Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Ferrari won’t swap Raikkonen for Hamilton

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says they are not planning to sign Lewis Hamilton as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen.


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

Ferrari deny plans to sign Lewis Hamilton in place of Kimi Raikkonen (The Guardian)

"Does Lewis Hamilton call you? Because he never calls me. Every driver here in the paddock wants to drive for Ferrari, this is normal, even guys that were quite a lot of the time world champion."

Ferrari challenge set to be boosted by Canadian GP engine upgrade (Sky)

"Ferrari are understood to be estimating a step forward in performance of 20-30 brake horsepower from the upgrade, which will use up around five of their ‘tokens’."

Ferrari was 'artificially' close to Mercedes in Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel (ESPN)

"Asked directly whether Mercedes might be sandbagging this year in response to pressure from the sport to make racing more exciting, Vettel added: 'I don't think they are trying to do something stupid.'"

Mercedes compromised brake cooling for performance, says Wolff (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"You can’t do anything if the brake-by-wire collapses or fails and it goes to coventional, the pedal becomes long and the car doesn’t stop any more. This what happens to Nico."

Boardroom power shift moves VW closer to F1 (Motorsport)

"The main stumbling block to this previously has been the fact that Piech did not like F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and despite the two having only met on fleeting formal occasions there appears to be a mutual dislike between the two on a personal basis."

Bernie Ecclestone says Italian GP situation similar to Germany (Autosport)

"When it was suggested that losing the race would be unthinkable Ecclestone said: 'I tell you something, I was told that when we didn't have a race in France. And Germany now. We've got some good replacements, haven't we?'"

Qatar F1 race hopes appear to remain distant (Reuters)

"It's not for us (to say if Qatar can have a race). It's for the rights holder. We welcomed Abu Dhabi when they came on board and we'll wait and see. I think (Ecclestone) appreciates the loyalty we have kept with him."


Comment of the day

A great addition to Stats and Facts from @Bleu:

Jenson Button’s DNS meant that his run ended with 179 consecutive starts. He had chance to surpass Patrese as the all-time leader. Here’s drivers who have started at least 150 races consecutively.
Riccardo Patrese 187 (BEL 1982 – AUS 1993)
Jenson Button 179 (FRA 2005 – CHN 2015)
Fernando Alonso 176 (FRA 2005 – ABD 2014)
David Coulthard 175 (BRA 1995 – CAN 2005)
Nico Rosberg 170 (BRN 2006 – BRN 2015) active
Rubens Barrichello 167 (GER 2002 – BRA 2011)
Alain Prost 160 (USW 1981 – BRA 1991)
Mark Webber 157 (FRA 2005 – BRA 2013)
Lewis Hamilton 152 (AUS 2007 – BRN 2015) active

So Rosberg will end with 185 if he can start all the remaining races this year, meaning that he has chance for record next year.

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On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna scored the first grand prix victory of his career 30 years ago today in a rain-soaked race in Portugal:

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  • 124 comments on “Ferrari won’t swap Raikkonen for Hamilton”

    1. Let me be absolutely clear, there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that I am replacing Kimi next year.

      1. Regarding comment of the day – I fail to see how Alonso can be on this list considering he missed the first race of this season.

        1. This list does not show Alonso as having an active streak. It ended in 2014 when he couldn’t start the first race of this year.

        2. It shows Alonso’s streak ending at Abu Dhabi 2014.

      2. “Does @hohum call you? Because he never calls me. Every fanatic here in the paddock wants to drive for Ferrari, this is normal, even guys that were quite a lot of the time predictions world champion.”

        1. Hohum has responded to the odd comment I have made on here. Does that mean he wants to drive my Focus?

          1. Nobody wants to drive a Focus…

            1. Yep, they would much rather drive and focus

      3. I think Ferrari is daft, if they believe they have us convinced with the sleepy Raikkonen theory. I think the move won’t subside because it would be a massive commercial disaster for F1 as it would lead Mercedes the chassis builder out of F1. F1 needs more money flow or less expenditure, losing Merc would mean losing a team and £300M and lots of marketing in a couple years time.

        1. In fact, Hamilton is 80% likely to go to Ferrari next year, because he has to consider it at some time, and it’s pretty much now or never.

