Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull RB9 launch, 2013

No fanfare for RB11 as Red Bull race to finish new car

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Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull RB9 launch, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull are running late on the completion of their new 2015 F1 car.

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Horner: RB11 not ready yet (Sky)

"The team have opted not to have a public unveiling of the RB11 prior to Jerez to allow them to maximise production time and, just five days before the first test, their team principal says they are still yet to complete their new challenger."

Kvyat ready to be surprise of the season (Reuters)

"Sure, he's a little bit rough around the edges. He's only done 19 grands prix so far, but his commitment, speed and application are excellent."

Ricciardo wants 2015 'title fight' (BBC)

"The target is to win more races and hopefully get more results in a title fight - a proper one."

Gene Haas updates F1 team’s progress at NASCAR media tour (NBC)

"We have a little under 50 people right now. There’s about 50 in Kannapolis, and roughly the same amount in the UK and same in Italy right now."

Sebastian Vettel almost quit Formula One (The Mirror)

"He went through a period of disillusion with F1, not Red Bull but the direction F1 was going in and was a bit outspoken in his views."

Alain Prost: “I’ll drive Formula E car at next opportunity” (Formula E)

"I’m never tempted to do that normally, but I think as soon as I have the opportunity I would like to do it"

1000 horsepower (MotorSport)

Gerhard Berger: "I was very sad when they banned the turbos – for the rest of my career I missed them."

Ferrari in F1 - Getting the tifosi back on side (Crash)

"As of last summer, the so-called 'sentiment' for Ferrari was 73% positive, 14% neutral and 13% negative. However, while the brand contributed to the reputation of Ferrari with a 100% positive 'sentiment' and 38% of the overall comments, its F1 effort contributed to lowering its negative image, with 41% of negative comments and just 35% of positive feedback."

Ricciardo to take a Top Gear spin (Sky Australia)

"Australian Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo is to take on some of the all-time racing greats - by tackling the star in a reasonably priced car challenge on Top Gear."

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Comment of the day

Is F1 coverage getting too expensive?

I can’t afford Sky in the UK. The subscription is more than double my car insurance. It’s a year’s energy bill.

I’m not happy about that, but I can still see half the races (I don’t bother much with analysis) and I listen for free on Radio 5 Live. I understand that I’ve got it better than a lot of fans had it way back when.

The radio commentary could be better, but the broadcasting in general is sub-par, with interruptions, late starts and early finishing which doesn’t seem to occur for other sports. There is also a Radio 5 Live extra channel, but this is often poorly utilised to give F1 space whilst other sports updates take place elsewhere.

In the UK, it would seem that broadcasters are becoming less interested with F1 and less willing to make time for it. Motorsport in general gets little coverage. F1, GP2, GP3 and WEC championships coming our way got virtually no attention in mainstream sports press, yet the UK is home to so many F1 teams. It seems strange to me that commercially, the sport is losing a grip on the place it should feel most comfortable.
Alex Brown (@Splittimes)

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On this day in F1

Ferrari launched their F10 five years ago today. It was their first car to be driven by Fernando Alonso – and he came very close to winning the championship with it.

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  • 84 comments on “No fanfare for RB11 as Red Bull race to finish new car”

    1. CotD there is perfect.

      It seems so weird to read about the new Red Bull car and not hear about Vettel driving it! It just doesn’t seem quite right to be honest!

      1. Never mind that, this Sunday is the first test and the car is not Ready? I’m a little surprised by this with their budget. No scratch that, I’m quite a bit shocked to be honest. Unless of course they changed their plans following the loophole on tokens. But still …..

      2. Seeing Vettel in red is a hard pill to swallow for sure. Regarding the comment below, Red Bull has always been very close to the clock when completing their car so this really isn’t a surprise. 2015 is gearing up to be a very interesting season, lets hope its close

        1. I’m pleased vettel moved. I am not keen on him and his championships. I think if you gave anyone his drive that year they would have won the championship. Let’s hope he can win a race for another team, let alone another Championship!

          As for Red Bull; Surprised? No. I think the car is ready for testing and they just want to build it up due to everyone releasing their car recently. it’s all psychology.

