Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

F1 has “forgotten” need to cut downforce – Lowe

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One has forgotten the need to periodically cut downforce to increase overtaking, according to Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe.

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016
Time for Mercedes to replace Rosberg?
He’s won the last five races in a row but not everyone thinks Nico Rosberg deserves to keep his Mercedes seat:

I hope Mercedes doesn’t renew Rosberg’s contract. Although he’s gotten off to a flying start this year, it’s just a matter of time before Hamilton is dialled in and then Rosberg is helpless against his pace and racecraft.

Mercedes would want to sign him, as he’s a really strong option for making sure they secure the constructors’ championship, and at the same time, he’s just not good enough to beat Hamilton. So in their books, he’s a disguised number two driver who constantly puts in strong results. This probably works perfectly for Mercedes despite the occasional tension in the garage.

From a sport’s ‘show’ point of view, I think most of us would like to see Hamilton go up against another talent. I think Ricciardo, Verstappen and Grosjean would be great options for that #2 seat at Mercedes. If McLaren cannot put Vandoorne in a McLaren next year, I think Mercedes should look at poaching him as well.

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On this day in F1

Happy 85th birthday to four-times grand prix winner Dan Gurney, and happy 77th birthday to former FIA president Max Mosley. The latter released his memoirs last year:

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  • 138 comments on “F1 has “forgotten” need to cut downforce – Lowe”

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      13th April 2016, 0:14

      What would Mosley wish for his birthday?

      1. A good punishment. He’s been a naughty boy.

        1. You should buy the former Reichsmarshall Mosley a Mercedes Grosser- the classic dictator’s car, with whips, paddles and other BDSM tools included as standard in the boot.

          1. *someone should buy

        2. Classic! :)

        3. Haha! Cotd

          1. F1 have no choice, fans were complaining that F1 cars are going to slow … tries to mention how an XX car in the lower formulae can be faster than Marussia …

            Be careful what you wish for!

    2. All 3 drivers mentioned in the COTD wouldn’t stand a chance against Hamilton and that’s a fact. Max is a snotty nose upstart who’s head is currently being filled with hyperbole by the media and his pushy dad. If he goes up against Hamilton, it would be worse than when Michael took his dad apart.

      Grosjean, nothing needs to be said other than, Lewis is not Kimi….

      Ricciardo, he got beat by Kvyatt last season, especially in the 2nd half. He soundly put Seb in his place in s car Seb found hard to adapt to. So for all the talk of his skills, he’s still a few levels below Hamilton.

      Let’s not get ahead ourselves, Hamilton is a monster! The fact ROS is able to push him, says a lot about ROS in general. But the problem ROS has is, I don’t think deep down he believes he can beat Hamilton over an entire season.

      Put any of those 3 guys in the Mercedes against ROS and he’d annihilate them all.

    3. Gotta love when the dominating team principal comes out against regulation change for the ‘good of the sport’.

      Patty Horner.

      1. Yep, suddenly they remember new stuff. I think it has become clear that Mercedes chassis is not that special, so power more power and even more power that’s what f1 needs.

        1. Their chassis is special, if McLaren had this engine they would still be no where just as Williams and Force India, Merc would be only quick on the straights and useless in the corners but they are not many ex drivers say they look the best in the corners as well. Good engine bad chassis or vice versa are myths pedalled by the ignorant F1 follower but in reality all we can see is the whole package which in this case is exceptional. Football also has these types the ones that say Messi despite dominating top matches at a high leve cannot cut it in the 3rd division of English football…..really?

          1. christopheraser
            13th April 2016, 11:40

            Whilst what you’re saying might sound good in your head, it’s probably not right.

          2. You make some nice bold statements but there’s very little to back them up.

            “If McLaren had this engine they would still be no where just as Williams and Force India.”
            At what point do the teams get hold of one of these engines? As early as Mercedes? Do they get to design their car around the power unit from an early stage or do they have to fit the power unit in an already designed car later down the line? Do they get to use lubricants designed in tandem with the engine?

            “Merc would be only quick on the straights and useless in the corners”
            In addition to what I wrote above, the power unit has a huge effect on how the car behaves in the corners – if the power isn’t consistent or you have issues with braking due to the harvesting going on etc…..

            “Good engine bad chassis or vice versa are myths pedalled by the ignorant F1 follower but in reality all we can see is the whole package which in this case is exceptional.”
            Red Bull……? Or are you saying the Renault is actually not that bad, it’s just the Red Bull chassis is poor?

            “Messi despite dominating top matches at a high level cannot cut it in the 3rd division of English football”
            He could obviously cut it at that level but he would be massively less effective. The game in the 3rd division is very different to in Spain. We see players move from La Liga to the Premiership and struggle because of the additional physicality over here. It’d be like saying Fernando Alonso is a great F1 driver so if you put him in a stock car race, he should comfortably win.

            1. Cannot agree with you on that. For sweeping statements without proof the idea McLaren have a good chassis is one. The evidence of recent years is they cannot do this and there is 0 evidence they have a good chassis. The whole package is all we can comment on from the results and performances. I do not believe Red Bull to be as good as they once were so although it appears the Renault is the reason they are not challenging this may well be the case but then they can well hide behind these engine issues to cover up shortfalls in their chassis. Again where is the evidence Red Bull have a great chassis, the rules changed since 2013 the EBD is defunct, changes like this can make a huge difference to the pecking order, see Ferrari and McLaren from 2008 to 2009, or Ferrari from 2004 to 2005, Williams 1997 to 1998 and probably many more examples. This is all very subjective as all that can be proved is the package through the results, trying to itemise where the performance is coming from is impossible for F1 fans.

            2. markp 09 was the year of the last mega rule change, 98 was the year of the revolution before 09. 05 was that year where teams were banned from pitting for tyres, which exacerbated Bridgestone’s disadvantage. It’s impossible for you, to understand F1 because you don’t care to learn the intricacies of f1. You don’t question other comments, you don’t want to hear the answers, you prefer to mock.

          3. markp @jerseyf1 You read too much out of my comment. I got Jimmy’s joke, that’s all I was trying to say. Horner from Hungary last season kept sneaking in the motto “more downforce” as what the fans wanted and what the new f1 rules needed, which stands as self-interest, saying less downforce can be seen as exactly the same from Lowe’s perspective, because the Mercedes engines have been the undisputed best ever since he was at Mclaren.

            @jureo @frood19 Are you missing the round-ups? a couple days ago RBR said their car was as fast as the Merc through the fast corners. I give a lot of credit to the Merc PU team, but the chassis side has taken a step backwards this season, because that’s where Ferrari has closed up the gap from 2015.

            1. Everyone has a different interpretation of F1. I do not believe I have mocked any comments but if that’s how it has come across it was not intended. On the rule changes sited in my examples being large I believe the rule changes between 2013 and 2014 were also comparable, the entire chassis was re designed to incorporate the new PU and their ancillaries, EBD became impossible and the beam wing was removed not to mention the changes to the nose sections. Therefore I feel justified in saying that Red Bull may well now be behind Merc on the chassis and of course there is not much debate on the engine. All we observers can judge are the packages and not the individual elemnts of the package in isolation and to this end all I know is Merc are currently the best.

