Start, Hockenheimring, 2014

Hockenheimring abandons German GP rescue attempt

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Start, Hockenheimring, 2014In the round-up: There will be no German Grand Prix this year after talks to move the race to the Hockenheimring failed, leaving just 19 races on the 2015 F1 calendar.

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Kein Deutschland-GP in diesem Jahr (Bild - German)

Hockenheimring chief Georg Seiler says the circuit will not step in to take over the running of the German Grand Prix which was supposed to take place at the Nurburgring this year.

Hamilton: I'd beat any driver in the same car (The Telegraph)

"Back then he had no-one behind pushing him. At least I've got my team-mate, who I was really racing. I don't remember that ever being the case (with Red Bull)."

Van der Garde case set to be settled with €15m Sauber payout (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"It’s understood that the figure involved is €15m (£10.8m), a substantial sum given the obvious financial predicament of the team."

Manor F1 team confident of 'business as usual' Malaysian GP (Autosport)

"Obviously, we ran out of time in Australia but the confidence levels are pretty high that things should be a lot more normal by the time we get to Kuala Lumpur."

Off-track distractions (MotorSport Magazine)

"Twenty days before free practice, Marussia’s assets were still up for sale. Crucial car-running information had been wiped from hard drives and parts of the car packed away ready for a sort of high-end Bargain Hunt."

Mercedes dominance is good for F1, says Smedley (Crash)

"It's good for the sport because it shows how hard everyone is pushing and it shows that they are pushing really, really hard. It should be about levels of technical excellence and levels of operational excellence and that's what they've attained at the moment."

New Ferrari power unit a ‘big step’ – Massa (F1i)

"Just look at some parts of the lap times, just look at the speed. At the end of last year, we were maybe 10, 12, 15kph quicker than Ferrari. Now they are similar, maybe even a little better than us."

What will Ron Dennis think about? (Minardi)

"I’d like to know what will happen in the next few days and, above all, what Ron Dennis will say; he has always been very critical in the past with small teams that were racing to 2-3″ from the pole. According to him, they were not worthy to occupy the starting grid!"

Red Bull and Christian Horner didn't complain when Sebastian Vettel dominated (The Independent)

"Every time somebody dominates, everyone else whinges; Horner forgets it was the same when Vettel trounced everyone for four years in a row – winning nine races on the bounce in 2013 – in the days when you never heard Horner suggest that Red Bull’s continuing success was bad for the sport."

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Comment of the day

The phrase ‘sour grapes’ came up a few times yesterday in response to Red Bull’s threat to quit F1 and demand for a rules change to equalise performance between the cars. Here’s another view:

You can see the difference between a ‘race team’ and a ‘marketing team’.

The first wants to battle all the time even when they are last, because they want to show everyone that they have the passion and capacity to become better and beat the best team out there now. The last just want to be in the sport and are only happy when they are winning and making money.

So yeah, I can’t agree anything with Red Bull because they don’t represent the true spirit of this sport. And if Ecclestone decides to back up Red Bull on this equalisation madness, F1 loses even more of what it really means.
Key (@Key75)

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  • 146 comments on “Hockenheimring abandons German GP rescue attempt”

    1. No French GP, and no German GP now. Next thing you know there will be no British GP while F1 races in a bunch of airports in the middle of the desert. I understand the Hockenheimring’s administrators’ decision, but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.

      1. This is pretty much the next COTD for me… Sadly, I must say, with absolutely no offense to the OP, but a lot to the sad state of play in F1…

      2. F1 races in a bunch of airports

        I actually wouldn’t mind if F1 ran at a proper airport circuit, The Indycar/Champcar races at the Cleveland airport circuit were nearly always fantastic.

        The 1995 race is one of the most enjoyable races I’ve ever seen:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KeTrZHytRc

        Wish Indycar would go back there (And Road America).

        1. Couldn’t agree more. I had that ’95 race on a few weeks ago while I was redecorating. Downed tools to watch the last few laps! Epic stuff.

      3. @reiter True, but Britain is locked in for the long run at Silverstone, with massive attendance despite high fees. French GP has been distilled to Monaco, a free race for the European rich (makes me think FIA, those probably evading taxes! on the doorstep). Spa is now the race for the European poor/northern Germany/Benelux/Paris.

        Southern Germany has Austria, while Hungary caters to Eastern Europe, Barcelona Iberia and Monza Italy. Maybe Russia might eventually be in Moscow, if the ruble regains its strength, else it’s a Russian-lite version of Monaco in Sochi. Failing that, Qatar wants to throw money at F1 to repair it’s image and Bernie badly needs it, even if Bahrain aren’t too happy about it.

        It’s natural diversification – why have a Monaco GP, French GP, German GP, Austrian GP, San Marino GP, Italian GP, Luxembourg GP, Dutch GP, Belgian GP, Spanish GP, Portuguese GP, Hungarian GP etc. when there’s a whole world to grow the sport into. Plus, Europe can’t afford all those races anymore! Although, if the current model crashes, who knows..

        1. On that note, Britain used to have 3 regular F1 races, Brands Hatch (London/South), Silverstone (Birmingham/Midlands), Oulton Park (Manchester/North). 30 years ago, that might have been a Welsh GP alternating with an English one each season :D, but considering the size of Britain, it has contracted to just 1 well supported GP at Silverstone (the middle location).

