Williams’ season “better than expected” – Smedley

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams’ Rob Smedley says their season is going better than expected.


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

Rob Smedley Q&A Part 1 (Crash)

“I think that it’s gone better than expected, hasn’t it? If you look at Williams last year and you said that at a point at this stage of the season they’re going to have as many points as we’ve got this season, podiums, a pole position, fourth in the championship and battling for third with Ferrari… I don’t think anybody could have said that that was as we expected.”

Kimi still has ‘difficulties’ with F14 T (ESPN)

“There are things we need to improve but the feelings been there for a while, it’s just been compromised by mistakes or things happening to us.”

Philippe Gurdjian, 1945 – 2014 (F1)

“Gurdjian also helped establish a number of new F1 events, including those in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.”

Toto Wolff’s cries may be in vain as Nico Rosberg smells blood in F1 chase (The Guardian)

“The incident in Belgium was a spilling of bad blood, poisoned by what happened in Monaco in May, when Rosberg got in the way of Hamilton during qualifying. Privately, the majority view in the paddock is that Rosberg did it deliberately.”

Comment of the day

Has there been too much coverage of the latest Hamilton/Rosberg row? @John-H says no:

If the two championship contenders colliding on the track and falling out off the track isn’t worth milking, then I don’t know what is.

May I speak out for all those that have enjoyed this past week while F1 has been in the global press.

The Caption Competition winner will be selected for tomrrow’s round-up.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Liedra and Fritz Oosthuizen!

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

On this day in F1

And happy birthday to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo who is 67 today!

Image © Williams/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “Williams’ season “better than expected” – Smedley”

  1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    31st August 2014, 1:32

    Is the private view from most of the paddock really that Rosberg deliberately cheated in Monaco. If so, Lewis was telling the truth after all that stuff went on behind closed doors that we couldn’t concieve. Combine this with last weeks behind the scenes disagreement this is very believable.

    1. I suppose it is entirely possible that a driver privy to a lot of insider knowledge and history may have learned a lot of tactics to prevent a faster competitor from prevailing.

      1. @hohum
        It’s also entirely possible that biased people may be coming up with an absolute nonsense comments on the forums and message boards, to rationalize the fact that the reality doesn’t match their views and expectations.

        1. I’m with Lawrence on this one. Nobody really knows, it just gives us something to talk about.

        2. @lawrence, Youtube (obviously) and the Sky Sports F1 site are perfect cases in point.

          1. SKysport , although admittedly the best coverage out there by a mile (and then some) , are also bias by a mile (and then some) I follow Sky now for 1,5 season and it is really getting to me now.. You have to weigh everything they say in the light of their unmatched bias.

            annoying. Brundle seems the most nuanced one btw. must me said.

          2. @greek guru. I still enjoy BBC coverage a lot more than Sky. I realy like the Ben Edwards/DC combo.

    2. Just because “majority” thinks something doesn’t make any more or less true. I’m sure there are lots of opinions on the F1 pits. And more to the point anyone can make any kind of claims he wants about how many other people support his/her point of view. I’m sure majority of the people in the pitwalls in F1 agree with me about this as well lol. What the people in the pits think is irrelevant unless they are making a decision about something. And they are not going to vote whether rosberg did it on purporse or not.

      1. thank you very much. agree

    3. @collettdumbletonhall So you say. The view outside is that Lewis is making tantrums. Look at autosport or the DotW poll
      There’s no way Rosberg would say anything more than “I wasn’t going to back down like at Bahrain”.
      Lewis gets himself in these situations, he loses pieces of bodywork and tyres because he relies on the opponent to get out of his majesty’s way.
      I say man up and beat your team-mate because in the end that’s almost all we will care about, just beat your teammate in qualifying and in the race.
      I really like how DC went on about everything, I did not watch the sky feed but even if DC is a lot more subdued than Crofty, I would pair DC and Brundle again.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        31st August 2014, 14:17

        @peartree That was my view. It was clear to me last week that Rosberg was just trying to show Lewis that he’s not going to be pushed around.
        So much happens behind closed doors though which has altered my mindset though. I don’t know what to believe.

        1. @collettdumbletonhall Me neither. I didn’t like the both the Monaco and Spa dramas but I think in this case what goes around comes back around, also no one seems to remember the 2013 Malaysian GP team orders, but that’s another story. Again I would study what happened further if I indeed believed that Lewis was being faster than Nico as he was doing early in the season. In the end Lewis gets tangled with the press as usual and makes me and other fans un- favourite from F1 fanatics fav drivers :x

      2. Lewis gets himself in these situations, he loses pieces of bodywork and tyres because he relies on the opponent to get out of his majesty’s way.

