Stewards are harder on me – Maldonado

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Pastor Maldonado says F1’s stewards take a tougher line when he is involved in incidents.


Comment of the day

Yesterday’s news that the Indonesian government is offering monye to get Rio Haryanto into F1 reopened the debate about pay drivers:

F1 needs to realize that this sort of thing damages the brand and taints the sport.

To be a credible sport worth watching demands that the best talent get their chances.

Plus, when a backmarker team does this, it removes a big part of their justification to exist. Small teams are where promising talent can get their start, but if the space is taken by pay drivers then why should anyone be a fan?

Fans should actively campaign against this behavior.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrew Hey, Christian Andrade, Rigi and Topher Smith!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Force India announced an all-new driver line-up for the coming season two years ago today:

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

61 comments on “Stewards are harder on me – Maldonado”

  1. Hey look … another day, another woe is me Maldonado story. Nothing is every his fault. It’s always the team, the car, the other driver and now the stewards. This is why he damn near the worst driver in F1. he takes ZERO responsibility for things and refuses to make improvements. Hoping Renault cleans house and replaces both drivers next season.

    1. Because all the other drivers on the grid are such shining examples of honesty and integrity when it comes to admitting to their mistakes? The quote is extremely generic, as I have seen a lot of drivers complain about stewards being biased against them when they feel they’ve been penalised harshly, just as some of the posters here have accused certain driver stewards of being biased against certain drivers.

      I would wager that if Keith had substituted Maldonado’s name – for example, if he had put Kimi Raikkonen’s name next to that quote and said that Kimi made such a comment after a clash with Bottas – some of the posters here would have fallen for it completely. In fact, it would make for a rather interesting test of the perception of some of the posters here if Keith had a “match the quote to the driver” test to see how some of the posters here reacted to an unmarked quote and had to try and guess the context – I suspect it could show up an interesting bias towards some drivers in the field.

      1. Not entirely true. Grosjean was reckless and had issues keeping track of the cars around him … he lost his seat for a year or 2 due to that. Instead of whining about the stewards, he worked out his issues by talking to former champions, working with a sports physiologist and he is now in the catbird seat for Kimi’s seat at Ferrari the season after next.

        Maldonado has refused to do anything except moan about those mean stewards.

  2. Maldonado: stewards are harder on me

    Um, I’m not even gonna touch that one.

    1. No need. It’s Maldonado. It will touch you…

      1. cant blame him, he is a very touching person :)

        1. The only question any of us need to ask ourselves is…..if this gentleman from
          Venezuela did not have the mighty clout of petrodollars oiling his way into an
          F1 seat, would he still have his F1 seat……? Gone awfully quiet hasn’t it ?

  3. I’m surprised that Keith didn’t include the Sky’s Will Buxton’s interview video, as a balance against Marko’s cartel story.

    I’m sure that the engine makers would have taken note of RBR’s response and thought we wouldn’t want to be associated with a team like that. Plus you also have to consider that RBR probably spends as much as the “big” teams but only on the chassis and aero, it has had it’s engines paid for by other parties.

    1. Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and Renault are all engine manufacturers, they have a vested interest in engine development, their budget should be subsidised by advances in technology that filter down to road cars. Do you have development budgets of the current PU’s? I’ve never been able to find a trustworthy report regarding the budgets.

      Personally I think Mercedes & Wolff played red bull like fiddles, which will have put RB on the back foot, I fear for Merc that it will eventually only steel Dietrich’s resolve.

      1. Ross, if you think it’s the car manufacturer’s playing the games, check out Mark Hughes take on the Red Bull saga on MSM which I think Keith linked to a few days ago –

        It’s all one big power play by Ecclestone.

        1. The article has a lot of the writers subjective commentary on supposed meetings and dealings, but lacks objective fact.

          If these four masterminds had such vision and strategy skills F1s adoption of social media wouldn’t be the laughing stock it is.

    2. Red Bull team is like a big immature high school bully.

      1. The bully who gets left out in the cold with no lunch? Even though the lunch his step
        mum packed blew up on the way to school?