          Really, going forwards, F1 needs a group of races in the three key time zones – America, Europe and Australasia. Possibly approaching a third of the calendar in each one.

          1. The British Grand Prix gets massive attendance at extortionate prices. If it was reasonably priced it couldn’t cope with demand and we would need three or four races.

            If the Germans don’t want a Grand Prix send it back our way we would lap it up at the right price.

            1. @philipgb Hehe, bring it on. What about old Silverstone line up along with the new one? Or God forbid, build this new Welsh track and call it the Welsh GP..

          2. Couldn’t agree more.

          3. There should be 8 races in Europe (Monaco, Spain, France/Austria, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and even a whole new race in Finland), 6 races in the Americas (2 USA races, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina) 5-6 races in Asia (Japan, Singapore and/or Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, and India) and in Australia. That would be an ideal schedule, I think.

            1. I repeated Malaysia in that comment, I meant to put a whole new race in Hong Kong would be nice.

        2. You believe Azerbaijan is a worthy destination to attract marketing and sponsorship?
          The oil rich, human rights oppressing region And its chance to now add Qatar as well?
          that is not my idea of adding in “the whole world”. And adding in a race to glorify that nutjob, Putin, is amazing.
          Bernie is as disgusting as the company he keeps.
          time for him to go and for France and Germany to get their races back.

      4. I wonder if Merc would take over the race like Mateschitz did with Red Bull ring…

        1. @jcost That’s what I thought would happen with Hockenheimring, but if they can’t get enough people to fill it then really there’s no point. I think it’s a post-Schumi lull combined with too high prices, along with Spa being closer to a lot of Northern Germany.

      5. @reiter – I am also sad to see the German GP go. Even though Silverstone was once an airfield, I know what you mean.

        1. Merc would re do the old layout as with their engines they may lap everyone twice.

    2. well, that video shows clearly the “driveabilty issues” renault have. It looks like when i desengage the clutch way to fast on my 2cv! (and the other cars going away looks EXACTLY like i see them! :D )

      1. ………….er…..when he says “kicks”, he is referring to the maximum clutch bite, rev-limiter optimisation which unfortunately they seem to have got very wrong in Aus. It sounds like hes either getting massive wheelspin, or the rev limiter is cutting in before he gets the maximum grip from the clutch. Either way he lost speed and places from the off! #:)

        1. …I put a Carbon Industries Dual clutch in a customers Mitsubishi GTO 3.0l V6 Twin Turbo 4 wheel drive with 4 wheel steer and what a difference it made to the cars launch!!!!!!! As for going around roundabouts in the middle of the night in a cloud of smoke well we bashe up a lot of right fronts because we couldnt even see the roundabout we was driving around!!! Happy days.; I used to do this 5h!t back in the 70s with Corvettes and Firebirds! #:)

          1. “bashed”. Forgot to say the Mits is soon to be a pure track car and no road plates! #:(

      2. Yeah it looks pretty bad, what’s the point of having a more powerful engine than last year if they can’t control it.
        Part of me wants to believe that this is only a mapping issue but then why haven’t they fixed it by now.

      3. @matiascali Plus, it ruined their race – he was stuck behind Nasr all day, and when it was time for an overcut (like Vettel managed), Massa tried to pass him half heartedly and cost them both their positions!

    3. God Almighty. How can there be no German GP in a season (2007 was alternately named, I think). It’s one of the most important and historic races still on the calendar (the second oldest event on the calendar) With Mercedes, Vettel and Hulkenberg participating in F1, Germany is too important not to be included. What a screw up this has all been.

      I don’t know how the Nurburgring’s financial troubles came about, but now look at what’s happened. Hockenheim will now have to be the sole host of this event.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        18th March 2015, 0:28

        Absolutely agree… shocking to not have it.

        But I’ve got a horrible feeling that if hosting fees keep going in their current direction, we’ll be having the same discussion about the likes of Britain, Belgium, Spain, Hungary and Italy far sooner than we think.

        1. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of those countries you listed are going to disappear. With France (well, Monaco is more or less another French GP), Germany and even Argentina, South Africa and Portugal (all 3) long gone, F1 is moving to places that satisfy a few people’s own expenditures. I heard CVC wanted to sell F1 in ’09- but they were fooled by Ecclestone, and now look at what has happened. F1 can afford to lose Spain and Hungary- but not Belgium, Germany, Italy and Britain. Those 4 European races (and the French and Monaco GP, but the latter isn’t going anywhere) are by far the most important of the European races.

          1. Replace Germany with Monaco, and I think that’s the situation we have. Unless Monza is dropped and Monaco retained (which would be odd, but I can see it happening unless there is enough of a tifosi roar to keep the GP).

            1. I don’t think so, Monaco isn’t going anywhere- the organizers of that race don’t even have to pay a fee for F1 to show up.

            2. Money talks. The only thing that matters to CVC (who only care about making a profit) is money. Even if the Tifosi wanted an Italian GP and the organizers didn’t have the money for the event, it wouldn’t happen. Same goes for any other race on the calendar except Monaco.

            3. Ah, I meant in the ‘core races’ – Monaco, Spa, Monza, Silverstone.

              By roar.. I also mean how much they would pay and how many to fund it along with the collective groan at the threat of the race being cancelled.

