Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Monza, 2015

Last penalty-free engine change for Rosberg

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Rosberg will take his final new engine of the season without penalty ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.


Comment of the day

Alexander Rossi, Marussia, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014
Will Rossi’s Manor debut lead to a 2016 F1 drive?
Alexander Rossi has got a place on the F1 grid for this year – but what about 2016?

I believe this is a step closer to grab a seat at Haas for Rossi.

They surely need experience, and even though it won’t be a lot of it, having an American driver in the line up would be good for the US market, and he won’t be a rookie any more.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Al and Valentina!

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to 1996 world champion Damon Hill who is 55 today!

Also on this day 15 years ago future F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya won the CART IndyCar Gateway 300. It was his last win in American open-wheel racing until he returned to IndyCar last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 43 comments on “Last penalty-free engine change for Rosberg”

    1. Well, F1 already has a dictator of sorts. But, he is not a benevolent dictator and only dictates what serves him. On matters where the sport could hang in the balance he seems mostly disinterested unless it has to do with short term financial gain. The current dictator/emperor with no clothes would need to be deposed before he could replaced by a hopefully benevolent dictator to serve in the best interests of Formula 1.

      1. @
        Maybe it is a language thing but I found what Boulier said to be very inconclusive.

        1. @hohum – It seems like they all want someone to step up and take charge, but nobody wants to do that and be responsible if it all goes wrong.

      2. Yeah, a dictator who had to give up to an oligopoly to save his skin and now is frustrated by having created a situation where no decisions can really be made.

      3. Bernie has spent 30 years making out he’s trying to fix what someone else broke.

        Anyway they’d all love some strong leadership, as long as the leader did what they wanted. Which he/she wouldn’t.

        I wish Mercedes and Renault would get it together and go off and start something new without Bernie, CVC or FIA.

    2. I suspect Rossi’s promotion to a seat at Manor was choreographed by Ferrari to facilitate his eligibility for a Haas seat. Ferrari realizes the marketing effect of a US driver with a US F1 team (which just happens be a customer/partner of Ferrari). Regardless, I’m thrilled to see Rossi get a seat.

      1. Didn’t HAAS say only the other day that there wasn’t a American driver good enough for the seat at the moment? I suspect that HAAS are paying for Rossi to race in the closing stages to see if his performance in viable VS what attention an American driver will bring to an American team in F1. Could be a solid No.2 driver who just happens to pull in support & money from fans. I also suspect he will be sitting along side a Ferrari test/reserve driver.

        1. If I remember correctly, they said that, they wanted someone talent and with experience, and at the moment there was not any American driver that met those requirements.

          And like I said in the comment of the day, even tough it won’t be a lot of experience, it will probably be enough.

    3. OK, who thought that Mercedes would NOT take Rosberg’s fourth engine to Singapore?

      1. ColdFly F1 ( @coldfly ) (@)
        17th September 2015, 8:26

        Earlier Mercedes stated that they found the cause to be benign. Therefore, I thought unit 3 would be put back into the car! @w-k
        In the article it says that Mercedes has not decided yet if they will use unit 3 or a new unit 4.

        1. My thinking entirely,
          I would guess that unit 3 will be fitted and used at the start of FP1.
          They will then inspect and take samples of oils and coolants etc.
          Depending on how long the tests take, they will either keep unit 3 in the car if it passes all tests, or fit unit 4, if the tests take longer than a few hours to complete, or unit 3 has be declared unreliable or deceased.

          In no way could they have gone to Singapore without unit 4.

          It’s just not logical.

          1. I would think a grid penalty for NR won’t be the end of the world since he will likely still end up second in whatever race the penalty is applied.

            But I must be missing something. LH has already run the new engine and NR has not. How does NR end up in the penalty zone when LH will have one more race on said new upgrade engine and should be also subject to needing one more to see out the season? I’m sure I don’t know how the rules for this work. Reverting back to an old engine that blows up is still considered an engine change I guess? If so to me it is a double penalty…one penalty for having to run an inferior engine that may cost the driver a race and in this case did, and one for the grid spot penalty for a future race.

            1. ColdFly F1 ( @coldfly ) (@)
              17th September 2015, 16:05

              @robbie It is not the re-use of PU #2 that gets him in the danger zone, but the fact that PU #3 was used in FP Monza and has a technical issue. Mercedes will probably use #4 (according to article) and thus get close to the penalty zone.
              But they could always revert back to PU #3 if the issue with that PU is only small and can be repaired. In any case I doubt they’ll have to replace the whole PU.

