Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2015

Rosberg’s form “a wake-up call” for Hamilton – Lowe

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes executive director for technical Paddy Lowe believed Lewis Hamilton will have to take Nico Rosberg’s form at the end of the season seriously.


Comment of the day

Esteban Ocon, ART, GP3, Yas Marina, 2015
Ocon added the GP3 title to his 2014 F3 crown
Mercedes junior driver and GP3 champion Esteban Ocon has said he would prefer to race in the DTM than GP2 – but is that just because Mercedes have already told him that’s where he’ll be racing?

I would much rather see Ocon in F1, but a year (or two) in GP2 are not the worst if the only alternative is a Manor seat.

However, Mercedes seems to like putting drivers in DTM these days and I don’t understand that at all. Surely if you want to put drivers in F1, they are better served with taking the normal route and drive a top-end single seater series before graduating to F1.

I really hope they don’t put Ocon in DTM.

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today, Renault announced its F1 team would be rebranded as Lotus:

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  • 73 comments on “Rosberg’s form “a wake-up call” for Hamilton – Lowe”

    1. RE: COTD from @Mattds

      My guess is Mercedes don’t want to put Ocon in direct competition with Wehrlein. Given Ocon a year in DTM then send him to GP2 if Wehrlein either graduates to F1 or goes elsewhere. That or it’s a holding pattern until more info appears regarding Formula Two.

      1. @Optimaximal It’s just that I don’t understand the need to put them through DTM. Having them both compete in GP2 would be a great way to gauge them, but even if they don’t want to do that there are other, better and more relevant ways to keep them apart. One in GP2, one in F3.5 V8 for example.

        As for F2: GP2 will probably transform into F2 at one point. They have applied for it and I think they are the sole applicants for it.

        Oh and thanks for the COTD @keithcollantine .

        1. I think that the whole DTM environment is much, much closer to F1 in terms of team structure, development and also-my personal opinion here- competitiveness. While it does take out drivers from single seater experience, it gives them a much, much more “mature” framework to have to work with related to tire management, strategy, etc.

          Would be great if Wehrlein really graduates to F1 to see how this sort of progression can work for a driver. Di Resta performed good going from DTM to F1. I think the same could be for Ocon.

    2. Brundle and Warwick should apologise. Hamilton was meeting Obama at the White House when the Autosport Awards were being held. What would they have done??? Warwick should be ditched as a steward at future F1 races for admitting such bias against a competitor. Shameful, but F1 will do nothing and the F1 media will treat them with the respect they do not deserve.

      1. I disagree. Inspiring young drivers as the reigning world champion should, in my opinion, be more important to a racing driver than meeting the US President. Besides, it’s not like Hamilton hasn’t met Obama before.

        1. And he would fulfil that obligation by turning down Obama to attend the Autosport Awards, which is knee deep in legendary drivers, for 20 minutes? Really? Really???

          1. Yes. What does the US president have to do with an F1 racing driver? Oh right, the all important photo op for instagram. Fail. Its like nowdays people are so enamoured with celebrity they don’t even stop to ask, why? ‘Oh I just HAVE to meet the US president’. Ok, because why exactly? Just so you get the photo for your facebook? How shallow the world that we live in has become that people actually question why you WOULDN’T do this.

            1. And you’re questioning why they shouldn’t do it…. So in essence it’s a lose lose situation, because there’s argument to support both.

              But don’t you think being invited to meet the President a big PR boost for F1? How many sitting champions have had that opportunity?

              End of the day, Brundle’s emotions pushed him to make such a statement without first knowing the reasons why he did not attend in the first place. The Autosport award happens every year, missing it once for good reasons doesn’t discredit it.

            2. Every activity Lewis Hamilton does in his life has to be strictly-related to F1 racing. God forbid he’s to behave like an actual human being who’s much more excited, intrigued and honored to meet the President of the United States than to participate at some racing magazine awards that nobody cares about.

              That Brundle tweet is just pathetic – won’t somebody think of the children?!

              Yesterday the round-up featured an inspirational & motivational message posted by Lewis that was probably seen by thousands online. I’m pretty sure that has the potential of a greater impact on the audience than some speech at the Autosport Awards, heard only by the people attending the Autosport Awards.

            3. @andrewf1 aah yes the ‘you can do it too’ message. As I’ve said before, all nice things to be seen to be saying, but in reality, meaningless drivel. Reality is that that kind of message is actually really misleading, and doesn’t show an appreciation for just how LUCKY he is to be where he is today. Yes he is talented, and so are the 000’s of kids that missed out when they were just as talented, and tried just as hard and wanted it just as badly etc.

