Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Hamilton wants closer fight with Mercedes’ rivals

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton hopes to be racing against drivers other than his team mate this year.


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

Champion Hamilton seeks greater dominance (Reuters)

"The more people the merrier... if the cars are close you can have real races where you’re overtaking and battling and that’s what I love doing."

Horner: Cap engine costs or risk further F1 team departures (City AM)

"Obviously the power unit is a big cost-driver so that’s an element that needs looking at with quite a bit of urgency."

Investor: Manor worth saving (Autosport)

"Having made it through the hard five years, to get to the point of ninth in the championship, two years in the top 10, to reach the first rung of financial stability and due to receive fund money, to have run out of steam right at the last hurdle... it seemed like too good story to let end there."

Carlos Sainz Jr - Interview (Crash)

"I think our package feels really nice to drive. It's good on tyres (on long runs). That's why I really hope we can be ahead of Sauber and Lotus, this is obviously the main target."

Alonso will win title at McLaren - Berger (BBC)

"He should have more championships because he is a big champion. The way that he drives, the killing instinct that he has, he's capable of winning more than two championships."



Comment of the day

Manor’s impending return has lifted a little of the gloom that’s surrounded F1 recently:

Sounds like these new investors certainly know what they are doing. I am curious to see who fills the second seat. This is finally some good news about F1, the first in a very, very long time, but there’s still a lot of serious problems with F1, and that will overshadow the start of the season for me personally.

I’m just glad that we will see 20 cars in the field, watching 18 F1 cars was somewhat embarrassing and disappointing, even if it was ‘only’ Caterham and Marussia that were missing. It’s still six off the 26 which we should be having in F1 though.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Idr, Jarred Walmsley, Tommyb, Jake and James!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

On this day 20 years ago Jacques Villeneuve got his IndyCar championship bid off to the best possible start by winning at Miami. The future F1 world champion was followed home by three drivers who had raced in F1 before: Mauricio Gugelmin, Bobby Rahal and Christian Fittipaldi.

Here’s a look at the field at the start of the race headed by another ex-F1 driver, Michael Andretti:

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  • 93 comments on “Hamilton wants closer fight with Mercedes’ rivals”

    1. With Mehri signing for Pons (which is a travesty) and Frijns once again having no F1 chance ( http://www.gpupdate.net/nl/f1-nieuws/321852/manager-geen-formule-1-rol-voor-frijns-in-2015/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter ) I’m pretty worried about who’s going to get this drive…

      1. Having just counted up what was in my penny jar, I can now confirm that it isn’t me.

      2. There are some rumors of Stoffel Vandoorne in exchange for McLaren helping them out.

        1. That would be amazing.

        2. But I bet it will be van der Garde…

        3. Isn’t he already signed with ART for another year in GP2?

          It would be great to see Vandoorne in F1 though, he’s my favourite junior series driver at the moment and I’ve been looking forward to seeing him in F1 at some point.

      3. I dunno @jmc200 I would love to see Frijns get that drive. The article is two weeks old. I’m sure he and his manager are lobbying hard for that drive. Whoever it is I hope they’re a real racer like Jules is.

        1. I think if manor can secure vandoorne or palmer it will be nice . But i have to say that the best shot manor had is recruit van der garde though . Yes he had a lack of running last year but he still got a potential because manor will use ferrari pu but lets hope the best for manor to fill up their seat

          1. Marchello?

          2. Palmer has already spent this years cash on buying the third driver role at Lotus though, you can count him out.

            VdGarde had a lot of money lined up for the Sauber deal that was supposed to happen this year (next to Bianchi with Ferrari support) and I can imagine Ferrari giving their 3rd driver some seat time. Both Vandoorne and Marciello are already signed to do GP2 (and Marciello is 3rd driver for Sauber already), I don’t think they (or Ferrari and/or McLaren) will suddenly change that.

            Before Magnussen was drawn in to drive the McLaren as replacement for Alonso in the first race, I think he might have been a strong candidate, not sure now.

            1. If McLaren want to use Manor as a junior team, it’s possible they could put Vandoorne in for Australia then run Magnussen when Alonso returns.

