Jules Bianchi's car, Marussia, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Prost “furious” over Bianchi crash

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Jules Bianchi's car, Marussia, Sochi Autodrom, 2014In the round-up: Alain Prost says he his “furious” at the crash in the Japanese Grand Prix which left Jules Bianchi with serious head injuries.

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Prost slams FIA over Bianchi accident (The Telegraph)

“I was furious. I was really shocked by the accident. You have the procedure, but the weather conditions were getting worse and worse with more and more water, so visibility was very bad.”

Marussia determined to defend Bianchi’s achievement (Reuters)

“We’ve a little bit of a gap now, which seems like a luxurious one, so we’ll use that time to work out what the best thing is. It’s never straightforward, so we’ll do whatever is right.”

Mercedes’ title came from Lewis Hamilton but began in engine room (BBC)

Toto Wolff: “We have an advantage but it is not only on the power unit side, it is also on the chassis side, I believe.”

Lauda: Nothing changes (Sky)

“I expect them to race normal to Abu Dhabi and in Abu Dhabi because of this stupid double-point system – which I personally don’t like – an exciting race between the two drivers because this will be the race of the decision [of who wins the title].”

Russian Grand Prix 2014: Mercedes’ pursuit of world title costs a record £325m (The Independent)

“In addition to the £133.9m cost of their engines, Mercedes spent a staggering £190.7m just on running the F1 team. It is the highest amount that they have spent since Mercedes took over the outfit at the end of 2009.”

Horner: Mercedes should ignore “self-interest” and back unfreeze (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“The rules are the rules, which they are at the moment, but I think we need to be big enough to say let’s open a little bit, be responsible on costs so there is no impact for the customer teams, but have that position.”

Each member of Mercedes staff to get a minimum bonus payout of £10,000 (The Guardian)

“Every member of the workforce, from the highest-paid engineer down to the catering staff and cleaners, will receive a minimum payment of £10,000.”

Jolyon Palmer, DAMS, GP2, Red Bull Ring, 2014, 2Palmer believes he’ll get 2015 F1 seat (Autosport)

“I am confident. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but this title is a big help.”

Journalist links GoPro camera to Schumacher’s injuries, shares fall (Reuters)

“GoPro Inc’s shares fell as much as 16 percent on Monday after a French journalist suggested that Formula One legend Michael Schumacher’s injuries in a ski accident last year might have been caused by a wearable camera made by the company.”

2014 Russian GP report (MotorSport)

“Security guards are unused to and unwelcoming of any questioning of their ‘requests’ and confiscated seemingly at random items ranging from dry shampoo to tissues. One of them insisted he check that a pregnant lady really was pregnant and not concealing anything sinister.”

Russia’s Formula One debut sets Sochi’s Olympic Park alight (Russia Beyond the Headlines)

Russian TV commentator Alexei Popov: “Now we only hope that nothing goes wrong the second time,” he says. “The second year will be the most difficult. What if no one comes? Or the organizers lose their determination?”

65,000 Spectators Attended Russian F1 Grand Prix: Official (Ria Novosti)

“Russia’s first Formula One racing competition, that took place Sunday in Sochi, was attended by 65,000 spectators, Krasnodar Territory Deputy Governor Alexander Saurin stated Sunday.”

Putin content with Formula One Grand Prix racing – Bernie Ecclestone (TASS)

“Russian President Vladimir Putin, who watched Russia’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix racing in Sochi, was quite content with the event, Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone told TASS on Sunday.”

HM The King Returns (Bahrian News Agency)

“[His majesty] the King also attended the first edition of F1 Russian Grand Prix which was held at Sochi International Circuit.”

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Comment of the day

Does Nico Rosberg’s only realistic chance of winning the championship this year now lie in the unpopular double points system?

I hate the concept of Abu Dhabi’s double points as much as the next person, but ultimately this is the way the championship works this year (and, hopefully, never ever again). So to suggest that it ‘won’t count’ if Rosberg wins it at Abu Dhabi is ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the points system is what it is, and we’ve all been aware of it for the entire season thus far, so we just have to live with that.

I agree with @Ayrtonfan12 in that I want Rosberg to win, but for double points not to be a factor; sadly this looks highly unlikely to happen now.
Madi Murphy (@Ladym)

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Charles Cooper, the man behind the pioneering rear-engined cars which won the 1959 and 1960 constructors’ championships, was born on this day in 1893. He died just four years after his team’s second championship triumph.

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  • 135 comments on “Prost “furious” over Bianchi crash”

    1. I have never read such a hypocritical statement as that by Horner. How about when you should have signed up for the RRA? No we haven’t forgotten.

      1. Which is why Bernie loves him.

      2. Exactly! I even remember him saying something to the effect of “our job as team principals is to to what is best for our teams (our employers) not what is best for everyone”

      3. He is on the edge actually. If he doesnt get to lift the engine freeze, he doesnt seem to have better chances to be the WC again. At the same time, why should Merc agree while they know they have the best engine out there? I would write down Renault next season, however won’t be able to say the same about Honda. They are the unknown.

      4. Again, it’s the perfect time to cite John Maynard Keynes:

        “When facts change, I change my mind”

        I’m for the unfreeze because I don’t want a team winning 80-90% of races but they all signed for this rule just like they did with stupid double-points rule. F1 heads need to think before they sign-off papers to avoid this pathetic speeches on engines unfreeze and double-points.

        1. +1

      5. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th October 2014, 9:15

        +1

      6. I have never read such a hypocritical statement as that by Horner.

        Exactly.