              As for my opinion regarding the president etc. Well I stand by it. Maybe if Obama had ended US wars & occupation around the world and revoked the US torture & detention laws etc he’d be a guy to aspire to meet, but instead he’s just the President after Bush and before the next puppet that is installed to protect the wealthy and their interests at any cost. Sure he’s smoother than Bush (not difficult) but just more of the same. Personally if I was a racing driver I’d rather hang out with other racing drivers and team personnel than another lame duck president. But hey, photo op! :-)

            4. Jeez EF1 – even you can’t be that stupid?

              First African American president, First ………. F1 Champion. Etc… Of course he is not going to turn down the most powerful guy in the world for Autosport (that he has been to hundreds of times before) photo opp or not!

              Add to that the guy still runs the biggest economy in the world and one where F1 has not exactly covered itself in glory within over the years. Who knows, perhaps F1 is seen in a better light today by some given the general assertion that nobody knows who he is or what F1 is over there…

              But no – another chance for your irrational hatred to pop up on line… As for Warwick. He absolutely should know better.

            5. I actually agree with EF1. But how can they not schedule these things without conflict? POTUS shouldn’t just summon people whenever he wants. Wasn’t the date for Awards Ceremony determined early on. It looks like POTUS is inconsiderate.

            6. EF1 I think you have managed to construct the worst argument ever.

              Its like nowdays people are so enamoured with celebrity

              This is used to justify Hamilton being forced to go to the Autosport awards so that young drivers get to meet their favourite celebrity – blatant double standards!

              There is no logic in your argument, what you and Brundle/Warwick are suggesting is that as Hamilton is a celebrity, we own him and should get to tell him what he should do and criticise him when he doesn’t do what we want. I’m sure Hamilton does plenty to inspire young drivers, why the heck should he feel any obligation to be at a function in the UK when he’s in another country doing something he wants to do (and every one of us would have done given the same choice). His calendar will already be full of existing committments, isn’t he allowed to have a day off sometimes to do what he wants?

      2. Woah, dude, that’s a bit extreme. Perhaps Brundle and Warwick weren’t yet aware of his other obligation, and given the chance might certainly recant. But to say they don’t deserve respect, and assuming that just because Warwick expressed an opinion, he’s going to discriminate against Hamilton in the future, is a complete over-reaction. Relax the witch-hunt.

        1. It’s just Autosport. Haymarket. I’m not sure why Brundle wasn’t informed or why there wasn’t a video link as has been suggested, but Warwick is one of the jealous ones.

          Sorry to see Jenson going that way too, making out Lewis didn’t toast him, that he himself is smarter and more consistent, and now that the move to Mercedes was just luck. It’s Jenson’s old team of course, who weren’t too bothered about retaining him and massively courted Lewis instead.

        2. I have to say that I agree with regards to Warwick, but not just because of this one comment. Warwick writes a weekly motorsport column in our local paper and he really struggles to hide his bias against certain drivers/riders. I highly doubt his capablity in making an objective decision in certain circumstances.

        1. Sorry, I meant my comment to apply to Dan

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th December 2015, 6:12

        If I were LH, I might have gone to visit Obama, but at least I would have organised a video link – or at least video message – to the Autosport Awards event, to show support and explain why I couldn’t be there in person.

        1. Speaking in a specially-recorded video message, Hamilton said: “I’m very grateful.

          “As it’s the public and not a panel of voting, that means there are a lot of readers of Autosport – including myself – voting. It’s a great feeling.

          Something like that, maybe? Have no idea what was in the rest of the message– that’s only the part that Autosport quoted.

      4. Warwick should be ditched as a steward at future F1 races for admitting such bias against a competitor.

        What bias? You’re reading way way way too much into what is, quite frankly, a reasonable comment.

        And no, neither Warwick nor Brundle should apologise for respectfully sharing their opinions.

      5. Reminds of The Beatles and their Philippines story.

    3. Did Derek and Martin even know what he was up to?
      Maybe find out first why and if it was a lame excuse, then have a cry on twitter.

      1. They shouldn’t express such a critical opinion unless they did.

        1. As in, I agree. :)

      2. …. I don’t think the reason he missed it changes it at all.

      3. I am pretty sure no one told them up front – did anyone outside Mercedes and Hamiltons crew know about it publicly?? Had it been out in the open we would have certainly heard about it too.

    4. It’s obvious that Sky needs bbc to stay, bbc has offloaded F1 to them, via a very expensive contract. It was always the plan to phase out F1 from the bbc. I personaly have grown to hate SKY’s coverage, but I think it’s a reflection of their poor ratings. I hope BBC stays because they are better!

