Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2016

Ferrari’s Sochi struggles down to track – Wolff

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff believes Ferrari’s slump in form at Sochi was track-specific.

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Gerhard Berger, BRMP160, Budapest, 2016
Gerhard Berger, BRM P160, Budapest, 2016

Gerhard Berger drove a BRM P160 at the Great Race event in Hungary last weekend.

Comment of the day

Is it better to ridicule or just ignore the conspiracy theorists?

Very disappointed by Sky to give voice to the crazy conspiracy theories by Hamilton fans and present them as real issues. And this is not the first time they’ve done this. It’s outrageous.

Both times (that I’ve seen, could have been more) Wolff respects the questions and answers them when he really should just walk away. I really hope he does next time. Enough is enough.

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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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  • 35 comments on “Ferrari’s Sochi struggles down to track – Wolff”

    1. The race in Las Vegas sounds like complete rubbish. It reminds me of the 2015 Korean GP, that appeared on the calendar without the organisers knowing they were supposed to organise a Grand Prix. Judging by the way Ecclestone has spoken about the Las Vegas GP before, it is just a way to speed up his deal with Monza for 2017.

    2. An interesting story I’ve just seen is that Martin Brundle will race at Le Mans — sort of. He’ll be racing in the hour-long support race for LMP3 and GT3 cars, taking place on the morning of the main event. I wonder whether Sky will be able to ship him over in time for the European Grand Prix, or if he’d rather just stay at Le Mans. Wouldn’t blame him if he did…

      1. christopheraser
        4th May 2016, 2:48

        I hope he goes to the GP for purely selfish reasons. He’s easily the best member of the Sky team and the only one who I find myself consistently agreeing with (although Ted is pretty good too). I find the rest of them to be varying degrees of irritating with Mr Herbert right at the top and Hill at the bottom.

        1. Going to disagree about Ted, but like you say Martin is by far the best Sky member and I wish he were the ‘lead’ during race broadcast rather than David…………

          1. In fact, I wish Martin did the broadcast alone a la Will Buxton in his GP2 days.

      2. @jackysteeg Allan McNish for the Euro GP!

        1. @davidnotcoulthard Given McNish has a role within Audi still, I can’t quite see that happening. Davidson and Senna are both unavailable too as they are racing. So that leaves di Resta? Hill? Herbert? Exciting.

          1. i was agreeing with you until you said you liked Ted. His Notebook after saturday qualy was last nail in coffin for me. He was rude to a renault mechanic who said to him they began work on their car middle of last year(after ted claim it was started at xmas) and literally refused to talk to him and after that chased a Ferrari girl to chat to her instead (for obvious reasons… none to do with F1 & he had already done the ferrari bit)

            I am afraid he came across as bit of a creep who was just looking for women to talk to..

            When he came into F1 he knew nothing about strategy it was cringeworthy when he took over from James in the pit. But he to be fair learned a lot and became a lot better, but now i think he thinks he is someone important in the paddock which he really isn’t. I laughed when the Haas strategist ignored him twice when he said to her she hadn’t had any work to do in oz

    3. Kinda tiring to see Toto (& random mercedes people) trying to claim all the time that ferrari could fight the mercedes. Everybody can see that the ferrari does not have the pace unless there is a race where the ferrari can improve exceptional amounts while mercedes struggles (like singapore last year). But it is not close Toto. Nice try making it look like the others are catching. They are not. But toto gotta push the idea that performance is converging. Say it enough times and people start believing there is a battle for the lead going on on the track…

      It is almost funny how every weekend you get toto or rosberg come out and say how they fear ferrari being hard to beat. Then in the quali and race merc gets their easy guaranteed p1-2 unless their car breaks. And then they try to act surprised. It is all theater. Merc knows by now they have this year in the bag and merc knows they have done bad job unless they win every remaining race.

      1. +1

        They’re definitely praising the other teams a lot and pushing the performance convergence propaganda. I don’t think anyone buys their statements of “Ferrari have caught up and might be slightly ahead. They just haven’t shown their pace yet” or “Honda is a real threat to Mercedes. We are keeping an eye on Mclaren” .

        Toto must be going to the Mercedes garage and laughing his rear off after making these statements. It’s like Djokovic playing a set of tennis with an amateur as myself, and saying I have the potential to dethrone him as the #1 tennis player in the world.

        1. Wow…now Ferrari are amateurs are they? Too much. And you think Wolff is being unreasonable?

      2. Aqib Qadeer
        4th May 2016, 5:50

        yeah he is fooling any of us

      3. @socksolid, Spot on! I fully agree.

      4. King of the sandbaggers

      5. I was going to say the same thing. They are so far clear at the front that in normal circumstances the best a Ferrari can hope for is third.

      6. I think he’s just doing it to avoid being arrogant. Otherwise, the still believe that Ferrari has to minize its engine because the engine still has reliability issues.

        1. He probably is trying to be humble but risks now coming across as patronising.

          1. I think I’m getting tired of the complaining about Wolff. Reading the articles he is really only saying Ferrari have the potential this season to be more competitive and that there are reasons why they haven’t fulfilled their potential yet this season. Four races in there is plenty of time for Ferrari to prove him right, but what would he know, right? It’s not like he is the one guy that needs to be the most concerned about the competition and their potential, or anything like that. Based on the first four races many people already have decided LH is being conspired against, and that they might as well just hand NR the trophy. So what would this ultra smart and successful man possibly know that those in their armchairs don’t?