        If Renault were the ones with the advantage, Horner would be blocking the unfreeze. He is not for unfreezing engine development for the good of the sport, but for his own (and his team’s) self interest.

        I wish they would all stop pretending that they are doing anything for any other reason but to gain an advantage for themselves.

    2. I don’t really understand the logic of an engine freeze. The teams can spend as much as they like on aero but not on the power unit?

      If they want to control costs why not dictate a maximum price they can sell the engines to the customer teams, insist on the engines being available to a minimum number of teams and that all updates must be available to all teams simultaneously?

      1. I’m with you on this one: I just don’t get it: in the late 90s – early 2000, each team introduced almost a new engine per race with half of the budget they’re running now (i’ve heard somewhere that this year Mercedes Budget was around U$D375m or more) so, where’s the money draining? wouldn’t it be in aero? they spend millions and millions in little winglets to gain 0,05sec per lap with absolutly ZERO relevance to the road cars. If there’s something that must be limited is the aerodynamics, not the engines..

        1. I guess it costs more to make engines that last for multiple races than those you could just discard.
          As regards endless development, not every manufacturer can support it. If we look at the recent history, Honda have been in and out of F1 many times. Ford couldn’t afford to throw money at the engines. Renault cannot spend as much as Honda or Mercedes and if it gets out of hand they will fold up.
          Every one said something like this would happen, but the rule makers don’t always see the light and end up having to correct obvious lapses in their judgement.
          Some manufacturers have a budget they are limited to while others may have access to an endless supply of cash.

        2. I would suspect it is a function of cost per unit. In the 90s, teams brought as many as 10 engines to a single race, hence many more engines were bought from the manufacturer; today they are limited to 5 for the entire season. Fewer engines purchased = higher per-unit cost to maintain profit; that and the huge complexity associated with the new formula.
          I watched a program once that noted a team gained about .1 sec per £1M spent on car development.
          While I agree that the money spent is outrageous, I also think that when new, hugely complex engines are mandated, companies should have opportunity to improve those engines. Perhaps allow development on a new engine per season for the first four seasons of the new formula, with engine development frozen for the duration of that season.

      2. Quite right, the teams will (must) spend money wherever they think they can get the best return in reduced lap times, an aero freeze is just as logical or illogical as an engine freeze. MB have apparently spent a lot of money to win this years teams prize but they will get a lot of that back in “prizemoney” and publicity and their engineers will have gained a lot of usefull knowledge designing,building and racing the best PU, but it is clear that the PU alone did not win it for them, if it was only the PU then the other teams with the same PU would have provided stronger competition. F1 became the pinnacle of motorsport because it was a development series, without development it will be just another racing format, there may be a need for some budgetary restraint and the current formula may or may not be to restrictive but I think there is a good case for some freeing up of the engine freeeze and if it has to be paid for by limiting the number of aero upgrades, so be it. Anything but artificial parity.

      3. I just dont get it. You decide on a new engine formula, each manufacturer spends 100 million + and then they can not be developed as the racing knowledge is gained. Isn’t racing about on-track development, not being able to guess best before the first race?

        1. True, a freeze should have only been implemented after a settling in period to achieve parity, it’s a big mess — so no change from practically every new decision that’s come from FIA/FOM in recent years.

      4. Guys, lets just look at reality here though. Under the rules next year, they can change about half of the engine under the CURRENT rules already (how big a part can be changed goes down with every year until 2019).

        Its not as if the engines are freezed all that much (apart from limiting the basic design up front.)

        1. Yes, but that means that Ferrari or Renault have to stick with the basic design instead of going “clean sheet” — an option they may wish to have, which would also put them 1 year behind (like Honda) in statistical data, so really a move not without risk or consequence… They should be allowed to do it if they wish.

          1. Why? Oh, and the basic design – Engine size, turbo, turbo preassure, energy storage etc – is fixed anyway.

            All changes made in regards to positioning what where (to copy the merc setup), to use a larger turbo (seems that is an issue for Ferrari) etc, can be made under these regulations. Instead, its Mercedes that will find themselves in the strange position of possibly not even having that much they would need/want to change @abbinator.

            To say the “freeze” is limiting them catch up unfairly is overstating it. The biggest limit is the rules that closely define the engine parameters in the first place, but that is not going to be changed.

            1. i would’t bet on Merc not wanting to change much,
              its one of Homers biggest worries Merc could jump another step further ahead again.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          14th October 2014, 9:28

          @bascb, well said.
          Although I would have dropped the 48% rule. Let them change whatever they want but only once per year. 1) Honda will be 100% new; 2) maximum learnings for road car research; 3) keep each engines identical; 4) easy to count replacements.

          PS – whilst I am at it. Drop the fuel flow stuff, revs limiter, turbo pressure rules as well. Just allow a maximum fuel use/race. Keep it simple whilst targeting energy efficiency (road car relevant).
          PPS – FIA should take the 1ltr fuel sample at the beginning. cars might then really drive on fumes in the end, and no risk of post race disqualification due to insufficient fuel.

          1. Regarding you P.S.
            Keep your mouth shut and people will think you stupid; Open it and you remove all doubt.

            1. ColdFly F1 (@)
              14th October 2014, 18:46

              @w-k, not very smart to put such an ‘insightful’ comment with a grammar and syntax mistakes!

      5. I’m for the “unfreeze team”. But I reckon that Renault and Ferrari are paying the price for not paying enough attention before they accepted those rules.

        1. It’s the same rules for everyone, sure but the way it was set up seems to have guaranteed dominance by one manufacturer for several years… Not the best thought out move to keep engine suppliers in the game.

        2. @jcost – I don’t recall Renault, Ferrari or Red Bull complaining about the engine freeze rules before the season started….

