Wolff in two minds over Red Bull engine supply

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In the round-up: Toto Wolff says it could be better for F1 if Red Bull had Mercedes engines, but doubts it would be good for his team.


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Wolff admits conflict on Red Bull engine supply; sees 'no reason' for Ferrari move (James Allen on F1)

"If I wear my Mercedes Benz motorsport boss’ hat and think about what is in the best interests of F1, then I have to say it’s (a Red Bull engine supply) an interesting option because it it would link us to a brand that has huge appeal among the young and it’s a winning brand."

Ecclestone wants Renault works team (Autosport)

"They won't take the (Lotus) debt on. They're hoping the people that put the debt in will write the debt off."

No plans to give Leimer race seat - Booth (F1i)

"Fabio did a great job actually, when he hasn’t been in a car since last October - apart from those electric things but you can’t really count those as cars can you - he did a fabulous job and we’ll probably give him another run out before long as well."

Max Verstappen has boosted Formula 1, says father Jos (Motorsport)

"He (Massa) always makes comments. It doesn't matter. It only makes Max more interesting when people like that start making comments about Max."

Prost says being a team manager his 'biggest mistake' (Crash)

"I said to Ayrton (Senna), 'You know, it would be funny one day if I had a team and you could be my driver. And we were laughing about that.'"

Correction: F1-Button burgled story (AP)

"In a story Aug. 7 about burglars ransacking the rented villa of Formula One driver Jenson Button, The Associated Press incorrectly reported the location of the villa. It was in Ramatuelle, not St. Tropez."

British family claim they were also burgled at same villa where Jenson Button was 'gassed' (Daily Express)

"A British family of ten have revealed they were also the victims of burglary at the exact same villa two years ago."

A female F1 champion? It’s just a matter of time (Sport 360)

"That gender divide doesn’t really come up. The boys look after the boys as much as the boys look after the girls and the girls look after the boys. Formula 1 is one of the only sports in the world that allows girls to line up and compete against men."

Interview: Top Gear meets Taki Inoue, F1's worst-ever driver (Top Gear)

"In my first Formula One race in Sao Paulo, Brazilian GP, I didn’t know what a pit stop is. No one told me."


Comment of the day

Are the potential dangers of the changes to the start systems which come into effect at the next race being exaggerated?

Everyone is bashing these starts without having seen one.

My take on this: nothing strange will happen and we’ll have a Hungary-like start with some people being of the line a bit quicker than others.

To the people saying these engines aren’t made to perform manual starts: if I remember correctly, Rosberg had to do a manual ‘start’ out of his pit-box during the race in Abu Dhabi last year. His engine didn’t explode.
Patrick (@Paeschli)

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92 comments on “Wolff in two minds over Red Bull engine supply”

  1. From a racing perspective, it would be interesting to see Red Bull with a Mercedes engine and a decision that I’m sure would earn Mercedes some kudos points with some of the fans. However from a racing perspective it makes little sense.

    The decision will be about weighing up the benefits of increased competition at the front of the grid, which could potentially lead to some greater racing which pulls in more eyes balls and therefore more exposure for the brand Mercedes Vs. the attention the brand receives from winning races and world championships, not to mention the financial rewards that go in hand with such results.

    I’m not sure myself, look how embarrassing it has been for Red Bull to have been humbled by TR on a few occasions this season. Do Mercedes really want to hand a potential major competitor a helping hand for some increased exposure. While it’s not directly comparable I doubt the Red Bull would have sold Mercedes their chassis in order to spice up the front of the grid racing.

    This of course goes without mentioning the fact that Mercedes is well aware of how verbal Red Bull has shown they can be when they don’t like things, They had no issue at all throwing Renault to media so why should it be any different with Mercedes if things don’t go the way they want? Also Red Bull have been a works team of Renault for a while now, they certainly wouldn’t be a works Mercedes team, in fact they would probably go behind Williams in the pecking order.

    I wonder why Ferrari aren’t in this conversation? They of course have the same problem Mercedes has to some degree but I find it odd that it’s not even being mentioned lately. Maybe that has been well and truly shot down by Ferrari.