          The 20% chance that he won’t desert Mercedes will steadily either increase of decrease over the year because it is based on the performance of Verstappen. If Max does well enough in the next nine races or so, he will be signed by Ferrari and Hamilton will lose his chance. Hamilton has been told to hold out for this judgement to be made.

          Lewis’s seat will be filled by either Alonso (if the revolutionary Honda design won’t stop blowing up), Bottas or Ricciardo, as Danny has no chance of success in a Red Bull team with no Newey, and, career-wise, needs to jump out of his car quicker than Hamilton when his bum’s on fire.

          Unless he fancies a retirement package with Williams, Red Bull or Renault, I’m not sure Kimi will be in F1 next year at all.

          1. As far as Hamilton’s future goes, I suspect he will go from Mercedes back to McLaren at some point. Honda McLaren is where his racing roots are (I mean RD brought him along from a young driver) . Let Alonso and Button develop the car to being competitive. I’m not sure when Button’s contract is up, but could there be another Alonso/Hamilton pairing at McLaren down the road? I think LH and RD have unfinished business.

            1. Totally unlikely. Hamilton’s trajectory has been to escape those roots, his father’s management, McLaren, his other management, moving into the music/fashion scene, even working out his own contract. Far more probable that a new challenge at Ferrari, and the challenge of Italian language and culture, will appeal than trudging back to McLaren for the same things he left behind years ago – and when?! He spent years waiting for them to get their act together. How’s that going? Maybe some gigantic leap will put McLaren/Honda exactly where Ferrari are. More likely they’ll reach Williams level. At most.

          2. Agree with a lot of that, but one good season won’t make Verstappen comparable to Hamilton, whatever his talent: he still has a ton to learn to become a complete driver, whereas Hamilton is probably at his peak and will be for the next few years. Also taking Hamilton from Mercedes removes probably Ferrari’s biggest rival and threat in terms of winning a championship. Even Alonso, Ricciardo or Verstappen stepping into the gap would take time to get up to speed at Mercedes, and only one has championship-winning experience. However, I’d guess Lauda will convince Hamilton to stay. And maybe Vettel (Alonso-style) could block any move to Ferrari? In fact, that makes me wonder whether Hamilton’s comment about having ‘number one’ written into the Vettel and Alonso’s contracts wasn’t actually to do with this…

          3. I can’t see any reason why Hamilton would want to go to Ferrari, at least not in the near future. He is winning races driving for Mercedes, which equates to a lucrative rewards. Maybe if Mercedes suddenly took a nose dive in performance then that might affect his outlook. If he went to Ferrari then he would have to accept being Number 2, which would equate to only occasionally winning races, hence less income. Thus the only real reason for driving for Ferrari would be because of the mystic, not for the rewards.
            If Hamilton did go, then it would be because Vettel had left and there was a Number 1 seat available, which would mean that whoever was Number 2 would have to at least live with the possibility (Hamilton’s equal driver policy aside) that they remain a Number 2 for quite a few more years.

            1. “If he went to Ferrari then he would have to accept being Number 2” you are so funny i cant even laugh…

          4. Prag Matty, the chances of Ferrari choosing to sign Verstappen are pretty much zero – it would require a fundamental shift in Ferrari’s hiring attitude that has lasted the best part of 60 years, as they traditionally have been very conservative with their driver choices and shown a strong preference for experienced drivers.

            In some ways, it is a decision that has served them well – remember how fans were screaming that Ferrari should have hired Perez after his strong season at Sauber? Verstappen has done well so far but, as others have noted, we have also seen other drivers been a one season wonder and then failed to build on that initial promise – Ferrari will see Verstappen as far too much of a risk to take on right now, and will therefore be quite content to wait and see how he develops in the coming years.

            In reality, I think that the most likely option is that both Kimi and Hamilton will continue at their current teams for at least another year.

          5. @Prag Matty. You must be following some other series than F1 in 2015 based on your speculation.

            It’s more than obvious that Ferrari will continue with the present driver setup, for three reasons:

            1. Both Vettel and Räikkönen are producing,

            2. This year’s car matches Mercedes, Ferrari just have to sort out the slippery exits from fast curves,

            3. Team mgmt have succeeded in turning the direction of Ferrari in a record short time, and they will take no risk in shaking the boat.

            Fact is, Ferrari doesn’t need Hamilton, you’d better start looking truth in the eyes.

