Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2014

Red Bull have narrowed gap to Mercedes – Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel believes Red Bull will be more of a threat to Mercedes this weekend.


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

Hamilton & Rosberg battle could be upset by Red Bull – Vettel (BBC)

“I think we are closer than at previous races. We’re here to fight and we have a good car this weekend.”

‘Five laps better than nothing’ (Sky)

Vettel: “The fact we’re allowed to receive messages about engine management made our lives a lot easier. But in terms of coaching and stuff, I don’t think we were excessive on that.”

Vettel told penalty now inevitable (Autosport)

Renault head of trackside operations Remi Taffin: “The engine was at something like half-life, so it was quite a surprise and quite a shame, because we still had a small chance to go through the season without introducing a sixth unit. “With this failure, we will have to commit to a sixth ICE.”

F1 Singapore Grand Prix: U-turn over drivers’ radio ban as FIA relents to fairness plea (The Independent)

Charlie Whiting: “When one looks into it in more detail it became quite clear that some teams would be at a serious disadvantage compared to others. Not just in their new know-how or their ability to react in the short term, but also in hardware choices that were made a year ago.”

Charlie Whiting: ‘We believe a driver should drive the car alone and unaided…’ (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“I think it would have to be a sporting penalty, as opposed to a monetary one. If it happened it might be, I emphasise might be, a 5s time penalty for example if it happened in practice it might be a grid position or something like that.”

Jean-Eric Vergne Q&A (F1)

“Q: It is likely that in the next few weeks most of the 2015 drives will be decided. Are you going up and down the paddock, speaking with teams?
JEV: These are things that I do, but I don’t want to talk about it. But there is no help from Red Bull. My paramount focus right now is to finish the season on a high.”


Comment of the day

Will F1 inevitably see fewer teams in the near future?

It has been obvious for some time what direction Bernie wants F1 to move in. Now that he has less legal distractions it seems like his focus is back on moulding F1 more to his personal liking. Much of that focus appears to be rewarding the big time players at the expense of the less wealthy teams, track promoters and ultimately the fans.

What kind of dynamic do we want in F1? More teams with more personality and diversity of styles and characters? Or, do we want F1 to be more of a large corporate conglomeration with more conformity and less diversity?

The ‘garagistes’ are long gone, but that spirit lives on in the smaller teams, Marussia for example, and it gives F1 more of an ‘everyman’ appeal. Seems Bernie would have a more exclusive club mostly for those fans who already possess a Ferrari, Tag Heuer and a yacht. Too bad for everyone else. F1 with no real underdogs.

If there are only seven teams with three cars each in 2016, what would that look like?

Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, McLaren, Haas and Williams? (If Williams can survive, or would it be Sauber or Force India?) Or pick one as an eighth team if that many can survive against the onslaught of the super-rich Bernie approved teams. Likely Lotus, Caterham and Marussia would be kicked to the curb.

Our preference may not matter much, but what kind of F1 do we want to see?

From the forum

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Happy birthday to Americantifosi, Aus_Steve, Calum, Deadman, Geemac and Saints!

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On this day in F1

Jacky Ickx muscled his way past new champion Jackie Stewart to win the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport 45 years ago today. With Stewart out of the running, Jack Brabham made it a one-two for his team, followed by Jochen Rindt’s Lotus.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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  • 30 comments on “Red Bull have narrowed gap to Mercedes – Vettel”

    1. @bullmello, Congrats on well deserved COTD.

      1. I second that. Great COTD. Some of the comments on here, and @bullmello ‘s COTD being an example, should be read out to Bernie et al in front of the press. If only.

        1. At first blush I was with @bullmello and in some regards I get the concern still, but, for example, I don’t think they need 6 Red Bulls on the grid so Torro Rosso could go, and the third car could be the ‘junior’ driver car, and other teams could do that too. And does it have to be just 7 so called ‘Bernie approved’ teams? Why not up to 10 teams, there having shown the same viability it takes now for the likes of Haas to prove? What about throwing in the mix the concept of customer cars for the lesser teams? Or retain the two-car formula, which has strong odds of being the case anyway, and smaller teams could buy cars rather than build from scratch, and combine that with better money distribution for more affordability and competitiveness for the small teams.

          That said, I would understand the sentiment that the pinnacle of racing should be hard and teams shouldn’t necessarily expect a big helping hand up if they want to enter and have come to race, having had to prove their viability in order to get in. Yet they are a part of the circuit too and contribute, so should have a fair cut for stepping up and competing and being part of the show.

          So I’m for a better run two-car format, but if they decided tomorrow that it will be 3 cars for 2016, I’d want to see at least 9 teams, perhaps customer cars, and I think we would see some pretty darn close racing and a ton of action. New young drivers could have a much better time of learning and evolving.

