Vergne among Toro Rosso’s best drivers – Tost

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In the round-up: Franz Tost says outgoing driver Jean-Eric Vergne is Toro Rosso’s best driver who did not make it to Red Bull, as Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have done.


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

Vergne the best to leave Toro Rosso – Tost (Crash)

“From the drivers so far I think he is the best, yes. Although Sebastien Buemi also did a good job and is also a highly-skilled driver, which he shows at Toyota.”

The real Ecclestone is back, say F1 team bosses (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“I have seen a very strong Bernie coming back from the shutdown, coming back after the court case has been settled. And this is good news.”

Belgian GP steward: “It took 10 seconds to decide there was no case to answer (James Allen on F1)

Belgian Grand prix driver streward Emanuele Pirro: “How can you say that a driver does something like this on purpose? Rosberg did not have a chance to pass and usually in such situations, it’s you who crashes and loses. But if he wasn’t happy, it’s because of the little bit of sporting cunning.”

Vettel gets new chassis for Monza (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “We need to check to see if anything has actually broken on the car. It was extremely unusual what we saw.”

Race Team Update 2015 (Red Bull)

“We are also pleased to confirm that Gianpiero Lambiase will be joining the team next season to work as Sebastian [Vettel’s] race engineer.”

Decoding the code of conduct (Sky)

“In Rosberg’s interpretation of racing etiquette, Hamilton transgressed in Bahrain, but not in Hungary. But we are talking here about individual drivers’ interpretation of what is acceptable – not of breaking any sporting rule.”

The First Time – with Marussia’s Jules Bianchi (F1)

“Who was your first hero when you were a child?
Jules Bianchi: It was Michael Schumacher. When I was young my life revolved around motorsport. I started go-karting when I was three years old and then I watched Formula One and I liked Michael because he was winning at the time.”

Hellmund’s Revenge (The Austin Chronicle)

“While [Tavo] Hellmund’s name was rarely heard inside the fence on the weekend of the first race, [Bernie] Ecclestone actually paid for a sign saying ‘Get well Gustavo’ outside the gates of the circuit, when the elder Hellmund was ill.”

The quick-working Len Terry (MotorSport)

“His preference for picking and choosing also left him at the whim of others’ financial peccadilloes. One-offs provide little security. That’s why, once the farcical ‘Stanley Steamer’ BRM P207 of 1977 – “There were people there who didn’t want it to succeed” – had holed his reputation below the water line, he penned Merc SSK replicas and retro-look delivery vans.”

Red Bull Racing’s RB8 Tearing it Up in Infrared (FLIR via YouTube)


Comment of the day

@William-Brierty’s thoughts on how Mercedes might defuse the Hamilton-Rosberg row.

The options are limited and perhaps the best option is to merely allow the respected pace of Hamilton and Rosberg establish a pecking order between them. I say that because time is both the most passive and effective healer, what must stop though is the absurd suggestion that Rosberg’s move is anything more sinister than mere clumsiness.

Rosberg is clever, but he is not a genius, so to sacrifice his front wing in the remote hope of hitting the vulnerable inside shoulder of the tyre at a couple a hundred miles an hour would be like trying to swat a fly with a drinking straw. The contact cannot have been intentional, it was merely a clumsy half move that confirms that Nico just isn’t on the same level as Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in wheel-to-wheel combat.

Yes, Rosberg has now benefited from two “errors” (Spa and Monaco), and yes, the clever Rosberg realises that the psychological momentum of the 2014 drivers’ championship might be the key to the 2015 drivers’ championship too (with Mercedes likely to be able to retain their advantage over a winter with relative technical stability), so a Schuey-esque approach from Nico is feasible, but on both occasions Rosberg’s antics don’t appear remotely malicious.

That does not make his handling of the situation post-race any less abhorrent. I did not require CCTV evidence to tell PC Plod that the Mercedes saloon in the ditch was a fair cop, so why, when it must have been immediately apparent to Rosberg that he’d just ruined Mercedes’ Belgian Grand Prix, did he so stoically refuse to apologise?

Stoic to such an extent that he felt it necessary to insult the intelligence of the booing crowd of European fans (sorry Nico, but the German guy I sat next to was booing too), as mere patriotism on the part of the British; patriotism that is somehow misplaced due to the fact that most fans haven’t read the FIA’s Sporting Regulations cover to cover. There is no more guaranteed method of being greeted on the podium at Monza to sound of a booing Tifosi than to insult that acumen of the sport’s faithful; those on which the sport rely.

I have no doubt that either Nico is trying to mess with Lewis’ head by allegedly saying he was trying to “prove a point” in the post-race debrief or that Lewis is quite rightfully playing politics in the media, but I can guarantee you ladies and gentlemen that the undoubtedly clever Rosberg did not see an attractive offer in the shape of guaranteed front wing damage for the small chance of puncturing Lewis’ tyre but rather put his nose where it shouldn’t have been. That doesn’t mean Nico can be trusted in the future though.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Benetton were the focus of more controversy in the Belgian Grand Prix 20 years ago today. Michael Schumacher was disqualified from victory after the plank underneath his car was found to have worn down too much. That handed victory to his championship rival Damon Hill.

An article on this race will appear here later today as part of F1 Fanatic’s retrospective on the 1994 F1 season.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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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147 comments on “Vergne among Toro Rosso’s best drivers – Tost”

  1. Vergne may have shown the best of his potential during his time at STR (and he has been pretty good) but I always felt that Alguersuari, who was axed aged 21 always had a lot more to give…

    1. @craig-o Pretty much what I was going to say.

      For me, he was one of the best young drivers in 2011, and the way they got rid of him was despicable.

      1. Especially considering he supposedly had an offer from Sauber, but turned it down after being assured he had a spot at Toro Rosso.

    2. @craig-o Interestingly, Ricciardo was born in Jun-89, Alguersuari Mar-90, Vergne Apr-90. So arguably Alguersuari and Ricciardo were the wrong way around… and it showed, with the niggles the latter two both went through at times.

      1. I wasn’t aware that Alguersuari was actually quite that young! I knew he was 19 when he started, yes, but seeing it written like this gives a different / better perspective, and shows that maybe there is a hint of hope for his future career in F1 / false optimism.

        1. At least he has a future in Formula E! Better than no future..

      2. Ricciardo is now at the stage Hamilton was at in late 2009/early 2010.. a very strong period for him, in the new rule set, and also the same age…. So can we compare Hamilton’s first 2.5 seasons with Ricciardo’s?

    3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      28th August 2014, 0:39

      I was going to say the same thing. The second half of the 2011 season was very strong for Alguersauri and I thought he was getting to grips with F1, in a poor Toro Rosso car. I still think he can do a job nowadays, but there are a few drivers wasting seats ie Massa and Maldonado.

      1. I don’t agree about Massa being a waste of a seat in F1..
        How do we know how much off a difference he’s made at Williams, and where they’d be this season without him ? He has been very unlucky too, but from a fan/viewers perspective he is entertaining and liked by many.. and its widely reported that Ferrari regret not keeping him.

        Maldonado has played the F1 Evil villain role well but with Rosberg eclipsing him needs to go…(and isn’t..) No skilled pay drivers like Chilton and Sutil are on borrowed time.
        Raikkonen and Button won’t be here much longer and we might even lose one/both of them before next season.
        Also with new teams potentially joining the grid soon there will be extra opportunity’s in F1, assuming they don’t fill a void left by Caterham or Marussia departing.

