Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

“People are falling out of love with F1” – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton gives an impassioned warning about the future of Formula One.

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Comment of the day

Reasons to be cheerful about elimination qualifying tomorrow:

I am by no means in favour of the qualifying format they used in Australia and will use again this weekend. At all. I thought it was horrible to watch and I really cannot see it improving on its best day. However, I think it might appear slightly less horrible this weekend because of the nature of the track as the sun sets. With temps falling, teams might want to be out sooner anyway to take advantage of relatively higher track temps (though I’m not familiar with what temps the teams want with what tyres).

If they are planning their fastest runs early anyway, that aligns with the format, so it should be crowded. What I imagine will be abundantly clear though is that the ends of sessions will likely be dead air, lots of crowd shots. With a presumably slowing track and most teams ‘fighting’ to get in the next qualifying period already relegated, it should be damningly quiet and seems like it would have to force their hand to revert for China. Though I’m sure we thought that in Melbourne as well.

From the forum

Robocar, 2016
Robocar, 2016
HRT F111
HRT F111

Daniel Simon, who created HRT’s memorable ‘This is a Cool Spot’ livery in 2011 (right), has now styled the driver-less car for new series Roborace.

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On this day in F1

David Coulthard won the Brazilian Grand Prix for McLaren on this day 15 years ago. Early leader Juan Pablo Montoya, in only his third race, was taken out while lapping Jos Verstappen.

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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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  • 66 comments on ““People are falling out of love with F1” – Hamilton”

    1. Maybe Brundle is also too stupid to listen to doctors.

      1. Must say I am disappointed by Brundle on this. I understand that he is talking from the heart, but realistically it’s an irresponsible comment. In today’s levels of F1 safety there would be no point in letting a driver risk himself when, above all, the image of the sport (which is already bad) would be at further risk.

        I would have thought he in particular would agree having been around at a time where drivers would’ve raced and got severely injured.

        1. Yeah it was a pretty silly thing to say. Alonso even said that he would drive through the pain if he could, but there’s a risk of causing a serious injury. Given that he didn’t complain about it in public at all until now shows that he had every intention of driving this weekend.

      2. Si tacuisset ...
        1st April 2016, 2:58

        Yeah, if he’d kept his silence, he would’ve stayed a philosopher … or at least he wouldn’t have embarrassed himself.

        This is one of way too many examples where ‘old school’ translates as ‘reactionary bogus’.

      3. Martin is crashing down on my consideration. An injured driver is above all a danger to others. I can only see the Ferrari’s further behind in Bahrain. Ferrari lost a golden chance. I would guess Shanghai should suit Ferrari and especially RBR, a lot better, I can see RedBull achieving pole at Shanghai.

        1. For one silly “back in my day” comment? He’s still by far your best man in the booth. Apart from anytime Murry jumps in. Reasons and stuff.

        2. He put a foot wrong. I don’t think it makes him a complete idiot, smart people occasionally say/make stupid things.

        3. Red Bull pole in China with that long straight? I bet you get good odds on that best place get down to the bookies. Ant circuit with a long straight at the start of the season I see RedBull behind all Merc teams bar Manor and a few Ferrari teams as well.

      4. I agree, Brundle’s comments are disappointing. He’s using ‘old school’ to mean ‘stupid’, and not its intended meaning of ‘purist/simplicist’.

        Broken ribs can easily puncture organs if subjected to force. Surely such trauma is familiar to someone as old as Brundle, who has raced in a time safety standards were lower. Even without such a dramatic outcome, surely the stresses placed by racing on the ribcage will not help the bone set.

        I’ve usually not been a fan of Alonso’s attitude and comments (but do love his spirit and driving), but I have to say that Alonso’s comments on this are entirely reasonable and acceptable – he claimed he’s fine to drive through the pain of a broken arm or leg, but accepts the medical reasoning that a broken rib is far more dangerous and is happy to sit the race out.

      5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        1st April 2016, 5:47

        I’m with Brundle on this one, look at some of the injuries the MotoGP boys ride with. That said, I imagine Alonso would be a little more defiant of the doctors if the McLaren was a front running car.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          1st April 2016, 6:19

          You might be with Brundle (call it ‘old school’), @jackisthestig.
          But half the stupidity in Brundle’s comment is that he claims that a coherent-4-limber should at least ‘want to’ drive.
          That’s exactly what Fernando wanted and tried to do (he’s not visiting Bahrain for fun)!

