Button and Rosberg criticise standing restarts plan

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In the round-up: Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg criticise plans to introduce standing starts after Safety Car periods in 2015.

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Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg concerned by F1’s standing restarts plan (The Guardian)

Nico Rosberg: “That’s going too far with things. Why? I like the pure racing, the way it has been for the past 50 years. I don’t really want to see such a huge change, to do another start. It’s strange. My natural opinion at the moment is that it should stay the way it is now.”

Button’s future uncertain as McLaren eye Alonso (The Telegraph)

Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are named as potential targets for McLaren.

Wolff: Hamilton victory was never on (Autosport)

“He lost the race in qualifying. He recovered tremendously with a great start and a great first lap, [but] in all our calculations the best possible result was second, and he achieved that.”

Prodromou arrival a big step – Dennis (ESPN)

“We’ve got Peter Prodromou joining us in September so that will be a big step. It will bolster our revitalised aero team, so I’m not concerned about aero performance next year, it will come right.”

Probe into theft of Schumacher medical records (Reuters)

“The offeror claims them to be the medical files of Michael Schumacher. We cannot judge if these documents are authentic.

Susie Wolff is determined to become the first female Formula 1 champion (The Express)

“I’m in no rush. I wouldn’t have babies while I’m still racing. I want to achieve great things first and I’m nowhere near ready to give all that up. I wouldn’t think of becoming a mum while I was still racing because you have to be fully dedicated at this level.”

Could Lotus switch to Mercedes power from 2015? (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Lotus has been late with payments to the French manufacturer over the past couple of seasons, while the reliability and performance problems associated with the power unit have proved frustrating to the team.”

Wird Motorenabteilung verkauft? (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

Claims Renault are considering selling their F1 engine production facility at Viry-Chatillon in France because F1 is not giving them enough reward for their expenditure at the moment.

Shiny Spielberg lacks some nuts and bolts (The Times)

“[Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz spent north of £200 million on the circuit and its environs and now it is a glittering shrine to the Red Bull brand, as well as one of the best facilities in motor racing.”

F1: a tough ride (MotorSport)

Perry McCarthy: “After I failed to qualify for ten grands prix straight (which did indeed save us a significant amount of money) our clever and inevitable exit plan succeeded slightly ahead of schedule leading into the Belgian Grand Prix. I nearly said ‘night night’ to the world as my steering rack jammed entering Eau Rouge and this little result helped Max Mosley to consider the team’s long-term future, decided there wasn’t one and rightly cancelled further opportunities for Andrea to make F1 look bad and bury its terrified driver.”


Comment of the day

Yesterday’s surprise news was of a tie-up between the FIA and the makers of Gran Turismo.

I thought that with the way the FIA were going they’d be teaming up with the creators of Mario Kart.
Daniel (@Collettdumbletonhall)

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115 comments on “Button and Rosberg criticise standing restarts plan”

  1. My biggest problem with repeat standing starts is safety. Turn 1 is always fraught with danger at the start of a race, is that improving the show?

    1. Michael Brown
      25th June 2014, 0:20

      Also, the safety car periods last too long as it is.

    2. I think that a standing restart is okay in some situations. For example: The last race in Montreal when the two Marussia’s took each other out there was a lot of debris and we had 7 laps behind the safety car. Had they red flagged it and put the cars back at the start it would have allowed the Marshals to clean up the track a little bit more quickly and safely. However, aside from extreme situations like that, I don’t like the idea of standing restarts.

      1. You make a good point.

        Perhaps standing starts could be an *option*, alongside the current format.
        The type of restart to be had will then depend on the situation.

        1. Actually, it is already an option. If the race is red flagged, race control can decide to have a standing restart (for instance if the red flag situation occurred during a first lap melee) or a rolling restart. So that’s already a possibility.

          1. Okay, yeah… You got me there XD
            Forgot about that!

          2. Under red-flag, you get the option to change tyres, repair damage and some other bits. We don’t have all the details, but I assume that you would be able to do that with the standing start.

          3. I meant wouldn’t…

          4. Well just change that rule @bobbyplums instead of introducing another, and make the red flag a more viable option.

          5. @vettel1 That could create safety problems, though – accident up front might mean that all the cars will drive through debris. In the case of the Marussias in Canada, they just needed to clean up the track and then get on with it.
            Graeme Lowdon said (I think on Ted’s quali notebook) that the rule was “another option for the race director”, so it wouldn’t necessarily happen every time.

