Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Singapore, 2014

Engine unfreeze ‘not to catch Mercedes’ – Ferrari

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Singapore, 2014In the round-up: Ferrari say they are not seeking a relaxing of the engine development rules to increase their chances of catching Mercedes.


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

Engine unfreeze not selfish – Mattiacci (ESPN)

Marco Mattiacci: “We never worked from the cynical angles and tactical angles to say let’s do this softening of the rules so we can catch up with Mercedes. That’s totally untrue and probably misleading for my people.”

McLaren want Alonso-Button pair in 2015 (The Times, subscription required)

“If Alonso moves, Jenson Button believes he would still be the driver sitting alongside the two-times world champion in 2015 to complete the most experienced pairing on the grid.”

Chaos bei Ferrari – Alonso will zu Lotus (Bild, German)

Another rumour about Fernando Alonso’s future places him at Lotus next year in a Mercedes-powered car as part of a deal arranged by Flavio Briatore.

Andre Lotterer, Caterham, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Lotterer: “F1 (racing) isn’t what it used to be any more” (NBC)

“In terms of racing, F1 isn’t what it used to be any more. I got to feel that when I did my race. There’s not much grip from the tires and not much downforce in the corners. You can’t go flat out.”

‘Hamilton worth the money’ (Sky)

“These are the Lewis Hamilton days. These are the days when you recognise how great he is and it makes the difference between the superstars and the stars.”

Kaltenborn Q&A: We’ve not forgotten how to build good cars (F1)

“Sauber has a bit of a history with always struggling when massive rule changes came into effect, but we have always been able to bounce back in the next season.”

Rosberg issues prompt new radio fears (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “It is also a concern for safety. How do you not want to communicate with a driver whose steering wheel doesn’t show anything any more?”

Rosberg wants ‘F1 constructors’ title out of the way’ (Crash)

“It would be good to get the constructors’ out of the way [but], at the moment, I’m disappointed with today and just want to dig in with the team to understand what went wrong.”

Matt Morris, Engineering Director Q&A (McLaren)

“We do still have a few more people in the incoming and outgoing pipelines, which is something that always happens when you want to stay fresh.”

Word from the wall (Red Bull)

Christian Horner: “Both drivers were getting into a bit of trouble with their tyres. There was just enough separation [to pit both cars on the same lap], we took it and the boys did their bit which was fantastic. It’s much more difficult, there’s that extra pressure on the boys of knowing there’s another one coming, they can see it when they’re both in the pit lane at the same time. I think there was about six seconds of separation. It focuses the mind a bit.”

Lewis Hamilton warned F1 title isn’t in the bag yet by former world champion Jacques Villeneuve (The Mirror)

“At Suzuka [in 1997], I got disqualified and went from nine points in the lead to, suddenly, one point behind but it worked out okay. In ’96, I had an oil leak at the first race. The points lost there decided the championship.”


Comment of the day

Is a return to South Korea for F1 really that unlikely?

Imagine you are Bernie Ecclestone.

A guy who has lost hundreds of millions of dollars building a race track in the middle of nowhere that can’t draw spectators comes back after you’ve parted ways and says “let’s do it again”. Are you really going to say “no thanks, we have enough of your money”?

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Christian Mateus and Selidor!

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

A controversial Portuguese Grand Prix 25 years ago today saw Nigel Mansell receive a one-race ban after failing to respond to a black flag then colliding with Ayrton Senna. Mansell had been shown the flag for reversing in the pits.

His Ferrari team mate Gerhard Berger won the race, his first since suffering severe burns in the San Marino Grand Prix earlier that year, while second place for Alain Prost moved him 24 points clear of Senna with three races to go.

Third place went to Stefan Johansson, who gave the Onyx team their only podium finish.