  4. Hope actual HAAS livery won’t be another grayish-black boredom.

    1. i think they said that will have a yellow livery @hoshino
      Though i would personally like to see them having a Red Livery?

      1. Haas mentioned yellow only as a possibility. Although Renault might have something to say about using it…

    2. I bet on white, no one on their right mind would paint a car red, red is Ferrari, which shouldn’t like to see Haas red either. Merc is not fond with red either, so my guess is Manor who’s run dry of Marussia is dropping red and as Merc’s B team shall run mainly black/grey and colours to reflect their new ownership. Mainly white with a red haas logo. There’s no green nor yellow cars but I can’t see any sponsors going for these liveries, the only chance might be on McLaren on the event they get a title sponsor. John Deer sponsoring McLaren might do it just fine. green and yellow and noisy.

      1. well Haas is a Ferrari B Team, they might have red on their livery @peartree

      2. There is more than one shade of red, you know.

      3. @peartree

        no one on their right mind would paint a car red, red is Ferrari

        As I understand FOM’s arrangement with Ferrari prevents rival teams from running anything which they consider resembles their livery too closely.

    3. For what it’s worth, red is Haas Automation’s corporate logo color. Red & black have been their NASCAR livery colors. Haas CNC machines are gray with red logos. Red is definitely going to be on the car somewhere.

    4. If Haas is the Ferrari B-team, the livery should look as similar to Ferrari as Toro Rosso’s looks compared to Red Bull. :-)

    5. Amen to that.

    6. @hoshino It looks like the car will feature a lot of yellow. I’ve read a few things about Subway possibly being a sponsor, and a yellow car would fit with that also.

  5. It’s very funny! :D

  6. Eight words to say to Maldonado (actually, I’ll have said twenty words):


  7. Why are people in F1 only now speaking out against the upcoming rule changes and how they will potentially worsen things we already complain about?

    If fans like myself were already sceptical of them back when first proposed and could understand that increasing downforce would make the situation worse when the main complaint is that the turbulent air caused by current levels of downforce is what stops close racing, drivers and engineers must also have considered it would be a problem.

    Yet they’ve waited until pen has been put to paper and are now coming out talking against it. Where were the objections before the rules were ratified?

    1. maarten.f1 (@)
      12th December 2015, 6:20

      @philipgb Who says they haven’t objected to it before? Just because they haven’t done so publicly, doesn’t mean they haven’t at all.

      1. @maarten-f1

        Why not publicly as well though? They shot down refueling straight away.

    2. @philipgb Probably because they were largely decided in secret by the handful of people on the Strategy Group.

      1. @keithcollantine

        It’s been known since May this was coming. First thing I said when I saw the proposal was wider cars and higher down force will make overtaking harder. It’s taken 6 months and the rules being put to paper before people in F1 have begun saying the same.

        They shot down refueling straight away but said nothing about this until now and I just don’t understand why.

        1. With refuelling, the impact is pretty obvious straight away; with aero changes, it all depends on how the downforce is generated, which wasn’t known until the recent more detailed announcement.

        2. @philipgb In May they announced they would make the cars quicker, they didn’t say how. The aerodynamic stuff was rumoured after that but has only firmed up fairly recently. And nothing is official yet, of course.

          1. @keithcollantine

            From May:

            For 2017:

            Faster cars: five to six seconds drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tyres and reduction of car weight
            Reintroduction of refuelling (maintaining a maximum race fuel allowance)
            Higher revving engines and increased noise
            More aggressive looks

            I don’t know the dates off hand for other news pieces but I know we knew months back that it was going to be from increasing down force and I remember speaking out against it then saying how wider cars and higher levels of downforce would make passing more difficult.

    3. TheF1Engineer (@)
      12th December 2015, 9:43

      My gut feeling is that these proposed aero changes will end up in the bin.

      F1 has enough problems with overtaking atm, and it’s such a sensitive, prominent issue, that approving regulations which restrict it further (and in all likelihood would lead to an increase in the authority of the DRS), is effectively signing the sport’s and your own death warrant.

