Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014

Tyres key to Raikkonen’s struggles – Grosjean

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014In the round-up: Romain Grosjean believes his former team mate Kimi Raikkonen’s struggles this year are rooted in the tyres.


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

Grosjean not surprised by Kimi struggle (ESPN)

“I know what he doesn’t like and I think this year’s tyres don’t suit him very well. He needs a good front end and there tyres don’t give him that feeling.”

Ecclestone pays to settle case (Sporting Life)

“I stood down for obvious reasons, but I’ll be back on again now. Everything is back to normal.”

Ecclestone trial halted after F1 boss agrees to $100 million settlement (Reuters)

“Judge Peter Noll told the court the suspicion of bribery against Ecclestone could not, by and large, be backed up in a trial. He gave Ecclestone one week to pay $100 million – $99 million to the state and $1 million to a children’s charity.”

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to pay £60m to end German bribery trial

“‘A prosecution of the accused due to bribery is not probable as things stand,’ the court said, despite admitting that all evidence in the case had not yet been heard.”

Ecclestone to pay £60m settlement in bribery trial (The Telegraph)

“Ecclestone’s lawyers made the offer believing the state defence team’s case to be, in their words, ‘highly questionable’, and with the trial proving to be ‘extremely burdensome’ on their client.”

Interlagos begins major revamp (Autosport)

“The plan for the new pits has been in the works for several years, but the idea of moving the start/finish to the back straight on the run to turn four has been ditched and they will instead be built in the same location.”

Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar, Sam Schmidt, Pocono, 2014Interview with Christijan Albers (GP Update)

“We have been working hard on the car for 2015. We’ll have the car in the windtunnel soon. We are also working hard on upgrades for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.”

IndyCar’s Pagenaud closing in on Honda test (Racer)

“Asked if Honda would facilitate the test, the cagey 30-year-old acknowledged the link to the Japanese manufacturer, but stopped short of mentioning them by name. ‘I hope they would…why wouldn’t they?” Pagenaud said with a laugh.'”

Nelson Piquet Jnr to make Sprint Cup debut (NASCAR)

Nelson Piquet Jnr is set to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Watkins Glen International, his first national series start of the season.”

Raikkonen liittyy F1-isien kerhoon (Turun Sanomat, Finnish)

Raikkonen and his partner Minttu Virtanen are expecting their first child.


Comment of the day

As you might have guessed there were a lot of comments yesterday about Bernie Ecclestone’s trial settlement:

From what I understand he did not pay his way out exactly and it’s not a deal in the common sense.

It’s all about “Paragraph 153a Strafprozessordnung”: There is a suspicion you are guilty but this probably cannot be proved, furthermore you are not accused of a capital crime. Then – if the interest of the people is preserved (read in this case: money) – the case will be closed. The amount of money to be paid relates to your wealth.

The law is meant to speed up cases with first time offenders of small to medium crimes which are likely to result in a “not guilty”, meaning more time for capital crime cases. It is invoked more than a hundred thousand times per year in Germany.

The judge found it hard to establish that Ecclestone was guilty of bribery. Not least because Gribkowsky was a truly miserable witness.

Additionally it appeared hard to prove that Ecclestone knew that Gribkowsky was a civil servant which was one of the main points that made it a criminal case.

Ecclestone could have gone for the “not guilty” verdict if he was interested in spending a couple more months in court.

He clearly was not.

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  • 79 comments on “Tyres key to Raikkonen’s struggles – Grosjean”

    1. And now comes the spin from Ecclestone’s legal case about how weak the prosecution case was. If that is so, why pay USD100M?

      Let no-one forget, an English judge in a civil case (Justice Newey) found in the clearest of terms that Bernie paid a bribe to Gribkowsky.

      This man should not be running FOM.

      1. from Ecclestone’s legal *team

      2. @tdog – He paid the money because that sort of money is nothing to him. He’s 83 so rather than spending another few months in court, he’s paid for it to all go away. I’d do exactly the same if I was him!

        1. Quote

          F1 Fanatic @f1fanatic_co_uk

          To Ecclestone, compared to a prison sentence and the loss of his jealously-guarded control of #F1, it’d be cheap at ten times the price.