      4. In fact, I have asked Arrivabene about you and he has confirmed me he has no plans to hire @hohum to replace Kimi.

        So, for The Guardian, big news are… there is no news.
        Sports reporters are unique in their class.

      5. I think we should start a crowd sourcing effort to get @hohum a seat at Ferrari, or at least Sauber. Hey, it worked for Kobi so it will work for hohum!!!

        And just think: If we can get him a seat at Sauber then we’ll actually make a profit when Monisha inevitably sells the seat out from under him next year and has to settle with us out of court!!!! :)

        1. @daved, Great idea, thanks, I better open a swiss bank account with UBS. Do you think I should ask Rolex to pay me to wear one of their watches or should I just ask them to send me one to wear?

          1. @hohum
            They should pay you to wear the Rolex! And the cool thing is that if you keep all the funds in UBS, then they can help hide all our profits from the court case so we never pay taxes. I mean…that is their specialty :)

    2. We’ve got some good replacements, haven’t we?


      1. Valencia maybe? if they can turn it into a night race

      2. Neil (@neilosjames)
        21st April 2015, 0:34

        Beat me to it!

      3. Actually, they do have one or two good “replacements”. However, none of them have the history and atmosphere of the “classic” tracks.

        Loosing France was a blow. Loosing Germany even more so. But Monza? The home race for all those Tiffosi? That would be a tragedy!

        1. @drmouse Kinda bored of the history arguement. Monaco has history sure but how many really thirlling races have we had there?

          Turkey for example is a wonderful track and hasn’t got the change to build a history.

          1. Anyone see the irony in Germany and possibly Italy losing their GPs when Mercedes and Ferrari are the two best performing teams this year? These teams need to have home GPs more than anyone.

          2. Agree! Time for Monaco to go. It is just a parade unless someone smacks the wall.

        2. @dormouse – I’m 50/50 on losing the French GP…. It’s a shame to not have a race in a country with so much history etc but on the other hand, Magny-Cours was rubbish and Monaco is technically a part of France anyway!

          Losing Germany is a similar situation. Sad to lose the country, delighted to lose the tracks! The new Nurburgring/Hockenheim are not classic tracks and in my opinion, aren’t a patch on some of the newer tracks like China, Malaysia, USA or Turkey.

          Monza will continue to host the Italian GP for years to come. Any suggestion they won’t is purely Bernie trying to negotiate. Imagine Ferrari’s response if Monza was dropped!

          1. I dont want Monza to be dropped from the calender, but if it was dropped Ferrari can bid for Mugello to host Italian Gp? I dont think Ferrari would mind that much?

            1. Mugello would be fantastic

        3. Nostaligia is a funny thing. I remember people complaining about Magny Cours an awful lot when it was on the calendar but now they are sad that its gone. Maybe you’re old enough to remember the days of Paul Ricard, but sadly it doesn’t meet the safety specifications.

          1. Paul Ricard is owned by Bernie? It has been done up surely it now has the highest standards?

            1. Bernie is not silly enough to pay CVC the kind of money he/they are asking for staging a GP.

      4. @bigwilk Algarve’s circuit

        Just kidding, Portugal would have to sell the country

      5. I don’t think F1 will ever be the same without the Italian Grand Prix- but it can survive without the actual Monza venue. Hosting an Italian GP at Mugello or Imola would be fantastic, I think. I don’t think it matters where the Italian Grand Prix is staged in Italy- it would have the same atmosphere and would be just as good as the GP has been at Monza. But Monza is special; it’s the oldest venue F1 still goes to, and because Formula One has been there every year but one (Imola in 1980) since 1950, and many times before that, dating back to 1922.

        1. Maybe there could be a deal where the Italian GP could alternate between Monza and Mugello, or something.

          1. Yes, but if you are losing money every year is losing money only every 2nd. year a solution for the tracks?

    3. Every driver here in the paddock wants to drive for Ferrari, this is normal, even guys that were quite a lot of the time worldchampion.

      Where have we had that before? I guess this is Ferraris way of saying no to the world but not really closing the door to the driver in question and maybe even manipulating the driver to think that he wants to drive for them

      1. Yeah, I was just thinking the same. That’s a very clever way to say “no” now and invite the driver for the future at the same time. With a healthy dose of mind games sprinkled on top.