        There is no shortage of other formula’s to prove yourself in either, when has a young aspiring racing driver ever has more choice?
        Maybe give the teams more opportunity to test with young drivers, otherwise I don’t think its as bad as some people make out.
        Final point..
        There’s a reason Ricciardo was favored over Vergne.

        1. The difference Massa is making at Williams is more or less 35% of Bottas points. The sponsoring would be similar, thanks to Nasr.

          Btw, Ferrari regret not keeping him because Massa was for all intents and purposes the first FDA driver, they kept him at Sauber for those years before Barrichello left, it was a blow having to fire him after, well, a career. Also, Raikkonen is performing worse and being payed more.

          1. Right now Kimi has one point less than Massa with an inferior car.

          2. @mcquiz
            Ferrari are paying more for a worse performance (compared to previous Massa years).

    4. @craig-o Wrong. Alguersuari’s age gave him more notoriety than he deserved Buemi was consistently slightly quicker even if a little more prone to bad luck.

    5. Well this was a bit worrying:

      Don’t forget the philosophy of Toro Rosso. It’s the team for the young drivers and after three years you are no longer a young driver.

      So if Max is still at Toro Rosso aged 20 he’s going to be old? haha.

      I do like Mr Tost, he seems like a real competitive, racing type guy but I bet deep inside he must feel like all the work he’s doing is a waste of time, the most he can hope for is that one of his drivers is poached by Red Bull… that’s it!

      That is how we should measure Franz’ success, not by how many wins or podiums his team has achieved but whether or not one of Helmut’s teenagers is ready for the big team when a seat is vacant.
      I seriously don’t know why he’s been there for so long.

  2. Vergne can be as good as he wants, but you cant stay in Toro Rosso forever, thats the idea of the team. Best of luck to him.

    Hopefully this time the chassis doesnt double Vettel’s problems.

    1. Let’s be frank, there’s no lack of places to go. Quite a few mid-field drivers are getting long in the tooth, and some big names/places in potentially top teams are showing their age too. Considering Vergne was close enough or near abouts to Ricciardo during their time together, there’s no conceivable reason why he shouldn’t get at least half a shot in a decent team.

      Imagine the talent he could have shown in Raikkonen’s Ferrari or Massa’s Williams this year and you kind of get where I’m headed.

      It will really make me sad to see him take a sidestep or a backwards step to another back-marker/mid-field team while Ricciardo goes on to glory considering how truly close the two were at Torro Rosso.

      1. I think JEV has real race craft but I don’t think RIC and JEV were as close as most people think. RIC spanked JEV in qualy showing he had more raw speed however getting to q3 ment he had less tyres for the race and RICs achillies heel is his starts, it’s ok in the bull because it’s got the pace but in the Rosso he lost spots at the start and the car wasn’t good enough to get them back. I do however think that JEV needs another spot in F1, replace one of the sauber drivers maybe???

        1. I’m so glad someone else agrees with me on this. Everyone always says that JEV was close to Dan but those “in the know” realize the only reason JEV was ever close in the race was because he had a tyre advantage over Dan. Often Dan would drag the car into the top 10 when it had no right to be there. This put him only 1 or two spots ahead of JEV but with less tyre to finish the race. The fact that Dan actually beat him so often under these circumstances explains why he was chosen. Dan’s consistency and speed are amazing considering the life he gets out of his tyres!

      2. The problem is that unless Red Bull keep funding him he will have no funding at all beyond this year so will have a hard time getting into one of those open seats.

        It was the same reason Algersuari hasn’t raced anywhere the past few years, Red Bull took away all his funding & with teams needing funding he’s not found anything until Formula E came along.

        Its actually one of the issues with the Red Bull program for drivers who have been in it throughout there racing career. Red Bull secure all your backing, They handle all negotiations with teams etc…. So when they drop you you are left with no funding, No experience of getting funding yourself & no experience with negotiating with teams to get a race seat.

        If you go back the only Ex-STR driver who managed to get another F1 drive was Liuzzi because they brought him into there program fairly late on & he had some backing & stuff from before that.
        The rest spent a few years after been dropped trying to put something together & most never managed to get another regular F1 drive despite Algersuari, Buemi & Klien all showing good speed in F1.

        but you cant stay in Toro Rosso forever, thats the idea of the team

        Which i’ve always felt is wrong.
        A team should be in F1 to do the best for itself, It should be picking the best drivers to do the best for for that team to get the team.

        STR is the only team not run like that, Its not there to do the best for itself, Its there to find drivers for another team & its a complete joke.

        Finding the best young drivers should be left to the junior categories.

        1. Abso-freaking-lutely. +1,000,000

    2. @austus that’s cold but that’s the truth.

  3. So Emanuele Pirro thinks taking 10 seconds to decide makes it a quality decision? No replays?

    They only needed to do a frame-by-frame of the onboard to see Rosberg’s steering wheel turn into the corner, go straight, then go fully 90 degrees right as Lewis’ rear wheel goes past – far more steering input than the corner calls for. Slam dunk.

    1. It was, in fairness, the back end stepping out, but nevertheless this does make it Nico’s fault.

      I agree, this is one of the most rash and rushed decisions the FIA have ever made, but it’s better that they do this than make the wrong decision.

      1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
        28th August 2014, 1:47

        How do we know it’s the right decision. In 2011 Hamilton crashed into Maldanado in Monaco. He had much more of his car alongside when Maldanado turned in (on the racing line), and Hamilton went over the corner trying to avoid the incident. He got a 20 second penalty.

        Rosberg had only his wing alongside, (more responsibility to back out) and by his own admission did not try to avoid the contact. Stewards give no penalty in 10 second decision…

        Also the QOTD is nonsense. You cannot be purposefully clumsy. What is with the ridiculous attempts by people on this site to vindicate Rosberg despite his own admission of guilt.

        Also some should stop making the unsubstantiated claim that Rosberg is so clever. If everything he’s done so far is on purpose, then maybe they’re on to something. But hot headedness, rash decisions and clumsy mistakes are not the hallmarks of any intelligent people I know. Sounds like QOTD post knows him personally.

        1. @ryanisjones …”ridiculous attempts by people on this site to vindicate Rosberg despite his own admission of guilt”.

          See: Rosberg denies Hamilton’s account of Spa crash on this site.

          1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
            28th August 2014, 9:51

            Have you read that article or listened to the Vlog. Rosberg does not deny Lewis’ version (implying Lewis is lying), he says he sees it differently (has a different opinion). That does not mean that Lewis lied about what Rosberg said, just that they have different conclusions.

            Also Rosberg does not deny the opinion of the team.
            – SSN reports that the Mercedes boss has confirmed Rosberg acknowledged “he could have avoided crashing but didn’t [in order to] make a point.”

            In other words Rosberg definitely said he could have avoided the incident and chose not to (to make a point). Which is an admission of guilt. Racing incidents are supposed to be incidents where it would be very hard to avoid the crash. Since half the grid and Rosberg himself have admitted that he could have avoided it, then how much more proof does someone need that there should have been a penalty. As said before, you cannot be purposefully clumsy.

        2. @ryanisjones I’m not saying this is the right decision, what I meant was at least nobody got a penalty rather than Hamilton. You never know with the FIA’s decisions.

          1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
            28th August 2014, 10:48

            Hear, hear!

        3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          28th August 2014, 13:21

          @ryanisjones – If you’d properly read my COTD post you’d notice that I am merely saying Rosberg was accidentally clumsy in the move and not remotely malicious, as I felt was the case in Monaco too.