    1. For me from a racing perspective I find it far more interesting that the top teams use different engines. It creates an alternate development route, variation of car performance between tracks and is another form of rivalry to enjoy, not to mention the aesthetics.

      The only problem is that the other manufacturers haven’t done a good enough job and/or under-invested compared to Mercedes. The Renault engine was arguably the weakest in the V8 era too, that didn’t stop Red Bull winning four championships on the trot.

      1. I’d agree with you, It would be great to see Mercedes, Ferrari & Mclaren Honda at the front racing for the win, where Red Bull fit into that fight I’m not sure.

        The Renault engine was arguably the weakest in the V8 era too

        I think that’s true in terms of HP but Renault was arguably one of the best engines in helping get maximum from the blowing the diffuser from what I understand. I think Mercedes caught up well but never quite there.

        This is from what I’ve watched and read, I’m not a technical guy so I could be completely wrong, But that’s what I understand.

        1. @woodyd91, the Renault engine did indeed have characteristics that meant it could be more easily adapted to blowing the diffuser – it was actually a side effect from a system that Renault had developed to help with the cooling of the intake valves, which Prodromou then realised could be harnessed as a means of blowing the exhaust.

          Mercedes and Ferrari did develop “hot blowing” techniques to compensate that had a similar effect, whereby they ran slightly rich fuel mixtures that would ignite in the exhausts and increase the gas flow when the cars were off throttle, something that Renault did also adapt to – however, those systems were banned in the longer term, whereas the Renault “cold blowing” was permitted since it was not originally designed for aerodynamic purposes and had a measurable impact on the reliability of the engine.

          In some ways, the Renault engine did have some advantages over its rivals. Whilst the difference in peak power was quite small (independent analysts from the University of Cologne estimated that Renault were only 10bhp down on the Mercedes V8 and 5bhp down on Ferrari), the Renault engine reportedly had a slightly wider power band.

          Furthermore, the Renault engine reportedly had the best heat rejection characteristics of all of the V8 engines and lower fuel consumption than both the Mercedes and Ferrari engines – features that were beneficial for the internal airflow and packaging, and also the external aerodynamics.
          There are some suggestions that Newey actually vetoed an attempt by Horner to secure Mercedes engines because he felt that the packaging advantages outweighed the slight increase in power that the Mercedes engine offered, so Newey seems to have thought that the Renault V8 fitted with his design philosophy quite nicely.

          Also, we should remember that the V8 regulations first kicked in back in 2006 – whilst the focus is shifted towards the latter end of that era, we should remember that there were more manufacturers than just Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes.

          If you extend it over the whole of the time period when the V8 engines were in use, the Cosworth V8, due to the fact that it was not developed from late 2006 to early 2010, was the weakest by a long way, having the highest fuel consumption, highest cooling demands and the worst performance loss with wear.

          If you confine the comparison to the manufacturers alone, Toyota and Honda also fell back significantly after 2006 – both companies were punished for their honesty, as they did not abuse the “reliability upgrade” system in the way that some of their rivals did and therefore had the least powerful engines, and the Honda reportedly had a fairly narrow and peaky power band to boot.

          If we limit the comparison to just Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes, there is an argument that the Ferrari V8 might have actually been the weakest – although the peak power was fractionally higher than Renault (although less than the Mercedes V8), it reportedly had the highest cooling and fuel consumption demands of those three engines – those other factors appear to have outweighed the slight power advantage over the Renault engine.

          1. On that note, I think the Williams was a good car in 2010 but badly held back by the Cosworth engine.

          2. Cheers for that @woodyd91 great read,
            so when RBR where winning they rolled in the glory we are the best sort of attitude,
            but when they loose it was always Renault’s fault?
            makes you even wounder why Merc or anyone else for that matter would even contemplate supplying RBR, the gratitude they show towards their engine suppliers is totally none existent, plus the treats about leaving F1 if they can not win, how did we ever end up with such a bunch of moaners?