      2. @bullmello There’s a tinge in your comment that’s nonsensical to me. What do we praise, mediocrity or hoarders? No one should care if there’s 22 or 16 or what else cars around if they don’t matter at all. One could say that the teams need time to evolve others say some teams don’t have money. Both arguments are irrelevant, you don’t pity one team for only having £60 million, that’s idiotic to say the least, you always want the best you can get and that’s just Bernie’s “modus operandi” If there’s someone interested that person will do enough to achieve higher. Bottom-line no one should be interested in having fillers or “hares” on F1 racing.

        1. @peartree – Ideally it would be better to see the less rich teams to have a more equitable share of the funds. This way they would have a better chance to see if they deserve to stay in F1 and then earn an even larger share of points money. That would not be rewarding mediocrity as much as it would be leveling the playing field a bit.

          Obviously money alone does not translate to results in F1. But, if some teams on the margin could do better with just a bit more. Lotus and Marussia are examples of that. It is too bad they cannot bring enough money to the table to make to sustain themselves and establish consistent results because that is what is required under the current structure.

          I like the dynamic of how things change performance wise between the teams from season to season. Last season Sauber and Lotus did fairly well against some other teams who spent much, much more. That should be rewarded. Fillers and “hares” can change from one season to the next. McLaren would seem to be a good example of Jekyl one season, Hyde the next.

          Toyota would be an example of all the excess money in the world guarantees nothing in F1. I have no idea whether Haas will be successful in F1 or not, but he has the right idea to bring enough of your own capital to the table to survive for years to show what you can do. The more equitable distribution isn’t going to happen any time soon.

          My main complaint would be that it seems Bernie is more concerned with keeping teams like Toyota in the fold than a team like Marussia, for example. Toyota is a major manufacturer and even though they spent gobs with little to no results they left of their own accord. More equitable distribution wouldn’t have helped them. It would help a team like Marussia though. They have beaten Caterham on a regular basis and have shown they could step up.

          1. @bullmello As I said, Bernie only looks for the top, but Bernie himself is on top.
            All I wanted to say is that It’s only logical prioritize the best, for example it’s not wrong that Marc Marquez is a motogp god, he’s the best period. Yeah give other people some chance, but in the end all we should care is excellence, the racing may turn bad but there’s also the drama of BTCC a fortnight away.
            Also these newer teams (caterham) remind me of football, I don’t want to see F1 turn into the premiership if you know what I mean, a bunch of rich people loitering the league spending millions but also making a buck on the outside, whilst the top players are elsewhere.

    2. Red Bull and Ferrari looked good today, but I think Rosberg will still get pole as Lewis cursed himself by going fastest in FP2 haha

    3. Sorry, but to classify a beep that goes directly in to the driver’s ear as non-beneficial is utterly ridiculous.

      1. Perhaps, But you could then argue that the shift lights directly in the drivers field are also beneficial & could also be considered an aid.

        The beep is not doing anything that the shift lights & wheel display are also doing so you can’t really ban 1 as a driver aid/assist without banning the other/s as they would both fall in the same category (In my view anyway).

        Beeps, Lights, Display notes…. Still the driver that has to pull the gear paddle, Hit the DRS button & lift/coast the correct amount etc.. so its not as if the beep alone takes anything away from the driver.

        1. PeterG

          That applies to everything else too. Differential settings, brake bias, tire wear, entry speed, approach angle e so on.

          There is zero pit to car set up changes.

          So, according to you.
          “Still the driver that has to pull the gear paddle, Hit the DRS button & lift/coast the correct amount etc”

          Any form assistance is welcome, as long as the driver is the one turning the knobs.
          Except, turning knobs does not mean you are doing any of the thinking.

    4. I still think that Mercedes will have half a second on Red Bull come to Q3. It was the same story in Monaco and Hungary, and I don’t see it changing here.

      1. In qualifying yes but remember that in qualifying the Mercedes have the advantage of been able to run there power unit at full power while Renault/Ferrari are currently still unable to turn there settings up.

        Its a part of why the gap is usually much bigger in qualifying when compared to the race.

    5. What this beep of gears? Is it when the revs are right and indicate to change the gear?

    6. Great COTD

    7. Formula Indonesia (@)
      20th September 2014, 3:16

      It going to be a really tough career for JEV, no help from Red Bull and mid teams dont seem need him. Hopefully he will have a streak of great results in the next few races

      1. and end up at WEC maybe?

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          20th September 2014, 3:52

          Hopefully not, there’s slight chance that Vettel will move to McLaren, and then Kevin move to Sauber, Sutil out, and lets hope JEV will partner Dan in 2015 (there’s only 0.001% chance that this will happen) although Sauber seem the best option

          1. for a money-struggling team as sauber, and with no personals sponsors for JEV, i don’t see him at Sauber, nor caterham for that matter. WEC, DTM Or even Formula E is for his future

          2. @f1indofans

            Not happening. IF Vettel moves, and that is a huge IF.
            They will most definitely get Alonso onboard.

            Unfortunately JEV is on his own.

            1. Formula Indonesia (@)
              20th September 2014, 5:27

              @brunes Of course it won’t happen, but you free to hope right, and that was I’m hoping. Although JEV could end with no seat next year

    8. ….Radio beeps to indicate gear-change
      points are allowed. “That’s just the
      same as a rev counter. It’s not a driver
      aid,” Whiting says…..