              Van der Garde is in the process of badgering Sauber for a seat (or a large pay-off). He would have the money and experience that would make him attractive to Manor.

        2. It would be somewhat ironic if Frijns was effectively Bianchi’s replacement given their acrimonious rivalry in WSR and the way that championship was decided. Stories like that are the stuff sport is made of.

      4. they might hurry to sign Mick Schumacher now, before the new Super License system kicks in! No one else thinks that he may bring a lot of sponsors? :D

      5. What I find really disgusting about F1 right now, is that the teams get rubbish drivers with no talent like Pastor Crashdonado or Marcus Ericsslow, just because of their money, where there are many talented drivers without a seat just because they are a bit short of cash!

        1. You need cash to have a car in place. Only then ‘talented drivers’ can drive the car.

          Talent now a days is not only how fast they can drive but how much they can bring as well.

        2. Difficult to freeze paydrivers out though, particularly given Maldonado is a GP2 champion.

        3. Maybe we should have it your way, with no pay drivers, a have F1 with only Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mclaren and Toro Rosso.

      6. I want to see Frijns in action again, no matter where he drives

    2. René Arnoux: “Alonso felt ill before his accident”. “”The wind was an alibi, the hardest thing for Alonso is coming”.
      In spanish.

      1. Did Alonso tell him that?

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th March 2015, 3:46

        Come on @jorge-lardone – your are trying to fool all of us, and hope we do no speak Spanish (or know how to use Google Translate)

        Arnoux is quoted as: “creo que el piloto debió sentirse mal mientas conducía”
        Which in English translates as “I think that the pilot must have felt ill whilst driving”

        FYI @hunocsi

        1. René Arnoux: “Alonso se sintió mal antes de su accidente” That is the head of the notice, in spanish. It means in english: “Alonso felt ill before his accident”.
          I write what is in the newspaper.

          1. @jorge-lardone, this is the Head Title, that are not true in most occasions when talking about Sport press in Spain.

            What really told Rene Arnoux is what @coldfly has write above. “I think that the pilot must have felt bad while driving and wind is just an excuse.” You can find that in the text of the article.

            It’s just an opinion, not fact.

            1. Thanks for setting things straigth there @idr, it really just looks like tabloid style asking some questions and making up a story from there.

              Happy Birthday by the way, off course to all the others who have theirs today as well!

            2. ColdFly F1 (@)
              5th March 2015, 9:37

              Happy Birthday @idr, or can I say feliz cumpleaños.

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            5th March 2015, 9:34

            @jorge-lardone, thanks for clarifying. It just shows that you cannot blindly trust a title, and should first read the article.
            It also shows that the journalist did not even talk to Arnoux, but merely quoted (actually interpreted) from an article in Speedweek. That article is better than the AS ‘copy’ and adds “René Arnoux war nicht bei den Testfahrten dabei, dass er Insider-Informationen aus McLaren-Kreisen hat, bezweifeln wir.”
            Thus stating that Arnoux was not present at the test, and the journalist doubts that he has insider information at McLaren.

    3. OMG – that letter from Bernie to Caterham

      1. Typical Bernie!

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th March 2015, 3:27

        @fletchuk, @stigsemperfi – it has been taken off Twitter; I cannot find it anymore.

        The content was hilarious:
        IIRC – Bernie (he signed the letter) telling the teams that they should only give pit-passes to celebrities, dignitaries, and hot chicks (he used slightly different words).

        1. FOM probably politely told the guy that unless he takes it down he can forget coming anywhere near an F1 paddock in the future.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            5th March 2015, 9:38

            @bascb, so I can probably forget my VIP invite for next week :-(

            1. spot on!

      3. @fletchuk IT’S GONE!

    4. There’s an interesting Q&A with Ricciardo on GPUpdate (in Dutch) that I think is worth a read:

      One of the questions raises a good point. Vergne had a similar record relative to Ricciardo as Vettel did. He was a bit slower in qualifying relative to Vettel, but interestingly he actually had a better race and points record versus Ricciardo than Vettel did.

      Either Vergne is very underrated, or Vettel simply had a very bad year by his standards. Probably a bit of both.

