Renault F1 exit still possible – Prost

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In the round-up: Alain Prost admits Renault has not yet ruled out the possibility of leaving F1.


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Renault could still pull out of F1 - Prost (Motorsport)

"We’re looking at all the solutions... although there are probably just two! Or three, if you consider leaving as an option."

Russian GP not under threat (F1i)

"Amid financial uncertainty in the region, acting governor Veniamin Kondratiev told local media last week the race is depending on the funding coming through."

Best Friends (Lotus)

Pastor Maldonado: "I think my first half report card would say good things for effort, but the results didn’t come. Certainly I believe we’ll get better finishes in the second half of the season."

F1 driver market on starting blocks (James Allen on F1)

"Detailed analysis of (Hulkenberg's) on track performance data by the engineers, which Williams management will be studying now, as all the teams do, shows that while he has his moments of magic, he’s not at the level of a Bottas or a Ricciardo."

Wehrlein: DTM success can land me F1 chance (Crash)

"If you win GP2 or World Series Renault it doesn't mean you will drive in Formula 1 next season so you always have to have a manufacturer behind you and that has been the case with Mercedes and myself."

Fangio exhumation will go ahead, says judge - report (Reuters)

"Formula One great Juan Manuel Fangio's body will be exhumed as planned in a paternity case despite a suspension order made in the name of a rival claim, Argentine media reported on Thursday."

Ghinzani to auction his old F1 cars (Autosport)

"I'm selling them because I don't really know what to do with them - I certainly don't have time to run them."


Comment of the day

@Velocityboy doesn’t buy the claim that F1 drivers are afraid of being misinterpreted when they give quotes to the media:

If anyone has seen Valentino Rossi interviewed they’d find those statements hard to believe. His personality always comes out in interviews and he has often spoken his mind. If F1 drivers are holding back I doubt it has anything to do with their regularly being misrepresented in the media.


From the forum

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On this day in F1

Jim Clark won the Dutch Grand Prix 50 years ago today – his fifth triumph in the first six races of the year.

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47 comments on “Renault F1 exit still possible – Prost”

  1. Judging by the relative on-track performances beteween Bottas and Hulk, I wouldn’t be surprised if those engineers looking at numbers are the same ones who’ve been calibrating that windtunnel! :)
    Just ask Alonso what he thinks about their number-crunching abilities.

    Seriously though, if the numbers were always so telling of the performance, every team would be producing upgrades that are 100% efficient and no team would ever take a wrong path in car development. But the reality is that every team, every few years, produces a total rubbish car after making winning cars for years. Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Renault…

    And this is all talking about mechanics and engineering.
    Now just imagine how hard it would be to read a driver, who is a living, breathing thing.
    Me thinks, engineers are sometimes too focused on the numbers to actually use their experience and judgement when making decisions. This was one of the strengths that marked out Ross Brawn.

    1. Just ask Alonso what he thinks about their number-crunching abilities.

      Or indeed about Hulkenberg’s race craft…

    2. 100% agree. Too many numbers mean you start to lose your natural judgement.

    3. @brace There’s also a second layer in the decision making – they can pinch Mercedes’ backup option (Wolff’s personal choice) and simultaneously weaken their direct rival for 2nd place in the WCC.

      1. If Rosberg/Lewis were to leave after 2016/18, Merc would hire either Fernando or Ricciardo. I dont think Ferrari are thinking this through, taking a slower driver while Merc get a better one, in this case.

        1. Alonso is gone by then and I’m pretty sure they’d give Vettel a call too…

    4. I disagree. Ferrari must have seen something in Kimi to take him back, yet he’s managed to outqualify his teammates only 4 times in almost 30 races, beating them only once under fair conditions (Vettel had a problem in qualifying in Canada and Alonso had a penalty at the start of Spa,leading to him getting an unfavourable strategy). Kimi’s numbers at Lotus werent good enough in the end. What makes it seem if Bottas’ will?

      1. I mean I disagree with the JA article, not you :)

  2. Bottas is fast enough to put pressure on the four times champion and keep him sharp.

    The key to being a top F1 driver is repeatability; the knack for putting your three best sectors together in a qualifying lap when it counts, doing it every time and essentially not having off days.

    Haha! :) Good one, good one! :)

    Oh wait, you are being serious?
    Then, let me laugh even harder! Aaaahahaha! XD

    Bottas can barely put a pressure on Felipe Baby, let alone Vettel.
    And repeatability and not having off days? The guy is so unspectacular that even on his on-days he hasn’t achieved any pole positions or wins, and even his podiums are too few and far between.

