Mercedes offered to cover half of German GP losses

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Mercedes tried to help save this year’s German Grand Prix.


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

Fernando Alonso has testing time to be fit for Malaysia F1 Grand Prix (The Guardian)

"Mercedes offered to pay 50% of any potential loss in a vain attempt to save the German Grand Prix."

Germany follows France into F1 pits (Reuters)

"The old (contract) was a disaster for us from the commercial point of view. After 2016, bye bye."

Pirelli needs clarity on future of F1 (ESPN)

"Do they want 19-inch (rims), 420-wide tyres or do we stay with 13-inch? It's really down to the sport."

Sauber surprised by Ferrari power leap (Autosport)

"The massive step just allows you to be in a position with the powertrain to score points and then to really grab the opportunity."


Comment of the day

Are Red Bull’s critics wrong to claim they “dominated” F1 throughout 2010 to 2013?

Could everyone stop pretending that the entire period from 2010 to 2013, a period which saw some of the closest and most competitive racing ever in F1, was simply one of uniform “domination”?

That word does not actually mean “When a team I don’t like is winning”, which is the way everyone keeps using it.

The Caption Competition winner will be chosen tomorrow so add your suggestion here if you haven’t yet:

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hamilton Wc 09, Juan Pablo Heidfeld, Tom Lim, Shaneb457 and Chris!

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

Jackie Stewart won the Race of Champions on this day 45 years ago ahead of Jochen Rindt and Denny Hulme.

Author information

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

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

78 comments on “Mercedes offered to cover half of German GP losses”

  1. “The old (contract) was a disaster for us from the commercial point of view. After 2016, bye bye.” I hate this quote. Insane from Bernie to say that the contract is a “disaster” for him, what about the circuits he squeezes! Lower hosting fee=lower ticket prices. Come on, if I could afford to go a Grand Prix, I would, and I’m far from badly off.

    1. pastaman (@)
      22nd March 2015, 3:58

      Haven’t you learned that everything he says is politics?

      1. Even if it is politics, it’s politics to get more money out of them for the next contract; and ticket prices remain unobtainable.

    2. Someone should tell Mr E that Hockenheim already has a contract for 2016 and 2018 in place.

      “After 2016, bye bye.”


      1. I think he was talking about Monza there.

    3. Good management by German GP for not taking the Merc money and prolonging the obvious.

      To replace them, surely there are still some mal-exposed, autocratic, oil revenue dependent nations F1 has still to visit for bags of money.
      Perhaps to improve the ‘show’ they can get five of them and have the fans vote which destination is their favourite.

    4. Paul Trautman
      22nd March 2015, 21:52

      Old Bernie is pricing F1 out of the market.
      2 tickets, $1,000, airfare, hotel, meals. Before you know it, you’re looking at a $3,000 weekend.
      Best seats in the house are watching NBC.

  2. @cotd exactly! Also, people forget Red Bull employees 2 teams (plus more) worth of families, actually brought back a race to the European calendar on top of having some of the cheapest ticket prices for entry. I applaud Mercedes last ditch effort to help bring the German GP forward this year, but buying, reconditioning, and bringing a permanent track back to the f1 calendar is on a whole new level. Red Bull waiving red flags should worry us – we all know something isn’t right with f1.

    1. What does 2 teams worth of families mean?

      1. Red Bull and Toro Rosso both employ a lot of people who have families. I think the comment assumes both of these teams would cease to exist if Red Bull pull out.

        1. Ah, so they mean ‘won’t somebody please think of the children!’.

          1. @matt90 @andy-m
            Yeah! Merc should let Horner win or else the children starves!

  3. COTD: I’m sorry, but domination doesn’t have to mean “a huge difference in performance to the other teams”. Red Bull, in those 4 years, out of 77 races, they scored 52 poles and 41 wins.

    That’s 67% and 53% of the total. During FOUR years. That’s massive considering all the rule changes. It wasn’t as dominant as last year for Mercedes, but it was domination none the less. And remember, Mark Webber didn’t participate that much in those stats, it was almost all Vettel (12 poles and 7 wins).