            1. True. It is a non issue and he is likely replying to yet another question about Ferrari. With the soundbite of an edited answer and how it contrasts to what we are seeing it is purely a media construct that makes him look patronising when he is anything but.

      7. Totally agree. Toto & Merc are just saying these things to take the focus away from their domination. F1 is about excellence. Merc should sort out the reliability issues. They should try to solve the problems they had at very hot tracks like Hungary, Singapore etc on the softer compounds. They should go all out to win all 21 races and make history. If the others cant catch up its their problem. Not the Silver Arrows problem.
        We as fans should applaud them and not moan about the boring races and lack of competition. Let the other teams find ways to catch up

      8. +100
        I have to agree. The conspiracy theorist part of me thinks that Mercedes have been sandbagging heavily and would not be surprised if Merc has the ability to turn their “magic” power button up and be able to go one or even more seconds a lap faster than they already are. If you ask me Merc is committing a fraud on everyone by not going as fast as they are able to.

      9. They tell it themselves at half word, if you read their letter in response to conspiracy theorists, they say that Rosberg has also been nursing his car while signing fastest lap, that shows how much they have in hand …

    4. Please remind me why Ecclestone’s pipe dreams are still been reported on. His Vegas sham was always “struggling” to happen.


    5. Is it me, or as a matter of fact some drivers, especially Alonso, Hamilton and Rosberg seem to give new interviews every single day? Ok, maybe not litterally, but i think i’m starting to see them featuring on the round-up every other day at least.

      1. It sometimes take a few days for the scribes to get their articles out. So you see the same stories rehashed for several days after a race.

    6. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      4th May 2016, 9:47

      So tired of hearing Toto bang on about how close the racing is, or Rosberg talk about Ferrari like some sleeping giant. It’s like Mercedes know there’s no chance any one can beat them so they make up stuff to make the race sound more interesting. We know a Merc will be on pole and we know, barring incident, they’ll be 1-2 in the race it’s just a question of which order. Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams… they’re all multiples of seconds down on the Merc. Constructor’s is already in the bag and Driver’s just needs deciding which one – but it will be a Mercedes.

      I think I’d actually have more respect for them if they came out and said they know they can win everything as they’ve got pace in hand, but I suppose that would mean they’d have to acknowledge the enormous performance advantage they have.

      1. @rocketpanda

        In fairness they have just released a letter to the fans in which he boldly states they set the fastest lap of the race in a power unit safe mode highlighting how much performance they had in hand.

        1. Wolff is only speaking about their potential. It’s four races in. It is folly to expect Wolff to come off at this point like the season is decided. He is being a professional and has highlighted why he thinks Ferrai has the potential to become more competitive this season in spite of what has happened so far. I can’t believe the number of people that have decided already Nico might as well be just handed the trophy, LH is being conspired against, and Ferrari are nowhere. Can we see the season through here? Or is everyone just stopping watching now?

    7. Levente (@leventebandi)
      4th May 2016, 10:39

      The same thought came to my mind, that driving style might be a source of the issues, Lewis has. It reminded me the 2000 season, when the BMW engine constantly died under Button in pre-season testing and Australia, but none in the hands of Ralf. The clever engineers then found out, that the driving style of him produces more harmful vibrations (as far as I remember, it was the method of when and where changing gears), then of course they produced a bit more durable pieces of the key parts.

    8. Big Mag (@)
      4th May 2016, 13:15

      After all the discussion about the Kvyat/Vettel accident, I think that it would be appropriate that Keith in the round up also mentioned some of the voices that has another view of the circumstanced, especially sins Keith has been rather harsh in hes comment about Kvyat. Both David Coulthard and Robert Doornbos have a different view about the second contact. I would think Keith agrees to that the site in general should present a more balances view of Formula 1.

      1. Any defence of Torpedo Moscow is surely someone playing the Devils Advocate.

      2. Big Mag (@)
        4th May 2016, 18:19

        I can see that is apparently appropriate to refrain to name calling of Formula 1 drivers, but an ironic answer to such unintelligent comment is not, and therefore deleted. This is the last drop. I am sure I will not be missed in these sections.

    9. Wolff is kinda predictable. Any time any team is within 1s off Mercedes, he sounds the the alarms. But we all know what happend to the boy who cried wolf… When Ferrari will really be dangerous we will dismiss him for repeating same thing all the time.

      Granted Mercedes was especially good on smooth surface. But they are also exceptional on rough surface, twisty surface straight surface and hot surface. Their mastery of tires is incredible. And it is not all aero performance, at least so it seems. They must have incredibly trick rims keeping those tires exactly at right temperatures, that gives them quite a lot of pace.

      Hamilton for example after tire stop… he switched on those softs like nothing, straight on the pace. Bottas needed 2-3 laps, Hamilton was at full speed within 1 lap. Just astonishing.

    10. Ferrari wont win 1 race this year. All talk

    Comments are closed.