Nicolas Prost, Formula E, Battersea, 2015

London Grand Prix still possible as FE gets there first

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Nicolas Prost, Formula E, Battersea, 2015In the round-up: Formula One could have a race in London in the future, but Formula E will host its first ePrix in Battersea Park today.


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

Boris Johnson still open to proposals for London F1 grand prix (The Guardian)

"When asked if the event was a success he would be interested in F1 coming to London, (Mayor) Johnson said: 'I am certainly willing to look at it.'"

'Lewis Hamilton's decision to skip testing in Austria was bizarre' (Sky)

"I just find it bizarre that he would say ‘no’ and go off and be in Monaco with whoever he was with. As a racing driver you want every second you can in the car, if anything to keep the other driver out. It is obvious to me."

Keep the current F1 engines - Todt (Autosport)

"The first proposal, which I accepted, was for four cylinders, was a big mess (and people said) 'we don't want four cylinders'. Who won Le Mans? Porsche. What engine did they have? Four cylinders."

Todt opens the doors (ESPN)

"Being able to found a 25,000 square metre brain and spinal research institute with 600 people and private funding... I know the interest is very limited, that you would prefer a controversy between one driver and another one, but that is the way it is."

FIA moves to quash suspicions of fuel advantages (Crash)

"From these results, it can be concluded that the auxiliary oil tank is not being used to add performance-boosting components, either to the main oil tank or to the combustion chamber via the sump breather into the air intake."

Tech analysis: Williams upgrades and that 'illegal' winglet (Motorsport)

"It's been confirmed that the winglet was not intended to be raced. It was instead a measuring device – either to simulate downforce or to measure airflow at the rear of the car."


Comment of the day

The reception to one of yesterday’s articles shows there’s still a lot of love for Minardi, almost ten years since their last race:

I believe if we could pick Minardi as our favourite team on this site, it could quite possibly be the 3rd most popular team after McLaren and Ferrari despite ten years of inactivity! Everybody loves them.

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From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dan N, Gdog and Melody!

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On this day in F1

Mixed fortunes for the Red Bull drivers in Valencia five years ago today: Sebastian Vettel won while Mark Webber suffered a shocking aerial crash after hitting Heikki Kovalainen’s car:

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  • 59 comments on “London Grand Prix still possible as FE gets there first”

    1. I find it really interesting that the Le Mans winning car was at good wood within a month of winning but F1 cars have to be YEARS out if date before they can be used to wow the fans…

      1. First year watching good wood? Welcome.

      2. keep in mind that the teams are not even allowed to test unless the car is more than 2 years old, plus these cars are so expensive the teams would prefer to use older cars as they are of lesser value. Also by showing a more modern – and relevant to the rule set – car in public the teams risk exposing any performance related secrets

        1. The only one of those reasons that applies to F1 but not WEC is the two year rule. I understand why it’s done. But it also puts distance between the fans and the cars that WEC dosent have. It’s another way that F1 is doing it wrong and WEC is doing it right.

        2. I do not think there is anything in the rules against showing the current cars, although teams will probably be reluctant to give everybody a close look mid season!

          Also, lets not forget that there are sizable gaps in the WEC calendar that allow a team to bring the cars they are racing with, even if only to show them on display @papalotis, Theodonz, etc.
          In contrast the F1 cars that raced in Austria, were hurriedly shipped back to base to be stripped, checked, patched/repainted and are already packed and under way to Silverstone by today for the coming weekend. A stop at Goodwood would mean the team wouldn’t even be able to strip the car and rebuild it before it would have to go to the next race

    2. I seriously hate when they paint old cars with current liveries. It ruins the historical value of the car, even if it is a 5-year-old car. Imagine a 312T2 with Santander logos splattered all over it, or a MP4/4 in black/red for that matter. It takes away the feelings.

      1. @carlitox couldn’t agree more brother

      2. Same

      3. @carlitox @mattypf1 It’s one thing when the car in question is a year or two out of date, but ten years old? And when the car in question is the team’s very first F1 machine? I also wish they’d kept it authentic.

        That said, their current livery is much appealing to my eye then their old, greyer one.

        1. hey @keithcollantine I all thought it would make a great read to do a sort of “were are they now” of past F1 title winners and fan favourite cars, who owns them? are they ever on public display? or were they chopped up as test mules for following seasons, and just how many still have there original Livery’s?

          1. ment always thought, man you really need an edit button.