      6. The engine freeze was put in place to protect the small teams from increases in engine costs they cannot afford during the season.

        The reason why Merc are so far in front is the advantage they had, and Ferrari should have had, in integrating the PU and car design. An option not open to teams that buy their PU’s.

        In my opinion, the surprise is not that Merc have a better design than the rest, the real surprise is that Ferrari are not up there with them.

        1. It’s ok to protect the smaller teams, but there’s another way of doing it: Bernie open up a little bit more his wallet! the tv money distribution is totally unfair! and how much does it cost a Mercedes PU? 20m? 30m? 40m? ok. How much money do the smaller teams spend on Aero? or how much the top teams do? there’s where you gotta cut the expenses, in something that is only beneficial for the F1 -if it is.. – and absolutly no relevant for road cars, in quite a contradiction with the spirit of the new engine formula, cut the wings and pay more attention to the mechanical side!

          1. Totally agree. but until Bernie leaves, I don’t think there will be any changes to the distribution of monies. Personally I sometimes wonder if the monies paid out before the sharing process could be considered as bribes, so that the bigger teams support his views.

            1. Bernie sees it more as him being blackmailed.

      7. I agree – a freeze on engines make no sense. If I was Renault, I’d simply say unfreeze the regs or we’re done for a few years. What’s the point in them continuing if they know their engine is not good enough but they aren’t allowed to fix it.

        As it appears that new engine manufacturers can join when they like, is there anything stopping Renault dropping out of F1 for 2015 and re-entering as Infiniti in 2016?

        1. Issue with that being that Renault, as well as Ferrari and Mercedes signed an agreement on these engines and the rules going with them some 2 years ago already. If they had objections, that was the time to put them on the table. I am all for arguments against having a more or less standard engine, as we have now. But changing rules mid season again? please no.

          Sure, Renault surely was not impressed by having to throw away their almost finished 4 cylinder engine and start anew at the time. But by now, its just sloppy work they did. And Ferrari had all the money and resources to do as good a job as Mercedes, and they kept banging the drum of how they were looking forward to it, only to … wait for it … complain about the rules and want them changed again @petebaldwin! Look on the positive side, Mercedes can never improve as much from their great base as what potential others have to catch up.

          There is quite a bit of scope for changes within the rules already, but the freeze is meant to put some kind of stop on overspending in following years.

    3. I lost all sympathy for Felipe Massa when he started causing accidents with every driver who tried to pass him, fortunately he reformed when he realised he needed to get results to continue his career in F1, and I was glad he got the Williams drive but now it seems he is incapable of driving in the wet or in fact on hard tyres without being scared witless. Time to retire Felipe, enjoy your family and your $millions.

      1. Or racing in Stock Car Brasil and GT3..

      2. Brazilian sponsors could soon drop him for young Nasr…

      3. Agree. He’s a whinger and can’t race wheel to wheel.

      4. @hohum, @ernietheracefan, @jcost, @f1bobby:
        You’re all forgetting how reliable Massa has become! He scores half what his team-mate scores, year after year…
        The Massa of 2008 was really good but that driver has, like Elvis, left the building. I have to agree with you all – and even more of a tragedy when drivers like Button may not have a drive for next year. He’d be excellent back in a Williams.

        1. The car Massa drove in 2008 was really good.

          Raikkonen was challenging for the WDC with it before they developed it away from him (and even further towards Massa).

      5. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th October 2014, 9:58

        Last race was probably worst this season.
        Not due to quali, not due to weird lap1 pit stop.
        But he was lapping up to 2.5sec slower than Bottas (on fresher tyres). I can’t believe that with the superior package and DRS he could not overtake Perez (more than 20 laps).

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          14th October 2014, 15:40

          And Pérez had to save fuel as well

    4. as for the rosberg winning the championship thanks to the double point. Haven’t any driver in the past won the championship because some odd scoring system? if i’m not wrong, Prost lost the 88 championship on Senna because of the “best 11 results” systems? and i don’t see any of you claiming that Prost should be a 5WDC or Senna a 2WDC for that matter. A champion is a champion because he wins the season with the rules set for anyone and, as much as i would hate to have a season defined by that, and wanting not to have any of this double points nonsense anymore, if Rosberg wins the championship, he will be a fair winner (in a flawed set of rules)

      1. @matiascali I agree. I said as much before the start of the season that every team was equally aware of the situation and there are plenty of strategic devises to handle the other races. The responses I got were “except teams are always pushing 100%”. Kind of ignoring the fact most teams don’t run their engines 100% the majority of the season…

        The double points afflicts all drivers and teams equally and in the same exact way. If Hamilton decides to keep his least used engine parts but Nico goes full replacement and Hamilton retires while Nico wins, I fully support him as WDC (so to if Hamilton goes full replacement and Nico retires).

        The system may not make sense, necessarily but it seems to have achieved the goal of having the final race be important to the championship and again, everyone has an extra level of strategic thinking to consider. They had all year to prepare for it… all year to decide how to make the last race the best possible race because yes… a poor car the race before but a stellar car at the final race is a superior idea than having the same pressure applied to all of the races.

        1. also, had Hamilton won those two races he haven’t finished insted of Rosberg, then the double points would be meaningless, and all the absolutly british biased forums would be mute about that issue…

          1. @matiascasali – Just wondering, are you a Rosberg fan?

            I’m neither a Rosberg or Hamilton fan nor British. But, a vocal opponent of the double points for one race scoring “system” for 2014 for sure. It may be the rules for 2014, but it is detrimental to the credibility of the F1 WDC. It leaves open for debate the championship validity no matter your favorite driver. I would say the same if one my favorite drivers won the WDC by way of double points.