        I think you’re confused – the incident in Spa was one in which Lewis was totally blameless. Everybody who actually knows what they’re talking about says so. Suggesting otherwise is either a) ignorance, or b) deliberately misleading.

        I wish people would stop that…

        1. @fluxsource What’s ignorance is not acknowledging the whole situation. I’m was merely stating that Nico was over aggressive because of his and Lewis past history, in this case the Bahrain fight, has in my view galvanized their on track battles resulting in this attitude from Nico, in my view perceived as payback.(as Rosberg had to take avoiding action in Sahkir) We do remember Nico’s words.
          Nowhere I did refer Spa. I’m simply saying that what happened is good riddance. Saying that the particular SPA clash was Lewis fault is the same as saying women are to blame for being harassed by men, it’s not confusion or ignorance, it’s delusion.
          To clear things up Rosberg is in my opinion at fault at Spa.

          1. so your saying Nico is sick of being pushed around,
            you obviously havent seen Nico run Lewis off the track on the straight before Lewis joined Merc then either, i mean completely off at 200mp plus onto the dirt when going in a straight line,
            some people dont know much about the history of this sport yet deliberately think they have seen it all…

        2. Hmmm, I am gettting tired of the whole discussion to be honest, however here I think the language being used (blameless, deliberate etc.) is part of the problem.

          Yes Lewis was perfectly entitled to do what he did at Spa, Bahrain and plenty of other times throughout his F1 career, namely ‘close the door’ on a car he is battling with. But closing the door (by which I mean willfully putting your car in a position where the other car has to either back off or run off track to avoid a collision) always carries the inherent risk of contact (usually collecting a front wing) and damaging your own car. In this case, perhaps the risk was not worth it.

          The stewards decided it was a racing incident, and in reality it was just that. With modern technology we can analyse it from multiple angles and in slowmo and apportion blame.

          Ultimately however the accident would have been avoided if either driver had been a little less stubborn in their car positioning. Nico less stubborn about leaving the confines of the track (The ‘point’ he was making) and Lewis less stubborn about moving slightly off the racing line to allow a fraction more room for his team-mate who’s passing attempt had already clearly failed.

          Finally, the most shocking thing about the whole debacle is the Mercedes management teams post race and subsequent comments. Truly amateurish and displaying the lack of control that we all suspected they had whilst feeding the inevitable media frenzy surrounding the collision.

  2. Formula Indonesia (@)
    31st August 2014, 2:11

    Let Rosberg win the championship, next year he will have a lot of disaster. If this happen, it mean.Rosberg cheat a lot this season, however if next year he only have few bad luck, this means he honest in this season. Just talking about karma because its always happen in our life

    1. @f1indofans If that were the case with Trisakti’s students in 1998 we’d still be waiting for a 3rd president I reckon :)

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        31st August 2014, 12:39

        @davidnotcoulthard, well for the president, Indo right now already had 6 president, adding 1 after this year election. anyway are you Indonesian?

        1. @f1indofans Yes, I thought you’d noticed.

  3. I’m glad The Guardian has conducted some, previously unreleased poll about the Monaco incident and that they also have a gift-measuring machine. I wonder what is the unit? A giftotron? A Senna? A Clark?
    One thing is for sure. They have measured that Hamilton is more gifted than Rosberg.
    I wonder what were their results.
    Perhaps they’ve concluded that Hamilton’s gift is 130 Clarks, compared to Rosberg’s 128 Clarks?
    The press sure loves making up stories to make the story more compelling for the lazy-minded.

    Ah yes, the F1 journalism.

    1. If the measure goes from 1 to 100, it makes more sense for the unit to be Chiltons, because I dont think Hamilton can be 130 Clarks, but 130 Chiltons for sure!

      1. @austus
        On a scale of 1-100: 0 is Chilton point, 100 is Clark point? :P

  4. I somehow feel that Mario M is more inclined towards Kimi than ALonso. He menioned about Kimi having a good race in Spa but did not mention what his other driver has been doing right from the start of the season. To add to that, he also said that he does not need to make ALonso happy which is somewhat correc but a bit conceited at this point in season .Firstly they havnt given their drivers a good car and then a statement arrives abt their no 1 driver abt not not keeping him happy. ALonso was the only good thing about Ferrari in the last 5 years. Make his points just double of Kimi and see where Ferrari stands in the constructor business. MM is also saying all these things because he knows ALonso doesnt have any good option other than to stick ti Ferrari.