        2. @keithcollantine I see your point, and I can understand my opinion stems from a personal feeling about the cars. To me, they could’ve painted the RB1 in the Camobull livery (which I loved) but it wouldn’t feel right to me. I, however, admit that recent cars (4 years or so) in current liveries don’t bother me as much as 10+ year old cars, and in the case of RBR they haven’t changed their base color layout other than the addition of Infiniti purple, so there’s not a huge change. But still, seeing F2007s in Santander liveries for instance is all kinds of wrong to me.

      4. I have to agree with that. But it does make me wonder whether there are legal issues, i.e.: original contract was poorly worded and stated the logo would be used for a limited time.

    3. 2 Grand Prixs is one too many in England. I say England, not Great Britain. There are other countries (particularly others in Europe, i.e. France) that deserve a GP before London does. A British GP in London wouldn’t be a bad idea; but Silverstone is of course a great venue. And Londoners probably wouldn’t take too kindly to the noise…

      1. I think that’s kind of the wrong way of looking at it. Obviously everyone would prefer to see a french grand prix back ahead of a second english grand prix but if it is either no extra race or another english one, everyone will take the extra grand prix. Also, there is a market in England (I don’t know about the rest of Britain) for F1 as we have seen with the record attendances this year despite incredibly high prices, I don’t think any other country in Europe (maybe any other country full stop) has the same demand.

        1. despite incredibly high prices

          I think we can take it as read that any GP in London is going to be priced for bankers and trust-funders only.

      2. its just as desperate to put a GP where it doesn’t belong (Bahrain) as to say 2 Gps shouldn’t be where they do belong (England, usa). Market forces are a good thing and being smart enough to manipulate them is a better thing. Anything less and emwe get stalins USSR .

    4. Also, Hamilton not testing the car- or at least doing what Senna did to Prost in early ’89- letting Prost do all the development work and when Senna came around, he put in the faster time. This laziness may cost Hamilton the title- this scenario has been committed by other drivers in contention for the championship in the past- and it cost them the driver’s championship.

      1. Rosberg did around 40-50% more mileage than Hamilton in winter testing, but Hamilton still had a fantastic run at the beginning of the season. Hamilton also said in an interview a couple days ago that he hasn’t used the simulator all year (except to try out a new pedal concept) – whereas Rosberg seems to use the simulator much more often, apparently [“doing race runs every time he goes into the factory, spending all day on the simulator”]( during the winter break.

        Point I’m trying to make is Hamilton doesn’t seem to require lots of testing/simulator work to be competitive at a race weekend. Of course, missing out on testing time (and effectively handing that time to your main title rival) is only going to hurt him, but it might not be much of an issue for him.

        1. Since Rosberg, not a top tier driver, is his teammate and none of the other teams can challenge Merc, he is probably OK although I wouldn’t count out ROS yet.
          If Ferrari gets more competitive and Vettel starts to challenge him, he will be in trouble. Vettel, like Rosberg, works his tail off but is a more complete driver – he will pass Hamilton or die trying, unlike Nico.
          Hamilton is getting accolades right and left at this time and rightfully so but the car is the star. He isn’t dedicated 100% to his craft – it may be his demise.

      2. RP (@slotopen)
        27th June 2015, 2:51

        Perhaps if Hamilton had his head in the game he wouldn’t have gotten confused so easily in Monaco. Or with his clutch in Austria.

        1. People are throwing around the Lazy’ label in regards to Hamilton not being at the test. So, what? The following people were lazy too as they weren’t there either.

          Kimi Raikkonen (Who arguably needs to get to grips with that car)
          Sebastian Vettel
          Jenson Button
          Pastor Maldanado
          Carlos Sainz Junior

          Are these people lazy too? Or is this the traditional pick on Hamilton?
          Maybe, he just felt that there was little he could learn from Austria and preferred to focus on winding down before gearing up for next weekend?

          1. Vettel and Button certainly aren’t lazy, Maldonado and Raikonnen always have been and one can’t accuse Sainz of being lazy because it’s his first year. Hamilton’s natural speed may overcome all the work Rosberg may need to do but Rosberg is playing the political game- something Hamilton may not be able to understand.

        2. He has won 4 races, out qualified his teammate 7-1 leads 5-3 in race finishes and 10pts ahead, been on the podium in every race since Monza 2014, not sure how much he can have his head in the game.

          Last year this time, he 20+ points down in the championship.

          1. He admitted not being comfortable with the clutch. The teams remarks hinted he didn’t have it down. He lost the lead before the first corner. I can’t come up with a better example of needing more preparation.

            He is clearly gifted and smart. He isn’t lazy either. Plus he is fun to watch because he shares so much. But he has a weakness that could cost him a race, and it appears he missed a chance to fix it.