            2. @peartree their car is fastest of all time around Bahrain track. Their top speed is lower than several teams… Most of their improvement from last year came from chassis side..

              As you can see all Merc powered teams made a “step” back. Their power advantage is nolonger that huge.

              Their chassis is second to none, Red Bull are super excited to match them in some corners.

          4. McLaren the past few years

            2013: Good engine, awful chassis
            2014: Good engine, awful chassis
            2015: Awful engine, awful chassis
            2016: Decent engine, awful chassis

            And people still saying the only problem is the engine …

            1. markp I disagree on the chassis side but fair comment. @jureo Just look at the Williams and the Ferrari at Bahrain. The williams rear wing is 2x the size of the Ferrari’s. The teams always run the most downforce they can get as long as they are fast enough on the straights to pass and not to get past. Don’t forget drag.

      2. Jimmy Price / @peartree did you actually read the article?

        I think the important thing is always to have clear objectives and agree on those objectives up front before people settle into pre-defined solutions. That also needs to be done at a distance so it’s not acted upon in self-interest, because naturally, as we get closer to a regulation change, the teams start to work in self-interest.

        Lowe clearly refers to the outcomes of the OWG work which happened a long time in the past and is pointing out that the direction for 2017 is going in the opposite direction to what that research suggested and undoing some of the changes made to promote overtaking. That research was carried out over 10 years’ ago and when he was working for another team.

        And the argument that “Mercedes chassis is not that special” and that this is an engine formula just isn’t supported by the facts. Mercedes engined teams are 1st, 4th, 7th and 11th in the constructors championship. If Mercedes chassis is not that special it suggests that somehow their customer teams have all managed to develop exceptionally poor cars.

        A change to cut downforce wouldn’t necessarily even give Merc any advantage, after a cut in downforce it’s the clever aero guys who find ways to claw back most of the lost downforce who will find success. A huge cut in downforce through regulation could actually lead to greater differentiation in aero giving everyone a chance to find the best solutions and steal a march on their rivals.

        1. @jerseyf1

          +1. i wish more of this sport’s fans would applaud the fact that mercedes have created two of the all time greatest cars in the history of F1.

          1. Yeah. Mercedes not that great chassis is a myth… Just look at their onboards. Car is a peach to drive…

            1. Agree with @jerseyf1 too.

    4. Its hard to listen to mercedes about 2017 regs because its obvious why they are against it because they want as little change as possible because they are winning but new rules might not necessarily stop mercedes domination

      1. As little change as possible helps the other teams catch up and converge. Then we get actual racing where drivers have to make up the difference. We want that, don’t we?

        If any team is able to react strongly to rule changes, its Merc.

        1. As little change as possible helps the other teams catch up and converge.

          Disagree. A massive rule change always has a roll of the dice effect, where teams with different interpretation of the rules are designing cars differently. Just look at 2009 for example. Where were Mclaren and Ferrari during that season?

          If the rules stability applies, then Mercedes will still be among the top 2 teams for 2017. If the rules change massively, they could easily find themselves in P3 or P4. In fact, I don’t remember a team that dominated one era of car design era, and then switched to dominating the next era of design the very next season.

          1. Thats not the Point. Yes merc probably don’t crash and burn in Current regst, but Teams will get Close. Think 2012. A Major Change might Shake It up, but will propabl have someone emerge as the dominating force. Which Is Why this Is stupid.
            Also, MacHonda did it! (88-89)

          2. @todfod The example is correct, but the situation was quite different then. McLaren and Ferrari were in a fight for both drivers and constructors championships right up to the last race, so could not afford to move all focus to 2009 car unlike Honda and Red Bull, both of whom had massive resources and coudl throw everything at 2009 reg changes. This time around Mercedes have enough of a cushion and sufficient resources to be able to focus on 2017 regs as they are finalised as much as anyone (possibly more as the teams behind have much more to fight for in terms of constructors positions with a very competitive midfield).

            In 2009 the teams who built the best cars were those with the biggest development budgets who could focus on the new regs – by 2010 normal order was restored.

            1. @jerseyf1

              In 2009 the teams who built the best cars were those with the biggest development budgets who could focus on the new regs – by 2010 normal order was restored.

              Disagree. It was teams that exploited the double diffuser the best that performed well in 2009. Heck, Brawn didn’t even their car on track up until the last test, and just about managed to secure an engine deal. They had one sponsor and ran out of money halfway through the season. But the reason they succeeded was the loophole they exploited, which made the 2009 season a bit of a wild card. Similarly, with massive regulation changes, their will be a higher chance of some teams just getting an undiscovered trick right, and that could change the order of the teams for at least a season or two.

              I’m not denying that rival teams won’t close the gap with stable rules, but only a massive regulation can massively change the pecking order at the front, and that is obviously why Mercedes would want to continue with similar regulations during their era of utter dominance.

              I also do not buy the argument that Ferrari and Mclaren did not throw enough resources on the 2009 season. They both developed their KERS systems, which involved heavy investment in financial and human resources. It just turned out that in 2009 KERS wasn’t as big an advantage as imagined.

            2. @todfod Relatively wasted development on KERS was indeed another issue for those teams (though Honda had also invested in that area, but in the end it wasn’t bolted onto the car due to the change in powertrain).

              I disagree with the analysis that 2009 was all about the double diffuser – it was no panacea. Williams and Toyota also exploited the double diffuser loophole from the start but that wasn’t enough to do anything spectacular. Brawn were so good not just because they had the double diffuser but because they did such a good job of it (thanks to Honda’s money).

              I do agree that Merc would rather continue than take the risk of a rules upheaval, but Lowe seems less opposed to upheaval if it is consistent with the OWG (specifically further cutting downforce).

    5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th April 2016, 0:44

      There is no need to reduce downforce, just generate it in a different way. The current regs woefully under-utilise the floor and diffuser, the rest of the car being used to channel flow to the rear to make best use of the tiny diffuser. This makes the cars very sensitive to ‘dirty air’ while following each other, restricting wing size and the diffuser further will nothing to this situation and the cars will just look even less impressive around the corners than they do currently.

      In my opinion the regulations should allow the reintroduction of Venturi (ground effect) tunnels as they use in GP2 and Formula V8, a far more efficient way of generating downforce and far less sensitive to ‘dirty air’. At the very least the regs should allow flat floors rather the current (extremely inefficient) wooden plank and stepped floor which were introduced as a quick-fix way of lowering cornering speeds in 1994 following the Senna and Ratzenberger accidents at Imola.

      1. pastaman (@)
        13th April 2016, 1:21

        From the article:

        “Both then and now the “amateur overtaking experts” called for the underside of the car to be exploited for aerodynamic advantage through the use of ground effects. But the work of the OWG suggested that would be a retrograde step.”