          3. What an awesome explanation, really interesting. Thanks for that.

    2. Regarding the decision, for me it seems a no-brainer. Increase the competition to give the brand more exposure.

      They’ll almost certainly wrap up both titles again this year, which they can then show in advertisement and whatnot, so there’s that exposure of success. And the success doesn’t have to end there, once they supply Red Bull. I’d expect Mercedes to be up there regardless for years to come.

      Then next year they can plaster their three pointed star on the nose and the engine cover of the RB12s. They’ll have an association with a global brand.

      The thing to be worried about, as you mentioned, is the way Red Bull have criticised Renault. If they suffer some reliability problems with Mercedes power, or results are below expectations, Red Bull might, as an example, start questioning whether the Mercedes engines given to them are different to those of the works team…

      Looking forward to seeing what happens anyway.

  2. COTD, I’m actually amazed that anyone should suggest these engines may have problems at the start, with all that electric torque available they should be able to rocket up to 10-20 kmph on electric power alone before putting any load on the ICE and clutch.

    1. Of course they should also be able to self start the same way, but apparently they can’t, so the regulations need amending.

      1. @hohum, actually, the radio transmissions between Kimi and the pit wall during the Hungarian GP suggest that Ferrari might have the capacity to start the engine using the hybrid energy systems (Kimi received a message telling him that “we will start it on the ERS” when Ferrari tried to reset their systems, with the external starter only used after that system failed).

        However, I believe that the main reason why the teams usually do not use the hybrid power systems is a consequence of safety regulations due to accidents with the hybrid systems. You might recall that there was an accident a few years ago when, during pre-season testing in 2009, a BMW employee was electrocuted due to a fault with a charged KERS unit.

        Although the individual was not severely injured, that incident lead to the ban on hybrid energy systems being charged in the pit lane and the requirement for the hybrid power systems to automatically shut down if the car is stopped on track or the recovery systems develop a fault. Basically, the decision was made to prioritise the safety of the marshals and mechanics who might come into contact with a stricken car by completely removing the possibility that the car could electrocute somebody over the need to self start.

    2. The MGU-K is connected to the engine crankshaft, so the clutch is required to regulate the ridiculous amounts of torque coming out of the MGU-K as well.

      As for the COTD, the engines won’t “blow up”, it’s the fact that the drivers have to *guess* where the clutch bite point should be, before they leave the pit lane. Before Spa, they could set the bite point based on the grip levels on the grid– now they have to guess what those grip levels are going to be, because they have no opportunity to test it ahead of time.

      Had this not been a knee-jerk in-season change, the teams could have altered their clutch trigger design to allow for a longer, more responsive clutch pull, but I suspect that the current clutch levers are essentially hair-trigger switches right now.

      I’m still concerned about the possibility of an anti-stall-induced pileup when the lights go out, though.

  3. Taki Inoue is pure class. What a great interview. I would disagree with the following though:

    “Even the mobile chicane that was Ukyo Katayama”

    …Katayama proved to be a fairly steady hand.

    1. @jaymenon10 I just checked Inoue credentials. On several occasions he beat his teammate in qualifying (Max Papis, who did quite well in the US after F1), so Inoue wasn’t all that bad. Still no proper F1 material, but I doubt the worst ever.

      1. The worst ever is probably reserved for Jean Denis Deletraz…haha

        1. @jaymenon10 His son looks pretty handy, though…

          And we can’t have this discussion without name-checking Giovanni Lavaggi!

          1. I miss F1 Rejects…

      2. @matthijs To put the performance of Inoue into perspective with reference to the Johnny Herbert quote, if you look at his qualifying times compared to his team mate for 1994 he was typically about the same if not narrower gap than Herbert was to his team mate in the same car.

        I’m not suggesting he was a good driver (nor that his team mates were on a par with Shumacher), but in the context of his lack of driving experience and knowledge he didn’t do too badly. I never rated Herbert particularly highly – I’d say in context Herbert was over-rated and Inoue under-rated!

        1. should say 1995 of course!

