Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2014

Vettel not joining Mercedes – Lauda

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2014In the round-up: Niki Lauda denies Helmut Marko’s claims that they have made an approach to Sebastian Vettel.


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

Lauda rubbishes speculation (Sky)

“We are already in touch with [Lewis Hamilton] to renew his contract. All the speculation of bull**** Marko is absolute rubbish.”

F1 “popularity” group meeting deferred but Ferrari still pushing (James Allen on F1)

“Montezemolo’s key policy initiatives are: The return of some ability to develop engines during the season… Emphasis on R&D… More testing on tracks.”

Ferrari: Complete overhaul needed (Autosport)

“It’s not just the power units, the aerodynamics, [or] the chassis; it’s the team, the car – it’s a huge amount of work that needs to be done.”

Video – maximising the McLaren MP4-29 (F1)

“In this video we analyse just some of the developments that have been made to the Mercedes-powered MP4-29 as the British squad bid to lift Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen up the order.”


Comment of the day

Jakob was at the German Grand Prix in 1994, which featured in an article yesterday:

I was there in 1994 with my father and one of my friends.

Man, were we gutted by the first corner incident. With so many cars out of the race instantly, it turned into a very boring race to watch since the long circuit meant there were long periods of time without any cars visible at all (besides the fact that there were a lot less track action when they were visible). We even had glorious seats that allowed us to look down the long straight lead in back to the in-field and the start/finish line. Back then they only cost €180 as well.

I never really forgave Mika Hakkinen for ruining the race, which we had travelled from Denmark to watch.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jack Lenox!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Mika Salo gave up his best chance to win a grand prix 15 years ago today when he handed victory in the German Grand Prix to Ferrari team mate Eddie Irvine. Salo, who was substituting for the injured Michael Schumacher, did so to help Irvine’s championship chances, but he was eventually defeated by Mika Hakkinen.

Hakkinen’s German Grand Prix chances ended with this shocking high-speed tyre failure:

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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  • 67 comments on “Vettel not joining Mercedes – Lauda”

    1. Is there anybody that really believes Vettel will leave Red Bull in the next years? I think both Mercedes and Red Bull will keep their driver line up at least until the end of 2016.

      1. I can see Lewis choosing to go to another team if he wins a WDC or 2 before his contract expires. Imagine him at Williams alongside Bottas, that would be such a likeable team.

        1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
          1st August 2014, 1:25

          Indeed. I really believe Bottas is a future WDC.

          1. @frankjaeger I think they’d get on really well too.

          2. @frankjaeger Will Williams carry their competitiveness to next year? I think Bottas has placed himself on the radar of the big dogs (with all due respect to Williams glorious past, they’re not one of the big dogs).

            I think McLaren will consider Mr. Bottas down the road.

            If McL doesn’t re-sign Button their short list should include: Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Bottas

            1. @jcost I don’t see why not providing they place well in this years championship (3rd)

              Yeah i’d be well pleased to see that signing. He seems like an apt fit, maybe McLaren would like to regain some ground with some finnish fury hehe

              I sincerely hope they give Button 1 more shot at the top, winning (or almost) the WDC in his final year, teamed back with Honda would make for a beautiful narrative. I would call myself a firmer believer than most in Button’s talents, after all it was his last-first symphony in 2011 that ignited my love of F1, but I can’t help but think an Alonso, maybe Hulk or even a future Bottas would reap more reward

              @surface Me too hehe. His resting face is absolutely emotionless ahaha

        2. Never. Williams approach is never to pay exorbitant monies to big stars. They much rather spend that on the car. The only reason Senna went to Williams was because Williams had dominated the previous seasons with their active suspension and engine. Senna was tired of racing in a substandard McLaren with Ford engine. He agreed to a pay cut to race for FW. And we know how it ended.

          Sir FW would NEVER pay what LW thinks he is worth.

      2. Why would Vettel want to move right now? Mercedes is likely to be locked out given Rosberg has already extended his contract and Hamilton is expected to extend his, whilst going to an outfit like McLaren or Ferrari would probably be a step backwards in terms of competitiveness.
        All in all, for the moment his best bet would appear to be to stay at Red Bull, where the car is still fairly competitive, and hope that Renault’s planned modifications to the engine for 2015 are able to close the gap to Mercedes.