      This alone shows the FIA is confusing people with so many complex rules.
      Every indicator, visual or audio is an aid, what they should stick to as the issue is a ban on radio assistance from the pit.

    9. I think that comment from Whiting just makes it even more embarrassing. When you look at it with more detail? Really? That was so incredibly obvious right away. Makes me wonder if they looked at anything at all.

      1. @maarten-f1 Agreed. On the one hand it’s great that they listened to some teams and decided to back off on this for now, but how did any of this even go public before they got their act together? And what happened to all the teams agreeing, or at least being brought into the loop beforehand?

        So we know now that some decisions need 100% agreeance among the teams, some need partial agreeance, and some come out of the blue and don’t consider the teams whatsoever unless they raise some serious concerns. And some decisions that everyone hates, including the very inventor of the idea, go through anyway, such as double points.

        I don’t know how any new entity considering entering F1, would have the trust anymore that F1 would still be the same entity at the beginning of it’s massive efforts to start to put together what it takes to compete in F1, to when it finally is officially going to start in a race. It can’t even be trusted to be the same entity from race one until the end of the season.

        Perhaps this is all just a function of the whole entity of F1 having to adapt to it’s own new technical regs…this whole new chapter they’ve begun…but my goodness they sure seem amateur at times in how they have seemingly gotten caught so off guard by their own reg changes that were introduced to the teams at this point at least 3 years ago. I guess the initial comments from the man himself…’they’re too quiet’…was a warning shot that they themselves just wanted change without looking at what that change would look or be like. Some entities such as Renault weren’t even ready. Very surprising. F1 needs to find their way for the start of next season and stick with that way having learned from the initial season with the steepest learning curve.

        1. @robbie I think they just reinterpreted an existing rule, so no rule change was necessary, hence the teams can be bypassed.

          If the FIA had done this at the beginning of this, or next season, I’d have no problem with it. I don’t have a problem with the ban perse, just the incredibly stupid timing of the whole thing. And the fact that the FIA eventually figured out that some teams use a display on the steering wheel, while others don’t, makes the whole thing embarrassing. I’d like to think the FIA knows what they are doing. But with things like this I’m having a hard time believing that.

          I get FOM trying to spice up the show, but not the FIA. The FIA should regulate the sport, the technical and sporting directives, and not spice up the show (besides, I had no idea the show needed spicing up. The racing has been pretty good so far).

          1. @maarten-f1 Yeah good point about the existing rule and therefore no need to consult the teams. We agree that even the reinterpretation can catch the teams out, and this could/should have been handled differently, including the timing. I can even deal with the timing, since I’m trying to allow for this being a brand new era and in fairness this of all years should be a work in progress/understanding of this format, but to not consult even when not required, is surprising. When the likes of Toto Wolff et al were quoted with basically more questions than answers on the change, as to parameters and penalties, that can’t be right.

            Re: spicing up the show. So right. I have had that underlying feeling all along that here we have a, imho, fantastic rivalry from race one, so of all years for there to be so many distractions thrown into the mix…this season just needed LH and NR. I know that is simplifying, and I know many must view this season as one that has been less exciting for them and their guy who is not at Mercedes and is therefore out of it, but, for at least this year I welcome the change to how the season is playing out, big time.

            Here’s hoping things stabiliize for next year, including the removal of double points.

    10. How ridiculous has F1 become due to the FIA knee jerk decision. People are discussing beeps and what can/cannot be said over the radio, rather than the racing.

      To me the partial radio ban is a ‘half pregnant’ solution to a problem that probably not even existed. And now they spend more time on explaining, policing, redefining than on making the racing safer or more exciting.

      They should have either fully banned all radio communications and have drivers rely on pit boards like in the old days. That would have been simple and exciting, but maybe causing more reliability issues and be more dangerous (although the car telemetry can warn the driver of potential issues).
      Or the alternative is to just let it be like it was before. The car radio was actually a good thing as the engineer cannot change the car settings remotely and therefore has to tell the driver. If FIA would simply have made ALL car radio available real-time to all teams and all media, it would have been more exciting and insightful for real fans. Imagine to see a driver chasing the extra split second he is losing in a particular session; we then understand why he suddenly misses his braking point.

      And if FIA does not like the multitude of engine mapping and strategy modes, then they could have cleaned that up. Allow only a limited amount of engine maps which are defined at the beginning of the season, and soon enough everybody knows what it means when Hamilton hears over the radio to go to ‘Strat Mode 1’.

      Stupid knee-jerk decision!

    11. All this radio banning has robbed me of the best radio quotes of any weekend.. ‘Ok Lewis, strat mode 4, it’s hammer time’

    12. Happy birthday fellow September 20th-ers! :D

      @Americantifosi, @Aus_Steve, @Deadman, @Geemac and @Saints

      1. Thanks, happy birthday to you too

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