Haas ‘talking to ten drivers’ about 2016 seats

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: New F1 entrants Haas say they are in discussions with ten drivers about a race seat for next year.


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

Haas F1 Team Status Report: Driver Recruitment (Haas via YouTube)

Renault deal would resurrect top form - Lotus (Motorsport)

"Mercedes has done a better job than all of us, that is not in dispute, but I am sure if they (Renault) made the decision (to commit with Lotus), then they have the right people to sort it out."

Sauber wary of manufacturer tie-up (Autosport)

"It has a lot of positives but at the same time, and this is nothing negative, but this is a marketing tool where you show your technical excellence if you're a manufacturer. When you achieve that and you achieve that a couple of times - and I exclude Ferrari here, because they have a different bond to the sport - you have achieved your target and then you leave."

Williams must admit to its problems - Smedley (ESPN)

"In Silverstone, although it was a very painful event in the wet, it did actually teach us a lot in terms of vehicle management during the damp and wet period. There were some very key points there we could pick out and concentrate on to give us the answer."

F1 tender fails to attract viable new teams (Reuters)

"Expressions of interest had to be registered by June 30, the deadline later extended to the end of July, with an initial non-refundable fee of $5,000 (£3,206). Full applications were due to be submitted by Sept 1 with a total fee set at $130,000."

Starting afresh in F1 (Sky)

"The sequence of getting the car off the line - with two paddles working on a single clutch, one released at the start, the second released as the driver feels the car gaining good traction - remains exactly the same as before."

Ferrari seeking best start average (F1i)

"We now face the challenge in Spa onwards that the fact the starts are going to change a little and working out how we respond to make sure that our start procedure, well the drivers’ start procedure, with whatever we can do to help within what is now permitted, to give them as competitive a start as they can have."

Remembering the great Mark Donohue (Gordon Kirby)

"Donohue's helmet was hit by a catch fence post and he suffered a concussion but was otherwise uninjured. The car was badly damaged and marks on the road suggested its left front tyre had failed."

Postcards from Paradise (The Buxton Blog)

"It’s just a bit of fun. Some people really do need to calm down and find something a bit more important to write about."

Tweets and pictures

Comment of the day

Michelin or Pirelli? Most F1 Fanatic readers seem to want a change:

I agree with those who think that the low degradation tyres phase has run its course and the novelty has worn off – it isn’t adding to the excitement any more and but is rendering the performances of the cars less impressive, especially in the last couple of years now engine management is also critical.

I feel I also can’t ignore the fact that during the four year period when both Michelin and Pirelli were active in F1 in the early 1980s (1981-84), Michelin won 31 GPs while Pirelli did not win a single race, and Pirelli-shod teams won just three across 1985-86 and 1989-91, as many as Michelin won in 2004 against the Bridgestone-Ferrari juggernaut. Even though a lot of time has passed since, I still think that Michelin would be a fundamentally better tyre supplier for F1 than Pirelli in performance terms.
Jonathan (@Jw14b)

Which tyre supplier do you think has the right philosophy for F1? Join the discussion here:

From the forum

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On this day in F1

It was all tied in the championship 30 years ago today after Alain Prost won the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix and title rival Michele Alboreto came third. The pair were separated by Ayrton Senna’s Lotus.

The initial start of the race was red-flagged after Gerhard Berger crashed his Arrows:

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76 comments on “Haas ‘talking to ten drivers’ about 2016 seats”

  1. 10 DRIVERS ! Way to go Gene, must be worth at least 30 headlines, 3 announcements per driver seems like a minimum to me.

    1. Haha I was just thinking the same. It’s as if they are the most important team and everyone wants to know what they’re doing day-in-day-out. Starting to look as if the whole point of the team is just to be able to appear in the news all the time. So much self-importance from a team which is almost buying a ready-made car from the shelf.

      1. So a new team is supposed to be silent until the first race? There are quite a few F1 fans in America who are excited about having an American F1 team again and like to be updated on what the team is doing.

        1. I’m one of them. I’m looking forward to seeing what Haas F1 can do.

          1. Well done Dave, we want to see a lot more of our American cousins in Formula 1, both teams on track and fans. It can only be good for our sport.

      2. I really want to know what Haas is doing day-in-day-out. Because it’s the first team in a while, that seems to know what the heck it’s doing. It’s doubtful they will be an immediate success, but it looks like they have a long-term plan. Maybe this can set a precedent and example, which could pave the way to a full grid. So, yes, it’s importnat to know what they are doing and how they are doing that.

