‘People must think we’re stupid’ – Raikkonen

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen hits out at F1’s “crazy” politics.

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Comment of the day

I share @fer-no65’s mystification at the reasoning behind introducing and sticking with elimination qualifying:

I’d love to know why they are pushing so hard for this? Why? What’s the reason?

I just don’t understand it. I get that they want to replace Monza with Las Vegas. I get it, even if it’d be crazy, but I get it: money is the reason. And marketing or whatever, a Las Vegas race would mean a lot of money for a lot of people. I also get the move to pay TV, or double points at a certain GP: again, money. Even if I hate it, I get it. There’s a reason, valid or not.

But what are they trying to get pushing so hard for this? It doesn’t improve the show, it’s hated by everyone, you get less TV time for the sponsors, less action on track for the race organisers, and all the bad reactions.

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On this day in F1

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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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76 comments on “‘People must think we’re stupid’ – Raikkonen”

  1. Nobody nailed it as direct and simple as Kimi ROFL

  2. I’d say that Bernie and Jean Todt think the fans, teams and drivers are stupid.

    1. This is in all seriousness probably true.

    2. I also get the feeling this is a power move by them not wanting to be pushed around by the teams. Considering they haven’t previously been able to suss out what the fans want (see: recent comments dismissing social media as well), they don’t really seem to care about that aspect and only consider asserting dominance over the teams as worthwhile. Nevermind that the fans are the real losers of this battle.

      1. when people fall in to their own traps, they typically become blinded by the same lack of transparency and light that they use to promote their own influence.

        Bernie & Todt, require people to have confidence in them, if the people who work with Todt and Bernie start questioning ‘the leadership’ then it is the beginning of the end of their ‘confidence game’. I could go at lengths to the dangers and suffering that follow “confidence games” and poor leadership, but that is for another forum.

  3. Someone is gonna have to explain what the hell herbert was thinking about with that garbage article (after today will he be calling for button to retire as well) did he think alonso wouldn’t see it? I dunno what it is but he’s had a problem with alonso since he went back to mclaren. Even brundle had a pop at alonso after the fia said he couldn’t race. Saying that he’d be out there racing no matter what. Fact is if alonso had that Mercedes he’d be winning races.

    1. “Fact is if alonso had that Mercedes he’d be winning *championships*.”

      There, fixed that for you.

      And I’m not a supporter of Alonso, but respect his abilities.

      1. I’m not so sure about that. I think Hamilton (who matched Alonso in his rookie year and is in his prime now) would probably beat Alonso.

        1. @paeschli What happened in 2007 is hardly relevant if you ask me. Different era (car, tyres, tracks) and both drivers have grown massively since then. Looking at what Alonso did at Ferrari I’m pretty sure you would not be able to predict who would come out on top.

    2. Aqib (@aqibqadeer)
      3rd April 2016, 6:20

      fact is any racing driver in a mercedes would be winning races

      1. Arnoud van Houwelingen
        3rd April 2016, 12:52

        except Alfonso Celis .. that guy doesn’t belong in F1

        1. Some teams need money to stay in the race, drivers like Celis provide this. So it’s a “necessary evil”

  4. Does anyone remember the glorious days when todt didn’t care about f1? Now along with old man bernie he is one of its biggest problems. Mercedes building a great engine/car has seriously send bernie completely mental. Mercedes bet on themselves bernie told them win 2 championships and you’ll get the same money as redbull and as soon as he relised they’ve build a stunning engine he’s done everything he can to damage f1 and get rid of the hybrid engines. That money Mercedes now get meant bernie & cvc lost money out their pockets and with greedy folk like them that’s gotta hurt.

    1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      3rd April 2016, 1:08

      Nail on the head there and makes complete sense for Bernie’s desperation to end Mercedes reign while he was quite content with Red Bull doing the same. He’s completely senile.