      1. I feel that Vergne would have done a better job than Vettel if he had an RB10 at his disposal in 2014, which is quite amazing when you think about it; because at the end of 2013, Vettel was considered the benchmark of F1 while Vergne was labelled as one of the worst drivers on the grid. Amazing how one year can change our perception of drivers.

        As for Vettel vs. Vergne, Vettel would beat Vergne in qualifying on most occasions, but I feel that Vergne’s racecraft and wheel-to-wheel racing ability is easily on par with Vettel’s.

      2. are any real F1 fans doubting vettel had the worst season of his career? emotions should have calmed down from 2014, i think it’s quite reasonable to assume that vettel 2014 was not driving anywhere close to the calibre he is possible. Everyone is due for an off year, especially after 4wdc’s in a row. DR stepped into a rocketship compared to his STR, vettel was downgraded from the RB9 to RB10, no matter how you cut it.

        for people who MUST say that every driver is at 100% all the time (which is impossible because you know, humans) then you fairly have to say that if vettel out performs kimi by for instance, double what alonso outperformed kimi, then vettel is 2x the driver alonso is. We all know that wouldnt be true (or would it?), but some people pick and choose when to compare teammates and how that cross references to past seasons or other drivers based upon their bias.

        1. We can’t say Vettel had his worst season yet. He can do worst.

          As for Vergne, wheel to wheel racing hability? On at least two separate occasions last year he did a “Takuma Sato” manouver to overtake that only give him penalties.

          A good driver that deserved a seat. But not much more than that as with Toro Rosso is always Red Bull or burst.

          1. That’s exactly why we can say he had his worse yet, as in he hasn’t yet done worse. It’s literally what the word yet is for.

        2. I did raise the point that Vettel likely had a much worse season than normal, and I do believe that this was certainly among his worst seasons (if not the worst).

          To prove that drivers are prone to significant changes in form and/or “off”-years, I like to consider the Damon Hill, Jaques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen triangle.
          Hill beat Villeneuve, Villeneuve beat Frentzen and Frentzen beat Hill, demonstrating the dangers of comparing any driver to just a single teammate.

          1. @polo
            I liked your love triangle explanation !

          2. Lets not forget Webber vs Rosberg. Vettel wiped the floor with Webber (on average over 4 years) and Webber handily dismissed Rosberg (a rookie but still, it was webber), and Hamilton took until the last race to beat rosberg, you see where this goes? I know none of these comparisons show the full picture. BUT That is the point, even direct comparisons don’t show the full picture.

        3. Everyone seems to also forget that Vettel had appalling reliability! Not necessarily on Race day, but on many weekends he had something that negatively effected his qualifying/race. But we all know that as Riccardo beat him over a season that Piccardo must be better, Just like Jenson is better than Lewis! ;)

          1. Please, everyone knows when Lewis has bad luck its the team sabotaging him and that none of those results count against his record, when vettel has bad luck, its well, tough luck. Lewis fans are allowed to only count seasons and results that make him look better and vettel must have every incident counted against him (but you can never include vettels 4 WDC when comparing him to lewis). People were screaming internal sabotage against Lewis last year but nobody even considered for 1 second that Red Bull (who have a long history of burning their bridges with athletes in all sports) would have known Vettel was on his way out the door and did everything they could to MARKET (you know, red bulls main business) their new young smiling pilot. NO WAY, thats far too much of a conspiracy now isnt it? Also, Kimi would have known way before most of Alonsos intentions and could have gave Vettel a heads up, i suspect vettel was trying red shoes on before the european races last year. But again, mercedes intentionally sabotaging lewis, totally plausible in the eyes of lewis fans, Red Bull burning bridges with their driver on his way out the door, impossible.

            1. Stereotype much?

      3. Other ‘fun facts’ in the article:

        He would love a 30-race calendar in F1 with Macau, Brands Hatch en Bathurst added.
        He would like the engines to make more noise and increase the cornering speed in F1.
        He follows NASCAR and would love to try out a stock car.
        His dream team: Ayrton Senna and James Hunt (but he’s admires Mario Andretti too)

    5. How clever that Horner complains about ENGINE costs, the Achilles heel of every Red Bull racing car. Sure, those costs are huge, but he’d hardly complain if he had a Mercedes engine.