        2. pastaman (@)
          1st April 2016, 12:42

          MotoGP does not see the same g-forces as F1, which is the main concern here.

      6. I saw Gary Hartstein mentions (on Twitter) that in his (or indeed Sid Watkins) time they would have allowed a driver to drive with this, as he sees no real risk with a fractured rib.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          1st April 2016, 7:31

          @bascb, was it the fractured rib or the collapsed lung?

          But more importantly, not sure why we are discussing this. I have way less problem with a doctor taking his responsibility and taking a decision based on his/her expertise, then all the other FIA guys who either make no decision, stupid decisions, or contradicting decisions.

      7. Jenson Button drove races in 2006 with broken ribs after he injured them karting. I don’t recall anyone saying he was wrong to do so.

        Brundle is entitled to his opinion, whether we agree with it or not. At the end of the day Alonso’s hands are tied, he did the medical tests and the doctors said he can’t drive. If he had no intention of driving he wouldn’t have hauled himself to Bahrain, so I think that he did have every intention of racing. Whether we agree with the decision either way is irrelevant, it is his body, his career and ultimately it is his decision.

        1. This is all part of improving safety, 2006 was a decade ago. It’s all very noble to make comments that it’s soft not to let him race but what would Brundle have said if this was his son in Alonso’s position?

          To be fair Brundle had a near identical crash at the same corner and I remember him trying to run back to the pits straight away for the spare car, so he is not talking rubbish with what he says but it shows he is from a few generations back, Stirling Moss used to come out with comments about F1 being soft compared to back in the day.

          1. At least Brundle admits right off he’s too old school for this. And it’s not that FA couldn’t drive the car, and he indeed wanted to. So a bit unfair of a comment from MB in that regard but as I say and he did too…he’s old school. For me it comes down to the worse case scenario of how FA would fare in another similar crash, and is it really worth it. They’ve made huge strides now in their knowledge of concussions in sports, as one example of how much smarter we are now in terms of how we handle injury.

      8. I wonder if Martin could say that again when Alex has the same incident as Nando..?

    2. Brazil 2001, what a great race. Montoya’s move on Schumacher was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in the 24 years I’ve been following F1. What an impact JPM made in his first race. Shame we were deprived if seeing where he would have finished by Verstappen the First

      1. Yeah, I was there on this race, he did an incredible job, amazing talent and just did an awesome overtaking on Michael Schumacher, I was right at the end of the Reta oposta when the accident happened, and I remember when the whole grandstand cheered him like he had scored a goal when he walked back to the pits!

    3. The ice-cream stand at the track will not be selling vanilla, they have 3 flavors, ludderfiske, anchovy, and dog-faeces, vanilla is too boring.

      1. But for those at home watching qualifying there will be plenty of time to nuke a slice of pizza and poor a beer during the last half of the sessions, as cousin Bo points out in the cotd.

        1. Hm, I think you are too optimistic about anyone at home bothering to switch on their TV sets or pull a good stream for qualifying @hohom

          1. @bascb, well I for 1 wont be, mainly because prac and qual wont be broadcast here, or if they are it will be behind the paywall, AGP was the 1st. qual I have been able to watch for years which probably accounts for my being more amused than outraged by the farce.
            PS. Pirelli are also a very forseeable part of the problem with the new format.

            1. its been behind a pay wall where I live for a few years now, befor that it was free but not watchable quality, so I have been streaming it for years now @hohum. But yeah, not interested in going through the trouble for this farce.

              Agree that tyres that would last more laps would certainly help – drivers might do 2 attempts on one set at least.

      2. @hohum If you want to see it through to its logical conclusion, not only are they selling flavours nobody likes, they’re also moving their ice cream stand into an unmarked shed that you need to pay to get into. Their solution to the decline in sales? Give the ice cream man a new carbon/kevlar ice cream scoop which can scoop the ice cream in half the time.

    4. There must be someone high up really championing this quali system behind closed doors. The teams being united with a clear objective, even though they have nothing to gain from it, and being treated like idiots with that vote is really telling.

