Renault, Sepang, 2015

Renault believes wins still possible in 2015

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Renault, Sepang, 2015In the round-up: Renault believes it can still win races despite the engine manufacturer’s poor start to the 2015 season.


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

Renault can win this year – Taffin (F1i)

"I think we can win and both Toro Rosso and Red Bull will help us just do that."

Williams F1 team's pace deficit is 'big' - Valtteri Bottas (Autosport)

"With the ideal race, starting at the front, the gap wouldn't be that big but it is too big, much bigger than we expected."

Helmut Marko Q&A: Start of 2015 a catastrophe for Red Bull (F1)

"Renault are spending a lot of money on this power unit - not as much as Mercedes but a significant amount - and are confronted with the same issues that we have: their F1 involvement has to pay off!"

Policing an F1 budget cap (Sky)

"There’s always a way around it. I heard a scenario in Australian rugby league that a player’s wife received all the proceeds of a hotel or restaurant which she didn’t own. But it just happened to be owned by one of the directors of the club that her husband played for."

Mick Doohan: Malaysian GP steward role a one-off (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"Bikes and cars, the only difference is it’s a bit harder to do anything too intentional on a bike because you’re going to take yourself out as well."

Perda da F-1 faz Coreia do Sul acordar para o automobilismo (UOL Esporte (Portuguese))

Pictures from the Korean International Circuit, former home of the Korean Grand Prix.


Comment of the day

Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar, Penske, St Petersburg, 2015How does an IndyCar race compare to an F1 race from a spectator’s point of view?

I moved from the UK to Florida just last summer. A lifelong F1 fan, I went to the F1 race in Spa in 2013 as I knew I was moving away from Europe soon and while the race was boring and processional (thank you Red Bull domination), the experience of attending was superb.

So I went to the IndyCar race in St Petersburg last weekend. As a spectator, it was an awesome weekend!

I bought grandstand tickets at turn ten for my family (two adults two kids) and paddock passes for the weekend for about half of the cost of F1 grandstand tickets for Spa. Food and drink prices were reasonable.

We had an awesome view of the track and the paddock passes were so cool. We got to see all the cars being prepared for the race, and being wheeled to and from the track. Most of the drivers were available too, signing autographs and talking to fans. Simona de Silvestro was an inspiration to my nine-year-old daughter.

Mario Andretti was there too and took time to talk to my family whilst he was signing autographs.

The support races were also good too. The Super Stadium trucks were wildly entertaining. Max Chilton in Indy Lights was disappointing, especially in the first race when we saw his damaged car coming back from the track on a flat bed truck.

For entertainment and value for attending a race weekend, I would vote Indycar first every time. It’s on it’s way back!

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today Sebastian Vettel scored the first victory of his first world championship-winning season in Malaysia. However the points lead after three races was held by Felipe Massa, who was yet to win a race.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 53 comments on “Renault believes wins still possible in 2015”

    1. Hopefully Toro Rosso wins.

      1. On this years form I’m guessing the Toro Rosso might just get a podium before RBR , im cool with that,

      2. Especially if they adopt the Renault colours. Monaco is their best and probably only chance.

    2. Probably not with RBR though.

      1. With their attitude, I hope RBR never win this year.

    3. I think there are few chance for this.

    4. Not sure Verstappen is ready for that yet.

      Hey, I think I’ve said that before. ;)

      1. All he needs is the Mercedes and Ferraris to retire in a high downforce/wet race.

      2. Verstappen is ready for it!

    5. The value you get at an IndyCar race is unmatched in any sport I have come across. I will be in NOLA next weekend for the LA GP. Grand stand tickets were $80 a piece. The cruise out of NO this week is a small proce to pay the wife so she will go with me;)

    6. Helmet current target of 3rd and 5th for rbr and str respectively seems pretty realistic but sure it is frustrating to get stuck in such unfavourable situation, particularly in 2015 but as a whole for the whole regulation set. It’s not as if the team could try again in the next season, they are handicapped. Nevertheless I would be as pessimistic to say that rbr won’t win this season. Dany Ricc Monaco.