          1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
            28th August 2014, 14:28

            If you read my post, I said Rosberg admitted to purposely not avoiding the collision, which by definition, makes the collision neither accidental, nor clumsy. He also said he did this to ‘prove a point’ which is as close to the definition of malicious as you could get.

            I have not misread your comment, I am refuting the central point of your whole argument.

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            28th August 2014, 15:23

            @ryanisjones – Do you have an official transcript of the meeting or audio recording? No, the words of an aggrieved Lewis Hamilton. And even if Rosberg portrayed the event as malicious in retrospect, there is no way he would have essentially surrendered a chance to win the grand prix in the remote hope of tagging the vulnerable 5cm wide inside shoulder of Hamilton’s tyre at a couple hundred miles an hour: Q.E.D. the move was not malicious.

          3. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
            28th August 2014, 15:36


            Do you have an official transcript of the meeting or audio recording?

            No, I have the admission from the Mercedes team boss. – SSN reports that the Mercedes boss has confirmed Rosberg acknowledged “he could have avoided crashing but didn’t [in order to] make a point.”

            And even if Rosberg portrayed the event as malicious in retrospect

            He did.

            there is no way he would have essentially surrendered a chance to win the grand prix in the remote hope of tagging the vulnerable 5cm wide inside shoulder of Hamilton’s tyre at a couple hundred miles an hour

            No way? Yet that is exactly what happened. Also please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying he was hoping to puncture Hamilton’s tyre. I am saying he chose not to avoid a crash that he could avoid (by his own admission) and was his responsibility to avoid.

          4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            28th August 2014, 16:57

            @ryanisjones – Please sir, whilst Rosberg acted like a petulant child after the race, he categorically did not essentially chose to lose a race through guaranteed wing damage he could have won just to prove a point regarding Hamilton’s moves in Bahrain and Hungary; an invalid point at that. It is simply fanciful and sensationalist to cast the red veil of malice over a simple mistake, and an unverified and unlikely remark made behind closed doors, which if was confirmed would likely just an attempt to stir things up, is no evidence to the contrary.

          5. @william-brierty It wasn’t a couple of hundred miles an hour. I expect it was less than 100.

          6. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            29th August 2014, 10:49

            @matt90 – I am of course aware of that, but to try and purposefully hit the very narrow inside shoulder over of an other F1 car’s tyre in a medium speed corner when the driver is submarined behind his steering wheel and cannot therein see his front wing or much of Lewis’ left rear would be like trying to thread the eye of an needle whilst on a water-slide in SeaWorld.

          7. If you’re aware of that why on Earth did you say otherwise? If your argument needs such unnecessary hyperbole to distort the facts then it can’t be that strong. After all, the idea that a talented F1 driver couldn’t run into a slow moving (relative to them) and entirely predictable (the track only goes one way and it’s pretty clear where another driver will place his car) target, where really you only need to run into a fairly wide and fat-walled tyre from either behind or the side, seems very strange to me. I highly doubt he was aiming for a puncture actually, but I find the idea that trying to do so would be some feat of wizardry to be quite far off.

          8. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            29th August 2014, 17:48

            @matt90 – Trivial off-hand hyperbole in this instance didn’t appear to sufficiently damage my argument to make it unworthy of COTD! I can safely inform you that to successfully target the 5cm wide inside shoulder of a Pirelli tyre in a medium speed corner (Le Combes is by no means slow) with an implement the driver cannot see (an effect accentuated by the fact that Rosberg sits notably lower in the car than Lewis) would indeed be an act of wizardry, when normally it is skillful simply to avoid contact in such close combat.

          9. COTD can be given because you said something divisive, or because a section of your comment was interesting. Although it’s nice to get one, it doesn’t make anything you say hold water any more than anything I say. And I simply still refute the idea that running against another car’s tyre (what is this 5cm patch?) is an act of exception skill rather than just reasonably good judgement. I doubt it would happen accidentally so frequently if that were the case.

          10. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            30th August 2014, 15:20

            @matt90 – I would suggest the fact that pundits like Martin Brundle, Allan McNish, Anthony Davidson and Ted Kravitz also think it would be an act of extraordinary skill to target the non-reinforced 5cm wide inside shoulder of the tyre (the majority of the sidewall and the entirety of the tread is protected by a Kevlar belt which sits between canvas and the nitrogen chamber) when the driver is so unsighted, as was also the opinion of Belgium’s FIA Driver Representative Emanuele Pirro [when asked by Brundle], bares my argument in quite a good light.

        4. In 2011 Hamilton crashed into Maldanado in Monaco. He had much more of his car alongside when Maldanado turned in (on the racing line), and Hamilton went over the corner trying to avoid the incident. He got a 20 second penalty.

          You can’t really compare as at the time the stewards were been told to investigate every incident & penalize anything which damaged another drivers race.

          A few months ago the FIA (At the request of the teams, Drivers & fans) told the stewards to be more lenient, Not investigate everything & leave room for something to just be a racing incident.

          If you go back to 2011, After Monaco & later at Singapore many fans were complaining about how penalty’s were been handed out too often & that small misjudgements (Like Hamilton/Massa at Singapore that year which was fairly similar to Lewis/Nico at Spa) didn’t warrant a penalty.
          And it was the same through 2012/13 & earlier this year, Hence why the FIA have now took a more lenient stance.

      2. @strontium No the steering I am talking about was the opposite direction from correcting the back end.

        Your second sentence is weird too tbh. Because it was a rushed decision – entirely prejudged by the sound of it – it was the wrong decision.

        There is no reason any driver would have their steering wheel 90 degrees to the right in that corner. Well, no honest reason anyway. It’s damning, but the stewards didn’t even look at it.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          28th August 2014, 8:40

          Well said KeithR, Rosberg would have had to turn left to correct oversteer at that point. He turned right.

          1. OK, I could do with reviewing the video, but here’s my recollection.

            At the time they came together, the track was heading left, so he would have been turning left(ish). He had been going around the outside of the right turn, this put his nose on HAM’s inside as they enter the left. As the back end steps out, he has to turn right to correct it. I said this as I watched the replay on the big screen at the bottom of Pouhon, although I was still furious.

            I believe this was a mistake, not an intentional act. A very reckless, stupid mistake that he should be punished for, at least by the team, but a mistake none the less. The worst part is how much he benefited from his own stupidity. Had he out raced HAM, the best he could have expected is a 1-2, increasing his lead by 7 points. Instead, he cocks up royally and increases his lead by 18 points.

          2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            28th August 2014, 11:22

            @drmouse whoops – click on the massive green text link :-)

        2. @lockup Ahh fair point, he didn’t really correct it.

          And sorry about my second part (half 12 in the morning comment! Never makes much sense). What I meant was that at least nobody got a penalty rather than Hamilton. You never know with the FIA.

        3. The direction he was pointing before applying his final steering input necessitated turning right- he was pointing off track across the run-off, and he was really still trying to negotiate the right-hander while Hamilton ahead was beginning to enter the following left-hander. Of course he should have lifted of even used the run-off, but he steered exactly as he needed to to attempt the corner.

        4. I would assume its the re-turn-in after having corrected the oversteer. It ends up looking like you are ‘shaking’ the wheel if you make small corrections mid-corner. Also this might mean that a 90-degree lock for just half an instant could have been appropriate just to bully the car back on line. This is an instinctive reaction, which is why even though it put Rosberg on a collision course, he did it. JM2C

    2. He’s right though, you can’t judge intent very easily until it hits the fan after the race. And as Strontium says, he was correcting and just keeping his car straight. If Rosberg hit Hamilton intentionally, he only needed to let Hamilton run into him on entry to the upcoming corner rather than turn in and risk it being obvious.