          6. @bobbyplums why would it necessarily create a safety risk? It’d be no different to continually running the cars and doing a standing restart.

          7. @vettel1 I don’t think it’s been specified that they will continually run around until the restart, has it?

          8. It can be fairly reasonably deduced from the fact the proposal is regarding following a safety car period @bobbyplums. Standing starts after red flags are already utilised.

          9. @vettel1 You’re probably right. It’d be nice if the F1 commission released full details of their proposals.

      2. A red flag is already an option. no need to change the rules. what will happen if they do make the rule change is that you will still have the long period behind the safety car AND the delay caused by the fact that everyone needs to line up on the grid again. makes absolutely no sense at all.

        i thought the point of the safety car was to increase safety. one of the most dangerous moments in a race is after a standing start. Why is the FIA constantly coming up with these “solutions” to problems that do not exist?!

        F1 is great. leave it alone and enjoy it.

    3. of course it is. the first lap is the most exciting part of the race

    4. While safety may be an issue, the lack of first-lap crashes recent years should go some way to alleviating your fears @scalextric. I’m more worried about F1 becoming a farce.

      Picture this – Crash/debris on track.. Drivers line up on the grid for a restart. On the first lap post-restart there is another crash, so we have another grid line-up and start. On the first few laps after that restart, there is another crash… so on and so forth. It could become pretty embarrassing, although it would lead to some great odds down at the bookies!

    5. petebaldwin (@)
      25th June 2014, 10:47

      I can only imagine the amount of incidents that will come from drivers out of the points pulling a do-or-die move into turn one if a safety car comes out near the end of a race.

      Also, if the cars are hot and are struggling with technical issues, how can you expect the leading cars to sit on the grid for 30 seconds whilst everyone lines us again!? Everything will overheat!

      1. Vettel’s car I’m thinking would be the first candidate for overheating on repeat SC restarts..

      2. Exactly, it makes a safety issues out of the event which is completely backwards reasoning @petebaldwin.

    6. YEah, I also think its a stupid idea that only might be interesting because of the higher risk of an accident it poses @scalextric.

      On top of that, I have serious doubt it is more “interesting” for the fans, after all if it was, why did we then go away from red flags+restarts and introduced the SC. I thought that was done to spare the fans not seeing ANY cars for a long time during the event.

    7. I assume that the re-start will also have a rolll-off. You need to know that every car can get away from the grid before a standing start as an important safety precaution. That will soak up way too much time. You also will need to go through the whole grid-clearing protocol to get equipment off the track, etc. More time. I think many overlook these issues. It’s not a video game where you click through 3 options to restart the race.

    8. I like how deploying the safety car will be less safe than not deploying the safety car.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hamilton back at McLaren, especially if Rosberg takes the title, heck they even publicly compared him to Senna in their Soccer team via Twitter (feel the warm and goey’s). Alonso maybe but have my doubts considering the end to his last tenure there. I don’t think Vettel has proven that he can develop or even race (yet) a difficult car. The comment about Vettel isn’t supposed to rile, but it’s plain to see this year he has struggled with the car and isn’t doing a fantastic job of dealing with it just yet.

  3. Here’s two more opinions on the standing restart idea on a Hungarian sports newspaper Nemzeti Sport (Rosberg’s is the same as in the Guardian article): http://www.nemzetisport.hu/f1/f1-a-pilotaknak-nem-tetszik-a-safety-car-utani-allo-rajt-otlete-2344613
    I didn’t find these anywhere else so I’m going to translate them.

    Ricciardo: “If you lead now by ten seconds and the safety car comes in, you lose the gap but at least stay first. If they will stop us to have a standing restart, there will be a big chance that someone would start badly – not even by his own fault – and suddenly find himself back in fourth place. That is a far too big disadvantage [I’m sure he used a usual funny Aussie expression instead :) ] for someone who worked far to get and build up the lead.”

    Grosjean: “I don’t like the idea, when someone works for sixty laps to get in the lead and falls back in the closing laps because of a standing start like this that’s not natural/normal at all.”