Here’s the moment Mansell incurred the penalty, followed by the collision with Senna:

Images © Singapore GP/Sutton, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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86 comments on “Engine unfreeze ‘not to catch Mercedes’ – Ferrari”

  1. Jenson probably knows more than me but I had the impression that McLaren wanted to keep Magnussen and partner him with Alonso or Vettel, not Button.
    IMHO, Alonso doesn’t seem very keen to join McLaren because McLaren/Honda is still a step into the unknown while Ferrari is showing encourage pace at occasions that would make one believe that a little extra horse power would make them race winners.
    On Alonso to Lotus story? Maybe, he’s been to Enstone and if manages to take Santander with him they can build a good car powered by Mercedes and become in 2015 what Williams is in 2014 or even better. However, I starting to think that Alonso’s best choice still is Ferrari, at this stage of his career making bets doesn’t seem very wise.

    1. Agreed his best bet is to be still at Ferrari, but do Ferrari need him? With the kind of rumors coming out these days it seems like Ferrari are trying to make Alonso settle at what they are offering him or he can go to any other team. Its not like they desperately want Alonso to stay with the team. Even Alonso got furious on Thursday’s press conference and said its disappointing that these rumors are coming from Italy.

      Whether people like it or not, Alonso-Ferrari marriage didn’t work out the way it was supposed to and most of the blame lies with Ferrari not producing a good car. But also Alonso failed to do what Schumi did back in 1996 to 2006. He build the team around him but imo, he couldnt motivate them. Alonso had been quite vocal about how Ferrari is bad and wanting to get a RedBull for his birthday etc which definitely doesnt motivate any of the team members. Schumacher never criticised the team publicly and he worked with the team to move forwards. People will say Schumacher had unlimited testing, favored tyres and what not, but the crux is he made use of all the resources available to him which Alonso failed to do.

      Alonso is probably the best driver out on the grid today but he should try to be more of a teamman if he wanta tl become a WDC otheriwse he will be remembered as someone who underachieved in terms of WDC.

      1. Alonso motivates the team probably more than Schumacher ever did. In 2010-2012, Alonso used to praise the team a lot and worked hard with them to move them forwards. Even Massa and Montezemelo admitted to that. In 2013, Alonso tried a new method to try and motivate Ferrari; by trying to threaten them by saying that there was no assurance they would stay at the team. Usually, this tactic would work, but Ferrari is proud for nothing, and publicly bashed him.

        1. The results show otherwise. Infact Alonso made Ferrari build cars around him, still he couldn’t get the coveted title once with them.

          Yes in 2012, he drove like a maniac and took Ferrari where they didn’t belong and only 3 points adrift of winning championship. But we also have to consider how bad Mclaren were in their strategies and reliability and even Vettel came to scene after the summer break. Alonso was so close because he was able to capitalize on others faults and his Ferrari was bullet poof.

          In 2010, many fans criticize Ferrari for putting Alonso on a bad strategy which made him loose the world title in Abu Dhabi. But these fans forgot that if it wasnt the famous message “Felipe, Fernando is faster than you” Alonso would have to do a lot more than just passing Petrov in Abu Dhabi which he failed to do.

        2. Also for the public rebucal Luca gave to Alonso last year, what would you do when your own driver says in public that he needs a RB 09 for his birthday present? Sure those comment highly motivated everyone in Ferrari camp. Sigh!


    2. Ferrari is showing encourage pace at occasions

      The problem with that, @jcost is that it’s been like that for the last 5 or 6 years. There are always two, maybe three races where the prancing horse looks quick but for a bit of hp or downforce. But they continuously fail to keep up with the leaders. Alonso is probably fed up of being in a midfield team.. And let’s face it, if there wasn’t a black horse on their badge more people would call it as it is – Ferrari are now a midfield team, and have been for a while now.

      1. Is right to be fed up @timi. The question is: will McLaren be better than Ferrari next year? Will Lotus outpace Ferrari next year? He can’t wait for years until they build a cracker.

        in Spain some media was trying to link him with Mercedes anticipating Lewis would leave the team but it looks obvious that Mercedes-Benz wants Lewis to stay because he can win races, is very popular and seems happy at Mercedes.

        Leaving Ferrari for a new project can work-out, but for Fernando he needs to work in 2015 because time is running against him.