      2. 1955 the last (only?) year F1 hasn’t visited Germany? Absolutely shocking.

        1. @deej92 And that was only because of the Le Mans disaster, along with 3 other GPs that season cancelled.

      3. Mercedes, Vettel, Hülkenberg and Rosberg. Don’t forget him, even if he has a half of every possible nationality.

        But yes, it is ridiculous. But the whole “pay to host a race” system is ridiculous to begin with.

        1. @casjo I don’t see why venues shouldn’t have to pay to host an event, considering how much revenue they pull in. Obviously some are being fleeced, but the general idea of race fees seems fine to me.

      4. I’m pretty sure Bernie will probably point to the fact that Nurburgring could have been sold to him.. then he could run F1 races there with no problems. Instead they picked someone who couldn’t pay. What’s better for their interest? Surely continued F1 racing at the venue to attract crowds.

      5. @mfreire75, in the case of the Nurburgring, the debts that the circuit ended up with were down to the colossal incompetence of the owners at the time, with the oversized shopping malls, hotels and amusement park constructed based on completely fictional visitor figures (there is, I believe, an ongoing investigation in Germany as to whether there was actually an intention to defraud the local government authorities by presenting fictional visitor figures).

        It’s estimated that the owners burned through around €500 million by the time they went insolvent – when you compare that to the €13 million Bernie is reported to have cut the race fee to, you can see that the fees for the German GP were still pretty paltry compared to that debt legacy.

    4. The vainglory of Hamilton is embarrassing.

      1. I’m pretty sure there’s no top driver right now that would willingly admit that another driver would be faster in the same car (regardless of their real speed).

      2. Why, i heard Ricarddo saying on the radio. He could beat any driver in the same car. Is he embarrassing too?
        Every race driver must believe they are the best otherwise whats he point?

      3. Actually, I think he’s spot on the money. Alonso is sidelined – who else could match him? If he hadn’t had a spin at Brazil, he would be on an 8 win streak since Nico hit him at Belgium – and likely to top Vettel’s 9 with 10 before a rematch with Nico at Bahrain. Keep in mind that Hamilton would have been unbeaten by his team-mate for almost 8 months… that’s 2/3rds of a year!

        1. Well, Max Verstappen off course… being the next Ayrton Senna ;-)

      4. Hamilton has forgot that many times his mclaren was better then vettels redbull in 2010 and 201 and vettel still whooped him. Also button scored more points then hamilton as teammates, and rosberg had more poles as teammate, and neither button or rosberg are considered top 3 drivers in the sport. He is milking his easy glory run now.

        1. Paul Sainsbury
          18th March 2015, 3:44

          F1 points are measured season by season. Hamilton won 2-1. Please stop with this nonsense.

          And Vettel ‘whooping’ Hamilton in an inferior car. Do you have any more jokes?

          1. Is it too soon to say “he’s only winning because of the car” ?

          2. 2012 comes to mind. Look at the Australian GP.

          3. 2-1 which actually means that he was beaten by Button in 2011.

          4. Add points each of them scored in McL during these 3 season. BUT won with HAM. Simple.

        2. @dkpoti For your comments about the McLaren “being better in 2010 & 2012”:

          http://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/2dbnlc/the_rb6_was_probably_the_car_with_the_most/cjnznhc
          The RB had a lot more downforce than the McLaren, I mean it was 0.3 – 0.5s faster in qualifying for crying out loud… no way the McLaren was better.

          As for 2012, that car was quick (in Hamilton’s hands anyway), but certainly not the best car due to it’s reliability problems. McLaren themselves also made about a billion pit stop errors plus cost Hamilton pole in Spain. And then there were some collisions that weren’t Hamilton’s fault (each time the other driver got a penalty and Hamilton wasn’t punished at all).

          http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/analysis-how-the-points-and-the-title-slipped-away-for-lewis-hamilton/ (This doesn’t even include Brazil 2012, when Hamilton was taken out by Hulkenberg while leading – that’s up to another 25 points lost – 135 total).

          I actually worked out a more thorough breakdown of points lost to bad luck for each McLaren driver in 2012, and I worked out that Button lost 38-42 points, while Hamilton lost a whopping 143-165 points to bad luck (enough for him to win the championship by a healthy margin, even if you factor in Vettel and Alonso’s bad luck – IIRC Vettel lost about 40 points to bad luck, Alonso about 20)
          http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=H97DZvib

          And @mashiat did you even watch Australia 2012? Hamilton only lost out to Button from pole due to getting a worse start, and the only reason he lost second place to Vettel was because of the timing of the safety car’s deployment. Before the safety car came out Hamilton was over 2 seconds ahead.

          1. Also, without Hamilton’s bad luck in 2012 he would have easily beaten Button on points. He was only 15 points behind in the end.

            In fact, Hamilton being taken out while leading in his last race for McLaren created a 35 point swing to Button – Hamilton loses a potential 25 points due to his retirement from the lead, Hulkenberg who was in 2nd gets a drive-through, Button who was in 3rd is promoted to the lead (15 pts becomes 25 pts, so a 10 point gain for Button due to the incident, and a 25 pt loss for Hamilton, so 35 pt swing).

