Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2014

Not having a German GP “feels wrong” – Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2014In the round-up: Nico Rosberg says it doesn’t feel right that F1 is without a race in Germany for the first time since 1960.

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

Nico Rosberg saddened by demise of German GP from 2015 calendar (Sky)

"It feels wrong to have a Formula 1 World Championship without the German GP."

Bob Fernley: 'Do we have to get into such a crisis before anybody reacts?' (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"I think we are starting to see some of the damage that’s been done over the Strategy Group’s decision."

Pat Symonds: Williams are close to Mercedes but no F1 win in 2014 rankles (The Guardian)

"But my disappointment about last year is that we didn’t win a race. That rankles with me, so I’m pretty desperate to win this time."

Stefano Domenicali: Mapping the future of Formula racing (FIA)

&I believe that from a federation point of view what we want to do is make sure we create the right steps so that from an experience point of view, drivers arrive in F1 well prepared. We need to make sure that race stewards can be considered not only as regulators but as educators, helping drivers to grow."

'No agenda' over Hulkenberg/Porsche (Autosport)

"If we have the opportunity to help our drivers widen their career, why would we want to stand in their way? It would be a bit selfish."

Ex-Mika Hakinnen (sic) 1982 Finn Kart SF A1 Chassis no. 466 (Bonhams)

Ex-Mika Hakinnen (sic) 1986 Birel T17 Chassis no. 0125 (Bonhams)

Two karts which were raced by the 1998 and 1999 world champion for sale.

Victoria may gloat about poaching the Grand Prix, but SA gained a lot by losing it (Seven Sport)

"Asked whether (South Australia) would ever consider trying to get the race back, Mr Bignell replied 'you never say never' but said 'while Bernie Ecclestone's running Formula One, I wouldn't be interested.'"

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Comment of the day

Will McLaren keep their drivers reined in this weekend?

I wonder whether McLaren will let their drivers properly race each other on Sunday or just go for valuable mileage?

I’m actually quite excited to finally see a Button versus Alonso battle in the same machinery, albeit at the back of the grid for now!
Simon H (@Travis-daye)

From the forum

Snapshot

Nicolas Hamilton BTCC 2015

Lewis Hamilton’s younger brother Nicolas will race in the British Touring Car Championship this year. Nicolas, who has ceberal palsy, raced in the UK Renault Clio Cup in 2011 and 2012, and in the European Touring Car Cup last year.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alianora La Canta, Fallon, Henrique Pinheiro, Jake and Jorge H.!

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won the Brazilian Grand Prix 20 years ago today but was almost stripped of his victory after his Benetton’s fuel was found not to comply with the rules. He was later reinstated, as was second-placed David Coulthard.

Earlier in the weekend Schumacher damaged his Benetton in this qualifying crash:

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  • 77 comments on “Not having a German GP “feels wrong” – Rosberg”

    1. probably everyone will go to my throat for saying this, but: is Nick Hamilton any less of a pay driver than Max Chilton, or VanDer Garde? i mean, he surely is talented, but he’s the most talented? how much money pours Monster into his career? does he deserves that race seat any more than someone with less money and more talent?

      1. Do you also share the same view towards Alex Zanardi?

        Nick was born with a terrible disease, so for him to be able to walk under his own power, I’d say, yes he has earned his seat.

        1. no, Alex Zanardi earned his way into motorsport way before losing his legs. Ok, Nic has a terrible diease, i grant him that, but, is he good enough to be on his merits, or is he there because of the sponsors he brings?or even worst, is he there as a publicity stunt? and if that’s the case, is he any different to any other pay driver?

          1. Well Nick has also earned his way into motorsport.

            1. by what means? look at how did Alex got into F1 back in 91. He didn’t get there by sponsors alone… he got some trophies to show for.

          2. Wasn’t Niki Lauda a “pay driver” for BRM?

        2. Cerebral palsy is NOT a disease, it is considered a neurological disorder

      2. Yes, agree and his brother has done his utmost to help, but…… lets see what he does! He whips Lewis on games and SIM stuff. He has talent and personality.

        Hold off judging until he has done his five rounds, I reckon he’ll do well.

