Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Williams ‘wanted £10 million from Ferrari for Bottas’

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Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2015In the round-up: Ferrari decided to retain Kimi Raikkonen after Williams requested £10 million to release Valtteri Bottas from his contract.

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Kimi Raikkonen will stay at Ferrari for 2016 season (The Telegraph)

"Williams had been holding out for around £10 million to release Bottas from his contract, with rumours that Ferrari thought it too high a price to pay for a driver who has had an unconvincing season."

F1 poised for ground effect return (Autosport)

"An idea with some support is to produce a modern ground-effect car, generating downforce from the floor, but also operating a very minimal front wing."

Honda expects increased performance at Spa (MotorSport magazine)

"Sonic and GPS data suggest it has been around 130bhp down on Mercedes in qualifying – sometimes more, sometimes less, depending upon how much ersH they dared use – and more in the races."

Analysis: Formula E's London conundrum (Motorsport)

"With the British Grand Prix moving to the same date as the mooted second London ePrix, the powers that be in F1 would have known that it will be extraordinarily difficult for the race to be re-scheduled at that time of the year."

Stoffel Vandoorne: Winning GP2 title will 'prove I'm ready for F1' (Sky)

"Nothing is decided for next year, I am still focussing very much on GP2 and trying to win that title. I do have regular talks with Ron (Dennis) and Eric (Boullier) about my future, but nothing is decided yet."

Rossi joins four wheel champions in elite club (Reuters)

"The club, which owns the Silverstone circuit and includes motorcycle and Formula One world champion John Surtees among drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Jackie Stewart, said on Wednesday that Rossi had accepted an honorary membership."

Crisis? What crisis? F1 should be encouraged by viewing figures (The Guardian)

"Last year the total was a more stable 425 million. There is clearly work to be done here but hardly yet a crisis."

Belgian Grand Prix Betting: Ferrari Show Mercedes Can Be Beaten As F1 Returns (Unibet)

My Belgian Grand Prix preview for Unibet.

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Comment of the day

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2015Many of you expressed surprise at Ferrari’s decision to keep Kimi Raikkonen for next year:

I’m surprised, though not too much. He’s insanely popular, after all, so after a price cut (which he surely did take) it makes sense from a marketing point of view.

There’s also the point that nobody has truly excelled this year, other than Hamilton (not leaving) and Vettel (already there). Bottas has not beaten Massa convincingly enough, Hulkenberg had a couple of weak races at the start, Ricciardo has been spectacularly unspectacular, Verstappen and Sainz are too inexperienced etc…

While I think that most of them would have done a better job than Raikkonen, I assume Ferrari thought it wouldn’t be better enough to sacrifice the marketability of Raikkonen.
Albert

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Future F1 driver Takuma Sato won the British F3 race at Silverstone 15 years ago today. He started from pole position while a first-lap shunt unfolded behind him:

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  • 82 comments on “Williams ‘wanted £10 million from Ferrari for Bottas’”

    1. Thanks for the CotD Keith! :)

      That telegraph article pretty much backs the point of the costs involved in getting Bottas or Ricciardo. I assume it was simply deemed not worth the trouble.

      I wonder how big Raikkonen’s salary cut was, I assume I wasn’t small. Still better than being unemployed, or drive for Lotus for free, heh.

      1. Are you an insider at Ferrari? How do you know there even was a paycut for KR, let alone that “it wasn’t small” ?

        Much more likely there was a change in pay structure to make it more results based
        Also I disagree with most of your COTD’s conclusions. Fact is, none of the drivers touted to replace KR has performed brilliantly this year, let alone when many milllions should be paid to get them. Except for Hulkenberg who was never in the running at all unfortunately as Ferrari will not employ 2 Germans at their team together

        One more aspect you haven’t mentioned in your analysis is James Allison. He’s a big believer in KR’s abilities, came together with him from Lotus and has much influence in the team, naturally as technical director

        Also, “better than being unemployed or not paid by Lotus”? IIRC Lotus has paid him the money in full even if after the season? And you forgot about 2009. KR has left F1 instead of joining Mclaren because he refused a paycut. He’s not wed to F1 as some drivers and this is one more reason I doubt he would accept a significant paycut if any. He’s made many millions already, he drives in F1 for his enjoyment, but a significant paycut would demonstrate that the team doesn’t value him anymore=no enjoyment=he’d rather leave and drive in other categories instead(he would not be unemployed)

        1. @montreal95 “Ferrari will not employ 2 Germans at their team together” – are you an insider at ferrari too?