          1. I think if you gave anyone his drive that year they would have won the championship.

            Not in 2010 or 2012, when there was competition. And in 11/13 there’s winning the championship, and then there’s doing it by the margins we saw.

    2. It will be interesting to see how Ricciardo does on Top Gear against Lewis’s time in the same reasonably priced car. I have a sneaking suspicion that these 2 would be reasonably matched in the same team, like we saw between Alonso and Hamilton who are the class of the field. Every time I re-watch 2014 races I’m tempted to put Ricciardo with those 2. Although not representative in any way, his Top Gear run will provide plenty of fodder to speculate.

      1. @blackmamba Well, to be honest, I don’t think that the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is really reflective of the performance of each driver in an F1 car. For instance, Hamilton isn’t 1.1 seconds faster than Vettel. And neither is Webber 0.9 seconds faster than Vettel, as we have seen countless times.

        1. But what we know is that Hamilton was faster than Vettel in the spec series of Formula 3, so it’s not at all surprising he is faster in the same reasonably priced car @mashiat2

          1. @blackmamba But not 1.1 seconds faster is he? And I doubt Button is also 1.8 seconds slower than Lewis.

            1. @mashiat2 nobody could ever put an exact figure on it but in general terms I would say yes, Hamilton is faster than those 2. But that is not the topic that interests me really. I have said it’s not representative, just interesting to see how Ricciardo would compare in the same car and on the same track on the same show. There is no other time that F1 drivers get to drive the same car on the same track albeit with differing conditions. To me it’s interesting but far from a serious gauge of driver abilities.

            2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
              28th January 2015, 13:10

              I recall Rosberg driving a wonderlap in Q2 of Singapore in only the 1st or 2nd year of the race. Thats when I first became aware of his talent over one lap.
              Does anyone else remember this?

            3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
              28th January 2015, 13:15

              Apologies the above comment belongs further south below Iestyn Davies comment

            4. @fullcoursecaution Yes, in 2009 Rosberg had the fastest lap of the whole qualifying session, leading Q2, before race fuel qualifying in Q3.

        2. @mashiat2 – well said. Also Top Gear is notorious for weather differences and even the on a standard tune a road car like they use may be + or – as much as 15hp depending on air & coolant temp, atmospheric pressure etc and many more variables that the stock computer adjusts for constantly. A race engine is much more consistent than a road car “tune” as it is fine tuned to the conditions each outing, not just constantly making an ‘educated guess’ as the road car ECU will be doing. And that’s just 1 variable.

          I love Top Gear too but hopefully people will just enjoy the entertainment value and not get all serious about the results when its all supposed to be a bit of fun and there are soooooo many variables that would affect a ‘serious’ comparision that its not really correct to do so.

          But (for now) it does seem to please the HAM fans. Funny that, on a U.K show!

          1. Well I did say I know it’s not representative, but you are blowing it out of proportion. This blog is notorious for all kinds of speculation, mind you not by @keithcollantine , but he will be the first to tell you that this is not a UK blog but just based there. However whatever time Ricciardo sets, people will not ignore it. They will speculate. That’s all I’m saying, justifiable or not. It’s in people’s nature to take into account should, would, could as Vettel himself would say. Don’t take it so seriously coz we all know that stats say Vettel is 4 times better than Ricciardo and 2 times better than Hamilton and Alonso. On the other hand all I’m saying is others will not agree and SPECULATE that if you take this and that into account so and so would be this and that. That includes Top Gear. Now is it justified? That’s for interested forumers to SPECULATE. That’s all!

            1. @DR @blackmamba

              That is a fair point, but it is one of the very few places people can get to see various F1 drivers from different teams get to drive what is, at least in theory, an identical car. The fact that Webber was so much quicker than Vettel is very interesting, and may indicate the variables already suggested, or, perhaps, that given a truly ‘instinctive’ driving challene, rather than the counter intuitive feeling in which Seb so excelled, perhaps Mark was simply faster.