    1. Also want to add a funny video here, a reporter called Rosberg “Lewis” early in the weekend, he was not amused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzoTelEmSkI

    2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      25th June 2014, 1:37

      I’m glad that the drivers are rightly berating this idea.

    3. I agree with what has been said, another standing start just might ruin everything you did right earlier in that race. There would be just too much of a risk someone taking you out. If they need to touch this rule they need only to find away to shorten the SC period. One way of doing this after an accident would be to send all cars to pit lane. Let the marshalls do the cleaning without having to watch out the cars flying by, and then just resume the race from the pit lane. This would take less time to get going again and the laps wouldn’t need reducing either.

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    25th June 2014, 0:39

    “Hello, I’m Flavio Br. again :P
    I think a standing restart is a good idea. If one of my boys is second and it’s totally impossible for him to pass the guy ahead, my other driver will make a huge crash before the last laps. It will give my first driver a chance to win… it’s a gamble but it’s worth to try!”

    1. @omarr-pepper
      I’m seriously thinking that you are the real Flavio Briatore, this is the second time after the suggestion of Q3 extension if yellow flags occurs that you’ve succeded to find a way to gain an unfair advantage !!!

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        25th June 2014, 13:01

        @tifoso1989 hhehehe no way, I’m scared that mafia guy reads my mocks on him actually…

  5. Not a German reader or speaker I ask those linguists ; Any suggestion that Dieter M. might bite the bullet and buy the Renault facility as a going (but loss making) concern ? It would be good to see a non car manufacturer become a total race car builder.

    *pun incidental.

    1. maarten.f1 (@)
      25th June 2014, 7:25

      @hohum Interesting idea actually. I’d wonder if he (or anyone, really) buys the Renault facility, and just renames it to whatever, will they be allowed to start from scratch as well? Or would they have to continue with the Renault engine as they are designed and built?

      1. @maarten-f1 I guess it would depend on the purchaser of Renault Sport F1 also buying the IP or entering into an agreement to run the existing engines.

        If they just strolled up and threw money at the deal, you can bet that Renault would not just be after offloading the business, but making something out of it, be it more money or free marketing.

      2. Good idea. Will be produced by a completely new company, let’s call it Redbault, that simply purchased some assets from Renault.

        @maarten-f1 @hohum

        1. Yes, the idea is that they would be a new company for 2016, most likely badged Infiniti… this also means a new engine homologation and sudden 100% testing available between 2015 and 2016. RB could bring in people from RB Technology, Newey, Illien etc. and spruce the unit up… suddenly it could be bang on the money in 2016, like Honda could be in 2015. Ferrari better hope their changes for the 2015 homologation allow them to catch up their current deficit..

    2. Lewisham Milton
      25th June 2014, 9:07

      Then Ferrari could switch to Red Bull engines.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        25th June 2014, 13:04


      2. Depends how desperate Ferrari are to win again…. oooh…

    3. The article pretty much takes that as hugely unlikely, because it would put them in the same place as they are now with regards to the engine and options for its development @hohum. A new engine instead could look at best practices and start with a clean sheath to be a potential top unit.

  6. I find it a little bemusing that McLaren at the moment believe they can attract top drivers to their ranks with the poor current performance of their cars. McLaren have been on a downward spiral for several years, especially when under the leadership of Martin Whitmarsh.
    Ron Dennis’ return to the helm was never going to garner instant success, the decline was too severe. Look at how long it has taken Williams to get back towards the front of the grid, until last weekend it had been eleven years since they had locked out the front row on Saturday. They have one grands prix victory to their name in a decade, a team that once was as powerful as Red Bull or Mercedes are now.
    Alonso is too engrained at Ferrari. He has destroyed Kimi Raikkonen so far this year, every bit as he did Felipe Massa. He is fluent in Italian, and is obviously the number one driver there. Why risk it for driving for McLaren, and for Ron, even though it’s seven years since he was there. Would it be any different this time around?
    Everyone has seen Sebastien Vettel struggle this season. Riccardo has been sensational and has so far made Vettel look quite ordinary, despite Sebastien having the lion’s share of the mechanical gremlins. Despite this, Vettel still holds a lot of clout at Red Bull and I firmly believe that this year will only make Vettel even more hungry for success. In a team that he knows and a team that still possesses the best race car designer in the world, Adrian Newey.
    Hamilton is the weakest link of the three. One has to wonder how Lewis will react if Rosberg wins the championship. A lot more has gone on at Mercedes than we know about, even before Monaco. Hamilton maybe nostalgic perhaps, but he will only consider McLaren if the Honda engine is good enough. Less than two years ago, many of us thought Hamilton was crazy leaving McLaren for Mercedes. Now we think he would be crazy to go back, nothing would surprise me.