        1. i’m not judging him, in any case, i’m placing judgment on the hipocresy of thrashing Max Chilton for being a pay driver, and not saying anything about Nic because he has palsy, and yet, still a pay driver. And in any case, what is a pay driver? When Schumacher arrived to Ferrari, Marlboro cut ties with McLaren in order to focus their marketing (money) into only one team. So, Schumacher brought a ton of money to Ferrari by means of Marlboro. Same story with Alonso and Santander. Every driver, at the end of the day, is a pay driver! Even Hamilton himself with his Monster sponsorship!

          1. Willem Cecchi (@)
            26th March 2015, 6:35

            The ‘weltmeister’ and Fernando are not pay drivers. Ferrari would have signed them on irrespective of additional sponsorship money.

            1. no question about that. But, when Ferrari signed Schumacher, they knew they were going to get more money from Marlboro, and thus offered a bigger contract to him. Now the question is: If Marlboro won’t give Ferrari more money, then the contract offered to Schumacher would be lower, then: Schumacher would sign for them for less money? or would sign for the team offering not only the best car but also, the money he think he deserves? think about this scenario: Marlboro staying in McLaren and paying for the big contract, Mercedes pushing for the big German Star, with a car designed by Newey, what would you do in Schumi shoes? (remember, he loured Ross, Byrne and so on to Ferrari, he could easily loured to McLaren aswell), that’s why i say they’re a KIND of pay drivers too

      3. It would be better I think if you could give an example of a driver who was shafted in favour of Nic then maybe people can make a fair assessment on who deserves the seat more @matiascasali

        1. that wasn’t my point. i’m not criticising Hamilton, i’m criticising hipocresy. In any case, i would like to see nic win every race for the next five years so he can shut me up, but, if you see his track record in the clio cup, or the etcc, the best he’ve done is 10th. No one of the other 9 drivers deserves also a place into the btcc? In this very forum i’ve seen people complaining lack of opportunities to talented drivers because the lack of sponsorship. Is this any different? I don’t want to sound like a sour loser, but, Pechito López had more than enough talent to shine at F1, but he never made it because of… lack of sponsors, and now, in the WTCC he’s beating everyone by a great margin (even their teammates, because i aknowledge the fact that the Citröen is like the Mercedes, in a class of their own)

      4. Maybe you should of just left this one alone.
        See this as a real positive. For someone who has cerebral palsy to be racing is a great achievement in itself. Nick can be a real role model, a beacon to many disabled people out there with what hes doing. He’s spreading the message to don’t give up on whatever you want to do and good on him. Putting this under ‘Pay Driver’ category is a bit wrong if you ask me.

        1. alright i agree with you, but i don’t see the same enthusiasm about Susie Wolff driving for Williams. She’s the boss’ wife, she’s a publicity stunt… so, then again, what’s the difference? She can also be a role model, if you ask me. He’s as much as a pay driver as any other one out there, but as i’ve said before, i also think in a way even Schumacher was a pay driver, so now is up to him to prove me that he’s something more than Max Chilton…

          1. It categorically is a publicity stunt; the grid was already a full 31-car grid, he was given dispensation to race for half of the season under ‘guest’ status, and he’s not eligible to score points. It’s nothing other than a publicity stunt and I feel sorry for @matiascasali to be scathed in the way he has for asking a valid question. I haven’t heard anyone use the phrase ‘political correctness gone mad’ since about 2005 but it seems apt here.

            He’s Lewis Hamilton’s brother and he’s disabled; these are the only reasons Alan Gow has allowed him to be any part of the BTCC this year (his official statement included the line ‘…will provide Nicolas with invaluable experience through competing at the highest level of British motorsport…’, I doubt many of you would be praising this same situation and statement had it occured in F1). He’s been trying to get a seat in the BTCC for about a year now and clearly he’s not good enough otherwise he would’ve found a seat with no bother at all.

            I’m not trying to say it’s a good or bad thing (I actually can’t decide lol), nor am I trying to start a sociological debate about these issues, but it’s quite clear what is happening when you look at the whole story. Good luck to them, BTCC is brilliant and just one Lewis Hamilton #BTCC tweet will be more valuable to them than a double-paged spread in The Sun every day for a year, so why not.

            1. Hm, well yes, its about publicity and role models I would say @malcolmtucker, @matiascasali, @johns23. But I would refrain from calling it a “stunt” and the term “pay driver” does not really apply either.

              Just look at it from the other side, from a race team who is looking for a driver to have a go at the championship, or at least wins and solid points to guarantee its continuity. Would you risk putting in a promising guy when there is a lot of risk involved (worsening of his disease etc) in one of your 2 cars available? Is it a risk a team would be able to take?

