Many drivers were eyeing Le Mans before date clash – Hulkenberg

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg says several F1 drivers were considering an appearance in next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours before a date change on the 2016 F1 calendar means the European Grand Prix now clashes with it.


Comment of the day

One reason why not protesting Felipe Massa’s disqualification makes financial sense for Williams:

By not having the four points Massa scored it will save them $20,644 (£13,585) on next years entry fee alone as each point scored this year adds $5,161 (£3,396) to your entry fee next next season.

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On this day in F1

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Keith Collantine
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62 comments on “Many drivers were eyeing Le Mans before date clash – Hulkenberg”

  1. Nico got the upper hand on Lewis by not partying all the time and by keeping his feet on earth, Lewis should do the same and avoid to galvanize his team-mate by throwing caps on him.

    1. In that sense Nico is a much more dedicated racer and I think he deserves some successes after being practically ignored for Hamilton. No bias but he really doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

    2. Lewis is partying because the season was over the day he won the WDC. I wouldn’t be reading too much into their relative performances at this stage of the season.

    3. RaceProUK (@)
      21st November 2015, 1:05

      Is Hamilton not allowed to have fun now?

      1. He is an employee and as such is expected to do his job to the best of his ability, just like everyone else.

        1. Karthik Mohan
          21st November 2015, 7:34

          And winning the world championship twice in a row is not good enough?

          1. No, that it is. Good enough.

            Not great or spectacular, though.

          2. Baron…

            Be it spectacular or just in an efficient manner, the end result is still the same, he won the title. That was what the team expected of him and he delivered.

            Now can you imagine if he had wiped the floor with everyone more than he already did, do you think it would change the opinions being banned about like:

            “His championships are meaningless because he has the car”

            “he only beat his team mate”

            “Anyone could’ve won in that car”….etc etc etc etc


            When you go to work each day you do your job to the best of your ability and you’re able to deliver what was asked of you, do you go home and a) relax and let your hair down and have a few drinks with the boys or b) sit in your room thinking of how you can go in tomorrow and do that job better?


            Maybe Nico should go out and party more, because it’s clear that the approach he has been using the past 2 seasons hasn’t worked out for him at all. He has copied him in doing the design of his own race seat, steering wheel and him getting a dog, so why stop there. In fact I think he should get some tats, piercings and start listening to ‘gangsta rap’ and just get it over and done with.

            But can you imagine what Lewis would’ve done to him had he not like you say, ‘partied so much’?

        2. He is an employee and as such is expected to do his job to the best of his ability, just like everyone else.

          Lol Mr Righteous, no doubt his employer has given him a good talking to for slacking, letting their other driver win and generating another billion hits and column inches for their brand :)

        3. He is an employee and as such is expected to do his job to the best of his ability, just like everyone else.

          In the last two years, he’s won two WDC titles and 21 races, and contributed to two WCC titles. And in all the races he’s finished, he’s missed the podium once. If that’s your opinion of a poor job Andy, then all I can say is I’m glad I don’t work for you.

          1. @raceprouk, or, equally, you could put it this way: in 2015 alone, the ten races which Hamilton has won is almost equal to the total number of races that Rosberg has won in his entire career at Mercedes (13).

    4. Karthik Mohan
      21st November 2015, 6:00

      Sorry, how many world championships has Nico won again?

    5. Because Nico has a family right now.

    6. @abdelilah Where does the “Lewis is partying”-notion come from? Yes, he had a crash at 3 o´clock in the morning. He was absolutely sober and he partially blamed it on the time being far out of his sleeping rhythm. Doesn´t sound like party-life to me. Yes, he is seen with celebrities from outside of racing, but when he is seen it´s usually at charity events (which is basically part of their work rather than a party) or during their work. He is 30years old and had 2 girlfriends and one reported affair which might as well have been a PR-gag rather than a real thing. Maybe appearing a bit party-ish is a part of his PR-teams plan, but he doesn´t seem anywhere near a James Hunt type of guy, quite the opposite.

      1. Indeed, and I can’t remember the last time ANY F1 driver showed up for a hike in our local canyon :)

      2. And reports of a boyfriend too which has been kept out of the media extremely well.

      3. @crammond what I meant by my comment is that the season is not over yet, if you look at Schumacher for instance he was much more serious about his stuff even when is mother died he delivered as it was expected from him. I am a Lewis fan since his beginning but sorry when he fails to get pole in five attempts in a row he is really shooting himself in the foot.

        That is his private life yes, but his main job is racing and he should be fit for it both physically and mentally, this time he wasn’t.

    7. Nico got the upper hand because Merc said so, it’s not the psi nor the partying. Merc planned the season ahead, now they neede ros to get 2nd place and they did it, now Lewis will win again, just to end the year on the right note.