              I would like to See Nico Rosberg have a go. Although generally steamrollered by Hamilton in the 2014 races, it was stunning to see how fast he was in qualifying, although I am leaning more and more to the view now that perhaps Lewis was setting his car up for Sunday, rather than going all-out for poles.

            2. @paulguitar +1

              When Lewis claimed he was going to change things after what he felt were a series of disappointing qualifying sessions, he had definitely chosen to set the car up for race day on a Saturday. Excellent point.

            3. @paulguitar and @jessalt I don’t find it difficult at all to think that Rosberg just might be faster than Hamilton over 1 lap. If you watch GP2 you might recall that Hamilton only got 1 pole in 2006 or something just as meagre so it could well be that Rosberg and perhaps someone like Ricciardo are faster on 1 lap pace without trying to find reasons for it.

            4. @blackmamba)

              Yes, is quite interesting. I forgot Lewis had such a low amount of poles in GP2, I just remember all of the classic overtakes and lots of race wins. I always just sort of assumed that Lewis is the out and our fastest driver in F1, as many of the journalists and sport’s insiders do. perhaps it is not the case. As Rails @rjessalt) points out though, last year Lewis said he was going to ‘change his approach’ to race weekends, and after that he won 6 of the next 7 races………..

            5. @blackmamba

              I think the real proof that he is one of the quickest drivers over one lap (if not the quickest) was 2 years ago, when he got pole, if not split both the Red Bulls when Mercedes had an inferior car to them. Rosberg wasn’t doing that, and we were all astonished at Lewis’ pace (or at least I was), and even Vettel couldn’t believe he managed to split them or even get pole! Sure, it did not last very long as he was soon overtaken by the all-mighty 2014 Red Bull, but that seems like some good evidence to me.

            6. @blackmamba

              This blog is notorious for all kinds of speculation, mind you not by @keithcollantine , but he will be the first to tell you that this is not a UK blog but just based there.

              I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything to support the former, and I don’t see what it has to do with the latter.

            7. @blackmamba Hamilton is slightly more consistent than Rosberg, but they can both pull a super lap out of the bag on occasion. Interestingly, Rosberg showed increased consistency last year, while Hamilton seemingly didn’t need to, as he was faster in race pace (or concentrated on setting his car up for that) anyway.

        3. No but it does show Hamilton’s Adaptability, a quality that is not so relevant in the modern era of specialization in specific disciplines of motorsport. But for me, that is one of the true measures of a great driver that we just don’t get to see much of anymore. If you spend ages in a certain type of machine, you’re bound to know all its qualities and how to extract the most from it, but to be able to hop out of a thoroughbred F1 racing machine and into a washing machine on wheels and have a 1 sec. advantage over other veteran racers shows hamilton has exceptional adaptability and pure speed.
          Also very excited to see what Ricciardo can do, should make for an entertaining interview too (I’m trippin balls mate!).

      2. @blackmamba Depends on whether he cuts a corner or not, like Lewis did in the wet. It’s hard to have those times as valid, when the corners are lines on the ground…. in F1 you would get a penalty for that sort of line cutting/gaining advantage :P

    3. I have some cautious optimism for Haas. Something tells me this guy knows what he’s doing yet he’s being too confident. I for sure wouldn’t be surprised to see JEV or GUT in one of their cars next season but for sure they are going to need a strong, young American driver to gain fans and support here in the US. Rossi would be de obvious pick but there are some great guys over at Indycar like Newgarden and Andretti. My money is on GUT to get a drive and JEV to remain as a test driver for Ferrari. Good luck to them!

      1. Alexander Rossi would be great in a Haas.

        Sadly, he isn’t even close to having the necessary number of points to qualify for a superlicence.

        Another example of the problems the FIA has created.

        1. @tdog Rossi already has a superlicense so it doesn’t matter.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            28th January 2015, 2:50

            @beejis60, in 2016 it does!
            He needs the points (or 5 F1 starts this year).

            1. @coldfly He already has his super license. Renewal is not the same as getting a new one.