          1. @frood19 Hh you got me there! Fair enough. Of course it’s an assumption. Based on the fact that Ferrari has only employed 2 drivers from the same nationality for one season in at least 40 years(1991-Prost and Alesi. Unintentionally for a few races in 1982 as well after Gilles death and before Pironi’s injury), added to the minuses from the marketing point of view it’s a very logical assumption. In my reply to Albert I’d explained why his assumption that Ferrari would offer KR a significant paycut doesn’t make a lot of sense and him accepting it even less so. KR keeping roughly the same salary in general but achieved with bigger percentage of performance bonuses is more likely

        2. @montreal95

          Are you an insider at Ferrari? How do you know there even was a paycut for KR, let alone that “it wasn’t small” ?

          Do you see the words “surely” and “I assume” in those statements? That means I don’t know, but I’m speculating. No more, no less than “Much more likely there was a change in pay structure to make it more results based”.

          Fact is, none of the drivers touted to replace KR has performed brilliantly this year, let alone when many milllions should be paid to get them. Except for Hulkenberg who was never in the running at all unfortunately as Ferrari will not employ 2 Germans at their team together

          That’s exactly what I said…

          One more aspect you haven’t mentioned in your analysis is James Allison. He’s a big believer in KR’s abilities, came together with him from Lotus and has much influence in the team, naturally as technical director

          Yep, that’s a good point.

          Also, “better than being unemployed or not paid by Lotus”? IIRC Lotus has paid him the money in full even if after the season?

          It was tongue-in-cheek, hence the “heh”.

          He’s not wed to F1 as some drivers and this is one more reason I doubt he would accept a significant paycut if any.

          This is not something we can even attempt at knowing. But I seriously doubt that after one and a half very mediocre seasons he keeps a huge salary. No business work that.

          1. @Albert Well of course our both assumptions are speculative. But I’d explained the reasoning behind my assumption and why it’s more likely than yours. Namely that there’s no point for Ferrari to keep KR for another season if they gonna make him feel like he’s just a stopgap and that they don’t really believe in him anymore which is exactly what a significant paycut would signal to him. You’d also perhaps missed my explanation why it’s even less likely KR would accept such an offer if Ferrari were stupid enough to offer it. KR keeping roughly the same salary, but achieved via higher percentage of performance bonuses is far more logical. It says to KR: We believe in you, we know you can do a great job, it’s up to you to achieve the results. It’s perfect business work contrary to what you said. What isn’t good business plan is keeping an employee but showing him you don’t believe in him anymore. In other words: your plan

            About the other candidates, here’s what you’d said: “While I think that most of them would have done a better job than Raikkonen”. That’s what I disagreed with. Based on their performances this season it’s not a clear cut assumption at all(apart from Hulkenberg)

            1. Sorry for the tag @Albert. I’d made it automatically without thinking it’s not you(or at least not a signed in you)

            2. @montreal95

              But I’d explained the reasoning behind my assumption and why it’s more likely than yours.

              Why you think it’s more likely. I don’t see it that way, as I explained. It was as a speculative explanation as any, but with a huge dash of cornyness:

              “It says to KR: We believe in you, we know you can do a great job, it’s up to you to achieve the results.”

              F1 teams are that, professional teams, not characters in Sesame Street.

            3. That’s your counter-argument?

              It’s called psychology not Sesame Street. It’s a big thing in HR now in case you didn’t know. You either have a productive worker or you fire him. And you won’t have a productive worker if you show him that you’d fire him if only you could and you don’t believe in his ability to do a good job. It’s all very professional and scientific. Would you like links to “google scholar” peer-reviewed articles to prove it?