    If 2013 wasn’t domination by Vettel/Red Bull in the second half of the year, what is domination? Same in 2011.

    1. Mercedes is now putting on the second solid year of ‘Vettel in Singapore 2013’-level dominance.

      And people were getting antsy after only a couple of VET’s wins, but HAM winning 7 out of the past 8 is A-OK? Yeah right, no funny business going on there,

      1. And people were getting antsy after only a couple of VET’s wins, but HAM winning 7 out of the past 8 is A-OK?

        I’m pretty sure you are wrong about both of those suggestions. People were getting antsy after Red Bull’s immediate qualifying advantage in 2010, but it quickly transpired that it was an open championship anyway. And clearly a lot of people aren’t happy that Hamilton is so strong right now- although it should be remembered that 6 wins out of 7 were him pulling back the deficit last year to bring a close end to that championship.

      2. Well, you probably support Vettel cuz if you think having him winning 9 races straight without even fighting with somedoby is equal to Hamilton winning 7 and fighting hard with Rosberg at least 2 times, you’re tripping.

        Vettel won the last 9 races of 2013. On just ONE of them he had to fight for it, in Japan, against Grosjean on a lesser car and Webber on a lesser strategy.

        I can’t see how people think is better a driver lapping 0.7s beyond everyone else alone is better than two lapping 1s and fighting each other.

        F1 the way it is now NEED some work, but there’s no way ’11 and ’13 were better.

    2. domination doesn’t have to mean “a huge difference in performance to the other teams”.

      Yeah, it actually does have to mean that. Otherwise we either end up describing every winning team as “dominant” (Renault in 2005-2006? Dominant! Ferrari in 2007? Dominant!) or we end up describing winning cars driven by people we don’t like as dominant.

      1. the first part of your argument is debatable, but the second part is nonsense. That’s a huge assumption that comes from no where, people saying what they think about any team or any driver, regardless of what they think of them.

        For me, Red Bull dominated the 2010-2013 era regardless of my feelings towards them or Vettel.

  4. From 2010-2013 there was 77 races, split between the following teams in terms of poles and wins.

    Red Bull 52 poles 41 wins
    Mclaren 10 poles 18 wins
    Ferrari 4 poles 11 wins
    Mercedes 9 poles 4 wins
    Lotus 0 poles 2 wins
    Williams 2 poles 1 win

    Looks pretty dominant to me. Don’t forget too that Vettel had a load of bad reliability in 2010, which was the only reason the championship was close that year. Sure its not as dominant as Mercedes in 2014, but dominant nonetheless. 2012 was the only season where Red Bull didn’t clearly have the quickest car of the four years.

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      22nd March 2015, 1:53

      And 2012 was probably the greatest season in F1’s history.

    2. Red Bull domination era:
      2010 was brilliant
      2011 was boring
      2012 was brilliant
      2013 was dreadful

      Ferrari domination era:
      2000 was brilliant
      2001 was boring
      2002 was dreadful
      2003 was brilliant

      Does anyone really notice a difference? Apart from the fact that Ferrari’s domination lasted one year longer, I don’t see any difference.

      1. @kingshark Both of those dominant eras where a bit boring because only one driver was winning.
        84, 87, 88 and now currently are more exciting because you have a good fight between teammates.

        The other teams could certainly improve the “show” but at least WDC is not a given.

        1. What “good fight between teammates” are you talking about? Hamilton defeated Rosberg very easily last season and looks set to do the same again this season.

          The only thing which gives the appearance of a “good fight between teammates” at Mercedes is that the car is so very dominant that they always finish one-two (barring mechanical problems). You’re basically saying that you’d have been happier if the Red Bull’s had been a lot better than they actually were, because then Webber would have seemed more competitive with Vettel by dint of being runner-up to him more often.

          1. Most of the time Webber wasn’t able to be 2nd cuz his starts were extremely poor.
            There were races where he started 2nd and dropped to 10th place.

            So, he wasn’t able to be always 2nd. And that by NO MEANS meant Vettel had any kind of trouble to win easily.