    1. @gill ALO was and still is untouchable at Ferrari and in the past 5 years, it went so far that you didn’t know if SD or ALO was calling the shots there.
      The tone MM uses would suggest that he is asserting himself as the leader – which makes sense, because no matter how good a driver is, the boss needs to be in charge and if he has to take ALO down a notch or two to achieve this then it won’t hurt in the long run.

    2. MM also worked a few years in Finland, maybe that’s why he gets along well with Kimi

    3. @gill I think it is more of a case that Mario has entered a team with problems, and there are some personnel changes, ALO isn’t at risk from the team and there is no pressure to oust ALO, so he’s quick to jump to Kimi’s defense because it might be a case that Kimi is wanted by the team, but just want to quiet detractors out in the media/fans who might be starting to pressure him. Ultimately its a case that he’s just trying to steady the ship. not playing favourtism.

  5. Just on the Rosberg Monaco deal which i’ve seen brought up a lot here the past week.

    I think im right in thinking that the stewards looked at the data they had & said that it was inconclusive in terms of proving/disproving it was a deliberate act. They spoke to Nico & I think other representatives from Mercedes who as we know were adamant it was unintentional.

    The paddock were as far as i’ve heard split on the issue, Even the Ex-F1 drivers on Sky were split. Johnny Herbert was adamant it was intentional with Martin Brundle & Anthony Davidson (And I think Damon Hill) believing it wasn’t.

    Now if you are the stewards & you cannot prove without reasonable doubt that it was deliberate should you still hand out a penalty? I personally don’t.

    I myself have watched the video a dozen times & cannot decide one way or the other. I can see how it could have been done deliberately but can also see how it could have just been an accident. If I were in the stewards room that day I would not have voted to give him a penalty unless I was able to say with 100% certainty that it was intentional.

    With regards to Derek Warwick & saying something like he spoke to Nico & felt he was been truthful or whatever he said. Well again if you look at the data & video & can’t tell either way, You can only go by judgement having got the opinion of those involved (Nico in this case) & if you (And the other stewards) feel he’s been truthful do you just ignore that?

    Honestly I think the decision not to penalize back then was 100% correct if they had any doubt over it been deliberate & were unable to prove otherwise.

    1. @stefmeister This is far too logical to bring to the discussion, in the current stream of emotionally charged opinions ;)

    2. I agree that malicious intent in the Monaco incident can’t be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

      When I first saw it I thought it was deliberate. He stirs in at a point I thought was still in time to make the corner, then squables the wheel around and turns left to the escape road. It looked so clumpsy I couldn’t believe it.

      After that innitial thought I realized that if you outbrake yourself you can’t just turn in and make the corner obviously and so I assumed it was not deliberate.

      However, thén I learned he reversed back on the track..garuanteeing the session is yellow flagged. There was no need to do that. Most likely if he had kept out of the way the yellow would have still prevented LH from finishing his lap but ROS couldn’t have known for sure. The reversing was totally illogical unless he wamted to make sure the session was disrupted. At leastthat was my hinch.

      I understand you can’t proof guilty beyond doubt just from the footage and data but the circumstantial evidence is sketchy enough for me to believe he at least didn’t mind to make sure by reversing, even if the outbraking was really a mistake.

      Since there is no way to say for sure I agree with ROS not beeing penalized, however.

    3. @stefmeister
      Well the other way of looking at it is if it was intentional (or looks intentional), and you don’t punish it, it sets a precedent and raises the chance of someone else trying their luck.

      I couldn’t blame the stewards either way, personally I think it looked intentional but there’s no clear evidence, so just by using the principle of innocent until proven guilty they made the correct decision. However, when it comes to judging his subsequent actions it’s obvious people are going to look back and use it to show he’s capable of underhanded tactics (depending on their view of the incident).

      Finally, I don’t like it when people use the stewards’ decisions to try and silence discussion about racing incidents (not an accusation against the well written post above). The stewards do a good job generally but they aren’t infallible, and I’m sure the people using this argument have had cause to disagree with them before.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      31st August 2014, 15:37

      @stefmeister You have to take the circumstances into account to determine if there was motive for Nico to do it. On its own, it could have been an accident. When you factor in the circumstances and the rarity of the event, it’s beyond reasonable doubt.

      1. and the rarity of the event

        Going off at that corner isn’t really a rarity though, Its actually one of the most common places to go off at.

