Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone, 2015

McLaren ‘could stop Button return to Williams’

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone, 2015In the round-up: Jenson Button could return to Williams next year – unless McLaren stand in the way.


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

McLaren may prevent Jenson Button from rejoining his former team Williams (The Telegraph)

"Jenson Button’s hopes of a dream return to Williams, the team where his Formula One career began, could be blocked by McLaren, who hold all the cards over his future."

Nico Rosberg reveals brake problem on his Mercedes at Hungarian GP (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: "(Rosberg) was definitely fine with the brakes at Silverstone. He was perfectly fine. I don’t have any problems with the brakes."

Honda against power cap for F1 engines (Motorsport)

"It is not Formula 1. I hope no cap is the right way."

Mit 126 km/h in den Bergekran (Auto Motor und Sport - German)

Jules Bianchi's head was subject to a force of 254G when he struck the crane at last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

Jules Bianchi's death leaves Lewis Hamilton open to introduction of closed cockpits in F1 (The Mirror)

Will Stevens: "F1 is incredibly safe but one remaining fact is that impacts to the head which happen with open cockpits is always going to be there. It needs to be looked at. If it’s been open cockpits for ever, it should continue like that."

Red Bull closing on engine verdict (Autosport)

"When asked if Red Bull would have a Renault engine next year, the Australian said: 'Not the current one! A significantly better Renault, I would accept.'"

Jules Bianchi in our thoughts but it’s business as usual, says Jenson Button (The Guardian)

Lewis Hamilton: "For me personally, when I was nine, a kid (Daniel Spence) died in a race that I had won,” he said. “I went to his funeral and it is very much deja vu for me."

Romain Grosjean Q&A: Lotus haven't forgotten how to perform (F1)

"Could a works Renault team be your best shot at the title? RG: It could be one option. Renault with a French driver could be a nice story - and it would also be nice to be part of a big team."

Interview with Two-time F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi at the 2015 FIA Sport Conference (FIA via YouTube)

Ferrari to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Autocar)

"The carmaker plans to sell around 10% of the supercar maker to investors. Another 10% of what will be called Ferrari NV will remain in the ownership of Piero Ferrari, the son of Enzo Ferrari."

McLaren’s unlikely super-sub (McLaren)

"The idea is that the sport prepares for the possibility of struggling teams hitting financial problems and the entry list shrinking, although cynics might think that some of the major players are actually quite eager to have extra representation on the grid."


Comment of the day

Sauber have opted for continuity with their driver line-up:

Keeping Nasr is a very good thing for Sauber. As I’d expected from the minute he signed, he has become the leader of the team, bringing solid results to go along with his benefactors’ sponsorship.

Ericsson… at times, he’s been demonstratively better over a whole weekend, then he’ll completely disappear for two races. Sometimes when he does go well, his team gives him no favours. Are there better drivers out there? Yes indeed – Raffaele Marciello, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco would all make for logical improvements. I’d even suggest a Swede-for-Swede trade with Felix Rosenqvist. The important thing is that they have continuity now.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Kimi Raikkonen’s progress towards a badly-needed victory at Hockenheim ten years ago was halted by a hydraulic fault. That handed Fernando Alonso another win and a 36-point championship lead. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second having started 20th and last.

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  • 55 comments on “McLaren ‘could stop Button return to Williams’”

    1. When discussing closed cockpits I don’t believe the Bianchi accident should be the benchmark. That type of accident is better avoided by rules with things like the VSC and changing the process regarding cranes rather than introducing other dangers with a closed cockpit.

      But other recent incidents like Massa 2009, Alonso 2012 and Kimi this year are where it feels like were just waiting for and inevitable disaster. In most cases frontal protection would probably do the trick rather than a full on closed cockpit. That way the driver could still escape quickly when needed.

      1. Mit 126 km/h in den Bergekran (Auto Motor und Sport – German)

        Jules Bianchi’s head was subject to a force of 254G when he struck the crane at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

        Jules Bianchi’s death leaves Lewis Hamilton open to introduction of closed cockpits in F1 (The Mirror)

        I think Keith had the same in mind when he put both news in tandem. 254G is an unreal figure.