              I think that is why he is offered a special drive (offering him to be an extra, scoring, driver would upset the others), because, yes the series does understand the PR effect of seeing a guy like him, brother of Lewis non the less participate and show what he can do.

            2. I don’t see what was valid about the question. Nothing is in doubt is it? Apart from the motive for stating the obvious.

          2. FlyingLobster27
            26th March 2015, 7:26

            You’re missing a fundamental point: the BTCC is a national touring car championship, while F1 is the self-proclaimed pinnacle of world motorsport. I agree that the latter’s billing should demand credentials of drivers IMO, which, for example, the latest Lotus “development drivers” or Susie Wolff don’t have. National championships, on the other hand, are not necessarily claiming to be the top rung of a ladder, so I find it unfair to criticise its entrants on pedigree/pay. The Scandinavian Touring Car Championship has two women drivers this year, not to mention a member of the Swedish royal family, but I make no judgement on that. However, should Prince Philip Bernadotte or Emma Kimiläinen be named in F1, I will be very annoyed, as they don’t have many (in fact, even any) national race wins to show for it.

          3. I didn’t know that being a female is like having disorder.

          1. The pay driver debate isn’t relevant to BTCC. It’s a completely different landscape to Formula 1 – independents (as opposed to constructors) are an important and significant part of the grid, many team owners race themselves or run family members, and there isn’t a limited number of drives.

            1. This. The two series are completely incomparable.

      5. @matiascasali @malcolmtucker – I think this is a completely valid question/discussion to bring up. Yes, it can be an uncomfortable topic, but that should not stop one from bringing it up. What if Susie Wolff, with less than stellar results in prior series, turns out to be a supremely talented test driver in an F1 car/simulator? Or somehow even a solid race driver? But she made it into F1 by somewhat nepotistic means. It would still be a valid conversation to have about how she got in, regardless of talent displayed after the fact. Thus, I think what “Dave” says above, to give Nic time to race is fair, though that doesn’t negate the validity of this question.

        But @johns23 is off-base. This is exactly a pay driver situation. And if it is completely cool for Nic to get a drive based on his brother’s success and sway with sponsors, then how is it any different for any other pay driver who has connections? Yes, it’s a good story, but no one is begging for good stories on the grid in these comments prior to this very thread.

    2. Why is Nico said, upon until last season, he never viewed Germany as his home race, but rather Monaco. So don’t feel too down lad, you’ve still got your ‘home’ race to cheat at again.

      1. Disadvantaged in competition, looking for an edge? Maybe you can call the “home crowd”?! Cue A Team theme tune and a German flag. He is trying to motivate some support!

        1. The Germans don’t even support Seb that much, so what chance does Nico has?

          IMHO, Nico’s problem is he talks too much and can’t back it up as well as he’s a fake individual who has had praised heaped onto him without it being warranted.

          1. Thing is I am a massive Hamilton fan. McLaren all the way, Senna, Mika, Kimi, Coulthard… then Lewis and Fernando arrived. That season I decided who and what I supported. When Lewis went to Merc I kept an eye on Jenson but I knew where my focus was.

            Nico is the only other team mate apart from Fernando that I could see beating Lewis.

            Seriously, his ability to absorb knowledge and reproduce on track what he has studied is amazing. If he with his racing ability was any other driver you would be watching Lewis and Heiki Kovalinen in ’08.

            Nico has got something. It’s just not what we traditionally recognise!

            There will be some tight races this season which will demonstrate this. Nico is not “Barbie.” He is a world champ in his own way, just maybe not in the way that can beat Lewis..

            1. Nico has been in F1 since 06 and up until last season, at no point was he ever looked at and referred to has being the one who learns and adapts on the track.

              It’s all a facade that the media are trying to push onto us. Sure he’s a good driver, but he is as his nickname suggest, a Barbie. Racing isn’t just about sitting around a laptop studying data continuously and then believe that’s going to just translate onto the track. The best studying is done in the car whilst racing, you’ve got to be able to adapt to every changing situation, that’s smart. Nico has yet to show that he can do that and it’s for that reason why I personal don’t rate him as highly as people are doing.

              If we were to believe every news story about how smart and intelligent he is, how many different languages he speaks, how hell adapt more to these new regs, because of how complicated the technology was, he should’ve wiped the floor with Lewis. Lewis was viewed as the one who only had the talent of raw speed and that’s it. He wasn’t able to think the long game, was able to pace himself in the races or look after his car. But last season he bettered Nico in every category that he was expected to have failed in.