        In fact both Nico & Lewis had locked up & run straght down the escape road there during practice.

  6. Will be interesting to see how Mercedes will go about it in 2015. I expect them to be not as dominant as this year and when you don’t have the luxury of this year’s dominance then the drivers antics can be fatal for the WCC.

  7. Always amusing when people write things like “Privately, the majority view in the paddock is that” when they mean “I think that”.

    1. It just means that it was a poll where people knew they could give their opinion without there being repercussions for giving their opinions.

  8. The Guardian article puts forward a pretty obvious set of logical fallacies. They state that privately the majority of the paddock believe it was intentional – privately meaning that they don’t say that, but they believe it. i.e. if you asked them they would say “no it is not intentional” and yet would actually believe otherwise. This is nothing more than speculation – if everyone denies that they think it is intentional, then as far as you know they are telling the truth unless you have evidence to the contrary. It isn’t even suggested that this comes from speaking to people in the paddock.

    The second fallacy is the implication of the statement – it invites us to make a logical leap to assume that if the majority of the paddock privately believes that it was deliberate, it therefore follows that it is deliberate. Opinion has no bearing on reality. The majority of the paddock could simply be wrong. It would be hard to argue they weren’t biased, certainly. And we don’t even know whether it’s true in the first place. As far as we know the only people who think Rosberg did it deliberately could be Hamilton and his legion of indignant fans.

    Personally I draw no conclusions. What I saw didn’t appear to be deliberate, but I couldn’t say that it definitely wasn’t, because a driver error can be faked pretty easily. I remain on the fence, but err to the side of assuming that it was an honest mistake simply because I think it’s better to assume innocence until guilt is proven.

    1. @mazdachris
      I wish the people who’s job is to be professional (the journalists) would be at least as half as professional in airing their beliefs as your comment is.

    2. You make some excellent points there. But I fear they are equally as flawed.

      I would expect “privately” to refer to conversations that are held on the understanding they aren’t named, or situations where individuals hold a view that hasn’t been endorsed by an organisation they a member of. They may or may not have been the case in this situation, but dismissing this comment as simply make believe is a little bit sloppy. Equally you can’t refer to it as rock solid evidence. But if this private opinion is reported by several sources, it can help build a more complete picture.

      Additionally, opinion has a huge bearing on reality. It colours everything we do, intentionally or not. The opinion of paddock members may not trigger sanctions from the FIA, but it will affect attitudes within the racing community, how future incidents are viewed, how they are reported, etc. These aren’t going to give you grid penalty or a DQ, but they can be important, especially in the closing high-pressure stages of the championship.

  9. Some interesting stuff today in the round-up, but Rosberg-Hamilton theme still dominates comments.

    1. @osvaldas31 Imagine how incredibly dull it would be if one Merc driver was romping away with the championship this year… RIC wouldn’t have won a single race and all that we’d be wondering is if Merc could go the entire year without losing a race…

      1. @dragoll I enjoy Rosberg-Hamilton rivalry, but sometimes some things just get blown out of proportion by media, and news about them get irritating.

        1. @osvaldas31 I’m just glad it hasn’t gotten to the depravity of “X driver used toilet tissue brand X to get the strength to overpower their rival on the circuit”

  10. Is there a reason why I can not reply to the forum thread about the best cars? It just says “You cannot reply to this topic.” In every thread. It does look like I could create new threads though…

    Anyways here is my list
    1) auto union W125. Amazingly beautiful car, technologically well ahead of the times. Has tons of powers, had best drivers driving for it. And sounds just amazing
    2) lotus 49. Very common answer but the car is just too good to pass up. Had lots of revolutionary concepts, had amazing engine that is one of the best enginers ever in F1.
    3. Tyrrell 003. In my opinion one of the most beautiful cars. And a championship winner.
    4. Lotus Renault R31. The lotus with the front blown diffuser. Crazy concept, did not work in the end but I still miss the sound of those backfires when the cars were slowing down and the engine was injecting unburned fuel into the exhaust to keep the rear diffuser working

    1. @socksolid
      Forum threads are in groups, to comment on a thread just join the group by clicking on the little button labelled “join group”, which is normally near the top of the thread, next to the title.

      1. Ah, thanks for the info.

  11. Numbers of journos have said most people in the paddock think Monaco was deliberate, not just Paul Weaver but also Mark Hughes and Martin Brundle for example. Most of the drivers too. There’s other evidence like the Sky midweek report that showed the footage from the camera high on the outside of Mirabeau, which was mysteriously not shown over the race weekend. It clearly showed the car stable while Rosberg whipped the steering from side to side. James Callado (guest GP2 driver) saw the footage and confidently pronounced it deberate. Now the video is missing from the Sky website, unliike any other Midweek Report.