          2. You say “Hamilton defeated Rosberg very easily last season”, but it went to the last race. If the places had been reversed at Abu Dhabi you would have said “Rosberg defeated Hamilton very easily last season” because of the stupid double points thing. But double points or not it would not have been decided before the last race, thanks to Mercedes sporting approach.
            People seem to be forgetting that the 2012 and 2010 seasons went to the wire too, albeit without intra-team competition, and Vettel went into the last 2010 race in 3rd place.

    3. To the bean counters:

      Since the introdcution of the 1.6l V6 engine, we had 20 races.

      Mercedes won pole in 19 of 20 races. (95%)
      Mercedes won 17 of 20 races. (85%) (and the rest were only lost because of technical troubles, a SC, and a crash)

      And there’s no reason to suspect these numbers are going to get worse any time soon.

    4. Looks like other teams actually challenged RedBull to me…. Sure they came out on top most of the time but there was a challenge… Compared to Mercedes there is absolutely no challenge, reliability and rain are all the rest of the grid can hope for if they are to finish ahead of a Merc… this simply was not the case in the Redbull era…

      The point I think Redbull are trying to make is that is is down to one component, the power train which will prevent any competition for a number of years to come…

      1. Except from all the other teams using the same engine?

        1. same hardware, different software and apparently allowed use of engine modes!

        2. Don’t forget that the Mercedes engine and Petronas fuel are developed to work together. Their engineers (and the F1 aerodynamicists) sit down together to design the fuel-air flow and mixing. Ferrari and Shell can do that too, but I doubt that other teams with Mercedes engines have that luxury.

          Williams have said quite forcefully that they have identical engines and access to all the same software interfaces, so I doubt that is the difference. Indeed they would not have said it unless they had GPS and engine revs comparisons to confirm it.

          The difference in performance of the various Mercedes powered teams is mostly aerodynamics and partly fuel.

      2. Last year Helmut Marko said all the time they had the best car. That their RB10 was a better chassis than W05 Hybrid. What happened with that?

        If it’s the case they don’t need to ask for new rules. They need to put pressure on their supplier and that’s it.

        Red Bull is lost on their words. Ferrari was garbage last year and with that loophole, fixed their awful 2014 unit to a very respectable level. Renault didn’t, and that’s the problem.

        Or it’s just coincidence only they started to complain when they realize Renault failed to deliver again?

  5. Re: COTD. Qualifying is usually said to be the best measure of a car/driver’s outright pace, right? Well, when one team takes twice as many poles as all the other teams combined in a period of four years (50 to 27, if I counted right), it’s domination. It’s a little closer in race victories (44 to 33) but it’s still a pretty comprehensive victory for Red Bull when you consider the 33 race wins they didn’t take were shared by four teams.

    2012 was the closest year in that period and doesn’t really deserve to be thought of in the same way as the others, but it’s easy to see why it is: people tend to remember results more than the margins of victory. It was the “Vettel era”.

    I don’t dislike Red Bull, I just want to watch an unpredictable sport, and some spells in those four years, like the second half of the 2013 season, were too predictable. This might not be true for everyone, but when I lament that predictability, it’s not a criticism of whichever team is dominating at the time. Why is it their fault that they have the best car (and usually one of the best drivers to get the most out of it)? Should they deliberately not try so hard? Of course not. It’s up to to the others to catch up or to the sport itself to change.

    1. Seems I wasn’t the only one to count the poles and race wins (see comments above mine). I must have got my numbers a bit wrong, but the point stands.

    2. If you guys use numbers, then use differences between cars, please! Most above cited poles were within 0,2 seconds. When Vettel managed to pull away more than 0,5 everyone would be astonished. That is not domination! That might be consistency, but not domination!

      1. Does it matter with what exact difference? Not to mention that Vettel was able to be over half a second faster than Webber in the same car at times and in the race he would often be told to cruise by his team for a large part of the race (saving fuel, sparing the tires but also), just like we found out that the Mercs had not been racing full until they started unleasing their speed during last year @magon4, its not true that “most poles were within 0,2 seconds” over the period of RBR/VEttel domination.

        The argument here isn’t that Mercedes looks to be on a run of domination for at least 2 years. Its about someone trying to argue that Red Bull did not dominate before, when they clearly did.