    8. WilliamsWilliams
      22nd November 2015, 22:40

      Based on COTD, I’m suprised Mercedes are trying at all.
      It would save them money next year not to score more points.

    1. Sorry I didn’t mean to do that!

      What everybody is forgetting is how little Rosberg beat Hamilton by in qualifying. There was nothing in there, it could have easily been the other way round with the tiniest of things being different through the lap. What determined the result was getting to the first corner first.

      1. Yup, and same applies many times this season with HAM beating ROS by an equally tiny amount. Also all the excuses about being hard to pass another equal car etc, they all apply the other way around for the whole year. So in that respect, it was much closer between the 2 all year than the media, and the HAM fans, would care to acknowledge :-) Of course we hear all the excuses now because Hamilton is not winning. Add ‘he’s already won the championship’ to that one, which rings hollow as we can all see and hear just how much it is burning him to lose to ROS at the moment. Also, I never saw Schumacher or Vettel go easy at the end of the season just because they had won the championship.

        1. Also, I never saw Schumacher or Vettel go easy at the end of the season just because they had won the championship.

          Good point, Hamilton could have matched the record number of wins this season.

          Meanwhile Vettel wrote history at the end of 2013 with his 9 consecutive wins.

      2. He only needs to find a little bit on a Saturday and he winning again. He’s been faster on the last 2 Sundays but had his tyres wrecked when he couldn’t pass

    2. Agreed. =P

  2. Pirelli could find 4 seconds! Well dah, with the drivers already driving a couple of seconds a lap slower than they are capable of going so as to extend (double ?) the life of their tyres and then going even slower as the tyres still degrade somewhat before the optimal pit stop lap, they should be able to find that sort of race lap time just by dumping the high degradation requirement. Remember when Bernie made Bridgestone put grooves in the tyres to slow down the cars and a compound that lasted the entire race with the grooves taking about 40% of the contact area out of what a slick would have had? Bernie is an idiot.

  3. I agree with Cosworth, you’d have to be mad to invest money to supply engines to F1 teams even if you were guaranteed to be paid for them, after (or before) 3 years Bernie would be blaming the new new engines for falling interest (too loud maybe ?) and would want something else. Bernie is a summer pudding.

    1. rhymes with pool.

      1. You can say it. Its okay .. XD

    2. “So we have politely declined the opportunity to lose money!” pretty nicely sums it up yeah @hohum

      1. @bascb, to be brutally honest, Cosworth seem to have found plenty of other ways to lose money instead given how dire their finances are…

      2. So Ferrari were chastised for using a veto to prevent them being forced to sell their engines at a cheap rate but the spec for the customer cheaper engine results in a loss. No wonder Ferrari used the veto imagine the financial loss to provide hybrid engines at a price which loses money on the cheaper customer engine.

        If Red Bull are the only team to use this why should they get a 2.2 v8 they should have to have a current engine they can afford to pay Cosworth to do it.

  4. And I had always assumed Pastor had started his career on “DodgeM” cars at the amusement park.

    1. I don’t get it. The old newspaper doesn’t seem to be dipicting a crash…?

      1. Maybe that’s because these are shots of the start.

  5. Mark in Florida
    21st November 2015, 2:08

    I am interested to see if the new v6 engines will work against the low end torque produced by the hybrid car’s. I think it will shake things up a bit. The ACO/WEC does a pretty good job of balancing the performance between the different makes, so it can be done. The strategies will certainly be very different and the rear body work could possibly change as well. Advantages and disadvantages maybe F1 will get interesting again.

    1. Seems to be an excellent recipe for cars crashing into one another under braking. Certainly there is an ulterior motive.

      1. How does that make sense?

        People said that about DRS and it doesn’t tend to happen. Cars crashing into each other in the braking zones is crap driving, not a performance parity (otherwise the manor cars would always be binned…)

        1. People also said the new start rules would cause crashes and complained how ‘irresponsible’ it was to introduce such a ‘dramatic change’ mid-season.

          1. You guys have obviously never raced and/or understand that a low-torque engine’d car vs. a higher revving vehicle will have different corner apex’s and entry points. Hence different braking preferences. Your examples don’t make any sense as they reference similar engine’d vehicles.

    2. Mark in Florida, to be brutally honest, I’m not so sure that the ACO has done a good job in balancing the cars. This season, Porsche have had a significant performance advantage – one that is locked in by the regulations – that has seen them take five victories out of seven this season and, most likely, will take another victory in Bahrain (the lead Porsche is 1.6s ahead of the lead Audi).

      Toyota aborted this season months ago, complaining that the Balance of Performance regulations actually prevented them from competing with Porsche, and Audi have also significantly cut their efforts in the tail end of this season for the exact same reasons. It has now got to the point where the ACO is having to effectively sabotage Porsche for 2016 by restricting the performance of the hybrid systems – the one area where the ACO have previously been touting for road relevance – because Porsche have had too much of an advantage in that area.