            I would agree that the driver who is champion according to the 2014 regulations is indeed the champion, whomever it may be. My bias is against the double points rule itself. Installed by the short-sighted to supposedly generate more publicity and interest only to produce a potential byproduct of controversial illegitimacy.

            1. (awaiting the derision of the masses) – I thin the double points is totally unfair and flawed, that’s why I’m actually hoping it plays out this way (or even the opposite case where Rosberg is “robbed” of a rightful WDC). A silly rule should have consequences. The worst thing would be for this to keep lurking for years until we got used to it or until it was expanded to the last 3 races, etc. It’s like changing the rules of chess when more than 50% of the pieces are gone, it’s not chess any more like has been played for centuries, but “silly alternate chess to improve the show.” Or to put it another way “it’s not Cricket.” I’m just waiting for multi-ball overtime… :)

            2. no, i’m an F1 fan, actually. But then again: is it Senna a flawed or asterisk champion having scored less points than Prost in 88?

            3. Actually, I think we’re all on the same page, this final race double points is bad.

              @abbinator – If it did happen that way it would be the fault of the rule makers and would be poetic justice in that way. It wouldn’t be the fault of the drivers even though they would suffer the consequences.

              @matiascasali – Past bad point schemes are no excuse for current or future bad point schemes. But, the champion for 2014 will be determined by who wins most points under these rules. As a F1 fan also, I hope the double points will be dropped for 2015.

        2. I think the difference between double-points and dropping worst results is that the former was a publicity tactic and the other was an effort at sporting parity. Taking away the worst results at that time was typically DNFs due to mechanical failure, and was intended to distance the driver’s and constructors championships a bit. I’m not saying it necessarily worked, but the intention was at least there. Double-points is the exact opposite. The drivers (and teams) will have to do whatever they can to weather it, and the winners will be those that make the right choices, as ever. But this rule sets out to be unsporting.

      2. Yes, but don’t forget where Hamilton would be now if the discard rule was still in place, those mechanical failures would have not counted against him which was the reason for the rule, after all it is the DRIVERS championship, not the manufacturers championship.

        1. that is, maybe, but what happens when there’s an unsafe release? is driver’s fault? or is it team fault? who ends up paying for that? all i’m saying is that Rosberg -if he get to win the WDC- will be a fair championm of flawed rules, but not less of a champion for that!

          1. He’ll be a paper champion, utterly discredited by the media and fans and the rule will be scrapped for next year.

            1. if you think that an unfair set of rules makes him a paper champion, then any champion with an unfair set of rules are paper champions, as i’ve pointed earlier, then Senna should have one of his titles considered a paper one, and i don’t see that happening any time soon

        2. If the discard rule was still in place, Hamilton would be just now winning his first championship, after getting screwed by the rule in 2008.

          Assuming best 11, which probably would have changed as the number of races increased…

          1. @kanil and since he hypothetically never won the championship before, would he be such a high value driver? Would he have gone to Mercedes at all?

          2. Taking the best 11 results from 2007, LH would have been champion, FA second and KR third. I haven’t looked at 2005 but I would imagine the discard rule would have given KR the championship. So LH would be a rookie champion and FA a one time champion.

            1. @petea
              Kimi would win 07 with 94, Lewis 92, Alonso 90. Kimi won 6 races that year.

              Alonso would win 05 with 110 to Kimi’s 108. They both had 7 wins, but Alonso had 5 second places to Kimi’s 3.

            2. @kanil my mistake I should have used my fingers and not a calculator

      3. The sad, cold truth that nobody can seem to swallow

      4. Indeed. Raikkonen is still the champion of 07 (despite the competition self destructing), Schumacher is still the champion of 94, Hunt is the champion of 76. The list goes on, in the end of the day all that matters is whose name is engraved on the trophy.

        1. But why would the competition self-destructing matter anyway?

      5. I get your point @matiascasali, but “it can be a fact, but it ain’t right!”

        Those are the rules and if Rosberg wins due to those rules he will be WDC. However, people have the right to put an asterik on it.

      6. That’s a very different situation, as at least that system was routed in logic (plus it was in effect for a great many years). It worked out funny, but at least there was reason behind it (plus the funny stuff the following year sort of evens it up for me anyway if I do consider ’88 as Prost’s better year).

        1. there’s a reason behind this system too. No matter the logical side, it’s still flawed (discarding results or double points stravaganza) i do think that the system used until last year was one of the best ones ever used on F1. The outcome of a season with a flawed system -as 88, or this one- doesn’t take merit away from the driver who wins it. if Hamilton wins all the races from now on, he will have a larger distance in points relative to rosberg, and i don’t think that distance is fair either, rosberg did a pretty good job this year

    5. The WCC came from Hamilton? It’s not like Rosberg got, oh, half of those points.

      Palmer, he took four years to win gp2, no thanks.

      Horner is being a big hypocrite, but at least he is defending his team’s interest.

      1. @austus: Horner is defending his team’s interest by claiming that he’s acting in the best interests of F1 as a whole – that’s the bit that rankles! I would have more respect for him if he came straight out and said that he’s doing the best he can for his own team instead of pretending that he’s acting out of altruism. Where was his altruism when FOTA fell apart? Where was it when the Resource Restriction Agreement fell apart? Where was it when Abu Double was proposed? The funny thing is that he only starts talking altruistically when Red Bull are behind – when they’re ahead he’s quite happy to let everyone else hang out to dry.