      3. I think it’s a touch of over confidence from Hamilton, which is bizarre considering the weekend he had in Austria. Maybe he feels he doesn’t gain much right now from spending additional time in the car, but as a championship hungry contender, he should be looking at reducing his main rival’s time in the car if possible.

        Honestly, if Lewis was paired alongside Alonso or Vettel in a Mercedes, I don’t think he would have given them the opportunity to put in 117 extra laps in this test. I just hope his over confidence doesn’t come back to bite him in the rear

    5. The current RB livery really is their best yet. I would like it better if they kept the original one, that said RedBull is still redbull therefore it isn’t much changed. I think RedBull may still regret ditching the Ferrari engines to STR back in 2007, it gave them 4 world titles but it surely wasn’t because the Renault engine was better. I can still remember Webber and Couthard moaning about the STR being quicker than the main teams.

    6. The London ePrix circuit is ridiculously narrow at some parts of the track, and it is littered with chicanes, which I don’t think bodes will for the racing. Then again, FE cars have surprised me time and time again about how closely they can follow other cars through even the tightest and twistiest sections.

      On another note, happy 30th birthday to Nico Rosberg!

      1. There’s clearly no way in hell this track can be used for F1 with the bumps, ridiculous camber and zero run-off. They even had to do a safety car start because they couldn’t fit two cars around the first bend. And branches falling on the track aren’t really an option… But the tight conditions masked the low speeds and, with some clever camera work, they actually looked pretty fast.

        I agree it’s refreshing to see cars able to follow right behind each other, though that might be a function of the rear wings, which appeared purely notional.

    7. To some extent I do see Derek Warwick’s point about Lewis’ absence in testing. I was surprised not to see him scheduled in Austria as Nico was there in Spain. Derek’s point makes sense when you consider that Lewis was slower than Nico all weekend in Austria except for that one lap and Nico has won the 3 out of 4 races albeit some luck along the way but with 10 points separating them and the prospect of reliability issue always looming large, Lewis should’ve been there.

      I am just speculating but in the current scenario, it seems the only logical theory that Lewis skipped the test.

      1. Lewis was also slower than Nico in Spain, he also missed that test. He then went to Monaco and he was faster, but we know what happened then. He went to Canada with a 10pt lead as well, he won that race.

        I tweeted Mercedes to ask why he was not at the test and they replied that he was scheduled to do so, but asked to be excused. Now we don’t know why he asked to be excused, but if Mercedes agreed to it, then what’s the harm?

        Also lets not forget last year, it was Lewis who did the test in Spain which helped to fix Nico’s problem he was having with his starts. Nico missed that test.

        If the 8 race weekends so far, he as only been out performed twice by Nico.

        Silverstone is not Austria.

      2. It wouldn’t surprise me if Hamilton’s mindset is very much to move on from a poor day/weekend and focus on the next (these days he seems to be one of the best in this regard). He may well feel that spending more time circulating round Austria would be counter-productive to his prep for the next race.

        Anyone saying that it was a bad choice from him not to me there is making the assumption that it would actually be the best thing for him in this situation. My assumption is that if Hamilton felt he had something important to gain from doing the test, he’d have been in the car. If he didn’t, then perhaps it was simply the right choice for him.

      3. Yes, I can see Warwick’s point as well. You would think a driver who got beaten on pace would want to try and get that bit extra out of the car in testing to find where he lost it @neelv27.

        Then again, if Hamilton knows that he did give his best (during the race) and just wants to forget about this race and focus on the next one, its not hard to see how he longed to get away from there ASAP.
        After all Hamilton is probably more dependent on feeling good and in a groove with himself to go fast, than that he needs to find some knack on his teammate. And relaxing with friends, putting this race behind him most likely does allow him to be best set for a great run in Silverstone.

    8. Since i am relatively new to F1 compared to some of you guys, why is Minardi such a favourite despite not being a top team, was it the livery?

      1. @illusive
        They were a small team who were really passionate and often built cars that were far better than you’d expect from a team with such a small amount of money.
        They were the true underdogs of the sport and most people’s second team to follow.

        1. @beneboy thanks, i also like supporting underdog teams. I guess Force India is like minardi of today with their tiny budget, sauber would have been too, cause they used to hire guys like Kamui Kobayashi, but now its only pay drivers and its showing in their results.

          1. @illusive Yeah, it’s amazing how many top drivers got their first chance at Minardi. I think at one point it was a sizeable amount of the grid, e.g. Alonso, Webber, Fisichella, Trulli, Davidson, Wilson, Gene etc.