        1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          13th April 2016, 1:48

          Sorry, I forget how successful the work of the OWG has been, how can us amateurs argue against the minds that gave us DRS!

          1. LOL! :)

          2. Exactly, within the last year there have been articles linked on this very website that owned up to the OWG’s findings were short sighted and under studied, mostly due to time and budget. I believe these were the very words of Pat Symonds.

            Now all of a sudden the findings of this underfunded (500k) and short length study seem to fit the most dominant team in history’s needs?


            Mr Patty Horner, how much time and money did Merc spend developing the W-Floor? I’d imagine more than 500k.

          3. @jackisthestig

            You’re completely spot on mate. The findings from the OWG were fundamentally flawed, but then we all know how successful the outputs of various committee’s in F1 have been recently.

          4. @jackisthestig

            Following on from my initial post…

            The model they used, especially the wing designs, were seriously out of date. The front wing for example was very simple, not the complex multi-element we currently use, which stresses the wing’s undersurface flow to a maximum. Any ground effect car would have a simple wing. I think we all pretty much know this.

            Going more ground effect is definitely the way to go.

            Not everything these F1 guys spurt out is gospel. I think some fans need to learn/realise that.

            1. @thef1engineer, the modelling exercise was undertaken for the purpose of developing the 2009 regulation package, and at that point in time the models were appropriate to the complexity of the cars (just look at the difference between the front wing of the F60 and the SF-16H).

            2. “Going more ground effect is definitely the way to go.”

              While I believe this is the way to go, I think we should re-run the OWG. Without an evidence-based approach, everything will be finger-in-the-air guesswork. Run some simulations and gather evidence on the best way forward.

            3. No, but it’s the closest we can currently get to an opinion based on actual empirical evidence.

              Personally, I think they need to re-create the OWG, with two chassis, and help from Mr. Gene Haas (assuming two full size chassis will fit in WindShear).

          5. But the OWG WAS very successful Overtaking did increase. And both the aero changes and DRS contributed to that.
            And even if you don’t like DRS, then that still doesn’t take away from how effective the wing changes were.

            We have someone, who actually knows and understands the topic, explaining in fair detail why underfloor after is problematic. Can we consider taking on what he says?

            1. Did the aero changes make much of a difference? I don’t remember 2009 having many more overtakes. 2010 on the other hand had the significant step of banning re-fuelling and saw a major leap. Might this have also happened with pre-2009 aero regulations?

          6. DRS wasn’t the result of the OWG. It was the result of the F-duct, which was inspired by the 2009 McLaren chassis’s “special problem”– Airflow off the front of the car would stall the rear wing under certain circumstances. McLaren didn’t get it sorted out until sometime around Hungary, as I recall.

      2. I don’t buy in to this idea @jacktisthestig. The floor and venturi of the car in front have created a turbulent low-pressure area right down to the ground, as per the concept. Driving a car into that semi-vacuum will cut its aero whether it’s wings or floor, though we have seen the front wing being less effective since it was lowered.

        The problem is the cars are the same. Whatever the car in front does with the air is what the car behind wants to do, but therefore can’t.

        This is why guys like Symonds and Lowe are saying what they’re saying and Charlie is saying “we’ll make it up with more DRS.”

      3. :D Well entire Mercedes Staff + some Williams are preaching this Downforce is bad…

        Paddy shines a light to OWG work, that is actually quite informative.

        As armchair aero expert I fail to entirely believe his claims… But maybe its true? He said to get to 1s pace advantage to overtake they needed to HALVE the downforce… So they did that. Net result? In comes Double Diffuser.. ok that banned, in comes blown diffuser… that banned aswell. in comes natural development… cannot bann that..

        Any kind of aspiration to halve downforce is inaffective. Teams will find a way to claw back, since nothing brings laptime down quite like downforce.

        Maybe by far the best thing they could do is bring in Active suspension + much much much better tires and just limit maximum aero load. I’m sure they can mount sensors to monitor aero load on suspension. And just say maximum aero load is X. whoever breaches it – drive through penalty.

        According to OWG that would for sure help overtaking, and according to me it would help competitive order… offcorse Red Bull will then say… “Yeah but they have a power advantage.”

        1. I still Think the Best Way would be to bin most Aero rules altogether and introduce a Maximum *amount* of downforce, measured via Load Sensors at a certain, prescribed Speed.
          This Way the aero/Mechanical Grip Relation stops Shifting AND maybe we’d even get to See quite different approaches to car Design, like Wings vs groundeffect. And maybe theyd even perform Differently in different circumstances.

          1. Exactly… Limit maximum downforce, just like max fuel flow.

            Those should be the only rules.. Max downforce, minimum weight, safety standards and fuel flow… Control tire and go for it…

            It would enable a lot more teams to be competitive.

            Now we have perpetual downforce arms race. Each year cars get 10% more, each.year following another car is harder. Paddy has one thing right Downforce should periodically decrease via rule changes, and be forced around the car to less sensitive areas.

            That is if we want close racing.

            Personally I want fast cars driving fastest laps lap after lap, till some driver makes a mistake under exhaustion.

      4. The teams said no to venturi floors not so long ago as they were due in the 2014 rules. I think it sounds like a great idea and very strict rules on front wings. LMP1 cars seem to follow closely and they have more down force but generated differently. I know they have closed wheels but maybe some of the balance of where down force is made can be less critical to the front wing and spread more evenly across the car.

    6. More downforce equals more DRS. That’s something to keep in mind.

      – The shares have lost almost one-third of their value since the company’s New York Stock Exchange debut in October.

      Bad news for the company considering how much the IPO meant to Sergio Marchionne.

      1. IPO was greatly inflated, nothing to worry about. Soon they will make an electric-hybrid-turbo-SUV, sell it well and stock will be at 3x value. Meanwhile in F1 nothing he can fix.

    7. If Rosberg loses his seat (which IMO he should; he had his chance to become WDC and he failed), it will probably end up going to Bottas.

      1. If Mercedes were to replace either of there drivers there seat would almost certainly go to Pascal Wehrlein.

        He’s been a Mercedes works driver for several years, Has a lot of backing from Mercedes, Was put in the Manor seat thanks to Mercedes & I’m fairly sure is still there test/reserve driver.
        And above all he’s done a fine job at Manor so far, Has impressed everyone in the F1 paddock & done nothing but confirm that Mercedes faith in him the past few years was correct.

        1. With regards to Bottas, His stock has fallen a lot through the last 1½ years because Massa has been a lot closer to him than many in the paddock believe he should be based on how highly Bottas was rated through 2013.

          Nico Hulkenberg is suffering the same issue, A few years ago he was been considered a future star but given how his performed against Perez the past few years he’s not really been talked about by any of the top teams anymore & I sadly can’t see him moving any further up the grid than he currently is unless he suddenly starts blowing Perez away as most were expecting him to.