    Remember they fired Massa for being so bad that they couldn’t even justify keeping him anymore? And now they wanna bring in a guy who is having his hands full with trying to beat him, and being beaten just as often.

    It’s funny that I’ve kept seeing people asking where are Hulk’s results, to back him up? Well, his results in junior formula have been definitely stronger than Bottas’. When he came in F1, he didn’t have Toto Wolff buying him practice sessions at the expense of race drivers, and then putting him in the seat. Even in his first season at Williams, he achieved less than Hulk did.

    1. @brace You assume that Massa isn’t performing much better in this new formula than when he was at Ferrari, which could be a factor. Personally I think Massa would be doing a better job than Raikkonen this season (granted there’s no way to prove it), and Bottas is probably slightly better at this moment than Massa, with the potential to improve.

    2. Even in his first season at Williams, he achieved less than Hulk did.

      Bottas’ last 2 cars have been much better than anything Hulkenberg has driven.

      But also, Bottas’ first car was much worse than anything Hulkenberg has driven.

    3. @brace The James Allen article was pretty much spot on, IMO. So, what new insight do you have that a 25-year F1 journalist and all the engineers that work in F1 don’t have? They were all also immediately impressed by Verstappen, while there were still doubters everywhere until Melbourne.

    4. @brace Grosjean was always notably faster than Hulkenberg in junior categories, so if we’re going by those results the Hulkenberg really has no business anywhere near the front of the grid.

      1. frenzen was better than schumacher in lesser cars. It’s a whole different beast

  3. Is there context to that tweet mentioning Caterham/Fernandes?

    1. I think he was on their young driver programme? I guess he’s still bitter about it all :D

  4. Shame the GP isn’t under threat, I’m all for more F1 races but more along the lines of two in Germany, two in Italy, one in France, and one or two in England, surely this would help engine manufacturers, more races in the countries where they’re based, may help get them more interested in F1 and if F1 did a better job at trying to interest them to show up

  5. It doesn’t make any sense for Bottas to move to Ferrari in 2016. Not from a tran$fer point of view, not from a performance point of view (he’s not that fast) and not from a corporate view either — Kimi at Ferrari sells more road-cars than Bottas ever would. Hulkenberg makes no sense either, his LeMans win aside. Ricciardo is locked up tight. It’s almost like the Italian press have such a hate-on for Kimi that they are single-handedly attempting to make the move happen. Basta already!

  6. Continuing with what COTD says, the drivers are not afraid of the media misinterpreting them, they are afraid of saying something wrong.

    They are afraid of speaking their minds, so they try as hard as they can to please the majority. That’s how personalities start to be standarized instead of showing different mentalities.

    Webber often spoke his mind, and most often than not said the correct things (or at least what the people felt was right), like the issue with Bahrain, or DRS, or Pirelli tyres. But then some drivers declared to the media that they thought the double points at Abu Dhabi was not bad, and how can you please the masses if that’s a ridiculously wrong thing to say for 99.99% of us?

    1. well made point there @fer-no65. A lot of it is self-censure because they know full well that their teams and sponsors dislike hearing many an opinion.

    2. @fer-no65
      Rossi isn’t the only bike racer to speak his mind, it’s pretty normal for bike racers to tell it like it is and not worry about the consequences – from entry level up to motoGP & WSB.
      It’s not like there are no big teams, factories or big money sponsors involved either – Honda and Yamaha play the corporate game as much as any F1 team.

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th July 2015, 1:49

    What a nose!

  8. 50 years ago; The Dutch GP had more spectators attend the race than attended the 2014 German GP. Watching the race it is obvious how much technology has improved the organisation and the broadcasting of F1 and yet with all those advantages like live worldwide coverage in colour the sport does not appear to have kept up its popularity with the public. So much for Bernies much vaunted genius.

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th July 2015, 2:40

    It is with great sadness to discover that Jules Bianchi has succumbed to his injuries.

    1. That hited me hard. I always had the idea that he would get better, even though his case was extremely delicate. Hope his family and all people that loved him find strength to deal with such a loss. He had the potencial to be a great driver, remembered for generations of other drivers to come, but sadly this will never happen. But we fans will remember him. Not only for the driver we lost, but also the great person he was.

    2. I just saw this then. I can’t believe it.

    3. RIP Jules, such a shame. It just popped up on BBC breaking news.

    4. There’s a sad irony in this being announced at the same time as what is surely his replacement is said to have been signed by Ferrari for 2016.