        I think the reason why the 2012 Alonso and the 2015 ended with no injuries is pure mathematics only for the freak occurrence of a frontal or 90º degree impact does the helmet became perilously exposed.
        254G can’t be avoided if there isn’t a breakthrough in human technology, it’s not a canopy that will do anything to a diffuse axonal injury but accidents such as De Villota should be a thing of the past in 2015 but they are not.

        1. The figure of 254G is a bit misleading as it is the amount of acceleration that his head experienced, and this is related to the force. So the actual force he experienced to his head is not that much when it impacts say, the car’s roll structure but it is very high when that force impacts a person’s head. My personal opinion is that a proper structure would have easily absorbed that force with ease and prevented his head hitting the support vehicle. You do have other concerns with an overhead canopy with regards to extraction of the driver in the event of a fire but it has to be considered that the most recent serious injuries sustained by F1 drivers where head injuries (Massa, De Villota and Bianchi) and we have had a few close calls (Alonso in Belgium and Schumacher in Abu Dhabi). I personally feel that F1 does need to take a close and thorough look at driver safety with regards to open cockpit racing because we have had close calls in the past and now we have had a situation where a driver has lost his life.

          1. it has to be considered that the most recent serious injuries sustained by F1 drivers where [sic] head injuries

            But I think that one other which may have been happened if closed cockpits were used would be Heidfeld at Hungary a few years ago when his car caught fire. Or Kovalainen in Singapore.

            And I agree with Phillip that Bianchi and De Villota’s accidents should be blamed more on the circumstances than the state of the car- there shouldn’t be head-height objects near F1 cars. Yes, one of those deaths would have probably been avoided with a closed cockpit, but a complete re-engineering of the car is an illogical response when basic safety precautions would have also mitigated those those accidents.

            Only Massa’s crash and the near misses should be used as arguments for closed cockpits.

            1. @matt90 Great comment there. Sums up my feelings completely.

          2. Originally they thought the G-Force was 92G, based upon the g-sensor in the ear plugs that Jules wore, how ever they came out during the collision so decelerated slower, the 254G is the estimate of the actual G-Force.

            Most experts and commentary have stated in this case a canopy would have made little difference, on the grounds that it probably wouldn’t hold up to the forces of the impact, and also because it would have decelerated the car quicker. A deceleration at 254G from 78mph to 0mph is the equivalent of decelerating at 5500mph per second for 0.014 second.

            I agree with Philip that other safety measure such as VSC are important to stop a similar thing from happening again. Although closed cockpit racing would certainly have safety advantages in other impacts, such as Kimi and Alonso’s recent crash.

      2. The role of a canopy in an accident like Bianchi’s is to deflect, rather than stop the car – just change its trajectory with respect to the struck object.

        And Bianchi’s car and helmet did glance off the crane, so who’s to say some extra deflection might not have made a critical difference? After all the impact did not kill him outright, so another inch or two or three could have, say, halved the G or whateverand made it survivable.

        Who knows really but it seems clear to me a canopy would have reduced the severity of the impact on his helmet, so it shouldn’t be dismissed.

        1. @lockup Yeah, and even if the canopy does that, that leaves the G-force……the huge G-force.

          1. The g-force they’ve been talking about was at his head @davidnotcoulthard, earplugs and so on, and that was a function of how far his helmet glanced off the crane. The G on the car as a whole probably wasn’t too different from Verstappen in Monaco.

    2. I’ll savor this COTD victory knowing I will likely end up never contending for it again for another 6 months, lol.

      And unless Eddie Jordan puts his cards on the table and says JB’s finishing his career at Williams, I don’t think JB is going to race for any F1 team other than McLaren.

      1. @rjoconnell

        I’ll savor this COTD victory knowing I will likely end up never contending for it again for another 6 months, lol.

        Congrats with that. I have some issues with it though… :)

        Marciello, I could understand. He would probably indeed be an improvement over Ericsson. The others though… I consider both of them to be more talented, but they have some time to go in single-seaters before graduating to F1. I know, I get it, the Verstappen-effect. But that shouldn’t become the standard. Leclerc is only in his second season, Fuoco in his third. And especially Fuoco needs to show more, there are a serious lot of drivers that have shown what he has up until now.