      1. i’m the opposite, i can’t stand the bbc coverage but love what sky offer.

    5. Perhaps Mr Brundle and Mr Warwick Hamilton has his sights set a bit further afield than inspiring a future generation of upper middle class boys who get to enjoy their weekends playing racing driver when he didn’t skip a meeting with one of the most powerful men in the world to say hello.

      Believe it or not when Hamilton isn’t partying it up in Monaco to avoid paying tax and pushing his instagram and twitter down peoples throats against their will he tends to do a fair amount of charity and community work. So maybe, just maybe coming from a working class background, and also being a demographic with a lot of issues stateside in terms of being marginalised he was there with a view to achieving something a little more important than inspiring a bunch of privileged boys who are frankly obviously doing all right in life already if they are at an event like that.

      1. That’s right. And if they need Hamilton to inspire them, what the hell are they racing for?

        1. lol but Hamilton his inspiration from Senna is different? Sorry, but it appears you planted your foot firmly in your mouth on that one :-)

          1. And was that about Senna’s racing, or his speeching at gala’s?

            1. +1.

          2. And he didn’t need him to show up at an award gala for that to happen, seeing him on track was enough.

      2. Agreed with some of what you’ve just said apart from the shoving his social media postings down ones throats.

        That can only happen if one makes a conscious effort to follow him on those platforms. So the simple solution to that problem is, don’t click the follow button. Not a fan of Jenson, so I don’t follow him on FB, IG or Twitter and the same goes for others that I’m not fans of. So in retrospect, whatever he post, is for those who follow him and like to see what he does and has to say.

        1. “showing down throats” implies unwillingness for the owners of the said throats.

        2. Heavy dose of irony intended based on how some people react to his audacity in using social media.

    6. Mercedes seem intent on creating a full blown falling out between Nico and Lewis. Perhaps its their plan to push Nico out of the team at the end of next year?

      Lets face it, if there is to be a power struggle at Merc, there will only be one winner, and thats Lewis.

      1. I am not so sure that it would be Nico. The man himself is a fine driver. And let’s face it – if Mercedes can maintain their speed, they will win again and again, whoever driving their car.
        Team isn’t short of money, but Rosberg’s salary is “lower” than Hamilton’s.
        He is German. The team is officially German and having a German as, at least one of their drivers, is still very important. (Yes I know, the team is actually based in the UK, Brits working for it, etc.)
        “But Hamilton is more marketable” – Well maybe, but Rosberg is bilingual. And let us not forget. Mika Häkkinen, who I love, but let’s face it, is not the most interesting man in the world. McLaren Mercedes marketed the hell out of him.

        1. @lepondo, with regards to salary, Rosberg isn’t exactly cheap though – over €18 million a year according to sources within the German press. If they really cared about cost, they could probably hire a midfield driver who would quite happily drive such a competitive car for a fraction of the price.

          1. They could always extend his contract and offer a lower salary. I’m pretty sure Rosberg would turn up for €12 million a year.

            Mercedes’ line-up is probably the best on the grid after McLaren, they should keep it that way.

            1. @paeschli They should indeed try to keep it that way for the day their car is no longer a second a lap faster than everyone else.

        2. It’s very easy to forget that if you remove LH from the equation then up until he fell off in Mexico Seb would have been leading the championship…. And if that was the case, I very much doubt we would have seen such an off or a Merc champion because say what you like, the boy knows how to win and how to close out a championship…

          Not everyone can drive that Merc to a championship despite people keep saying so.

          1. if you remove LH from the equation then up until he fell off in Mexico Seb would have been leading the championship

            That’s not true. Rosberg would be comfortably ahead. He was down there due to unreliability and the fact that there is only 3 points difference between 2nd and 3rd. He would have won a lot more races without Hamilton.

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            8th December 2015, 10:25

            It’s very easy to forget that if you remove LH from the equation then up until he fell off in Mexico Seb would have been leading the championship….

            dear Drg,
            I suggest you use the points calculator and test that statement.
            You’ll find that either Rosberg will be ahead if you simply take LH out of the equation, or LH’s replacement would be ahead if (s)he beats Ros/Vet as often as LH did. You need to be very ‘creative’ to get Vettel leading this year at any point.

            1. No I really do not have to ‘get creative’ nor do I need to take into account all the DNF issues or first places NR would have had (SV would have moved up to second by that same ridiculous logic by the way)

              Why do I not need to be creative?

              Because Seb WAS ahead of NR in real life up to Mexico!

              Those were facts in real life not a construct!