        1. Does it matter with what exact difference?

          And you saying .2 of a second is F1’s idea of exact? (it isn’t which would n.b. mean that a long enough string of sub-.2 poles can be considered dominant)

          just like we found out that the Mercs had not been racing full until they started unleasing their speed during last year @magon4

          There’s a difference between racing and setting Q3 times. @magon4 was talking about the latter (how relevant that is though is not what I’m trying to say).

          And if RBR had more in the bag in their era surely they’d have pulled out more of it when they realised that one of their drivers (WEB) wasn’t getting the front row. That they didn’t suggested, very strongly, that they couldn’t.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard
            Last year, Mercedes:
            Got pole in Malaysia by the skin of their teeth.
            Got pole in Germany by the skin of their teeth.
            Got pole in Singapore by the skin of their teeth.
            Got pole in Bahrain by the skin of their teeth.
            Lost pole in Austria to Williams.

          2. Got pole in Bahrain by the skin of their teeth.

            That should be Brazil.

    3. @magon4
      I was not astonished when Vettel managed to pull away 0.5 sec/lap from everyone. However, I was beyond astonished when he could pull away at a rate of 1.5-2.0 seconds/lap whenever he wanted to in the second half of 2013.

      Imagine if Ricciardo was alongside Vettel in 2013. Then no one, and I repeat no one, would have questioned the monstrous dominance of the RB9.

      1. @kingshark He was talking about QUALY (excuse my all-caps).

        Imagine if Ricciardo was alongside Vettel in 2013. Then no one, and I repeat no one, would have questioned the monstrous dominance of the RB9.

        Which leaves the RB5 (lost both championships), RB6 (as reliable as Newey’s head is hairy), the RB7 (OK, dominant), and the RB8 (came close to losing a championship to Ferrari).

    4. Qualifying is usually said to be the best measure of a car/driver’s outright pace, right?

      Not by people who know what they’re talking about. Qualifying is a good measure of a car/drivers qualifying pace. Many times in F1 cars which are mediocre in qualifying have great race pace while cars which are great in qualifying fare poorly in the race due to either unreliability (see RB in 2010 and Macca in 2012) or because they simply lack good race pace (see Mercedes in 2013).

      If qualifying results were as pivotal as you suggest than in 2013 Mercedes should have been the dominant team. After all, eleven races into the season they had eight pole positions to RB’s three … and those three came in the rain.

      some spells in those four years, like the second half of the 2013 season, were too predictable.

      When people keep responding to the cotd by focusing like a laser beam on the second half of 2013, they’re conceding the point.

      people tend to remember results more than the margins of victory.

      I think it’s more accurate to say that people remember the margins of victory which support the views they wish to hold. For a lot of people, including Lewis Hamilton, Singapore 2013 sums up the “Vettel era”. And therefore (so the thinking goes) Hamilton is “entitled” to have a Singapore 2013 margin of superiority over the rest of the field all of last year, and all of this year, and next year.

      Nobody is really defending Mercedes in this, they’re defending Hamilton. So I’ll make a deal – let’s simply award Lewis another WDC. Let’s give him another two WDC’s if that’s what it takes. And then lets try to get back to normal Formula One racing this year.

  6. I don’t remember tyres being a huge issue in 2011. In 2012 the topic started to creep in, a lot of people put the 7 different winners in 7 different races down to a tyre lottery. Finally in 2013 it was a joke, watching them nurse the cars home, the moment they engaged in actually racing the tyres fell off. Lewis Hamilton declaring he can’t drive any slower has to be the worse thing ever said over the radio.

    Then suddenly for 2014 we had a fairly robust race tyre, and now maybe even more so in 2015.

    I wonder how much of the farce of 2012 and 2013 was just down to lack of testing and how much of it was Pirelli just forcing the issue because they didn’t want the publicity of designing designed to degrade tyres. Have they just built better tyres or are the teams just better at managing them?

    1. I don’t remember tyres being a huge issue in 2011.

      @philipgb Really? Because I seem to remember 2011 as the season where tyres were the big talking point. They made 4 stops in Spain and Turkey that year, as well as most of the field doing 2-3 stops in the lowest degradations circuit: Monaco.