    3. @lockup Rosberg is the slam dunk champion.

    4. Watching the replays numerous times I also think Rosberg had to correct a moment of oversteer just a split-second before they touched. It is extremely likely he just hasn’t had time to react – braking in that situation would’ve just re-ignited that loose moment, and it should be a gut feeling for a driver not to do half a second after correcting such a moment. On the top of that, Hamilton was just ever so slightly deep into that complex, he obviously braked very late and just slight a bit wide on the exit of the left-hander.

      Now I don’t say it wasn’t Rosberg’s fault. If anything, getting the car loose a few moments before seemed to be an error in the first place. But it’s not at all that obvious that he deliberately left the front there, which makes his alleged post-race meeting comments all the more interesting.

    5. It took me 10seconds to find this bit on wiki ;)
      “Despite scoring a point at Monaco Pirro was largely outpaced by team-mate JJ Lehto and still had a habit of getting involved in accidents (notably qualifying well in 7th at the Hungaroring only to collide immediately with Stefano Modena). He was unable to find another Formula One drive for 1992.”

      1. What’s your point?

        1. No point, just sarcasm.
          The irony stemming from someone who didn’t understand they were crashing too often in F1 also saw the nico/lewis contact as not being a problem.

          1. How do you know Pirro didn’t understand that he was crashing too often? Also, I couldn’t find anything besides wikipedia (un-sourced) which mentioned that Hungarian race. There was no contact in the first corner by the looks of things, and Pirro’s DNF was engine related. Also, in qualifying at least it doesn’t look like Pirro was outpaced by Lehto. I’d question the reliability of that quote.

            I’ve probably taken this far more seriously than you, but as Pirro is a 5 times Le Mans winner it would be nice not to see him done an injustice.

        2. @matt90 Pirro is OK with most crashes. No brainer mate.

        3. I was just kidding; since Pirro took only 10seconds to form his opinion of the Spa race contact I took 10seconds to form an opinion about Pirro’s driving…that was the joke, I thought the ;) would make that clear.
          Sorry to all the Pirro fans, I in no way meant to deny his driving skill, driving achievements or his general good character.

          1. Sorry, I was feeling oddly serious at the time. Although I do wonder who wrote that wiki section.

    6. «Pressed on his view that there was nothing intentional about it, given that Hamilton has said since that Rosberg did it ‘on purpose”, Pirro said, ” How can you say that a driver does something like this on purpose? Rosberg did not have a chance to pass and usually in such situations, it’s you who crashes and loses. But if he wasn’t happy, it’s because of the little bit of sporting cunning.”»

      Having motorsports experience is fundamental but those guys must read other books. The old method of cost-benefit analysis could be easily applied. Maybe FIA should have a behavioral economist there :I

      It’s very simple: if there’s a racing incident the starter gets punished if his costs are smaller than his benefits…

      In my book, loosing grip for a few laps and taking your main competitor out of the race qualifies for, at least, a drive through.

      Lewis must learn from Spa 2014. Nico must learn from Spa 2014. FIA must learn from Spa 2014.

      And Mr Pirro makes a joke of himself comparing Alonso/Vettel with Rosberg/Hamilton.

    7. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      28th August 2014, 8:36

      I don’t understand what Emanuele Pirro is saying. He seems to think that it couldn’t have been on purpose because (1) there was no passing opportunity and (2) Rosberg was likely to come off worse. Is that right?

      On (1) he is correct, but is he saying that bad driving isn’t penalised if there was no attempt to pass? That’s not in the rule book.

      On (2) he thinks that putting your wing alongside a tyre will usually result in more damage to you than your opponent, but we know that these tyres are very easy to puncture even when just grazed by a wing endplate. It’s a lot quicker (and does a lot less damage to the car) to drive back to the pits without a front wing than with a flat – and Spa is the longest track of the season so the advantage is multiplied several times over. The Mercs were up to 2 seconds a lap quicker than the other cars, Rosberg could afford to waste time getting his nose changed (and indeed did) and still have a chance at victory; but a puncture at Les Combes was always going to damage the car’s aero as well as inflict a massive time penalty on Hamilton.

      I’m not saying that Rosberg planned to puncture Hamilton’s tyre, but he stuck his nose in knowing that Hamilton would come off much worse if they collided. I doubt Hamilton even looked in the mirror as he took the racing line, he had clearly won the corner and would have just assumed Rosberg would slot in behind. It was a cynical move be Rosberg, petulant and calculated, he shouldn’t have been allowed to get away with it.

      1. @thegrapeunwashed that’s my point just above. If your benefits exceed your costs after a bad action, the compensation system should kick-in, i.e., a penalty should be handed.

        Nico’s costs: damaged front wing, lost of lap time and extra time needed in the pits to change his nose.

        Nico’s benefits: a shot at collecting 25 points while brutally diminishing the chances of your main opponent scoring any points.

        Do the math and come up with a decision. Easy.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          29th August 2014, 8:42

          @jcost That would be a good solution. The stewards could have investigated the incident after the race and decided how much to punish Nico. I can understand them not awarding a penalty if they felt it was 50/50, but on this occasion he was entirely to blame – and benefited massively. There is no excuse for not penalising him.

      2. Well if you won’t say i will..
        Rosberg was hoping for the outcome he got..
        Its been discussed many times over the past few seasons, they made the wings narrower in regulations to try and stop it happening so much.
        And its not the first time someone has benefitted from the same move.
        In my opinion Rosberg is cold and calculating and this wasn’t some rash reaction or clumsy mistake.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          28th August 2014, 11:37

          Ant Davidson dissects the incident here –

          Even though ant gives Rosberg the benefit of the doubt (as to intention) he is convinced that he should have been penalised. A racing incident is when both parties are to blame, Rosberg was 100% at fault here, he should have been clobbered by the stewards.

          1. Rosberg only got it a fraction wrong whilst his car was on the edge. It was somewhat extraordinary also in that Hamilton had braked so late and held his corner so well – enough to scare Vettel off the track the lap before. While it’s true that ROS needed to back off, even the best drivers get clumsy. What comes to my mind is Hamilton puncturing Massa at Singapore, 2011. Just clumsy; it would be a shame to penalise all such incidents which would be ignored without the puncture happening

    8. Why do you think they should have done frame-by-frame analysis? I think such analyses are often misleading and usually only show what the viewer wants to see. Those are split-second actions taken by the drivers on track in the heat of the moment, so the perception that you can actually understand them by meticulously analyzing every millisecond is in my opinion questionable at best.

    9. I have read thru all the posts here about steering angle and correction of oversteer. One point I would like to make is that it was too soon to make such a high risk move at a corner where a pass wouldn’t have mattered.
      Lewis had to go defensive on the previous straight and the DRS would have been enabled on the next lap. It was lap 2 of a 44 lap race and they were both nearly two seconds ahead of the field.
      If Nico just wanted to pass and win the race he would have waited a few seconds for an easy DRS assisted pass in the middle of a straight.
      The only reason to be where Nico was … to make a point and make contact deliberately.

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    28th August 2014, 0:55

    Vergne is the “best of the rest” in Toro Rosso history. But give Kvyat a couple of years more, maybe 3 for MaxV, and they willl make Tost say “JEV who?”