    2. I’m sure he plays up to this a bit. Of course he knew what a pitstop is..

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th August 2015, 14:31

        still a great read though!

    3. That interview was great, but how eye opening was this:

      “I expect the helicopter to take me to hospital, but Charlie [Whiting, F1’s race director] comes in and says, ‘Sorry, Taki, we can’t use the helicopter, otherwise we stop the GP. You wait until the finish, another hour.”

      “I expect immediately they are checking out my bone, that everything is OK,” remembers Taki ruefully. “But they say, ‘Taki, we want your credit card.’ I say, ‘What? Credit card? I don’t have it!’ I am still in my race suit! But they want pay first, otherwise they won’t help me. I say, ‘Come on, I’m very painful.’ Another half an hour, big negotiation. I didn’t pay. For two years, they keep sending invoice to me in Monaco.”

  4. Nico’s tweet got me thinking, he may or may not win a world championship.

    If he were to stop racing today, would he be seen as a more successful driver than his father? Nico’s a GP2 champion, he’s won more than twice as many races and had twice more podiums than Keke, having had less starts. Of course Keke won in 1982 but would WDC’s be the only factor in judging a driver?

    1. Of the two pictures, the one on the right has an uncanny resemblance to Nico. Well, not that “uncanny” since it’s his father. But you know…

    2. would WDC’s be the only factor in judging a drive

      Yes. Even if it’s not always considered like this by the fans, it is by the drivers.

    3. If Nico doesn’t win a championship no one will really know who he is in years to come. There are plenty of also rans with lots of wins under their belt. Pick any champion you do know of and they will have had a team mate with a good few wins but they will have no real legacy. They usually end up commentating.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th August 2015, 7:58

        Like nobody knows who are: Stirling Moss; Gilles Villeneuve; Jacky Ickx; Carloss Reutemann; Gerhard Berger and maybe Clay Regazzoni and Ronnie Peterson.
        The best example to counter your argument (@philipgb )are probably the Villenueve’s. I don’t recall anybody claiming that Jacques was better than his father.

        1. @philipgb @coldfly has a valid point but it’s probably a mixture of two things which gives a driver a legacy. Either one of (a) winning a WDC or (b) being one of the outstanding drivers of your generation.

          The list coldfly have made are mostly just (b) drivers. If Mansell hadn’t won his title in 1992 he would have joined that list also.

          Keke qualifies only through (a) and the only way for Nico to join the list of names to be remembered in future is through (a) as he won’t qualify for (b).

          I’m sure that we will see fewer drivers of outstanding ability not achieve a WDC in the modern era as factors such as reliability, accidents, careers cut short etc have less impact now and the best drivers tend to make it to the best teams. Kubica might be the most recent example but his career may have been cut too short to have a long lasting impact.

    4. I think I already see Nico as a better driver than Keke. Keke’s WDC came in very very fortunate circumstances in a very very Topsy turvy season. And Keke in 1982 wasn’t doing a “Alonso in 2012 first half” (2012 first half probably came closest to 1982 season in terms of unpredictability). Keke was more like Frentzen in 1999, just more luckier.

      Nico is paired with one of the best drivers in F1 today and he is holding up respectably well.

      1. Nico had one of the most dominant cars in F1 history last season and didn’t win a WDC in it. What more could he ask for other than an honorary WDC.

        1. Nico had one of the most dominant cars in F1 history last season and didn’t win a WDC in it.

          Have you considered that’s more due to his teammate, than any lack of skill of Rosberg’s? With the possible exceptions of Vettel and Alonso, I think if anyone else had been Rosberg’s teammate last year, Rosberg would have won the championship.

          Rosberg is a very good driver– The problem is, he was up against the one driver who’s raced against him for years, and knows how to beat him.

    5. 1982 arguably wasn’t Keke Rosberg’s best year. He had quite a few outstanding results after that. Nico and Keke have a massively different appeal but I think they were quite evenly matched on talent.

