In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen has received a reprimand from the stewards after he entered a restricted area of the pitlane when attempting to pass a queue of cars at pit exit in practice.
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Kimi Raikkonen gets reprimand for pit incident (Autosport)
"Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen has been given an official reprimand for an infringement when leaving the pitlane during the second Friday practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix"
Sebastian Vettel says victory in the Bahrain GP is possible (Sky)
"It’s always possible. I think it’s most important that we feel good inside the car and then we have a good platform to work from. Obviously now overnight we try and improve and go from there.”"
Exclusive Eric Boullier Q&A: Performance push will begin in Barcelona (Formula1.com)
" There will be a strong development push until the summer shut down. This development push will be the base for next year's package. I think we will surprise some people by the end of the season - probably not winning races but raising the bar of our competitiveness."
Bernie Ecclestone: Monza 'must pay' to stay on calendar (ESPN)
"There is a contract for the 2015 race, but not for future seasons. Yes, Monza is a part of F1 history, but they must pay."
John Booth says the team is aiming to have its 2015 Formula 1 car ready for the summer break in August (Eurosport)
"For the 2015 car, our aim has always been for the August break, said Booth. As with arriving in Australia, it is a very aggressive target and will take a lot of achieving."
Formula One reverses human rights stance in runup to Bahrain Grand Prix (Guardian)
"In a victory for campaigners, the organisation behind Formula One racing has done a 180-degree policy reversal in the runup to the contentious Bahrain Grand Prix and agreed to formulate a human rights policy."
Thanks again everyone for your bday messages. Let's hope there are some points in the @Lotus_F1Team cake;-)#BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/lN14CUclNa
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) April 17, 2015
Without doubt one of the best paddock views in #F1 pic.twitter.com/4cRaYo9vK6
— Ian Parkes (@ianparkesf1) April 17, 2015
Juan Carlos I of Spain greets the Spanish drivers of #F1: @robertomerhi, @CarmenJorda, @alo_oficial and @carlosainz pic.twitter.com/9C64eI2uEQ
— sutton-images.com (@suttonimages) April 17, 2015
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Comment of the day
Mercedes may see Ferrari as a threat this weekend, but @peartree isn’t so sure…
Rosberg might have penned the fastest lap today but from my position I can’t see Nico threatening this weekend. Nico is not driving the car right, Lewis looks at ease and the Mercs look good both on qually and race trim.
I can’t see Ferrari threatening, especially considering Ferrari’s setup.
Bahrain was never going to be an easy track for Ferrari regardless of the starting time.
Ferrari have been successful in the past but in this current gen Bahrain is too much of a power track, besides that degradation is not particularly high for the high abrasion surface. There’s only significant loss of tyre life on traction zones. I’m previewing a fight between Williams and Ferrari for the 3rd spot.
From the forum
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On this day in F1
Jenson Button took his second win in the first four races of his McLaren career in the Chinese Grand Prix five years ago today:
59 comments on “Raikkonen reprimanded for pit lane infringement”
18th April 2015, 1:14
Are there any English-speaking F1 journalists/commentators/experts who aren’t spouting rubbish all the time?
18th April 2015, 1:49
don’t know about english speaking, but you should listen to the latin-american ones.. they’re suicide inducing, some times..
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
18th April 2015, 3:13
@matiascasali only sometimes? that’s a shocker…
18th April 2015, 5:34
+1 we demand the return of Wagner Gonzalez and el Tano Fazzini. Man, those always seemed to be stoned during the broadcast..
Craig Woollard (@craig-o)
18th April 2015, 9:59
I personally refer to Keith as a F1-expert. I do not believe that Keith spouts rubbish.
Pete R (@prupp89)
18th April 2015, 10:34
Will Buxton from NBCSN (US) is usually pretty down to earth and spot on!
18th April 2015, 11:07
lol no he is not. He is horrible.
18th April 2015, 11:12
I’d have to disagree with you there. Sometimes he comes up with some… Questionable stuff that are very much him hating on things he doesn’t like. I’d say he’s more biased than anything, but for the most part I’d argue that he’s good.
18th April 2015, 14:58
@prupp89 Will seems to be a very nice guy but Will is as fanatic as can be.
I think there’s been a lowering of the F1 pundits. High quality unbiased and fair journalism is extinct in the current scheme of F1 broadcasting. At the moment I would recoup the imperfect James Allen who’s doing FP2 for BBC and pair him with SKy’s Brundle, in order to get back the nice atmosphere of the ITV races. My fav duo was perhaps the humble pairing of Brundle and Coulthard on BBC’s last year of full coverage, they weren’t known to spat much rubbish and they were very fair.