      3. I’m terribly confused about how the German legal system functions. How on earth could the charge of bribery not “be backed up in a trial” when the other half of the deal has already been convicted of it?!

        I’m am now waiting for the news that Gribkowskys conviction for accepting bribes is quashed. As clearly they can’t back it up in a trial. Oh, unless he doesn’t have $100m dollars to bribe his way out of it…

        Bernie remains a disgusting criminal, the judge involved is at best incompetent, and the German legal system and atrocious joke.

        1. Mr Hardwick, only the first three words of your post make any sense at all.

        2. Mr. Hardwick, your post makes perfect sense.

      4. If you or anyone is confused about how the legal system works anywhere it’s that money is the answer.

    2. Poor old Bernie, just because he is rich he keeps getting “shaken down ” 1st by Gribowsky and now by the Bavarian state. It’s hard to make an honest living.

      1. Haha, the struggles of the modern working man. He’s giving the sport such a bad name, we need a sensible guy to lead such a large organisation. I mean look at any other sport, there are none in which the figure head is allowed to make such detrimental comments about their own sport. It’s ridiculous.

        1. Then Luca de Monty should be sacked for his taxi driver rant too.

        2. You forget Sepp Blatter!

      2. LOL!

        He should retire.

    3. On COTD, I remember reading something similar about German law last year, when some of this was getting hyped. A few months ago CVC announced they would take Bernie down regardless of how the trial ended, hopefully they’ll keep to their word, and his successor is any better.

      1. I’d like to see someone like Ross Brawn be the new Bernie, Ross would bring the sensible, down to earth characteristics desperately needed to settle the rocking boat that is F1 management. Besides, the FOM make Ferrari look like the best employer in the world!!

        1. I vaguely recall CVC throwing a name around, though I agree someone like Ross Brawn would be great.

    4. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      6th August 2014, 2:17

      If F1 had even a speck of democracy, i’d vote for you Keith :)

      1. They all turn out to be the same… power hungry madmen. ;)

    5. Glad that the start/finish straight at Interlagos will remain where it is.

      1. I’m interested to see how they will resolve the pit entry

        1. They’ll probably put a kerb & some astroturf between it and the track to move the racing line over and discourage cars from cutting it.

          That or issue penalties for unsafe driving if drivers repeatedly use it.

        2. One solution would probably be to extend it all the way back to the exit of the last proper corner, bit like it was in the late 90s.

            1. Whatever they do to the Interlagos pit entry, I do hope they’ll install a sign that reads “Massa, this means you too!”

    6. I say get someone from outside the sport…but someone with experience….like Seb Blatter, I hear he is someone who can be trusted!

    7. $1 million to a children’s charity

      If there’s one good thing that has come out of this….

      1. @wsrgo Good yes. But how about the wealth distribution being the other way round? $1m to the state, the rest to the charities. It’s not like Germany is destitute is it?

        1. The state was the one that ‘lost out’ in the initial claim against Gribowsky. The state was also the one after Bernie.

          Ergo, any settlement was only ever going to primarily benefit the state.

      2. This bit bugs me. If this is supposed to be a regular process, then why is there this charity aspect? The German government spends its revenues according to its laws, not according to the whim of a judge. This kind of cute end-run seems inappropriate, however small. And it adds an element of perverse incentive to the whole arrangement—the prosecutors and judges can organize the “deal” to funnel money to some non-profit of their choice, and only their choice. It should go into the state coffers, so that the appointed officials can spend it as directed by the legislature.

    8. Full respects to Bernie for being a mastermind evil genius.
      I’m sure he could have taken over the world and nobody could have done anything to prevent it.