    4. Button should write an autobiography when he retires, but saying what he really wants to say about McLaren, and not this robotic PR speech.

    5. At first glance, Boullier’s statement sounds like a desperate plea for help against a rule set that is punishing pretty much everybody except Mercedes and Ferrari, the team Mercedes are keeping around to keep up appearances.

      At second glance, I would say his comment is really a desperate plea for someone to take RESPONSIBILITY for this sham that is going on. Right now you have the benefactors of the new rule change acting as a quasi governing body, nobody can be blamed because the FIA are godlike, and the strategy group just makes ‘proposals’.

      F1’s problems has to do with centralization and iron clad rule making, a dictator is completely the wrong way to go, and I believe that they would only serve as a scapegoat, ultimately. The correct course of action are for the “customer teams” to strike, and force rights holders to destroy them, or to start considering offering real opportunities for competition.

      1. A customer team strike… we haven´t had that for a while. But there have been moments lately where I wondered whether Bernie remembers.

      2. Totally agree, it should be run by committee.

        And in the words of Howard Hughes, that committee should have an odd number of members and less than three.

    6. Nico has already lost the WDC. If he ends up getting a penalty it just means the gap will be larger at the end.

      1. What’s the betting that if Nico does have to use unit 4 this w/end, that Mercedes can keep it working till the end of the season and still be competitive.

        1. Given they just had one go after 5 1/2 races, I don’t think they want to hedge those bets.

          1. Thought Monza was a bit longer than 4 laps all w/end.

            That unit failed two laps from the the end of a race + quali + three practice sessions. In other words 5 98/100, and it’s quite possible unit 3 can be used for some practice sessions and “has unit 1 failed yet?”

      2. I can see him finishing 3rd at the end of the year now….

    7. Button:

      “… face masks … but I’m not sure they’ll fit over my crash helmet so that might be a bit of an issue.”

      Good to keep it humorous ,esp. when you drive for McLaren this year!

    8. The problem is that F1 would have to be much more attractive to function as a dictatorship these days. The sport is too expensive for the current economic conditions and if the teams are forced to accept things they do not like, then they will leave and no one will take their place. Unless Ecclestone comes up with a new business model, “the show” will only get worse.

      1. It’s about time some of the frivolous spending was done away with.
        Surely it would be cheaper to have a single caterer and hospitality suite in the paddock instead of each team taking their own.
        Standardising equipment such as jacks, trolleys, cooling leaf blowers, and the like could end up saving a small fortune too.
        Limiting the number of team trucks taken to GP’s could also save a lot, back in the 90’s the teams were taking spare cars, loads of engines and spare parts, lots of which aren’t allowed any more, so why are the teams taking more trucks than back then ?
        There’s so much money wasted at the moment that they could probably end the financial crisis by having a full scale review of operations and logistics.

        1. @beneboy I completely agree, there are certainly many areas where costs could and should be saved. I would go even further and standardise those parts of the car that cannot bring any meaningful performance advantage.

    9. I must say, that “gaming rig” is not what I would consider a gaming rig.

      The CPU is pretty lame (I wouldn’t consider anything less than an i5 to be gamer-spec), the motherboard is low-end, the SSD is just about adequate, and 8GB RAM would be a minimum nowadays for a gaming rig. The only component (in the actual PC, excluding the peripherals) which I would consider a gaming spec is the Graphics card, but that would be constrained by the low spec CPU.

      Fortunately F1 2015 is not very taxing. My own machine (i5 3.3GHz/16GB/GTX960) can play at maximum quality settings at my max monitor res (2560 x 1440) and still maintain a playable frame rate. Try that with most new games (e.g. Batman Arkham Knight) and you get stuttering galore!

      1. Don’t bother entering the competition then.

        1. Well the reason they donate one as a prize is so that other people will buy them. So for out-of-touch innocents like me that’s quite a helpful post from @drmouse.

        2. @woodyd91

          Don’t bother entering the competition then.

          I was not planning to, but that’s beside the point.

          NVidia are donating this machine for advertising. If someone reads this and thinks those specs are sufficient for a gaming machine, they will me incredibly disappointed. My own specs, which are a fair step up on that, are not sufficient to play many games at full HD res and the highest quality settings. Many modern games require me to reduce the quality settings around half way. This machine, while more than adequate for F1 2015, will require quite low settings in the most recent, top end games (especially console ports) to maintain playable frame rates.

    10. Max and Bernie together (and Charlie, to an extent) succeeded in getting their way, for better or worse, most of the time. Now, the problem isn’t so much too many people with a say on things (which we need, if not so publically), but too many people with the power to veto change.