        Either way, both will have to do better than they are currently doing in order to even qualify for a super licence as in their current positions they will not acquire the required 40 points.

    3. 254 Gs?! That’s more than Kenny Brack’s crash? Then this crash was more than brutal

    4. I fail to see how a canopy would have prevented the Bianchi injury/death. He still would have whacked his head hard on the tractor. Some energy would have been taken out when the canopy makes its contact first I suppose, but his rate of speed still would have doomed him. It happens on interstates with passenger cars and 18-wheelers at much lower speeds.

      My idea: keep the construction equipment off the circuit while cars are moving without an actual safety car on track. The only hole of course is the Montoya crash/explosion at Daytona in NASCAR.

    5. The only creative stuff McLaren can do nowadays is stuff like blocking Button and ruining his career as much as possible. I feel unfair the way Ron had treated Button in McLaren.

      He deserves a definitely better F1 career !!!!

      1. @tmax Oh, come on. Last year, when it looked like Button wasn’t going to get a McLaren seat at all, people were complaining that Jenson “deserved better” than to be left out of F1 in such an unceremonious manner. Now they’re complaining that he might not be allowed to leave the team that saved his career?

        It wouldn’t, of course, be the first sticky contractual situation Button found himself in…

        1. People were complaining because they procrastinated so long making a decision that the driver who lost their seat had no time to find another one. Maybe that was Ron’s intention… probably.

      2. What blocking? Stop believing trashy newspapers. They did a good job not saying that the “blocking” they were talking about is Mclaren keeping for next year.
        The team has an option on him. If they take the option then his contract requires to race for them. He agreed and they agreed. Why is exactly Mclaren keeping him for another year some conspiracy to ruin his career is beyond me.
        If they do not take the option then he is free to sign with Williams if he so wishes so there is no blocking.

    6. I remember that race in 2005, specially qualy. Watching JPM fail meters from the finish line, spinning the car while beating Kimi’s time for pole, surely didn’t go well within Mercedes!

    7. Really hot track temperatures ! the Pirelli wheel of fortune swings to favour Ferrari. Will they be able to capitalise on it?

      1. I think the forecasts for the race is actually quite abit cooler, last time i checked it would be very hot on Friday, chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and then cooler and settled for Sunday. Not sure if this has changed since I looked though.

        1. hot on Saturday might be all that is needed.

          1. The Ferrari advantage in hot condition is longevity not one lap pace that would be needed in qually.

    8. 3 cheers for Honda ! They know the value of competition in improving the breed, Bernie only knows how to squeeze money out of stones.

      1. @hohum
        And remove the tokens and freeze limitations. The way the things are now, it’s impossible for any other engine manufacturer to enter. Imagine for example Audi entering next year and being told that what they’ve came up at the start is pretty much what they’ll have to use for the foreseeable future, since there are only few tokens left. Absolutely ridiculous.

        1. The guy from Mercedes said he could pretty much redesign the whole engine with the tokens available. Look at the gains Ferrari made in their engine in the off season, Renault are just scratching their heads at what is wrong is looks like and Honda didn’t spend enough money or time before entering F1 again, they are fixing the former now. Audi are in a little bit of a different situation because they already have development knowledge of technology that go into these type or PU’s, but I don’t see them coming into F1 under Audi or any other name anytime soon, and I doubt the reason is actually engines alone.

          1. The guy from Mercedes said he could pretty much redesign the whole engine with the tokens available

            He will say that though, won’t he? :) Afterall they don’t want to open up regulations and lose their advantage.

            Ferrari issues were with the MGU-K. MGU-H part of the PU than the ICE itself. They had a strong ICE in 2014 as well and have built on it for this season.

            Renault running into issues with the piston is what puzzles me. Honda is a mystery as to what is right with them and whether they will ever get it right. @woodyd91

            1. @evered7 Honda’s issues are with their ERS, specifically the MGU-K, which they claim to have fixed…

            2. @evered7

              He will say that though, won’t he? :) Afterall they don’t want to open up regulations and lose their advantage.