      1. @peartree


        Also , DanRics on fire 2014 season may just be reset to simmer as RBR work overtime to correct ‘some’ issues they have with pace ,

        Surely it can’t all be the PU ?
        The kindergarten kids seem to be giving the high school boys a lesson atm,

        Could it be that ” Key” fellow at STR knows a thing or two that Newey doesnt ?


        1. @greg-c As you pointed out RBR has more problems than just the PU. In Malaysia, RBR’s change to HITCO brakes proved to be unwise as both drivers suffered brake issues and therefore had to brake save for most of the race, Daniel Ricciardo also had a damaged front wing and that’s not very good. Helmut (sorry for calling you Helmet) has admitted chassis issues, as ever the only chassis issue RBR have mentioned is the late arrival of their 2015 nose which was at the time of the Malaysia GP still crash testing. RBR claim the rear of the car was built with the new nose in mind.

    7. I do hope STR finish ahead of RBR, and now it seemed quite realistic.

      1. Well it happened in 2008, and that’s when Toro Rosso won a race before Red Bull even did!

    8. What is Helmut talking about? Their investment in F1 has already payed off! They had four consecutive championships for god’s sake! Things aren’t ideal for them now, but I would say that their best approach would be to keep their heads down and keep working at it until they are in a position to win again. All their current blame tactics and threats to leave are doing right now are tarnishing the reputation of the team and damaging the legacy that they might otherwise have in the sport.

      1. I tend to agree. They could be taking this down time with somewhat more grace. I think Ferrari have shown us that catching up, at least somewhat is not impossible.

      2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
        4th April 2015, 4:14

        He’s talking about an ongoing pay off, as with any company one burst of success isn’t going to keep you going, you need to sustain success.

      3. This highlights the problems that non-racing teams have in a racing environment. In contrast to, say, Manor, who is there to race, Red Bull sponsors a team for the sake of marketing. If the company Red Bull doesn’t think they are doing well, they have no reason to stay there compared to the likes of Ferrari, who are able to get through a rough time and come out the other side as they are a racing team.
        This isn’t meant to discredit Red Bull, by the way, and in saying that they are a non-racing team I don’t mean that they shouldn’t be there. I’m just pointing out a problem that a team owned by a non-racing company might face

        1. You are comparing Manor with RBR?

          This argument about RBR not being a racing team is getting really silly. All the teams are in F1 because they want to race and to win, and all the teams wine when they are not winning. Ferrari is giving a fight now but just last year most of the same people complaining about RBR now were complaining about Ferrari, Montezemolo and Dominicali. And all teams are F1 because they want a revenue weather you called brand promotion or money price.

          And at this moment Manor is not even racing themselves.

          1. The team is there to race sure, but Red Bull owns the team for their marketing potential. When that goes away, they’ll either sell the team or shut it down.

            1. @lancer033 give RBR and Didi some credit.

              He has no need to invest all this money on F1 if this was a complete marketing oriented effort it could have ended like Virgin, a back end team, he instead invested not just in one two teams.

              Didi has invested seriously, he brought Newey and has helped a lot of young drivers, 5 of the top ten in Malaysia were part of the RB YDP at some point in their life, and lots of the alumni are doing great in different series.

              So maybe is time for people to get down their “true racer team” high horse, because very few teams have done for the sport whar RBR have achieved in the past 11 years.

            2. And btw considering RB target demo they could have gone for another sports that didn’t need this much money to work

            3. @celeste +1

              Don’t forget rehabilitating a great circuit and actually bringing a race BACK to the European calendar with some of the most affordable ticket prices.

    9. Keith I don’t get your camera lens tweet at all

      1. me too

      2. Its not exactly cutting-edge comedy, its pretty obvious if you watch the video with it. Someone took a video of the start of the race on their phone and put it on Youtube but its blurry, i.e. like the camera lens was dirty.

      3. @sato113 @djdapimp @xtwl The video was a tiny bit blurry but by no means was it a disaster like I had expected. I have definitely seen worse.

        1. Agreed. Was expecting a squashed fly or something. Not being funny, but the video is better quality than TV in some countries. #firstworldproblems springs to mind!