      In the past few years, generally there hasn’t been that much of an even performance between the manufacturer teams – normally, one outfit has tended to have a performance advantage at the start of the season that has then, due to the Balance of Performance regulations, normally been locked in for the rest of the season. Toyota took 5 victories in 2014, whilst Audi took the majority of the wins in the 2013 and 2012 seasons (with Toyota complaining throughout the 2013 season that Audi had too much of a performance advantage after the ACO decided to allow Audi to run a higher boost pressure) – in reality, the Balance of Performance regulations tend to freeze in performance advantages because they have no mechanism to adjust the performance balance during a season.

      1. Mark in Florida
        21st November 2015, 16:29

        Anon I do agree that it’s not perfect but the team’s advantage doesn’t usually carry over year to year. However if a team does develop something worthwhile they should be able to enjoy their hard won advantage for a little while. They all know how the bop works that’s why they work so hard in the off season to come up with a new development to outdo the other teams. Formula one is development stunted. A team like Mercedes has their advantage locked in year to year. In WEC it would only last for the season. Then it would be someone else’s turn unless that same team developed something else different that could keep them equal to or ahead of the other teams. In my opinion the WEC is driving the real areas of design not F1.

  6. Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait just a minute…

    Is that comment of the day correct? You’re charged, not rewarded, but charged for scoring points in F1?

    I honestly don’t know why anyone bothers to compete. Utter madness.

    1. The FIA charges teams and drivers an entry fee based off of points scored in the previous years championship. IIRC Button said the year following his WDC his fee was in excess of £1,000,000. The FIA uses this money and the money it gets from FOM for running the Strategy group to cover its operation costs.

    2. Totally agree with OP here, why not just charge a flat entry fee across the board to cover the operation costs? Instead, they’re effectively making it harder for a team to achieve any more than they did the season before by punishing them for success.
      Unless i’m missing something obvious, this is a ludicrous way to run a sport

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        21st November 2015, 18:08

        Now I feel sorry for Verstappen; with all the points he scored there won’t be a lot left of his allowance.

  7. It costs just USD 20 million for R&D.
    That is not a lot at all considering that each customer pays that much to gain a year’s worth of these engines.
    If the number is indeed true, the “recovering R&D cost” argument put forth by Mercedes and Ferrari really falls flat.

    1. Thats 20m for the new cheaper client engine & not the power units currently been used.

    2. As PeterG mentions, those 20 million is really for quite a simple engine compared to the hybrid drive trains that were developed Sumedh

    3. Actually, it’s over $30m; the quoted figure from Cosworth is in GBP, not USD.

  8. Everyone should actually take a plane to Europe for the European GP, then realise that there is no GP nearby and go to Le Mans instead.

  9. Its weird and sad that not having four more points makes sense. Seems so wrong. Formula1 might have something to wonder and ameliorate there.

    BTW, thanks for the bday shoutout F1Fanatic.

    1. happy birthday. Make it a good one

  10. F1 to clash with Le Mans is the biggest idiocy I have ever seen in a calendar plan.

    I can only imagine it was done on purpose, so F1 drivers do not compete in LMP1’s and show how much better racing is there.

  11. As for the article trying to “explain” the upturn of form from Rosberg, well sure, possibly all of that mentioned played some role. But maybe the simple fact that it led to a slight change in how to setup the car, just gave Rosberg a bit of a reset button, because both had to adapt their setup/approach a bit from what it was before – where Hamilton was clearly in a good run – and that offered Rosberg the oppertunity to get back in it, while Hamilton might have been that slight little bit annoyed/upset that his good run and rithm would have to be changed.

    But when we look at the difference between them, its just incredibly small things and I don’t think that for a small difference in circumstances Hamilton could have taken those poles. What it does show, is that both of them have been incredibly close on pace all year, and that they are pushing each other on.

  12. Bernie: “Just as planned.”

  13. Now if I were a cynic, I’d point out that, despite the supposed popularity of Le Mans, nobody on next year’s grid is willing to take the Baku weekend off and note that that puts the respective popularities of those events in proper relation to each other.

    Oh, wait. I am a cynic.

    1. Hey Klon, do you think there might be driver contracts involved here?

  14. Not sure where the hostility comes from in regards to the Le Mans/F1 clash. It isn’t as if it is a particular rare occurrence. There was a date clash in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011. I couldn’t be bothered to look further back, but I am sure there would be plenty more examples.

    1. Clashing with the US GP twice, and the Canadian GP twice.

      I bet it’s only because it’s Azerbaijan next year; if it was Canada, no-one would complain.

  15. I remember many a clash with the Montreal race in the past. This is by no means unique.

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