          1. I am a huge Lewis fan but I can’t agree with the comments about Nico, yes he had a chance to win the WDC but he was up against Lewis who was really on top of his game until he sealed his 3td title …… Nico is a great talent and worthy of his Mercedes seat, it is early in the season but if he wins in China this weekend Lewis may find it increasingly harder to win his 4th title especially with Ferrari close on the heels of Mercedes.

          2. I don’t agree. Bottas’s past performances (particularly in 2014) were standout drives- particularly at Silverstone that year. He has fallen a bit down recently but quite honestly- if you prove to be quick enough to be in F1 while driving at a Grand Prix in a reasonably competitive car- then you’ve established yourself. Wehrlein is a bit too young to be driving for a top team (this very young driver thing really only applies to Red Bull). Who knows- Wehrlein may just go to Williams to take Bottas’s seat.

            1. Wehrlein comes from Germany.

            2. I have to struggle to think about which races had stand out performances from Bottas. I remember he had a good quali in Canada once, solid race in Silverstone 2014 and race in Bahrain in 2015 where he kept Vettel behind him. Other than that, I can’t think of a single instance where he has been a ‘stand out’ .

              To think about the most coveted seat in F1 going to Bottas makes me cringe. I remember more performances from Ricciardo, Grosjean, Hulk and even Perez. Bottas has been solid, no doubt about that, but he’s done nothing special in his time in F1, other than hire a manager that makes him sound as awesome as fresh bread.

      2. At the moment i would say that Rosberg is in a great position to maybe win it this year. Unless Lewis gets a clear run at it, then he’s going to be tuff to beat again. Rosberg is worthy of the Mercedes seat and i would Say that not many other drivers could really push Lewis Like Rosberg does.

      3. I am a Lewis follower however if Nico is delivering results whenever Lewis is not able to achieve the best, I believe it is harsh to suggest that Mercedes should replace Nico. We should not discount the final results.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          13th April 2016, 6:19

          We should not use ‘not becoming WDC’ as the reason to write off Rosberg.
          – As you said he is leading the WDC ranking so far this year;
          – Even if both were equally strong, then there is a 25% chance Rosberg pulls the shortest straw both years.

          1. @coldfly @akshay-it I’m not a fan of Rosberg, but I agree with you that not winning the title is hardly something to be used against him. Even if Rosberg and Hamilton were the best two drivers in F1 over the last 2 seasons then one of them would have not won the championship simply by the fact that there is only one winner. Should the team fire a driver even if he is the 2nd best in the world just because he didn’t win (I’m not suggesting Rosberg is second best, just thinking hypothetically).

            Mercedes will be looking at whether there is an option for Rosberg’s seat which, overall, is beneficial to them. They currently have a good driver pairing, both capable of taking pole and winning races regularly. Why would they upset that? Having a driver better than Rosberg isn’t really enough of a justification unless that driver is also better than Hamilton. Some of the names mooted for the seat are, quite possibly, better than Rosberg but none look likely to be better than Hamilton and having a driver who is closer to Hamilton could cause greater friction between the drivers which is about the only negative of the current driver pairing.

            Also, any change to another driver is a huge risk – Raikkonen is a former WDC and one of the best of his generation, but since he got back to Ferrari he has looked pretty slow most of the time. They know Rosberg, Rosberg knows the car – I think all it will come down to is how much he is paid and how long the contract is.

            Would I prefer to see Grosjean/Verstappen have a shot in that car? Absolutely. But if I was in Mercedes’ shoes I’d be sticking with Rosberg for now.

            1. The reason you’d fire Rosberg is to avoid what happened to McLaren in 2007: a tight battle between two top drivers allowed Raikkonen to swoop in and snatch away the title. If either Alonso or Hamilton had been a slightly worse driver, the other would have won the championship instead of Raikkonen.

              So if Ferrari or another team shows it is the equal of Mercedes, and Mercedes is worried intra-team competition will hand the title to Ferrari, then it would start thinking about replacing a driver.

        2. Question I have is why have Merc not renewed Rosberg? It for sure is not performance is it? What are they waiting for? It can only be undermining for him.

          Wehrlein may be a bit more WDC material but he’s not ready yet. Bottas would be slower. Alonso would be toooooo exciting surely. Max isn’t available as far as we know. There’s no-one better.

          It has to be about Rosberg’s behaviour I think. The team know he could have made the corner at Mirabeau, and they actually fined him over Spa. There’ve been a couple of questionable incidents since, he’s often over-aggressive with his teammate at T1 and he complains about the inevitable after putting his car in fail positions.

          So I reckon either he’s on probation or he’s going to be replaced on that basis.

          1. There can be a thousand reasons for which final contract is not been signed yet. Like Raikonnen, Mercedes might feel that this is a good motivator for Nico. I am only saying that I will not rule out Nico till Mr Wolff says so.
            At least till now he is man to beat this season.

            1. Well @akshay-it I don’t see motivation as a problem for Rosberg and if Toto felt it was then he wouldn’t sign him, surely. Because once the contract is signed the motivation would drop again!

              I don’t see a thousand reasons either. How many can there be? There are reasons not to delay, because they’ll be asked about it 500 times every weekend. If they simply wanted to sign him, they would sign him, but Toto said last year he’d wait until this summer.

              I’m not ruling him out at all, just saying I think that’s the issue, rather than his performance which is ideal. And his demeanor has changed, as Toto demanded, along with Lewis’. Now I suspect Toto wants to see him wheel-to-wheel a few times and ceding the corner when it’s appropriate. But Toto is quite ruthless enough to be just keeping him dangling as long as possible.

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            13th April 2016, 12:48

            Maybe it is a totally different reason @lockup.
            They might struggle getting legal support from Panama.

            1. Lol @coldfly, that is a strange one indeed.

          3. Rosberg is the one being over-aggressive? That’s hilarious

          4. @lockup I think that the reason they have not renewed is that they don’t need to rush into it. Is Nico likely to go sniffing around other teams (and specifically will any other potentially strong contenders (Ferrari, RB, McLaren) want him)? If they sign him now then you never know what opportunity they are closing off, if they don’t sign him is the risk to Merc really that big that he slips through their fingers? Nico needs Merc more than Merc needs Nico so that puts them in a strong position to delay committing.

            1. True Mercedes don’t NEED to rush @jerseyf1, but they will be hassled about it by the media and it will make Rosberg feel less loved. Already he’s having to field questions about it.

              If they’re waiting for some other driver, I don’t see who. Toto was specific about waiting till the Summer, so there is a reason.

            2. Toto being specific about waiting until the summer means that he is approaching it the way virtually all contracts are newly signed or renewed…summertime or beyond. When has a driver ever been signed or re-signed two races into the season? Perhaps it happens, but rarely I would say, no?