            2. 5.1.2 The driver must also satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

              a) have made at least 5 starts in races counting for the FIA Formula One World Championship for Drivers the previous year, or at least 15 starts within the previous 3 years.

              b) have previously held the Super Licence and have been the regular test driver with an F1 World Championship team for the previous year.

              Apparently this is part of Appendix L, in the 2011 version. As far as I am aware, these 2 points haven’t been changed with the new rules.

              So Rossi would need to either start 5 Formula One races in 2015, or be the test driver of one of the teams. Failing that, he does need the points.

              Super license renewal is not automatic, you still need to qualify for one when you renew it.

      2. I can say among the American fans I regularly talk with we are thrilled with Haas’ effort and work so far.

        But before the FIA Superlicence rules redux we were all confident an American could be behind the wheel in 2016. Now we have all resigned ourselves to this not occurring. Rather disappointingly, I don’t believe any of the driver’s you mentioned qualify for a drive under the new system.

        1. Rossi has a superlicense already.

          1. I remember seeing an article that Susie Wolff wouldn’t have one next year so I’m not sure Rossi’s would rollover (or that they rollover at all?

            In articles about MS, it was stated he would qualify under extrordinary circumstances. You would think that it wouldn’t be an issue if Superlicenses rolled over.

            It was a question I was interested in so paid attention and never saw anything.

            1. Susie Wolff would qualify on the basis that she is the reserve and test driver for Williams. She does not need to do anything else to acquire points.

      3. @f1freek @tdog I can see a Sutil-Gutierrez-Rossi line up for Haas, which would be ironic given that that is similar to the Sauber line up last year that got called the worst one on the grid. Rossi continuing as a tester would keep him in the super-licence picture, if not, then that’s why he’s targeting Indycar from now on. @coldfly

        However, if the car is slow, then I can’t see JEV wanting to move from Ferrari tester to Haas – I’m sure his eye is on replacing Raikkonen in red/taking it to Vettel, before the next Ferrari juniors get enough experience to make the step up. Surely it’ll be JEV or Hulkenberg to replace Kimi in 2016, unless he gets one more year and they will take Marciello after one year at Sauber (learning from the mistake of keeping Bianchi waiting too long).

        1. On that note, Sutil is experienced, brings a little cash, and has grown with a team from backmarker to midfield runner (Force India).

        2. Good analysis. But bare in mind HUL might be out from Force India (already racing in other categories….) My best bet is that HUL will end up in red not JEV. I can see GUT running in Haas….because of his deep mexican pockets. But Haas knows he will only be able to score with one car (the one GUT is not driving).

      4. You cannot say you are optimistic for Hass and in the same post say you believe GUT will get the drive. It just doesn’t match. GUT is a bad driver. He is bad in a good car (second half of season of the Sauber C32 when HUL was able to keep HAM and ALO away…..) and he is bad in a bad car (Sauber C33). He is mentally weak. Good hands…but mentally weak.

    4. So still no main sponsor for McLaren then by the looks of it…

      1. @petebaldwin But that green background looks suspicious… as if McLaren is planning to add him into a vintage photo, maybe next to Ayrton and Alain.
        They just don’t want (or don’t need) to reveal it yet.

        1. Pretty sure all drivers would be in front of a green screen every year. You know when the FOM do that graphic on the grid with the drivers portrait in grid order, that would all be done from a green screen.
          Also Mclaren didn’t release that graphic. They probably called Vettel in next.

          1. I think it was Mobil 1 for their TV show.

      2. Im actually surprised Movistar didnt become the title sponsor…the Spanish press was pretty certain it was going to be the case.

        For any company, this would be the perfect time to tie up with Mclaren. With Honda coming back in, there is so much attention the team that any sponsor would get loads more publicity than they signed up for. I sense that Mclaren are probably choosy on who they want to partner with.

        Oh well..Fernando look pretty chuffed..if all fails, at least he’ll get a new NSX this year..

    5. Horner subtly putting the boot into Vettel, although confirming what everybody and his dog knew which is every time the double diffuser was taken away or it’s impact reduced, Vettel struggled and threw his toys out the pram threatening to quit. I mean who does that? Very spoilt by Newey if you ask me.