      Given his remarks to return to the V8s or bi-turbos without ERS, I don’t believe his reasons this time either.

      1. To be honest, Horner is starting to sound really desperate. I mean, it was fine when he criticizing the new engines early 2014, but he’s been whining non-stop about the same thing for 12 months now. I think that Red Bull no longer being the #1 team in the sport, along with some big names (Newey, Prodomou, Vettel) leaving the team is a difficult pill for him to swallow.

        1. @kingshark
          Can you really blame him for having a hard time swallowing that pill? Over the past 4 years, 5 years really, Red Bull set a very high standard for themselves and now they are at the mercy of Renault and have had several key personnel leave the team for greener pastures.
          However, with that said, Red Bull should just build their own engine. They have the money to do it. I would respect them a lot more if they did.

          1. Hang on @irejag, “at the mercy of Renault”, that simply isn’t the case. Red Bull are Renault’s “factory” team. If they have no idea how to make that relationship work that is their problem. Red Bull weren’t complaining when Renault mastered the engine mapping that made their blown diffuser aero concept from 2011 to 2013 so dominant. As each day passes they sound more and more bitter that their dominant period has come to an end.

            1. @geemac Perhaps you are right, but I find it hard to believe that any of us would not be acting the same way. Their “dominance” ended because of major rule changes, and Mercedes dominance is much greater than Red Bull’s ever was. I am not saying that Red Bull’s behavior is acceptable, but I can also see why they would be annoyed. I would be too if I was in their shoes. But like I said, they could just make their own engine/power unit…

            2. are you saying that when merc’s period ends they wont behave like children as well? Actually can you point out a team that dominated 4+ years that didnt act this way? it’s called politics i believe, might be wrong though. anyways, mercedes has been a works team for a while and nobody restricted them from changing their engine maps and aero kit to be more dominate than red bull. the same couldnt be said last year however could? denying this simple fact when comparing era’s is quite unbelievable of true fans.

            3. @layercake Williams in the late 90’s for one. The simple fact is that Mercedes outfoxed the whole field, and instead of politicking Red Bull and Renault should be using their collective brain power to try catch up.

              Part of the reason I dislike the “these engines are too expensive and complicated so let’s change them” argument is because of we do change them, guess what, all the teams will incur major expenses again. They also ignore the fact that the cost of the frozen V8’s was kept artificially low by the manufacturers. The other thing that annoys me is that the real root of the politicking is trying to change the rules to wrong foot Mercedes to prevent them becoming eligible for the Constructors Champion Bonus from FOM. Which they will if they win 3 titles.

            4. you get me all wrong, I want the power units more complex and I love the politics of F1. But dont act like mercedes havent threatened to quit in the last 3 years if they didnt get their way. Also you know, secret tests and all that. Everyone cheats/politics/complains as much as the next guy at the top, that is called business as usual. What i do take offense to is someone complaining that so and so team (red bull for instance) is doing so and so complaining/politicking/threatening to leave, because THEY ALL DO IT.

              also i want F1 to be more expensive and so does CH, so if anyone complains about his engines are too expensive bit, well CH is having one over on you. Regarding the bonus from FOM, I think you’d gladly find out that while a nominal amount of money, keeping merc in F1 has more value then that sum.

      2. As Renault have pointed out, the first year of a new engine formula will always be the most expensive and engine costs will drop over time, so they are naturally going to get cheaper anyway.

        I disagree with Horner’s proposal to change the engine formula or go back to V8s: changing the engine formula to a new engine will just increase costs rather than decreasing them, as engine prices are largely dictated by development costs, so switching to a new engine formula will just create more development costs and thus more costs for the teams to front.

        The biggest investment into the V6 turbos has already been spent, so it will be cheaper just to stick with the current formula as prices will continue to decrease. Even if we could somehow switch to some kind of super-cheap engine, I bet the manufacturers would still charge high prices for them as they attempt to recuperate some of their previous investment into the V6 turbos, so we may as well just stick with them.