    Hughes reported he’d been told the stewards didn’t ask for damning tyre load data. Lewis said he saw damning data.

    Altogether it was enough to force me to believe it, even though I really liked Rosberg and loved the story of the two boyhood friends doing karts and ending up as teammates in F1. But the evidence says it was deliberate, and Rosberg cheated.

    I don’t get how Weaver thinks Spa wasn’t deliberate. Rosberg clearly steers momentarily hard Right into Hamilton’s rear tyre, as even Brundle now accepts, and posted this telling screen grab and writes: “having turned away initially, he then not only straightens the wheel but actually turns towards Hamilton. It was an instantaneous moment of anger and petulance “. I don’t think it was instantaneous, I think he’d decided to take such an opportunity if it arose – the instinctive move away then the cognitive decision half a second later. 3 miles from the pits, in that car, it was a DNS for a puncture versus a few seconds for a wing – good odds.

    Personally I link the two incidents. I think a lot of fans do. I don’t reckon Rosberg would have been booed at Spa without Monaco. F1 fans don’t boo mistakes.

    Now unless Lewis gets in a really good run with no car issues, and being an engine down doesn’t hurt him, we face the prospect of the wdc being won by cheating. I hate that.

    1. I think the Spa incident is misread there. He’d had a bit of oversteer and had to counter steer left. That put him off line, pointing across the run-off. He had to steer right to be in a position to take the corner and make the apex (of course he should have slowed for Hamilton first or just taken to the run-off). That turn in might have been intentional, but he needed to make that steering input anyway so I don’t see it as evidence.

      1. @matt90 Oversteer would point him to the right, with the correction taking the whole car left, leaving him pointing in the ideal direction along the kerb. Did you look at the image I linked? Space on the left and Lewis’ wheel on the right.

        And it was not a moderate steering input but a hard maximal almost 90 degrees right to create a forceful impact. That’s why even Brundle described it as ‘a moment of anger and petulance’.

        And as we see when he made that input Lewis’ car was right there alongside, in full view. Nothing accidental about it.

        1. And looking at that picture, he is indeed pointing off track and requires steering to the right just as I said. Having corrected the oversteer he has gone deeper into the corner and so has not really finished negotiating the first corner in preparation for the second.

          1. @matt90 although I agree with the latter half of your explanation, I don’t think that there was any oversteer issue for Nico to deal with, his initial turn in was as intended, he straightens the wheel when he realises that Lewis (technically legitimately but a bit naughtily when racing your team-mate) isn’t going to give him room in an attempt to avoid contact and then turns again (as you describe) to make the corner (and avoid running off track) with the intention of tucking in behind Lewis BEFORE taking the right hand part of the circuit.

            IMHO If Lewis has given him a little bit more room we wouldn’t even be discussing it, however LH did what he always does and slams the door shut and contact was made.

          2. Hamilton didn’t shut the door or fail to give space. He gave plenty of space through the first corner, but Rosberg still couldn’t take advantage. Instead, he fell back too far to a position which nobody who understands racing would consider a legitimate position to keep your front wing poking in. As such, Hamilton took the racing line because Rosberg no longer had any cause to be there. It was Rosberg poking his nose into a silly gap, not at all a case of Hamilton closing the door, as that suggests shutting of a legitimate or even vaguely reasonable attack.

  12. Hopefully, tomorrow’s roundup won’t be about Spa incident.

  13. Max Verstappen’s 1st go in an F1 car end in a bit of a stupid accident-

    1. Oops. Heading for the barrier and forgot to “veer/stop in” time.

    2. This shows that though he is extremely talented, he lacks experience.

  14. Hi guys any reaons we are not talking about Williams’s revival as this thread is supposed to be about that.

    My opinion is that in case they want to get a shot at winning races and build a great combination – they should get Grosjean to replace Massa.

    1. I think this thread is supposed to be about anything in the round-up of which the Williams revival is but one story.

    2. I think it’s a joke that they “think that it’s gone better than expected…” In winter testing they were lauded as being the challenger to mercedes. And they surely have had the ability to take more points off them throughout the year if not for Massa’s incompetence. Bottas has been a revelation for them however, which does make me wonder where they could be with an experienced champion quality driver along-side him…

      Just sounds like the wrong attitude to be happy with where they are, they could and by all rights should be higher.

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