    5. The memories of his best races will stay with us. Thank you for all you have given us Jules. RIP.

    6. I just flicked on the BBC news and saw this. What a dreadful headline, what an awful end to a splendid young man’s life.
      My sympathies to his family and friends.

    7. Damn..:(
      Does he just gone or his life support has been deactivated..?

  10. Vale Jules Bianchi, may you now rest in peace.

  11. RIP Jules.

  12. Jean Pierre Branchut
    18th July 2015, 3:25

    if I was Renault I will have left the day RB started to be sponsored by Infinity! I think the RB team should have better attitude than what they had so far. A team is a team, good or bad, you have to swallow the pride and work all together! But may be at RB they abuse their own crappy drink (for me) and get lost in reality. I can say just as you say for Renault: your drink suck!

    1. Renault and Nissan are one company, Infiniti is a subsidiary; I’m sure the decision to sponsor Red Bull as Infiniti was a strategic call that came down from Renault management.

      1. It wasn’t. Horner and Renault said it wasn’t. It was just accepted because of the relationship but it wasn’t a strategy made by Renault. It was strategy a made by Infinity and Red Bull.

  13. Very sad news about Jules Bianchi this morning. A man destined for greatness taken from us too early.
    As a Ferrari fan, this is even more depressing.

    Rest in Peace, Jules. You’ll never be forgotten.

  14. RIP Jules. Hope the last few moments weren’t too painful for you. May your family and friends have the strength to pass through this difficult time.

    He was one of the finest young drivers out there. Had substantial raw speed, didn’t need money to propel himself up the grid and even while not driving, his performances made Marussia race this year as well.

  15. gutted… RIP Jules

  16. Incredibly sad way to start off the weekend. Jules was a very humble and talented individual who was taken too soon. Hopefully what we can get from this tragedy is that we do not need to make our sport any more dangerous than what it is. Rest in peace Jules

  17. I guess its probably for the better that Bianchi passed away if there was no realistic view of ever recovering enough to be is own man, let alone race again.

    But its really sad how a mis-guided focus on letting the show go on despite the weather, the time of day and the conditions led to this brave young man losing his life.

    1. @bascb – I will never forget Martin Brundle’s commentary leading up to that moment in the race. He was prophetic even without wishing to be. I sincerely wish race control would have acted more quickly to prevent this accident. If Brundle was aware something could happen, they should have been aware even before him. That is their job. I’m certainly not putting complete blame on Charlie Whiting, but this could have been prevented and situations like this should be avoided at all costs in the future.

      vaya con dios Jules. God bless his family.

  18. Rest in peace Jules. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family who stayed by his side and cared for him so much. Some joy has gone out of the racing world today.

  19. RIP Jules

    I hope Jules can rest in a happier place now. His spirit and memories will always stay alive with his family, friends and fans.

  20. Would put Bottas and Riccardo over Hulkenberg every day. He just doesn’t have that extra bit that these two have. I would even take Perez over him. He is consistent and quick but when it counts he just loses his mojo hence FI’s only driver with the podium is Sergio. He had his chances both with FI and Williams and never delivered. In my eyes, he would be a great endurance driver (as proven recently) but I can’t see him really success with the big team in F1. There’s different kind of pressure when fighting at the sharp end of the grid.

    1. @toxic I’am assuming you just watched one F1 race ever, being the 2014 Bahrein GP then? You can have opinions but this is just plain bias or blind hate…

      On top of that what have Bottas and Ricciardo even done to assure you they have this extra bit you’re talking about? Winning when the Mercs had issues? Taking advantage of the SC at Hungary when nobody ahead could? Sure he placed some great overtakes but that’s hardly the only thing a champ has to do. As for Bottas, he has a string of podiums thanks to a top speed no other car can match, and even then he had trouble beating Massa who was in contention for a win on two races whilst Bottas was at none in 2014.

  21. goonerf1 (@)
    19th July 2015, 8:31

    I personally think we’ll see Renault leave. With Honda not far behind. If you can’t get your engine sorted, what’s the point in having a full works team?
    Formula 1 should adopt the WEC’s engine equivalence of performance regulations, tweak them so they’re tailored to a maximum 2 hour race rather than 6-24 hour race, and leave it at that.
    That opens up Formula 1 to every engine manufacturer, big and small, N/A, turbo and hybrid, whilst keeping the racing close.
    Pair this with a budget cap as per Max Mosley’s proposal, and F1 would fundamentally be pretty much sorted.

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