    2. They were only the biggest talking point of the year as it was the first year of the flimsy Pirellis….

  7. I’m very excited that what they will do.

  8. If Mercedes could afford to buy the current rules and regulations I am sure they can afford to the German race back for next year.

    1. pastaman (@)
      22nd March 2015, 4:02

      Not even going to touch the first part of that sentence. As to the second part, they don’t want to fund too much of the race or the race organizers might become dependent on that money in future years.

      1. defenitely true @pastaman. Because BE would count on them providing the money for him to up his demands for future race contracts even further!

    2. I can afford to give you the money to buy a ticket for a race. Doesn’t mean I want to.

    3. What’s 500 million between friends? :D

    4. Funny, I recall Renault and Ferrari pushing for the new engine formula. I guess I must be mistaken.

      1. @john-h
        You must be mistaken, Renault pushed for 4 cylinder engines, Ferrari never pushed for V6 engines, it was a the result of a compromise as Monsieur Todt was insisting on small hybrid engines. Mercedes which is doing many favors to Berine (free transport to the FOM materials, safety car, medical car…) has actually threatened to quit F1 if they don’t get an advantage on the new regulations, F1 would have lost 17% of its value if Mercedes decided to quit.
        They’ve also escaped a heavy penalty for making a test with both drivers (with white helmets) in a track like Barcelona with the official car.

        1. has actually threatened to quit F1 if they don’t get an advantage on the new regulations

          Well that’s disingenuous. They threatened to quit not because they wanted an advantage but because competing in F1 was irrelevant for them unless it more closely resembled the direction road cars are taking. They had the best engine before, so although they’ve benefited from the regulation change for their works team it isn’t as though they didn’t already have an advantage as an engine supplier.

        2. I suggest you read this @tifoso1989

          1. @john-h

            The decision [to go for the] V6 is important because turbo-six is good for the future, not only for Ferrari but also for Mercedes and others.”

            This is just proves my point, Ferrari never pushed for V6 engines, when the compromise was reached they were satisfied (Luca & Stefano) and that BTW that caused their careers ending in the Scuderia.
            There is a big difference between pushing and being satisfied.

          2. To be honest I think they all had a part, my response was aimed at the ridiculous accusation that Mercedes ‘bought’ this new engine formula.

            Ferrari maybe never pushed for v6’s specifically in the early days but they were certainly fed up with the dominance of aero in F1 and wanted engines to come back into the fold. To suggest Ferrari didn’t want this is simply not true. There are other parts of that article you haven’t quoted that underline my point.

            Anyway, thanks to Ferrari at least we don’t have V4s, that I can be grateful for.

    5. What a strange unresearched comment?

      Can we have some insight into your conclusions please?

    6. You know Renault wrote most of the current engine regs, right?

  9. It was very telling to read the mojority of the answer to Maldonado´s tweet. People in Venezuela are not happy, and those $35 millions will do a lot of help for the people in that country.

    1. You have no idea just how unhappy people are in Venezuela, and the goverment continues to pour lots of money into things like military defenses (we have the greatest military strenght of south america) and crashing F1 drivers instead of fixing food shortages, reducing crime rates (3rd most unsafe country in the world) or fixing it’s oil refineries which brings in 96% of the country’s money and are currently producing way WAY under their capacity

    2. It certainly has a very high “bread and games” level to me @celeste @goddamnvictor, they could hold up pretences when the oil price was high enough that money was in seemingly endless quantities (well and Chaves), but should have changed priorities a couple of years back already.

      1. @goddamnvictor certanly while the oil price was high Venezuela´s Chavez could afford to pay for “circus” for the venezuelan, but I agree @bascb , they should stop pretending that everything is ok and the crazy conspiracy theorist they are trying to sell and take care of the venezuelan people.