      1. It’s Jean Todt. He doesn’t want to lose face.

    5. For a guy that speaks a lot about safety, that’s a stupid comment! Brundle should know: things can go horribly wrong even if you feel perfect to race but the doctors feel differently.

      Sometimes your body has to rest. What if he gets seriously bad because he’s trying to cope with pain and he has an accident? he could put himself and others at danger, which would be an unnecesary danger because the exams clearly show something is wrong.

      1. @fer-no65 I agree, it’s implied I’d say common sense really.

        Is Martin getting poisoned by sky? Sky is trying too hard. Sky has turned f1 into reality tv.

        1. Agree 100 percent I think since Brundle moved to Sky it’s as if he has a script to introduce some tabloid style comments into everything, David Croft as well, I was looking forward to Croft as he was great on BBC but on Sky it sounds like he is given some outline agenda to introduce. Then Lazenby…..put him on his knees and 2 to the back of the head would be best.

    6. Good article from the Telegraph, better late than never.

    7. “People are falling out of love with the sport and ultimately it will lead to you guys and also for us. I don’t want that.”

      … Is not a sentence.

      1. I think he means something like:
        “People are falling out of love with the sport and ultimately it will lead to you guys losing your jobs and also for us. I don’t want that.”

        Or, if there are no fans, there’ll be no sponsors or media deals, and we’ll all be out of work.

        1. I think what he means is,

          and ultimately (The blame) it will lead to you guys and also for us.

          1. People= general public, and eventually even the hardcore fans and drivers will feel the same way. Simple.

      2. Oh gawd – is the Hamilton Derangement Syndrome? The meaning is crystal clear.

      3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        1st April 2016, 7:54

        Yeah very poorly worded. Hamilton talks to much, he is like an Irvine-Villeneuve hybrid!

      4. I’m starting to run out of words to talk up F1 to my skeptic friends… Bernie and Todt are running against me.

      5. This wasn’t a written interview, it has been take from what he said, you need to watch him actually say the words and how he said them to judge. Could make perfect sense with the right timing. Having said that it’s perfectly clear what he meant there.

        It’s also funny that you simply ignore everything else that he actually said to pick him up on linguistics?

      6. Of course it’s a sentence. It has a subject, verb, object. I dunno, they seem to let anyone on a forum these days, however syntactically challenged ;)

        1. Object as you might, it’s not a complete (read: property structured) sentence. It was meant more for Keith and less for LH. But now that a nerve has been touched, if that was a word-for-word quote – then yeah, Lewis needs to get the marbles out of his mouth.

          1. *properly (lol)

    8. Keith I understand the comment about daniel Simon and how running an F1 site you choose to show his most direct impact on the sport.

      What you have effectively ommitted is that daniel Simon is one of the most prolific entertainment and race car designers of the last 3 decades.

      His volumes of work are undeniably the benchmark when it comes to entertainment design and his transportation design projects will be studied for years only finding relevancy when manufacturing and technology catches up with his vision.

      He’s Adrian newey in disguise, 20 years ahead of his time.

    9. This qualifying thing is a no brainer.

      So why can’t they get it right? Go back. It’s that simple.

      Maybe they can redesign it and try again later. But that should take time to nut out. If it doesn’t, it’s because they’re half arsing it again.

      But now they risk turning F1 into a farce which is sad because of how great the racing is likely to be. I’m still not going to watch qualifying. I feel like if I do, I’m complicit in such utterly stupid decision making.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        1st April 2016, 6:22

        So why can’t they get it right?


        But now they risk turning F1 into a farce …

        well beyond ‘risk’ IMO.

    10. I think that this qualy format could work quite well if they just made 2 changes to it. First of all, allocate more tires to the teams during the session so they can run. Secondly, let the drivers about to be cut finish their lap. Seeing them getting cut while being on a quick lap that would get them further it is pretty ridiculous.

      1. They would still not be able to do too many runs because they cannot refuel that quick @jccase.

        They should never have introduced a half thought out thing like this on the fly a few weeks before the first race, when the tyre compounds had already been chosen long ago, the amount of sets availabe and the cars had been defined 8 months earlier and there really was no good reason to even change anything.

        1. Yep. For all the tech in these cars its remarkable how long it takes to stick some fuel in the thing.

          The drivers used to love “4 sets of qualifying tyres EACH and 1hr to set your fastest lap-time.” Those 4 sets were qualifying ONLY, there were no knock-outs or eliminations, and it was easy to understand (fair enough the first 15mins or so the track was empty).