        Even a switch back to the previous V8s wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper, as the V8 prices were kept artificially low by Max Mosely’s cost-cutting drive, where he negotiated with the engine manufacturers that they would be able to increase their grid presence (no. of teams supplied) and impose driver development programs on customer teams, with the requirement that they charged less for their engines (which resulted in engine costs being cut by as much as 50%). So it was mainly because of Max Mosely’s policies that the V8 prices were particularly low, rather than the engine itself being very cheap.

        Back in 2011, Mario Illien (the engine guru currently helping Renault improve their PU) said in reference to new ‘green’ rules: “Obviously, when you make a change, it costs a lot more money than if you remain with what we had,” he said. “Initially you will have to make a big investment. But in the longer term, if the stability of the rules is maintained, I think you will have a cost saving.”
        Of course, this was back when the new engine formula was planned to be a four-cylinder engine introduced for 2013 – rather than the eventual six-cylinder engines – but I still think it’s very significant.

        1. For anyone here who has an Autosport subscription, there was a very intriguing article published on Autosport at the end of last year regarding the current engine situation, prices of alternative engine formulas, and suspected motives behind the desire to change to a new engine formula. If you have a subscription I’d definitely recommend reading it: http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/6318/engine-formulas-and-hidden-agendas/

      3. Funniest thing is : Mercedes’s PU is WAY cheaper than Renault’s.
        They should buy one Force India or Lotus and get their engines, like Briatore did 20 years ago. To get….Renault engines from Ligier.

        1. just curious, where have the comparative costs + lubricants/fuel been posted? source?

      4. RED BULL doesnt pay for engines.

      5. @fer-no65 I agree with you that he would likely complain a lot less if he had the Mercedes engine, in part because they actually offer the cheapest package of the manufacturers supplying customer teams. If I recall correctly its Renault that has/had the highest prices.

        1. Source? Also, what do red bull pay for their engines? you know it’s pretty much ZERO right?

          1. Sorry, but i am do not have the time right now to look those up, but it was in various reputable sources during the winter Layercake.

            As for what RBR pays, its a bit like asking how much Mercedes works team pays. They do have the cost listed, but its completely covered by income from their partners (Infinity pays for the RBR units and Mercedes Benz for their works teams engines). But if they were cheaper, it would still mean there would be more money left for other things.
            And off course Red Bull as such also pays the engines for the STR team.

            1. I think understand, Mercedes supplies 3 teams, Renault supplies 2 and has no works team (since as you pointed out red bull still pays for their engines via their sponsorship – even though said sponsor is a subsidiary of renault), PLUS mercedes has a works team (so 4 teams with merc engines), now let me do my maths……. zero zero zero plus something something something. Ok got it, red bull still doesnt pay for red bull engines, renault takes a hit on the price due to in house branding, that leaves 1 team paying for renault engines. Now the economics 101 part of me tells me I think I know why merc engines cost less but I might be wrong. Eitherway, red bull doesnt pay for it’s engines, CH doesnt run STR. Also, as we are fans of winter commentary, last year it was rumored merc had 2-3X as many employees working on the power unit as renault did. that should mean 2-3X the cost given that they were fielding equally qualified engineers, so you mean to tell me that merc is selling a cheaper engines while spending 2-3X (basically) more and it has nothing to do with the ratio of customer teams? We also have ZERO insight into how much merc is writing off on costs. After all, like red bull, F1 is purely a marketing exercise for mercedes. Somehow Red Bull is allowed to write off 2 teams but Merc cannot write off a few engines?

            2. That is not true. Red Bull IS the works team (afterall Infinity is just another branch of the Renault-Nissan companies).

              And Renault had 3 teams they supplied when they came up with their pricing (exactly like Ferrari had/have). Its just about board desicions on how big a part of the money they want to get back from the teams racing their engines.

              Mercedes decided to take on a larger chunk for the manufacturer (or maybe they just won’t be lowering the price anytime soon) while Renault raised the prices the most of the manufacturers and Ferrari is somewhere in between (but the race team also has engine cost as part of their budget there, only they pay it internally).

              And while you say that CH doesn’t run STR, he has been the one doing the talking on behalve of all of the Red Bull F1 effort (which includes the RBR team, the STR team and the Red Bull technology that supplies to both teams).