    1. Let us hope neither Kvyat nor Max Verstappen will have to be in STR for up to 3 years before RBR inevitably finds a new hot prospect and needs to clear a seat by dropping them from the program @omarr-pepper

  5. I seem to recall a few years ago Vettel getting a new chassis to cure a mystery complaint that was causing him to see too much of Webbers exhaust, it seemed to work but I think that later in the year after a wreck Webber ended up driving Vettels original chassis quite succesfully, placebo effect ?

    1. Earlier this year Vettel asked to change chassis to the one he used during testing. That weekend his car was rotten.

      1. After chassis change
        Spain – No FP running and Gearbox failure in Q3
        Monaco – Turbo Failure in R
        Austria – Engine issue
        Spa – Exhaust breakdown
        Good thing is his 5th engine is not damaged , but penalties is surely waiting for him at the next 7 races

  6. 10 seconds hahahaha. Ludicrous

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    28th August 2014, 1:36

    I’m hoping that Bernie being let off (through a bribe no less, lol) will see the return of reason to the double points thing, and hopefully it’ll be scrapped.

    I got the impression that the double points was just an attempt to deflect attention from his court case to something else. I dunno.
    Hopefully common sense will prevail.

    1. @tophercheese21 I think double points was a way for Bernie to get more money from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

      It is a real shame, as, with the way this season has unfolded, I am almost certain that whichever Mercedes driver does best will be the one to win the championship. It is completely artificial and if I were a driver who won like this I would be very clear and say that I am not happy and don’t deserve it.

  8. @William-Brierty COTD – Well said, couldn’t agree more.

    1. Agreed. By the way, could one of native speakers here explain me the following phrase? Thanks :)

      the Mercedes saloon in the ditch was a fair cop

      1. @phildick
        ‘A fair cop’ means admitting guilt after being caught, so in this example if he drove someone into a ditch he wouldn’t require evidence to admit culpability.

  9. I can understand that Vergne has done a great job for Toro Rosso and despite his car problems this year, his performances in his F1 career have shown that he still deserves another chance at F1 next year. But while I do think that Buemi is a pretty good driver, it still annoys me that Alguersauri was overlooked and seen as a lesser talent against Buemi. Before Verstappen, he was the youngest driver in F1 and brought up quite quickly in 2009 during his FR3.5 campaign.

    Understandably, when he first started, he didn’t shine too much against Buemi considering Buemi race a full season that year. But after that, I’m not sure about Franz Tost, but I saw a rising star in Jaime Alguersauri and in my opinion, over his time in F1, he was a very quiet achiever, kind of like how Nico Hulkenberg has been most of his F1 career. But as soon as Daniel Ricciardo got signed for Toro Rosso in 2012, I instantly thought ‘bye bye Buemi’. But when I heard it was Alguersauri, I was destroyed cause I knew that he wouldn’t get signed to another team as they had either no interest in him or there was nowhere for Jaime to go.

    So in all reality, if 24 or even 22 is too young, then I can see why they didn’t take Da Costa and why they signed Kvyat and Verstappen.

    1. Buemi didn’t keep his seat Both him and alguersairi got booted that year for RIC and JEV

      1. I never said he did but what I did say (not exactly worded like this) but Ricciardo was signed before Vergne

    2. @mattypf1 I completely agree with you here, especially the bit about Alguersuari. It was clear when he was fast, he was fast.

  10. I met and had a long chat with Gianpiero Lambiase once (in which he spent most of the time saying how fantastic a driver Perez is and how hard done he was by McLaren) – lovely guy and will no doubt do a fab job at Red Bull. Big step up for him – congrats!

  11. I love that FLIR video, there’s much more detail than FOM’s cameras, for instance you can see a little bit the coanda effect and I think some of the internal structures underneath the bodywork.

    1. I read the April 2014 press release FLIR did. Some of the dimensions on their equipment made me wonder if the cameras might be on car during practice?
      The promotional video was neat but I would love to see some underbody component views someday.

  12. I expect to see more tyre slicing in future races, seen as the precedent has been set.

    As has been mentioned before the Alonso-Vettel incident was different as the side wall was not struck, hence the chance of puncture was much less.

    I don’t understand the decision not to give a drive through, but at least there were no Ali G comments from Hamilton this time I guess.

    1. @john-h I wouldn’t hold your breathe – it is my impression that these sorts of collisions usually result in far more damage to the front wing than the car in front. Yes punctures do occur but despite the hysterical allegations on this site – I suspect that the chances of successfully “kissing” a rear tyre in just the right spot to cause a puncture at speeds over 100mph would require sustained practice or superhuman skill.

      1. So you’re saying that in order to pull it off you’d have to be one of the best drivers in the world? Like maybe one of the top 22? Hmmm….

        1. @jmg I actually said “would require sustained practice or superhuman skill” at no time did I imply any of the top 22 would have these.

      2. All it takes is Pirelli tyres :P

      3. When do you think he was over 100 mph? I might be wrong, but that seems high for that corner, particularly when he’s compromised by having another car nearby. Besides that, the idea that a driver who hits apexes all day couldn’t nudge a tyre seems ludicrous to me.

        1. @matt90 yes but apexs aren’t moving! And we aren’t talking about “hitting” the rear tyre. If he really intended it we are talking supreme precision on a moving target – unless he really wanted to trash his own car.

          1. We really aren’t. Of course there’s no way he went into the corner planning to puncture the tyre. But if he decided to intentionally kiss Hamilton’s tyre (not that I believe he did reall) after he’d already fallen back through the right-hander then I really don’t see the difficulty in it as his car was already in a position to do so. The target in this case is moving very similarly to Rosberg, so it being a moving target doesn’t really make that big a difference either.

          2. @matt90 semantic maybe but the gap would have been changing and the target therefore moving. That aside – Martin Brundle points out that the “kissing” end plate is 6ft away and out of sight- that in my opinion makes the manoeuvre supremely difficult. Perhaps I have gone soft with parking sensors!

          3. I just think an F1 driver of all people can probably judge where their front wing is well enough to place it to force slight contact.

          4. @matt90 and that is our point of difference. I am sceptical that in the circumstances they could do it with any certainty of the outcome they want.


    «Apologists blame the economy, but their ‘facts’ simply don’t stack up: Porsche and Audi commit F1-level budgets to the World Endurance Championship; Volkswagen and Hyundai spend huge amounts on World Rally Championship campaigns. Yes, Honda returns in 2015 – marking the first return of a major marque in six years – but, crucially, as engine supplier only. None other is on the horizon»

    Reading Dieter Rencken’s column (Autosport) talking about audiences, commitment from car makers, more investment on marketing and co. some questions came to my mind:

    As far as I know, despite declining viewership F1 still leads WEC and WRC, so high audiences bring more marketing cash, why are constructors putting money in other series and not in F1?.

    How does series road relevance relates to car makers commitment? Does making F1 more road relevant bring constructors back? (Is Honda back because of F1 is again a lab for their road cars or because it’s a marketing platform?)

    1. If you look at technology alone WEC is easily as advanced as F1. Relevance to road cars is therefore very present aswell. So that is a reason to be there in the first place I think.

      Above that WRC is doing a whole lot to improve the amount of viewers as they too realised they needed them. WEC can be seen on Eurosport and on their site for very reasonable prices. So I can only imagine viewing figures are improving for the two series.

      I also think these three will forever carry on as they are the only three world championships recognised by the FIA, as far as I know.