              You could say that, although it just happens to be true at the same time, There are countless articles about how much development can actually happen with these new PU’s and with them being more developable than the previous V8 generation.

        2. +1
          It beggars belief how it’s come to this. And this is even without Mosley at the helm.

          As Boullier said, sport is all about improving yourself to compete, so this is against the very basic principle of F1.

          Of course all the emphasis on engine and its development lock down was all set up by Bernie to make sure Mercedes became a mainstay as Red Bull was too good on the chassis side, but this is back firing big time.

    9. It appears that the crash didn’t cause the debate, the casualty did. So it’s ok to hit your head, just don’t die. We all know a canopy is a double edged sword, or else it would be on the cars by now. Flip a coin, heads says you get your head taken off, tails says you fry. Considering how many fires there has been in F1 in recent years, you may just be unlucky if your in one. No matter what, you’re flipping the coin.

      1. That’s not true at all. The VSC and was introduced wasn’t it?

      2. It appears that the crash didn’t cause the debate, the casualty did.

        It’s hard to know where to start with a claim like this which is so obviously wrong. There was a huge amount of debate immediately after the crash and long before Bianchi died. Among the media, among fans and within the governing body, where a ten-man team of leading figures were assembled and produced a report running to hundreds of pages, the recommendations from which were put into action months ago.

    10. Wow sloppy journalism day today.

      A British site can’t spell McLaren properly (they type McClaren on the title and subtitle so probably its their editor) and the article itself is actually just full of the writer opinion without any piece or links to back his argument is totally rubbish article for me and not deserved to be put in here. I don’t know how Button relationship with Williams nowadays but I remember they have a bad blood because the contract saga between them, and the writer says he had good relationship with Sir Frank (which probably true now, time heals afterall). Anyway its unfair to say that McLaren will certainly block Button move like its a fact while it only comes from a writer opinion (@tmax).

      And the title Jules Bianchi’s death leaves Lewis Hamilton open to introduction of closed cockpits in F1 (The Mirror) is totally misleading (The Mirror fault here). In the article his quote is

      “I am never against changes as long as they are positive, for safety and for racing – and it doesn’t take away the fun factor.”

      which implying he was never against open cockpit and only finally open to closed cockpit idea after Bianchi death (like the title implied). @keithcollantine fault here is picking a quote from the article and presented it like it was Hamilton’s quote (which is not, and because the Mirror itself formatted it in 2 paragraph and separated by an image it could be a genuine mistake from Keith here). Here is the full relevant quote from the article:

      British ace Will Stevens, who drives for Bianchi’s old Manor Marussia team, feels open cockpits should remain, but did call for the options to be researched.

      He said: “F1 is incredibly safe but one remaining fact is that impacts to the head which happen with open cockpits is always going to be there. It needs to be looked at.

      “If it’s been open cockpits for ever, it should continue like that.”

      1. @sonicslv To be clear, there was a piece of text specifying the quote from the Hamilton article was from Will Stevens, but due to an error that wasn’t displaying. I’ve fixed that now.

        1. @keithcollantine Thanks Keith. I know you are not the type of person who make click bait article. I also really hate how The Mirror formatting their article with paragraph that only consist of one line quotes with very little information between them and the Will Stevens name is really hidden and they even put unrelated huge picture between that paragraph and the quote. I bet lot of people will think that quote is from Hamilton especially when they (I bet its intentional) just put “He said” for the opening of the paragraph.

    11. In other news, MotoGP have announced that, to eliminate driver injury, the bikes will be surrounded by a carbon fibre bubble. It will have a clear view panel in the front and a small mirror attached to the top.

      The bubbles will be self-righting, adding further entertainment to collisions.

      Valentino Rossi has yet to comment…

      1. I’m not sure what point you are making here. MotoGP is a vastly different sport, with lower speeds, much lighter vehicles, and the riders aren’t strapped to their machines. Yes, they’re both motorsports with an element of risk, but if your aim it so criticise the idea of canopies in F1, I’m afraid you’ve rather failed to understand the factors involved.