      2. @austus: “The WCC came from Hamilton” in the sense that had Rosberg failed to finish in Sochi, Mercedes would still have got the championship.
        Also, Hamilton’s points pushed them over the line ten seconds before Rosberg’s points pushed them up further.
        Not in the sense that it was all Hamilton’s work (“he designed the car, the PU AND the track, you know…”)

    6. On the subject of safety/closed cockpits I don’t think F1 should adapt a fully covered cockpit. I found these designs by Lola online and in my opinion its probably the way to go. It seems keep the driver covered but also maintain the cockpit open.
      http://www.racecar-engineering.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Lola-mb-01-2.jpg
      http://www.racecar-engineering.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Lola-mb-01-2.jpg

        1. Looks good to me – the windscreen idea is not a bad idea at least… Maybe a problem in rain at low speed though… It would also probably have to be standardised to prevent funny aero solutions.

      1. I do like this concept, whether this design is possible under the laws of physics is another matter but it certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a modern F1 car.

      2. Make sense for me.., and put some sponsors logo/drivers name on it

      3. The FIA has conducted some tests with a sort of visor like the one in those pictures by launching a tyre against it and, whilst deflecting the tyre away from the cockpit, it shattered into pieces… After some more research into construction methods and materials, it could become a viable solution. And, as some others said, it kinda looks nice too.

        1. They could do something like the WWII fighters when their canopy is open.. (i.e. a “targa top” or 2CV sunroof style as opposed to a convertible) basically the referenced Lola design but with a steel roll-bar assembly at the trailing edge of the windscreen and a couple of supports that go back to the main roll hoop placed so as not to impede egress but to allow view of the wing mirrors.

        2. “whilst deflecting the tyre away from the cockpit, it shattered into pieces” @toiago

          What’s the problem with that? The drivers are wearing protective gear after all, and better a cloud of light debris than a tyre against the head!

      4. I don’t think this would have helped Bianchi in any way.
        This kind of semi closed cockpit is good for debris shielding and certain roll over accidents, also when you have another vehicle in the air flying over the cockpit area, like we had with Alonso Grosjean Spa.

      5. @f1freek at least it still is open wheel racing… that could keep us away from heavy and energy consuming AC systems in F1.

      6. I’m not so sure this will work for the FIA rule 13.1.4 due to that head canopy: From his normal seating position, with all seat belts fastened and whilst wearing his usual driving equipment, the driver must be able to remove the steering wheel and get out of the car within 5 seconds…

        @f1freek Maybe @keithcollantine has input or someone else more ‘technical’?

        1. Well I think the part that covers the head canopy could be part of the cockpit that drivers remove when getting out of the car. im sure if they use this design as a basis, something good will come out of that

    7. Its over.

      Nico looks defeated, he has since Spa. Its not as if Ive been sitting next to him in the paddock, but from his interviews over the past couple race weekends since the “big incident” in Spa, he’s seemed very low key, lost a bit if the much vaunted “mental edge”. I think his resolve was really battered when Merc hung him out to dry after Spa, you would need to be quite Schumacher-esque (thick skinned) to come away from a public flogging like that with your mental comfort zone intact. Lewis has Nico firmly beaten on and off track.

      Hamilton is looks very comfortable, Nico just isnt as quick. The only way Nico can win is if Lewis hits trouble. If Nico wins it, well I doubt it would be sweet, because as he would know more than anyone, he has not beaten Lewis in a straight fight.

      Well done to Lewis and Merc. Happy for the guys at Brackley as well.

      1. Yeah the people at Brackley really deserve this title, apart from 2009 I can’t remember the last time they won it.
        Also, it seems only yesterday when Norbert Haug and Brawn were struggling so bad to turn the team around that Mercedes almost shut down the whole F1 operation. I remember it was around that time when Nico won the first race for him and the team, I wonder where would F1 be right now if that hadn’t happened.

      2. 1. To people in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart! They did a great team job.

        2. I agree with you. If it goes down to racing, I can’t see Nico Rosberg winning WDC. His best chance is reliability affecting Hamilton’s results.

      3. well well writing off Nico, he has beaten lewis to Pole position and in races too he came back to dominate after the first 4 wins in a row of Ham, he is just as fast.

    8. I think I can say with confidence that the Russian GP was not the most entertaining race. However it was certainly not the dullest race or racetrack in my opinion, if you will can I suggest that the general public distress for Putin is the catalyst for the amount of negative feedback we’ve seen around? I gave it a 6, it’s not my highest grade, especially because I wanted Nico and Lewis to have a fight but I think this race was definitely better than any of the races were either of the Merc drivers failed to finish, on the positive note I actually enjoyed the tyre situation, in the end the right people won that’s fine by me.

      1. I think we have been spoiled by so many great races this year, because Russia’s race looked like an average 2013 race. Most of those were above 5s, but lots of people gave Russia under 5.

      2. To be fair, Nico and Lewis did have a fight – it’s just that Nico lost it pretty quickly…

    9. I am scared for Nico. If he wins WDC because of double point system, i think he will hear boos for every podium in the future.
      same for Ham. But as of now, it doesn’t look like that he needs to rely on double point madness for winning WDC.

    10. ‘WCC came from Hamilton’…I’m not quite sure I follow, I was under the impression that there was a human being called Nico Rosberg who contributed almost as much…

      1. They needed 25 points to lock it and that was his points haul.

        But yeah it’s been a team victory, not like last year where Vettel brought home enough points alone.

      2. Yeah, I was thinking the same. That Andrew Benson “knows” how to write a headline.
        Losing the points earned by Rosberg – Mercedes would have 291 against Red Bull`s 342.