      1. WTCC, Rallycross, several Karting classes are designated world championships.

      2. as for the WEC, i don’t know in other countrys, but as for Latin America – Argentina to be fair- the WEC isn’t broadcasted, and i don’t see any intention to do it, because, here.. no one really cares.. (it must be because of the lenghts of the races and the local time, it clashes with football and no one in his right mind would cancel football for WEC in Argentina!)

  14. Tom (@11mcgratht)
    28th August 2014, 9:58

    Forgetting they are teammates, and all the politics and mind games between Hamilton and Rosberg for a second, what I still fail to understand is the lack of an immediate penalty for Rosberg. The fact is there was a needless collision, that he undoubtedly caused; warranting a penalty.

    The Stewards’ failure to act has left them looking weak and too scared to follow the rules if it means a significant impact on the championship.

    1. @11mcgratht I agree that the incident should have been investigated but Im not too sure if there should be any penalty. Also it isn’t the first time Rosberg has hit a fellow teammate at the Les Combes section at spa.

      1. Normally when these things happen the result is a small penalty, for example when Magnussen sliced Raikkonens tyre in Malaysia earlier this year.

        He got 5 sec stop and go penalty for that. I do feel these two incidents were pretty similar so the stewards should have just given Rosberg that 5 sec penalty that’s it.

        I also think that both these were just racing incidents. If you hit someone but it does not damage your opponents car then there would be no need to hand penalties for these incidents. But in both the situations there was damage done so if Magnussen got one I don’t undertand why Rosberg did not.

        I wanted to also comment and give my two cents on what Rosberg possibly had meant when he said he could have avoided it. I think he may have meant he could have avoided it by backing off earlier, but he committed and sometimes it just does not work and sometimes it does. He must have known that and when leading in points you can maybe take that risk. If you don’t take risks you don´t normally gain anything. So when he said he did it to prove a point, that point may have been that Hamilton should also look in his mirrors and leave that space of cars width for Rosberg. I feel that this is a valid point. No matter what the racing line is, you just can not trust that you can use the racing line every single lap if someone tries to overtake you or even comes close to you showing that he is trying to overtake. Why should a racer trust his opponent or teammate ? I am not talking about the trust when you go wheel by wheel on the fast straights, there you need to have both respect and trust. But in the slower corners you should not trust anyone, including your teammate because like every other racer out there all they want is to overtake and they can´t control both cars and that’s when racing incidents happen. You do it on purpose but you don’t damage the other car on purpose.

        Remember Perez in Monaco for example when he overtook plenty of cars by diving inside and braking late. I know it was very different place and corner but still..he also knew that without trying he wouldn’t gain anything so he risked it. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. That´s why these should be called racing incidents. You can only control your own car and not your opponents. That is racing and if you don’t try to overtake or take risks then why to race at all.

        1. …and sorry for that link, must have done something stupid. Where is the “edit comment” button please…..

        2. Magnussen got one at Malaysia & Nico didn’t at Spa because the FIA recently told the stewards to be more lenient & not hand out penalty’s for racing incidents like this.

          They did this at the request of the teams, drivers & because the constant investigations/penalty were proving unpopular with fans.

          If you go back to 2011 when Lewis made a similar misjudgement & clipped Massa’s rear tyre with his wing giving Massa a puncture, There were many fans on this site & elsewhere who felt the penalty Lewis got was harsh. It was the same with other things between then & early this year, So the FIA have now opted for a more lenient approach.

          1. Thanks for that. I did not know teams had requested the stewards to be more lenient. But this just proves again that it was just a racing incident. Of course people want harsher penalties when ones favourite driver is the one who suffers. I don’t have favourite between the Merc drivers so was just trying to demonstrate racing incidents happen to everyone out there and taking risks is part of the sport. I am quite happy that this season we have something to talk about. Would be a very sad season if nothing happened on track or if Mercedes would win all races finishing 1-2 every time. Last season was not too interesting when all cars very pretty reliable and many of the races very predictable. Looking forward to seeing some more racing this season.

          2. People were after more leniency on stupid irritating penalties like running a bit wide and getting a drive through when overtaking. Nobody ever wanted leniency on a move that barely damages your car and destroys another car’s race.
            Apparently cheating and ‘sporting cunning’ are now synonymous.

  15. Pirro: “But if he wasn’t happy, it’s because of the little bit of sporting cunning.”

    cunning: “1.
    having or showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or evasion.”

    1. And why should Rosberg be allowed to ‘evade’ the rules where other are not

  16. Now that it is evident that Bernie is not going behind the bars, let’s all suck up to him again, to make sure we are first in line for all those short-term benefits that he is giving us in exchange for milking us like stupid cows.
    Translation over.

    1. You’re right, I don’t remember hearing anybody praising Bernie while he was under trial. Kinda reminds me of Peter denying any association with Jesus when things turned ugly.

      My respect for Bernie has never waned. I especially appreciate his refusal to cancel Grand Prix in troubled countries with controversial regimes. The guy is tenacious. Long live Bernie.

      In my opinion, nobody who watches F1 on Sky has the right to criticize Bernie. SkyF1 wouldn’t exist without him. Coming from a non-Sky subscriber.

  17. Gianpiero Lambiase is Perez’s race engineer at FI and I remember when Raikkonen’s and Webber’s race engineer’s swapped places last year or so. So, is it so common in F1 world that race engineers change teams so often and so easy?

    1. @osvaldas31

      Yes, Mark and Ciaron philbeam has 4 years of relation ship also Jenson who has Dave Robson as his engineer for long time , but Dave came as 3rd engineer change to JB.
      Its natural for Engineers to have a change in designation in Team shuffling or When they change teams to get higher salaries.
      Take Rob smedly and Felipe Massa now Rob is head of Vehicle dynamics at Williams i think

  18. “but I can guarantee you ladies and gentlemen that the undoubtedly clever Rosberg did not see an attractive offer in the shape of guaranteed front wing damage for the small chance of puncturing Lewis’ tyre”

    Small chance? As Brundle and Pirelli pointed out, there is a 90%, thats ninety percent chance of a tyre deflation in the event of a wing/tyre side-wall contact. The risk/reward ratio for Rosberg was very attractive. Losing a piece of your front wing, as we’ve seen numerous times, is oftern not even detrimental to the pace of the car, many pundits oftern ‘joke’ about this, and worst case, he loses a few seconds in a pit stop having to replace it if it is bad enough. Very worst case scenario, he finishes behind Lewis and still retains the lead in the championship.

  19. Formula Indonesia (@)
    28th August 2014, 12:01

    Well if i take conclusion
    Ricciardo – JEV 2012`13 : Dan only outscored JEV by 1 point (30-29) and as we saw that Dan faster in Qualy JEV in race. we should note to that JEV took STR best result in 2012 (8th) and 2013 (6th) despite RIC more consistent. so I can say their equal. However their future after 2013 season
    Dan : beat Vettel and surprisingly won 3 races (and could be more) . He also really fast and he will be champion one day
    Jev : beat Kvyat in points despite had alot of technical issues. However after he lose seat, it looked like he may end up without a seat on 2015

    1. @f1indofans you can’t simplify it like that, if you use that logic, then you must say that Schumacher was no better than Rosberg, but Hamilton is better than Rosberg (marginally), which means that Hamilton is better than Schumacher…. Which some people might agree with. However, it doesn’t take into account, race craft, ability to galvanise a team around the driver, ability to develop a car, or even the ability to drive a car that is damaged or not performing at its best. If you take those factors into consideration, I personally wouldn’t be able to say that HAM is better than Schu…

      1. and of course going back to the original point, you can’t say that JEV is better than VET because RIC is beating VET

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          28th August 2014, 14:20

          @dragoll of course I’m not saying JEV is faster than VET, i just want to say that JEV deserved a lot better seat than STR

      2. I don´t believe anyone thinks the aged, semi-motivated pensioneer Schumi was half as good as the Schumi in his prime.

  20. I always thought that in a coming together that was avoidable, such as the NR-LH one at Spa, the driver who exhibits poor judgement and significantly affects anothers race without equally harming his own gets a drive through penalty to redress the balance.