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      25th June 2014, 1:40

      Do you know what sort of things have gone on at Mercedes that we are not aware of?

      1. When you have followed this sport for as long as I have, you learn to read between the lines. Anybody could see that Rosberg was less than happy during Hamilton’s four race winning streak. Then came Lewis’ less than complementary comments prior to Monaco, all of this being glossed over by the ‘we are friends’ PR by Mercedes. The same thing McLaren did in 1989 and 2007, and to a lesser extent Red Bull in recent years. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work it out!

    2. Personally I thought LH made the right choice and the choice he had to, in leaving Mac for Merc. So I can’t see him going back. I also don’t see SV leaving RBR, however, he has been there and gotten the T-shirt, so of it’s one more year of frustration in 2015 while at the same time we see a strong Mac/Honda pairing, then maybe for 2016. FA back to Mac? Again, he must be pretty frustrated at Ferrari, but for now Mac/Honda is an unknown. Maybe also a wait and see until 2016. But I have to agree that for now Mac has not earned the right to invite any of these three and that will depend on how it goes through 2015 with Honda.

      1. I agree with @robbie , and would like to add
        Teflonso must be kicking himself at times in his mega huge bloated wallet ,
        Lewis left Macca for a seemingly slower drive , and Alonso went to the Red team for a hopeful decade of domination!

        Someone drew the short straw !

      2. Yes. Lewis won’t be going back any time soon. He only just left the team a year and a half ago, and is settled in at Mercedes.

        Alonso does seem more committed to Ferrari now too.

      3. Likewise – I think everyone had at least an inkling when he moved that Mercedes were going to be competitive in 2014, so I always thought it was going to be a wise decision long-term.

        However, I never would’ve thought McLaren would be in the position they’ve been in since he left. I thought both McLaren and Mercedes would’ve been right up there this year, back in 2012.

    3. It was only 1.5 years ago mclaren had the best car on the grid, they can bounce back like they did from 2009 quite fast. a driver like alonso would push their car forward.

      1. I find your selective memory of them having the fastest car, but now how they managed to completely mess up any title chances, a little amusing. Alonso and Ferrari beat McLaren in 2012 and 2010 (though not in the constructor’s), with 2012 especially notable with McLaren imploding at every chance they got, while Ferrari somehow kept the title bid alive for Alonso.

        And if we’re talking about bouncing back, Ferrari have been pretty bouncy for a long time since the 90s, but McLaren tend to stay down on the ground for a couple of years at a time.

      2. Mclaren havent won WCC since 1998.

      3. Yeah, just as he’s done at Ferrari.

    4. I think that Hamilton going back to Mclaren is a real possibility. I can remind you Alonso in Mclaren in 2007 – relationship with Hamilton and whole team just exploded and he lost championship in a best car, so he couldn’t handle such blow and went to slower Renault, which wasn’t promising at all.

      All can be repeated in a Mercedes. Tension between Hamilton and Rosberg becomes uncontrollable, Hamilton loses championship and can’t handle such a heartbreaking loss, because he had the best car on the grid and always thought to be the best driver in F1. So he goes back to his old team, where he was No. 1 driver and hugely likeable. Besides, Mclaren can rise from ashes with Honda/Dennis?Prodromu returning to the team. So this scenario is quite possible.