              Lewis joining Mercedes raise Nico’s profile and had Ross still been at the team, he would’ve been the #2 driver. But I’m glad they allowed them to race, so that Lewis once and for all could shut up all those people who viewed as only having just the talent of going fast and not being able to think. Lewis is a lot smarter than he gets credit for, if anything he’s much smarter than Nico.

            2. Seriously, his ability to absorb knowledge and reproduce on track what he has studied is amazing.

              Aah, the justification for Lewis his wins. ‘He beat somebody who is smarter’…

            3. Nico is not “Barbie.”

              Isn’t it Britney?

      2. Nico Rosberg was born in Germany to a Finnish father (Keke) and a German mother; but has lived almost his whole life in Monaco. So granted, he’s more German than most people think; but not like almost any other F1 driver- all of whom were brought up in their respective countries (Vettel, Hulkenberg)

        1. ohh…Nico does seem talk a lot given the fact that he’s half Finnish!

          1. Maybe because he doesn’t speak Finnish.

      3. In the words of Michael Jackson…
        Don’t blame it on the sunshine
        Don’t blame it on the moonlight
        Don’t blame it on the good times
        Blame it on the BERNIE!

    3. Oh dear, Renault seem intent on going a few rounds with Redbull don’t they? But is it really necessary to tweet that pic of boxing gloves? Just seems cheap and provocative to me.

      1. Defending a massive corporate investment. RENAULTSPORT has achieved far more than Red Bull. It’s history and it’s written by the victors!

        1. Indeed. Renault is down now but it deserves respect. We often see Honda being (rightly) praised for their history in F1 but theirs is nowhere near Renault’s record.

      2. And it wasn’t cheap and proactive when RedBull called them out, without disclosing the real reason why they had so many problems in Australia?

        1. The real reason being Red Bull (rightly!) demanding agressive development and an update before Australia, and Renault thinking that bypassing their normal testing procedures was the proper way to interpret “agressive development”?

      3. @blackmamba I think it’s actually lightening the mood. I mean Horner’s blowout is a full blown public affair, and now Renault’s response has been pretty vocal as well.

        So why not add a little humour on this whole fiasco?

        On another note, Renault seem to have a Lotsesque sense of humour in their tweets. Looks like both Lotus and Renault guys must have shared a lot of laughs in the garage

      4. ColdFly F1 (@)
        26th March 2015, 6:49

        @blackmamba, I thought he meant EVERLASTing relationship – through thick and thin.

      5. So, is it that, with the gloves on display, Renault knows their engine is not going to be much better this weekend and they are ready for a fight; or just the opposite, the engine is better and they are going to pummel RBR publicly? What a mess. RBR and company really need to take a cue from McLaren. They had an abyssmal weekend and yet had nothing but positives from Boullier and Button; classy and mature. I was a fan of RBR, but this latest round of whining has really turned me off.

    4. But yes; partisanship aside, we should not be in the situation where a calender does not include a German race.

      The “show” and the “revenue” appear to be in conflict. I understand the principles of running a business but at it’s core F1 is a Euro supported series. Not a fan of allowing Euro circuits to fail.

      Silverstone has managed to get protected status. I am eternally grateful for this but Monza is dubious, Imola is gone, Magny Cours etc etc.

      The teams and Manufacturer’s are European. Their emerging markets are Middle and Far Eastern.

      There needs to be a compromise between history, revenue and breaking new ground. An objective top down view. Bernie….. sit this one out!

    5. @Kgn11

      IMHO, Nico’s problem is he talks too much and can’t back it up as well as he’s a fake individual who has had praised heaped onto him without it being warranted.

      Rosberg does not get the praise he deserves, but at the same time, he also gets some praise which he doesn’t deserve.

      Rosberg is not a cerebral driver. He is not particularly consistent, and he has a terrible tendency to crack under pressure. Last year, he threw away more wins than I recall from any other driver, including at least Bahrain, Spain, Hungary, Belgium, Monza, and Russia. In that sense, he gets too much praise.

      However, Rosberg is a very fast driver, EXTREMELY fast. Being Hamilton’s teammate somewhat hides this, but Nico would mop the floor with the majority of drivers on the field in both qualifying and race speed. Rosberg’s natural speed in clean air makes up for his underwhelming racecraft and consistency.