        On Ferrari being a midfield team, I’d say it’s not true but they’re clearly underachieving for some years. It’s like the Ferrari I met when Jean Alesi was there. When I started watching F1 in early 1990s it was all about McLaren, Williams and Benetton. Michael Schumacher, Byrne, Brawn, Todt (and Luca who assembled the team) brought Ferrari back to life in 2000s and they’re still living on their past “profits”…

    3. What Button has, is the interest of Santander. Suddenly Lewis is the man, Lewis wins 2 races against no opposition and he’s one of the greats. He was already great, these articles hurt F1 in general.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    24th September 2014, 8:07

    I don’t think it’s exactly fair for Lotterer to make that comment, when he drove the worst car on the grid.

    1. yeah, its a bit curious to suddenly see not one (Webber) but directly 2 WEC drivers bash F1 a bit. At the same time we get BE back in the paddock, he stamps his authority on F1 again with the radio thing and spouts about having 3 car teams againg, while talking up rumours of teams not making it to the end of the season.

      And we get crazy ideas of Briatore putting Alonso in a Lotus. F1 at ist “best”?

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        24th September 2014, 8:28

        Don’t get me wrong, F1 has more than it’s fair share of problems, but I don’t think it’s really correct to say how bad the F1 cars are these days when his sample size was the worst car on the grid.

        Somehow I think he may enjoy driving a Mercedes more than a Caterham.

      2. @bascb I don’t think any WEC driver has a right to criticize F1 especially on pace. Even the worst car on F1 grid which Lotterer drove is on average 10 sec/lap faster than the fastest WEC car on comparable tracks. And that’s leaving beside the point that WEC is just a high speed engineering exercise that’s about as exciting as watching paint dry

        However, I think what Lotterer meant was not a comparison to WEC but rather the cars he drove as F1 test driver in early 2000’s. Those were the fastest, grippiest cars ever so yeah the pace of modern F1 cars is less. But what those cars and WEC have in common was that the racing was pretty boring(so yeah there is a link )

      3. It’s worth considering that Lotterer’s interview came at an event that was specifically designed to promote both the World Endurance Championship and the Audi sportscar team.

        Now, when you are a works driver for Audi – a team that repeatedly tries to play down the importance of F1 and has sunk a fortune into the Circuit de la Sarthe (having paid for renovations to the circuit in return for advertising rights in the fan village) and sportscar racing in general – heaping praise on F1 would probably not go down well with the team bosses.

    2. The main thing he is talking about is the tires. Webber is no longer in F1 and was honest about it.

      The Pirelli’s are garbage. Their performance tapers off too quickly. So there is ZERO excitement when a driver comes to “attack” a guy infront on old Pirelli’s.
      On top of that the drivers say the grip level is very low.

      When have you ever seen a driver loose control while following the safety car like Belgium?
      When have you seen so many red flags during races or safety car starts?
      This has all began when Pirelli began making tires. FIA asked for less durable tires, but they are not up to par.

      1. Formula 1 has become a reality tv show. Pirelli could build tires that are great but that’s not what Bernie asked for. The element of fakery is obvious now days. The ban on radio conversations when you asked the team’s to build and develop the most complicated car’s ever designed? How do you think the drivers can always manage all that carp by themselves all the time. Formula one thinks that the race is better if there’s always ridiculous amounts of drama going on. This has become an soap opera on wheels. At least when you had a tire war going on the drivers had real tires to roll on. I think that’s why Andrea was so disappointed, he wanted to drive a car that was supposed to be so much better than a WEC car and it wasn’t. WEC has drawn most of the big manufacturers not Formula 1. It’s a shame that the pinnacle of racing isn’t F1 any more.

    3. His main point it seemed to me was that the cars are worse because they have less down force and are slower round a track than when he drove them. To me that seems like a very uneducated comment seeing as the new regulations were not designed to make the cars fastest but also more of a handful and to be more road relevent. It was known for years before that these cars would be slower, but he doesn’t acknowledge any of the benefits of the new regulations.

    4. Agree it seems a bit unfair. Lotterer would appear to have paid to get into a seat in a car with the worst team on the grid that was well known to be underperforming (and displacing a perfectly good driver in Kobayashi who has struggled all year) and then talks about his “race” which was what an 18 min qualifying session and about two laps in the race if I remember rightly. And WEC cars maybe good but I don’t have 6, 10 or 24 hours to watch a race.