      3. Red Bull has a good car and Seb knows it, their car is not great because the PU is part of it and their partner missed the mark. Renault is a house of engineering, they failed in 2014 but they will likely do better in 2015.

        It only makes sense for Seb to give Red Bull another try. There’s no reason to panic just yet. Plus, why should Mercedes dump Lewis for Seb? What would they get in Seb that Lewis can’t provide? Mercedes is a global brand and like it or not Lewis Hamilton is the “pop star” of F1, in addition to that he happens to be one of the fastest drivers.

        1. Lewis is the fastest driver, but not necessarily the best. That’s probably Alonso!

          1. Alonso is propbably the best driver in F1 today, but the difference ain’t that big between the top crop. I think if Lewis and Seb can perform evenly, Mercedes will not gain anything from dumping the kid media loves so much (for good and bad) a driver who’s equally fast but less of less media appeal.

            1. I don’t think Vettel would perform as well as Hamilton on Sunday either… just a hunch.

            2. @surface

              I agree, I think he would be better. Firstly because he wouldn’t waste a qualifying lap and secondly because he’s more consistent.

      4. Vettel is not going anywhere so long as he would be seen as being run off by Ricciardo. He will be on a mission to dominate Ricciardo next year and restore his brand.

        1. @baron-2

          Ha ha he sure makes no mistakes lol…, funny thing is we never see a 4xWC dominated like this, how embarassing is an excuse Vet fans have said he is struggling do adapt? That is not good that is a bad thing.

          1. What an utter nonsense. Yes DR is beating seb handily so far but dominating? Come on man.

      5. @mike-dee I can certainly see Vettel leaving Red Bull if another team proves more competitive – especially McLaren with Honda engines and that allegedly “ridiculous” offer. But I’m much more skeptical over Ferrari, unless James Allison really is that good.

    2. Lewis is the man Mercedes want… Lewis is the man everyone wants!

      1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        1st August 2014, 0:50

        If Mercedes has already spent a lot of money to make a superb car, they would not let Lewis go.
        … in theory.
        If all this intra-team battle reaches McL2007 levels, anything is necessarily closed. Nobody in their sane logic would have expected at the beginning of 2007 that McLaren, spending tons of money to make a great car, would let Alonso leave, with or without scandals and intrateam battles. But it happened.

        1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
          1st August 2014, 0:51

          nothing. (erase “anything”)

        2. They might be wise to add WDC clauses to Lewis’ contract. As a fan of HAM I still think he might end up looking elsewhere if he doesn’t win a WDC or if Nico wins more than him at Merc.

      2. I thought that Lauda was the man who moved the team in the direction that has resulted in the 2014 team. Lauda was the one that pushed to sign Lewis and also focused more on these new rule changes. This season has been planned by Mercedes for a long time, why would they change it seeing how successful it is? Also, we’ve seen in the first half of 2014 what happens when Vettel is given a car he’s not familier with or that wasn’t designed for him. Red Bull know Vettel better, and the car would be more suited to him. What monetary gain would Vettel bring? Extra revenue in Germany by having two German drivers? Not hugely, I bet Lewis brings more revenue in from merchandise etc. It is such a ridiculous idea, when Lewis was asked in an interview recently I thought it was a joke, if anything Rosberg is the ‘No. 2 driver’, surely his place is more under threat?

        1. you won’t give Ross any credit for where the team is right now?

    3. More testing on tracks; more in season testing, as “events”, used as occasions to engage with the public and fans

      AGAIN??!?!?! talk about an off again, on again relationship!

      Every year it’s “We want to avoid inseason testing, because of costs”. The next year is “how come there isn’t in season testing? you don’t see footballers not practicing during the year”. Another year it goes: “we want to stop testing during the season, it’s ridiculously expensive”. Then again: “F1 needs testing!”

      Make up your mind once and for all !

      And btw, I don’t see how “testing” can be an event. How is it that the sport is SO devaluated that they have to invent testing as a way to “engage with the public” ? another way of telling the story could be: “we want to squeeze more money from those that are priviledged to buy a ticket in the first place”.

      Testing ! testing is plain boring ! you want to engage with the people to the sport? make the sport visible (aka youtube channels, proper tv coverage) OR lower down your prices…

      1. Testing ! testing is plain boring ! you want to engage with the people to the sport? make the sport visible (aka youtube channels, proper tv coverage) OR lower down your prices…

        well said @fer.no65.