      A lot of people compared the Hamilton vs Rosberg title battle last year to Senna vs Prost, the problem is that Rosberg is nothing like Prost, he is the exact opposite of Prost. Prost’s biggest strength was his racecraft, and his biggest weakness was his qualifying speed. Rosberg’s biggest strength is his intrinsic speed (he could probably beat Prost over one lap qualifying), but his biggest weakness is racecraft.

      1. So given that opinion, how and when will Nico beat Lewis?

        1. My bet is Monaco….. again!

          1. Also, the one thing that kept Nico in the race for the title last year was consistency, so I think he’s ticked that box!

          2. I think Lewis will demand first shot at qualifying, to make sure he gets a banker in before any funny stuff by Nico.

        2. Apparently Rosberg has led every one of the last 156 laps around Monaco.

      2. And what praise is it that he deserves? He was in the most dominat car the sport has ever seen, but could not win 2 races consecutively? Ricciardo was able to do that with a blow dryer for an engine.

        Do you mean like when he was getting beat by Schummi the moment he started to get accustomed to the car?

        And the fact that he continually cracks under pressure demonstrates how weak he is mentally. Something which he showed when he continually kept talking about how he hate coming 2nd to Lewis. I don’t rate him period, because I despise cheats.

        1. He was in the most dominat car the sport has ever seen, but could not win 2 races consecutively?

          Prost also only won 25% of the races in 1989, which is less than Rosberg in 2014 (26%); and the MP4/5 was easily as dominant as the W05. Will you use this to argue that Prost was not great? Of course not, because he had Senna as his teammate. Similarly, if Rosberg had an average driver (say Kovalainen) as his teammate instead of Hamilton, he’d have 12 to 15 wins in 2014 easily, and everyone would be talking about his 2014 season in the same way we talk about Vettel’s 2013 or Schumacher’s 2004.

          Ricciardo was able to do that with a blow dryer for an engine.

          All of Ricciardo’s wins in 2014 were lucky flukes. In Canada he was gifted it thanks to a double car failure on the Mercs. In Hungary, he relied on Hamilton starting from the back and needed an extraordinary lucky safety car to get him from 6th to 1st without doing anything. In Belgium, Hamilton’s puncture gifted him another win.

          Do you mean like when he was getting beat by Schummi the moment he started to get accustomed to the car?

          Rosberg beat Schumacher in all eleven objective categories of performance:
          http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/schumacher-and-rosberg%E2%80%99s-head-to-head-record-at-mercedes/

          This “accustomed to the car” argument is nothing but an excuse thrown around when drivers popular with the fans get served by their teammates.

          I don’t rate him period, because I despise cheats.

          I guess you don’t rate Schumacher either?

          1. Are you seriously trying to make comparisons between Prost and Nico’s winning percentage in a dominat car so as to somehow say he’s great?

            That analysts was over their respective time together as teammates. There was a point I think it was their last season, that he was at times matched and outpaced by Schuey.

            I can let you have the ‘lucky win’ argument for Canada for Ricciardo, but not the other 2 races is a no no.

            Hungary….
            Got overtaken by a TR and then proceeded to trail behind JeV for another what 10-15 laps. Costing not only himself time, but also Lewis and Seb. Lewis dispatched of Jev the first chance he got in an area where we have only seen someone trying to pass once (Grosean). That cost him the chance of winning the race. Furthermore Mercedes failure to put Lewis on an identical 3 stop strategy, especially when he had 3 new sets of option tyres.

            Spa…

            After the collision, flat spotting his tyres with a poorly executed attempted at passing Seb coming up to the bus stop chicane, forcing him to stop earlier than he should’ve.

            So no, those weren’t lucky wins, he won them fair and square because once again demonstrated his inability to actually race. Out in front with no one to challenge him, his the only thing he knows how to do, but the moment he’s being pressured, all that cool calm, cerebralistic, intelligent and whatever bs they use to describe him, goes out the window and them reverts back to looking completely inadequate.

            And like I said, “I despise cheating” if you’re in equal machinery as your teammate, then there should be no need for that or against anyone at all for that matter.

          2. Are you seriously trying to make comparisons between Prost and Nico’s winning percentage in a dominat car so as to somehow say he’s great?

            Nope, but rather as a counter-argument to the initial argument that Rosberg’s lack of wins in 2014 somehow proves he is not great.