      Wanting more downforce is fine. It’s HOW you go about increasing that downforce that is the key question.

      As has been said hundreds of times before and will doubtlessly be said a hundred times more in the future, the solution is ground-effect cars, with wider, better tyres.

      Ground-effect is such a strong aerodynamic tool, together with the 4 seconds Pirelli have talked about achieving with their tyres, you are very easily looking at lap time game in excess of what they’re aiming for with this 2017 pile of dross proposal. And you’d have better racing to boot. And a better spectacle, cars getting sideways etc.

      If fans know this, you can rest assured the teams engineers know it too.

      However unfortunately, this isn’t an engineering situation, it’s a political one. Formula 1 is no longer about racers wanting to gain the position ahead. It’s about corporations not wanting to lose the position behind.

      The FIA need to get a handle on this sooner rather than later, and as much as I don’t want F1 to give off too much of a whiff of being a spec series, the FIA issuing standard floors and diffusers would be something I’d be having a very good look at, just because it has such a fundamental effect on the performance of a car.

      Get it right and you’re laughing. Get it wrong and that’s your season gone. It’s a redesign of the entire car concept, literally from the ground up, meaning countless 10’s of millions wasted and little performance relative to your rivals to show for it, putting teams at significant risk of surviving.

      1. @goonerf1 Well summed up. For some reason I can’t open the link to the quotes regarding Merc’s ‘fears at this moment’ and I am trying take heart that that means the planned format for 2017 is for now not written in stone. I’m glad to hear Merc fears this, which perhaps might help them be vocal and help sort out the correct way to go about the new F1.

        I was hoping that more downforce was to mean more emphasis on ground effects, with the floor rules as well as the rear diffuser. There’s a lower rear wing, and I thought they were going with a neutral zone to the front wing even if the front wing is larger. The wider rears were to provide more mechanical grip. Overall I am still hopeful that this all adds up to more downforce but a greater portion of said downforce coming from ground effects, with more emphasis on mechanical grip too. But when I read that Merc is ‘fearful’ I worry that indeed there will still be too much emphasis on aero downforce.

        By now even small children know the problem with dirty air that continues to exist and seemed to be even worse this season than last, so common sense goes toward what you and I are saying as is Merc et al, but unfortunately common sense isn’t always that common.

        There will be vast amounts of conversation next year about 2017, so it will be interesting. For me, if all we keep hearing about is how bad it is going to be, as well as ‘written in stone’ I will spend next season preparing myself to back away from F1 for the first time since Gilles’ entry to F1 started televised coverage here in Canada in 78/79. I have no interest in watching not just processions, which I can tolerate if I know the drivers are at least being taxed, but even worse than the processions of the past, processions that include extreme conservation and potentially even more powerful DRS as a bandage fix to aero addiction which would be a joke, given how, amongst hundreds of examples, we have most recently had LH being so vocal about the inability to do anything in dirty air. So if everything that has lead up to the current situation is only about to get worse, I’ll be done. Just too frustrating.

        1. So I was finally able to open the link and am encouraged that indeed the rules are still up for discussion and have not been written in stone so I remain somewhat optimistic that common sense will prevail. I’ll not hold my breath, but remain hopeful.

          1. TheF1Engineer (@)
            12th December 2015, 15:30

            I have no information on which to base this on, but my feeling is that common sense will.

            I can’t see it getting voted through, especially on the back of the WMSC’s recent mandate to Jean and Bernie. To sign this off would be to negate what they are trying to do.

            Let’s not forget Pirelli are still going to want a representative car for aero-testing aswell, and it’s getting very, very late to get that agreed and organised, let alone designed and built.

            For me, focus on mechanical and ground-effect, and then at the end of the season, rather than going into storage, the world champions surrender their car to Pirelli for use to go tyre testing.

            The team get it back by the end of the following season.

  8. I think Maldonado’s penalties were fair, but I do believe some drivers got off easy, some very easy, so in a way I agree with his statement although I’d keep my mouth shut. Acknowledge your mistakes and refrain from commenting other people.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th December 2015, 7:30

      correct @peartree. How can a man saying the right thing be so wrong?