              And you still haven’t replied at all to my other point that were Ferrari to act in an un-professional way you’d suggested, then, based on all we know about KR he would not have accepted it in any case

            4. @montreal95

              It’s called psychology not Sesame Street. It’s a big thing in HR now in case you didn’t know. You either have a productive worker or you fire him. And you won’t have a productive worker if you show him that you’d fire him if only you could and you don’t believe in his ability to do a good job. It’s all very professional and scientific. Would you like links to “google scholar” peer-reviewed articles to prove it?

              That’s your argument? “Google search some articles”? Heh heh :)
              For starters, F1 teams don’t work under the standard proceedings of common companies. Neither legally nor structurally. The nature of the best is simply very different.

              And you still haven’t replied at all to my other point that were Ferrari to act in an un-professional way you’d suggested, then, based on all we know about KR he would not have accepted it in any case

              That’s not what “we know”, that’s what you think you know. Everybody has different ideas about drivers’ personalities, at the end of the day we know basically nothing about them. You think he would have rejected, I don’t. I think that when you lose as much driver value as Raikkonen has this couple of years it’s better to take a payment reduction to stay in a top team. Beats retiring. Yes, that’s also I think I know, mind you. But I’m well aware of that, and so should you :)

      2. My first reaction was “Ferrari can do better than Kimi at this point in his career”. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
        – Why blow $15M you can spend
        – plus lose the marketing value of Kimi
        – PLUS I’m sure he took a pay cut.
        (They can spend ALL that money to catch up and/or get ready for 2017’s new rules)
        – They aren’t going to win the constructors championship anyway unless a miracle happens…even in 2016
        – He makes a good #2 driver to Seb at this point in his career…no fighting :)
        – And it’s not like Bottas, or whoever they want next year, won’t come running for 2017. They ARE Ferrari.

        So when you look at the big picture, it would have been stupid to do anything else.

        1. Only reason I can think of is kimi’s marketing value. But despite kimi being popular I’m not so sure how marketable he is. As far as driver performance goes I think there was just no reason to not try something new. Kimi has been so completely and totally dominated by his team mates that it is difficult to find a driver who could do worse job. Even massa would be better option at this point.

          Why on earth did not ferrari go with hulkenberg. It just baffles my mind. Even if hulk would be completely dominated by vettel hulk would still have been cheaper. And probably had got more points too. I think it was stupid to hold on to kimi just like it was stupid to hold on to massa all those years.

        2. @daved For all we know Ferrari suddenly rises and Hamilton want a piece of the red cake in 2017.

          1. @xtwl
            LOL Now that’s an interesting thought! But I think Lewis has a new 3 year contract??? Of course, in F1 those things don’t seem to be as solid as people would expect.

            1. @daved With Vettel I was always convinced he would once ride for Ferrari. With Hamilton not so much but I don’t really know if he has ever voiced his feelings about that.

        3. And you forgot Kimi’s marketability, the fact that paying money to Red Bull or Williams to release their driver only helps their direct competitors and the fact that the team is in need of a bit of stability after the many shake-ups in previous years.

      3. There’s also the point that nobody has truly excelled this year, other than Hamilton (not leaving) and Vettel (already there).

        It’s not really the point of the article, but I don’t think that Hamilton particularly excelled so far overall.

        Yes, he was excellent during the season-opening flyaways, but his European campaign was so far nothing exceptional – he was beaten away at the start in Spain and comprehensively beaten all told in Austria, played a part in his downfall in Monaco, messed up a start and a restart in Silverstone and made an absolute mess of his race altogether in Hungary.

        In my opinion, Vettel was the only standout performer of the season so far, with Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Bottas, etc. second best and a loong way off.

      4. If you add in what he was paid to step aside for Alonso no cut was taken.

    2. Michael Brown
      20th August 2015, 0:09

      From the ground effect article:
      “But the chances are they won’t do it. It’s too logical.”
      Which I fear is the case, considering that ground effects were proposed for 2014 but then dropped.

      Personally I want to see ground effects return so we can abolish these stupidly complex and wide front wings.

      1. That line was about the standardization of certain parts: “namely the floor, beam wing and crash structures”, not about ground effect.

      2. And I would happily accept standard floor, beam wing and crash structure even if it meant the money was spent elsewhere, perhaps then we could have engine upgrades every race. Also the reduced pit crew idea would be really beneficial to independent and new teams.