            I think the fact that one incident was the difference between Hamilton being 15 points behind or being 20 points ahead suggests that the points head-to-head isn’t really very useful, particularly as 2011 was Hamilton’s worst year in F1 by far. Hamilton clearly beat Button in several other areas: Ahead in a two-car finish 27-20, more wins (10-8… which could have easily been 14-7 without Hamilton’s bad luck in Spain, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Brazil in 2012), ahead in qualifying 44-14, more poles (9-1… could have been 10-1 if not for Spain bad luck).

            Basically, I’m just sick of people throwing around “Button outscored Hamilton!” without looking at what actually happened…

            1. @polo

              Thank you for taking the time to put the facts down so clearly.

              Of course, so many will just continue to ignore it, but if it makes them happy…………..

          2. @polo

            As for 2012, that car was quick (in Hamilton’s hands anyway), but certainly not the best car due to it’s reliability problems

            With that logic the RB6 was not the best in the field either (it wasn’t reliable, AUS and Korea comes to mind), so perhaps Lewis was driving the class of the field in 2010?

            1. Idk… if the McLaren was the best car that year then that would suggest that Webber outperformed Hamilton in 2010 and significantly outperformed Button. That just doesn’t seem likely to me.

              The McLaren wasn’t perfectly reliable either – it should also be remembered that if Hamilton didn’t have a wheel rim failure on his car that caused him to crash on the penultimate lap of Spain in 2010 (and his car had just kept going for two more laps) he would been champion that year (he was running second at the time so he lost 18 pts, and at the end of the year he was only 16 pts behind Vettel).

              I felt that Lewis drove very well in 2010, and he was actually voted as the best driver of 2010 on this website. Vettel was only voted 4th.

            2. @davidnotcoulthard Also, Vettel had only two mechanical retirements (Australia and Korea). Hamilton also had only two mechanical retirements (Spain and Hungary). I don’t see how the RB6 was more unreliable than the McLaren.

            3. @polo Vettel’s was all from the lead so I guess they seemed a bit more dramatic. Retirementsaren’t really a good way of measuring a car’s reliability, though, considering that failures can happen but the driver finishes down the order rather than retire.

              Anyway I recall comentators saying VET lost 75 pts from technical problems or something like that.

              And there’s of course Bahrain, where he had an engine problem.

      5. But I agree. To go out and say that, no matter how good you are, just shows arrogance. Now I don’t hate Hamilton, but I’m pretty sure Alonso could give him a run for his money in the same car.

        1. I think Alonso is the only one who could. But surely all of the top drivers believe themselves the best? He was just being honest about it.

          1. You can believe you’re good without telling the world how great you are. I cannot believe how Hamilton and some of his fans wonder why he is disliked by so many. Isn’t it obvious? #FIGJAM

            1. We know why Hamilton is resented by ‘so many’. He seriously does not know his place ;)

              I don’t think it is that many really anyway, they just all wail about it at once, loudly.

        2. If only we had a season where they were both in the same car for comparison. I guess we’ll never know!

          1. Yep. I can’t help wondering if Bernie might be trying to winkle Rosberg out of Mercedes somehow…

            We did have 2007, at least.

            1. For the record I was being sarcastic. The person I was replying to seemed to forget that they did spend a year together in the same car, and Hamilton came out on top despite it being his rookie year against a double world champion. An achievement never, ever to be sniffed at.

            2. @moshwan noone sniffed at it, but with 109 points each, they really were on par. I’m sure it would be an interesting battle, much more than with Rosberg.

      6. That Telegraph headline is a bit misleading, as Hamilton never actually said that at all:

        “But that’s how Formula One is. There’s isn’t any doubt in my mind, if you want to put someone in the same car there is no doubt in my mind of where I would be finishing. People can create their own opinions. It’s irrelevant. It is how it is.”

        What’s wrong with him expressing the self belief he might have as other drivers do? History backs up his comments – 2011 aside when he was having a personal meltdown. That shouldn’t matter though; the good and the bad, it’s all in the past. What matters is how he’s performing now, and there’s a reason he’s favourite to take the title this season.

    5. I have absolutely no problem with current rules. I really love the fact that F1 again has something that is almost sci-fi compared any other sport, except perhaps LMP1, but even those cars, as a hole, are not on the level of F1.

      That said, I have A REAL, 100% problem with the fact that some genius decided that there is no in-season development of these new power units, and that only way to change them is with these ridiculous tokens, which numbers are very limited. It just facilitates advantages and disadvantages. It’s not Mercedes advantage that is a problem. It’s often been the case that one team springs forward when there is a big tech-reg overhaul, but you were always looking for others to catch up. These days, it seems like everyone is stuck with what they have, except a few tokens they can spend on no more than 4 different engines through out the whole year.

      I think it shows how shortsighted FIA is, and unfortunately, that is one thing that has always been FIA’s main trait when it comes to technical regulations. I think, more than anything, there needs to be a complete overhaul within FIA and the way they are going about creating rules.

      1. If you opened up the engine development why do people believe that Mercedes would not simply make there power unit even better & end up with an even larger advantage, As they have done with the development they have done over the past year.

        Its also worth remembering that allowing continued development would increase cost’s whihc would certainly be passed onto the teams & right now with the exception of perhaps 4 teams (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull & McLaren) the others cannot afford that cost.

        Renault’s problem currently is that they put much of the development work into reliability rather than performance so while Mercedes & Ferrari have made big steps in performance Renault have remained pretty much where they were at the end of 2014.