  3. Great weekend for Rosberg, eh. Gets beaten to pole by a bit. Then the car is all in shambles. And to top it off he has to read about how his teammate earning double his wages “is worth the money”. Yep, must feel very comfy at Mercedes for him :-)

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      24th September 2014, 8:32

      bit like Australia….

    2. @bascb I guess if/when Nico earns at least one World Drivers Championship, he’ll be in a stronger position to negotiate beyond just extending his contract.

      1. At Ferrari, McLaren or Red Bull as well … @optimaximal

      2. @Optimaximal

        Didn’t Rosberg just sign for another two years though ? Although there is likely to be a bonus in there somewhere.

        @F1indofans – I don’t understand your point. Rosberg wasn’t on pole, nor have car troubles in Australia and Hamilton has always been on more than Rosberg.

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          24th September 2014, 10:23

          @f190 I mean its not fully 100% but there’s some similiarites like mechanical retirements, and Safety car. but maybe it just a little bit over-hyped

          1. There are no similarities besides the retirements.

    3. My understanding is that was Lauda’s words. Lauda apparently was most instrumental in getting LH to MB, is his biggest fan there, so hardly expect him to say otherwise.

  4. Like to see you try it with 3 cars, Christian…

    1. nah, he’s not fast enough!

    2. If they put Chilton in the third car they could have a 30 sec gap to prepare…

  5. Marco Mattiacci: “We never worked from the cynical angles and tactical angles to say let’s do this softening of the rules so we can catch up with Mercedes. That’s totally untrue and probably misleading for my people.”

    You all do, Marco. This F1.

    1. I don’t see why they even need to deny it? Yes, we want to change our engine to be more competitive. Why, because it brings more exciting racing. As much as I love Lewis, and would like to see him romp away with the title, it gets boring if the same two cars are in front each week because they are so dominant.

      Now, that said, I am also concerned about the costs of the sport, and it’s sustainability. But that’s why the FIA is there -to balance those types of concerns.

      1. @gregwtravels I think FIA is there to come up with crazy rules or sign-off Bernie’s crazy ideas.

    2. It’s true, they only want to catch up with Renault.

    3. Guess he just forgot to bring up the matter of Ferrari’s long standing special privileges. I await the day a journalist asks him in public if he’s for what’s most sporting why they don’t they want a level playing field?

  6. With all sorts of rumors regarding Alonso, I dnt see him with Ferrari in 2015. Maybe Alonso- Button partnership will happen at Mclaren but who will replace him at Ferrari? Will it be Vettel or Hamilton? Although the silly season started a bit late but it has been more crazier than earlier years. Alonso holds the key to this and of he moves from Ferrari, others will fall like domino.

    1. @mjf1fan I know ‘anything can happen’ in F1, but Hamilton to Ferrari is amazingly off-base. They’re not competitive enough and he’s also fairly embedded into Mercedes.

    2. Formula Indonesia (@)
      24th September 2014, 9:09

      Jules would be a very good substitute @mjf1fan however i will be very happy if Alonso-Button happen next year in McLaren, really hope them to back on the track

    3. @optimaximal

      Yes, Hamilton to Ferrari sounds off base but I read an article 2-3 days back where the author was pointing out that how Hamilton would be a perfect choice for Ferrari if Alonso leaves the team. So I wrote about Hamilton with that article in mind. Its not difficult to assume that Ferrari would want to have a top class driver if Alonso leaved them and besides Alonso, only Vettel and Hamiton fits that bill. They do have Raikkonen with them but having a Hamilton or Vettel will have more impact atleast in public eyes.

      @f1indofans, Bianchi will be at ferrari but I think he will be replacing Raikkonen after 2015. May be Ferrari should try and get him a seat at Sauber, so that he can get 1 year experience in a better car than Marrusia and finally drive for Ferrari.

    4. @mjf1fan I think Mercedes will keep Lewis in 2015 and beyond. Ferrai could make a huge proposal for Ricciardo instead of following the Vettel route.

      1. @jcost

        Ferrari did make a proposal to Ricciardo and I think he declined it this time.

        Whatever be the case, I somehow want Alonso to change his team so that many upcoming young stars(Hulkenberg, Bianchi) can get a taste of better car and it will also be because these drivers deserve top seats.