            3. Red Bull is NOT Renault/nissan/infiniti. Mercedes IS Mercedes. Do you see the difference? Red Bull maybe the defacto works team but they do not incur engine costs. Mercedes is a works team and do have engine costs, internal as you pointed out. I cannot explain it any simpler. Red Bull doesnt pay for engines – actually they probably get PAID by renault for helping them finish and improve software.

    6. I don’t have a problem with Bernie wanting people of “note” in the paddock to keep the “glamour” of the sport, but his attitude just goes to show how little he actually respects real fans.

    7. I agree with Horner for once. Cap engine costs. Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault all have involvement in F1 for their brand. Mercedes built their engine to win the championship, not to sell to customers. Every time a car is on the podium, it gives that manufacturer exposure.

      I even remember Vettel in 2013 making a comment about all 3 cars on the podium being Renault powered.

      The manufacturers wanted these engines to be road relevant, they want their name attributed to the teams success, cap the cost and have a limit on how many teams they can supply to.

      The development cost of an engine shouldn’t be passed on to the customer teams, it should be cost of materials, cost of manufacturing, cost of logistics. The development cost should be swallowed by the works team.

      1. Your reasoning doesn’t make sense.

        1. Your counter argument doesn’t make any point.

          1. “I agree with Horner for once. Cap engine costs. Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault all have involvement in F1 for their brand. Mercedes built their engine to win the championship, not to sell to customers. Every time a car is on the podium, it gives that manufacturer exposure.”

            Why don’t Mercedes build cars for customers, surely if the customer wins or is on the podium there is more placement of the Mercedes name.

            “I even remember Vettel in 2013 making a comment about all 3 cars on the podium being Renault powered.”

            So it was ok for Renault to have their engines in all cars on the podium. So why not Mercedes or Ferrari?

            “The manufacturers wanted these engines to be road relevant, they want their name attributed to the teams success, cap the cost and have a limit on how many teams they can supply to.”

            With RBR’s engine supplier in the Vangard. So how can you expect Renault to cap their costs when they are so far behind?

            Surely they need to spend as much money as is needed to catch up, because Horner will not be pleased until his team does.

            There is a limit, each engine manufactturer can only supply 4 teams in total.

            “The development cost of an engine shouldn’t be passed on to the customer teams, it should be cost of materials, cost of manufacturing, cost of logistics. The development cost should be swallowed by the works team.”

            So how do you classify RBR, are they the Renault factory team or a customer?
            I cannot see Renault agreeing to shoulder all of the engine costs, while the other makers have works teams. Or is Horner going to cough up the funds to bring the Renault engine up to scratch? Which they market as Infiniti, not Renault, confusing to those that don’t follow F1 closely.

    8. Hamilton was remembering Shanghai 2007 or Fuji 2008 wheel-to-wheel racing..

    9. As far as I believe, no driver would want multiple drivers for a world title fight. It’s more the merrier only when you come out on top otherwise it’s simply a bitter pill to swallow.

      Lewis forgets that when more than 2 drivers have fought for the title (2007 & 2010), he has been at the receiving end.

      So I really doubt he truly means it.

      1. Of course he doesnt mean it. but it sounds good right?

      2. Well, I am sure he would like the idea of coming out on top of a 4 way fight.

        But in reality he is probably going to be happy if he finds he “just” has to face Rosberg again this year with the title all but certain for one of theirs for the taking

      3. I thought about this. More cars fighting for second behind him would give him a more comfortable points lead. I’m sure he’d be happy with that.

      4. And you’re forgetting that he has said this many times before, long before joining Mercedes.

      5. He OBVIOUSLY don’t want a close title fight with other teams.

        But he believes, and have every reason to do so, that if the other guys are closer, Rosberg is likely to have more trouble than him, as his racecraft is not as strong and he doesn’t win with the same ease that Hamilton does.

        Being that much ahead of the field is what gave Rosberg a chance to fight until the end last year, like in Russia where he clearly screwed up and still managed to finish 2nd.

        1. Exactly this.

      6. Hamilton has also said that, when he was growing up, he found it more exciting when two teams were battling each other. He also said that his 2008 title battle was more enjoyable because he got more satisfaction from fighting another team as well as his teammate.