      1. He was however, stopped in his attempt to block out the sun.

        1. Ever since the beginning of time, Bernie has yearned to destroy the sun.

          1. Bernie bought the sun so now has a cut from every solar panel being installed :)

          2. some say it’s less controversial than installing sprinklers

    9. All these reasons/excuses for Raikkonen’s poor form are really making it seem as if he only lucked into his wins and championships because cars of that era suited him. Vettel too. They are looking way too ordinary now that driver’s skill of car control has seemingly come to fore for the first time since basically 80s.
      As good as both him and Vettel are, they are not any more impressive than Button in my opinion. It’s always that talk about cars not suiting them. I don’t remember the last time you heard anything similar being written about either Hamilton or Alonso. Last time Alonso wasn’t getting 100% out of the car was early 2007 when he moved from Michellin to Bridgestone, or when Hamilton moved to Mercedes last year. And even with all of that, they both looked pretty much on it all the time regardless of the fact that they weren’t as fast as you’d perhaps expect them to be compared to their team mates.

      1. “…And even with all of that, they both looked pretty much on it all the time…

        Adaptation, that´s why both Hamilton and Alonso are the best drivers in F1: no matter car, team, tyres, rules, engine, team mate… they will always be strong.

        While Ricciardo makes Vettle looks really ordinary in a new car, I sense he is showing that he have the same Alonso and Hamilton’s adaptation skills.

        1. Hamilton had a lot of problems adapting to the Mercedes from the get go. This year it’s been about the braking, and although he seems on top of it now, I still suspect Rosberg has proved to have had the edge on adaptability where the Mercedes us concerned. Schumacher rarely got on terms with him and seemed to struggle with the car too….

      2. I really thought that the current regs/power units would be much more suited to Kimi than it has turned out. I don’t think the back end with more torque and unpredictability is bothering him at all. It makes sense that the front end not sticking the way he wants is the cause of his issues. That could be the trouble for Vettel as well and a lot of it goes to driving style and adaptability. Some drivers need a car set up a certain way so they can fit their driving program into it. If the car can’t be set up that way or similar, they can suffer more than other more adaptable drivers. That doesn’t always make them better drivers, just different.

        I liken it to me having fun at an amateur track just messing around over the years in different vehicles. I had a pickup truck with rear wheel drive that I was very comfortable with and could set decent times for a truck. I grew up driving rear wheel drive in all conditions, rain mud, dirt, dry, icy, uphill, downhill, good banking, reverse camber, anything, it all felt right. In 1986 we got a brand new Honda Accord DX with a 4 cylinder (better power to weight ratio than my truck) 4 speed auto and all independent double wishbone suspension. Low to the ground good aero, for a passenger car, it was flat in the corners. But, it had front wheel drive. High speed corners, no problem. Tight corners, it took me years to not either over or understeer or out brake myself or brake too early or power through or out of corners too soon or too late. Most of the time I could still do better times in my truck even though the Honda was much more sleek and race car like. With rear wheel drive I could stick the front end right where I wanted to and control the rear with a combo of front brakes and rear power.

        Far be it from me to compare myself to professional drivers in F1 or elsewhere, but I can understand being used to a certain driving style and then pushed outside your comfort zone. With Kimi it could be the aero difference from last year’s regs and the difference between Lotus and Ferrari, the tires or a combination of all those. Looks like he and Ferrari are getting a bit closer to his preference if the last race is any indicator.

        1. I think Vettel’s been quite open admitting that the Renault PU driveability and the general loss of rear downforce has hurt him, as he’s having to re-learn how to drive a car with a loose rear. It was the same with his 2012 campaign until RBR perfected the rear aero over the summer break.

          1. I think Vettel is hard to measure as he not only need to learn some thing new but he has to unlearn what he mastered the past 4 years , Hard to say that EBD effect is easy to master as most of RBR Development went on Developing the Exhaust Gases to produce DF. but he shown that he was able to do that now lets see how the 2nd half goes but i suspect Ric will have the advantage over Vettel in 2nd unless Vettel will be really Unstoppable force in second half in his team.

      3. I do a bit of go karting myself. If my kart has any understeer, I struggle like hell.
        I love love a point front end and a lose rear that you can balance on the throttle. My brother on the other hand, likes a bit of understeer – He will floor the throttle and the front will wash out. (in the dry, he is around 0.300 faster than me as his set-up allows for a great exist. However, if the track is wet I can keep up with him because my set-up allows me to turn-in better.

        1. @brunes, you brought the point that most of people don’t see: a pilot’s perspective. It’s more easy to say that Raykkonen is not good, then to accept that maybe, just maybe, his car is not adapted to his driving style. Which is unfair for him, I might add.