    11. I have always been of the opinion that the teams should be allowed to improve ANY aspect of their car over the course of the season. In doing so it promotes competitiveness between the teams and may help minimize domination by one team. And if one team does dominate then we truly know that they just were the better team if no one else can find the proper adjustments.
      Here in North America, if a hockey team is struggling to win games they go out and sign free agents, trade for more effective players all in an attempt to improve their ability to win games. I don’t see why F1 should be any different from other sports in that respect.

      1. agree, but i would also puyt more emphasis on the mechanical side, rather than the aerodynamics. They’ve changed the engines to be more road relevant, but they get to spend three quarters of the budget in aero development that makes absoloutly no sense in a normal road car…

    12. If I were one of the top 3 drivers on the weekend, I wouldn’t wanna shake hands with Putin, he is one of the most evil human beings on the planet. He’s the short guy with white hair and glasses right?

    13. “I was furious. I was really shocked by the accident. You have the procedure, but the weather conditions were getting worse and worse with more and more water, so visibility was very bad.”<–

      The "visibility was very bad" part is something FIA are going to have to rethink seriously. Hosting races in late hours of the evening just isn't working; why risk it. Its not good for the drivers, no good for the TV coverage and there is a safety risk. It would be far better to start early or convert the track to a night race; at least the visibility would be far better as with the night race the amount of lighting could be controlled.

    14. If Prost would have mentioned this issue before Bianchi’s crash, maybe I would have respected his opinion.

      Horner: Mercedes should ignore “self-interest” and back unfreeze

      ‘Mercedes: Horner should ignore “self-interest” and oppose unfreeze’

      1. There were even some other comments Prost made where he questioned the flags being shown at the tower. This is someone who has competed for many years and is aware of the rules regarding the flags.
        The accident was most unfortunate and painful, but one shouldn’t use it for politics.

    15. 65,000 at Sochi? Not that great.

      1. I think that’s a capacity crowd. Although Sky were saying over the weekend that it was 55,000, so who to trust?

        1. I understand that its about 55.000 grandstand seats available, so then the rest would have been GA tickets maybe @iamjamm, @jcost. Its more or less a full house, who knows they could build more grandstands for next year.

          Its often better to build less capacity and sell out than to have a gazillion of empty spots for a first race.

          1. @BasCB Indeed, we don’t want banks of grandstands turned in to advertising boards like China.

            1. and Korea, and Turkey, and even Abu Dhabi, and …

              exactly.

    16. A lot of talk about the “Abu Double” deciding who will win the WDC.
      I am quite sure that the public opinion – IF Rosberg wins the title in Abu Dhabi would be – “He won it because of the double points.”
      But if Hamilton wins the title in Abu Dhabi – “He won it because he won the race. And he has the most wins.”
      But enough about that. Talking about Rosberg the Older – Keke. Winning the 1982 WDC.
      That year there were 11 different GP-winners. Rosberg himself won only one race – the Swiss GP (held in Dijon, France). At the final standings the drivers positioned 2-3-4-5-6 – all had 2 GP wins.

      1. Yeah, and in 2008 Massa won more races than Hamilton which is why the points system was changed to reward winning more (and was also why Bernie suggested medals rather than points). It just perplexes me that now we have artificially introduced the possibility of the person with less race wins wining the title.

        1. Massa didn’t really win Spa, so I would call it a draw.

          1. And Hamilton got his race in Fuji ruined by the same steward (Mosley’s Ferrari loving pal Alan Donnely) after taking the lead at turn one for locking up his tyres going into the turn.

    17. Sour grapes from Horner there, if ever I heard them!

    18. It’s funny how western media is getting all worked up with security at an international event in Russia, attended by 65,000, and yet you can’t get on a daily flight in US without getting an anal probe.

      1. LOL that is just so true. Perve laws they’ve instituted.
        Jokes aside, considering the terrorist blows Russia has suffered in recent times, I can’t blame them for being fanatical about security especially during public events. Symptomatic of the present age we live in.

    19. It’s a very sad situation, that of Bianchi. The problem is we don’t want to “make matters worse” by applying blame where blame is due. Under the regulations, it is up to the driver to be prepared to stop. So what usually happens? Drivers aren’t typically thinking “I should be prepared to stop”, they are (probably) thinking closer to “I need to lift enough to not get caught but not so much that I’m caught out.”

      Yeah we can say F1 needs more safety control all we want. The fact is people die every day in events that could, in theory, always be safer. Hey, let’s all quit driving our own road car because the chances of any one of us dying is far greater than that of any top tier, international motorsport. Except maybe motocross/moto gp? I don’t know. The fact is, you have a regulation that fits the scenario and you have, essentially, most drivers who will not have that in mind.

      Massa? First to the bedside? Did he slow down enough to stop quickly if necessary? I don’t doubt his concern and I don’t doubt his understanding but I do wish to point out Massa’s accident was not his fault, nor were there regulations in place that he was ignoring at the time. Bianchi? I saw the video — all I could say was ‘damn.’ The fact he is alive at all is a miracle. For those that didn’t feel like seeing it, I won’t go into any details. I do want to say he was not going at any speed that would have allowed for an attempt to stop reasonably. Why do I say attempt? I know what aquaplaning is and I know that stopping would’ve been highly unlikely but again, I wish to impress there was no reason for him to be going at that speed after having already exited the track, especially under the conditions we had at the track.