  7. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    25th June 2014, 1:31

    Woop my first COTD! Haha thanks! :)

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      25th June 2014, 2:21

      @collettdumbletonhall congratulations!!!! I only have one so far :)

    2. Hehe Mario Kart. At least they would be engaging with some younger viewers for once…. that said, we do have F1 Kart Stars? They can at least use Susie Wolff and Simona de Silvestro now to replace ‘generic female racer’…

  8. How a Hamilton win was never on? He crossed the line right behind his teammate, and in the last lap he was less than a second behind and used DRS. Don’t understand that statement. Wolff must be trying to dismiss any idea of favoring Rosberg because of the slow pit stops (they maybe not denied Hamilton the win, but turned his attempt much more difficult), but that’s not the way to do it (and of course that the slow pits stops weren’t made on purpose). All those calculations “died” the moment Hamilton was in 4th place at the end of the first lap and chasing his teammate.

    1. Neil (@neilosjames)
      25th June 2014, 3:03

      I didn’t think he could win, though I knew he was quicker (think Hamilton would have Sepang’d it with track position) – purely because there’s no way one Mercedes was going to overtake an identical Mercedes on the same strategy around that circuit, unless the leading car made a substantial error. Not enough DRS assist for it. That’s maybe what Mercedes’ ‘calculations’ came down to.

      1. I didn’t think he could win, though I knew he was quicker (think Hamilton would have Sepang’d it with track position)

        I don’t think Lewis had enough speed advantage in his pocket to Sepang-style win it in Austria, Rosberg was just too close.

        1. Not so sure Kingshark.. I think Lewis could have gapped from DRS and kept it at that gap at least. In Q, Lewis would have been on pole by 3 tenths if not for T8. Rosberg was generally slower this weekend, e.g. a mistake at T1, but won it with mental pressure.

    2. @edmarques, I totally agree, and I find it a little bit annoying that Mercedes’ top brass are making such statements. Wolff:

      “Clearly, Nico that afternoon [text strongly suggests he meant Sunday] was the faster guy. Why was he the faster guy? Because he was starting in P3 and not in P9, so Lewis’s result was compromised by Saturday.”

      That does not make any sense to me. Also in yesterday’s round-up there was a story with a quote from Lauda that Rosberg was clearly faster (he made the same kind of comment after Monaco, maybe even Canada I’m not sure). To me the only thing clear was that Nico finished ahead, but that does not mean he is faster.

      Note that I’m not claiming any conspiracy to favour Rosberg, as Lauda was saying the same kind of things when Lewis was winning; after Spain: “he is almost unbeatable”, when in the last two races Rosberg had finished within a second of him.

      The point I’m trying to make is that this kind of nonsensical (and for me, irritating) comments should not be expected from Mercedes’ team leaders; when Hamilton occasionally makes a daft comment I can forgive him, being a naturally gifted racer wearing his heart on his sleeve and all that, but the people in management I expect to think before they speak.

      @kingshark, to me Hamilton seemed quite a bit quicker this weekend, especially as Rosberg had not quite nailed the setup this time, overprotecting the rear tyres (which did not seem to help him in the race). One hint of Lewis being faster was at the end of the first stint when Rosberg pitted, Hamilton’s next lap (in relatively clear air) was a second faster.

      1. I dont believe any conspiracy exists at Merc ,
        My guess would be Lewis is 2 nd highest paid driver and contract clauses out the kazoo,
        Im also sure( guessing) Lewis would like a fair fight , i think Merc are giving the boys equall toys

    3. @edmarques @neilosjames @kingshark @adrianmorse I think the only way Hamilton might have won after lap one would have been if he’d got ahead of Bottas well as Massa at the first round of pit stops. That might have been possible if he’d had a better first pit stop, but as he didn’t actually jump Massa at the first stops (he passed Massa after the Williams rejoined the rack) it’s not certain. But had he done that, he would have been running second when Rosberg went off at turn one. Bottas was too far back to make a pass stick when Rosberg made that mistake, but Hamilton might have been close enough to capitalise.

      But I agree with Wolff’s point that Hamilton screwed his weekend on Saturday.

      1. wolf shouldnt be coming out saying the things he’s saying,its unprofessional.lauda doing is to be expected,but toto should being talking like a nuetral,despite how he feels.ive seen toto make excuses when nico has messed up in quali,lewis does it and gets blamed.

        1. @matt Even Lewis blamed his weekend woes on Saturday, so I don’t think Wolff was saying anything we didn’t already all agree on. And then he gave both sides of the garage heck for being secretive and sandbagging and allowing the competition to come too close for comfort, so TW is being neutral. If LH’s mistake on Saturday was in fact not a mistake but a technical issue Wolff would have said so.