18th April 2015, 10:46
Steve Matchett is good. I also think Brundle is good too when he’s not asked to speak for 48 hours in 1 race weekend. But you should listen to some other commentators around the world, the Aussie guys aren’t great, and neither is the Asian commentators, K. Chandok is ok…. Everyone complains about BBC and Sky, but they’re the best in the biz in terms of overall coverage and commentary.
18th April 2015, 11:31
I enjoyed Webber commentating on the Aussie GP. Thought it was a nice change.
18th April 2015, 11:39
I have a new found respect and admiration for Sky after I started to watch F1 on Chinese TV. The Chinese commentators are beyond awful.
Tomas Andersson (@celebmir)
18th April 2015, 22:11
I must say that the Swedish commentators are really good. And I usually follow Sky or BBC but last week I watched the Swedish broadcast and was really pleasantly surprised.
They concentrate on what is happening on the track. They even manage to make FP2 long stints be really exciting since they are constantly reporting times and differences on all racers. You really get a feel for the race pace.
Compared to Sky/BBC they usually spend the last 40 minutes of FP2 on gossip. They are so busy speaking to each others that they often miss things on the track.
18th April 2015, 1:24
Nice that the spanish king comes to say hello to the Jorda girl in Bahrain.
18th April 2015, 3:05
King Juan Carlos has been a fixture at GPs since the 1970’s.
18th April 2015, 10:11
With the amount of FOM attention she has recieved, it feels like Carmen Jorda has been a fixture at GPs since the 1970’s.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
18th April 2015, 13:41
@countrygent Carmen Jorda and an elderly fan! @verstappen :D
18th April 2015, 1:42
Hey Romain, take this cake and let the sit for Palmer today.
Not cool, Lotus.
18th April 2015, 1:54
I know from my experience in sales that if one client discovers another client is paying less they tend to get very pushy with you. Arguments on volume, logistics etc… can only get you so far so, Bernie is in a position that he’s giving these races at a lower cost than others and weakening his bargaining position.
But that’s in a free market where a client has choice. There is only one F1 so Bernie gets to name his price. I as a fan don’t want to see a good circuit go, but Bernie is currently acting to secure the best short term financial gains for him personally as he obviously doesn’t have much longer left at the helm. It’s the rest of the circus who do have long term interests that are to blame for leaving him in charge. He’s a very cunning man who made the right people rich so he could stay where he is so long.
Losing an Italian GP would really hurt Ferrari and I can’t help but think Bernie knows that much like Mercedes offered financial support to save the German GP (unsuccessfully), Ferrari will do what it takes to save Monza.
18th April 2015, 2:05
@philipgb Probably more CVC than himself as I believe that as majority owners they get a bigger share of the cash than Bernie himself does.
You also have to wonder how much is Bernie doing what he wants & how much is Bernie doing what he’s told to by CVC who are as I say the majority owners.
18th April 2015, 3:12
Bernie still has an interest (trust) in 15% of F1 but for Bernie I’m sure his ego is more important than the personal financial benefit.
18th April 2015, 9:45
Even Bernie admits the European races don’t have to pay as much as the new ones.
18th April 2015, 9:46
“I know from my experience in sales that if one client discovers another client is paying less they tend to get very pushy with you”.
Very basic rule regarding sales:
If someone is paying you since the very beginning (1922 for instance) he should be privileged compared to a newcomer…
18th April 2015, 13:07
Yeah usually the customers paying less are long-standing customers who have always been good payers too. You don’t want to lose customers like that. Newer customers can pay less too, if their volume of purchases is high. Usually smaller customers or newer ones can grasp that they are paying more because their volume amd history simply isn’t there, and then they have a choice to either pay more, or just not carry the product as they may not be able to compete with those already engrained in the product. Perhaps because of their location they can do just fine paying a little more.
Here in Canada, going back about 8 or 10 years ago BE demanded a guarantee from all governments of 50 mill each for 5 years. Canada said no. Pressure from the teams, seeing no race in North America as being counter to their marketing plans, caused BE to back down on his demands. He cut his ask in half, and the deal was done.
A couple of other business basics…it never hurts to ask for a better price. You may not get it, but you certainly won’t if you don’t ask. And asking a high price can backfire too. All well and good to ask a high price, but if nobody bites you’ve got no sales, and no business.
18th April 2015, 14:34
I agree with everything you said…at the end of the day they’ll probably settle somewhere in the middle. Bernie’s asking 20 they’ll reply 15 and the final outcome will be something around 18 and everyone will be happy again.
18th April 2015, 1:57
Have to say that I disagree with COTD, Especially when it comes to Ferrari who I expect will really push Mercedes.
Yes Bahrain is more of a power track but I don’t believe the power deficit between Mercedes & Ferrari is really that big now, And the speed data on f1.com has Vettel as been fastest in sectors 1/3 which is where engine performance is more important as sector 2 is mostly corners.