    11. How does that engine supplier arithmetic work? There will be 11 teams so 7 using Ferrari engines leaves only 4 others. There are currently 4 Mercedes and 1 Honda, so which of them is switching to Ferrari?

      1. I thought this too, just counted all the potential Ferarri teams and it makes 6 not 7;
        Red Bull
        Toro Rosso

      2. I’m not sure if I’m right but (with current rumours, etc) I have the 11 split as:
        5 – Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Sauber, Haas
        4 – Mercedes, Williams, Force India, Manor
        1 – McLaren
        1 – Renault (previously Lotus)

        If Lotus isn’t bought out:
        6 – Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Sauber, Manor, Haas
        4 – Mercedes, Williams, Force India, Lotus
        1 – McLaren

    12. Button has ‘jumped the shark’. He never really was a great driver, sorry British fanatics. Without the odd season of 2009 during the financial crisis he would have never won a championship.

      1. What would you make of his 2004 season, then? 10 podiums out of 18 races, the first non-Ferrari driver in the WDC table, outscored his team mate by 51 points (largest margin in the field, not counting the non-scoring Williams substitutes) and, frankly, should have won at Hockenheim if it not were for a loose helmet strap.

        I’d also like to point out that, like any F1 driver, he has fans that have a different nationality than his.

        1. Well said @nick. If I waited till a Peruvian driver reaches F1 I wouldn’t watch it at all!

          1. @npf1 that is… we need the @ tags back @keithcollantine… and the autosuggestions don’t show my friend here!

    13. Are engine change penalties supposed to encourage cost reductions? How are they supposed to do that by reducing the primary way smaller teams make money – winning constructor points to get prize money and sponsors. Aside from the obvious unintended consequences, (will we hit 500 grid penalties by December?) it seems flawed by design.

    14. it’d be better to pay a fine than have grid penalties for changing components. I get the whole idea of “sealing” the parts so that teams don’t try and change things between qualy and race…

      If grid penalties end up costing WCC points then it’s very possible to be a major financial setback, compared to paying a nominal fine for exceeding the “free components” limitation. Merc, Ferrari, Renault, etc are going to make engines in excess anyhow, so limiting their usage over the season doesn’t really solve anything.

      I remember watching an IndyCar race a few months back, a Chevy team had talked about replacing something on the car, and they knew there would be a fine for doing so. I don’t recall there being any sort of grid penalty for the driver.

      Compare 1990 dollars to 2015 dollars and teams still spent less. Considering back then things like Carbon Fiber, windtunnel testing and CFD were fledgling technologies, I seriously expected costs to go down by now just because of how long these technologies have been around. They’re certainly bringing a lot more equipment to the circuits. Every team has its own trackside datacenter! Of course the already mentioned seemingly excessive logistical habits.

      I realize they’re hopping from country to country, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison I’m about to make, but have you ever looked at an overhead view of an indycar race? You see a bunch of trucks …some motor homes (i.e. the kind that normal people buy) and that’s it. In F1, every team needs to bring its entire corporate headquarters with them in addition to several luxurious mobile hotel suites. I’m surprised they don’t have diamond chandeliers inside the garages! I suppose it speaks to the high-end, luxurious, prestigious nature of the sport…but its a little ridiculous, especially when team principals are whining about costs. Lotus and Manor – how much are they operating on? Lotus surprisingly hasn’t been terrible, but now that we all know how dire they are (i.e. they’re simply not paying for anything, which IMHO is a sketchy business practice for any company hoping to be bought out), what are they really spending all that money on?

    15. “The device, which measures around two centimetres by eight centimetres and is not much bigger than a USB stick, will record 400 frames per second compared to the previous standard of 25fps”

      Wow! Hope we get to see some slow-motion shots like there are in MotoGP!

      1. I don’t think it’s a broadcast camera, I think it’s just for use by the stewards and teams when analysing crashes and other incidents.

    16. As the Italians have already signed a contract to supply power units for Haas, who will join F1 next year, that could mean Ferrari supplying seven of the 11 teams in 2016.

      Unless my brain’s got badly damaged, Ferrari+Sauber+Manor+Haas + eventually Red Bull and Toro Rosso makes six teams. Williams, Force India and Lotus haven’t announced their engine partner yet, while Manor could get Mercedes engines, so either this is the first time I’ve heard of Force India-Ferrari part II or Williams-Ferrari (!) or I find it highly unlikely fourteen Ferrari-powered drivers will race in 2016.

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