        2. Nothing he said was even remotely unprofessional. It was a completely realistic appraisal of Hamilton’s weekend.

      2. @keithcollantine I think your paragraph well sums it up and it seems almost universally agreed LH screwed his weekend on Saturday, and I would only add that in your analysis of having LH with a better first pit to jump FM then, it was LH who admitted he went a little long into the pit box for that stop. ie. LH potentially further screwed his weekend with that mistake. ie. Is he in fact overdriving?

        1. He said he wasn’t, but braking 8m later for T2 in Q, after his first lap was perfectly fine, does seem to hint to me that he is feeling the pressure. But hopefully a sterling recovery drive can give him the edge coming into Silverstone, before Rosberg will hit back at Germany, before a Hamilton track in Hungary.. but they both like Singapore… finally, Lewis is a beast at Abu Dhabi, if his car holds up…

          1. Except Vettel will win in Singapore (given Webber wont be paying a visit).

          2. If there’s anywhere where he can do it…

      3. Toto Wolff is partly right and Lewis said the same, his Q3 performance compromised his weekend but it really is a surprise to hear Wolff assuming Lewis cannot win from P9. He really had a shot at it. Like @keithcollantine jumping Massa was key to attack Nico but those slow pit stops did not help his cause.

        IMHO, recently, what Lewis is lacking is a good banker lap on Q3s. Let’s hope he gets his act together at Silverstone.

  9. Ferrari appear to be reacting to the rumours, I read yesterday that they’ve offered Alonso a contract extension. Will he sign it? There are so many variables in this business that its extremely difficult to predict where drivers are headed, unless you’re Eddie Jordan of course.

    Any driver moving to Mclaren next year will be taking a massive leap of faith. For starters, this year’s car is very poor, safe to say they are the worst of the Merc runners. With Honda coming in next year, and the arrival of Prodromou, it might well prove to be a transition year for them. However, it is also possible that everything might just click into gear.

    For Alonso, it could be win all or loose all situation. There is a lot of good work going on in the background at Ferrari, could it bear fruit next season? It would be a massive slap in the face if he moves on and Ferrari have a winning car next season. Too many ifs and buts….Eddie Jordan reckoned a year ago that Alonso will be at Mclaren Honda..so we will just have to wait and see.

    1. could it bear fruit next season?

      A question which has been asked ever since he got there.

    2. I think he should risk because there is nothing to lose. With McLaren there is still possibility.
      When Lewis made his move to Mercedes everyone told that was stupid. It was right move as we see. Anything could happen. We must be certain only that Ferrari will not build a championship winning car.

      1. No, that sounds like a terrible idea. Ferrari, with a bad engine, are 3rd. Mclaren, with the best engine, are 6th; the only reason they arent as far back as last year is the Mercedes engine. And on top of that, there is always the possibility Honda will flop like Renault and Ferrari.

  10. Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are named as potential targets for McLaren.

    Lewis? And any of the 3 with McLaren’s performance this year? A bit unlikely, I reckon.

  11. Lotus swithing to McLaren engines is a real possibility I think, they are the only team with a one-year contract with Renault.

    1. You mean Mercedes?

    2. You mean Mercedes engine? I also see RBR would be interested in it

  12. Drivers criticised it, fans criticised it, everyone criticised it! The FIA simply does not care just like they didn’t care about the bad feedback that the double points system recieved! This idea to basically “restart” the race after the SC is awful in my opinion. They keep trying to change things, but none of them listen to what the fans actually WANT TO SEE.

  13. If Renault pulls out then it’s possible that Nissan / Infiniti takes over, but then they would be stuck with the current homologation, wouldn’t they?
    That RBR is buying them is also very unlikely, it’s too much of a commitment and even though some claim that RBRs budget is limitless, F1 is operated out of the marketing budget and ROIs might not be good enough to justify another 50-100 Million for their own engine.

  14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    25th June 2014, 8:45

    Shall we list the drivers who have been linked with McLaren this year? Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Stoffel Vandoorne. The funny thing is a) a drive at McLaren has never appeared less inciting and b) I would be very surprised, following their knee-jerk abandonment of Perez last year (in that McLaren cannot make a reputation for rash driver decisions with getting rid of Perez in 2013 and hiring Perez over Hulkenberg in 2012 (which was seemingly made purely on the podium results Sergio managed) already marring their recent history), if they have anyone other than Button and Magnussen driving for them next year.