            3. Yes summer is normal but the summer of the previous year @robbie. They were trying to get Lewis signed for 2016-18 in August 2014, saying it’d be signed before the end of the season. http://www.crash.net/f1/news/208096/1/hamiltonmercedes-contract-talks-on-hold.html

              I’m sure they want Rosberg’s pace, consistency and charm, why wouldn’t they, so what is the issue?

            4. @lockup Based on the very article you cite I would say all they are doing is concentrating right now on this current new car, learning about it, working on their starts, working on tire strategies, watching where Ferrari are at, and not imposing distraction on themselves by agreeing that for now it is about settling into the season and there is plenty of time to talk. They all seem to be on the same page with this so I think there is absolutely nothing of any concern here other than by those who wish to speculate and invent concern.

            5. What is there to talk about @robbie? Toto has people to take care of that other stuff anyway.

            6. @lockup Not sure I take your point.

            7. Oh I just meant that it’s not much of a distraction for the team @robbie. Not much for THEM to talk about, sorry. Toto can roll the existing contract over and anyway Paddy and Aldo and the others will look after the other stuff. There’s no sign Nico is arguing over terms.

              Anyway history suggests we may not reach agreement on this one :) But the stage is set for a lot of speculation. Personally I find it hard not to hope – against massive odds – for Alonso.

            8. @lockup lol fair comment. I envision that even a relatively easy ‘rolling over’ of a contract is probably still 300 pages long and requires lawyers (even if Nico is his own advocate like LH was) and many small details/tweets/discussions etc. just to be clear on everything so in other words easy and straightforward perhaps, but still time consuming and needing some attention. Arguing over terms, likely not…it’s a negotiation.

              As to Alonso? I agree with you that odds seem it unlikely, but my goodness what a show that would create. That would be awesome for F1.

            9. @robbie when I close my eyes really hard I can half imagine Bernie saying to Toto that he’ll lay off them over the engine if he takes Nando…

          5. It has to be about Rosberg’s behaviour I think. The team know he could have made the corner at Mirabeau, and they actually fined him over Spa. There’ve been a couple of questionable incidents since, he’s often over-aggressive with his teammate at T1 and he complains about the inevitable after putting his car in fail positions.

            @lockup Hehe. Especially the last one is really funny.

      4. Lol nuts… Only reason Nico should loose his seat is.. If Ferrari comes close and they want a clear #1. I do not see anyone better that they can get.. With less risk.

        Alonso? Is he really better? Vettel is he really avaliable?

        Maybe if Mercedes wants to make Lewis an 8time world champion and as if Nico stands in his way or something.

        If we have learned anything this year.. If it aint broken, dont fix it.

    8. I’m not too sure about the COTD. Rosberg CAN beat Hamilton. We don’t know if he will, but it’s more than a bit narrow-sighted to think that he doesn’t have a decent chance. As for the ‘show’ perspective, I don’t understand this weird push amongst F1 fans and media to get older drivers out and make way for younger ones. Am I the only one who wants to watch the best drivers RIGHT NOW racing, instead of drivers who might be as good some day? I don’t give a crap about potential. If I wanted potential, I’d watch GP2. F1 is continuously referred to as the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’. Then why is it increasingly becoming a training ground for kids who have either the money or parents to grease their way in? So, if by ‘show’, you mean a teenage boy-band version of F1, then…. yeah, there’ll be a ton of new fans who’ll jump ship as soon as Formula-E starts using celebrities as drivers. But don’t worry, I’m sure social media will save F1. LOL!

    9. Fascinating article that one with Lowe. For me it’s clear cut based on that explanation. F1 needs to learn from past mistakes/achievements.

      1. Learning from our past, interesting you bring that up.

        Patty is taking the high road to protect his team’s advantage, this is the exact same thing ALL team principals have done throughout history.

        Team principals jobs are to say anything necessary to protect their advantage. End of.

      2. Indeed @fer-no65. For me this looks like doing the 2017 downforce increase, “aggressive looking” cars and wider tyres thing is another not well thought out step. Instead they should rather take the time to get some work done on the effects, and it would be great if they actually built a test car (better would be two, to test them against each other!) but at least simulate several of these cars thoroughly and see if Pirelli can build the tyres for it based on that simulation etc.

      3. @fer-no65 I think the big thing they need to learn is to sort out regulations (whatever they are) well in advance and after careful consideration, not leave it to last minute arguing and bargaining. Each set of regulations should have a fixed term (say five years) during which teams will be able to develop and mature their cars and engines. After introduction of a new formula a dedicated independent working group then spends the next year developing the draft framework for the next formula which is then published for comments from the teams and refined over the next year. The new regulations are then published in full three years ahead of their introduction giving teams, engine manufacturers and tyre supplier time to develop to the new rules.

        Because the new regulations come in well in advance of the change the teams will have less idea about what their own strengths and weaknesses will be by the time the regs are introduced. Engine manufacturers will be able to decide on development budget based on a known life for the new engines rather than risking a huge development cost which could be wasted because Bernie’s favourite team doesn’t have the best engine.

        Any change within the five year window would need approval of all teams, to ensure any clearly important fixes can be implemented, but to avoid the non-winning teams ganging up on the team which has most successfully implemented the new rules in the first year.

    10. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th April 2016, 1:36

      While Mercedes are in such a dominant position I would love see Hamilton battle for supremacy with a teammate like Alonso, Vettel or Verstappen but at the moment either Hamilton or Rosberg can have a poor weekend and still finish second. Mercedes have no reason to ditch Rosberg, he does a very good job for the team as a number 2 driver (or perhaps number 1B), he is a known quantity when replacing him would be a risk and his (rather tenuous) German nationality is very appealing.

      It will be interesting to see what Mercedes do when the time comes to replace either Rosberg or Hamilton. Verstappen would be the obvious choice but Ferrari may already have him signed up long term as might Red Bull. Alonso already looks past his peak while Bottas and Hulkenberg don’t really look like potential champions. Ricciardo could be an option but he fits the whole Red Bull image very well and you can see him staying where he is for quite a while with Sainz as a teammate if Max goes to Ferrari.

      Pascal Wehrlin would seem the most likely although not moving directly from Manor to Mercedes. Perhaps they will cut a deal to for him to drive for Williams when the time comes for Massa to retire to see how well he goes in a competitive car before stepping up to Mercedes.

      1. Currently Rosberg is the number 1 driver, and World Champion Driver Hamilton is the number 2 driver.

    11. REALly can’t place it, but reading Lowe’s comment had me thinking of George Carlin’s bit about ‘The American Dream’. To be honest, I think you have to be dreaming to believe getting rid of down force will do anything about overtaking, It will just make Ferrari and Merc stronger, and RBR weaker. Just like in 2014, when overtaking was made even harder.

      Anyone with any common sense would realize that if you want real opportunities for the competing teams, you need to allow diversity, and allow for less regulation to open up the market so that a greater variety of products can compete, instead of allowing the giant engine manufacturers to dominate a very small and increasingly expensive market space.

      1. Exactly.

        Not sure what the ‘low downforce’ brigade thinks will be fun about watching a wingless merc disappear down the straights.