            That analysts was over their respective time together as teammates. There was a point I think it was their last season, that he was at times matched and outpaced by Schuey.

            Being out-paced by Schumacher is not exactly a disaster, given that even though he was old and past his prime, it was still Schumacher.

            Got overtaken by a TR and then proceeded to trail behind JeV for another what 10-15 laps. Costing not only himself time, but also Lewis and Seb. Lewis dispatched of Jev the first chance he got in an area where we have only seen someone trying to pass once (Grosean). That cost him the chance of winning the race. Furthermore Mercedes failure to put Lewis on an identical 3 stop strategy, especially when he had 3 new sets of option tyres.

            It doesn’t matter how poor Rosberg’s middle stint was (conveniently ignoring his brake problems). None of this changes the fact that prior to the SC, the order was:

            1. Rosberg

            6. Ricciardo (+ 21.5 seconds)

            After the SC came in:
            1. Ricciardo

            5. Rosberg

            If not for the ridiculously timed SC, do you really think that Ricciardo would have even seen Rosberg that race? He was a pitstop behind 8 laps into the race, for goodness sake.

            And like I said, “I despise cheating” if you’re in equal machinery as your teammate, then there should be no need for that or against anyone at all for that matter.

            You did not specify that second part, but anyway, Schumacher had equal machinery to Alonso in 2006 (they weren’t teammates, but Renault and Ferrari were very similarly competitive), but that didn’t stop Schumacher from resorting to cheating (Monaco Q3). Your double standards are showing.

          3. the MP4/5 was easily as dominant as the W05.

            Clearly it was not, otherwise it would have won more than just nine out of sixteen races and four 1-2 finishes.

      3. Myabe the Senna vs Prost comparison is a good one but Lewis is Prost and Rosberg is Senna?

        1. Not really because Senna new how chance and overtake people very well. Nico showed nothing of the sorts against Hamilton.
          Actually is Hamilton that proves he is like Senna but Nico proves he faster than Prost in qualifying but nothing else.

    6. Waiting for John Surtees to be a steward.

      OK, not gonna happen, but I can at least hope!

    7. This back and forth between Renault and Red Bull is fascinating. I am surprised that Renault would let Red Bull influence them to such an extent that they would bypass their standard engineering processes. Making F1 engines for decades doesn’t give you enough gravitas to push back on a chassis development team who have been around for a fraction of the time? Engineering standards are engineering standards for a reason, they help ensure product quality. Stick to your processes and push like hell Renault, but don’t turn your back on good engineering.

    8. Melbourne has the Grand Prix, because during the South Australian election, neither candidate would commit to re-signing the event. Adelaide had a great track (its where i first started watching F1), but im glad Melbourne stood up to sign it.

      1. I’m disappointed that we no longer host the F1 – but it did make way for the Clipsal 500, and also the annual Fringe Festival (which was every two years at the time). The Jan-March period in SA is crazy. Then through April-June it’s all wine festivals until the quiet winter.

        Bernie asks too much to host a Grand Prix, and with CVC making something like $1.5 billion annually, and yet the teams struggle to pull together a car, let alone be competitive – Bernie needs the flick. CVC needs to realise that it’s bleeding it’s investment dry and reduce their intake, redistributing some of the funds to more teams. A grid of 26+ cars should be the aim – I believe anyhow.

    9. No French Grand Prix since 2008, no German one this year and after next year no more Monza. Sooner or later we’re gonna lose Belgium and then Britain. These countries are the backbone of Grand Prix racing. The sport needs these places. Without them, you end up with places that have no motorsport heritage.

    10. There is a marked difference between able bodied pay drivers and Nicolas Hamilton.

      A pay such as Max Chilton had every prospect in life to be the equal of an Alonso or Hamilton and just unfortunately doesn’t seem meant for this craft in terms of ability, but through financial means is still presented with the opportunity. That inspires no one and is just an indulgence.

      Nicolas Hamilton may not be able to compete with the front of the field, but from what I recall of his Clio cup results he still mixed it with able bodied people on merit. His father was harsh but fair with him in that he wasn’t just going to fund him for the fun if it, he wanted him to prove himself. Personally I think the lad is remarkable.

      1. @philipgb – If you’ve seen Nic Hamilton on TV he’s pretty good in interviews. As I understand it, he shouldn’t even be able to walk without aids. The guy is an inspiration and seems to be a reasonably quick driver. It may be that his real strength is his dogged determination – to get sponsored, to race, to avoid handouts from his big brother, to be his own man and not stand in the shadow of others.