    6. That’s a great question – and a good Sunday dinner table argument at the Rosberg house!

      I think there’s not much to separate them at the moment – both have come up short against a top-class team mate (Prost, Hamilton), but both have been solid race-winning contenders on their day.

      It’s hard not to be won over by Rosberg Snr’s flair at the wheel though, and I wouldn’t say his son hasn’t scored as gritty a win in as gruelling a race as Dallas 1984, in as poor a car as the Williams FW09. Yet.

      1. Rosberg Snr’s flair or Rosberg Jr’s steely determination?

        There may not be gritty wins in F1 any more as the races are hardly gruelling but when he’s had to take his teammate out to further his own hopes I think he’s certainly done more than his father would’ve. I do wonder how Keke approached Nico after a couple of the incidents last year :)

  5. totally agree with COTD, it is ridiculous to suggest engines are not built to do that, it is up to teams to adopt, its same for all teams, of all the ridiculous rules that have been thrown-in last few years, this is the one makes most sense and induces some kind of randomness to racing. Just coz hamilton said its not good for his championship defense, doesn’t mean its not good for sport lol.

    1. doesn’t mean its not good for sport lol.

      Let’s wait and see what these changes actually does for the sport before proclaiming it to a good move.

      1. to be*

      2. well it cannot be worse than before, like i said unpredictability can only be good, it boggles my mind that some fans are asking for driving aids.

        1. @f1007

          it boggles my mind that some fans are asking for driving aids

          It’s not about driver aids, it about if whether this change will add anything or not. I’m not saying it wont and I’m not against the change. What I’m saying is lets see what actually happens before people start getting ahead of themselves and proclaim the change to be a good thing. We simply do not know yet.

          1. What I’m saying is lets see what actually happens before people start getting ahead of themselves and proclaim the change to be a good thing. We simply do not know yet.

            If you had used the word ‘bad’ instead of ‘good’, it would have been a near copy-paste of my COTD. :)

            We’ll have to wait and see.

    2. As if people with no engineering knowledge could comment on that. Why do you even try, cos it just makes you look silly. Same with COTD.

      1. Does this mean all people without engineering knowledge should just leave this website?

        You sound like Bernie with his “fans don’t know how many cylinders these engines have” comment

      2. oooh engineering!! as far as i know there were no big complaints from teams, but look fans with engineering “knowledge” with keyboards are upset about engineering challenges. why do i even try!!

    3. The engine isn’t the problem. The controls and the clutch, are the problem. The cars were designed for one launch procedure– now they’re stilling using the same launch procedure… only blindfolded.

  6. Keith, where is the pic taken (the one at the top)

    1. I’d say Brackley @sumedhvidwans as long as there is only Mercedes powered cars

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th August 2015, 8:01

        If you click on the picture the caption says Silverstone, 2015. @sumedhvidwans

        1. @coldfly, that’s weird (well I suppose not) because it’s the 2014 PU and even 2013 Lotus! Still very impressive seeing the number of people requiered to create such a machine.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            14th August 2015, 11:05

            @me4me, I’m extremely impressed that you can identify all that detail.
            Maybe it was the stepped nose on the Lotus that gave it away. But full admiration that you can name the bare PU’s year (I had to zoom in to see that it was a PU, let alone identify make or year).

          2. @coldfly, haha thanks! I guess that’s the geek factor of following F1 :)
            Have to admit though, by closer inpection I’m not sure what years cars the Lotus and Williams are. The Lotus’ nose and front wing are 2012 style, but the engine cover has the shark fin tested at China 2014. And while the Williams looks like last years car, it seems to have a rear beam wing (as has the Lotus). Both of them are probably show-cars with a healty mix of good looking components.

          3. It looks a lot like the Mercedes HPE factory in Brixworth.

  7. @sumedhvidwans I’m not Keith but I can tell you it’s Silverstone (click on the image).

    1. It is for sure the Mercedes HPE factory in Brixworth. My dad works there so I know what it looks like.

      1. @lewisco nice one. I was just reflecting the title attached to the pic…

        1. Yeah, I guess it was easier for the photographer to say Silverstone? Makes sense having all the Merc powered cars at the engine factory though.