        Red Bull won with the weakest power unit for a reason – regulation opportunity. That is what 2017 is putting back on the table.

        Patty Lowe is terrified of this.

      2. @xsavior I disagree that it will make RBR weaker, I think that the opposite could be true. When downforce is cut by regulations the engineers don’t just shrug their shoulders and say “oh well, I guess we have to just make do with much less downforce”. It is at exactly this time that the aero engineers can really get to work to find out exactly how to maximise what downforce they can generate and exploit the new limits to the full. New regs equals greater scope to develop better aero solutions regardless of whether the new regs add or remove downforce (except to the extent that any new rules introduce standard aero parts).

        Just look at RBR’s period of dominance, it came off the back of a huge cut in downforce and was done with an engine which delivered much less peak power than its competitors.

    12. “it’s just a matter of time before Hamilton is dialled in and then Rosberg is helpless against his pace and racecraft.”

      I actually dry-reached a bit when I read that. It’s such a transparently one-eyed statement. All hail Hamilton’s perfectly infallible abilities. God forbid he might actually *gasp* be human and prone to mistake or accident and therefore providing a contest between the two.

      1. Actually, with your last sentence you essentially support the view that made you feel unwell, since you suggest that only accident or error on Hamilton’s part can give Rosberg hope to compete long term. And it does seem to be so (although it might be better to avoid words like “helpless”), last two years show that when both drivers do not make mistakes, Hamilton is very likely to come on top. The season is long enough for LH to catch up and prevail and it seems very likely, although I wish it did not happen, because I feel that 2-1 split in WCD would be a fair measure of these two drivers. But perhaps RN found something over the winter he did not have the past two years (or LH lost something :-), whichever way the die rolls).

        Still, we should count our blessings, if Hamilton did not start this year with issues, we would already worry about a boring season.

    13. @todfod

      it’s just a matter of time before Hamilton is dialled in and then Rosberg is helpless against his pace and racecraft.

      When a driver wins 5 races in a row, it is usually not just a coincidence or because the teammate is struggling with some minor issues that can easily be fixed.

      If it was that easy for Hamilton to beat Rosberg, his winning streak would have ended last year in Brazil.

      1. @kingshark

        Well.. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the standings are at the mid point of the season.

        Let’s not forget that Hamilton has still outqualified Rosberg in the 2 races so far. He’s botched 2 starts, but let’s not think that Hamilton will keep botching them all year. If Rosberg was to start beating Hamilton to a WDC, it would start with him actually showing he’s quicker than his teammate, not just capitalising on his mistakes.

        In their 3 seasons so far, Rosberg has shown he doesn’t have the pace, race craft and mental strength to beat Hamilton, and I don’t expect that to change this year.

        1. @todfod By winning the pole trophy Rosbeg has shown he has the pace over Hamilton.

          The booing by the Hamilton fans – and management – in Spa shocked Rosberg to the core and he was never the same after that. Who knows how things would have been if it hadn’t happened.

          After Mexico last year where he was cheered he finally seemed to shake it, but you can still hear from his comments he is very eager to please the fans, so it still lingers in some weird form of Stockholm syndrome.

          It would be a great story should he come back and win the title. Except for another booing episode I really believe he can do it now that he’s had the practice and know-how of being in a title fight with one of the best.

        2. Hm, well, but Rosberg beat Hamilton in qualifying more often than not in the last third of the 2015 season, didn’t he @todfod (starting in Japan he had a 6 race streak). And that was a few races before Hamilton claimed the title

      2. @kingshark On top of that Hamilton his last two wins are thanks to that gust of wind and Rosbergs car breaking down in Sochi. Neither of the replacements @todford provides would be better than Rosberg is if you ask me. As I said before he is just another fan who does not see how good Rosberg is.

        1. True. ROS is way underrated.

        2. @xtwl

          I’m not saying they are better, but I said it would be better for the “show” to have another driver paired against Hamilton. We’d see whether those drivers give Lewis a tougher time than Nico did.

          IMHO, between Ricciardo and Rosberg, I would think Ricciardo is probably the better driver

          1. @todfod Howis that not implying Rosberg isn’t giving Hamilton a hard time? You’re thinking Ricciardo could push Hamilton harder than Rosberg, I sincerely doubt so.

      3. @kingshark – Hamilton would have won both so far (IMO) if he’d managed to get the car off the grid. I don’t think he lacks pace – he’s just had two terrible starts which have cost him.

        Personally, I think Rosberg’s absolute best is a tenth or two shy of Hamilton’s best however I think Rosberg performs to his maximum much more often than Hamilton which makes them fairly competitive. I would renew Rosberg’s contract personally – with F1 as it is now, Mercedes will finish 1-2 in most races regardless of who is driving for them. Wehrlein isn’t ready yet and there aren’t any other drivers who immediately jump out as candidates for the seat.

        1. @todford I disagree with your stance and do not count myself amongst the ‘most of us’ that you speculate would like to see someone different beside LH. I think a different driver, at least in year one at Merc, would be obliterated by LH. Plus changes are coming for 2017 and those could suit LH or NR differently too, so I am hoping for and expecting a contract for NR that equals the duration of LH’s at Merc. The continuity of that would be best for the team while they are on such a roll.

          1. Sorry that’s @todfod

    14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      13th April 2016, 8:14

      Well if the F1 season gets dull, at least we now know that Renault Sport Trophy will be a laugh this season…


    15. More downforce satisfies complaints of the cars not being fast enough and it swings the percentage of overall performance towards the chassis design from where it is now and slightly away from the engine, to what degree we cannot know yet. On the flip side it may well make it harder to follow but potentially smaller teams that have good aero or Red Bull may see an increase in relative performance to the front which means the cars will may be closer during race where now they are not. There will be compromises but different fans like different types of racing and really close with lots of overtaking has never really been F1’s thing more BTCC. Some fans will like this others will not but it seems to me it will solve 2 major points whilst detracting from 1 major point so depends on your view of what F1 should be.

      1. @markp But then there are the other components that if they increase downforce then the tire pressures have to go up which slows the cars down, and more tire testing will be needed which is limited right now not to mention they don’t have a 2017 type car to use yet. So there are some variables outstanding that could change the equations around a bit depending on what testing reveals. How will the new tires degrade vs now etc etc.

        1. Agreed it will be very difficult to get the right balance in the rules, for cornering forces maybe tyre test 2004 cars, Pirelli could easily by a few and run them. Not ideal but better than nothing. As for tyres degrading they currently try to incorporate this into the current designs that idea should be thrown out straight away as even now it is nearly impossible to get 4 types of tyres to degrade across 21 different tracks without looking stupid, to attempt this with so many variables in play they need to shelve the artificial tyre degradation and just make the tyres as best they can, degradation will occur due to the physics involved to attempt to create it could well lead to a farce.

    16. COTD, so now Grosjean is a top class driver? Just because Haas got a good car and a mediocre team mate?
      Talk about people with short memory AND no focus at all.