    4. Ferrari won’t swap Raikkonen for Hamilton

      Silly season starts earlier every year.

      1. Soon it will start before the winter testing.

      2. It also finishes earlier every year. Last year, round December we had all the drivers for the confirmed teams.

        1. Sauber.

          1. Sauber had 6 drivers contracted to race (bianchi, van de garde, sutil, gutierrez, eriksson and nasr. So they probably knew who were going to drive but at the same time they had to play and deceive the drivers. It seems sauber sold 6 race seats for 2015…

          2. And that was only truly decided the weekend of the first race!

            1. If you happen to have 8 millions lying around, you can also get a chance to sit in one of those seats and wear and smell a fellow F1 driver’s scent, feel the experience :)

      3. I think today every driver on the grid willing to swap with Hamilton seat..even Kimi.

        1. Rosberg would love that.

          1. Yeah, imagine what Rosberg would get out of that car if he swapped seats with Lewis!

    5. ColdFly F1 (@)
      21st April 2015, 0:35

      Ecclestone has given the go-ahead for Azerbaijan’s street circuit in Baku to make its debut next year under the Grand Prix of Europe banner

      Next thing he’ll tell us that Australia will enter the European Song Contest!

      * to be fair roughly 2% of Azerbaijan is in Europe (based on population).

      1. Israel has been entering eurovision for years. Your point ?

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          21st April 2015, 3:03

          sarcasm! @shrieker

          And as @richyb states below Australia will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (and coincidentally/interestingly some 2% of Australians live in Europe).

      2. As it happens, Australia are actually for real entered in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, as part of its 60th anniversary running…!

      3. Azerbaijan has also been in Eurovision for about 10 years and won it in 2011.

        The Eurovision Song Contest is hosted each year by the previous year’s winning nation. Maybe F1 could adopt something similar with an additional ‘free’ grand prix going to the nation of the winning constructor or driver (it would have to be free of hosting fees, given the chances of a German winner!)

      4. Quatar want a race but Abu Dhabi does not like that so They can have Quatar GP at the Nurburing. THey could easily afford to fill the in field with sand and plastic palm trees and a huge dome to cover the track so no wet races.

        1. I thought it was Bahrain that had the veto over Qatar?

      5. Same for Turkey.

    6. Ferrari engine upgrades… YES PLEASE. This will certainly spice up the battle even more. Of course it is to be seen what the Merc boys can bring in-season as well.

      1. @clustr1 – For what it’s worth, it has been reported that Mercedes used most of their tokens by the start of the season. Obviously they can still make other improvements and no doubt they are not just standing still.

        1. Alexander (@)
          21st April 2015, 4:24

          Situation before Australia:
          Tokens available to be used, by manufacturer
          Renault 12 of 32
          Ferrari 10 of 32
          Honda 9 of 32
          Mercedes 7 of 32

        2. @bullmello Given parts are weighted, just having more tokens than a rival is meaningless – Mercedes could feasibly wrangle more performance out of 7 distinct minor changes than Ferrari or Renault could out of 2-3 larger changes which would consume all their tokens.

    7. The adam cooper blog is a good read.

      So Mercedes caused its own brake problems (and knew what they were doing by taking that risk) by trying to eke out as much performance as possible to beat the Ferrari’s. Seems the Mercedes Team might need to sort out their brake cooling issues ASAP.

      1. Seems the Mercedes Team might need to sort out their brake cooling issues ASAP.

        They made the conscious decision to do it to achieve a higher top speed. They know what caused it, meaning they already know the solution…

        1. Not to use the same or similar setups, obviously, haha.

        2. Canada 2014 happening again. The people at Mercedes don’t learn it seems.

          1. @Breno: It’s called “calculated risk.” They were first and third, within two laps of first and second. Without the changes maybe they’d have been second and third. It seems to me that the people at Mercedes have learned just fine.

      2. @dstaplet13 They are acknowledging the cause but are not saying that they got it wrong, despite Rosberg’s issue potentially losing him a place near the end (we will never know whether Raikkonen would have taken that place anyway even without Rosberg’s issue).