        1. @thersquared @zimkazimka

          Their whole car is being made by other companies (Ferrari and Dallara). So what is it that they are doing so knowledgeably? Getting the most publicity out of this F1 flick that they are doing?

          If there is one thing that defines an F1 team, it’s designing your own car, and that’s one thing they are not doing. Good on them for joining F1, but it doesn’t seem like they are bringing much value with them except making up the numbers.

          Thing is, that there is all this hype only because they are coming from US. They aren’t actually doing mention-worthy so far.

          1. The problem is the design your own car for your first season approach hasn’t really worked. Quite a few teams have entered F1 making their first car and most haven’t been successful at even staying in the sport long term.

            Lotus, Virgin Racing, HRT, Toyota, and Stewart all entered F1 with cars of their own design. Of those 3 have left F1 entirely without a single win, including Toyota who spent hundreds of millions of dollars every season. Manor is still struggling to stay in F1. Stewart is the only team who has so far gone on to win races.

            The front of the pack in F1 is a rapidly moving target. A new team will, barring a substantial rule change, be stating behind the pack. Furthermore, with the limited resources and the challenges of starting up a new team, catching up will be even more of a challenge. Thus, it makes sense that a start up team would try to draw upon the wisdom and experience of existing teams to narrow the gap. This has been done before; Super Aguri bought the old Arrows chassis and HRT had Dallara design their car as well. Haas are certainly pushing the limit on how much they can purchase from Ferrari. However pushing the limit of the rules to gain an advantage is a quintessential part of F1 and sports in general.

          2. @thersquared you mention HRT but didn’t they also buy their chassis for their debut season from Dallara?

          3. I would say that the often ridiculed effort of the USF1 team shows the pitfalls of designing your own car off the bat, with no data to go on and little experience for how to make things work in the real world of an F1 season best @thesquared.

            That said, @oel-f1 is right that HRT also got their chassis built by Dallara (be it they did not have the money to pay for it fully and therefore development was stalled which made it worse than it could have been).

            But all of the teams that entered that year had been promised an F1 quite differently from what they entered, suddenly closing some paths of development, handing back the advantage to the big, established teams and faced having to race against budgets of a multitude of what they had planned for.

            Steward did well, afterall, the team still races on as Red Bull today. Jordan also entered with his own chassis, and did quite solidly. Toyota did show F1 is not easy if done wrong (Japanese boardroom management approach) although they got close enough to being a solid contender by the end of their stint.
            I would almost call BAR a greater flop as the BAT company sinked quite a sum of money into that too (wasn’t their first chassis done by Reynard?), then again, the team lived on as Honda, than had their dominant Brawn year and are now dominating as Mercedes.

            Overall it just shows that starting a new team is quite a task regardless of who builds your car (maybe that first Prost F1 season can be seen as what Haas might be hoping for?) .

      3. Well, its F1 news innit? As an American I am looking forward to having an F1 to root for. You say there is not enough teams and then when they join and keep us updated you criticize? F1 folk are a fickle bunch.

    2. Everyday, it seems more and more like USF1, again!

      1. I really don’t see how its anything like USF1.

        1. Eyes wide shut…

        2. Because the whole Haas project is nothing like the USF1 one.

          1. mmmm…yeah!

    3. Drivers always drivers… But isn’t the point, the car?

      We’re just 8 months to the start of next season and never heard about The car. That’s what matters to me when talking about a new team.
      Drivers will be irrelevant depending on the car they have at their disposal (i.e.: Trulli/Kovalainen-Lotus 2010).

    4. He should start a reality tv show to make it even more interesting. Camera crews following drivers 24/7 “showing the athlete and the man behind the driver” then a panel of experts and the fans would cast their votes to decide who would be the drivers…

      1. @jcost with Bernie/CVC having 5/10 of the votes, Ferrari 3/10, Haas 1/10 and the fans also 1/10 :)

  2. There some people that just can’t stop complaining.
    I actually feel sad for them.

  3. Anyone know which engine manufacturer Haas is using?

    1. Ferrari, they are also using their wind tunnels and gearbox. their chassis is currently being built by lola

      1. @f1freek

        their chassis is currently being built by lola

        Think you mean Dallara.