      1. @alfa145

        Read the comment carefully. I said for the “show” . Which in my opinion would be better if the Rosberg and Hamilton pairing was broken, and Rosberg was replaced with another talent… just to break the monotony of Rosberg being beaten 3 seasons in a row. I’m not saying those drivers are better than Rosberg, but we’ll never know unless they are in that 2nd seat.

        Irony in the ‘no focus at all’ statement. ;)

        Btw. Thanks for the COTD @keithcollantine

      2. @alfa145 I agree with your statement. Straight at the jugular but correct in my opinion. Todfod, Merc want Lewis to win, they know what they have in both drivers so I’m pretty sure the team is more than welcome to stick with their pairing. As I’ve always say, it’s impossible for teammates to actually fight for the championship, one ends up being favoured.

        1. I’m pretty confident they would be just as happy if NR were to win the WDC this year.

    17. I have visited this site for years, and kudos to you Keith for making this happen, and kudos for your involving writing. I assume that you has the best opportunity and knowledge of the people writing and commenting on this site, to know what’s going on behind scenes in F1. But sometimes you make mistakes (we all do), and the choice of COTD this time is one of them. Maybe it is on purpose to provoke a reaction from the readers, and create some activity, and your defense of Verstappens style and attitude could also fall into that category. I stopped reading the COTD after the sentence ”I hope Mercedes doesn’t renew Rosberg’s contract.”. There is really no excuse for making such at statement COTD. It is just for the entertainment, and in reality @Todfod argument is also for more entertainment. I have visited this site because here was more focus on facts, thorough and thoughtful information, instead all the fuss and sensations which dominates many media. I think F1fanatic are sliding. If I want to read provocations and thoughtless BS I can go to Jalopnik. Please don’t fall in that pit.

      1. @bigfoot If you stopped reading after “I hope Mercedes doesn’t renew Rosberg’s contract.” then you did not, in fact, read the comment of the day and therefore don’t have a strong position to comment either on it or whether it was a suitable comment of the day. The words quoted represent the first 7 out of 158 words and the comment goes on to give a perfectly sensible opinion.

        Also, I don’t see the bit where Keith said that his own opinion supports what was said in the comment. If Keith were to only post opinions he agreed with then I think we could complain about one-sided comments, in reality COTD represents a variety of views and we will all sometimes agree and other times disagree.

        1. This is Keith s site. He is the master, and it should be one-sided – Keith s side. The comments are full of nonsense, as they are most places, and you can read them if you like, but you need a good filter. Jalopnik is a site which are based on comments, and articles is often written to create or provoke activity in the comments. Sometimes it good entertainment, like the fistfights in NASCAR. Unfortunately 99% (if you include the comments) of Jalopnik s content is useless. (If course I read all 158 words, but they drowned in that statement, and frankly, there isnt really any substance in the rest.)

          1. @bigfoot

            Thanks for your critique of the COTD you did not read. I believe you have confused an editorial with a blog for purely an editorial. Maybe I should introduce you to autosport.com , it’s a heck of a lot better than Jalopnik and you won’t need to deal with amateur comments that stir the pot there. Have a great day!

            1. There is nothing wrong with your comment or your opinion. Maybe I should have pointed that out, and I apologize for that, because my comment is nothing personal against you. English is not my native language, so my opinion may be poorly expressed. Regarding Jalopnik – F1fanatic, it is a non contest. And I don’t really read Jalopnic anymore, because there is so much junk, but I mention it because it an example of what can happen when content it written to entertain instead of enlighten.

      2. @bigfoot I’m a fan of Rosberg’s and totally disagree with @todfod ‘s view in this particular instance and would do even if I didn’t personally want to see him come on top of the battle between the two Mercedes team mates this year.

        That said, I don’t have any problem with Keith choosing this as the CotD. It’s an honestly held opinion that is argued with reason and in a proper manner. The CotD is not an endorsement, it is often used to highlight opinions that differ from the common consensus among F1 fans. This is another one of those times.

        1. There is nothing wrong with @todfod ‘s comment. As you say, it is fans opinion written in a proper manner. No provocation or anything else – just a comment. I just hope that Keith made it COTD for the right reasons.

          1. I trust and have complete faith that Keith did indeed make todford’s the cotd for the right reasons. Keith has proven his integrity time and time again, every day, all day.

            1. It don’t questions Keith’s integrity. I just think he should think about his focus

            2. Lol I trust and have complete faith that Keith is focused.

    18. I am getting sick of this guy Fernley not shutting up about Haas. Dude, you should have complained before, now just put up or shut up!


    19. That is a really interesting interview with Paddy Lowe. I’ve never actually heard in detail the outcomes from the Overtaking Working Group coming directly from someone who was part of it. I’ve often heard people on this forum and others campaigning for increased ground effect and reduced wing, and I was inclined to believe this was the way forward. But as usual, it seems reality is not so simple:

      “Both then and now the “amateur overtaking experts” called for the underside of the car to be exploited for aerodynamic advantage through the use of ground effects. But the work of the OWG suggested that would be a retrograde step.”

      Also good to have further clarification on the tyre pressure issues:

      “There’s a great risk that we go into 2017 with cars that are probably going to have 30 percent more downforce than today but won’t go any quicker because the tyre pressures will have been increased so much to respond to that load.”

      Interesting stuff! But doesn’t fill me with any confidence whatsoever that the 2017 regulations will improve F1 – they don’t seem anywhere near ready in terms of having agreement on the aims and workable solutions in place.

      1. @keithedin Yeah fair comment. Note that this seems to be hinging on F1’s apparent motivation to make the cars faster, seemingly at any cost…even close racing. I would like to think many of us could live with the current ‘slower’ speeds, if we saw driver vs driver close racing.

        From what we’ve read today, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be best if they went the direction of halving the downforce, because it is time again to do that as they have clawed much back over the last handful of years, as Lowe points out, give them the fatter tires which won’t be stressed and needing high pressures that kill speed due to the proposed 30% greater downforce, and see what they get.

        Setting overall lap times aside for a second, we’d have cars much less negatively affected in dirty air due to them being much more weighted toward mechanical grip, and I suggest lap times could still be very respectable due to so much less drag from the car being pushed down on the track so much on the straights and high speed corners. I envision much higher straightaway speeds, and cornering speeds that perhaps might be slower, but we live with it because we’ve got driver vs driver combat on our hands.

        Maybe they tweak the PU rules to up the HP for more speed/lower lap times that way as well.

    20. Tried reading the Lowe article but couldn’t go past (referencing DRS and Pirelli’s joke tyres) “But Lowe believes the success of those somewhat artificial devices are underpinned by the work of the OWG.”

      Success? Success!? Are you kidding me! Sadly, like with everything in F1, people are only out for themselves rather than the sport. Who is the team that stands to gain the most from reducing aero and increasing PU power? What a surprise……

      If Horner was saying this, it would hold some weight but he won’t ever say that because Red Bull would gain from the potential 2017 disaster… sorry I meant regulations.