          2. Actually the budget Minardi had probably compares best to Manor currently, constantly being on the edge of hanging on or having to drop off the grid @illusive, but FI do have that good habit of giving promising drivers a drive that Minardi had.

    9. People, as usual, making a lot of sweeping assumptions about Hamilton’s absence. Sad to see the stereotyping coming through with the lazy black guy meme. And I’m surprised Warwick chose to comment on Hamilton given his questionable behaviour in the 2014 Monaco debacle.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        27th June 2015, 8:49

        ??? When did race become part of this discussion ???

        1. It has always been apart of the discussion, but people try to pretend it’s not.

          Has anyone ever used how smart and intelligent Nico was when comparing him to previous teammates like Webber and Michael? Rhetorical question, no they didn’t. They didn’t use it in 2013 when he joined Mercedes, but from 2014 onwards, that’s all you hear. How do they describe Lewis? Naturally gifted, naturally quick etc….

          Taken without hard work, is wasted talent. And I seriously doubt anyone can say he has wasted his talents.

          But if he’s this successful with just being ‘naturally gifted’, then he’s surely making a mockery of all the others who are working their backsides off so as to try and get half of his success, that includes Nico.

          1. Well said. I like it when people pretend that “rave” is never an issue.

            1. *race

          2. This is a racing issue. The race to the first corner. The race against Rosberg and the clock. The fight for every point.

            We shouldn’t accept racism, and it does matter. I can’t know what other people think, but to me this is about Hamilton, the championship leader, racing to his potential, not his race.

            He clearly more talented (and probably smarter) than Rosberg. We can’t know if Merc was willing to let him practice starts. I am biased to think a competitor should take every advantage he can, and it would appear he missed an excellent chance to work on his starts.

            1. They went back to the 2014 clutch which Rosberg likes better. Hamilton likes the 2015 clutch better. It was the same situation when they were changing brakes once Hamilton entered the team, to his preferred brakes manufacturer, while Rosberg liked the original ones better.

            2. RP how can you say Hammy is probably smarter than Rosberg when Rosberg has a degree and went to Uni which is way more than Hammy achieved academically?

      2. Maybe its better to get away from the track between races. Sometimes that’s better preparation. One things for sure, had kimi done this everyone would be wow, Kimi is cool, he does what he wants.

        I dunno. Warrick has never been the biggest Hamilton fan anyway has he.

        1. I think Warwick is lying when he says that he wants Hamilton to be world champion again. Deep down he knows that he wants Rosberg to win it. Last year in Monaco Warwick said that he saw something in Rosberg’s eyes that tells you the truth and therefore didn’t penalize him for his incident.

    10. Maybe, just maybe is Lewis preserving his engines? I know they are really relax with their engine parts compared to other teams, but still, I wonder, because Lewis has always been somewhat unlucky with reliability through the years.

      1. Pretty sure Mercedes don’t run their competition engines in testing. Parts used in testing don’t count toward the quota.

    11. When are we going to point out the elephant in the room? Or will we keep burying out heads in the sand for ever? When it come to Lewis, it is clear he has always been judged by different standards to other drivers.

      Jenson, Raikonnen and Vettel all deemed it fit to miss the test. Nary a peep from anyone about that. But Lewis must have “lost” focus became he did the same thing.

      Just take a look at the way Lewis is always judged – He has lived anything close to the playboy lifestyle Jenson lead in his initial years in F1. He is not anywhere as nonchalant as Kimi Raikonnen, nor partied and consumed alcohol the way Kimi is renowned to. He is nowhere being close to being petulant as Fernando Alonso, nor as rebellious as Sebastian Vettel. So why is he ALWAYS judged far more harshly than any of these drivers?

      Think about it. Rosberg was never considered an “intelligent” driver until he was paired up with Lewis. When he spent 3 years against Schumacher, no one ever mentioned his intelligence. But the first time he is paired up with a black driver in his career, he suddenly become “intelligent”. The inference is clear. Lewis can only be “naturally gifted”, and this is why he wins. Others, however are more intelligent, and this is why they can win.
      I think it is the unconscious racism that still lives in most people. They are still threatened by the “other. Paint it any colour you want, but Lewis is a black driver in a white dominated sport – and he wears the black culture as a proud badge. He does not hide his love for rap music, bling & gold chains or flat peaked baseball caps. You can also see it in the treatment of Venus Williams in the media and tennis establishment.

      If they somehow tried to be less “black” and tried more to fit it, i am sure they would be less judged and their acbivements more appreciated.
      The FIA even created a new rule on the hop for Lewis – just so they could justify a decision robbing him of a win!