        It’s quite possible that without the performance benefit this change gave him Rosberg could have remained stuck behind Vettel and Raikkonen from the start of the race, Vettel would never have had to push so hard and break his wing and Ferrari could have got one or both of their cars past Hamilton using a split strategy (i.e. Vettel pitting early for the undercut, forcing Hamilton to mirror and allowing Raikkonen to run his faster race strategy). If this was the alternative scenario then Mercedes’ 1-3 finish vindicates their decision.

        1. @jerseyf1 I agree that they didn’t get it wrong. They just took a gamble to increase the performance of the car. Toto said they only had brake temp issues in traffic and Hamilton was coming up to lapped traffic at the end of the race, as was Rosberg.

          My only concern is having to use similar setups that may cause the issue to resurface.

    8. If Ferrari are up grading their engines for Canada, then the Mercedes team better upgrade their brakes. Will all remember last year don’t we? No need to worry about Danny Ric this year unless he has a good set of pedals :)

    9. Every time I win COTD it seems to be with stats.

      1. You should break down the stats for it and see if you can get a stat based COTD about stats based COTD’s.

        1. see if you can get a stat based COTD about stats based COTD’s

          +1 LMAO!

      2. @bleu : Alonso fans would bemoan if you did not give the same stat after Australia…

        1. I did not. In fact, I was planning to bring that stat in the 12th round of this year’s championship. (which was Spa in the original calendar, German GP cancellation means that Monza is 12th)

    10. Mercedes already had problems with the brakes last year.
      Rosberg had some difficulties in Hungary, Hamilton crashed in Germany and some other minor cases.

      if this was the track that suited Ferrari better next do Malaysia, and Rosberg did that to Vettel 3 times, i don’t want to see what Mercedes can do on smoother surfaces.

    11. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 40 victories!!! (@)
      21st April 2015, 4:27

      I really hope the tokens thing keeps this battle until the end of the season. It’s still not a battle until Ferrari takes another win, or a pole. So far it has been quite “the exception of the rule”. And it’s not bad, seeing how Ferrari was last year. But as somebody mentioned earlier, the most benefited of a partial threat will be Lewis, because until now the only one being matched is Rosberg. If Ferrari can fight Lewis on a regular basis, he can start to lose his cool again.

      1. @omarr-pepper Given the lead times on engine development, I don’t believe it will make a big difference – both PUs seem fairly evenly matched apart from the detail (rumours of Mercedes still being more powerful, but the Ferrari being more driveable at the moment) and the changing characteristics of tracks mean both teams are more likely to get performance out of chassis development than hoping for some magical BHP gain.

        And who knows, maybe Honda or Renault might put some of their tokens into performance, not reliability by Spa?!

    12. I stopped believing in god a long, long time ago, but if I ever needed reaffirmation of his non-existence, the fact that Ecclestone still rules F1 is surely it. Unless we’re all being punished for our sins…

      1. Almost 14 billion years and the universe comes up with the poisoned dwarf. It doesn’t look that great on god’s CV tbh.

        1. @john-h I’m not sure that it’s a great endorsement of evolution either!

    13. he never calls me.

      Poor Maurizio :c

      1. @alfie, makes me wonder if Hamilton at least follows him on Twitter, lol

    14. On that COTD, Rosberg came very close to loosing it at last year’s Singapore GP

      1. @neelv27 Indeed, that would have given Hamilton a clear run at the overall record ;) As it is, he needs to do a season after Rosberg retires to get it.

      2. @neelv27 Wasn’t he on the grid, wouldn’t that in fact already mean he participated?

        1. @xtwl sure it counts and that’s why I said, that Rosberg’s successive runs’ record nearly ended, not that it did ended.

          1. @neelv27 Just wondering, had he driven to the grid but then not able to do the formation lap because of stalled engine like Massa had in Bahrein but this time the team cannot fire up the engine, does that mean he has a DNS or DNF?

            1. @xtwl Yup, technically that’d mean a DNS

    15. “When it was suggested that losing the race would be unthinkable Ecclestone said: ‘I tell you something, I was told that when we didn’t have a race in France. And Germany now. We’ve got some good replacements, haven’t we?'”

      Qatar F1 race hopes appear to remain distant (Reuters)

      Great arrangement of articles there, Keith :)

    16. It’s about time VW Group!

      If the board gives its thumbs up, I wonder which would be the best strategy: (i) build a team from scratch like Haas or (ii) buy an existing operation. If they go for the latter, Toro Rosso would be a good pick.