    5. @mjf1fan I assume it would either be Jules or Hulk, then with Kimi gone at the end of 2015, the other driver will likely come aboard.

    6. More like Hulkenberg, if I remember, He signed up for Sauber for a potential Ferrari seat.
      Bianchi can replace Kimi in 2016, he’ll probably do a better job.

  7. Is it 2013? Wasn’t Alonso going to Lotus for this year? Wasn’t Alonso going to Red Bull 2 years ago?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m an Alonso fan, but if he and his posse think he can turn around McLaren, who have been flailing these past 2 years and are bringing in an engine that won 2 races in their last 9 year stint in F1, or Lotus, who have not scored points all that often this season and are not exactly known for car development (double DRS, anyone?) or financial security, where he has failed to do so on his own at Ferrari, that’d be mighty grand. Imagine Alonso driving around in P12, driving for a team with twice the budget of Force India, yet being beaten by them. Though it’d be great poetic justice, I’d rather have him stick around Ferrari a little longer.

    1. You speak like they’re gonna bring the same engine?

      Yes, the same engine suppliers, but why would this signal a disastrous campaign? Honda also built a rather successful (…) engine in the late 80’s, so does this mean they’ll be hugely successful? Of course not.

      1. I made that post fresh out of bed, should have thought of adding the word supplier..

        Frankly, people are romanticizing the return of Honda to the point it actually seems people have forgotten Honda’s last stint as an engine supplier, which is quite annoying. Renault was also successful with V6 Turbo Engines in the 80s, as was Ferrari, yet Mercedes is hands down the best. Past results guarantee nothing, but people seem to be letting their nostalgia blind them, while I’m more inclined to think about their more recent indulgence in F1.

        1. Yep, look how the great Williams-Renault reunion went. One completely baffling win and lots of wreckage to show for it.

  8. @timothykatz +1
    They all do, and we expect them to do it. That is how you innovate – challenge everything!

    Maybe that is the problem with Ferrari the past few years (since Ross), they forgot to challenge the rules and find the loopholes to make their car faster!

  9. So McLaren are set to fire their latest prodigy, who is up on his more illustrious teammate in the qualifying head-to-head, having given him only one year in F1 and having spent many hundreds of thousands on his 2013 DAMS drive in FR3.5. Hardly…

    The situation is this: in 2015 McLaren will have the same driver line up as 2014, however for 2016 McLaren might just manage to tempt Alonso in as a replacement for Button. If not, Nico Hulkenberg’s contract at Force India would have ran out in a rather timely fashion…

    1. @william-brierty

      Would McLaren want Alonso in 2016? I mean, he’ll be right towards the end of his career, and by that time Kevin will have a bit more experience.
      Surely, they’d want someone a bit younger and in for the long-term, rather than a 1-year Alonso escapade. Like you said, maybe Hulkenberg would be a better option for them.

      1. I don’t think Alonso is as close to the end of his career as many people think. He’s 33, and he has shown no signs of slowing. I think he can remain in F1 for a good five years at least.

        1. +1

          ALO is good for another 5 years, at least, in my opinion and he’ll be a choice for Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes. I’m not really sure there’s that much interest at RBR in getting ALO in the team in case Vettel leaves them. Ricciardo is a strong driver indeed, plus they have their own selection of young drivers, so I think they’ll give Vettel’ seat to a young prospect rather than a driver at the end of his carreer, be it even Alonso.

          1. Exactly. Red Bull have their young drivers’ programme for a reason. Why would they not continue to use it given its success? For me, out of the rumoured options, Red Bull is the least likely destination for Alonso.

      2. @cgturbo – Schumacher was putting Rosberg, who is only a fraction slower than the largely agreed fastest of his generation and could well win the world championship this year, under pressure well into his forties having had a three year career gap, and in fact outscored Nico in the European leg of his final season with the team. Alonso meanwhile is 33 and is as brilliant as ever, an utter points vacuum and certainly the paddock’s most frequent answer to “who is the best racing driver in the world?”, and, as @deej92 says, will almost certainly remain in F1 for at least another five years. Personally, if he can find a long term competitive seat, I think he’ll race into his forties…

        1. @william-brierty I wholly agree. Can’t see ALO leaving anytime soon unless something extremely unfortunate happens and he can’t get back up to scratch like, for example, Massa.