              Bottom line of course there was a very good chance NR would have won however his obsession with the ‘other driver’ and what they are doing would have added an interesting dynamic without LH there and like it or not the following applies.

              1. The 015 Merc was not that dominating in race mode compared to say the 014 (please do not start with fastest laps – they are irrelevant)

              2. SV in happy mode with a sniff of winning instead of knowing he would be 3rd whatever would be a prospect I am not convinced NR would cope with very well given he certainly would not be able to spend the whole season with access to Ferraris data… He has enough trouble with Lewis and that’s with full access. Further if he thinks LH is being ‘hard’ on him, he is in for a real shock if a red team start along side him. I do not think SV is the greatest in field racer but he would tie NR in knots frankly regardless of speed because speed might be ok on Saturday but it wins no points on Sunday if the plan goes awry.

              Yes I do speak from experience.

            2. Because Seb WAS ahead of NR in real life up to Mexico!

              Only because the difference between 2nd and 3rd is 3 points; between 1st and 2nd it’s 7.

      2. @jaymenon10 Not sure how you have leapt to the conclusion that Merc is trying to create a full blown falling out.

        Seems to me they are managing this rivalry very well. No driver can accuse the team of favouring the other. They both have the capable equipment and are both being given the opportunity to use it. There’s nothing more we fans can ask. The rest is up to the drivers.

        I realize that things could change in a heartbeat the next time one pushes the other off the track or any number of possible scenarios, but that will be between the two drivers, not the two sides of the garage. I think it helps that they have one race strategist rather than separate ones which could make the driver rivalry spill over to the garage which is one of Wolff’s concerns.

        While to me right now it feels like the rivalry is full on for the start of next season, given how this season just ended, I think we just have to wait and see how things shake out. Several months will have gone by, the level of competition from the likes of Ferrari remain to be seen as to how they will play into things, and we will just have to experience the first race to see what kind if mixing up the two Merc drivers will be involved in.

        Wolff is thankfully taking the high road letting these drivers race, and the drivers both know the glorious opportunity they have with this machinery, so I suspect nothing is going to blow up that the team won’t be able to handle and hasn’t already had a taste of to learn from.

      3. Mercedes seem intent on creating a full blown falling out between Nico and Lewis.

        By telling them both to keep things civil and fair?

    7. I fixed one of those stories for you…

      “Mercedes says Ecclestones’ domination of F1 makes the sport ‘boring’ “

    8. No driver should feel obliged to attend AUTOSPORT Awards because it is a private event, which is organised by a particular magazine that uses these awards to promote itself. Yes, it is a respectable magazine (just like F1 Fanatic and other media that do not even get the opportunity to host such events) but Brundle’s complaint still sounds a bit like “Why didn’t Lewis come to my friend’s birthday party?”

      1. Haha True.

      2. The blame clearly lies with Autosport itself. They didn’t invite Obama to attend so Lewis had to go to Washington to meet him. I imagine Barack’s quite cut up about being left off the guest list.

        Brundle and Warwick just made themselves look very silly.

    9. Regarding the Lotus driver line up for next year, I’ve never heard a team so blatantly admit to keeping a driver just because of the sponsorship money he brings in. Maldonado’s confidence must be at an all time high!

    10. I’m sad about the Infiniti announcement – was looking forward to Infiniti Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer.

      1. Would that have been the longest team name in F1 history?

    11. Pathetic response from Brundle and Warwick. It’s not at all surprising though, from those two.

    12. “NBCSN delivers best Formula One season for a single cable network in two decades (NBC)”

      Lol. As a USA viewer I have to say that NBCSN is a grossly inferior product that’s pretty much unwatchable. Many Brits complain about BBC and SkySports F1, but you don’t know how fortunate you are to have not just one but TWO excellent and outstanding providers of F1 coverage.

      1. Most of the time, Hobbs is pretty good, and Matchett, when he can hold back his raging Ferrari Fanboism, is a pretty good announcer. Buxton has improved leaps and bounds.

        But Leigh Diffey is a classic example of the old saying “Don’t keep talking until you think of something to say– you might not.”

      2. Very underrated, little know fact: NBC’s Spanish language Univision station airs the Sunday race, with no more commercial interruption that a modest border around the action about once every 45 minutes, in HD and over the air, for free!

        At our meetup, held at a bar, we’ve taken to showing the Univision video while tolerating the NBCSN audio.

    13. ‘Showdown: Todt, Ecclestone and Mosley vs Marchionne (Motorsport Magazine)”

      The days of mandatory MGU-H are thankfully numbered, and the sport will be better for it.