      1. Perfectly said.

    2. Their pockets are plenty deep enough! What other company could get away with taking a loan of $1Bn and giving it out as dividends and bonuses? They have done this more than once and some reckon that FOM and/or Delta Topco now has around $4.5Bn of debt. But strangely that is added to the value not subtracted. If I were buying F1 I would consider it a liability not an asset. Todt’s problem is that Bernie or FOM or Delta pays the FIA a substantial amount each year now, which some may believe in contradiction to thei last EU Commission ruling on F1. However it compromises Todt’s independence.
      This is not about qualifying, it is merely Bernie asserting himself against the manufacturers, it is a much bigger picture, which looks horribly like stalemate for the foreseeable future, unless of course common sense is allowed in, but that is hard to find nowadays.

  5. Andy (@andybantam)
    3rd April 2016, 1:06

    I love Alonso’s slap down.

    Still, 2024 isn’t that far away…

  6. Herbert got what he deserved. Alonso is as quick as ever, but the car isn’t quite there yet. It’s hard to remember than less than 2 years ago he produced one of the best performances of his career at Hungary in 2014.

    When you’re in a team that’s struggling as badly as McLaren is, it’s easy to assume that the drivers are also not up for it. That Button beated Alonso last year it’s as pointless as one could even imagine given the performances restrictions of the team. And let’s not forget that Button isn’t Yuji Ide: he’s a world champion aswell.

    I laughed at Alonso’s remarks. And he’s right. Herbert is just a qualified armchair expert at this point.

    1. Seriously, my highlight of the weekend so far…

    2. Button fans often remind us that he outscored Hamilton at McLaren. Now he’s scored more points than Alonso last season, and to date this season. Then Vandoorne beats Button.

      We can only conclude that Hamilton, Alonso and Button should all retire!

      1. Vandoorne was beaten 5 times by Rio Haryanto during the 2015 GP2 championship. He should retire too.

        1. And Haryanto has been beaten by Wehrlien so far this year.

          All hail Pascal, the F1 champion for the foreseeable future! (Or not, because F1’s a bit complicated).

        2. @casjo Was at least one of them in a feature race?

          1. In the feature race in Hungary. Rio was 4th and Stoffel 5th.

            The other 4 were in the sprint races though. But hey, circumstances don’t matter, do they?

    3. I do think he’s probably not at 2012’s level, but he has still put some brilliant races (2014 Hungary, for example). And I suppose motivation might have some influence on his driving, in 2012 he was fighting for the championship and in 2015 he was fighting not to be last. That’s not quite the same.

      So give him a car that can fight for the championship, and it’s likely he’ll be back at his best.

      As for being outscored by Button, it’s the problem that backmarkers (and midfielders) face. You might have a great race, but if the teams ahead have also good races, you won’t score a single point. Meanwhile, the other driver has a great race while the faster cars have problems, and he could have a lot of points (both Alonso and Button had races like that at Hungary and USA). Add to that the unreliability, and points end up being just a small detail the painter decided to hide somewhere in the picture.

    4. I’m not native speaker, could anybody give me subtitles of that conversation?

      1. SaturnVF1 (@doublestuffpenguin)
        3rd April 2016, 8:34

        FA: “I will not retire.”
        JH: “You’re not gonna retire? That’s good!”
        FA: “No, I am world champion. You ended up as a commentator because you were not a champion.” (roughly, it’s hard to hear his exact wording)

        1. Luckily for Fernando, World Champion co-commentator Damon Hill was not in earshot at the time…

          1. Sviatoslav (@)
            3rd April 2016, 13:13

            @alianora-la-canta – luckily that Damon Hill would tell such a stupid thing as Herberd did.

          2. Sviatoslav (@)
            3rd April 2016, 13:13

            lol, I made a mistake)))
            luckily that Damon Hill would not tell ….

          3. @sviat – There is that. Damon usually keeps better control of his words…

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          3rd April 2016, 13:19

          FA’s come-back makes him my DOTW.
          Hope we can still vote for him on Monday.

    5. Classiest slapdown I’ve seen in ages.

      Alonso can be hot-headed (he’s a Spaniard after all, emotions on sleeves and what have you), but this is a truly put down.

    6. Herbert is a horrible person but Alonso’s answer just sounded bitter, it wasn’t funny at all.

      A lot of dirt was poured over Vettel during his domination, and I don’t remember him answering a journalist/commentator in such a bitter way.