      Change regulations? How about change how the drivers appreciate the regulations in place? Force cars to slow down in a certain area using a limiter? Is this going to be controlled remotely or within the cockpit? Watch the first time a lead vehicle slows first when there is another vehicle close behind and watch the trailing car climb the lead car and you will complain, again. Controlled remotely? Who will control it? Wait until the first time the electronic system fails in a trailing vehicle…

      Too afraid that the majesty of F1 will be ruined by full course cautions a la NASCAR and Indycar? Yeah, let’s discuss priorities, shall we? If you want THE absolute safest option, just have every single vehicle pull over to the side of the track and wait for a cleanup.. right.

      Yeah. This was a freak accident because drivers have become so naive about what dangers still exist. Drivers do not give appropriate caution as they are too concerned with their on-track battle to be as safe as is necessary.

      What’s the real problem we have with the SC? Personally I hear a lot of complaints about the time it takes. Guess what? If a car is in a dangerous position, put out the SC immediately. Let the SC pick up whoever comes up first. Tell the drivers in front of the SC to drive slowly to wait (if they are within a reasonable distance) Wait until all danger is removed from the track then let all the cars in front of the leader pass the SC at that moment (and lapped vehicles behind the leader, if you must. I hate that. It takes away from the fact they were lapped. Yes I hate the lucky dog in NASCAR) and do not require them to drive so slowly to catch up. Have the SC drive a little slower this lap to allow everyone else to catch up. With this in mind, it should be no problem to all to return to a green flag situation within 1.5 laps of release. I say 1.5 depending on where the SC is when the cars are released…

      You think that takes away from the sport? Bianchi was taken away from the sport (it would be a triple miracle if he came back.) You think that’s too troublesome? Ask Marussia what they feel about it being troublesome. Too many SC? I’m sure there’s a driver in Japan who might wake up one day and wish there was a SC. I see too many nonsense solutions, pointing the wrong fingers and arguments against reasonable safety measures on account of their own personal entertainment.

      Well, were you entertained at the end of the Japanese GP?

      1. “Change regulations? How about change how the drivers appreciate the regulations in place? ”

        Exactly, drivers are renowned in stretching the rules and FIA in the last couple of years have let them.
        10 years ago the track limits was between the white lines, now days the track has magically been widened by a cars width as long as the most inner side wheel touches the white line. Same with those run off areas, you where in trouble when your wheel when outside the white line (gravel, sand grass) nowadays they don’t even slow down anymore due to all that black stuff.
        While i understand all the black stuff is a great safety point, old the old limits, gravel etc was a great way to slow them down a bit and take less risks.

        I would not mind seeing a 1 to 1.5 meter wide gravel ditch around the track.

      2. Can I add another “whatiff” scenario, wait till the safety car rushes out only to be mounted by a car going flat out at the end of the start/finish straight.

        1. @hohum sure. let’s fix that loose thread, shall we?

          Any car on the front straight at the time of notification of yellow should continue, however at the turn before the front straight should remain slow to be picked up.

          Improved?

          1. @neiana, Improved ? maybe, fixed ? not really, that or those cars racing down the straight will do more than 1 complete lap before catching up with the safety car, will they be slowed going around ahead of the safety car ? if the answer is no then nothing has been achieved, if the answer is yes then surely the safety car behind them is unnecessary, the important thing is that the cars are sufficiently slowed not how that is achieved.

            1. @hohum Yes slow them down but also slow down the SC speed until the field is together. As long as you slow the SC fewer laps will be under the SC since the cars should be able to catch up much quicker.

              And yes I agree the important thins is that the cars are sufficiently slowed. As we have seen this year and in the past an electronic component has the possibility of failure. I would not want to trust a wholly electronic component to slow down the cars as I noted in the original comment: any one failure would be catastrophic.

    20. A thought about Alonso’s future:

      Marussia not yet confirmed as to what format the team will be next year. Ferrari need a “B” team. So Marussia to transform into “Fiat”, Alonso to head.

      I know it’s silly season, but is this out of the question?

      1. Alonso will stay with the Red Tractors,
        Raikkonen will be paid out and go off snow ploughing
        and Vettel will get a floggin like every no.2 in Ferrari does, :)

        (sarcasm)

    21. I’m not really sure double points is as big of a deal as some think. Let’s assume neither driver have any more reliability issues and Lewis continues to beat Nico 1-2 in the next two races. Lewis could then take a whole brand new PU in Abu Dhabi, start from the pitlane (as Vettel is doing in Austin, thank you to @JerseyF1 for letting me know yesterday) and would only need a fifth placed finish to win the title. Vettel proved that you can make up lots of places at Abu Dhabi if your car is fast enough and I’d say the Mercedes is.
      If, however USA/Brazil play out as per Keith’s tweet and Rosberg DNF’s in one race, while Lewis wins both then there’s even more of an incentive for Lewis to take a new PU as he’d only need to finish in the top ten for the title to be his.

      There’s really many intriguing outcomes. If Nico were to win one of the next two races as well as Abu Double then Lewis would have to finish second to him in both races as well as win one to win the title. It could still go either way, but Nico really needs to sort his head out if he wants to win this championship as he hasn’t coped well since Spa.

      1. 5th place to win the title? That sound familiar…

      2. Correction, Rosberg didn’t cope well at Spa either, despite winning.

    22. I heard it was someone with a nasty cold flying back from Imola who caused the scare…

      I’d love to see Palmer racing the second Marussia. Reward for his good work and more deserving than either of their so-called reserve drivers.
      Best of all, though, would be to know that Bianchi was watching him do it… I’ll keep all the other speculation and rubbish firmly in perspective, and take the news as it comes.

    23. How could the Russian GP be attended by 65,000 spectators when only 55,000 tickets/seats were available?

      1. There were 55,000 grandstand seats, the extra 10,000 were general admission tickets. At least, that’s what Russia Today were reporting on Sunday after the race.