      2. It most definitely is Brixworth, unless they have an identical facility at Silverstone. Kind of makes sense too considering these are all currently HPP powered teams!

        1. Ditto! :)

  8. The boys look after the boys as much as the boys look after the girls and the girls look after the boys.

    Eric Cantona? No, Claire Williams.

    1. @jeff1s Nor Damon Albarn.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        14th August 2015, 10:27

        Very good

  9. ColdFly F1 (@)
    14th August 2015, 8:09

    I love this site; and it is by far the best for all my F1 info. But why have an F1CSI article on other people who were robbed in France or where the villa is located?
    And @Keithcallantine I know you put these links lower as you deem them less important, but IMO Women in F1 and even an interview with Inoue beats the ‘also been robbed’ article!

      1. @coldfly I thought it was interesting in the context of the Button story; I don’t know if this sort of crime is commonplace or not.

  10. Bit of a shame to see a team with the quality of Mercedes not wanting to supply RBR with engines out of fear they may beat them. Almost seems like they don’t want any competition.

    1. I didn’t see Red Bull allow Renault to provide their super-capacitor based KERS unit to other Renault customers when they were winning 4 titles with it…

      1. @alec-glen Huh? This is news to me. In 2010 they weren’t even running KERS and in 2011 they were still just a customer team while Renault were running Enstone as the factory team. And why would anyone have wanted RBR’s KERS system considering the thing only worked half the time and even when it did work, was one of the worst on the grid?

        1. I am pretty sure the only reason RBR went to KERS was because of the weight penalty for not doing so. For the most part nothing beats petrol with respect to weight and punch, you bring back the V8’s with out the weight of KERS, and allow refueling and even a team like Manor, if pitted against everyone else on the ‘new’ regulations would podium regularly. Supercharge the V8’s and run GDI, and it wouldn’t even be a contest. The rules in F1 are what make it boring, the people who justify their jobs at the expense of other people’s opportunities are what really suck :)

  11. I really don’t like changing the rules mid-season, it can be acceptable issuing technical directives if someone’s been flouting a loophole but making changes that will undoubtedly affect the running order when races get underway, even if to peg back Mercedes, is too far for me. I hated it when they changed the tyre construction midseason because Red Bull wouldn’t use the prescribed camber as it ruined months of work for the likes of Force India and completely nullified the championship that year with Seb then easily winning 9 of the 10 remaining races.
    I don’t think Seb or anyone else will win the rest of the races due to new start procedures but we’ll likely see teams/drivers struggle with what is a midseason change to the technical regulations to improve the show, this in my opinion pushes F1 further away from sport and towards soap opera.

    1. @alec-glen That’s exactly my view on it. Fair enough to make the change, but to do it after the cars have been developed, tested and raced for half the year is just wrong. It’s a classic example of trying to make good entertainment trampling over sporting integrity. Besides which it’s FOM’s job to make F1 marketable, not the FIA’s so why the FIA keeps kowtowing seems beyond me.

    2. I hated it when they changed the tyre construction midseason because Red Bull wouldn’t use the prescribed camber as it ruined months of work for the likes of Force India

      I have always thought changing rules mid-season to be unfair. It inevitably means that someone will be disadvantaged and someone will gain an advantage.

      I can’t remember the full reasoning behind the tyre change, but I thought it was down to safety. If that’s the case (and not down to someone using the tyres in an unsafe way, as you suggest Red Bull did), then the change is justified. That is the only reason I see for changing rules mid season, on pure safety grounds, and should always be the minimum required to bring safety back to the required level. It should also not require any approval from the teams if it is to make up for a newly-discovered safety issue.

      The problem with changing the rules is that all the teams work to the rules for a year (or more) before the season even starts. They have designed a car to the best of their ability within those rules. It is an incredibly unfair situation when, for example, a team has developed something new within those rules and it is banned. Or a team has been able to design a car which runs brilliantly with the tyres they are given, but the spec changes which nullifies that advantage.