      IMHO, when you earn 30 million dollars a year, you should accept that some people are going to criticise you..

      1. Yes, you should accept criticism being a WC and earning so much. That doesn’t mean thou you have to keep your mouth shut. A very well deserved slapdown. Did you read Herbert’s article?

      2. Well that’s called “right of reply” for Alonso.

        But Jhonny is wrong, we don’t live in the era of “Niki Lauda did after his burns in 1976”. Nowdays we have ultra anxious safety measures and checks and the infamous HALO in the future, that fearful chickens want on their cars!

    7. @fer-no65
      Alonso’s reaction was childish at best. The best reaction is action on track, not slinging feces at the side of it. It doesn’t matter what people say of you.

      look at Vettel over the years. How many times did journo’s post the nonsense that he could only win in a tailor made Red Bull and that Webber was always sacrificed to allow Vettel to get pole or wins. And that he couldn’t pass or drive anything except a Newey car.
      Did he respond by going to the journo’s and telling them they weren’t qualified to talk about him because they’re not quadruple worldchampions? No, he shut them up by showing what he can do on track.

      If Alonso wants to prove Herbert wrong he should show that on track.

      This is why I don’t like Alonso. He’s too self centered. And if Herbert isn’t allowed to share his opinion because he isn’t a world champion, what does that mean for Alonso’s friend Mark Webber?

      1. Exactly this.

        It’s the booing tifosi that think FA’s response was SO GOOD. They wouldn’t know class if it bit them on their backside.

      2. Very different to critise a driver’s performance in a sport than telling the world that driver should retire. The latter is incredibly damaging and offensive, besides having repercussion for the driver from personal to business-wise. Alonso was right in putting Herbert I his place and I consider he did it with class.

  7. can’t*

    Also, this quote from Grosjean is pretty telling that there’s more wrong with qualifying than just the elimination format. “I admit that sitting in the car for seven minutes hoping you are eliminated is not the way it should be.”

  8. Social media not good enough for Mr Todt? Someone put his phone number on Twitter and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll be more the willing to call him personally to explain in a few choice words how bad current qualifying is.
    And any tweaks to the current format are just attempts at polishing a turd — you might get something shiny in the end, but a turd still stinks.

    1. Maybe sending loads of faxes to Place de la Concorde might work – as this is a format the FIA takes very seriously?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        3rd April 2016, 13:25

        good suggestion @alianora-la-canta
        Fax Number: +33 1 4312 44 66
        Free Fax Service: https://www.myfax.com/free/

    2. I don’t agree with the direction Todt’s trying to push F1, but he’s right about social media. Every other sport I watch only use social media as a way of convincing fans that they’re being listened to. Do you really want to base the future of your sport on the sort of people who are more concerned about how it’s presented as opposed to its integrity? Those are the fans that stop watching as soon as someone else offers them a shinier bead.

  9. While I didn’t find Q1 that bad (Q2 and especially Q3 were pretty bad though), again this is F1 at its best.

    This change was supposedly trying to fix 2 problems: races being too predictable because of the starting order, and increase the amount of time the cars spend on track during the qualifying sessions.

    Yet it does nothing to address either of the problems.

    Do you want to have cars on track during qualifying? Introduce a minimum amount of laps they need to do in order to qualify. If a driver fails to complete that number of laps, they’ll be sent to the back of the grid. The number could even vary between tracks (because 8 laps in Interlagos wouldn’t be the same as 8 laps in Spa). The laps need to be in a reasonable range (to allow for traffic and minor mistakes) to avoid cars just crawling around to complete the laps. Then give the teams extra tyres for qualifying so they can run without problems.

    If you don’t force the teams to be on track, they won’t be. Why would they? They’d just waste tyres and put unneeded mileage on the power unit/gearbox.