      4. I think it’s more that the phone/camera doesn’t have automatic focusing in video mode, and perhaps the person filming didn’t look through the camera so couldn’t tell it wasn’t focused. At least suggests they were watching the race with their own eyes, not through the camera.

    10. In response to the COTD, a thought for IndyCar fans: how do those of you who enjoy it deal with half of the race being conducted under safety car? What about the close racing often being a result of the series’ own faults?

      I’m not trying to be rude, really. I keep trying IndyCar. I want to like IndyCar, but it’s very easy to get bored after the first 10 laps take half an hour to finish. And the close finishes and overtakes are often courtesy of restarts or fuel strategies that rely on a safety car to work. That and their own designed-to-fail tyres leaves me with a possibly worse sense of artificiality than DRS and Pirelli.

      It just seems a bit daft to lay into F1 while singing praise for a different deeply flawed series. Yes, it’s cheaper, but I’ve never been excited by an IndyCar grand prix. Even living in America, and in a city that has hosted IndyCar (30 minutes from where they used to hold it, in fact), I’ve never considered seeing a live race. However, I’m planning to make a 20 hour drive to COTA for F1 this autumn. Even with plenty of IndyCar races much closer, it makes perfect sense to me.

      1. I almost hate to admit it, but I’ve enjoyed Indycar much more than F1 in the last few years – certainly since the start of the Pirelli/DRS era.

        Yes there’s a lot of pace cars – but somehow they seem to almost always add to the drama in Indycar. They close the field up, add an exciting strategic element and most restarts are cagy, tense affairs. I actually think F1 should be less scared about throwing out a safety car – it tends to add a bit of excitement to races. Equally I love the refuelling (really miss it from F1), the push-to-pass system is infinitely better and less artificial than F1, there is real variety in the circuits (most F1 “street” races recently have been a joke), the cars look much better (even with the aerokits – call me crazy) and the racing is almost always fierce and close (too close sometimes!). I don’t care it’s close to a spec series, it’s still an engineering challenge even if it is not an F1-style aerodynamic one.

        Mainly though there’s a slightly rougher, less corporate feel to it that I just find easier to warm to. F1 is just so clinical so much of the time, sometimes it’s almost miserable – in the press conferences and on the grid you could easily forget that the drivers and mechanics are living out the dreams of so many ordinary folk. Indycar seems much more fun.

        I live in the UK so I’m a long way from seeing an Indycar race live (I’ve been to two GPs, both total processions but still enjoyed them) but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

      2. What is worrying is that same race in St Petersburg also saw one spectator being rushed to hospital with a fractured skull after a collision between two cars threw pieces of bodywork into the crowd, striking her in the head.

        It may be the case that there are some upsides to the IndyCar series, particularly when it comes to treating the fans, but there are certainly some areas where there is room for improvement. As things stand, safety is probably one of the highest areas of concern, both for the spectators and for the drivers.

      3. If you are actually at the track in person, a safety car period is not actually such a bad thing as it gives you a chance to catch up with what’s going on (also gives photo opportunities without missing genuine action). Watching on TV, you are spoilt with all the live timing and positional updates. Yes St Pete had too many laps under yellow, but in general i’d say its not so bad.

        1. Seems F1 is slowly fixing that though @eurobrun, I don’t recall seeing all that much accurate live timing or positional updates from my screen during the Malaysia race weekend, and it seemed the official app didn’t fare much better!

    11. I’ve had amazing times at IndyCar races. You buy a cheap paddock pass and can literally stand 10 feet away from mechanics working on the car next to the trailors. Everyone is relaxed and friendly. It’s a great environment where they seem to really appreciate the fans.

      I wish the technology was more cutting edge. I don’t like the current car design, but the custom aero packages this year are a step in the right direction, even is some of them look primitive. And the ridiculous amount of yellow flags are the main reason why I’ve stopped watching most races.

    12. Hi all,

      How abouts with this continual complaining with this sport we actually be constructive with it? I’ve seen this #saveourformula campaign going around but I struggle to see what this achieves as no solution to the problems have been proposed. This simply acknowledges a whole heap of fans are disillusioned with the sport and it is in need of fixing – we already know that.