        1. Or 10,000 body guards.

    24. I’d pay more attention to Massa and his complaints if he showed one iota of bravery. Not the bravery to go and race in a “dangerous” situation. That’s stupidity. No, I mean the bravery to stand up for you convictions. If you genuinely think the tyre choices are dangerous, then refuse to race on them. If you were “screaming” to stop the race, then stop your race and retire. THAT is bravery, and Massa has none of it.

      The story of Nikki Lauder getting back in the car at Monza is inspiring. But for me, what makes him a true hero is choosing to retire in Japan in circumstances he didn’t feel were safe enough, and as a direct result losing the championship for it.

      Massa: Either stop winging, or do something about it.

      1. On that note, I’d be full of admiration for Rosberg if he was more than 25 points behind in Abu Dhabi, but decided to just park it – rather than become World Champion on double points.

        But what are the chances of that?!

    25. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      14th October 2014, 11:36

      “F1 has its first Ebola scare. Paddock member on a plane isolated away from terminal with two ill aboard. Tests later show its not Ebola.”
      The (Western) world seriously needs to get a grip. That’s not an Ebola scare- they didn’t come into contact with the virus. It’s like if someone coughed on the bus next to me and I freaked out that he had Ebola and I was going to die.

    26. I generally agree with @Ladym. The points system is what it is and both Mercedes drivers have been very competitive and very close to each other this season so even if Rosberg kind of “lucks into” the title, he will still be a deserving world champion. However, I doubt if Rosberg himself wants to win the title this way and I also think that a lot fans will feel betrayed if Hamilton indeed wins the next two races and loses the title only because of a mechanical retirement at Abu Dhabi.

      The 2014 F1 season could have been one of the best ever but unfortunately with double points, the bad timing of the inaugural Russian GP and (more than anything else) Bianchi’s accident it is fading. Let us hope that the sport will at least learn its lessons.

      1. @girts I totally agree, but I would add that regardless of who wins the title and whether double points plays a factor (in the Lewis v Nico fight), as a fan I already feel betrayed by the existence of the double points rule this year.

        Most of the talk here has been about whether Nico or Lewis will win the WDC, but what I find even harder to swallow is the fact that teams in the midfield and lower end of the grid who have worked so hard all year could have one bad weekend at Abu Dhabi and potentially lose two or three places in the constructors’ championship. Given the immense impact that would have on funding for next season, this could have huge repercussions.

        If Lewis wins 11 races but loses the WDC due to double points, that will be bad; but if people who work at Caterham, Marussia or Sauber lose their jobs as an indirect result of double points, that would be devastating.

        1. @ladym – Totally agree with your comments about the potential for midfield and lower teams being unfairly penalized by the dodgy double points scheme. That has been largely overlooked and yet could have a more devastating effect on more F1 people than the race at the front.

          Hoping what was a knee-jerk Bernie reaction to past season’s Vettel/RBR domination, that was not even a factor this season, will be gone for 2015. It is not needed.

    27. Quite a nice interview with Helmut Marko on formula1.com:

      http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2014/10/16502.html

      Not sure whether it was not considered for the round-up or whether it was only published today.

    28. Thanks @keithcollantine for COTD. I truly hate the double points idea and have spent a great deal of time ranting about it since the season began, but obviously I miss the days when it was the worst thing we had to worry about in F1.
      I do wonder how FOM/FIA/the Strategy Group would cope with the turn in public opinion if, by some chance event (presumably involving very high attrition), Caterham manage to score at Abu Dhabi and end up beating Marussia in the WCC.

    29. There’s an interesting discussion in the forum on how to discourage drivers from going off track. I’d post my thoughts there, but would need to create an account. I might do that anyway, but let me pester you with my ideas anyway:

      The solution (or at least part solution) is real simple: styrofoam advertising boards (the same stuff the DRS and braking zone boards are made of). Take turn 3 at Sochi as en example – having a big runoff area to allow drivers to go straight on is fine, but what needs to be moderated is the way they can re-enter the track. Now imagine that line Rosberg took on lap 1 (which he used to slingshot himself way out front) being blocked by styrofoam advertising boards. Most of the run-off area would still have been there, but then he would have been forced to slow right down and zigzag around them, or turn back on to the track at a steeper angle once the train of cars had passed. He could of course also drive straight through the boards, if need be, without much danger to himself, but at the cost of a damaged front wing. That way, you’d have both a safe run-off area and an instant penalty for using it.

      Also, with that type of advertising board placement, the Raikkonen shunt at Silverstone probably wouldn’t have happened either – he would have been able to safely run off the track, but not re-enter it at full speed 100 yards further down the track (going through a rain gulley in the process).

    30. That phrase from Massa needs to be put in the right context, as even Alonso said the same thing (in a very twisted way, as everything that Fernando says). The problem is that Interlagos will receive a complete new tarmac for the GP and it is evident that it won’t have enough rubber and/or grip to use hard tires there. In the irrational tendency to bash Massa for whatever he says, some folks just discard the details.
      If I read correctly, Pirelli said they will use medium and hard, when all the teams have been using soft and mediums. But Paul Hembery added they would listen to the drivers if they believe the hard is a bad choice.
      http://au.eurosport.com/formula-1/massa-brazil-tyre-choice-dangerous_sto4437914/story.shtml

      1. Get a grip man, hard tyres were used in Texas on new tarmac and the drivers drove accordingly, there was no mass carnage.

        1. Very clever answer, but try again. Who need to get a grip is not me, not you, but the drivers. It’s so easy to bash drivers about safety, when you are on your couch, isn’t it?

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