        1. Solution is an engine cost cap, if Mercedes unit was available to all for £10m, they couldn’t gain such an advantage by spending 500 million on it, as even if the same amount of money is recouped as current, everyone else (e.g. Red Bull) is likely to be closer.

          1. @fastiesty The problem with that is that if you cap the figure below what its costing the engine suppliers to produce the engine’s & they end up making a loss on each one they make you, Why would they stick around, Especially if the losses there making per-unit are substantial?

            The current power units are the price they are because for the time been there more expensive for the engine suppliers to make (As the V8’s were the 1st few years of that formula), Once things settle down the cost’s will come down & those savings should be passed onto teams (Again as they were with the V8’s).

        2. In that case mercedes advantage would be fair :) please let them develop

      2. Sorry to burst your bubble here, but the engine tech in LMP1 is far superior to the power units in F1.

        1. @mazdachris How so? I’m not too familiar with LMP1 tech so I’m not arguing what you’re saying, I’m just curious.

          1. @ciaran for a few reasons but the biggest is that they use way more powerful energy recovery systems than in F1. the combined ERS systems in F1 are equivalent to 2 megajoule, whereas the top category of LMP are allowed to use a whopping 8megajoule. The Toyota has, for over a year, had well over 1000hp (combined) in the 6 megajoule class, and the new Nissan challenger is boasting over 1250hp at 8 megajoule. And they have similar levels of technical sophistication, and reliability. They’re far more hybriddy than the F1 hybrids. The electrical (and flybrid) systems are far more advanced than F1.

            1. @mazdachris
              Toyota TS040 Hybrid – 3.7l V8
              Nissan GT-R LM Nismo – 3.0l Twin Turbo V6

              Not difficult to make those power figures and hybrid systems out of these engine/capacity formats! I wouldn’t say they are more advanced, they just have more open regulations.

            2. @asanator well if you want to look at it that way, F1 cars in the 80s were producing well over 1000hp (and far beyond in qualifying trim) from 1.5L turbocharged engines. It’s not awfully difficult to make mega power, regardless of size and configuration. The thing that sets modern power units apart is the level of electronic control and automatic adjustment which goes on. Not that we see an awful lot of that because manufacturers are keen to protect their tech.

              But yeah, you are right, the rules are a lot more open. If only they’d take a similar approach in F1, then we could see advanced engines running mega power with lots of different configurations. And it would also be a lot cheaper.

            3. You should get your facts right.
              Formula 1 2 MJ limitation is only for Energy harvested by the MGU-K.
              Most of the Energy is however coming from the MGU-H.
              Depending on the Concept (Renault, Mercedes or Ferrari) and on the Track Formula 1 is using 6-7 MJs.
              Plus only rating the amount of Energy used by the hybrid systems doesnt make up for a good stat when you want to compare how technologically advanced the engines are. Formula 1 engines in current spec could also have more then 1.000 hp if there wasnt a limitation in MGU-K Power set by the rules.

    6. Well wasn’t expecting that, but don’t get me wrong! I agree with changing some rules in F1 (like the free development of teams) but not this kind of equalisation that RebBull wants. I know there are some people who don’t agree with me and I think it’s fine because where would be the fun if we had all the same opinions and thoughts (just like F1 may I say :P).

      On another note, very sad to see German GP go, like others great old venues (Imola, France, Portugal and many others). At least Mexico is back!

    7. The Vettel-Webber battle may not have been as close as the Hamilton-Rosberg battle (which itself is not that close), but I can remember times when Webber pushed Vettel. Besides, Red Bull wasn’t as dominant and for as long as Mercedes is now, so Vettel often had to battle with drivers from other teams as well.

      1. I think the Webber/Vettel battle would have stayed closer had it not been for all that off throttle blown diffuser stuff because Mark has since said that he never liked the way you needed to drive the car to get the most out if all that while Vettel’s driving style suited it perfectly.

        I also read a while ago that Webber also hated the Pirelli tyres because he never had the feel for them which he did the Bridgestones & its something he was never able to fully figure out.

        1. That’s all conjecture, we will never know what would have happened in a different reality. The fact of the matter is that Webber never came close to matching Vettel. On a few occasions, yes, but overall he was way behind.

          1. @ironcito Mark would definitely have been closer to SV if the Bridgestone tyres had stayed. Even Newey said after COTA 2013 I think it was, that MW would’ve been first if the Bridgestone era had stayed for couple more years.

    8. I see Hamilton comments more like a insult for Webber than for Vettel, and did he forgot his time with Button?

      1. @celeste

        But Hamilton did beat button, 2 out of 3 seasons. Also, had he not been rammed out of his last race by Hulkenberg, whilst leading, he would have outpointed JB over the 3 season period.

        Lewis had a dodgy season in 2011, although he still won a few times, but overall at McLaren, most of the time he was in a different league to JB, much as I like Jenson.

        1. Well and 2010 was Button’s first season at Macca, with new team and with no input in the design whatsoever. Still he was pretty close at the end. We all know that Lewis is a faster driver than Button but to be fair there were evenly matched during their time together points wise and that’s what F1 is all about in the end.

          1. @toxic

            One has to say Jenson was brave to go and take on Hamilton, and, by and large, I think his reputation was raised as a result, to even be able to compete with him from time to time on a level playing field. Respect.