      So with that said, what is everyones ideal outcome? There are numerous hurdles to be overcome, the fact that Williams, Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren get funds from Bernie pre-prizemoney distribution is one of them – they are not going to support an outcome where they receive less is in the pocket.

      So everyone, get your thoughts flowing in a constructive manner. We are intelligent enough between us to discuss, critique and evolve on this concept until it is something which addresses this issues of the sport.

      1. Williams and Mercedes get much less than Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren from Bernie’s contracts.

        1. Agreed.

          But taking the Williams one for example. In 2013 they finished 9th in the constructors championship – which is shocking. From this they received prizemoney for finishing 9th, and a historical teams payment from the Formula One Group. If I was a Lotus, Force India, Toro Rosso or Manor I would need to finish 3rd simply to receive the same money as the team that finished 9th! Thats just wrong.

          Well played by Bernie but he has driven such a wedge down the middle of the teams that they will never agree on anything collectively.

          1. Well if this matter can’t be addressed or even acknowledged on a non-race weekend by the group that is supposed to care about it the most we have issues.

            Who actually wants change or has complaining simply become a prerequisite to this sport?

            Keith – in the ideal world how does this sport look to you?

    13. In what I’ve seen Marko and Horner are STILL being pretty ungracious about Renault. They need to get their heads round their own role in making Renault’s F1 investment pay off.

      Horner especially comes across as so deeply, unremittingly self-centred, if I were an engine supplier I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole.

      1. but you’re not an engine supplier.

        1. So? ;)

          I’ve seen F1 people say that exact thing – why would Honda for example sign up for the treatment Red Bull have given Renault?

          1. You are 100 percent correct.Red bull are acting the fool.

    14. Let’s completely ignore the trouble Red Bull had with their brakes in Malaysia.

    15. I guess the only issue with Indycar is that you now risk been injured by bits of these stupid & ugly aero-kits which fly off every few minutes & cause a dozen debris cautions-

      It also seemed to me watching the st.pete race last weekend & from the comments of drivers after the race that overtaking is significantly harder this year in part because these ugly aero-kits produce a ton more dirty air but also because the slightest bit of contact now sends big chunks of the aero-kits flying through the air with a higher risk of puncture than the past few seasons.

      I’ve really been getting back into Indycar since the CART/IRL merger in 2008 & have loved the racing the past 2-3 years with the new car, But based on what I saw last weekend with the horrid look of these ugly aero-kits & the way they have (Negatively) affected the racing I think i’ll be back to not watching every race this year because i’m seriously unimpressed based off last weekend.

      The Honda kit especially is just plain ugly. How anyone can seriously like these ugly, cluttered, dangerous, Debris-yellow causing messes called aero-kits I don’t know.

    16. Re RBR or STR winning this year. Possibly, but on merit? No. They need to hope for the Mercs, Ferrari and Williams to all have bad days – though I wouldn’t be surprised to see RBR ahead of Williams by the summer break.

    17. in response to COTD, this is not new news, here in Australia, the Surfers Paradise GP run by CART/INDYCAR was always a better deal anda better spectacul for racing fans then the Australian GP in Melbourne ,with much closer viewing allowed for fans of everything the whole weekend, and racing probably better. Indycars at the moment sound better then f1, but even in the 90s, when f1s had v10s, the indycars also had high revving (up to 16,000rpm motors, turbo v8s). indycars have always been great value for audio/visual. f1 is now great, mainly because of the last remaining fact that it is the fastest series still – but that is only because of regulations as always.

    18. williams —-they were a mid level midfield team – which jumped the queue last year purely because of their mercedes engine – this year with ferrari engines catching up, they will fall possibly behind sauber again – their chassis is still not top 4, last years success was all about engine – their is no way a team can go from 8th to 3rd in one year in chassis. mercedes also lucked in with the power unit, they went from 4th to 1st.

      1. In 2013 Mercedes were regularly (almost) the fastest on the Saturday, especially early in the year. However, they had trouble making the tyres last – still, a fast chassis already.

    19. I think they’re right. Renault might just win a race or two this year, in Formula Renault.

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