          F1 needs to get back to that IMO, or at least use that as a starting point and apply it within the modern requirements of F1, ie: Q1, Q2, Q3 with breaks in-between for TV etc.

          When you think about it, 4 sets of qualifying tyres, and therefore 4 mini-sessions (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4), you’ve already got the basis of a pretty good qualifying format right there. Hand tyres back at the end of each mini-session etc.

          1 set of tyres per session means you’ve effectively got single-lap qualifying in each mini-session.

          Since you’re not knocking cars out you need some other mechanism to get the cars out on track, and a rule something as simple as, “every car must set a hot-lap time in every mini-session” would do that trick.

          Have every hot-lap time count towards a final, overall time which determines the grid, and for anyone who doesn’t complete a run, make use of the 107% rule to allocate them a penalty lap-time 107% of the fastest time from that mini-session.

          That would all make for a pretty good format I think :).

        2. Well, if a driver is on a hotlap one would assume that the team had put enough fuel in the car to finish that lap, and the in-lap too, wouldn´t one? But all in all, I agree with you, they should never have changed the format in the first place.

          1. My reply was meant for BasCB (@bascb).. I guess that I must pressed the wrong reply button as it ended up below TheF1Engineer (@thef1engineer) post. :)

      2. I re watched it with mute on the TV and played Benny Hill music, it worked much better.

      3. @jccase

        let the drivers about to be cut finish their lap

        This is one of those ideas which to me seems so obviously flawed I find it hard to express it in words without feeling like I’m being incredibly patronising. It would make the system incredibly over-complicated, it would be very hard to tell when one phase of elimination had ended and the next had begun…

        But above all it’s such an obviously flawed system in the first place we shouldn’t waste our breath on trying to make it better. Just put the damn thing back in the cheap box it came in and go back to last year’s format.

    11. ColdFly F1 (@)
      1st April 2016, 6:24

      I think that this qualy format could work quite well if they just made 1 changes to it. Just revert to last year’s!

    12. “Qualifying format unchanged for Bahrain”.
      April Fools.

      1. Jakob Paulsen
        1st April 2016, 8:16

        BAHAHA… I wish :/

    13. Jakob Paulsen
      1st April 2016, 8:15

      Not saying that the call they made regarding Alonso was wrong, but Brundle comes from a different age, when driver safety was not a high priority. Remember Johnny Herbert? The amount of pain he went through in his injured legs to keep driving those precious first races in his F1 career? Would not happen today.

    14. It’s striking how similar the circumstances are to Vettel’s debut. Robert Kubica turned up to race his Sauber at the next race after his own spin-drier crash at Montreal, but was medically excluded, and so a great F1 career was launched.

      I’d rather see that happen again, than an injured driver struggle round less than fully fit. If it was November and he was in World Championship contention there’d be something heroic about it, but not in race 2.

      Interesting that Martin Brundle has to take to Twitter to get his voice heard these days, and hope other people pick up on it.

    15. Just heard this. Alonso to retire from racing because of injuries.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        1st April 2016, 11:02

        And I read he actually told the doctors the he wanted to race assuming all risk himself (“Quiero correr, yo asumo todo el riesgo”).
        Being the first day of April @brianfrank302, you decide which of these 2 are more likely to be true.

        1. I was joking with my comment, being April Fools day. I have read all about the situation with him :)
          Enjoy the weekend!

    16. Well, unless I am not a person, Hamilton is right.

    17. Brundle is absolutely spot on!

      He is too old school on this and thankfully the decision on if it’s safe to drive falls to medically qualified professionals. It doesn’t always come down to if you are fit enough to drive, it’s also if you’re fit enough to withstand another severe accident again. Alonso didn’t miss Australia 2015 because the head injury was affecting his then present faculties, it was the serious risk posed by another impact.

      Having one pneumothorax increases the odds for a second. Which could be lethal for him or others if it occurred when on track. So Brundle thank you for at least recognising you are ‘too’ old school.

    18. Thanks for COTD @keithcollantine. Not surprised it isn’t getting a lot of love though, as it seems a little pro-qualifying even though I didn’t mean it as such. Hopefully it will further highlight the stupidity of the format.


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