      3. Thank you!!!! I’ve been whining for this for years as many of you are sick of listening to me do it LOL
        But seriously, how obvious has it been that those large/complex front wings were the problem with overtaking!!! Bring on the ground effects!!!

        I’m sorry to gloat now, but I’ve been whining/whinging about this for so long that I’m too relieved not to celebrate that they’re at least talking about it finally. OK, I’ll shut up now :)

        1. @daved, sadly this Gordon Murray (who better) concept is from 2012 not 2015 and continues to be ignored despite all the evidence for its validity.
          Thanks for the smiley below.

          1. @hohum
            Yeah, but what would he know? LOL Sometimes I think if Colin, Gordon were both here telling them what to do they’d ignore it.

            Adrian Newey knows better, but he’s the best aero guy on the planet right now and he wants to keep his advantage. I can’t really blame him for that except that it’s hurting F1. But it might be a bit much to ask him to voluntarily give up his greatest strength :)

      4. The front wings and the noses are one of the only things that separate the cars visually. After the front nose and the wing the main differences left between the cars are mostly nuances. Different mirrors, slightly different air holes in the roll hoop and sidepods. The rest is hard to see. Leaving the teams some freedom there at least allows the teams to try different things and makes all the cars seem somewhat unique.

        As for ground effects I think it is good idea. But I’d get active suspensions too.

        In the end I’d really wish F1 could have decent engines. This lawnmower era can’t end soon enough. The engines are dull concept, sound like lawnmowers, are heavy with false horsepower figures and worst of all are insanely expensive and there is huge difference in power between brands. The engine has been made way too important piece of the car and the teams can not even do anything about them because the engines are designed and made by someone else.

        The best thing to happen is to get ground effects, active suspension and engine that can do a full lap with 800hp. The ground effects make it easier to follow a car everywhere and try a legitimate pass (no drs either), the engine with true 800hp would allow the teams to put more wing into the car making the cars more physical and challenging to drive and having all those things would also make the cars fast too. The eco cars of today are obese and slow and are filled with technology that aims to save fuel instead of making the cars faster. If you want to save fuel look at the jumbojets that move the cars around the world..

        1. The engine has been made way too important…..


          Riigght, back to horses then?

          1. Such a witty response. When you can’t write down anything worth saying you come up with a bad joke?

            If you are having trouble seeing my point. A lot of the speed of the car today in F1 is in the engine. The engine is a locked down item which the teams can’t do anything about. As such different teams are locked into different levels of competitivenes despite how well they do their own job. Just look at williams or lotus. Where would those two teams be with renault engines? Nowhere near where they are now.

      5. We’ve all been waxing lyrical about ground effect and simpler wings for so long now that it’s really good to hear that these are being considered and hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, will be the underlying factor in the designs of the 2017 cars :D.
        Obviously, this shift still has to be implemented in the correct manner, and for me, personally, I would want to see a free reign on the design of the floor of the car, and then regulations brought in which specify a front wing spanning a maximum distance inboard of the front tyres, a maximum depth, maximum 2 elements (lower fixed, upper adjustable), a maximum area for each of those elements, and a range of degrees specified within which the adjustable wing can be run. As I understand it, this approach means the rear wing concept is going to need to be altered to rebalance the car. I’d like to see a reduction in height, and increase in width, and again, a 2-element, maximum area, lower fixed, upper adjustable (within a certain range, NOT DRS!) principle applied. I’d chuck in a simplification of the diffuser too since we’re redesigning the floor of the car.
        Altogether, there’s plenty of scope in there for the aero guys to get excited and try out all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas, without ruining the ability of the cars to go racing in the process.
        To me, this is the single most important change F1 should make for 2017. It’ll give you better racing and together with grippier, durable, and wider rear tyres, a better spectacle. With the racing spectacle nailed, you are then in a much better position to go about addressing the engines, costs, and multitude of other problems F1 has atm.