      1. Vettel struggled and threw his toys out the pram threatening to quit. I mean who does that?

        Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007.
        Alain Prost vetoing Senna in 1993.
        I mean, multiple WDCs can pull that one, they have the game on their side.

        1. Don’t remember Alonso or Prost crying when the car design regulations were modified that didn’t exactly suit them. I believe they were far more versatile drivers than Vettel, and bring top notch performances even in sub par machinery… which is more than I can say for Seb

          1. Who does that? Someone who loves driving fast. I think anyone who loves driving can identify with the cars changing for the worse; if the power is less or doesn’t push the same, if the rpm’s are lower and the car feels ‘tame’.

            If you turn off the ABS because you like just a little wheel spin when you take off. If you pull over to wait on the side of the road because a line of slow cars will spoil the great combination of curves on the road ahead. If you love driving, take that feeling times a hundred and you might have an idea who would be sensitive about the state of their race car and the performance of it. I commend Vettel for being publicly honest about the cars.

            We have plenty of publicly professional drivers who are versatile and the car is the tool they have that weekend and they do their best and thank the sponsors. I like to see someone name their cars, pet the car when it does well and then be torn apart when they don’t have a thrilling race.

            1. Great comment. I’ve found Vettel quite hard to warm to due to his attutude (get him out of the way, tough luck, etc…), but I also like that he spoke out about various things he didn’t like. That’s good.

              More drivers should have done that about drs but they were worried about what it may lead to I guess… Vettel simply doesn’t care.

              I guess that goes a little with the attitude he has.

            2. While I agree that Vettel tends to be outspoken, which is a good quality, I am not too sure that I agree with the sentiment that he was right to consider quitting.

              Yes, he loved the previous Red Bulls. They must have been fantastic to drive, glued to the track, pretty much perfect. But the regulations don’t stay still. It is his job to drive the car he is given and, where possible, provide feedback to the team to improve it. Considering quitting F1 entirely because the car isn’t quite what he wants is… Well, I don’t know how to put it. It’s not a mature attitude.

              Had he been in the Merc, I doubt the thought would even have crossed his mind. He may have had issues about aspects of the new regulations, but he would have still been happy to be in a winning car. His problem was not the regulations, or “F1 in general”. He didn’t have a competitive car under him, and he rationalised it to other things (IMHO).

      2. Sebastian Vettel almost quit Formula One

        And I think that’s what he should have done. IndyCar would suit him a lot better than post-2014 F1.

        I don’t know if Vettel will win a championship with Ferrari, but I think Ferrari will be his last F1 team.

        Like Webber said, he got his titles early, and he will retire from Formula One early.

      3. So easy to forget Vettel’s impressive performances on the Toro Rosso, isn’t it? The animosity came from him almost “stealing” Hamilton’s only WDC win in Interlagos on the last lap with an opportunistic overtake.

        1. Lol, where was the animosity for Kubica then? Everybody I heard from 100% accepted Vettel’s right to race for the place. The fact is Seb has just never been popular.

          Some people like him, but for a 4x wdc it’s surprisingly few. It’s his on-screen persona, his radio, the mismatch between the jokey, smiley kid and the arrogant winner, who knows, but it’s nothing to do with Brazil 2008.

          Anyway I’m not sure I believe the quitting story. Horner is unpopular too, and for a reason! In any case Seb is a young man who had a massive adjustment to make and I think he handled it okay. Now let us see. Maybe he’ll be more likeable as he adjusts to being in the midfield.

        2. I don’t think that was the last lap.

    6. It looks as though the McLaren-Honda will be white! Judging from the race suit.

      1. It doesn’t mean anything. Last year the car was silver/chrome with team in white suits. Genuine question, does Honda actually have brand colours?

        1. @blackmamba

          Honda actually have brand colours?

          That’s a good question! My initial thought was red, but the more I think about it the less certain I am.

          1. Technically the Honday brand colours are White and Red, like the Japanese flag, Honda’s first F1 car (in the mid 60’s I think) was white with a single red (large) dot on the side panels. The Honda team was white until the “earth dreams” scheme. That being said, McLarens is supposed to be Yellow, although everyone remembers the MP4/4 in the Red and white Marlboro scheme and thinks that those are the McLaren colours.