      2. What people forget about 2011 is that, while Button outscored Hamilton, he didn’t manage to win more races.

        1. @geemac

          I really like Jenson, I think he is superb, dependable driver as well as clearly a top bloke. I think his driving is so precise that it is almost poetic to watch sometimes. But I think it is rather cringe-worthy when people try to claim he was the stronger driver at McLaren. To anyone who actually watched those three seasons, for the vast majority of the time, LH was pretty dominant.

          What really made me respect Jenson was the Australian GP he won fair and square, with Lewis genuinely outdriven, literally beaten on pace. I was blown away by that Button performance, and I think Lewis was shell-shocked by it.

          But overall, Lewis was in a different class, often making the McLaren look a lot better than it probably was.

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            18th March 2015, 8:52

            I’ve spent a lot of time at McLaren organised events and during the BUT/HAM era it was clear that McLaren personnel favoured Lewis. Even when Jenson won the 2012 Brazilian GP there was palpable disappointment that it hadn’t been Lewis.

            It was clear from the conversations I had that whilst Jenson was highly respected, Lewis was seen as being in a different league.

            1. I’ve spent a lot of time at Mclaren over the last 3 years and a lot of the staff i’ve spoken to didn’t like Lewis. The engineers especially lol

        2. So? The champion is the driver with most points, not most wins.

      3. Did he forget his time with Alonso?

        1. I think ending up on equal points with Alonso, actually beating him on count back, was rather a large victory for a rookie driver, no?

      4. Agreed. At times it feels like Webber was closer to Vettel than Rosberg is to Hamilton. Webber looked like he might win the championship in 2010.

      5. @celeste Has Hamilton ever participated in the race of champions. I am just trying to gauge events where various drivers drive the same car. One more example, Top Gear.

        1. Top Gear would be a really bad example of how drivers compare in the same car given the large amount of variability.

          1. @woodyd91 : Yeah, now that Ricciardo has beaten Lewis’s time ( the second one he set), it becomes irrelevant

            1. Yes I thought Ricciardo did well on TG, but not as well you might think. DR time was set on cold sunny day in midwinter, LH did his in midsummer. TG reckon hot adds 2 seconds. This link suggests LH also did his lap in winter, but this link showing the actual programme indicates LH did the lap in summer, probably because he wanted the best chance of dry conditions.

              I think you’d have to get them all there on the same day with a set of new tyres for each of them, even then the temperature/wind would change throughout the day and they would ‘discuss’ that no doubt.

            2. Clearly some people have issues with simple points. However the point stands, that given the massive amount of variables on the TG lap, anybody who seriously wants to try and compare drivers would not use TG as an example. We will never know how drivers truly rank next to each other unless they are all given the same car with the same fuel, same millage, same tyre pressures on the same track and the same time, I’m a massive Top Gear fan and the F1 stars in the car is always a good laugh but Last time I checked, Top Gear doesn’t provide that does it? So for anything other than some fun it’s a bad example to compare drivers.

    9. on CoTD

      We have to come terms with the fact that in this day and age, major corporations do not come into F1 just to race, they come into F1 to market their products, which in turn will make them more money. The biggest brands, want to associated with a successful team for obvious reasons. This is simple economics.

      Williams, Sauber and Manor a probably the only real racing teams left. The rest arent in it for the love of racing. Red Bull is a marketing team. So is Ferrari, so is Mercedes..even Mclaren. You think Mercs will hang around if they were plodding around in the lower reaches of the points?

      Should Horner be complaining/moaning? Well it wouldnt be bloody F1 if there wasnt somebody b$%ching about something now would?

    10. Hamilton is an amazing driver, but god does he need to talk a lot less. He’s reaching Alonso-levels of toolness. It’s a damn shame, because he’s a truly excepcional driver.

      It would also be great if he stopped dressing like a 15-year-old emulating Snoop Dogg.

      I wonder if that’s part of the reason why he is so popular (besides being a great driver and British), he’s attitude and dress code appeal to a very wide range of people. Not my cup of of tea, though. I’d be much happier if drivers would just shut up and dress like adults.

      1. …you have to be a tool to succeed in this sport..

        1. I don’t think he said anything wrong at all in that interview. It is entirely appropriate that he believes he would win in equal cars, and you only have to have even a casual look at his pre F1 career to see that he made something of a habit of doing that when equal cars were what the drivers had.

          I think he dresses rather strangely sometimes, I don’t much like the massive gold chains, but I think if he feels the need to express himself and that’s how he does it, good for him.

          I think having rock-solid self belief by no means signifies acting like a ‘tool’.

          1. @paulguitar Has Hamilton ever participated in the race of champions. I am just trying to gauge events where various drivers drive the same car. One more example, Top Gear.

            1. Hi,
              Hi Foosa

              I am pretty certain Hamilton has not done the ROC. Would love to see him there!

      2. So you’re saying it would be great if he dressed according to your tastes? Do you say this to your friends who don’t dress like you? Or to any stranger on the street? People have their personal tastes and that’s fair game. I’m glad at least one driver on the grid stands out. If Graham Hill could have his pencil mustache (which I still think is cool) and Jackie Stewart could have his hippy hair, why can’t a current driver also express themselves in a way that is concurrent with modern fashion?