      1. I dunno about italy @jcost. If VW go in they’ll be calculating in the billions, like the 1.5bn Euros Mercedes were supposed to have reaped in exposure last year. I reckon they’ll be weighing the UK vs Germany.

        Personally I’m finding it hard not to think about Bernie saying he’ll walk away if VW’s entry depends on that. It’s just another lie of course, but omg it’d be an instant fanbase for VW wouldn’t it?

        1. @lockup remember that lamborghini belongs to the VW group, I think it would be amazing a Scuderia Lamborghini in the grid

          Lambo vs Ferrari Yellow vs Red

          I’m sure I’m going to dream about this tonight

          1. Or Porsche?

          2. Ha that would be awesome @johnmilk

          3. Let´s hope they´d use Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche, maybe Bentley. But I fear it would end up as Audi, which would mean another brand like Merc, which´s best selling cars are as far away from sport as it gets and can typically be seen in every day life delaying the fast lane and/or every other kind of traffic, and are using F1 to gain an image totally disconnected from their customer-cars image.

            1. @crammond that maybe true but at least it could push bmw back to the game. And these brands also have their on sports departmemts (amg, M, rs), moreover bmw already has a car that uses the same sort of technology used on F1 cars, the i8

              I don’t really care if they use the image to promote their diesel saloons, as long as they put on a show…

    17. I don’t think Hamilton feels the ideological pull of Ferrari that Vettel unquestionably felt. Vettel’s decision to move there last year was, at least in part, an ideological one, since there was no information at his disposal at that point in time that suggested the SF-15T would have a large margin over the RB11. Engine dyno projections at the most would have been Vettel’s performance-lead basis for the move. In 2012, however, Hamilton would have been shown a 2014 project that started a year, at least, before anyone else, and a 2014 budget tens of millions in excess of what McLaren could have fielded. For me Lewis Hamilton’s F1 career is motivated by the ambition to win races and championships, and right now, he is in the perfect place to do just that.

      That is not to deny that Hamilton v. Vettel in the same car is a mouth-watering prospect, however right now, in the V6 era where the throttle pedal must be treated like it is made of eggshells, I get the distinct impression that Lewis is the best out there.

      1. @countrygent I think it was basically a done deal when it was made clear to Lewis that an integrated works teams would have a country-mile advantage. That and he’s always been a Mercedes man…

      2. I get the distinct impression that Lewis is the best out there.

        It’s easy to get that impression – when he is in by far the best car on the grid. For some reason Hamiltons car gets far less attention than Vettels title-winning cars ever did, in spite of the fact that it’s considerably more dominant than those RB’s were.

        The closest parallel to this season in recent history is 2011. Back then Vettel had four poles, three wins and a second place in the first four races – exactly what Hamilton has now. After four races in 2011 the constructors standings were: RB 148 points, McLaren 105 points. After four races in 2015 it’s: Mercedes 159 points, Ferrari 107 points.

        Mercedes look more dominant this year than RB did in 2011. But so vast was Mercs dominance in 2014 that a 2011-style season is being greeted as wonderfully close and competitive!

        1. I agree, this season is more close to the 2011’s Red Bull’s dominance, you can see it by qualification and race results of the first races. I also remember that they changed some rules around Silverstone, which seemed to have brought the rest of the pack closer to Red Bull.

          As has already mentioned in this site, last year’s Mercedes dominance was the biggest one the sport has seen for a while.

        2. In 2011 it was a tight battle from P2 to P5 all season long, and several other drivers from behind could mix into these positions on individual races as well. And it never looked like Webber had a dominating car. So it wasn´t Red Bull dominating that season, but only a part of that team.

      3. I’m a big fan of Vettel and I don’t like Hamilton very much, but I must admit, I feel Hamilton is the better, fiercer racer out of the two. Put the two in the same car and I think LH would have the edge. We may never know.

        1. +1. I think in qualy it would be a ding dong dog fight, but in races and wheel to wheel battles I would imagine Hamilton would have Vettel covered.

    18. I don’t see a denial by Maurizio at all. “Lewis never calls me” lol. He’s leaving his options absolutely open.

      I wish we knew more about the Merc contract. 80 pages! What obscure contingencies are Mercedes trying to cover themselves against? Why don’t they just sign? Their position gets weaker with every race, while Daimler head office lawyers strut about, one can easily imagine, flexing their egos against the other side’s egos. Or… Lewis is keeping his options open too.