    1. Don’t forget the extra $5m that Perez brought with him from Mexican sponsors. Given their 2013 car, they could have had any middling driver in seat 2 and retained their WCC position, so the second seat that year was essentially bringing in some money, to cover paying for Mercedes engines. Else, they could have picked Hulk, or even Di Resta, who had tested for McLaren when an upcoming driver, which would have continued the slightly worn out and now sponsorless ‘best of British’ theme.

    2. But I agree, I can see them retaining the current line up, no matter how fast Vandoorne shows he is compared to Button. Honda need a WDC in the line up, the others are tied up/don’t want to chance it… and once Button retires his protege can step up after some FP1s and Button can retain a cut of earnings from the manager side…

  15. I don’t think Hamilton his Q ruined his race. It made it harder to win, yes. His magnificent start however saw him in P4, right behind Rosberg, by the beginning of lap 2. So it’s not like he had to use 50 laps, tyres and fuel to get right behind Rosberg and had no more options left to overtake him. He was right behind Rosberg for over 40 laps. His Q was not optimal, his start was, his race was average.

    1. @xtwl The hardest car to pass was always going to be Rosberg and Hamilton started six places behind him instead of in front of him. So I say it was definitely qualifying that ruined Hamilton’s weekend.

      1. Toto: “The max Hamilton could get was 2nd and he got it”.. I.e. there was no way he could have passed Rosberg….

      2. @keithcollantine and @fastiesty His qualifying made it more difficult, yes we agree on that. But had HAM started P3 and Rosberg got ahead by T1 what would be the difference compared to the actual race? His Q possibly ruined his race because he was behind Rosberg, not actual being in ninth after that start. It never really looked like he was close enough to attack Rosberg, imo.

        Maybe Hamilton was just never fast enough to claim this win compared to Rosberg. It also seemd he never really attempted an overtake. It’ll always be guessing but I believe had Rosberg been behind Hamilton he might have gotten past. I think Hamilton could have passed Rosberg aswell. Would it be easy, of course not, but as Toto says ‘impossible’, I think not. Maybe his bad pistops played a bigger role than might seem at first sight.

        In the end I sure agree had Hamilton gotten pole his race would have been easier but I don’t feel like it would’ve guaranteed him the win.

        1. @xtwl Pole I’m pretty sure would have guaranteed him the win.. the advantage of clean air could not really be pushed home by Rosberg, who even made a mistake in running wide in T1. We agree in that Hamilton’s Q putting him behind altered the race significantly.

          But if Hamilton was starting 5th and had still jumped Williams in the first stops then he would have had 2 stints on Rosberg’s tail in DRS range, not the occasional DRS that he subsequently got. After his mistake Rosberg brought it home, but if that was Hamilton on his tail and he let him by, it would be hard to see Rosberg repassing Hamilton for the win.

      3. He did jump Nico at Canada with a good in lap and a good pit service. In Austria his in lap was brilliant but pit service was sup bar and he failed to overtake Massa…

      4. @keithcollantine, For me, Nico ruined the weekend for Ham, not the Q.

      5. Well, he was right behind Rosberg in a couple laps. So Hamilton mooted his Q3 mistake immediately. From there, the question was only, can the Mercedes driver behind at the beginning win the race? The answer is manifestly yes. If anything, Hamilton’s apparent over-shooting his box on the first stop was more consequential than his Q3 mistake. He could have won the race, other things equal.

        1. @dmw

          Well, he was right behind Rosberg in a couple laps. So Hamilton mooted his Q3 mistake immediately.

          Only if you think the best qualifying position he was capable of was fourth behind his team mate. At the very minimum I think we should acknowledge he is capable of out-qualifying Rosberg, and I think either of them could have had pole position.

          It’s not as if Rosberg pipped him by a tenth, Hamilton threw his car off the road twice and failed to set a time at all. If he had done I doubt he would have been off the front row.

          1. Indeed, Hamilton would have been on pole by 3 tenths, so it would have been up to Rosberg to match that in the second run (which he would have been almost half a second off of in the first run), needing to jump up from 4th place.