        If a canopy allows sufficient visual accuracy for a fighter pilot (it does) and allows them to exit the aircraft in case of fire (it does) then what is F1 waiting for?

    12. Wrong.
      The FIA had knowledge, tools and time to avoid the accident. The CHOSE not to take action, and in many countries that can be considered murder.

      When one has the means and knowledge of a subject, but does not take precautionary actions to avoid an accident, one shall be considered responsible for the consequences.

      Let’s say you leave your child under a coconut tree and a coconut falls and kills the child.
      Who is to blame for it?
      If the parent is a local or has been living in the region for reasonable amount of time, he or she is expected to know that coconuts fall from trees. Therefore, a judge could rule againt the parent

      1. @brunes Funny, a parent put a child under coconut and it died, so the parent murder the children. The parent instead sit the child under the sky so nothing can fall from above and the child died by heat stroke. Murder again by your definition.

        So I honestly asked you, did you already convinced by the time rain falls, sutil aquaplanned and double yellow waved that a car will aquaplaned AND it will slide under the tractor AND the driver dies? If yes then you either a liar or really good at predicting future and should apply for the position of race director. If no, then you’re the same as rest of us and it means no one have the knowledge of the subject.

        Here’s what history tells us for the knowledge of the subject:
        1. F1 has race in worse rain condition than Japan 2014.
        2. There is no F1 car hit the tractor before Japan 2014, and something that can be called near miss accident only happens once or twice.
        3. Double yellow is already the slowest thing you can apply before safety car or red flagging the race.
        4. Nurburgring 2007 probably worse because it was harder breaking zone and no less than 4 car aquaplaned in same corner, yet there is no accident and they not all ending at same spot in the barrier so sliding path is unpredictable and by law of probability it has really low chance to hit a single tractor (which has been proven by a tractor never hit by F1 car before).
        5. The track itself is not completely in unraceable state since there are parts of the track still getting some light rain, and the threat of sun coming down is greater than the rain at that moment.

        For all we know, the race director probably still gathering opinions from all drivers and team about the track condition and it seems besides Massa, other drivers still feel its okay to keep racing. The knowledge doesn’t warrant absolute SC condition, the precautionary action is waving double yellow which already means there are something else in the track, so be careful and don’t make any more accident. What are you doing now is just trying to find someone head to roll.

        1. actually I think it has to do with a degree of culpability. The result of which would be the possibility of a lot of dirty laundry, embarrassment, and possible payout. It depends on what laws are on the books.

          Say what you want, but those cranes are dangerous, not only to the operators of the car, but to the crane operator them self. There is very little protection for the crane operator. Then there is the marshal/spotter getting run over by the crane….

          1. *which/and whose books.

          2. *cars…

      2. It’s still not murder, though.

        As was said earlier, Murder implies intent. Are you suggesting that the FIA had prior knowledge about Sutil’s car coming off the circuit? Are you saying that the recovery vehicle was put out deliberately for poor July’s to crash in to? Have a word with yourself. It’s counter productive to be that mischievous with your assumptions. It doesn’t help. So don’t cast wide dispersions about something when you aren’t in possession of all of the facts.

        If a falling coconut kills a child, it’s not murder. It’s an accident.

        It’s a question of culpability, not guilt. And even then, the FIA are not responsible for what happened. It was a tragic accident and getting angry about it is not good for anything.

        1. It’s still not murder, though.

          No, it’s not. It could be argued that it is manslaughter, though. The gross negligence manslaughter occurs when it is someone’s duty to act and as a result of not doing that duty someone dies. Of course, the accident panel from the FIA cleared everyone and dumped all the blame on Bianchi, which, in my view, should not be the whole story. Considering how many safety cars we had last seasons for debris and lesser incidents, in my view, Charlie Whiting should have some responsibility for the accident.

          1. Fair point.

            But, just to reiterate, manslaughter is not murder.

            Still, the FIA took steps to mitigate risk. The drivers took steps to mitigate the risk. Jules was unlucky.

            It was a terrible thing, but nothing good can come from pointing fingers.

            Craziest. Thread. Ever.