    LH typically gets a raw deal from the stewards, for whatever reason. In common with a few other drivers NR knows this and plays on it, he’s a calculating driver, not a good racer but he certainly plays the percentages well.

    LH telling the media about the Merecedes post race team discussion was essentially for the benefit of the stewards who NR has fooled on a number of occasions.

    1. So presumably you agree with the penalty’s Lewis got for showing poor judgement & driving into drivers several times in 2011?

      But no you feel Lewis ‘Gets a raw deal from the stewards’ for getting penalty’s.

      1. Like all situations there isn’t an absolute, it’s the balance that’s missing when it comes to Lewis. The worst decision I have ever seen by any stewards was the post race penalty applied after Spa 2008, compounded by the right of appeal being legislated out. At the other end of the scale some decisions have been inexplicable, Brazil 2013 with being one such, if ever there was a simple racing incident that was one.

        As for 2011 seem to recall the trouble started at Monaco. Massa tightened his line drastically at Loews to crash into Hamilton, [drive through] and Maldonado turned in so early to St Devote he had all four wheels over the inside kerb [post race time added].

        In both Monaco 2011 and Brazil 2013 the driver representative was a failed Brit F1 pilot from the past, one of whom has gone on to make a worse character decision at Monaco this year citing ‘honest Nico’ and then telling Lewis to ‘man up’.

        1. was a failed Brit F1 pilot

          Dereck Warwick was certainly not a failed F1 driver, He was a very well respected & talented F1 driver who was simply unlucky to never get into a top car.

          He scored podiums in a sub-par Toleman & Arrows & declining Renault team & was well thought of by the F1 paddock which is why he was able to be around for as long as he was without needing to have funding to pay for the drive.

          Its also worth pointing out that Senna saw him as enough of a threat that he didn’t want him as a teammate at Lotus in 1985 even though a contact had been signed between Dereck/Lotus.

          1. Roger A. Derek Warwick was a failed F1 driver by the standards of Lewis Hamilton, envy can be a powerful motivator. He never scored a podium in a Toleman, he had several in the Renault the following year, but that was the team with which Alain Prost had narrowly missed out on the WDC the previous year.

            There was no need to tell Lewis to ‘man-up’ after Monaco Q3, it was designed to wind up someone who is better than he was as a driver and had publicly told him he hadn’t done his job properly once again.

            Rather similar to Pirro last weekend I’d say, 10 seconds to assess an accident between the only two drivers in the championship, terrible stewardship.

        2. Oh & I think the Spa 2008 penalty was justified.

          As the other drivers who pretty much all agreed with the penalty said afterwards, By missing the corner he came out of it much closer to Kimi with a much better run on him than he would have if he had backed out & gone through the turn behind Kimi.

          Also listen to the throttle, He hesitated for a second but was fully flat on the throttle again before Kimi had even finished re-passing him-

          Plain & simple he gained an unfair advantage which helped him in re-passing Kimi. He should have slotted in behind him & had another go later on, Especially considering that the 2008 Ferrari was a bit rubbish in the wet.

          1. you mean gained an advantage like nico did straight lining the chicane at canada?

          2. But Nico didn’t really gain from it as he backed off not long after & got the gap back down to what it had been before he ran wide (Lewis 2-3 car lengths behind).

            Its a different situation to Spa 2008 where Lewis clearly did come out of the corner closer to Kimi having missed the corner which put him in the position to pass Kimi at the next corner.
            At Montreal this year Lewis was nowhere near been close enough to Nico to have been disadvantaged by Nico making the error & missing the chicane.

            And remember that the stewards did investigate Nico after that but having looked at the timing/tracking data as well as the replays concluded that no advantage was gained since Nico did back off to give the time back.

            We didn’t see Nico back off on TV as it was when FOM were showing the replays of Nico outbraking himself & running off at the chicane.
            On the in-car feed you did see/hear Nico lift on the straght exiting the 1st corners & getting the gap down to what it had been before.

          3. Regarding Dereck Warwick, My mistake about the Toleman podium.
            Regarding Renault, As I said the team were in decline & never won another race after Prost left as the chief designer & several other top people from the engineering staff left for Larousse who had also left Renault to start his own team.
            It was the equivalent of Benetton in 1996, Same team but most the top people had left leaving it in decline.

            Warwick scored 4 podiums through 1984 but had a lot of mechanical DNF’s which were in no way his fault which robbed him of further podiums & in at least 1 case a win.

            But regardless of that just because he never achieved what Lewis has doesn’t make him a failed F1 driver.
            As I said he was always very well thought of & was always considered a good driver, Its what got him into F1 & what kept him there for as long as he was without bringing any backing to the teams he drove for.

            Saying that just because he didn’t do what Lewis has makes him a failed driver is an absurd comment frankly, Especially considering at no point did he ever have a car anywhere near as good as what Lewis has spent most his time in.

            Also why woudl he be jealous, He’s said many times before he is proud of his time in F1 & would change nothing about it. And he won the world sportscar championship & Le Mans which are very big achievements.

        3. Roger A. That’s rubbish, Lewis lifted off, then went behind the back of the Ferrari and accelerated to overtake it on the other side, you should look at your own ‘evidence’ more carefully!! The rules at that time simply said you have to relinquish the position, Lewis did that!

          As for the other drivers agreeing, Kimi was interviewed after the race and he said something along the lines of, he lifted off, I went back past him, he overtook me again, what more is there to say..

          1. I have watched that video, He is clearly fully back on the accelerator before Kimi is fully past, You have to be a bit deaf to suggest he wasn’t.
            But besides even that he clearly came out of the corner having cut it way closer to Kimi than he was before it so he quite clearly did gain an advantage.

            The FIA had that video & the telemetry from his car at the time as well as the timing data, split times & stuff & they came to the same conclusion.

            As to the other drivers comments, They were all asked by the media at the next race & everyone but Kovalainen & Sutil said they agreed with the penalty & the reasoning behind it.

            ITV (Who were well behind Lewis at the time) did an analysis with Brundle/Blundell & they looked at the the onboard footage & went back & looked at past situations & they too concluded the penalty was reasonable.

            I was a fan of hamilton’s in 2008 & cheering him onto the championship yet i too agreed with the penalty having seen all the video, read about all the data & listened to the opinion of the other drivers & others in the media.

          2. Let us look at screenshots.

            Look how far behind Lewis is as they start to brake-

            And look how much closer he is having cut the corner-

            Those & the audio evidence of his throttle makes it completely cut & dry.
            He cut the corner & gained an advantage as it allowed him to exit the corner much closer than he would have been had he stayed on the track & followed Kimi through it.

            I cannot see how anyone can claim that he didn’t gain an advantage or didn’t come out having cut over it closer than he would have otherwise been.

          3. Roger A. You can micro-analyse the Spa 2008 situation as much as you like, but Lewis did nothing wrong according to the rules of the day and importantly the closest man to the action, Kimi agreed with him in the immediate post race chat.