        1. @gt-racer Totally right! my apologies

    2. You hadn’t heard? Ferrari is providing the ‘Power Unit’ and giving a ton of technical help to Haas.

      Or did I just miss the sarcasm flying over my head? 😳

  4. If you’re Nico Hulkenberg and a drive with Haas come up, would you accept?

    It would be an interesting decision to make. Taking into account that there is no drive at the sharp end of the grid , would you rather give up a solid midfield drive for an upstart? If Haas is interested in luring Nico, it would only make sense that the remuneration package being offered up (if at all) is rather healthy. Nico isnt going to win with Force India, neither is he going to win with Haas, but considering you’d get paid more, and get an increased profile in the US, to me , it would make sense. If Haas proves to be successful, your image as ‘driver that can build a team’ will also go a long way, potentially even a top line drive.

    For Haas, paying a few extra bucks (in relative terms) for a highly regarded driver and defending Le Mans champion will contribute massively to the fledgling team’s profile.

    This could be a mutually successful partnership, a win win if you’d like, for both Haas and Nico. I would certainly look forward to it!

    1. Nico’s predicament would be a lot like Alonso’s has I think. Instead of wallowing in a midfield team, and watching your career go stagnant, as many of here fear it might, why not take a punt and see what Haas has to offer. Ferrari engine and wind tunnel backing doesn’t sound like a gloomy prospect at the moment, I’d take that over the somewhat unstable Force India. I just wonder how their partnership will work and will it create bad blood with Sauber; I can’t imagine Haas, or his reputation being too pleased if they have to wait several rounds for a new engine upgrade that was granted to the works team way back. If Haas and Ferrari gel well I don’t why it wouldn’t be a very good punt, and as you mention, publicity in America can’t be bad @jaymenon10

      1. Yes, if he stays with Force India too long his F1 career could go the way of another great German Nick Heidfeld.

    2. Talk about a tragic career. I really hope he gets a good drive soon – can’t really see where though.

    3. Worked well for Kovalainen, Trulli and Glock in 2010…

      1. I don’t get why Hulkenberg would want to join the new Caterham team…

    4. @jaymenon10 I know this is a bit pedantic, but Hulkenberg isn’t a Le Mans ‘champion’. He was part of the team which won the LM24 but he hasn’t won any championship – the LM24 is part of the World Endurance Championship, and he won’t be in the running for the drivers’ championship.

  5. I’d be surprised if Haas don’t end up with Alexander Rossi & Esteban Guttierez.

    Rossi fits the bill for a talented American driver which should help them gather some support from American sponsors & fans.
    Guttierez has F1 experience (Which will be a benefit), Ties to Ferrari (Who will be giving Haas a lot of technical support) & could help bring in some Mexican sponsors. And regardless of how a lot of fans feel about him, Guttierez still has a lot of fans at Ferrari who seriously believe he’s better than he showed at Sauber.

    1. @gt-racer
      I think they will go with these drivers as well. Maybe (and just maybe) we could see Vergne (who is also a Ferrari driver if I’m not wrong), or even Kobayashi (that was a Ferrari driver until the last year), but I wouldn’t be betting on him taking one of the seats.

    2. @gt-racer Does Rossi have enough license points? If he does I also think this will be the very anti-climatic driver choice.

      1. He will if he can fight his way back into 2nd in the GP2 standings.

        1. Having been a test driver last year, didn’t Rossi get a Superlicense that stays with him for 3 years, making the whole points situation irrelevent

          1. yes, he does already have a superlicense

        2. @thersquared If we apply the F1 points system to GP2: Vandoorne, Rossi, Sirotkin, Lynn, Haryanto, Gasly, Evans, Marciello. The reverse grid races put Haryanto 2nd, which could be critical at the end of the year..

    3. I think they are still inexperienced for them.

    4. That would be a pair of not very experienced drivers in a new team… I’d say it’s a bit risky.

  6. Nice little piece on Mark Donohue. A hugely talented guy, and it’s such a loss to the sport that he never got to carry on with a long career as an engineer and designer. He was certainly no slouch as a driver either, but I’m pretty sure that he saw those as his biggest strengths. . For those who haven’t read it, I highly recommend finding a copy of his book, “The Unfair Advantage”. Absolutely a must read.