      4. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
        6th August 2014, 8:55


        Sure man. Fly by wire braking must really be the top indicator of driving skills.

      5. I had the same thought. Hamilton and Alonso are the two top guys you don’t hear moaning about how the tires or the aero or whatever screws up their style. Hamilton has had his issues with brakes, about which he is very particular, but it still doesn’t put him way behind his teammate.

        I would add that Schumacher seemed to face the same issue at Mercedes. Schumacher famously loved to stand the car on the nose. He was the one who brought in left foot braking to the sport, which idealized his style. When a car was not being made to hs special tastes, he looked ordinary. I remember reading how his braking set up was totally different from Barichello, who liked a “switch” style pedal, whereas Schumi wanted to feel it finely all the way to the stops.

      6. Blah blah blah… the moral of the story is these tyres suck. At least the haven’t fallen to pieces like the last couple of years, but they do NOTHING in terms of improving the racing and most circuits. This sport will always be lost with just one manufacturer and static regulations.

    10. In that interview with Grosjean, i found this passage interesting:

      Kimi was very interesting to have as a team-mate because in that car he was performing very well and doing a very good job, so it was nice to have him on board.”

      – if you read that, then surely it means that Grosjean felt he was learning a lot from Kimi about where to find speed, but not so much from Pastor.

      1. no disrespect but i’d say even Chilton in Romain’s position might find it hard to learn much from Maldonado this season

        1. Hm, good point. How many race laps did Pastor even manage this year? Can’t be more than a third of total laps available, can it?

          1. @BasCB Actually Maldonado has covered 487 racing laps, which is 70% of full season laps. And he has spent 44% of 362 laps ahead of his team mate (when they both were on the track):

            1. wow, darn FOM for not giving much coverage of everyone behind the top 4-8, he must have been having quite a few races he finished in then since the dismal start of the season for Lotus.
              Thanks for that info @girts, really a shame that both these drivers don’t get more opportunities to shine with the car they have available this year.

    11. Romain really miss Kimi for for better team mate to compete. I think he will be miss him more to learn that Kimi now expecting his first child. :)
      “Pastor is a nice guy and a father so we can speak about different things off track.”

      Raikkonen and his partner Minttu Virtanen are expecting their first child.

      1. ah, this comment should be a reply to @bascb ‘s

      2. Mini-Kimi is coming!! :D

    12. About tyres, Paul Hembery doesn’t like the current 13 (?) inch tyres because they aren’t road relevant. Then Pirelli tests a 18 inch tyres and Hembery says he prefers 19 inch tyres:

      18-inch tyres we have got everywhere and 19 is different

      If it was all about being ‘different’, they could stick with 13 inch ones.

      1. They want to stick to prime numbers? (13 and 19). Presumably they tested 18 because 19 would cause the overall diameter to be larger than the current set-up

      2. My guess is that Pirelli want to push 19in wheels in anticipation of a Jean Todt-backed tyre war with Michelin, who already have lots of experience racing 18in wheels.

        This would be Pirelli saying they’re happy for a tyre war as long as the terms are even and they’re not at a disadvantage to Michelin.

      3. 18s are more “road relevant” but only kind of. It’s mostly a cosmetic thing. Most non-premium cars, i.e., most cars, do not have 18s. And most racing-modified street cars do not run 18s because, unless made of unobtanium, 18s are so heavy they sap accelleration and suspension performance. People pay for 18s for looks, period. Likewise I expect that 18s will significanly slow down F1 cars. And people will be mad that a cosmetic change had this effect, I predict, because most people assume that the bigger the tire, the more “performance” they have.

        1. @dmw – When I had fat Goodyears and US Indy mags on my ’66 Mustang back in the ’70s the look and performance were emulating race car tires and wheels. What are F1 race cars supposed to be emulating by going to 18″ or 19″ wheels and extreme low profile tires? As you said, looks, period. Looks that are marginally popular by the way.