      3. @brunes

        Jules went off the track due to aquaplaning. This means he was going too quickly for the current conditions. Considering that the double yellow flags were out, which require him to “slow down and be prepared to stop”, you argument would extend to say that Jules committed suicide. This is clearly absurd and offensive.

        In my view, the principle and main mistake made by race officials (at any tier of the hierarch) is in insufficiently enforcing an adequate slow down under double yellows. If they have to rely to telemetry to show a slight lift in the relevant place, then the “slow down” in ineffective. They should either be made to slow down MUCH more, or remove the rule entirely – as it stands it is pointless.

        The new VSC appears to be a away of doing this, leaving me to question why have the double yellows at all?

        1. Aquaplaning is not inherently linked to speed. It can also happen when water gets under the plank and the wheels lose contact with the track. A recent example would be Lewis Hamilton in Canada – at a relatively slow speed after he had realised Inters were the wrong tyres for the conditions.

          Bianchi might still have aquaplaned into the recovery vehicle if he had been driving to the SC delta. However, he might have had more time to try and avoid the crane and the lesser speed might have mitigated his injuries. He also might have got unlucky and hit the vehicle in away that resulted in his death.

    13. The silly season starts early this year!

      I knew this would happen when I was read about Nasr staying at Sauber for another year.

      At the end of last season when Button was up against K Mag for the seat, he persistently said he would only want to drive for a team that was capable of winning races. So, would he want to go given the current competitive order? That said, I don’t see how McLaren can get out of this hole in one season.

      I would love Button to go to Williams. He’ll have more chance of adding to his tally of wins if they can carry their impressive for in to next season. I think Williams would have him, he’s changed enormously since his early days. He’s also matured a he’ll of a lot since Buttongate. He’ll do a good job for them. But, I think it’s too early to guess.

      McLaren have more than enough bodies to replace him. Arguably, they all deserve a shot. For once, Ron Dennis has a nice headache to trouble his worried brow.

    14. Lewis Hamilton: “(Rosberg) was definitely fine with the brakes at Silverstone. He was perfectly fine. I don’t have any problems with the brakes.”

      So, when Rosberg says he has long-standing issues with the brakes, due to

      feel, personal feel

      , as he puts it, Lewis Hamilton comes along and says no, he doesn’t.
      That’s astonishing, isn’t it?

      1. Nope. What he is saying is, based on team briefings, this “long standing” brake issue from Rosberg seems to be a figment of his imagination. And they were certainly not mentioned in any of the Silverstone debriefs they had together. :-)

        1. @kbdavies
          That’s what Lewis wants us to think. And that’s what’s annoying me. Why would the team mention problems that don’t affect Hamilton’s driving in any way in a common debrief? Again, Rosberg says the problem is related to his own personal feeling, not something being objectively wrong with the car. So he’s working on it with his own engineers, so far without success, it seems.
          Lewis could’ve chosen a mature answer, stating that he never heard of any complaints from Rosberg’s side, and that sorting out this kind of issues is part of a driver’s job.
          But that’s not what he said. Instead, he refused to even concede Rosberg any hidden potential he currently cannot use due to his own shortcomings, based on the fact that he never heard about that. That’s pretty low.

    15. Isn’t it strange that Lewis questions whether Nico has a long standing brake issue which if people care to watch a rerun of races there have been times that Nico has had brake problems. Lewis says he has no problems with his brakes ???????? how many times has he blamed problems on his brakes . Short memory Lewis

      1. or maybe he said Nico didn’t have any issues with the brakes at Silverstone.

      2. That exactly it. Lewis had problems with brakes and he voiced them each time he had them. In team meetings etc.
        Rosberg had said nothing about brakes all this time, actually we even had comments of him saying how fine he is with the brakes and suddenly he wants us to believe that he was struggling with brakes this last two years?
        Rosberg didn’t claim that in this last two races he had problems or something. He says he had problems for a long time. This kind of came out of nowhere.

    16. Keith, with regards to your comment about historic payments – perhaps it is a minor quibble, but I wouldn’t say that Tyrrell “went to the wall” given that they were still solvent when Ken sold the team to BAT.

    Comments are closed.