Bahrain to continue opposing Qatar F1 race

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix, who can prevent rival local venues from holding a grand prix under their arrangement with Bernie Ecclestone, intend to continue opposing a potential race in nearby Qatar.


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

Bernie Ecclestone deal with Bahrain puts skids under Qatar Grand Prix (The Telegraph)

Sheikh Salman bin Isa al Khalifa: "I think F1’s culture is growing (in the Middle East), and we can see it slowly coming about. But my personal opinion of having another race – wherever it is – I don’t think we are ready for that."

Vergne eyeing 2016 chance at Ferrari (ESPN)

"Now I'm at Ferrari, which is also an excellent opportunity for 2016."

F1 teams urged to support wet tyre test (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: "It is in the regulations, but a water tank around Jerez is not exactly what we had in mind."

Anthony Hamilton says Lewis Hamilton could win the 2015 title by mid-year (Sky)

"If you look at what Lewis went through last year, we started the year where we felt that if everything had gone well, by mid-year he probably would have won the championship."


Comment of the day

When it comes to racing drivers, does ‘the cream always rise to the top’?

How many great, sport changing talents are there that only just missed the cut for F1. Not necessarily guys who were brilliant in karting but ran out of money, more racing drivers that had distinguished careers for years in other categories with great success. I can’t think of too many to be honest.

In the early days, there wasn’t too much scope on the junior classes. Probably because there weren’t any. But, recently we have seen the likes of Da Costa and Frijns miss out with very good CVs. Will they go on to great things and come back? Or will they be champions in other series? It’s too early to say but most drivers that missed out on F1 before them don’t look too good in other championships from what I remember.

Drivers like Bourdais who had an amazing career in Champ Car came over and looked very ordinary. Senna always said his best rival was Terry Fullerton but he would only be a kart specialist so perhaps there are only a handful of drivers in history have the talent to truly master an F1 car. I guess a handful of maybes come in the era where F1 was so dangerous they were killed before getting a true shot at it.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ace, Kei, Diego and Trayambak Chakravarty!

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On this day in F1

Alan Jones won a farcical Argentinian Grand Prix 35 years ago today as the track surface disintegrated on the Buenos Aires circuit, causing many spins. Nelson Piquet finished second ahead of Keke Rosberg’s Fittipaldi.

Among those to crash out was Gilles Villeneuve following a failure on his Ferrari:

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

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63 comments on “Bahrain to continue opposing Qatar F1 race”

  1. Vergne vs Vettel is something I would like to see. Has anyone pulled a Hulk at Ferrari (reserve to main driver)?

    1. Luca Badoer ;)

    2. Vergne vs Vettel is something I would like to see. Has anyone pulled a Hulk at Ferrari (reserve to main driver)?

      @stretch indeed. Felipe Massa. He was the test driver in 2003 and became the race driver in 2006.

      1. Watch this past weekend’s Formula E race and you will see why Vernge was passed over by Red Bull. Nice guy and definitely lucky to be at Ferrari but a race seat in 2016? Sometimes, you have to wonder about F1 driver’s and their own self-belief.

        1. @Fast Vergne did look really good in his first FE race. It will be interesting to see how he compares to Alguersuari over the full season.

          Many of the FE races so far has included some clumsy moves from many drivers. JEV and JA in the last race among them.

      2. Massa had the backing of Todt. Jean Todt’s son was his agent.

      3. Massa was basically the first FDA driver, wasnt he?

        1. Not officially, as the FDA officially only kicked off in 2009. Its concept, however, followed what they did with Massa years before that.

    3. Same. Ricciardo was only marginally better than Vergne, yet is now regarded as one of the best F1 drivers on the grid. He’s faster than people give him credit for.

      1. Being “marginally better” on track in given circumstances doesn’t mean there is as much margin for improvement or that performances will be the same in another set of circumstances. It doesn’t mean that imoprtant capabilities, like feedback for development and/or car setup, are equal or anywhere near.

        1. How can we be certain of any of that? It’s only an assumption, and for all we know Vergne could be just as capable in that aspect. Even if he is that bit worse than Ricciardo, then I would imagine many are.

          1. @dpod I didn’t assume, imply or stated anything with certainty. I’m just saying it is hard to draw conclusions from the outside.

            Fact is RBR themselves saw less in Vergne than in Ricciardo and they also saw no benefit in promoting Vergne over Kvyat. They have all the inside information we are lacking. I’m sure they have their reasons.

          2. I’m just curious to see if Vergne can become a Ricciardo after moving to a great team.

    4. @stretch I thought for a moment that you meant when will Hulk become Ferrari reserve for a year before moving up to the main car!

  2. Something good from Bahrain, F1 doesn’t need another pointless track in desert that most likely has no elevation either. Even Korea sounds better, because there’s at least a chance for rain.