And while watching the in-car camera feed with the telemetry data on it during practice today the fastest speeds i saw from Mercedes was 327kph with the Ferrari’s hitting 328kph going down to turn 1 so engine performance is pretty even.
As to degredation, It may not be bad but The Mercedes still seems to be suffering more than the Ferrari. Both Mercedes were suffering performance drop-off over the long runs while the Ferrari’s were far more consistent with far less performance drop-off.
Looking at setup, Looked fine to me given the times they were doing.
18th April 2015, 2:26
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari already has the most powerful PU.
Even Sauber is looking easy to drive, fast and powerful. A completely different story from both Ferrari powered cars last year.
But i believe Mercedes was sandbagging today. Not because of Ferrari, but they weren’t that much faster than other teams too.
If they weren’t, then they will need to muscle out this victory cuz Ferrari is faster and kinder to the tyres.
18th April 2015, 3:37
you can’t say engine performance is similar based on top speed alone, you have to figure in fuel mix, weight, aero drag, and how punishing the current ‘mode’ is to reliability. Top speed and peak horse power are nice numbers to throw out, but the math and science behind this stuff says there is a lot more area under the curve than the distance to the top of the hill.
Riley Smith (@rileysmith)
18th April 2015, 6:50
When he needed to, Hamilton put in some quick laps on old tires in China. With tire wear being as focused-on as it is, I’d be more than willing to bet that the Mercs aren’t worse, it was just Malaysia.
18th April 2015, 9:38
I agree that Ferrari look good on race pace. Telling quote from Seb… “we know Mercedes can turn the engine up for qualifying ” This indicates to me why Ferrari are a second off in quali but much closer in the race. Merc on race day are going for a lower power setting to give a reliable season with no failures or penalties. They think only about the championships. Ferrari uses the tyres better so if Merc are threatened it matters more how much good rubber Lewis and Nico have left to respond when they go for higher power settings.Imagine Usain Bolt on an ice rink! Ferrari could win.
18th April 2015, 11:34
I kind of disagree with the COTD as well, meaning I agree that Ferrari would be difficult to push Mercedes on pace alone, but in an event that the race is not trouble free (a SC for example or a bad-slow pit stop), they could be in a position to be a threat. That’s whay Wolff said, that they cannot afford to fight without watching their mirrors as Ferrari has come closer than any opponent did last year. For example a fight between Lewis and Nico could ruin their tyres and let a Ferrari through.
The fact that both Ferraris changed their ICE this weekend could have to do with performace as well, and I remember that the guys at the Sky live coverage said that the times with the soft tyre could have been done with Ferrari having more fuel, as Vettel did a follow-up fast lap after his best time while Mercedes returned to the pits..
Also I don’t think a fight with Williams is going to happen, I don’t see any indication of Williams improvement and in the last races the gap between Ferrari and Williams seems bigger than Ferrari and Mercedes (talking about the race).
18th April 2015, 2:57
so, kimi will have penalty or not? i dont understand
18th April 2015, 3:07
No he’s been reprimanded. It’s basically an official, though consequence free telling off.
It’s the stewards saying we saw what you did, knock it off.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
18th April 2015, 3:15
@arznil @philipgb it’s not consequence free though. If I remember correctly, 3 reprimands means grid penalty for the next race, as it happened to Webber when he got his 3rd reprimand after jumping on Alonso’s car at Singapore 2013. He got a 10 place grid penalty for the next race.
18th April 2015, 3:26
Fair point. Ok for clarity the two are consequence free, then if you do something fun which shows the fans the sport actually has some heart the stewards will bend you over a barrel and show you the fifty states.
Charles King (@charleski)
18th April 2015, 7:51
The real question is whether any of us would not have done the same thing on coming across some idiot crawling at a snail’s pace and blocking the pit exit :p. Rules are, of course, rules, and there’s a clear safety rationale here, but the FIA need to make some arrangement so that drivers can do practice starts where they won’t impede others who need to get out on the track.
18th April 2015, 3:58
I don’t remember what it is they’ve done to get the sparks back, but it’s a good thing. If they like the visuals, maybe campaign to trade DRS for… colored vapor trails? Personalized mags? Underbody neons? Podium dance-off for an extra point!
18th April 2015, 7:23
@maciek, what they have done is to replace the old skid blocks with titanium instead.
The thing is, whilst it was publicly branded as a publicity exercise – i.e. making it look more dramatic – Charlie Whiting later admitted that the FIA had actually wanted the changes made on technical ground instead. Instead, it appears that they dressed it up as “improving the show” to win support from FOM, thereby ensuring that the teams could not veto the proposal.
As titanium is not as hard as the old alloys used for the skid blocks, the skid blocks will wear away more quickly if they repeatedly strike the ground. Because the permissible wear is still the same, the teams are therefore forced to increase the ride height slightly to avoid rubbing the skid blocks against the ground too frequently – some teams were abusing the old regulations on skid blocks to allow the floor of the car to run much closer to the ground than intended.