            As far as the Derek Warwick thing goes, it took you hours to find examples of his achievements, all of which were eclipsed by Lewis in his first half dozen F1 outings. Sure DW drove a Toleman is his first years, but Senna nearly won in that team, which must have hurt Derek enormously, then to have the same superstar veto his position at Lotus must have rubbed salt in.

            If you re-read my post you’ll find that I was comparing Derek with Lewis specifically because they were the relevant steward and driver in both Brazil 2013 and Monaco 2014 [where DW felt the need to tell LH to ‘man-up’] and it was what was going through Derek Warwick’s mind that I am questioning. DW came up through humble beginnings and good luck to him, he did well, perhaps he blamed the issues with Senna on his lack of ‘clout’. But then this mixed race kid comes in, grandson of a 60’s black immigrant, and sets the world talking about him in the blink of an eye relatively speaking. That he regularly quotes his childhood hero Senna, would likely be a bit galling for this nearly-man. It was directly after one such Senna reference at Monaco that the DW ‘man-up’ rebuke came.

  21. I’m okay with most of the points in the COTD, but one thing:

    “The contact cannot have been intentional, it was merely a clumsy half move that confirms that Nico just isn’t on the same level as Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in wheel-to-wheel combat.” – I agree that I don’t think it was intentional and I even agree that Rosberg is not the equal of Alonso or Vettel and maybe not even Hamilton. But to make that statement based on said contact–when Alonso lost part of his wing to Vettel in the same race and Hamilton hurt his own race in Germany losing bits of his wing to other people, is a bit much.

    1. In the incident in Germany where Lewis lost part of his wing Jenson B, after seeing the video from both sides said he could understand why Lewis attempted the pass, and therefore presumably also why it resulted in contact, a racing incident. Lewis could have waited behind for many laps like NR with Vergne in Hungary, but he’s a racing driver, not a percentage player [that’s being kind to Nico].

      1. @frasier – I’m not saying Lewis should have waited or Nico should have made his attempt. All I’m saying is that all 3 of the examples I gave above were of drivers (2 of which the COTD listed as top drivers) have made errors resulting in damaging their own wing and finishing position in just the past 3 races.. To then say that this clearly shows Nico not in the same league is an overstatement in my estimation.

        I’m not saying he is, necessarily, just that you can’t make that judgment based on this incident.

  22. I see Martin Brundle has now come round as far as saying Rosberg’s action was ‘an instantaneous moment of anger and petulance

    Also he posts the damning frame of the onboard with Rosberg steering hard right into Hamilton’s car.

    How he’s so sure it was an instantaneous decision I do not know. I doubt that personally. Anyway, he accepts that it was deliberate.

    Which makes Pirro and the stewards look pretty poor.

    1. @lockup – I’m not saying Pirro is right. But in general, I would lean (note the caveats) toward the stewards here because they have all the data and have nothing to gain here. As much as I like Brundle as a commentator and respect him, he stands to gain from a circus.

      1. @hobo Well I’d say Brundle is friendly with Bernie and a member of the F1 establishment which quite clearly does not want Rosberg labelled a cheat, as we saw in Monaco. The stewards have admitted deciding in 10 seconds flat as Keith reports, and so clearly they did not use any data at all! As in Monaco the driver-steward’s explanation reeks of prejudgment.

        Also at the time Brundle immediately said in commentary it was not deliberate, evidently because that’s what (like most of us) he wanted to believe. Now the evidence has changed his mind.

        Did you look at the picture? Nobody steers almost 90 degrees right in that corner.

        1. @KeithR – Again, I did not say that Pirro is necessarily right or that one should just take the stewards decision, dismiss all others, and call it a day. They can be wrong, too. And I’ve certainly disagreed with them.

          And I watched the Sky feed and have watched replays of the incident, and I realize Brundle changed his mind. But a few things.

          1. A photo in F1 is almost always useless for this. Everything before and after that frame is important too. If you go here [hope the video stays up for a few hours], you can see that Hamilton’s hands are at almost the exact same angle. If I saw this, without knowing all the controversy, I would say that it looks like Rosberg is trying to keep a line through the turn and following turn. I.e. that he wants to go side by side through this turn and the next. I’m not saying Hamilton must allow that, but that’s how it looks.

          At around 16sec of the video, they are at nearly the same steering wheel angle. It does look like Rosberg adds angle, but again, it looks like he’s trying to continue the corner, nothing more. And either the rear steps out and he corrects or he sees Hamilton coming and moves left around 18/19sec mark. Honestly it looks like a correction, afterwhich he returns to the steering angle he had previously. I see nothing damning.

          Take that out of context, like one frame, and sure, one can speculate all sorts of things.

          Finally, Brundle, Bernie, and the establishment may not want to call Rosberg a cheat (nor should they do so, in my opinion), but they all benefit from press, good or bad.

          1. Thank you for the youtub link. In the BBC coverage it looked like Lewis barely defended the corner, from that in-car it looks like Lewis was even slower than the track side camera depicted.
            I still have to think Nico knew nobody was behind him so going to the left and cutting the corner to avoid Lewis would have cost him nothing and an easy pass was his to take with the third lap DRS activation. Yeah?

          2. @hobo After the correction Rosberg goes full right and there’s no reason for that, other than to intersect with Hamilton’s car.

            The still frame is valuable because it’s so quick. And the point about Brundle changing his mind is that you can’t call his opinion biased, because he clearly wanted to call it a mistake, but was a bit too honest, finally. Just not quite honest enough to use the word “cheat”, because he is part of the F1 establishment.

          3. @lockup – We’ll just have to agree to disagree. Again, if you look at the video where Brundle’s image is from and go 3sec back you see..

            Both cars have similar steering angle. Then Rosberg goes a bit more right as they approach the apex of the right hander, he corrects (or that’s what it looks like to me) and then has to go back hard right to maintain a line through the turn.

            Now you can argue that he should have slowed, left the track, gone farther left.. And that’s fine. But (it looked to me anyway) it looked like he was trying to maintain his line. Maybe Hamilton saw the correction and pounced but Nico was back, maybe Hamilton assumed he would back off. I don’t know. But the single frame of a steering angle is not proof and not useful.

            Maybe the move was too forceful/aggressive, maybe it was too clumsy. I don’t think it was calculated or cheating. But that’s my opinion and I’ll leave it there.

          4. @motor – With regards to Nico could have maybe avoided and not lost anything.. Maybe.

            If we take him at his word that he was trying to prove a point by not moving for Hamilton, then the video seems to back that up. Or maybe it was a move that didn’t work and he’s using that as spin after the fact to get in Lewis’ head. Hard to say.

          5. @hobo Well I agree with Martin Brundlle that it was deliberate. I don’t subscribe to any of that large number of maybes :)

            He had room on the left, but there he is caught on full right steering into Hamilton’s rear tyre. He didn’t need that much lock to stay on track. Case closed, afaic, and shame on Pirro and the stewards.

  23. Rosberg is clever, but he is not a genius, so to sacrifice his front wing in the remote hope of hitting the vulnerable inside shoulder of the tyre at a couple a hundred miles an hour would be like trying to swat a fly with a drinking straw. The contact cannot have been intentional, it was merely a clumsy half move that confirms that Nico just isn’t on the same level as Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in wheel-to-wheel combat.

    The thing is though they were both traveling at around the same speed so it’s not exactly trying to swat a fly with a straw.

  24. I also think Vergne is a good driver.

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