    1. @thenikii I don’t think it’s all about elevation techniques. I simply believe that over the years, fans get attached to a track so much that it gets termed as ‘classic’.

      Magny Cours doesn’t have any significant elevation, yet fans want to see a return.

      Silverstone doesn’t have any significant elevation, yet fans enjoy it due to good races in the past and it’s history and the whole atmosphere.

      Hockenheim doesn’t have any significant elevation, yet fans don’t mind it.

      Monza doesn’t have any significant elevation, yet fans enjoy the history of the track.

      Every track has a unique property attached to it which would make it a success.

      Shanghai completed a decade yet not many fans have liked it although the track layout is very good and it has given some good races like 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and yet it hasn’t won over most of the fans which is sad.

      Although fans might hate Korea for the GP (which I also did due to no atmosphere), you can’t ignore the fact that the track layout was a good one and same for India. The real problem was that Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull were dominant during these years which turned the races dud.

      Lastly, Bahrain gave one the best races of all time in 2014.

      1. Last year in Bahrain we had the SC (safety car) and Merc allowed them to fight. Otherwise = dull race.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          13th January 2015, 10:39

          Yeah but it did happen, so your point is irrelevant. That’s like saying that last years Chinese GP would’ve been exciting if there had been a safety car. You can’t just say that a race would’ve been great/dull with all these “if’s” and “but’s”.

        2. That’s not true. There were battles all down the field with the Force India drivers, McLarens, etc. There was hardly a dull moment anywhere on the track.

          The battle for the lead only made it better, but with the tyre strategy the Mercedes cars were on, had we not had the safety car (which as @tophercheese21 said, we did) we would have likely seen what we saw in Spain; that is, Rosberg catching Lewis at the end of the race and them battling for the last few laps.

      2. We had been deprived of close racing for the lead for awhile so Bahrain 2014 was fantastic. But one of the greatest races of all time???

      3. @neelv27 I have to disagree on a couple of points:
        “Magny Cours doesn’t have any significant elevation, yet fans want to see a return.”
        This fan certainly doesn’t, it’s an awful track for F1. I think the only reason people want it back is because it’s in France and they don’t really have an alternative. Hockenheim and Monza were popular because of the blast through the trees and slipstreaming, Monza obviously still has that but Hockenheim is a very dull track now in my opinion, it’s only awarded some sympathy because of what it once was.

        I agree about Shanghai and Korea to an extent, their issue is more the backdrop and lack of atmosphere than the track itself. I didn’t think much of India, although they never had much of a chance to have a good race there. Probably the outlier of the Tilke tracks is Istanbul, since it doesn’t have much scenery and had small crowds but always seemed to be a great track. Pretty ironic that it was about the first one dropped from the calendar.

      4. Sorry, I didn’t mean that only tracks with elevation are good, but it seems so with Tilke designs.
        Losail circuit, which looks like the most likely venue, as in Bahrain is just a track in the desert.,51.454167,4346m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en

        For region a good track, but for any world series to go there only reason is money. They should have went mad when designing track to make it interesting. Like make a copy of old Hockenheim with oil fields in middle of it, that at least would be something interesting.

  3. Qatar has a Dakar champion to sell themselves as the motorsports capital of Middle-East :)

    They managed to “buy” a World Cup, Bernie is easy.

    1. I like how the bahrainis say “the region was not ready for more Formula One”. How do they know what the region wants when they can’t give what their people want?

    2. They’ll do their best to buy an F1 race as well if they want one. Bernie will be getting tips off Blatter in the corruptness department.

  4. ColdFly F1 (@)
    13th January 2015, 9:18

    How can anyone win the title by mid-year when half the points are still up for grabs?

    1. The mind games have begun.

    2. @coldfly I don’t think numbers are Anthony’s strength: he suggests Nico will give 150% extra effort (meaning overall that his effort will be 250% or 2.5 times his 2014 effort) – which suggests Nico really wasn’t trying very hard last year!

      1. I don’t think numbers are Anthony’s strength

        @coldfly @jerseyf1 I think Paul di Resta would agree ;)

    3. the quote talks about last season, and how it could have been won by mid-year (Despite the title saying 2015). Which is even more ridiculous, due to more than half of the points still being available

    4. I think he meant the gap will be so big, the championship will practically be over.

      Bold statement indeed!

      1. exactly this.

    5. Actually, it’s worse than that.

      Assuming he was talking about last year (which he seems to by context), by mid-year there had only been 8 races. Assuming HAM had won all of them, he would have had 200 points, with 300 still available. He would still have needed 4 more wins to be champion even if everyone else had DNFed every race.