    Do you want more excitement? Get rid of a 3 segment qualifying and go for a 6 segment. Give the drivers a set of the softest tyre for each segment. Then allow them to do 1 timed lap (but just 1). Last segment has 10 cars, so you’d have 22 cars in Q1, 18 in Q2, 16 in Q3, 14 in Q4, 12 in Q5 and 10 in Q6. Each segment will have a duration that’s enough for the out lap and a flying lap in the longest track of the calendar (that would be Spa, so around 4 minutes per segment). (this is an idea I’ve seen suggested elsewhere)

    With just 1 lap available, it’s more likely faster drivers will be eliminated prematurely (but with only 4 drivers being eliminated in Q1, and 2 on the next segments, they’d have to make a huge mistake). That will put some extra pressure on them to deliver. And it will see more track action than either the current or the previous system.

    There are about a gazillion formats they could have chosen that would have improved the previous system (at least on those 2 specific issues, there’s no perfect system after all). But they chose one that’s objectively worse than the previous one on one of the issues (cars on track during qualifying) and more or less equal on the other one (fumbling the starting order to make the races more exciting).

    1. Q1 was over with 3 minutes to go. They managed to break all parts of qualifying.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        3rd April 2016, 9:22

        Q2 was especially disappointing, looking at the lap times of the midfield third of the field afterwards, it seems to be the most competitive part of the grid at this point in time.

        Their myopic focus on the front of the grid has not only failed to make a difference to Mercedes’ dominance but also killed the excitement all the way down the field, and hasn’t really thrown any real surprises.

      2. As opposed to Q1 having no cars on track for the first 5 or so minutes, and being mostly uneventful until the last moment.

        Q1 wasn’t exciting with the old format. With the new one, it’s at least a bit entertaining. But again, Q2 and Q3 were appalling.

  10. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    3rd April 2016, 5:35

    @keithcollantine @fer-no65 with all due respect to you too, but it’s Fernando Alonso who deserves COTD, COTWeek, COTSeason right now!!! Best comeback ever!!!!!!

  11. Mr Brundle..McLaren trying their hard to get Alonso cleared for racing as late as Saturday morning shows he wanted to race..

    1. It was Herbert making the remarks @puneethvb, not Brundle. And it was saturday noon, not Sunday morning. But yeah, I think both Alonso and the team have made it pretty clear that he craves to get behind the wheel and go for it.

      1. Martin made remarks on Twitter criticising Alonso not racing, though these were much more measured than Johnny’s comments on the TV (and Martin did spare most of his criticism for the FIA, as he seemed to think they should not have barred him).

  12. Can someone give Herbert some ice to apply to his burnt area?

  13. Most of the time people ask Kim about things his answer is super short “its ok” or “it is what it is” etc. But now he took the effort to say more, and does so as clear as anyone could.

    What Grosjean mentions was off course the case under the previous format as well (the spots right behind the top 10 offering a strategic advantage over being the last 1-2 cars in Q3), but now there is only 8 cars in Q3, you can get REALLY close to the top of the pack just from that. Sitting around waiting 7 minutes after a single fast lap is clearly what this format is about though. Glad I did not bother to watch it.

  14. So Lewis is told by the FIA to stop using social media. This speaks volumes for how much the governing body and others at the top are out of touch. F1 should be embracing all types of modern media instead they update their website into the clunkiest most user unfriendly it’s ever been. Wake up !!

    1. I think they are specifically asking him not to post videos. Photos are ok though.

      I think it’s FOM rather than FIA stopping Hamilton from posting videos (but I might be wrong). They seem to have quite the obsession over taking down any F1-related videos.

      But I wonder, what’s the worst thing they could do to Hamilton? A fine?

      1. Fine plus imprisonment for breach of intellectual property, plus revocation of Superlicence for criminal activity in danger of putting the sport into disrepute (any trial would assuredly bring F1’s flaws into a degree of public light that hasn’t happened so far).

        1. Oh, that sounds quite bad.

          It’s a shame Jean Todt, Bernie and the CVC member don’t have a Superlicense to revoke, because they’re putting the sport into disrespute everytime they do anything.

          1. Yes, this is what I don’t understand. They are literally, by definition, bringing the sport in to disrepute.

            Any participant of any competition in existence that disrupts and disregards the reputation of the competition as much as the FIA/FOM have would not be allowed to continue at all. How their constant mistakes have not drawn more ire is entirely beyond understanding.