  7. 10 drivers for 2 seats, that must be Kaltenborn wettest dream.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      18th August 2015, 8:23


  8. Many thanks to Gordon Kirby for the heartfelt and informative column on Mark Donohue. Donohue was truly one of the best racers ever. He could and did race nearly anything and everything that could be raced. He could set cars up better than anyone and then drive them better than everybody too. He put Penske on the racing map. By all accounts a nice guy too. A neighbor who was a Sunoco exec knew him well and worked with in conjunction as a sponsor said that he was very gracious with fans and took time with them, even with kids talking racing and answering questions. Too bad he left us too soon.

  9. Is it really a thing to brag with you’re in talks with 10 drivers? Sure it shows interest but what quality should we expect. Rossi? Guttierrez? Or Vandoorne and Hulkenberg?

    1. Most definitely the first two.

      They said they want an American (Rossi), and a driver with recent experience (See Sauber’s old deal with Ferrari – they usually threw a Ferrari driver in one of the seats).

      To me, it looks to be pretty slam dunk – Rossi, Guttierez.

      Rather uninspiring, it has to be said. But they’ll pretty much be solidly at the back in the first season, anyway.

  10. $130,000 just to ask if you can jointhe F1 grid…….no wander no viable application came alon!
    That’s like me selling my car, but charging people to come looking at it.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      18th August 2015, 8:31

      Or $5,000 to ring your premium rate number to make an appointment to look at the car.
      No wonder nobody came and had a look, let alone buy your car.

      Maybe they can make a reality TV show around the next application event. @thebullwhipper

      1. No! For heavens sake don’t give them any ideas!

  11. Good thing about an American F1 team is that they know how to create buzz around themselves. They’ve been in the news for partnering up with Ferrari, and the rumours of them helping Ferrari with their wind tunnel time, got them in to the spotlight straight away. They will manage to stay in the news with their driver line up talks, and I can guarantee that they will be present at COTAs with some interesting driver line up announcements.

    They might not perform much better than Marussia or Caterham in their 1st season, but they already have more people talking about them before they entered the sport than any other pre entry minnow team.

    I’m sure their driver line up will be a strategic decision based on sponsor appeal and American F1 fan following as well. Something tells me Haas might not be the most technically brilliant team on the grid, but they will adapt to the business of F1 pretty well.

    1. F1 is the only form of racing, where teams are individual responsible for the design of their car which makes it hard to move into as a team. Institutionally, there should be a good body of general racing knowledge due to their successful NASCAR operation. Additionally, I recall Günther Steiner saying in an interview that they had received quite a bit of interest from ex-F1 staff so they should have a decent number of people who know F1. The challenge will be bringing all of that together and filling the gaps.

  12. ColdFly F1 (@)
    18th August 2015, 8:42

    Good analysis by Monisha Kaltenborn of the cons and cons of tying up with a manufacturer team:
    – if they don’t win then they will leave the sport (cannot be seen as constant #2)
    – if they do win they will leave the sport (marketing objective accomplished).
    If only Monisha could be this smart when contracting race drivers.

    1. Got to take these opinions with a pinch of salt.

      I’m sure if Renault suddenly pitched up at Sauber asking for a manufacturer takeover, she’d be more than happy to listen!

      She’s just protecting her brand and listing the reasons why being private has some pro’s.

  13. Ten candidates? Interesting…

    Almost certain (apparently): Esteban Gutierrez

    Possibles: Jean-Eric Vergne, Alexander Rossi, Nico Hulkenberg

    Less Likely: Raffaele Marciello, Kevin Magnussen, Josef Newgarden

    Unlikely: Danica Patrick, Simona de Silvestro, Antonio Fuoco

    If only I could know how well I scored!

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      18th August 2015, 11:16

      Steiner said as well “experience for sure is very important “. @countrygent)
      Thus all those on your list without F1 experience can be taken off.

      1. @coldfly Exactly, so therefore, as my list suggests, we are most likely to see at least one of the drivers with F1 experience in the team – either Gutierrez and/or Vergne – but that doesn’t rule out a rookie like Rossi or Marciello being in the other seat. Gene has openly talked about wanting an American driver, and since there are none with F1 experience at the moment (unless he is interested in Scott Speed), he is clearly open to the possibility of a rookie.