      1. @drmouse your maths are a bit off. You don’t need 12 wins in a 20-race season (I’m counting Abu Dhabi as two races since there were double the points) to win the title if everyone else DNF’s.
        I also don’t think he effectively meant middle of the year as opposed to middle of the season – which is more like after either 9 or 10 races (but seeing Abu Dhouble, after 10 races). So that’s 250 possible points.

        Not that it’s not a stupid statement. But if you’re going to take it literally and disprove it that way, you could use the right numbers as well :)

        1. D’oh, brain failure! I looked at the 300 points left and took the difference. Stupid mistake, obviously 2 more races.

    6. If nobody else finishes a race.

    7. Anthony was obviously talking figuratively as with the 150%. He used to run a computing consultancy so there’s not really a platform for a lot of smartasserie about it, taking it literally.

    8. That is just one of the obvious mistakes in thinking displayed in there @ColdflyF1, but I guess we can just summarize it with “IF” is F1 written the other way round.

      If Hamilton had had more bad moments, Rosberg would have won
      If Renault would have had a better engine, Ricciardo might have been able to win the Championship
      If, If, IF. Fact is, over a championship I still have to see any driver not meet any unforseen setbacks, so its really just beating your chest saying you feel good in front of the year.

  5. “You never know, but I think if you look at what Lewis went through last year, we started the year where we felt that if everything had gone well, by mid-year he probably would have won the championship,” he told Sky Sports Online.

    Alrighty then.

  6. I would rather see a race held in New Zealand or a GP return in France, Argentina, Portugal, Sweden and Netherlands than another GP in the Middle East.

    1. Get your $50m. and call Bernie, sorted.

    2. LMAO @ New Zealand

    3. It’s not a case of where the fans would rather see a race, it’s more to do with who has the most dollars and pounds. Personally I like the races in the middle east far more entertaining than the Russian GP.

    4. Out of the Gulf tracks, I think Dubai’s deserves a chance.

    5. I agree with this comment, but I would rather have a GP in Finland rather than Sweden.

    6. NZ doesn’t exactly have a circuit capable of hosting a Formula One round, nor do we have a population that would support it too much.

      We have too much of a… “V8, Holden v Ford culture”

  7. I doubt Vergne would get the Ferrari drive to be honest. Ferrari, in my view, would be more likely to pick a driver who competed in 2015. Alonso maybe? ;)

    On a more realistic note, these are some articles I found which I think are worth mentioning.

    Tilke discusses redesigned Mexico City track (Fox Sports)

    How Do You Grow F1? Contrasting Views On What’s Best for F1 in New Regions (James Allen)

    This one makes very interesting points about comparing how Bahrain and the US are trying to get people to attend and watch F1, and how Bahrain blocks Qatar (as is explained in the Telegraph article).

  8. Thanks for the shout-out in the From the forum section, @keithcollantine.

  9. Evil Homer (@)
    13th January 2015, 13:02

    I really enjoy the “On this day” footage but who would have though the old 70’s early 80’s chicken wire and wood post safety barrier did not work that well !! :)

    I think unfortunately the Hulk miss now miss a top seat that he needed and probably deserved, I think Vettel’s switch caught more of the grid off guard really. He was close to signing but Kimi pipped him to the post last year so maybe Nico may be one of those who had the talent to be a top racer but the starts didn’t a line! If he stars this year he may have one more shot at a top team and I hope he gets there!

    1. @evilhomer Vettel-Hulk would be a great line up.. and in the case that Seb stays off the boil, you could press ahead with Hulk.

  10. No more Middle Eastern races, please. Quite honestly, there should only be 1 race in the Middle East. There should be races in Argentina, France, South Africa, Finland, India and maybe even Hong Kong (replacing the Chinese round)- places that can appreciate motor racing. I’m all for trying out new, untried locations where there is no motor racing culture- but if it doesn’t prove to be popular, then why continue to waste money?

    1. then why continue to waste money?

      Because Bernie gains money. It’s a sad reality, I do agree with you.

      1. It’s more CVC than Bernie- they are raping F1 and have been since they bought the controlling share.

    2. then why continue to waste money?

      Well, because it’s rich people’s money to be wasted.

  11. vergne is undoubtedly eyeing the haas seat in 2016. ferrari has brighter subjects at their disposal.

  12. Vergne doesn’t have it. I don’t think his skill will ever match his ambition. But good for him for not giving up.

    I don’t think that he’ll ever be what Ferrari are looking for. But this stint as a Ferrari test driver could land him a job at Lotus, Sauber, etc…

    Time will tell.

  13. Didn’t realize that this was about Qatar and not Vergne.

    My apologies.

    Who cares about Qatar?

    Thank you.

    1. It’s the round-up. It usually contains more than one topic.

  14. That 1980 argentine GP was one of the best GP’s I’ve ever seen. It was also on a brilliant track that still exists in Buenos Aires.

  15. At least we know where Lewis got his bragging from.

Comments are closed.