      1. Im with Lewis in this… you never know what will huppened (see Schumi) and he needs to cover moneywise himself till his old days, his family and 2 generation more of Hamilton’s which is what i would had done in his position… so a long he delays it the better it is for himself.

        1. “as long”

        2. @bluechris

          …so as long he delays it the better it is for himself.

          That’s something that can only work as long as Lewis performs. If he goes through one of his trademark patches (as unlikely as that seems at the moment), that number could plummet.

          After all, anything can happen in Monaco, right..?

          1. I never was a Lewis guy but i never remember him bad.. ok he had done mistakes but not that he ever had a long period underperforming so his stats are on his side.
            Offcourse this year if Ferrari step up more and Nico put his head down then Lewis dont has the ability to do mistakes but he is human also.

            1. 2011 was quite poor from what I read

              (It’s one of those seasons I skipped :P)

            2. It wasn’t really poor. Just some bad luck and a mistake or two. For example in Monaco where he got a lot of criticism he absolutely right that he had done nothing wrong and everyone pretty much admitted it after re-watching the scenes and seeing photos.

      2. What obscure contingencies are Mercedes trying to cover themselves against? Why don’t they just sign? Their position gets weaker with every race

        How do you arrive at that conclusion? They have an incredibly dominant car which every driver on the grid would love to be in. Alonso may have an escape clause in his contract releasing him if Macca don’t improve, in which case I’m sure he’d take a pay cut to drive for Mercedes next year in HAM’s place. They don’t need Lewis to keep winning.

        It would be amusing if Lewis ended up “doing an Alonso” and losing his seat with a strong team through excessive egoism. Alonso to Mercedes, Hamilton to McLaren for 2016? It could happen.

        1. Ron is adamant that Alonso does not have an exit option. And Lewis is clearly great for Mercedes, so why aren’t they just signing whatever he wants? There’s no reason to suppose it’s his egoism is there? They’ve both said it’s not money. We don’t know. And it’s questionable how dominant the car is, given Ferrari’s progress. Looks like Ferrari would have won in Bahrain if the drivers had been swapped, as both Toto and Maurizio will for sure have noticed.

          1. it’s questionable how dominant the car is, given Ferrari’s progress.

            Come off it. As I demonstrated in another comment on this thread, Mercedes this year are more dominant than Red Bull were in 2011. And I don’t recall a lot of people saying it’s questionable how dominant the RB7 was.

            1. Funny how you have come to that conclusion after just four four races. If you were talking about last year I would agree but to say such a statement is pretty ridiculous. Perhaps the more accurate statement is “Merc have a few points more advantage in the constructors in ’15 than RB had at the same stage in ’11”. There is still alot of races to go yet and for all you know Ferrari could introduce a big upgrade that puts them right up there with the Mercs and they have a better 2nd half of the season. Imagine how much humble pie you’ll be eating then.

            2. “DaveJ”, your stubborn insistence on seeing what you wish to see never changes. Nobody in 2011 was saying after four races, “We have to wait and see, we can’t say yet whether RB look dominant or not”. People were complaining bitterly at the time about “RB dominance”. It’s why they refused to vote SV DOTW back then.

            3. Oh dear. If you cannot see that coming up to the conclusion that the W06 is far more dominant than the ’11 RB after just four races of the ’15 season is a ridiculous statement then you are beyond help. I guess there are none so blind than those who don’t want to see. All it takes is Ferrari making another big leap (as they did between last year and this year) and they could be ahead the Mercs. Remember Merc have used more tokens than Ferrari so it is not beyond doubt that Ferrari could turn this around. All of which would make your exceptionally premature prediction all the while absurd and you will be choking on some chilli humble pie. Seriously you ought to learn to be a bit more open minded.

    19. San Marino GP would be a nice replacement for the Italian GP.

    20. So how would VW name their team? From a marketing standpoint surely a Bugatti F1 car would be the best for marketing (as far as I know VW owns Bugatti and also Bugatti has history in F1), but then again I don’t think they make as much money from Bugatti as VW cars themselves. However they also own Porsche, but it might clash with their WEC racing.

      1. BeetleF1 i suppose

      2. Combi f1 team?

    21. I think it’s not a good idea.

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