiring to be cool and hip.

      1. I realise that by using the words “cool and hip” I am niether.

        1. If Hamilton is cool and hip, I don’t want to be neither. I find him extremely lame, since his persona is obviously quite fake, and is no more genuine or inspiring than a high school poser who was into the lamest mainstream pop till last week.
          I think he is odd in F1 terms, because he seems like the only driver who is desperately trying to be something else. Seems all other drivers are quite comfortable in their skins, but Lewis needs to act like some one-dimensional ghetto thug, who conveniently doesn’t have to suffer any of the realities, but can pretend from the comfort of his luxury home.
          I don’t know, I just find it negative in any possible way.

          1. Ghetto Thug?

            Would you like to explain how he is portraying this image?

          2. @trotter – Please answer the question @kyle Fleet asked. As i would like to know as well.

          3. pxcmerc (@)
            20th May 2014, 21:55

            probably just frustrated with the realities that Lewis might go on to win almost every race this year, and the idea of a WINNER in F1 being contrary to preconceived notions is hard for the stomach.

          4. Actually, Trotter, your characterization of Hamiltons social set as ghetto thugs, is a pretty good reason that he may be looking for friends with whom he also may feel comfortable in his skin.

    5. BJ (@beejis60)
      20th May 2014, 4:24

      I live in the US and I’ve heard of less than half of those people on the US list…

    6. @vettel1 Nevermind his personality. I’m VERY surprised a race car driver was selected as the most marketable personality.

      He’s no Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna, as in the whole name, and what it represents. Everyone know and knew them… I’m very surprised to find Hamilton ahead of Djokovic, Messi, Ronaldo and god knows how many NBA players…

      Globally, F1 is way below other sports, I suppose… it takes more than winning 4 races at the start of a championship to become a world wide star that reaches more than just the fanbase of the specific sport.

      1. NBA doesn’t have the global audience of F1 I don’t think- maybe in North America or both Americas it has a strong following, but in the UK and (I imagine) most other European countries basketball is very niche. And I get the impression that despite quite a few slams and great runs of play, Djokovic is still a less familiar name than Nadal and Federer for those who don’t follow tennis.

        1. @matt90 maybe… in the UK F1 has a strong following, but all the American sports are usually so popular in America that the numbers add up globally aswell.

          About Djokovic, yeah… I just got a name or two, Federer’s still the most well known, but as he’s declining in form, and quite a lot older than the others, maybe he’s not as marketable as Nadal or Djoko.

          1. It isn’t just the UK though, I would imagine it’s a lot of Western Europe where basketball is niche and F1 has a significant following. I would have also thought that a couple of large South American countries, particularly Brazil and maybe Argentina thanks to its heritage, would contribute a lot to F1’s viewership, although I don’t have the faintest idea how that would be relative to NBA in those countries.

        2. @matt90 NBA is not strong in UK but it is well stronger than F1 pretty much everywhere else.

          NBA probably trials NFL in US but NFL has no answer to NBA globally. Among US professional leagues nothing comes close to NBA in terms of global following. In China, e.g., NBA is way bigger than F1 and I’d say is neck and neck with top European football leagues. In fact, the first modern global superstar came from NBA in form of Michael Jordan.

          But being marketable is not all down to how big the sport is, does it? Tiger Woods plays golf and has been very marketable.

          1. @jcost, I believe that basketball is played in Australia but fortunately we never see or hear about it unintentionally, unless it’s the Olympics.

    7. The guys is a good driver, dates a celebrity who happens to be a beautiful lady, wears diamond earrings and baseball caps, has tattoo sleeves and a bulldog… Marketability is a mix of things and Lewis does carry lots of “drama” with him, that’s perfect for marketing.

      Kimi’s popularity is not all down to his driving skills, it has alot to do with his personality and “I don’t care what you think” approach, that’s perfect for marketing. They even put his outbursts on t-shirts and mugs!

      How could it be Jenson or Nico? Man! Put your personal opinion away and think like an advertiser.

    8. @vettel1
      Agreed he does not have a dramatic charisma.
      But ,I still feel that he is used for negative publicity 99 % of the times ..

      Its always ” hamilton says …” “Lewis feels ….” headlines that are directed exactly at one sentence he said and then taking it out of context thereby making a big issue out of it for people to read after a hard day at the office . The journalists are almost ‘Newey’ ishly determined to find loopholes in his content and ‘blow’ it out of proportion.

    9. I think celebrities that polarise opinion to some extent are likely to feature in the ‘most marketable’ tables. If 3 billion people love someone, and another 3 billion absolutely hate them (I’m not saying this applies to Hamilton!), then they would be an extremely effective marketing tool (unfortunate use of the word ‘tool’ there).

      That said, I’m not sure I believe their most marketable index (Djokovic and Murray up there but no sign of Federer or Nadal?), the ‘most marketed’ table seems more realistic – where Hamilton is the first F1 driver mentioned and is at number 16 on the list.

    10. This list is really strange. The top 50 global list has the following F1 drivers:

      – Hamilton (1)
      – Vettel (27)
      – Kvyat (40)
      – de Silvestro (50)

      Very strange selection. Vettel is more or less where I would expect him to be on a worldwide top 50 list, and I would have expected Hamilton to be in the top 20. Other than that, I would have thought that maybe Alonso or Button could have made the top 50 list, but definitely not Kvyat or de Silvestro.