  15. On a positive note, I am proud to see Nico Rosberg being in the news for being helpful, heroic and modest. This is the sort of news F1 needs. Nico’s rescue reflects very well on him as a person, as does the fact it took this long for it to get into the news (presumably because he did not wish to draw attention to it).

    1. Nico is a class act! He really is as impressive off track as on, very thoughtful and well spoken. If Lewis had been in the same situation I imagine that there would have been a selfie with a sputtering wet child on the internet immediately.

    2. Definitely. Nico not wanting to take credit for saving a kid’s life really shows a tremendous amount of character.

  16. This new qualifying system is basically the same as the last one but with an added timer novelty. The only problem with it is that once the driver’s see they’re in an elimination spot, they don’t have enough time to respond.

    If qualifying was 2 hours long and the elimination timer doubled, this could work. Or if more than one elimination timer ran at the same time (with a longer timer) then this could also work but would be hard to follow.

    Frankly, little has changed and in all honesty, I appreciate the FIA’s efforts to shake up the show. The show has been tweaked with elimination qualifying but the result is the same – too few drivers and teams make enough mistakes to make it any different.

    Of course, if they want exciting qualifying, just make it a 10 minute free for all.

  17. Is Bernie so powerful that he can screw F1 with impunity and no one can do anything about it other than complaint. Is this how system works.

  18. Bernie’s introduced it to give us something bad, SO bad in fact, that people would be weakened and open to the idea of changing it to something else, such as reverse grids.

  19. Hope Bernie didn’t catch the end of the V8 supercar race in Australia today with the oil on track shaking up the leaders, he’d be loving that.

  20. Well after the meeting that occurred this morning, Räikkönen’s comments are all the more relevant.

  21. Sviatoslav (@)
    3rd April 2016, 12:46

    These crazy men at the FIA plus mister BE have completely lost their mind. They simply will not get back to the old normal quali. They hate that Mercedes is again in front. They hate the dominance in F1. They cannot accept the fact that the regulations kill the racing. And I am sure they will kill F1.

    PS: according to the latest info, they couldn’t decide on what to do with the quali format (so, a return to the 2015-quali is out of question forever), and they have another three options. This is what will kill F1, not Mercedes dominance.

  22. ColdFly F1 (@)
    3rd April 2016, 13:05

    @keithcollantine, a big thank you for all the great images you put next to the various articles on F1F.
    And it seems that they are getting better all the time; crisp and high quality.

    I’d like to know how do you pick them? Are you using a stock photo site?

  23. Herbert’s comments on Alonso have nothing to do with who is a world champion and who is not. However, the opinion that Alonso should retire right now does not make sense.

    This is obviously not the right time for F1 to lose one of its most popular drivers. Moreover, Alonso is only 34 and even if he is not “on the edge” anymore (there is no proof for that), the Spaniard is still one of the best drivers on the grid. Yes, he makes mistakes, just like he did in 2005 or 2007, but the last season was too inconclusive to claim that Button, another world champion, or any other driver was better than Alonso. The claim that “you always find a way” to be in the car if you want to is simply ridiculous. If you are disqualified, then you cannot race and it is the same if doctors declare that you are unfit to race.

  24. Oh you don’t have to be an outsider to think its stupid!

  25. Jonathan Parkin
    6th April 2016, 13:23

    I remember back twenty years when I first watched F1 and the sport didn’t want to create a Malaysian Clusterfudge every other week.. life was simpler then.

    Unlike many others though, I do have a small issue with the three tier qualifying format. Namely that sometimes drivers in Q2 post slower times than those in Q3. Then when penalties get applied for changing an engine for instance and I wonder why they even do the session in the first place.

    Call me crazy but I would prefer going back to 2002 style qualifying, because it’s easy to understand. One hour, 12 laps per driver. If you want to reduce the dead time say, make it 45mins and 15 laps with the stipulation that all drivers have to do 15 laps. Any penalties that need to be imposed like a change of engine for instance, we announce before qualifying and instead of a grid drop afterwards make it a loss if a drivers fastest/two fastest/three fastest times. And the tyre choice should be one compound for qualifying and the race

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