        Personally, I am hoping for JEV and Rossi, although Esteban has been walking around recently with a chipper mood that suggests a certain inevitability. Not that chipperness is at all unusual for Esteban.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          18th August 2015, 12:19

          Of course officially Guttierez is an American as well! @countrygent ;)
          But would mean that Esteban is competing against the money of Maldonado, the experience of Barrichello, the opinions of Villeneuve, and the current WDC(E) Piquet!

        2. In their spot, I would probably try to get Rossi in the reserve driver role, and let him drive the car in FP1 instead of Vergne (unless they can get Hulk off course) in the US, Canada, and possibly Mexico.

          Then promote him the next year. On the other hand Rossi did get quite a bit of F1 car mileage under his belt already in various test driver roles @countrygent, @gt-racer, @coldfly, @corix

          1. @bascb I think we both know that without Telmex backing, Gutierrez would have probably never got the chance to race an F1 car at Spa – he simply did not look ready in 2013, which was strange considering he is a GP3 champion and had two seasons in GP2. Yes, we have been spoilt by the caliber of young drivers in recent year, but Gutierrez was inexcusably anonymous and slow in 2013, something he unfortunately carried over to 2014.

            But then again, why were we surprised? His career dramatically lost momentum as he drove more powerful machines, and it proved an issue with consistent throttle modulation that saw him fail to take the title in GP2 in 2012 despite it being perhaps the poorest grid in GP2 history. And once in an F1 car, Brundle emitted an audibly detectable wince every time FOM cut to his onboard camera to see him lighting up the rear tyres.

            It might seem harsh, but I don’t particularly see why he should get another shot. Vergne and Magnussen however, do deserve another chance. However, if it is a choice between Gutierrez and Rossi, despite Alexander not exactly being the best qualified junior star available, I would back the rookie. Sorry “Steve”, but you’ve had your chance.

          2. yes, Telmex money will be the main reason why he is likely to land that Haas drive @countrygent.

            From his form in GP3 i expected him to impress in GP2, but he was overshadowed by his teammates and others quickly. And in F1 I thought to give him the benefit of the doubt as a rookie, but we saw little improvement during his first year and his second year was a dud too.
            But yeah, being Mexican and having backing is probably an opportunity Haas won’t be easily passing over, but if he does, count me impressed.

    2. Sutil? Personally, I see Vergne/Gutierrez/Rossi, or Hulkenberg/Gutierrez/Rossi.

  14. RE COTD. I think that to look at the early 80s is not the right way to judge Pirelli vs Michelin performance. During the 81-84 stint Pirelli was mostly supplying backmarkers, would you really expect such monsters as Osella or RAM to win anything, even had they been Michelin-shod? The top players used either Michelin or Goodyear, so in those times the best team Pirelli dealt with was then-young Toleman (Lotus and Arrows used Pirelli for a year each, but those were not good days for either). Similarly, in 85-86, when Michelin quit, all the top teams moved to Goodyear, and the best Pirelli-shod teams were Brabham (for a year) and once again Toleman/Benetton. And two of those three wins in 85-86 and 89-91 were down to the Benetton team, which is actually pretty good achievement vs much stronger McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, and some teams in decline but still threats, like Tyrrell and Lotus. Say, when Benetton (that was clearly on the rise since the end of 80s) once again switched to Goodyear in 92, they didn’t do much better and only maganed a single win per year (and those two were actually down to Schummi’s brilliance) until 94. So, performance-wise there’s no evidence that the switch from Pirelli to Goodyear gave a major boost to the team. (Michelin, of course, was not around by that time, so Goodyear is the only benchmark available.)

    So, although Pirelli was a smaller operation at the time, and actually still is compared to the big three (Bridgestone/Michelin/Goodyear) dominating the market, there is nothing in the data from the 80s that would prove the inherent inferiority of the Pirelli tyres and fundamental superiority of the Michelins, particularly in modern times.

    1. I am glad that you have brought that point up – the comparison was made with no consideration of the competitiveness of the teams that used their tyres, and is therefore a completely pointless exercise.

      As you say, the difference in competitiveness of the teams was a far bigger performance differentiator – for example, Ligier used Pirelli tyres and had a fairly strong run of form in 1985-1986 for what was a fairly small team for the time, but their decline in form was due to Laffite being severely injured in 1986, which destroyed the morale of the team and also ruined their development program (Laffite having been the guiding influence on Ligier’s chassis design).

      I would also point out that, in 1986, Brabham weren’t all that competitive – Murray has admitted that he made a lot of mistakes with the BT55, particularly with the engine installation, and he considered that car to be something of a failure.