  9. Guybrush Threepwood
    12th December 2015, 6:52

    Fancy that. The team that could never produce the best car aerodynamically and relies on the might of it’s protected engine to win, doesn’t want more emphasis on downforce. How surprising.

    1. It will be very interesting to see how Red Bull will perform in 2017, given how bad their engine will be (I guess) and how good their aero will be. It could be quite entertaining, with Red Bull dominating on some circuits and Mercedes or Ferrari dominating on other ones.

    2. Fancy that. The team that runs one of the weaker engines on the grid and relies on the might of it’s owners friendship with the commercial rights holder and a vague interpretation of the sporting rules to win, wants more emphasis on downforce (or it will likely try and kick up a stink about leaving again). How surprising.

    3. The team that could never produce the best car aerodynamically

      Mercedes dominance is about more than just there engine, They have produced a very good car aerodynamically which is why there just as good on the heavy aero circuits like Barcelona (Aero is a much bigger factor than engine on that circuit) as they are on the circuits where engine is more important like Monza.

      1. PeterG, exactly – the idea that it is Mercedes’s engine alone that is making the team competitive falls apart when you look more closely at the data.

        Andrew Green, the Technical Director of Force India, has rubbished the claim – he has explicitly stated that, on the basis of the data that the team can glean when Mercedes’s cars are on track, their advantage quite clearly comes from their chassis, given that Mercedes probably has done the best job of integrating their powertrain and chassis into a complete package.

        Equally, at the tail end of this season, James Allison has also made similar claims – he has stated that he believes that, as far as Ferrari can tell from remote data measurements whilst the W06 was on track, Mercedes does not have a power advantage over Ferrari and that Mercedes’s advantage comes from its superior cornering performance (hence why his focus is more towards improving Ferrari’s aerodynamic development work and improving Ferrari’s chassis than on the engine department).

        The idea that it is only the engine that is giving Mercedes an advantage doesn’t tie in with the feedback from other teams – those teams quite clearly seem to suggest that Mercedes is strong in a range of fields, which is precisely why they are so hard to catch at the moment.

  10. I don’t know what to make of Costa’s criticism of the 2017 rules.

    On the one hand, I agree that, if we are not cautious enough, even a specifically targeted increase in downforce (i. e. more from the diffuser and less from the wings) may see teams getting more out of the new front and rear wings than from the diffuser and, in general, more out of the aero changes than what the mechanical grip increase will be via Pirelli’s wider tyres. Which would obviously make it harder to follow in the dirty air.

    On the other hand, it’s Mercedes who is complaining, the team that created the utterly dominant cars and power units of the past two years, so it would definitely make sense for them to lobby against anything that changes the status quo very much, regardless of that the changes will actually do.

    1. I don’t doubt that Mercedes like the current aero/engine balance in dictating performance and that the reduction in down force for 2014 played nicely into their hands but I still think they’re right about complaining even if there is a political slant to it.

      Also remember both 2009 and 2014 aero regs saw team Brackley come out swinging. I suspect they’ll do OK.

    2. I agree. Costa is right about everything he says, but it’s a statement coming from Mercedes, so it’s obviously a political statement. The right thing said by the wrong person.

    1. better than McHonda’s first test.

      1. Zero mileage yesterday for me!

  11. Yes, in the same way that judges are harder on guilty criminals in their courtroom than innocent people walking on the street outside.

  12. Lewis and Kanye. A match made in heaven.

    1. Puts me in mind of Top Gears star in a reasonably priced car segment. Sure some of them were quite handy in a car, but very much don’t give up your day job still.

      I am interested to hear it and see if there is any talent there of if he’s just thrown money at high end production.