    2. Saying his Q was not optimal is quite an understatement.

  16. Wolff is trying to take the pressure off the pit-stop crew.

    Rosberg isn’t as good at launches as Lewis, and there will be other drivers who will be disadvantaged if this strange scheme comes in to play. I don’t think it will happen because of objections.

    Like the photo of Fittipaldi playing Gran Turismo!

  17. Nico: “I like the pure racing, the way it has been for the past 50 years.”

    Say what?! Tough I’m with Nico against the non sense plan of restart, I can’t possible imagine where did Nico get the idea that today’s F1 racing is pure racing…like it has been for the past 50 years!?! But it was a funny comment.

    1. Perhaps he is just saying the aspect of rolling restarts in F1 is more pure than if they were to now abandon that and go to standing restarts. I’m sure, given that his Dad was in F1, both Nico and his Dad could go on all day about how it was for Keke, and the drivers before him, how it was between the time his Dad left and Nico started, and how it has evolved since Nico entered F1, in terms of how pure the racing is, was, or should or could be.

      1. @robbie, If that’s what he means, I’m with Nico. Was not what I understood, but you’re probably right. I think he knows very well what pure racing was, and what it could be in the future.

    2. @yes-master @robbie He’s left it a bit late to become a purist, particularly after his cheerleading for DRS. Still, better late than never.

      1. Maybe he still talks to his Dad?

  18. “Susie Wolff is determined to become the first female Formula 1 champion”.

    How likely is it that someone at the age of 31 with only a few F1 test sessions under the belt would become F1 champion eventually?

    1. I do admire her determination but I think her odds are better of being hit by lightning. Not saying she shouldn’t make that her goal and try though.

    2. How likely is it that somebody who (I believe I am right in saying) has literally never won a single car race at the age of 31 would become F1 champion eventually?

      1. She made it into the points in DTM twice in 71 races. Doesn’t that count?


        1. You’re right. Give her a seat in a Mercedes.

  19. My first thought about standing restarts was good. I mean, probably the start is the most exciting moment. With that measure we will see that several times in the same race.

    1. The best bit of football is a goal. There should be penalties at half time.

  20. Here’s something else to consider about the standing safety car restarts, Tyres.

    If you have some drivers on old tyres & others on newer tyres then those on older tyres are going to get mugged off a standing start & braking through the 1st corner.

    You could force everyone to make a stop under the SC to ensure everyone has fresh tyres, However that totally kills teams strategy & what happens if a driver doesn’t have any fresh tyres left?

    1. Good point.

  21. Wouldn’t surprise me if Renault left; the amount of money they need to invest to catch up with Mercedes wont balance out with the marketing benefits, and their road car line up doesn’t fit with their racing pedigree. Mercedes on the other hand is getting lots of exposure in Asian / Eastern markets which will help them sell their top end cars.

  22. As bad as Ferrari are right now, I’m not sure he’d jump ship to McLaren. They looking even more desperate at the moment.

  23. Have been wondering whether it would be possible for a team to exploit this rule to gain an advantage and may have come up with one.

    It’s current practice that a start is aborted if a driver stalls on the grid. The field is waved around on another formation lap while the stranded car is recovered.

    So imagine a scenario where a late Safety Car period results in a standing restart being given on the final lap. A team whose cars are in first and, for example, fifteenth place would have a strong incentive to instruct their second driver to stall on the grid, forcing the field to go around another lap, at which point the race would be over and the leading driver would win.

    Now I’m not saying anyone would be that blatantly underhand but rules changes like this do create new opportunities for exploitation and this is just one example of how it might happen.

    The temptation for someone to do what I’ve just described would be even great if they had been leading the race comfortably before the Safety Car period but had tyres that were considerably older than their pursuers’. A driver in that position would stand to lose far more on a standing restart than a rolling one.

    1. @keithcollantine Definitely a possibility but since the likes of yourself are already considering such a thing perhaps the rule could include an exception for the standing start if a safety car is needed with, say, 5 laps to go, after which they would do the standard rolling re-start.

      1. Doesn’t it include exactly this exception?

        1. As it turns out yes. I can’t claim to have ESP though, as I thought standing restarts was only a trial balloon they were floating.

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