  10. So Alonso will be driving for Lotus next season. And McLaren. And Red Bull. And Mercedes. And Ferrari. And AF Corse. And he’s going fishing too.

    Busy guy…

    1. Next year will be hard, maybe there’ll be seat rotations. McLaren might just run Vettel, Alonso, Button, Vandoorne and Grosjean all in the same seat for different races!

    2. @craig-o And probably spearheading the Ferrari WEC entry in a couple years as well :p

      1. @beejis60 That’s why I’ve mentioned AF Corse for the time being ;)

  11. In ’96, I had an oil leak at the first race. The points lost there decided the championship.

    Really Jacques? That 1st to 2nd drop cost you 19 points?

    1. @dh1996 I just wish Jacques would shut up, every time he speaks something idiotic comes out.

    2. I think he is speaking about how things sat going into the last race of his 96 and 97 seasons. In 96, without the 4 points lost in the first race of the season, he would have only been 5 back of Hill going into the WDC deciding race, which would have given him far greater odds than the 9 points he was behind, which meant he had to win and have DH get no points….no other option.

      1. @dh1996, @robbie
        Actually, if Villeneuve didn’t suffer an oil leak in Australia, in the final race of the season they’d be 83-82 on points instead of 87-78, which would make JV’s chances much greater.

        1. I know what he meant, but he obviously forgot that Damon also had technical failures that cost him points.

          1. @kingshark Yeah thanks, I was forgetting to subtract the 4 points that DH wouldn’t have gotten in Australia.

            @dh1996 If you knew what he meant then your comment was disingenuous. Of course JV understands DH had his issues. He’s just speaking to his own situation in 96 and how, with 5 races to go this year, one issue for one driver could make the difference between LH and NR…they’re that close. The point of JV’s comment was not to analyze to the nth degree everything that happened in 96 between he and DH. If he or we did, it might end up just as close with one race to go anyway, in which case the argument that if you change just one circumstance it might have made a big difference to the final outcome, still might stand.

  12. Alonso/Button would make the strongest line-up on the grid.

    1. I thought Alonso raikonen did ?

      1. Not for me. Räikkönen=Massa, Alonso>Massa

    2. @dh1996 I would like to see how ALO/BOT goes, or ALO/HAM v2.0 or ALO/VET (hilarity ensues, hopefully).

  13. Amazing to see the ferrari mechaniocs in the old clip doing a pitstop in shorts and poloshirts, how the time have changed!

  14. So where is Alonso going from here? Mercedes does not like an option but he has now been linked to Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus and he could also stay with Ferrari.

    I think this story is a bit similar to Hamilton’s choice between McLaren and Mercedes at the end of 2012. For sure, money and people always play some role – it’s conceivable that a couple of other teams might treat Alonso better and pay him more than Ferrari do. But I think that the future outlook will be the decisive factor.

    When Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes, some said: “He is doing it just for the money, he is crazy”. He left the legendary McLaren team that were regularly winning races for a midfield team that had won just one race until then. But Mercedes were obviously able to convince Hamilton that they had serious and realistic plans to become the best F1 team, while he also probably saw that McLaren were not going in the right direction.

    Alonso might be in the same situation now. Leaving Ferrari for Lotus might seem “cuckoo” at the moment and it is not clear if and particularly when McLaren-Honda will be good enough to fight for titles but Alonso knows much more than we do and if he does not believe that the new Ferrari’s management is able to take Ferrari back to the top, then why not try something else?

    1. @girts I was one who thought LH was making the right decision, and I think Alonso at this point should see things through for a while at Ferrari. Give the changes a fair chance. Even a struggling Ferrari, with the potential they have to snap out of it, would be better than Lotus, unless Lotus is about to have a huge financial injection and a dose of miracle.

      Mac-Honda remains to be seen as to their level of performance, and FA has the luxury of time to see.

      But I think whereas LH had to leave Mac to leave the nest and rid himself of baggage and start anew, FA’s story isn’t the same, and I’m not convinced he knows much more than we do, unless of course he somehow already knows what each others PUs will be like.