  13. That’s right, ‘cartel’ is the correct word.

    Toto’s version of that meeting with Christian Horner was they raised some concerns they would need clarified for them to supply engines, including how the Mercedes brand name wouldn’t be diluted if Red Bull won races. We had Red Bull using Renault engines, but using the brand name “Infiniti”, which is indirectly associated with Renault, and almost no recognition of Renault was given when Red Bull were winning races. Now we have Red Bull saying they will brand name their 2016 Renault-Illmore engines as “TAG Heuer”, which has no association with Renault or Illmore. It is as though Red Bull just don’t want to recognise their engine supplier.
    Then we had the case where Red Bull took their Renault engine around to Illmore and asked them to improve it. The engine is owned by Renault, the inside of it is proprietary information, taking that engine to anyone else could be seen as a serious breach of contract.
    With this attitude of disrespect toward their current engine supplier, there would have been “alarm bells ringing” in the mind of another potential supplier, such as would Red Bull honour the supplier’s proprietary information? Would Red Bull want to re-brand their Mercedes, Ferrari, or Honda engine so it wasn’t called “Mercedes”, “Ferrari”, or “Honda”? Would they be forced into contractual obligations they don’t want?
    Now we see Red Bull are re-branding their Renault-Illmore hybrid system as “TAG Heuer”, so presumably the answer is if one of those other engine suppliers supplied Red Bull then their brand name would have been diluted too.
    I think each of the other engine manufacturers, independent of what the other engine suppliers thought, just didn’t want to supply Red Bull simply because there wasn’t sufficient profit in it for them.

    1. I do think one can see a cartel in F1. But its not the engine manufacturers but a group where Red Bull is a very important part of, namely the teams that get unfair advantage from co-deciding the rules and massive amounts of money just for signing up.

    2. Yeah I envisioned that what Merc was after was co-operative marketing work to be done to tie in Red Bull’s global image/following with the Mercedes brand to forward/diversify their profile, and perhaps there wasn’t really the time or will for both teams to hammer that out satisfactorily. And certainly if RBR thought they could or would rebrand Mercedes?….yeah…not gonna happen.

      I don’t know why RBR would realistically expect top teams to sell them their latest greatest engine. So to now say they were afraid to, and that is something to be proud of, is to me disingenuine. We all know they were capable of WDCs, so there is a respect there for that potential danger for sure, more than when they supply lesser resourced teams with a pu, so it is to me kind of like shoving that potential down other teams’ throats in a cocky way, or, like a high school bully as was stated above.

      The problem for them of course is that they are nowhere now, and were and still are dependent on having a good PU/chassis marriage, and yet they talk like they are some big threat. They were, but now are not, and hardly own the ‘worst enemy’ mantra without a big hand up from an eventual solid PU supplier who has only seen them backstab and taunt. So if they can be this cocky without any real ammo to back it up, it’s hard to imagine them giving much credit to a PU supplier even if one helped them get back to the top 3. They need to find their own way as a works outfit again, with whose PU? I don’t know, but it needs to be something they can call their own and then we’ll see if they can get back to being ‘feared’. Between Mercedes current strength, and Ferrari’s improvement and ever present veto power, RBR better just hope they can secure a real PU for 2017 and nail the new format too, but methinks they’re likely a handful of years away such will be their learning curve in building another pre-requisite works effort.

  14. TheF1Engineer (@)
    12th December 2015, 22:39

    A response to the Red Bull manufacturer’s cartel comment.

    Just a thought, coz I’m really not a fan of the year old engine rule that’s just been approved.

    Since all engines are supposed to be equal, the FIA should adopt a system of allocating the engines.

    IE: with Mercedes, 8 supposedly identical power units rock up at the circuit on a Wednesday/Thursday, and the FIA then randomly allocate them to each car, including the works cars. Each garage hands them back after the grand prix.

    The FIA keeps tabs on the engines throughout the season for enforcement of regulations reasons.

    I’d be very interested to see what Mercedes response to this would be.

    It would certainly give you some insight into if these engines are really as equal as they’re supposed to be.

    Feedback most welcome guys and girls :)

    1. The engines don’t have to be equal though, that’s why Red Bull were annoyed that they’d only get year-old Ferrari engines. Plus, once a team’s taken an engine they can’t hand it back- they have to use it for loads of races.

Comments are closed.