        1. @joey-poey Since neither this website nor this particular article is about me, my friends or “strangers” your first question is completely pointless. Be sure to understand the topic at hand (!)

          Your second question is equally pointless, since I never said he couldn’t dress any way he wants to. He’s free to do whatever the hell he wants, just like I’m free to think he looks ridiculous while doing it.

          The only part of your post is relevant to the discussion is when you say that you’re glad a driver “stands out”. You are, of course, completely free to believe that, but I respectfully disagree. I don’t believe that “standing put” automatically frees somebody of criticism or dislike. And if the standing out is achieved by means of looking like cheap version of Kayne West, I will damn sure point out how ridiculous that is.

          1. @Nx griping about someone else’s taste in clothing is stupid.

            1. @trublu I respectfully disagree. Clothes are a way in which people make a statement about themselves. Hamilton dressing like that is doing so to project a certain image about himself. And since this is a F1 site where we discuss among , other things, drivers, the topic is pretty much part of the discussion, if somebody wants it to be.

              It doesn’t make it smart, indeed, but neither is most of what we discuss here.

          2. I agree with everything you said, and I have felt your frustration with people being unable to follow topic and engage in a simple argument, but I gave up. They don’t want to learn and they are obsessed with words “don’t judge”.
            As for me, I think you are 100% right about commenting on someone’s deliberate fashion choices, when they are obviously a projection of those persons choices and thoughts.

      3. Go watch Tennis then

        1. @johns23 I already watch tennis (!)

          I have the feeling you tried to make an edgy and snarky comment, but failed miserably.

    11. So for how long will the 2012 season remain as the only 20 race championship? Back then I thought we would have 23 races by now.

      1. I thing F1’s lucky to have any races at all, but the way things are going.

      2. I thought along similar lines back then. I never thought we’d still be on 19. Next year Azerbaijan is joining and maybe Qatar. Germany could return next year, it might need the Nurburgring for that I feel though.

        So I would guess the calendar will reach 20 again next year at the very least.

    12. Those Indy cars look futuristic!

      1. I think they look ugly with all those horrible flaps, winglets etc..

        I’ve also seen it reported a few places that the cars are producing a lot more dirty air (Thanks to a lot of these flaps/winglets) & are been affected much more by that which is making it much harder for them to follow with drivers & engineer’s saying they expect the racing to be worse with these new body kits.
        The oval kits especially are said to be extremely sensitive to “Aero wash”, Especially on the super speedways (Like Indy).

        Will be a shame if true as the racing in Indycar since the introduction of the current car in 2012 has been simply fantastic. It was close, competitive & featured a good amount of competitive overtaking. If these new much higher downforce aero kits kill the racing then the performance improvements will be utterly pointless & detrimental to the series.

      2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
        18th March 2015, 3:18

        They somehow manage to look worse than the 2008 F1 abominations with aero parts sprouting out of everywhere and wings over the front nose.

      3. I can’t believe the route they’ve taken. The only way they could have done it worse is reduce the power of the engines as well…
        They had to change something to add variety and avoid having stegosaurus racing like GP2 -the same old cars for years and years. But I wish they’d used the (much better looking) speedway aero kit as a starting point for the road & street courses.

    13. Regarding the German Gp, I don’t think you can totally blame Bernie for the problems the Nurburgring have because the financial issues it is going through would have happened even if it never held the Gp because the circuit was simply terrible mis-managed by the previous owners who dragged the circuit into massive debt by wasting millions on turning it into some sort of theme park, shopping center & concert stage.

    14. That’s a fantastic shot by Mr Minardi there ! the moral of the story, as it’s happening to Red Bull right now too, never believe you’re the strongest. Some day, you’ll also fall… There’s always a time when a certain team is doing brilliantly and next thing you know, for whatever reason, they are struggling to keep up.

      McLaren is in 2010’s Virgin territory now if you consider the manufacturers involved, the history of the team and the resources.

    15. Im not the first to say it because I read it elsewhere, but the solution is simple. Allow unrestricted development and testing until the February 28 2017 homologation date for 2017 season and then the Power Units are locked for a maximum 2 year period. Or else go to quad cam 2.0litre v8s and see how they get on! #:)

    16. F1 is a joke. I couldn’t care less what happens to it. I’ll follow the news sites but I’m not paying a cent or wasting time watching it.

      The V6 killed it. Ferrari’s and McLaren’s inability to admit F1 can’t sustain 1000 people per team killed it. Bernie’s lunatic views on the viewers killed it. Paid coverage killed it. Pay-drivers killed it. The new teams sham killed it. The worldwide TERRIBLE coverage of F1 (Germany’s isn’t that bad, if I’m honest) killed it.

      F1 is dying a slow, painful death that most won’t even see (because they won’t bother watching F1).

      It’s ok. There are other forms of motorsports just as exciting and interesting, if not more. As there have always been. It’s just a shame there’s no Formula 1 anymore.

      1. Oh, and you know what killed it as well? The fans not liking the 2009 season, which was one of the most exciting seasons as long as I can remember. Fans that couldn’t bother watching F1 because they were too busy watching their favorite driver/team killed it.

        Long live 2009 F1. Long live a competitive midfield! Long live almost the entire field managing a podium over the course of the season! Long live the fairy tail, because the fairy tail is no more.