      On a side note, interesting to see UEFA admit that moving the Champions League behind a paywall was a “mistake” and they are going to make it available for free again once the contract with BT runs out. Viewing figures have gone from 5m to 1m because the casual viewers are unwilling to pay for BT. Same can be said for F1 but rather than people looking out for the sport (as UEFA are doing), we have fools in charge who only care about a short-term pay day.

      1. @petebaldwin It is a success becouse more overtaking is done on the track instead of during pitstops. That doesnt mean its the optimal solution.

        Also judging from everyones reaction on this site DRS is an absolute success becouse Hamilton would never have set the Bahrain record without it and everyone celibrates that record.

        1. @petebaldwin Call me naive if you want, but under the context I believe Lowe is not being manipulative to benefit Mercedes. I believe he is a racer at heart and doesn’t want to see F1 make a massive mistake. And…how would we not somehow have expert personalities that are intimate with this issue up to this minute, without said blokes being associated with a current team, such that one could put forth some level of paranoia about motivation no matter what. Someone has to put in this work.

          I don’t buy that Red Bull would necessarily gain, unless they find a heck of a lot more Hp to overcome all the extra downforce that might come for 2017…theoretically RBR with the most…stressing the tires the most too.

          Regarding DRS being a success, as @rethla points out that doesn’t mean he likes it or wants it or considers it sporting…it just literally solves the problem of dirty air, setting aside how we feel about the fake passing and the defenselessness of the leading driver.

          @rethla Good shot about how LH beat that record…opening rear wing at hand. The thing for me is that I care less about a single lap run in clean air than what happens during the reality of cars in dirty air, suffering on junk tires, while conserving everything to an extreme that is much greater than normal car racing conservation needs be. And the race lap times still have some way to go yet to get back to where they have been before.

    21. “I hope Mercedes doesn’t renew Rosberg’s contract. Although he’s gotten off to a flying start this year, it’s just a matter of time before Hamilton is dialled in and then Rosberg is helpless against his pace and racecraft.”

      Hehe, I will dig this one up after Rosberg wrapped up the title in Abu Dhabi.

      1. @paeschli For me it is obvious Rosberg is the lesser of the two when it comes to wheel to wheel racing but when in front and when he has to only concentrate on putting in the laps he’s just a tad shy of the trio ALO/VET/HAM. I’d rate him higher than Button and the after-2014 Kimi.

        1. For me when it comes to wheel to wheel racing, yes LH has had the upper hand, but I never take that to mean that it is therefore written in stone. I will always allow for a driver to learn and improve, and of course that includes LH. Sadly the wheel to wheel stuff seems to still be an illusive thing especially with virtually identical cars virtually identically driven, so it may just be another season of which Merc driver gets pole and/or the first corner. But it also feels to me a bit like NR has turned a corner which I speculate may have happened at the US GP last year, so it will as usual be fun to watch. And I don’t think LH is infallible and the hardest thing to do is to stay on top, but that by no means is meant to imply LH will be a lay-down for NR.

    22. I am not a big fan of Rosberg but I think he deserves his seat at Mercedes. He’s quick, especially in qualifying and he gets on pretty well with Lewis really. I don’t see why they would want to rock the boat. Ricciardo and Grosjean are probably just as quick but no better. I think one of these two will go to Ferrari next year anyway to replace Raikkonen. I think Red Bull will make Verstappen an offer he can’t refuse and he has a long career ahead anyway. Plenty of time to move on later.

    23. I think 2015 and 2014 have the worst cars for wheel to wheel racing. Despite drs the cars could not overtake in brazil last. Hamilton could only just follow rosberg. How broken do things have to be that cars can’t overtake in brazil? 2005 may have been awful for wheel to wheel racing but I don’t remember faster cars being completely stuck behind cars with no chance at all to overtake.

      I also think one fundamental aspect is for some reason being completely ignored. Draft. Slipstream. Call it whatever you want. The fact is in 2015 slipstream doesn’t seem to exist anymore. There is no positives to following other car. Only negatives. At least return to higher downforce will make hopefully bring back slipstream and allows the cars to slingshot after getting close to the car in front in the previous corner exit. The bad thing is that we have the abomination called drs. The people in charge of f1 who can’t tell the difference between overtake based on skill and overtake based on pressing a button will just increase the drs which will only make things worse.

      This is horrible because the root cause of all the issues is drs. It really hides how absolutely horrible the cars are for overtaking. Imagine if we didn’t have it. Nobody could pass anybody on track anymore. Nobody. Take away drs and blue flags and the marussias stand a chance of blocking the mercs when they come to lap them for the nth time. Because of drs the people making the decisions are completely unaware how bad it is. The people in charge do not understand what is an overtake. They see a driver pressing a button and driving in front of the guy. Hooray they think. It is like watching football and seeing only the goals from penalties. Add more of those and the game becoems better? No.

      The main issue is not even aero. It is the whole package. Cars are too easy to drive, not physical at all and we have tires that reward you from not racing. And we have races which are all about tire management for everybody. Which means driving slowly. Cars being too easy to drive means we see less mistakes from drivers. Being forced to drive slowly means even less mistakes. Back when f1 still used h-pattern shifters one of the ways to get passed was to be good with your gear shifts. And wait for the guy in front to misshift. Now you don’t even need to press a button. The system has the most absolutely perfect gear change timing done for you.

      Aero is not the problem in f1. It is the whole concept the cars are built around. We need cars that are harder to drive. We need tires that reward attack. We need more aero so we can have slipstream. More aero may not make the cars easier to overtake in simulations but it will raise the bar and reward driver skill when the cars are faster and harder to drive. Whatever comes in 2017 it can’t be worse than what we have now.

      1. I generally agree with much of what you are saying but I’m sure not convinced more aero and slipstreaming go hand in hand nor is the way to go. I don’t see Lowe making any mention of slipstreaming being something they should focus on. But I do think we could have some of it if we didn’t have DRS and cars were able to follow closely enough to indeed slipstream. But the closeness required to slipstream requires less dependence on clean air for closeness, not more such that one cannot get close enough to slipstream.

    24. Apex Assassin
      13th April 2016, 22:03

      Do people actually believe this nonsense?

      More aero is being added to improve the laptimes because until this season Pirelli and the power units were too slow. Simple as. Now F1 has regulations in place to change the sport and create faster laptimes which no one needs. A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Sound familiar?

      F1 can’t stop shooting itself in the foot.

      Sidenote: Bob Fernley is a whinger. The only difference between his team and Haas is that Haas had unlimited CFD and wind tunnel testing BEFORE they joined F1. That’s the ONLY advantage. EVERY team on the grid can buy the pasts Haas bought. Simple as. If Fernley really sees an advantage based on parts then he should get that criminal owner of his so sell on of his yachts, run down to Maranello and buy himself some mirrors and steering wheels and suspension components.

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