    3. I hated it when they changed the tyre construction midseason because Red Bull wouldn’t use the prescribed camber

      You get an “F” in history. The tyres were failing because teams not named Red Bull were running them the wrong way around. For some strange reason which was never explained, simply telling the teams in question “Stop doing that” wasn’t considered an option.

  12. This is really not a good thought from Mercedes, It looks like they does not want see any competitor for them,And that what i really feel.

  13. those electric things but you can’t really count those as cars can you

    Anyone else feels offended by this? Or is he just trying to dismiss it as a pr effort? In 10 years electric car racing could become a huge part of the sport and will definitely threaten the combustion engine powered formulas.

    1. I actually just had a good laugh. I don’t think he’s not aware of what electric vehicles mean to the future – I think he just jumped on the bandwagon a bit in terms of taking advantage of the obvious weak point of the series (I mean weak point in comparison with ‘real’ cars).

  14. I get fed up reading about how to “improve the sport” in such a planned, formal and beurocratic fashion (the Mercedes/McLaren route) because it’s painfully obvious that F1 is at its most interesting when all the plans fall apart.

    Remember the 80s and 90s? When strategies weren’t so simulated and precise, when tyres were less predictable in both use and fabrication, when engines often went pop and when gears were often missed by drivers? It’s not just nostalgic thinking and cherry picking from history, things were far more interesting.

    It’s when I think about things even more that I realise that F1 is only interesting when the carefully laid out plans collapse (think rain, tyre failures etc) and today’s manufacturers and cars have been ironed out to such an extent that plans rarely go wrong. Even if they do go wrong, the results are often quite forgiving.

    It sounds daft I know but…How can F1 be changed so that it’s far easier for the drivers and teams to make mistakes? Dernie’s suggestion was always fully-manual transmissions and hard tyres but I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s ideas.

    1. Willem Cecchi (@)
      14th August 2015, 10:39

      I definitely miss the massive engine blow ups!

      1. It’s not just them blowing up, the suspense from seeing puffs of smoke coming from the exhaust, and wondering if it was a bit of excess oil being burned off, a minor fault that wouldn’t cause a problem, a more serious fault that would require the driver to nurse the engine to get it to the finish line, or a sign of an imminent engine failure was great fun.

    2. @joshgeake

      Dernie’s suggestion was always fully-manual transmissions and hard tyres

      The ship has sailed on going back to fully manual gearboxes/clutches, Pretty much everything else in Motorsport has moved to paddle-shift so there’s no desire to make F1 less technical than the lower classes.

  15. I wish people would stop believing the ‘Button was gassed’ headlines.

    Not only is gassing someone in their home (or any room) extremely difficult but the side-effects of any anesthetic aren’t exactly subtle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anesthetic#Inhaled_agents. I other words, gassing wouldn’t be suspected, it’d all too obvious!

    A great atricle taking a more critical look is here: http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/08/mad-gassers-burgle-button-or-not/

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      14th August 2015, 14:44

      Maybe Button had a drink with Bill Cosby the night before.

  16. To the people saying these engines aren’t made to perform manual starts: if I remember correctly, Rosberg had to do a manual ‘start’ out of his pit-box during the race in Abu Dhabi last year. His engine didn’t explode.

    @Paeschli There’s a difference between the sort of start you see after a pit stop (Where they drop the clutch & floor the throttle) & the sort of start you do off the line.

    I’d also point out that from Spa they still won’t be doing manual starts, The actual start procedure will be the same as its been to this point for the drivers. All thats changes is that they won’t be able to make changes to the clutch bite points when they leave the garage so will be locked into whatever settings they leave the garage with.

    The concern from the engineer’s is that the systems were all designed around doing the bite-point check & been set for an optimal launch. The changes for Spa mean the start settings will be less optimal & in some cases maybe even completely wrong & this is going to put additional strain on things which may well lead to problems with some of the components that have to last multiple races.
    If a gearbox is over-torqued for example the damage may not be apparent straght away but later in that race, Maybe when your leaving the pits ot maybe even a race or 2 later the damage could cause bigger problems.