      2. ok, let’s not call him a pay driver (even tough he is) and let’s call it a sort of publicity stunt. If last year Susie Wolff got to drive Williams before, i don’t know, Felipe Nasr, what would you say? That it was nepotism (sort of)? A publicity stunt? won’t you say that it’s unfair that she gets to drive when a better driver, or at least, with better results drive that car? Ok, then tell me how different the situation with Nic is… I don’t want to be the guy pocking at him and being called insensitive because he has a lot of will power, overcoming his limitations and so on. I would really like him to be not in BTCC, but in F1 if he’s good enough, but not because he have some deep pockets (or big pocketed sponsors) thanks to his succesful brother. And that’s why i don’t want to see some Max Chilton or that kind of pay drivers in F1 either! is the same argument for both of them.

    11. Glad to see someone with as much gravitas in the F1 world as Brundle sticking up for Horner. While it’s still bewildering why he would lay so much blame for the lack of performance in Melbourne at Renault’s feet (especially when their sister team did relatively well,) the amount of heat he copped for it was way overboard.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        26th March 2015, 7:17

        Maybe Brundle also got beaten by his little sister when he was young! @skipgamer

    12. Forindooruseonly
      26th March 2015, 6:25

      The difference between Nick Hamilton and pay drivers is quite simple – there is no team relying upon the cash brought by Nick to stay afloat or develop the team. Is this a publicity stunt, sure, but he is not a pay driver. And in a way, he earned his chance at the publicity stunt rather than simply buying it by being the best funded handicapped driver…

      1. assuming that Nic was fit to drive an F1 (i guess he can get out of the car in less than 5 seconds, and so on) and some fairy came, and give Nick a bag with $20 mill to race in F1, so he pays his way to drive a Sauber, would you still be saying he isn’t a pay driver, but a role model for the handicapped? it’s the same, only that btcc is way cheaper than F1. And how did he earned his chance into this publicity stunt? would you say that if Alex Zanardi gets to drive a BTCC would be a publicity stunt aswell, or that he’s a talented enough drive that happens to be disabled?

        1. forindooruseonly
          26th March 2015, 18:56

          Nowhere did I say he’s a role model. What I said is that he isn’t a pay driver in the normal, despised sense of the term. Clearly, there is no team surviving upon the cash he is bringing to the team and he isn’t putting someone else out of a legitimate racing seat because he brought money. It is only 5 races, and no points possible – hence the publicity stunt.

          Now as far as your straw man arguments go, IF he or Zanardi brought a wad of cash to Sauber and paid their way into a competitive drive, then they would be pay drivers. If they signed with Sauber and Sauber could pay them a salary, then they’d be simply drivers. And if either one raced 5 races as a non-competitive entry to prove that they were capable as a disabled person, then it’d be a publicity stunt.

          I say he earned in a way into the publicity stunt because he did well enough in Clio Cup and ETCC to justify Monster putting him into a car with AmD tuning. If they thought he was going to flounder around in the back, holding up lapping cars and embarrassing everyone, they wouldn’t bother. It’s not like he simply bought an already existing opportunity. He had to convince people – sponsors, BTCC leadership, etc, that it is not going to be a disaster.

    13. Don’t worry Nico, you still have Monaco.

    14. ColdFly F1 (@)
      26th March 2015, 7:09

      “But my disappointment about last year is that we didn’t win a race,” says Symonds. “That rankles with me, so I’m pretty desperate to win this time.”

      In Monaco he could always pit Bottas early and remind his Brazilian driver what lap he is on.
      Before you know it Bottas wins the race, and Symond’s rankling is replaced by eternal regret and shame.

      1. the (in)famous Williams pit strategies

    15. Good luck to Nic I say. The BTCC will benefit in all sorts of ways having him drive in their championship this year, not least for his driving skills. There will be a lot more media coverage, and that will keep the sponsors happy at all the teams.

    16. knowing that Rosberg likes to wear sanitary towels on his head, definitely feels wrong

    17. someone with cerebral palsy I would not put and pay to be behind the wheel of these incredibly fast machines. non-disability drivers crash and get serious injury, so why put someone with a disability????

      and Rosberg; look at it this way, one less race to lose to Hamilton and it wont be ur home HOME race..

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