        1. Michael Brown
          18th March 2015, 21:12

          2010 as well, for banning refueling

    17. Hamilton: I’d beat any driver in the same car (The Telegraph)

      Whistle this is an arrogant statement from Hamilton, no doubt, I’d say that it is pretty much spot-on. With Alonso sidelined, there’s no equal to him on the current grid.

      1. @kingshark And how do you and Hamilton know that, care to enlighten us?

      2. Of course you think it is arrogant; because you are not a competitive sport person who has been at the top of your game for most of your life. It is a mindset you can NEVER understand; as you simply do not posses it. It befuddles me when “normal” people believe they can understand the mindset of people like Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher or even Aryton Senna. You cant, and it is that simple.
        ALL top sports people believe they can beat anybody. Just ask the Williams sisters, Michal Jordan, Valentino Rossi, Usain Bolt, or anyone else. Stop judging them by your limitations.

        1. Yes sports stars do have confidence in their abilities but there is a fine line between supreme confidence and downright arrogance.

      3. It is actually a really poor and inflammatory headline from the Telegraph. If you read the actual quote from Lewis I don’t think he sounds arrogant at all.

        The actual quote ‘But that’s how Formula One is (talking about needing a good car to win). There’s isn’t any doubt in my mind, if you want to put someone in the same car there is no doubt in my mind of where I would be finishing. People can create their own opinions. It’s irrelevant. It is how it is.’

        There is nothing arrogant about having confidence in your own abilities. Especially in light of the fact that Hamilton has shown over a long period of time that he is one of the very best. Any top driver on the grid, Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo etc. I bet they all feel they are the best, its the kind of mentality you need to be an elite sportsman. Yet they paraphrase him in such a way that it seems like he is demeaning other drivers. Its completely unnecessary and poor journalism.

    18. I couldn’t agree more with the COTD, very very well said.

    19. Seen Top Gear lately Lewis? ;-) :-D

      1. Yeah, so Webber is one second per lap faster that Vettel!

      2. @brawngp I belive Lewis will come back a third time, till he beats Ricciardo’s time..

    20. Great news for Mr Tilk now the German GP has gone, he can now turn another part of the desert into a bore fest. And then we can listen to the commentators telling us how fantastic the place is while we watch a procession.

    21. About the CotD, I won’t repeat my rant of yesterday about who is behind Red Bull the team and how calling them ‘not true racers’ is incredibly shortsighted.

      As for Red Bull the company, I’ll ask a simple question. Out of all the companies currently owning an F1 team, which one had the most active role in the promotion of the sport – or motosport in general – in the last 10 years?

      Unlike any of these so-called “true racing teams”, Red Bull is actually doing something for motorsport other than just throwing their name. Of course it’s not disinterested, as better promotion for motorsport directly translates into better promotion for Red Bull itself. But this is only true because of their huge presence in all kind of motorsport in the first place – a presence as big as the presence of any car manufacturer.

      So yes, it annoys me to no end when Red Bull act like spoiled brat as they currently do, but can we at least give them the benefit of the doubt and treat them like we would treat any of the historic team in the same situation? Because neither Ferrari nor McLaren are strangers to being “all is fine” when dominating and “it’s unacceptable” when their domination suddenly ends.

      1. Well yeah, that was RebBull 2 years ago.. in those days I was a fan of their work. I’ve already said here, I’m a fan of the sport and I like all teams, from Manor to Mercedes. But now RebBull is being selfish and if they can complain just after the first race when they have an all season to try and do better, then I can complain about them losing all their good and fun spirit and motivation which they had some time ago. I did the same last year when Ferrari did a very bad job and were nowhere near the competition, it’s was their fault, not Mercedes. Like this year it’s RedBull/Renault fault for being so behind everyone else. They still have 12 tokens to work, so work now and in the end, if it still miles away from Mercedes, then complain and try to change the sistem (in a fair way).

    22. re: motors TV tweet. Yep I heard it. Doesn’t paint the sport in a particularly good light in my opinion.

      1. Well, that and many many many others things too of course.

      2. I heard it too and laughed……weeeeeelll it is what she is there for isn’t it? ;)

    23. Very concerning news about the wolf whistle. Was it Toto or Susie?

    24. It’s because all the Turkish people emigrated to Germany – and now there ain’t any race fans there – only folks in fezzes selling kebabs and not giving a damn about German F1 history.
      BTW I agree with those folks – under current administration F1 isn’t worth watching and I still keep yawning throughout processional parades of the same-looking cars under stupid regulations that allow teams (RB or Mercs) dominate the championships for years.

    25. Hamilton’s a fine driver, but he can’t seem to open his mouth without saying something stupid.

      In 2010 Vetel won his first title with Red Bull. In the process he defeated his teammate Mark Webber by 14 points and by five race wins to four.

      In 2014 Hamilton won his first title with Mercedes. In the process he defeated his teammate Rosberg by 67 points and by eleven race wins to five.

      Somehow in Lew’s mind this becomes “I’m being pushed really really hard by my teammate in a way which Seb never was by Webber”.

      1. LOL…COTD right there!

    26. Apex Assassin
      18th March 2015, 21:11

      LOL @ Hamilton’s humility. Now we have proof he smokes rock!

    27. Michael Brown
      18th March 2015, 21:11

      I’d like to hear opinions on this: do you think F1 should go a similar route to Indy and FE by partially covering the wheels?

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