    Think for example of suddenly changing the tyre size from 13″ to 18″, The current cars could run on 18″ rims (As we have seen) but since there not designed for them you would be putting some extra stresses/strains on brakes/suspensions/bearings/drive-shafts/Gearboxes etc… which could lead to problems.

    1. Also remember that with development restricted/frozen for engines/gearboxes/electronics a lot of the things that will need to be redesigned to better stand any additional stresses/strains they may well be put under actually cannot be changed until next year.

      From that point of view I still feel it would have been better to keep things as they were for this year & implements the new start rules from the start of 2016 when systems/components are 100% designed to cope with these rules & when they have actually had chance to test them (Which is something else they can’t do remember).

      1. +1 Billion!

        Another ridiculous mid season rul change in the interests of show…

        One that could quite easily end careers and quite possibly lives. Those suggesting it’s a good thing should get out and try starting in a race with unknown clutch bite points and see how you feel when you either run into someone or get rear ended!

        We seem to have forgotten it’s the single most dangerous point in any race. So we make it worse by doing it to cars NOT designed to do such.

        Yeh – real bright idea. It’s actually worse than last years one!

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          14th August 2015, 14:52

          a lot of the things that will need to be redesigned to better stand any additional stresses/strains

          No tokens required for new engine parts to improve reliability! @gt-racer
          I guess though that the grid penalties still stand when using more than the allowed units!

          And on @Drg’s comments:

          One that could quite easily end careers and quite possibly lives.

          Seems a bit over the top IMO!

          We seem to have forgotten it’s the single most dangerous point in any race.

          As far as I know there have been no fatalities or serious injuries linked to any accident at the start.
          Seriously, you sound a bit like Massa now! (Not the great racing driver Massa, who proves this year that he is fast, but the Massa in many interviews.)

          1. @coldfly

            As far as I know there have been no fatalities or serious injuries linked to any accident at the start.

            Been a few.

            Riccardo Paletti for instance was killed at the 1982 Canadian Gp as a result of driving into the back of Didier Pironi’s stalled Ferrari.
            Ronnie Peterson was killed due to the injuries he sustained in the crash on the run down to turn 1 at Monza in 1978.
            There was some spectators injured due to debris from the start line crash at Imola in 1994 when JJ Lehto stalled & was hit by Pedro Lamy.

          2. It is the speed differential and cars being unsighted that can make the start so dangerous. By the time a car starting near the back of the grid reaches any car or cars stalled or crawling of the line near the front of the grid the speed differential will be massive and the driver can be unsighted by other cars.

  17. apart from those electric things but you can’t really count those as cars can you

    What a stupid thing to say…

  18. Bit off topic but why no mention about the anniversary of the death of Ferrari in the “on this day”? He was quite involved in the sport.

  19. It will be very interesting. Or not.

  20. The worst F1 drivers were the mid ’90’s pay drivers, definitely, and Yuji Ide. I think Taki Inoue has to be the F1 driver that has been treated the worst by F1- I can’t think of anyone else who has. This must be from his Japanese-like pride, I guess. He deserves far better. When he was in F1, he was run over by a medical car after he retired from the race. He certainly isn’t the worst F1 driver ever; he’s probably up there though. The worst F1 driver ever would be the infamous Swiss Jean-Denis Deletraz, a man so slow and so physically unfit to drive F1 cars that he was 7 seconds slower a lap than the next slowest car on track- he was lapped by Damon Hill and Schumacher 10 laps into the ’94 Australian Grand Prix. Even nice guy Damon Hill spoke ill of Deletraz at the 1995 Portuguese Grand Prix, wishing his car to break down early in the race.

  21. The Renault’s option is very interesting.

  22. Hello and excuse my poor English.
    Mercedes always changes his mind, saying yes then saying no. Thanks Wollf, thanks Lauda, and thanks Wolff contradicting Lauda.. Of course Mercedes won’t supply Red Bull with an equal engine, I think only weak minds could ever believe this.

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