        Maybe there is an element of wanting to have other cars getting in between him and Rosberg, but I think some of you are being too cynical. I actually think he is being genuine when he says he prefers a closer battle – I remember him saying something similar to this in a press conference last year, and he’s also said similar things in the past, back before he had a dominant car. Hamilton is generally one of the few drivers you can trust to say what he’s thinking and be outspoken with his opinions (even if it means he says something a bit stupid or controversial every now and then).

        1. everyone loves a good battle, especially the drivers. Webber Vs Alonso at spa comes to mind. Alonso vs Vettel last year as well.

          But Hamilton has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth and he should be careful what he asks for.

          1. I would put the battle between Ricciardo Vs Alonso in there from last year.
            Yeah Hamilton does tell it like it is but its going to between Rosberg and himself anyway and he knows it. no team are going to catch Mercedes this year, again.

    10. One for tomorrow’s round-up: Giedo van der Garde bringing a lawsuit against Sauber demanding he be allowed to race in the Australian Grand Prix:


      Van der Garde has previous in the field of racing contract disputes – he signed for Spyker in 2007 despite Super Aguri claiming to already have a deal with him.

      1. And he then won a lawsuit from FI later for not having been given the testing km he had agreed with the team if I rememer right @keithcollantine

        Guess the guy has some good lawyers! But Sauber have a lawyer as team boss too (despite that from the article its clear that Sauber already lost the case brought by VdGarde in Swiss courts and this one in Australia is “just” to get Australian courts to enforce the Swiss court order instructing Sauber to have him drive)

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th March 2015, 10:37

        Maybe the judge will agree with him, but the majority of his countrymen seem to disagree and believe he does not belong in F1 (see poll linked to this article) @keithcollantine

    11. Mr. Horner, How about you capping Red Bull Renault’s annual budget!

      1. personally, I hope he doubles it and gains a 3rd team as well.

    12. Hi @keithcollantine another one for tomorrow. A (respectable) Spanish newspaper says that Alonso lost memory after the concussion, thus the lack of news. It make sense to keep him away of the press whislt recovering.

      Apparently, when the marshals asked about his name he said: “I’m Fernando, I race karts and want to be a Formula 1 driver”. All normal (for a concussion) but obviously quite scary.

      Another Spanish sports’ tabloid tells a short story about Adrian Campos, former Minardi driver in the 80’s. Apparently he hit a wall hard in Monaco, and although he was trying to walk back to the paddock, a guy ask him his name and where he was, and Adrian said something like “I’m in Madrid, this the Metropolis building, and I’m Nelson Piquet”!

      1. I was knocked off my bike on the way to work a few years ago, some guy woke me up while I was in the middle of the road. I phoned my boss to tell him I’d had an accident & would be late getting in. I refused to wait for an ambulance and rode to work (not sure how as my bike was quite badly damaged).
        When I got there everyone was worried and asking if I was ok but I had no idea what they were worried about till I looked at my helmet and noticed it was almost flat where I’d hit the floor.
        Luckily my colleagues made me go to hospital to get checked out. I don’t remember any of it but apparently I was telling the doctors that I was 16, giving them random names (including girls names) each time they asked and that I was from New York (I was in my late 20’s at the time and come from Liverpool).
        It took me several days to get back to normal but before I did I’d called the Police to come and help me as there were strangers in my house (it was actually my parents, I just didn’t recognise them), and kept asking why my pet Tiger had gone away.
        The mind is a very strange thing and it doesn’t take much to make it play tricks on you, if I were running McLaren I wouldn’t let any journalist near Alonso till the doctors said he was back to normal. There’s no point stressing him out or having him say silly things and all of the real F1 fans will understand and want what’s best for him.

    13. Love seeing the CART footage from 95, back when it was so much better a series than it became after that. Still such a shame Tony George broke the series apart. Never been the same since.

    14. I open the most popular news site here, and read that Alonso has forgotten the last 20 years of his life and he thought that he is an 14 year old carter aspiring to be an F1 pilot. No further comment needed.


      1. So Mclaren now have a rookie driver that is even younger than Max Verstappen :).

    15. Hamilton has a big chance for the VB in this year as well.

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