      2. maarten.f1 (@)
        1st August 2014, 6:34

        @fer-no65 Of course testing will make F1 more popular. Ferrari can afford plenty of testing, ensuring they will be able to get their cars near the front of the grid. And everybody knows that when red cars are at the front of the grid, Formula 1 is just so much more popular.

        But seriously. I’ve seen people mentioning Luca needs to go in another topic, and people asking why. I think these kinds of things are exactly why. I can’t blame Luca for putting Ferrari’s interest up front, but don’t come with the BS that it’s for the good of Formula 1. If Ferrari wants something, it’s only good for Ferrari.

        1. Very true @maarten-f1, it is quite clear why Ferrari think this improves the show, but why would anyone not there solely as a Ferrari supporter.

        2. Exactly – Luca’s statements are pretty obviously all about trying to milk the sport for his ends. A relaxation on testing over the winter is hugely beneficial to Ferrari but provides little benefit to the UK based teams, whilst no doubt the relaxations on R&D will be in areas where Ferrari’s considerable financial advantage over the other teams would give them a key edge.

          It’s also interesting that the German GP is used as the benchmark for F1’s popularity – all of the other venues this season have reported ticket sales that are virtually as high as 2013, whilst Silverstone recently reported that their attendance figures this season set new records. It’s really only Hockenheim which is struggling, and that is attributed as much to excessive ticket prices and the fact that neither Rosberg nor Vettel are popular enough with the German public to galvanise ticket sales as anything else (attendance figures at Hockenheim have been sliding for almost a decade – i.e. pretty much since Schumacher retired).

        3. @maarten-f1 @bosyber While Ferrari obviously only want testing back so they can regain their former glory, it could increase F1 popularity with fans. Not because ferrari might be back at the front, but because if done right testing could be a massive payday.

          If we think back to the days when F1 had races that were not part of the Championship, fans still turned up in their thousands to watch. I’m not one for advocating more in-season testing, but if it were to be done then open up the grandstands at a lower price than WDC/WCC races, and make it a ‘race’ of some kind. Those who feel the need to race and win can do so, all while testing parts.. And the teams who want straight-line speed readings etc can also do so. But the fans get to watch F1 cars go round a track, and they’ll pay to do so.

          Again, I’m not championing in-season testing, but if it were to be increased, then this is the only viable option in my opinion.

          1. @timi

            but because if done right testing could be a massive payday.

            Which it won’t, of course! :)

            1. @davidnotcoulthard Haha indeed. God bless the FIA..

      3. Testing can be interesting if they improve interaction:

        They can have engineers lecturing on track or drivers racing fans in go-karts…

        Some fans can have access to team garages and share their experience via YouTube (of course the team must approve what can be shown).

        Testing can also be a good place to have Pirelli guys explaining fans how they construct their tyres and what’s the technology and rationale behind it.

        Current and former drivers should engage in Q&A sessions with selected fans.

        Fans should participate in a broad forum with the “Pop Group” (a.k.a Popularity Group…) and FIA

        Even though must of these things could be done in a “extended GP weekend (i.e. starting on Tuesday…) testing could be a good platform.

        1. @jcost that’d mean they’ll have to do all that instead of testing.

          So they could just do that every wednesday before the GP or every monday after the race.

          Testing, in that sense, isn’t essential for that to happen. Luca just wants testing… forget the fans…

          1. @fer-no65 you’re right. His main goal is testing but they should go for a 4 days GP weekend. I still can’t understand why host cities don’t even get a drivers parade at city centre… so simple.

    4. Hah. Another Marko smoke-bomb goes off in a competitors’ garage. Red Bull desperately need to upset Mercedes in some way. I don’t think Mercedes are too bothered by this one though.

    5. Montezemolo’s key policy initiatives are: The return of some ability to develop engines during the season… Emphasis on R&D… More testing on tracks.

      Well, judging just by this excerpt, I agree 100%, but I’ll reserve my judgement for when I find the time to read the full article.

    6. Gideon Hadi (@)
      1st August 2014, 1:54

      I hope Codemasters will make some revisions on f1 2014 game. the graphic is not really improving and some aero updates on the real life doesn’t exist on the game

      1. There’s always a cut off point for the aero stuff. If they kept updating it, the game would be changing up until the day of its release!