      1. I’m quite sure that once 2017 rolls along and there’s still little overtaking and one team winning all the races, the masses will still rejoice. ‘The racing isn’t any better, but no more MGU-H, innit?’

        1. Very smart. Have you actually been to an F1 race or to any other race in 2014/2015?

          Just asking because there’s a lot of snark about MGU-H “noise” from people who do understand how atrociously bad the hybrid “PU” sounds in real life, standing 20 feet from the track surface.

          Are you of the mind that non-hybrid engines will inhibit overtaking and encourage team dominance? Fine by me, that means we’re at least back to traditional F1. Are you trying to solve the problems of competition and team dominance? I’m not.

      2. how atrociously bad the hybrid “PU” sounds in real life, standing 20 feet from the track surface.

        I’ve been to a few races the past 2 years & don’t think the current power units sound that bad at all, I actually quite like the sound they produce.

        1. I’d also make the point that dropping the MGU-H would be a big shame because thats one of the areas of these power units that has the most room for development as unlike the MGU-K there are no restrictions on how much energy the MGU-H can harvest.

    14. the autosport awards is a joke.didnt jenson win best british driver in 2012?and all this stuff about nico waking up is nonsense.i mean lewis has beaten nico 3 seasons in a all of a sudden nico has woken up.noooooo,more like changes were made to the car which threw lewis off.its all just for show to keep ppl tuned in.

    15. I wrote a comment on here a couple of weeks ago explaining how I like that Hamilton is his own character and his own man. With regards to the Autosport awards there are many commentators here who are making hugely exaggerated accusations against both sides with near enough no foundation. Does this episode having anything to do with Hamilton’s upbringing? I think that’s a push. Do we know Brundle had no idea where he was and would retract his tweet if told? Again, I think Brundle has had the time to issue a reprieve on this and hasn’t, so he is obviously entrenched in his conviction.

      I agree with Brundle on this one. I think that your duty as a World Champion is to reflect the sport you represent in the best possible light. To be seen to be giving back. Brundle’s ire appears to be that Hamilton’s actions are almost completely selfish. Hamilton has done this to boost his own public perception and increase Brand Hamilton in America. Personally, I can’t fault him for that but I think that for a man who permanently aligns himself with Senna that this is a blatant hypocrisy. Hamilton should have at the very least sent a video message, even more fittingly if it was from the White House, to inspire the young stars. We must remember how impressionable young people are and Hamilton is, ironically, missing a marketing opportunity by not giving back. I hope that he reflects on this and gives back more in future because there was a stunningly easy solution to this and Hamilton has completely unnecessarily lost face.

      1. Given that this is the Autosport awards, not the F1 awards, I would think LH made the right decision as to where to go, although I do agree that he perhaps could have made a video of appreciation. I would like to think most people within F1 and at Auotosport would understand that invitations to the Whte House don’t happen every day, and I actually cannot picture someone declining that unless due to grave circumstances. To me POTUS and the White House trumps Autosport any day. I also think, for what this is worth, BE would have far preferred LH go to the White House. And for all we know LH was invited and had to RSVP well before he (his people) knew about the Autosport thing, but frankly if the reverse is what really happened, and he knew about Autosport first, I would have dumped Autosport for POTUS if I were him.

      2. I have read some tripe but this is really first class!

        Autosport is a magazine that dishes out awards at a private party. Not only has LH attended before thus making your point moot but it is a commercial enterprise, not some charity bash!

        LH might just have done more for F1 and therefore all those ‘young chappies’ at the dinner party and their future in the biggest economy in the world than all the plastic awards in the world.

        For goodness sake people – the awards are every year and a private do. Years ago we were once up for such and apparently Nigel Mansel was supposed award it. I am no one in the scheme of things and given the total lack of ‘Autosport’ help at any time I did not go. Instead choosing to attend the dinner put on by the club where my family and friends could attend and funny enough NM was there to hand out the trophy anyway! Because he felt that was better use of his time…

        But no – best you stiff POTUS to encourage a few chaps who if they are invited are already doing absolutely fine in their careers with no need to arrive at meets with a roof rack and tent in the boot…?

        Yep – of course he should have…

        Cos it’s LH bashing time…

      3. Get a grip. This is just a magazine party, its not a F1 or FIA thing.

        Ridiculous to suggest that any body is obliged to attend some magazine’s party. Worse to accuse Hamilton of boosting his brand, while the only single reason Autosport wanted him there was to boost their brand. As far as I know Lewis has no deals with Autosport, no contracts that say he is obliged to attend. Lewis is a free man, and can chose what he does.

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