      Let’s see what next years Ferrari is like first, if I’m FA. Then let’s see the Mercs, Honda with Mac, and of course RBR and Lotus with Renault. Year two after this first learning year. I’d be amazed if FA had anything else cooking, such are the unknowns about next year, let alone once he actually might be ready to look at a move and sees the whole lay of the land with respect to performance and opportunity.

      So for me, why not try something else? Sure, but maybe after at least 2 more full seasons focussed on nothing but Ferrari and let the rumours be just that.

  15. McLaren is a sinking ship and the Honda engines are an unknown quantity. If Alonso was to move it would be a huge gamble, Ferrari have twice almost taken him to his 3rd world championship so it’s not like Ferrari have reached Williams level of downfall yet.

    1. Nope Alo nearly took Fer to his 3rd WC not the other way round.

  16. There is an article on F1 website about Shell developing a new fuel gas based which was used by Ferrari in Singapore. Maybe this is the reason of a slightly better performance of Ferraris, coupled with the characteristics of the track

    1. Could it have been hot air?

      1. Ha haaa, probably.

  17. While I still feel sorry for Andre Lotterer after his Caterham failed after 1 lap in what was a one off race for him, I agree as well as disagree with his comments about F1 today.

    While the whole less grip and less downforce can be a pain towards the drivers and may benefit some drivers more than others, for someone like me, a big fan and spectator of F1, these 2014 cars are amazing!

    Why? Because for the first time in a while, I finally get to see drivers having a bit more of a challenge in driving the cars. But the driver that stands out for me and helps prove my point is Sebastian Vettel: he won he 4 world titles in a row and his won his 4th title at just 26 years of age and practically dominated the sport but this year, he faces challenges not only with the less grip and less downforce, he faces a challenge with his new teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.

    Whilst I’m an Aussie and cheer for Ricciardo no matter what, I can’t say that the achievements made by Vettel aren’t all that great.

    But to sum up what Lotterer says, while the grip and downforce is lovely for the driver, the fans and spectators don’t just watch an F1 GP to see who won, they watch F1 for the race itself and if there’s no challenges, then it can’t be that exciting can it?

    1. Your final paragraph highlights something which I’ve always felt is the key issue & thats perception. For the fans they see the older cars looking glued to the track & they see the 2014 cars moving around a lot & they see the 2014 cars as been the bigger challenge but its not that simple.

      The fans often perceived the super high downforce cars of the past as been easy to drive, Especially when they had all the driver aids fitted to them 10 years ago. And they then also perceive the current lower downforce cars as been a bigger challenge. Reality is in-fact somewhere in the middle.

      The high downforce cars of the past looked easier to drive but in fact were actually a bigger challenge for the drivers because they were a lot more physically/mentally demanding & they were more difficult to get to & keep at the limit with a much smaller margin for error.

      The current cars are a challenge to drive because they are moving around a bit more, But at the same time there less physical to drive, Less of a mental challenge & there never really taken to the limit anymore & have a much wider margin for error as a result of that.

      If you go back & look at how physically/mentally drained the drivers were after the Singapore Gp in 2008 & compare with how relatively fresh they looked after this years race, You get a good idea of how things have changed.

      Having said all that, As a fan just watching on TV/Trackside I do prefer this years cars because they look more interesting to watch because they move around more. But I can fully understand why the drivers see them a less of a challenge.

  18. I can’t see Alonso moving for the foreseeable.
    Red Bull: Not a chance of that ever happening. Ricciardo can take over as lead driver when Vettel leaves. They have Kvyat waiting in the wings and Verstappen eventually.
    Mercedes: That line-up won’t change until at least 2016. When it happens, Bottas would likely be a stand-out candidate.
    Lotus: This is an odd one which I haven’t thought about before. I really don’t see him ditching Ferrari for Lotus, to be honest. It’s just too risky, even though I think Lotus can be competitive next year. My guess is Maldonado and Grosjean/Ocon next year.
    McLaren: Another move with too much risk involved at the moment. This is the team he’ll move to if he does leave Ferrari though, in my opinion. It looks as though they’ll retain Button and Magnussen for next year.