        As for the graphics, I think this is the last F1 game on the previous generation consoles, so we should expect a massive jump in quality from next year onwards.

        1. That’s also what will be the case with the F1 2015 to come out early next year, continuous updates throughout the year bringing the simulation cars in line with each update to the cars in real life. And yeah, @kodongo is right, I believe that the next gen console games will have a huge jump in graphics.

        2. That cut-off point is the Australian Grand Prix. Since I can remember, the chassis you see there are the chassis that will appear in the game. With Codemasters, I’ve noticed the paintwork is from around Canada usually, but an exception this year seems to be McLaren. The nose might have something to do with it.

    7. Vettel doesn’t need to go to Mercedes, remember, we all said he could win the championship this year with a half decent car. Whatta load of **** that turned out to be. -.-

      1. we all said he could win the championship this year with a half decent car

        I don’t remember anybody saying that, many people here believe(d) it’s all down to the RB

      2. @kieferh4

        And Hamilton said he would do what Vettel did easily if given the same performance advantage…
        Well, Lewis, good luck winning 9 consecutive races in a row… Or getting 15 pole positions in one season….

        Whatta load of **** that turned out to be.

    8. Why would Mercedes need Vettel? They have two excellent drivers , who are not faultless but still the best driver line-up on the current grid. As long as the intra-team rivalry does not get completely out of control, there is no reason to change a winning team. And if that happens, I imagine that Mercedes will prefer to replace Hamilton with someone like Bottas, not with another “rooster”.

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        1st August 2014, 13:33

        I think the suggestion, rightly or wrongly, is that Mercedes want the best all-German line-up they can muster.

        Rent-a-quote Jacques Villeneuve and elements of the media are suggesting that Mercedes is favouring Rosberg with the inference that this is due to his nationality. If you believe this to be true then the supposed logical next step is for Mercedes to sign Vettel and have a “German Dream Team”.

        Putting to one-side such conspiracies, I agree with you. Why on earth would Mercedes want Vettel over their current line-up? I can only suggest that, if they are in discussions with him, it is just in case Lewis decides he doesn’t want to extend his contract. That would be a logical thing for Merc to do as a fallback.

      2. And if that happens, I imagine that Mercedes will prefer to replace Hamilton with someone like Bottas, not with another “rooster”.

        Exactly. And the Wolff and Mercedes links to Bottas make him a more likely candidate in my eyes for a Mercedes seat if one were to become available.

      3. And if that happens, I imagine that Mercedes will prefer to replace Hamilton with someone like Bottas

        The Finnish Dream Team!

    9. If Vettel was getting trumped by RIC at RBR, Marko’s claims could have been slightlying interesting.

      1. @jason12

        You make absolutely no sense, as always.

        1. :D
          A smart person would’ve been able to spot that “was” should’ve been “wasn’t” in that statement.

          But that still wouldn’t stop a VET fan from attacking me…. Angry his favourite driver is being exposed.

    10. Montezemolo’s key policy initiatives are designed to help Ferrari, not the sport.

      1. And at the moment is helping Mercedes ! No matter how you turn the tables, some will like the changes, some don’t. Some will lose, some will win. Personally, I agree with LdM, there should be allowed some testing, improvement of the engine during the season. There should be some way to give 2nd chances, to try at least to recover the lost ground. Ferrari did not have the best ideea, obviously, of how the engine design should be… but forcing them to run that engine for 3 years seems too much. FIA already lowered the specs, imposed a fuel limit, imposed that every engine should be used a certain time etc. Things are too obvious now and personally I don’t need LdM or Newey to say it. But people tend to laugh at what LdM is saying, but when Newey says the same thing… suddenly it’s like a rule.

    11. I still remember very clearly how dissapointed I was when Ferrari robbed Salo’s maiden victory. It didn’t come as a surprise that they asked Salo to let Irvine through, but it still didn’t feel right.

      1. One of the best (and kinda most disappointing) GPs I ever saw… but maybe I’m a bit biased ;)

    12. So in a group designed to boost the popularity of the sport they try making in season testing a thing again? Done properly it could be used as an option for fans such as making the tickets dirt cheap or even free whilst offering “luxury” packages for less. If the cars are going to go around for say 70 plus laps then it would be worthwhile but then again a little aero paint and a two lap low speed run and then back into the garage with the doors closed is the most likely outcome.