      Overall, from the list of 50, I only heard the name of 12 of them (and for 2 or 3 of these 12, I would not even know the sport they are in).

      In the top 5, I have not heard of 3 of them (Kohli, Griffin, Dimitrov). Kohli plays cricket, which is only famous in handful of countries, so I am surprised to see him so high on a global list. Similarly, Griffin plays American Football, which is not really watched outside the US. And then we have Dimitrov as highest ranked tennis player – ok, he is not bad (currently no. 12 on the world ranking), but that famous? Why not Federer or Nadal, who are not even in the top 50?

      I think this list is made up.

      And just when I finished reading, I see the explanation:

      1. @mike-dee I think most of us (myself included) should have read that explanation before commenting ;)

        1. @keithedin where’s the fun in that? This article would have only 5 replies, instead of 50 ;)

    11. @vettel1 The market appeal is based in subjective pointers. I don’t want to be impolite but a big chunk of what makes Lewis the most marketable sportsmen in the world is his physical appearance, there are not many F1 drivers with his appearance.

  5. Most Aussies I talk do don’t know who Hamilton is. They all know Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Tiger Woods and Marc Marquez yet none of them are listed. I am not sure how the 500 in each country are selected but to me the results are quite contrary to what I would expect.

    1. I would bet my money on Nadal and Djokovic being much more famous than Hamilton in 99% of countries all around the world.

    2. I’m surprised to see you mention Marquez. Is Motogp more popular than F1 in Australia then?

      1. Australia has only had two F1 champions but we have had more successful GP500 and MotoGP riders. Most of the guys I speak to are also current or ex motorcycle riders so they tend to keep an eye on the MotoGP scene. Some of them used to follow F1 but they’ve lost interest over the past 5 or 6 years.

  6. Like the rest of the commenters I am a bit surprised that Hamilton came out top on the marketability poll. It is odd that this would be headed by an F1 driver, or any motorsport personality for that matter. These polls are usually topped by footballers, tennis players or some form of American sports personality. I think this sheds a bit of light on it though:

    DBI scores are currently compiled in the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. There is also a global list for particularly high-profile stars, creating the opportunity for cross-market comparisons.

    All of those countries either have strong motorsports histories, currently host a grand prix or hosted a Grand Prix in the recent past. That must have played a role in influencing the result.

  7. It seems the marketability numbers were obtained by asking spectators at GP’s in the listed countries. :-)

  8. surprised to see virat kohli an cricker is ranked second in most markatable sportsperson

  9. It is obvious few people know anything about marketing and marketability – as evidenced by most of the comments here. To claim a persona’s marketability in based on charisma is ludicrous.

    Marketability is based on image, NOT charisma; and love him or loathe him, Lewis Hamilton has one of the most “coolest” images in F1 today. Kimi would easily come second; and both of them are head and shoulders above the rest. Tellingly enough, both also score low on the “charisma” scale. David Beckham has the charisma of a wooden spoon, so does Tiger Woods – but both are (or were) highly marketable athletes.

    Whilst it is OK not to like an athletes personality, and it is ok to disagree with the results of a poll, it is NOT ok to label an athlete you do not know as “lame”, a “poser”, “a one-dimensional ghetto thug” and “desperately trying to be something else” – all without a shed of evidence. This is quite juvenile, and reeks of subliminal jealousy IMO.

    1. Jean-Christophe
      20th May 2014, 11:35

      At last someone who knows what he’s talking about!

    2. I wouldn’t call it subliminal jealousy, just a lack of understanding. Honestly, I think if Raikkonen grew his hair out and started wearing metal shirts, I don’t think he would get the same reaction. After all; ‘Nordic people tend to listen to metal’. However, Hamilton has a cultural background that’s different and people tend think ill of hip hop culture in general. Put two and two together, and suddenly Hamilton isn’t sincere and F1 fans become overnight hip hop purists.

  10. Did Saward atually see F1 in the eighties? He keeps telling people the sound back then was the same as it is now, but it’s not even close.

    I don’t care about the sound, but lame arguments are lame arguments whether it agrees with my point of view or not.

  11. is the team radio transcript of spain coming out at all or has no one bothered?

  12. You know, I’ve been harsh on Felipe in the past. Basically I didn’t want him in a Ferrari after 2011. He had some decent performances in late 2012 and over the course of 2013, but frankly, I would not have cared if he left F1 rather than join Williams.

    After testing, I suddenly started to feel about Massa as I did from 2008 to early 2011; maybe joining Williams did turn him around?

    But, alas, suddenly there’s excuses, jabs at Ferrari, having trouble finishing in front of Bottas (who I rate highly, but not as highly as I do Massa-on-a-good-day) and it looks like we’re about 1 or 2 bad weekends away from Felipe imploding again. I’m really starting to feel the same thing I felt for Rubens; a great driver at times, but simply not up to the task all year round. Post-accident, at least.

    1. Personally I cannot go along with FM being one or two bad weekends away from imploding when they are just beginning this brand new and complex new era in F1. I think all the drivers and teams need more time to settle in to the new format. FM for example could be one or two tweaks away from really feeling a lot more confidence in the car. Only now if it happens he will actually be unhindered on the team, as he is now no longer a ‘Reubens’ slotted into a specific role on the team.

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