  19. off topic but here is what we can expect in 2016

    Mercedes – Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso
    Red Bull – Riciardo, Verstappen, Kvyat
    Ferrari – Vettel, Raikonnen, Bianchi
    McLaren – Button, Magnussen, Hulkenberg
    Williams – Massa, Bottas, Di Resta
    Force India – Perez, Grosjean, Sutil
    Torro Rosso – Vergne, da Costa, Sirotkin
    Haas F1 – Gutierez, Rossi, Maldonado

  20. Alonso moving to Lotus could prove fun. Imagine Maldonado beating him ! (oh boy…)

    1. Maldonado will only beat Alonso in wrecking the car :P

  21. The comments from Lotterer about the tyres is not surprising & neither were Webber’s the other day because as I’ve said a dozen times since 2011 in private most (If not all) of the drivers have been very critical of the Pirelli tyres but have been discouraged from saying so in public.

    I said in 2012 that behind the scenes the drivers were very upset about the state of the tyres that year because of the very small operating window which made things a bit of a lottery with nobody really able to really understand how they were working or why they were doing what they were. Its why we saw some massive performance swings from some teams through that year, Williams been the most obvious as they switched the tyres on over the Spanish Gp weekend but then struggled pretty much everywhere else & to this day they don’t understand what they did that weekend which made those tyres work.

    Last year from the 1st est the drivers were again behind the scenes highly critical of the tyres & when they started to suffer failures & other issues the criticism started to come out in public.

    Mark Webber’s comments summed up what I know for a fact most of the drivers feel, The tyres have been designed for the show & not for racing so why they can at times produce some crazy results with massive tyre degredation & all that, For the drivers who just want to be out there racing they hate them, Always have & for as long as they are the way they are they always will hate them but because of how corporate F1 is you won’t hear any of them really lay into them until there no longer in F1 or unless they start blowing up again.

    It reminds me of when F1 moved to the grooved tyres for 1998, There wasn’t a driver on the grid who ever liked those tyres, every single one hated them. Yet outside of some muttering through 1997 when they 1st tested the grooved tyres you never really heard any of the drivers really speak out against them because they were always told not to be too critical.

    1. @gt-racer In addition to your last paragraph, in fact Jacques Villeneuve called the grooved tires a joke, and was hauled up on the carpet in Paris to answer to the FIA for his remarks. So he REALLY spoke out against them, and was made an example of for doing so. After which, you never really heard any of the drivers really speak out against them.

      I can’t say I’m surprised if behind closed doors everyone really hates these tires…even these tires this year, that were supposed to be better.

      I firmly believe that a single tire maker would only want to be alone in F1 if it could make tires be the story so that we would say the word Pirelli ad infinitum. And since thats F1’s current mandate it’s a ‘perfect’ marriage even when the tires are so imperfect they literally explode, seemingly ad infinitum, with no consequences near what Michelin couldn’t survive from one corner at one track not being handled. But then, Bridgestone was there too. They could afford to burn one. Pirelli had to sneak a Whiting-sanctioned test to rectify the disaster…er…situation, under the radar.

      If the mandate was to make good durable predictable tires we wouldn’t talk about one maker’s tires as they would not be a problem for the teams, and in fact would be a joy, and so the only mention tires would get would have to come from teams being on different makes, with, you know, competition, in the pinnacle of racing. Oops, did I say that out loud?

  22. That Portugal´89-GP… imagine this would happen today. An already disqualified driver refuses to stop but races on and crashes into one of the championship-rivals. Would be fun on the internets ^^

  23. Driver changes wont happen next year everything will happen in 2016. the only thing that will change is if three car teams are introduced. Then i think we will seek a change. My opinion is that Ferrari in one swoop will get vettell and Riccardo and Alonso will be moved on probably to Redbull.

    As for the engine freeze, this is a pathetic policy, the facts are the engine manufactures are already spending then money to upgrade the engines, the tune them on dynos etc. I would not be surprised if Ferrari, Merc, Honda and Renault are running the engines on super cars they produce.

    Just let the teams have a free for all, the only condition is they adhere to the current set price to the smaller teams.

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