            1. @leonpmu McLaren’s colors are actually orange.

            2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
              28th January 2015, 13:06

              I think the Honda racing colours are red and white. The current Honda Yuasa touring car is white and red with no sponsor reason behind it. Similarly the Honda BTCC cars from the late nineties were also red and white (and black). The 1998 car in particular looked fantastic IMO.

              The Honda factory F1 machines were also red and white up until 2006, although i think this was more to do with continuing to advertise Lucky Strike cigarettes for BAT following the tobacco ban, much like Ferrari’s continued Philip Morris inspired design.

              What I would like to see for the new livery, is something similar to the old Marlboro McLaren Hondas, except substitute in the McLaren winning orange/scarlet (remember we used to see the team wearing the bright coloured shirts when they used to win races) for the Marlboro red in the design.

        2. Very much so. White and red.

        3. @blackmamba Actually, I take back my original comment. McLaren have had white suits since 1996. For some odd reason I just thought that it was new.

        4. @blackmamba
          Yes, Honda’s official racing colours are Red, Blue and White.

          Most of their sports bikes will have a special edition “wearing” those colours.

          1. the white, blue red of Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) is actually their two-wheeler division

    7. Same overalls as last year, but with Hugo Boss and Santander removed. Weird, as I thought they still had a deal with Santander.

    8. Gene Haas has learned Formula 1 math: Says they have total (50) employees and then indicates there 50 in Kanapolis, same in UK and same in Italy. Only in F1 does 50+50+50 = 50.

      1. LOL, I thought that

      2. I thought exactly the same.
        But then we may be missing the point.
        It could be the same 50 people and they just fly around a lot in true F1 cost saving style?
        :D

    9. Some1 should tell haas that one of the reasons for ferrari’s poor form is its lack of aero and more specially it’s wind tunnel. how can haas design the car in the US using a wind tunnel in Italy anyway???

      1. I remember reading that he had a wind tunnel purpose built for his F1 campaign in the US.

    10. Great article by Nigel Roebuck, loved it!

      This is what I want to see in F1. Cars that are hard to drive with an un-Godly amount of power. It has to test the drivers physically and mentally…I dont think this happens today. I guess the closest we’ve got in recent times was the V10 era.

      1. I guess the closest we’ve got in recent times was the V10 era.

        And the racing was always terrible.

        I’d much rather the F1 we had in 2014 with good racing & a competitive championship rather than more downforce, more power & a formula where racing is impossible.

    11. “The team have opted not to have a public unveiling of the RB11 prior to Jerez to allow them to maximise production time and, just five days before the first test, their team principal says they are still yet to complete their new challenger.”

      Just-in-time production, that’s quite a challenge to pull it off with hundreds of days preparing and not leaving any margin for error. If even one of their suppliers delivers something late, it will delay production and they will not make it to the test. Risky, but it’s the sort of thing you would expect from a top F1 team, I like it.

      1. Or rather, just in overtime production. Today I saw the first rumours that they are in fact still trying to get past the crash tests on Twitter @andae23

          1. thats a willimas from a past season

            1. Nope, from the years before that, when we still had step noses. I know, but the picture is just there as an illustration for a crashtest.

        1. @bascb Aw man, that would suck :(

    12. Happy birthday to Hoshi, Kingshark and Kingshark!

      So now I am aging twice as fast as the rest of the world. :P

      1. Kinghark… so good they named him twice! Happy birthday.

      2. I hope you got twice as many presents :-)

      3. Well, both of you enjoy your birthday @kingshark :-D

    13. Red Bull is playing, as always. With such amount of resources late delivery will never be a problem. They will produce the second best car again this year, I guess.

    14. I can’t say I’m hopeful for Haas. Basic arithmetic will come in handy and I don’t think they’re ready yet.

      “We have a little under 50 people right now. There’s about 50 in Kannapolis, and roughly the same amount in the UK and same in Italy right now.”

      Is that not a little under 150?

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