      It is a shame though that the only solutions that seem to be coming out will not benefit the sport more. A more competitive Ferrari brings more fans? I would rather see a more competitive race with as many different teams involved.

      1. If you want to see a really competitive race with as many different teams involved… maybe you should try watching something else. This is a sport with PRO people involved, not amateurs. That means the differences are smaller but quite constant too. Also, there are rules. Things like a Nissan GT-R beating a Bugatii Veyron on a circuit… is left strictly for amateurs and ad-hoc meetings. So, in my opinion, many people are not realistic and ask too much from a regulated sport. Not to mention the drivers (some are better than others) and the engineers (some have good ideeas, some the worst, some genius ideeas). The last 3-4 races were actually very good, the main thing that kinda killed the adrenaline is Mercedes dominating both champs easily. If you exclude Mercedes, the champs battle is pretty good, more drivers and teams having a chance at the titles.

    13. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      1st August 2014, 11:37

      The extent to which the motivations of the global corporation Mercedes are German- nationalist, as portrayed by my fellow bloggers and the less informed media, amuses me greatly. A German line-up would contribute as little to the promotion of the Mercedes brand and worldwide road car sales (the key goal for any manufacturer entering the Piranha club) as a German champion; Mercedes has a global market to adhere to, not merely the fatherland. Putting driver nationality to one side, manufacturers require global stars to promote their brands, as Honda are currently demanding (although I don’t see any available for next year); does Hamilton is some way not fit the quota?

      Expect to see the following headline on your internet-enabled devices/motoring magazine (for the more archaic of you) soon…

      Hamilton signs multiple year contract extension

      …oh Helmut, why are you so devious?

      1. @william-brierty This. Germany is an important market for Mercedes, but they sell only 18% of their cars there. I also assume that they are more interested in exploring new markets than trying to squeeze more profit from saturated markets.

        Of course, a combination of Vettel and Hamilton would boost the popularity of Mercedes further but it would be a risky line-up. Moreover, if Rosberg wins a title, his “market value” will increase and Mercedes will have two world champions in their prime, which is not a bad state to be in.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          1st August 2014, 13:50

          @girts – What’s more, that 18% market share are not watching F1 as much as they used to; disrupting a clearly brilliant team dynamic on their account makes no commercial sense. It’s all about stars, and even if Rosberg wins the title this year he won’t be a star akin to “rags-to-riches” rookie sensation Hamilton, or four-time champion Vettel. If Mercedes want stars, and find themselves with all the cards in their favour (i.e. that excellent bargaining chip: a dominant car), a Vettel-Hamilton “dream team” could perhaps be possible, but a) would it not be more fractious and b) would it necessarily be a better line-up on the track? Personally, I don’t see either driver moving teams for quite some time…

          1. And of course, c) Nico already has the contract extension so even if they wanted Vettel-Hamilton it won’t be until 2017 and Merc may not be so dominant then.

    14. Watching some old footage of the old Hockenheim – boy, do I miss that track!
      People say “but it’s just all about who has the quickest engine”, true, but isn’t every other circuit (bar Monza) all about who has the best aero package?!
      Loved it, miss it!
      Although, the DRS zones would totally kill what was fun about it, anyway.

    15. Lets think out side of box may be RBR knew SV was leaving them for some team (which any one dont know as nothing is better than Merc or RBR at the moment) and they are pressuring SV by creating rumors them selves , we know how critical Marko about Mark and may be this time he was applying the new technique to Sebastian in a certainly new way (This could be a guess but who knows inside of RBR)

    16. Hmmm:

      “Ferrari need complete overhaul”

      “Montezemolo’s key policy initiatives are: The return of some ability to develop engines during the season… Emphasis on R&D… More testing on tracks.”

      Those two things can’t possibly be related, am I right?

    17. Dr. Marko saying Vettel will replace Hamilton at Mercedes can only have one purpose: destabilize Hamilton.
      Mercedes won’t be bothered, thats apparent. Hamilton on the other hand is much more effected by such rumors. Dr. Marko knows what he’s doing. Lauda is wise enough to see through it, and shoots it down.

      1. I highly doubt LH would be affected by this.

    18. Overhaul everytime… :(

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