          Cracks me up when I see older ’80s & 90s era big modified GM tuna boats going down the road with giganto wagon wheel sized wheels with extreme low profile tires with 2 inches of sidewall height crazily wandering down the road pounding the driver relentlessly as the driver wonders which way his bizarro world car is going next as tiny gravel sends his 2 tons of car careening madly from side to side.

          Yeah, maybe F1 should think bigger, 25″ wheels!

          1. Looks that are marginally popular? Like on every current exotic car, not to mention every quality car that is not categorized as exotic such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. Then there’s Acura, Lexus, Infiniti etc etc. I’m sure there are reasons so many cars have low profile tires and it is not because they are marginally popular, and I’m sure the current suspension is designed to suit such tires, unlike an older 80’s/90’s tuna boat.

    13. Imagine how much stronger the British economy would be if we allowed such “settlements” in our civil courts. Maybe France should follow suit, then maybe they could afford an F1 race again.

    14. Regarding Pagenaud testing for Honda, I thought F1 testing regulations forbade any testing outside the official testing sessions, also for suppliers in the year before they enter F1. Is the rumour mill suggesting Pagenaud will drive a McLaren Honda during the first winter tests?

      1. Honda is not in F1 yet. Therefore they can test as much as they want
        McLaren however, cannot.

        1. @brunes, I didn’t think so. I thought the rule was that any constructor or supplier may not test the season before they are in F1. From

          22.1 Testing of Current Cars (TCC) shall be defined as any track running time, not part of an Event, in which a competitor entered in the Championship participates (or in which a third party participates on behalf of a competitor), using cars which were designed and built in order to comply with the 2013, 2014 or 2015 Formula One Technical Regulations.

          My interpretation of this is that an engine supplier may not test an engine for next year on track.

          1. “in which a competitor entered in the Championship” – Honda is yet to enter F1

            1. @adrianmorse
              Forgot to tag.
              I read somewhere that they can test as much as they want. But testing is nowhere near as helpful as running a full season like Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault are doing. So testing during a whole year does not mean Honda will have the same experience and data as the current 3 suppliers.

            2. I guess the point is, they cannot test in any car that is the basis of next years car, nor this years or the cars of the previous 2 seasons. Meaning that they would have to build a car for the sole purpose of doing engine testing. And even then I am not too sure they aren’t already bound, just like Caterham (Team Lotus), Marussia (Virgin) and HRT (Campos) weren’t free to test in the runup to their new seasons in 2010

          2. Ferrari used a LaFerrari race chassis to test their engine prior to this year…

            and like others said, Honda aren’t in the series yet so can do as the please so long as it’s not with a 2014/15 chassis.

            Haas or Prodirve or Stefan could have built a whole contemporary car and team and run a whole season if they wished… before they got the license to join the grid.

    15. Talking about wheel size:

      An extra 5 inches please!
      “That’s what she said”

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        6th August 2014, 8:53

        The new prototype Pirelli wheels/tires were seen earlier this week:

        1. @braketurnaccelerate
          thats ridiculous, gotta chop those springs, lower it and WHERE ARE THE FLASHING LEDS?

    16. Those people who think Bernie gone will mean a “better” F1 might just get a shock if he goes. Every team / track owner will try to edge their position higher and I think utter turmoil will ensue. Bernie has made F1 the global powerhouse that it is and somehow manages to just about keep everyone in the sport (that should be in) and still the money keeps rolling in. Yeah he has bonkers ideas (double points, gold medals, watering the tracks, short cuts etc) but he isn’t stupid. Would we all be even here discussing this if Bernie hadn’t have been in charge for the previous 30 odd years?

      1. @tonyyeb – Would we all be here? Yes we would! It would probably have a different name and some different drivers racing in different countries but we’d all still be here talking about whatever the top-tier open-wheel motorsport was. I want to see the best drivers in the world in the best cars in the world going around the best tracks in the world. I’m not massively bothered if it’s called F1 or not!

        If F1 died this year, something else would jump in and take over almost instantly.

      2. That’s the worry, isn’t it? I’m sure we’ve all wished someone would come along and replace Bernie at some point, but the grass might not be greener on the other side…

        1. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

    17. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      6th August 2014, 18:04

      Ohhh Kimi! Congratulations with your first baby!

    18. Ecclestone works well. :)

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