      This is an issue many continue to skirt around, and anyone who dares mention it is shot down and ask for proof; and excuses and reason are given for every single issue raised. However, the proof is there for anyone who is not afraid to look at it look at it.

      Of course, this will be quickly dismissed as an angry rant by a Lewis fanboy. That is par for the course. However, that excuse is now becoming tired. It cannot be businesses as usual regarding this issue anymore. It is time to point out the pink elephant in the room.

      1. @kbdavies
        I think it’s poor of Warwick to single out Hamilton’s decision not to attend testing- various other drivers weren’t at the test, or at least weren’t in the car for the two days.

        Hamilton is judged harshly for whatever reason, but I’d say Vettel gets a lot of unjustified stick and judgements too, largely from his RBR days. On the other hand, someone like Kimi tends not to get criticism for his easy going approach.

      2. @kbdavies, in the case of Vettel and Raikkonen, the indication is that those drivers were not given the opportunity to participate in the test session even if they wanted to.

        Ferrari stated that Fuoco was called up as part of his training program for Ferrari’s Junior Team; as for Gutierrez, the indication is that his contract with Ferrari specified that he would be given a certain amount of time in testing during the season.

        As for Button, I believe that he mentioned before the test session that it would be Alonso

        As for claiming that Hamilton is treated more harshly than other drivers – I do not think that the evidence really bears that out, because the drivers you have compared him against have all seen their fair share of negative articles over the years.

        Button did live something of the playboy lifestyle in his early years, but he was heavily criticised for it. Back in the early 2000’s, Jacques Villeneuve dismissed him as wanting to be a pop star and being hired by BAR solely for his marketing potential, Briatore complained about Button’s laziness and used his lifestyle as a justification for firing him and a number of media articles dismissed Button as “another empty celebrity”.

        The much more positive reputation he has now is a consequence of a fundamental shift in his lifestyle (it’s his triathlons and his fitness activities that are hitting the headlines these days) – it took a number of years and a substantial shift in his outlook on life for him to become the much more popular figure he is today.

        As for Kimi, his party lifestyle has always attracted a certain amount of criticism from the start and these days there are a great number of people who complain about Ferrari’s decision to hire him. If anything, I would say that the popular mood of the average fan is increasingly negative towards Kimi and many posters here routinely complain that he is lazy, uncooperative and should be kicked out of the sport for good.

        I also note that you seem to have conveniently left out the fulsome praise that Pascal Wehrlein, the mixed race reserve driver for Mercedes, has received in the press, where he has been praised for his maturity, his hard work ethic, composure and his intelligence – perhaps because it doesn’t fit into the narrative that you are trying to create?

    12. It wouldn’t surprise me if LH skipped the test for whatever reason and the team accepted that, because pace is not his issue, starts are, and if he was just going to be practicing with the same clutch, with a new clutch coming for the next race, he might as well just practice his starts while at the next venue with a new clutch approach. Let’s face it, it’s Mercedes’ year again, which boils it down to LH and NR, and with the dirty air effect holding the driver in back behind, it comes down to who has pole and who gets the better start. LH’s pole stats have been better, so odds are he will be fine that way, and if he wasn’t going to accomplish much start-wise or clutch-wise, perhaps the break was more constructive for him. Race pace seems pretty much equal for both drivers. It’s come down to pole and/or winning the first corner and the rest is management for both drivers. I think it is telling of the cars these days and the degree of monitoring and management that goes on, the lack of ability of the drivers to push themselves or the cars to the limits, that with so little testing available a driver can voluntarily skip a rare test with likely little consequence.

    13. I’d be sooooo bored driving round in circles for a living. I wouldn’t blame Lewis if he sacrificed a bit of performance to hang out with Pharrel. He’ll back himself to win anyway, and have more fun doing it if Rosberg is little closer.

    14. My first COTD :) Thank you @keithcollantine

    15. As a result, the FIA, in an effort to show it is keeping a watchful eye on potential loopholes being exploited, took samples from both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel’s cars after free practice and qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

      Seriously, is this a see no evil thing? Practice, why would they risk it, Qually they might do but the Race fuel is where it would be…..

    16. Todt having to defend the current engines from Bernie and some others who effectively want road cars (like Porsche, McLaren, Ferrari etc) end up being more advanced than F1 ones is totally bizarre.

      The onus should be on getting more engine manufacturers come to F1 and not turn them away with talk like this. (that’s if the hamstrung development policy isn’t doing it already..)

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