      6. For me the simplest measure that F1 could bring in is standard front wings, producing about 75% of today’s downforce.
        Design the wing to work better than today in turbulent air (if less peak downforce is needed, a wider operation range can certainly be found).
        Big money saver for the teams on development.
        Freed of ever optimising the downforce, the wings can be made safer (too many failures recently that could have turned into very big accidents).
        Removing downforce from the front, will limit the benefits of rear downforce.
        Only downsides I see are the fact that all the cars will look even more similar.

      7. Sorry to pick you up on a point of pedantry Michael Brown, but it should be pointed out that the aerodynamic components of the current cars are designed to utilise ground effects quite extensively. The term “ground effect” is applied in a very sloppy and inaccurate manner, with quite a few people making the mistake of thinking that automatically equates to a sculpted underbody – that is one example of the application of ground effects, but not the sole example.

        With regards to Murray’s proposals, whilst there are some interesting ideas, some of his proposals do smack of being thrown in to satiate those who hark back to the lies of the “good old days” (for example, the suggestion of throwing away telemetry – why throw away something that has been in motorsport for longer than Murray has been?).

    3. On Ground Effect:
      While F1 is notorious for knee-jerk, supposedly magical solutions to improve the racing (see 1000 hp!), I can’t help but being very excited by the prospect of ground effect. If it works as people are saying it does, it will be a massive improvement to racing, besides reducing the importance of front wings.

      I don’t want to blindly fall for the hype, but I’m genuinely excited by. It may be the one technical improvement to solve what may be F1’s biggest problems. After that we can move to the rest: DRS, TV rights, money distribution, power concentration, etc etc.

      But all those problems will be far more palatable if the damn cars can pass each other.

      1. I am excited as well. I think the biggest positive is the near unanimous agreement that these incredibly complex wings are far too sensitive and have far too great of an effect on the cars performance.

      2. I can already see a Newey domination in the future…

      3. I agree totally, but of course F1 have decided to go in the opposite direction, fatter tyres, bigger wings, more power to counter the drag from the bigger wings, and of course more noise and probably marching-girls, wardrobe malfunctions etc.

        1. @hohum Ah yes, we can count on you for something fun to make us smile! Thank you :)

    4. “Reportedly Williams were asking too much money for #Bottas. Must be the first time in history a driver price was too high for Ferrari taste” LOL

    5. Some teammate comparisons on the Finn and his teammates for the last 2 years:

      2014: vs Alonso
      avg quali deficit: +0.528s
      avg quali deficit when they are both in q3: +0.347s
      avg finishing position: 9.2
      avg finishing position for teammate: 5.4
      (9.2/5.4=1.7)

      2015: vs Vettel
      avg quali deficit: +0.561s
      avg quali deficit when they are both in q3: +0.353s
      avg finishing position: 4.7
      avg finishing position for teammate: 3
      (4.7/3=1.6)

      1. Translation:
        2014: vs Alonso
        Kimi 5.8% slower and finished mostly 4 position behind
        2015: vs Vettel
        Kimi 6.2% slower and finished mostly 2 position behind

        Conclusion:
        – Vettel are faster than Alonso.
        – Ferrari getting better.

        1. I don’t think you can really say “Vettel is faster than Alonso”, but it’s surprising that he’s beating Raikkonen every beat as much as Alonso did. Consider these:
          1. This is his first year in Ferrari. Last year was Raikkonen’s first year in Ferrari.
          2. Raikkonen is much more comfortable with this year’s car compared to last year.
          3. Vettel cannot really do much to get better results as Mercedes are too far ahead for any driver to make up for it with their driving. And Ferrari at the hands of Vettel looked to be comfortably the 2nd best. So Raikkonen should be much closer to Vettel in any case.
          But even then, I don’t really think you can come to the conclusion Vettel>Alonso. Interesting results in any case…

        2. @ruliemaulana

          – Vettel are faster than Alonso.

          Over one lap, I don’t think anyone would disagree. Though Alonso’s forte is race pace and constituency. (Not taking that from Vettel, he’s been extremely fast and consistent in races this year, Bahrain aside).

          1. Why does people always need to point out where Vettel made a mistake or was sub-par when they praise him, but don’t mention the similar situations for Alonso last year (in this example). I just find that fascinating… lol

          2. What’s so unexpected is maybe Vettel’s race pace also comparing just as well. Especially considering the problems he had last year…

    6. CONGRATULATIONS and thank you Keith, you got us through this break and always managed to find something interesting for us to read, daily. @keithcollantine, thanks again.