As it happens, titanium skid blocks do produce larger and more dramatic sparks – however, Whiting’s comments indicate that the FIA saw that as just a positive side effect of the real reason why they wanted the changes.
John H (@john-h)
18th April 2015, 7:44
Thanks for the background info. Didn’t know that at all. Sounds about right for F1 at the moment though.
18th April 2015, 9:25
Interesting. I dismissed the change because it sounded like they may as well be adding sparklers and streamers. Knowing that the sparks are only a consequence of a change on technical grounds makes me feel like I can switch off my cynicism and actually enjoy them.
18th April 2015, 16:31
Cool, good to know!
18th April 2015, 8:04
The neons are already there, on top of the bin – sorry, control tower – at Bahrain.
Vapour trails to show when DRS is active? Now there’s an idea. Missed opportunity by the FIA.
And I’ve seen podium dance-offs in Red Bull soapbox racing – I guess that’s the series where Christian Horner keeps threatening to take his team. Adrian Newey would enjoy the freedom of design, for sure.
18th April 2015, 9:44
Apart from how gimmicky DRS is, I am all in favour of having smoke trails or LED Lights to better show when a driver is using it. I would be fine with underbody lights to show one colour when they are harvesting (green?) brake energy and another one when they apply battery power or heat energy too @bullfrog, @maciek.
It might look really spectacular in night races and it helps the fans at the track see / underestand what the cars are doing.
18th April 2015, 17:03
Ha, I like it @bascb, but only if the lights pulsate to the beat of each driver’s favorite song : )
18th April 2015, 17:58
YES @maciek :-)
Brian Kneis (@clustr1)
18th April 2015, 4:48
The Ferrari under the lights is achingly beautiful. Love, love, love.
18th April 2015, 9:52
18th April 2015, 11:34
Get rid of that white stripe that seperates the black and paint the wings black and it would be epic
20th April 2015, 14:57
I don’t like the orange red they are using. They should be using clear red.
18th April 2015, 6:25
I think Vettel has a good change. But just heard that his incident with Perez might have been caused by a loose wheel and not so much the brakes. And apparently FIA looking at this today. Unsafe release and possible grid penalty. This was in Adam Coopers blog.
Tony Hamilton (@tonybananas)
18th April 2015, 8:18
Will team radio transcripts from Chinese GP be posted?
18th April 2015, 8:55
COTD – You haven’t taken Safety Car scenarios into considerations. I’d say Ferrari have equally good chance to win or second as they did in Malaysia. Safety car is very much probable this weekend. I’m rooting Kimi for win. :)
18th April 2015, 10:11
Will you put in your predictions though? :P
Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll)
18th April 2015, 10:24
I always put Kimi or Valteri for a win… voting with my heart makes me less depressed than voting with my brain currently.
(voting ham- ham, ham-ham etc. every weekend hurts my enthusiasm for the sport)
18th April 2015, 10:42
You are a brave man indeed!
Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll)
18th April 2015, 11:41
Timothy Katz (@timothykatz)
18th April 2015, 12:08
I read the Jon Booth interview from the link wherein he says Manor will have their 2015 ready for the last nine races of the season. Which is great but seems like a of of effort for nine races. How much work will they need to do to make the 2015 car eligible for 2016, though? Are there many regulation changes for 2106?
18th April 2015, 13:39
Re: COTD…’Nico isn’t driving the car right.’
While I agree of course that Nico still needs to find an answer to LH, I think it is also obvious that LH is more at one with the car still, going back to last year. But come on…NR came within 4/100 ths of LH for pole at the last race, and that could have changed everything given that SV supported the reality that getting within 2 seconds of the car in front was detrimental to the tires. NR was fastest in practice yesterday.
All I’m saying is maybe NR will never find that extra little notch to get by LH, but everyone seems to think he is nothing more than chopped liver and so many other drivers would do so much better in that car, mostly SV or FA though, and what does that then say about LH?
NR may have done a few silly things, and said a few silly things, but I highly doubt LH considers him silly in terms of pace and as a competitor, and unlike MW to SV, or RB and FM to MS, at least NR is always there knocking on the door. He may never win a Championship, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to be castigated as he has. Anyone else in that car going up against the current LH would have an equally hard time.
18th April 2015, 20:30
@robbie – I have seen the argument that the 0.04 second gap in qualifying for China is far from encouraging for Rosberg. In his first run he wasn’t on the pace. In his second run he had a target and failed to reach it. Maybe he can take some comfort, as Hamilton’s second run was compromised – it could happen again. Rosberg needs to be in a position to capitalise every time.
Like you I’m sure Hamilton takes Rosberg very seriously.
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