  10. On COTD, there were years where other teams challenged Red Bull & Vettel (2010 & 2012), but factoring in 2011/13, and the fact it was 4 straight championships, it was an era of domination. Like for example, 2000 & 2003 weren’t like 2002 & 2004 from Ferrari, but overall those years are considered a Schumacher/Ferrari era. There’s nothing wrong with referring to it as that, so long as people don’t lazily treat a thrilling season like 2000/2010 the same as 2002/2013, or a decent F2003/RB8 the same as a crushing F2004/RB9.

    1. @david-a +1, you hit the nail right on the head.

      Ferrari were far from dominant in 2000 and 2003, they won those championships by the skin of their teeth, but overall 2000-2004 is still referred to as the “Ferrari domination era” because they won several championships very convincingly and won 5 in a row overall.

  11. I think the flashback to the ROC might have been 45 years ago?

  12. Aaaaaaand there’s why no one likes Pastor Maldonado in Venezuela, why the hell is he so much into politics? the Venezuelan goverment is VERY un popular right now, with an anual inflation of over 70% last year and a 110% projection for this one, heavy represion, censorship, lack of respect for human rights and a very serious economical crisis that could really do with the 35mil he crashes all the time :\

  13. ColdFly F1 (@)
    22nd March 2015, 5:59

    On COTD. Yes people might talk about RBR domination (rightly or wrongly). But that is not the point these fans are making.
    The point is that RBR – or at least their senior management – is complaining at the first sign that they are a bit behind. It is RBR who started to use the word domination of Mercedes (rightly or wrongly), but forget that history is just repeating itself and only one team can win the WCC each year.

    I was actually a big supporter of RBR as they brought fun to F1. But it now seems that this was only skin deep, and gone with the first real challenge.

    1. Bang on, exactly my thoughts. Once Horner started bleating the new RB Company line “It’s not fair, blah, blah”. Amazing what”s under the skin when it’s peeled back.

  14. If F1 wants more parity and reduced costs, they should just leave the technical regulations unchanged for 10 years. Teams won’t need to constantly redesign everything, and copying and diminishing returns will cause teams to converge on optimal designs, while still allowing the occasional new idea. I don’t understand how the powers that be keep missing such a basic concept; they try to reduce costs and improve the show by constantly introducing changes.

    1. That makes soooo much sense @ironcito the problem as far as costs go I’d that there regularly seems to be a moving target as far as the regulations are concerned. There is the problem that there will always be large sums of money thrown at the regulations such is the competitive nature of F1, but you think there would be less money thrown around if the regulations were more stable compared to regular regulation changes

  15. Germany is quite expensive for Mr. Ecclestone – 100 Millions to Bavaria…a little revenge? But seriously, the traditional tracks are slowly disappearing and are replaced by Tilke-tracks in countries that have money but no fans…Korea; money and no human rights…Arabs and Russians. Sure, they used to drive in South Africa during Apartheid…nothing new, but what’s next? North Korea hosts a race financed by the Greeks?

  16. That’s Cool. WEC will gladly grab all of these EX F1 circuits and put on a better show

  17. Clearly Germany and France need to start their own 1,000 bhp single-seater series.

  18. It was clear to me for years that the most vital question(literally) in F1 is this: Who will die first: it or Bernie?

    My bet is still on the latter here, but the race is hotting up all the time

  19. The COTD is by far the most sense I have ever heard any one speak about F1 on the Internet. Bravo.

  20. I guess the COTD doesn’t understand what the word to dominate means. From Mirriam Websters:

    To dominate: to be much more powerful or successful than others in a game, competition, etc

    RBR won most races, got most points, and simply had the fastest car overall. ie they dominated that period. They could have even dominated 2009, but Vettel crashed/spun too often for that (Australia, Malaysia, Monaco)

    In F1 it doesn’t really matter if the car is 1 second per lap faster or “only” 3 tenths. They are so equal in every other way that with a 3 tenths performance benefit they start from pole and can manage the race from the front.

    Not sure how this is relevant anyway. it’s not like saying RBR wasn’t dominant is suddenly going to make it logical for Mercedes to be punished for building the best engine and car. If Mercedes is doing something “illegal” (either literally or in the spirit of the rules) then of course that should be stopped, but it’s way to early to simply start equalizing engines already.

  21. I’m glad to this.

Comments are closed.