      1. +1
        Thanks Keith

      2. @hohum @montreal95 @fullcoursecaution @brianfrank302 Ah thanks guys, my pleasure as always! Hope you liked the F3000 series and the rest.

    7. That article from the Guardian is a bit odd. It seems to be saying that losing 25 million viewers in 2014 compared to 2013 isn’t the sign of a crisis because between 2008-2013 F1 was losing an average of 30 million viewers a year.
      Surely the point should be that the viewing figures kept falling from the highpoint of 600 million in 08, to 425 million in 14. That’s almost a third of TV viewers.

      One good thing in that article was the following link to a great band from my home town: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yLmw4Cs8Jn0

      1. There was a big drop with 2008, afterwards it was pretty stable and strong numbers, some drop in 2013 I guess, but mostly last 2 years have been terrible.

    8. Ugh.. Ferrari took years to finally get rid of Massa, and now the same is going happening with Kimi? It’s not exactly giving Kimi incentive to improve (well, not that kicking him out wouldn’t have done so either).

      I thought this was meant to be the new, bolder, decision-making Ferrari?

      £10m should be nothing to Ferrari, plus they’d presumably have been paying Bottas less than Kimi was getting? Shame.

      1. @orrc

        £10m should be nothing to Ferrari, plus they’d presumably have been paying Bottas less than Kimi was getting?

        It’s not that simple. It’s 10m minus Raikkonen’s marketing value plus bringing some uncertainty to team (as any new driver would). Add to the fact this year Bottas hasn’t beaten Massa too convincingly (that same Massa that Ferrari fired for Raikkonen), it simply wasn’t worth the trouble.

        Of course, if Ferrari really wanted a driver, those 10m wouldn’t mean much. But that’s exactly the point, they didn’t really want Bottas that much.

        1. Little correction, “It’s 10m plus Raikkonen’s marketing…”

        2. they didn’t really want Bottas that much.

          In the end it all comes down to this. Ferrari simply thinks Bottas isn’t worth 10m more than Kimi.

        3. It’s not the same Massa at all.
          If Massa made fewer mistakes in 2013, he could only leave Ferrari at the end of this year, or even he could race for ferrari in 2016 as well.

        4. Why do you people think Massa didn’t leave? It was also for marketing purposes. Not because of his excellent on-track performances.

    9. I think Williams was just not willing to give away all their efforts developing Bottas just that easily. It’s the only justification for such an enormous release clause.

      They put a price they knew Ferrari would not attempt to beat, given the number of potential replacements for Kimi on par with Bottas.

      1. Or just maybe Ferrari never wanted bottas in the first place.

        perhaps the article linking bottas to Ferrari was some public pressure designed to ease contract negotiations? Just a thought, not too far fetched i think.

        but £10m is nothing to a team receiving 100s millions just to be in f1…

    10. Wise decision by Ferrari looking at it now.

      One breaks contracts for a driver they really really want (a no.1 driver). Why spend millions on getting a no.2 driver.

      Sadly, I feel that now Bottas is going the Hulkenberg route now. By next year, the TR rookies and Nasr will replace him as the drivers to look out for.

      1. I’m not really holding Bottas that high up as others do but sure is he a better asset than Nasr…

        1. From what I understand, Hulkenberg wasn’t even considered for the seat. :/

          He’ll need a fantastic 2016 season to put himself on the Ferrari radar.

          1. Yeah, it is a shame that no team considers Hulk after he has won the 24hours LeMans race.

      2. I have difficulties considering Bottas in the same position as Hulkenberg, that of “driver worthy of a top team seat but overlooked by top teams”, for the simple reason that Bottas is already in a top team. It may be strange to consider, seeing where they all were only two years ago, but right now a Williams seat is probably more enticing to an established driver than a Red Bull, McLaren or Lotus seat.

        1. Agree. It has been a top 3 team for the past 2 seasons, and to be honest, Bottas hasn’t shown enough potential be be driving for a Mercedes or a Ferrari yet.