    2. But ! if Pirelli made the best tyre the best teams would have been using them.

  15. Many people talk as if Rossi is a shoe-in for the Haas seat, but in every interview, Haas & Steiner have very politely poured cold water on the idea by noting that they prefer drivers with recent F1 experience to help develop the car. Still people insist on believing that surely an American team will want to have an American driver. I see no reason to believe that Haas will take such a parochial view. Remember that Gene Haas sees his F1 team largely as a way to promote his machine tool business. Haas Automation already holds a very strong market position in the United States. Less so in other countries. If Haas were going to choose a driver based on nationality (and I’m not saying that I think he will), it would make more sense to identify the country that has the most potential upside for increased machine tool sales, and pick a driver from that country. Which would probably end up being China or something.

    Anyway, I could see Rossi getting the dreaded dead-end “test and reserve driver” seat with Haas. But I think they will take him as a race driver only if they cannot procure two drivers with previous F1 experience.

    1. @flatdarkmars, I fully agree to that. I not at all convinced Haas is interested in Rossi either. I’m not even sure if he has the points to qualify for a super-license.

      Another alternative for Haas would be Pastor Maldonado if Lotus/Renault decides to not prolong his contract. The sum of money he brings is rumored to be around $30M, but i’m not sure Haas cares for that – Pastor isn’t exactly good marketing material, nor is he a man to stabilize a team.

      Haas needs a reliable pair of drivers. Not necesseraly the quickest. I think Guttierrez, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Perez or Magnussen are all great choises.

    2. I think you need to bear in mind two things:

      1) They said they need a (ie. 1 of the drivers) with experience. Pretty sure I also heard Ferrari saying they’re looking to branch out in Mexico. To me, that spells Guitierrez.

      2) Americans are some of the most, dare I say it, blindly patriotic nations in the world. I’d imagine an American driver is pretty much a must as far as their marketing plan goes, as well as attracting big, American sponsors.

      If anyones sat and watched American adverts, you’ll know exactly what I mean. They’ll want a Rossi doing all sorts of marketing tie-ins for bizarre products!

  16. petebaldwin (@)
    18th August 2015, 10:51

    I would be devastated if it was Hulkenberg….. Button should know better than get involved in this and Vergne would be better staying away from F1 to build his reputation up rather than join Haas and crawling around at the back.

    It’s a perfect seat for a pay driver IMO – if your car is several seconds off the pace (as the Haas will be), there is no point in spending money on a driver to give you an extra few tenths.

    I think it’ll be Gutierrez along with Rossi.

  17. I’d imagine an American driver is pretty much a must as far as their marketing plan goes, as well as attracting big, American sponsors.

    Gene Haas doesn’t need help selling any more CNC lathes & mills in the US, and even if he did, F1 is the wrong sport to advertise to Americans. He already has a NASCAR team for that. The purpose of the Haas F1 Team is to grow the brand in the global market, and an American driver is irrelevant to that goal.

  18. @flatdarkmars

    A quick look at haascnc reveals that the interest lies in Chinese and European industries.
    Yeah, it seems they want to firmly establish their racing team as a business first and then go on from there.

  19. I didn’t expect more teams. We know the FIA’s statement.

  20. F1 fans learn nothing over the year, this talk about the tyres is enough prove that people in general really don’t have free will, and principles. How can the industry rejoice with the improvement in racing that came with Pirelli and then rebuke Pirelli for what in comparison are petty issues.

  21. Nice read from Buxton. Yes, I also think its nice that Hamilton enjoys life and what it gives him and shares a bit of it with his fans (if you are not, and you follow his Instagram, Twitter etc, ask yourself why if you dislike it).

    And No, I am not a huge fan (2007 sadly soured him for me almost as much as it did sour Alonso for me), but I can see he is driving the best he probably ever has, seems to have found a way with his moods and dealing with setbacks and generally seems to be enjoying being there, racing in F1 and having a good time off track as well, and I like what I see with this young man developing into a more mature one.

  22. I am very excited that a brand new team will enter F1. I think the hype around Haas is good, however I can’t imagine them being faster than Sauber. Sauber has been in F1 for many many years, will have the same engine as Haas in 2016. If Haas beats Sauber in 2016 with more or less a customer chassis, I will be very surprised.

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