          I think he’s lucky that Hulkenberg doesn’t have his seat or that Daniel is sitting tight at Red Bull. When you are having difficulty beating Felipe Massa, means there aren’t a lot of top teams vying for you

      3. It’s all about the car. If Williams can build a winner, Bottas will win. He looks ready to me. It was the same with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes – it always looked like being him, and not Schumacher, who got the first victory.

        Can’t see McLaren having room for him any time soon, so unless a Mercedes seat becomes free, I’m not sure where else Valtteri would go.

        1. If a Mercedes seat becomes free, expect Alonso to get it. He will move mountains to get that seat. Valtteri has no chance of Mercedes. Ferrari is the only seat he can get that is better than his current seat. And he is not getting that either. At least for now.

    11. Forever the difference in humility between Dutch people and Belgian people. Stoffel says winning this title will prove he is ready whilst Verstappen cannot give an interview without boasting he did not need it.

      We have a joke in Belgium (as without a doubt the Dutch have too) that goes as follows. If you ask a Dutchman and a Belgian if they speak French the Dutchman will say ‘Ja, heel goed zelfs’ (yeah no problem) whilst the Belgian will say ‘bwah, niet super’ (Not superb) but when the talking has to be done it will be the Belgian doing all the talking.

      1. @xtwl: Nice one :D
        If Max can keep his lips sealed, he will look better

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          20th August 2015, 11:08

          And interestingly today he said in an interview “Ik heb de nodige pech gehad en hier en daar wat foutjes gemaakt, ook door mijn gebrek aan ervaring” (something like: “I’ve been unlucky at times and made some mistakes, partly due to my lack of experience”).
          He must have listened to you @xtwl ;)

      2. @xtwl

        Forever the difference in humility between Dutch people and Belgian people. Stoffel says winning this title will prove he is ready whilst Verstappen cannot give an interview without boasting he did not need it.

        Although I do think that Belgian people are more humble than Dutch people, I don’t think this is a good example, because it’s fairly obvious both Vandoorne and Verstappen will answer whatever suit them.
        1. I feel that Vandoorne was ready one or two years ago. He probably thought that too, I read his words as if he implies: I do not want to stay in the junior series one year longer.
        2. Verstappen will surely not answer that he did need more time in single seaters. That would make his promotion rather absurd.

      3. +1 Haha. That’s true!

      4. ColdFly F1 (@)
        20th August 2015, 8:31

        @xtwl – I once told that joke to my neighbour in Brussels! But he didn’t understand it ;)

    12. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the track on which Vettel almost lost his infamous finger… Did anyone ever bother to ask whether that’s the reason he keeps showing off it or not?

    13. Boy that snippet about the Rossi article got me. I thought it was something about Alexander Rossi. It did seem weird to see him get something like that. I bet he’d like that honor though.

    14. Kimi Raikkonen effectively the new Massa.

    15. ColdFly F1 (@)
      20th August 2015, 8:14

      The Ferrari-Kimi discussions are just like our discussions at home.
      “I bought this red dress and saved money as with the white dress I would have to buy a pair of £10m shoes!”
      “I saved money buying another red dress as it is on sale and I’ll get a 50% discount!”

      Maybe Bernie can make this into a TV series: The Real House Wifes of Formone. Then I’m sure we can stall current viewer number declines, and have the Guardian announce next year that the F1 crisis is over!

    16. I’m baffled by the same weekend British F1-FE races. Shouldn’t the FIA have considered the implications here? They really should have shuffled things around before allowing that timetable…

      1. @junpei Bernie Ecclestone (FOM), not the FIA, arranges the F1 calendar, hence the claim the British Grand Prix date was chosen deliberately to stymie FE.

    17. Spa will be Ferrari’s 900th and Vettel’s 150th race.
      It will also be the 100th consecutive race Sebastian Vettel doesn’t DNF because of crash (as long as he doesn’t). Longest streak ever. Last crash and DNF: Turkey’10.

    18. I dont know what Arai is smoking but ferrari level performance at the Belgian grand prix haha! doubt it to say the least

      1. Had me cracked up as well.

        Maybe he can match Ferrari’s engine performance of Spa last year

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