Rosberg “a champion and nothing else” – Ecclestone

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says Nico Rosberg has stepped down from F1 without becoming one of the sport’s greats.

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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Germany is world champion!! #2weltmeister 🏆💪🏻📸🇩🇪 @poldi_official

A photo posted by NICO ROSBERG (@nicorosberg) on

Comment of the day

Here’s a couple of names I hadn’t heard for a while:

Esteban Tuero, the ex-F1, is retiring from motorsport. He was relatively successful here once he returned from Minardi. He raced in TC2000 and TN Clase 3.

Another side note is that Gaston Mazzacane, the last Argentinean to compete in F1, the slowest guy on earth by a long way, scored a pole position in the national series last Sunday. At a race track owned by his dad… during his dad’s tenure as President of that motorsport series, the most popular in the country. He’s never, ever, ever, won a race since he returned from Europe, and there’s usually 30 guys faster than him, so you kinda suspect something weird happened last Sunday…

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Gfasulo, James_Mc, Joey-Poey, Koper, Rick Denatale and Webbercanwin94!

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

On this day in F1

Renault caused a stir by revealing a retro Lotus branding for their cars ahead of the 2011 season.

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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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155 comments on “Rosberg “a champion and nothing else” – Ecclestone”

  1. Bernie, i would write what you are but i think it would be moderated!

  2. That’s Bernie for you, never one to miss an opportunity for a kind word…

    Even if almost no one out there saying that Rosberg is one of the all time greats, Bernie has to make sure to rub it in his face.

    1. {If I can just make everyone in the world seem a little smaller … }

    2. He’s being quite generous if anything.

      1. @lockup Bernie said something nice… kind of.
        I think since Liberty started their ownership process Bernie has become a little grumpy, a little negative. He doesn’t like to see people leave f1, so Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Rosberg are looking to go, not uncommon to see people leave F1, and generally when this happens, Bernie says something about capitalism and new people more money and that’s it. Now Bernie hints disdain for whoever leaves.

        Everybody loves Jenson, people spoil him. Honestly does he truly believes, his work merits a degree. On the other side, the education system does askew what really warrants an expensive piece of paper.

        1. @peartree

          Everybody loves Jenson, people spoil him. Honestly does he truly believes, his work merits a degree. On the other side, the education system does askew what really warrants an expensive piece of paper.

          Hence why it’s an *honorary* degree… Nobody, not even Jenson, is under any illusion that it’s anything more than a handshake, a piece of paper and an unwritten contract to appear at official ceremonies dressed in a cloak every so often to speak to young people you don’t want to talk to about things like ‘success’ and ‘achievement’.

          Actually, if an academic institution offering recognition of a man’s achievements affects you so badly, I suggest you don’t actually Google the wide range of people who have honorary degrees in the UK and other countries… the raise in blood pressure might kill you.

          1. @optimaximal Jenson has actually said something about how he’s learned some engineering during his time in F1. And although most people know what these awards are they are called ‘degrees’, after all, which they don’t need to be. Not that it’s Jenson’s fault of course, but while the spotlight is on this practice I don’t think it hurts to question it.

        2. My doctorate took almost 7 years but I don’t begrudge Jenson his honorary DEng one little bit – apart from anything else he gave me plenty of light relief in that time (including his championship). And actually I think that the specific combination of expertise he has is almost unique to him, plus he has undoubtedly contributed to novel research. Could he talk to a group of engineers and tell them something they don’t already know? Without a doubt (although the idea of him becoming a lecturer in the engineering faculty at Bath may be a stretch for a while yet).
          Go JB!

        3. “I think since Liberty started their ownership process Bernie has become a little grumpy, a little negative.”

          Bernie has been grumpy and negative since, at least, the new engine regs were brought in. He has never failed to put the sport down, one way or another, since then.

      2. I can’t believe I actually agree with Bernie on something.

    3. He’s as blunt as a bag of wet mice

    4. From the mouths of bitter old fools… Bernie is just a failed F1 team boss, not among the greats, so we can safely ignore his opinion which he likely directly contradicted within 15 seconds anyway.

      1. What Bernie has done with Formula 1 is tremendous. You can knock him for some of the things he says, but not what he has achieved in F1.

        1. What Bernie has done with F1 is tremendous, but he wasn’t the best team boss. I think that’s what Knoxploration was alluding to.

          As to Bernie’s comment, I’ll give him a pass this time. He was essentially asked a question: “can Rosberg be put in the same league as Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso”. The answer is no, he can’t. There’s no nice way to say this, really.

          1. well on the other hand.. he is in a league of his own now.

          2. There are nice ways of saying “no”; point out that there’s more than one way to be great and Nico is great in a different way to (at least some) of those people in the question. It would be true, it acknowledges what Nico is trying to achieve and it answers the journalist’s question.

          3. @alianora-la-canta
            No, it doesn’t wash. Rosberg is not a ‘great’ in another way. He abandoned any attempt to become recognised as such when he walked away from F1. That’s his decision, maybe an excellent one from him, but one thing it ensures is that he won’t be seen as someone like Prost, say. Instead it will be remembered that he won the championship because Hamilton had a series of mechanical failures. That’s just the way it is.

        2. @blackmamba

          What Bernie has done with Formula 1 is tremendous. You can knock him for some of the things he says, but not what he has achieved in F1.

          your kidding me right ? what has bernie achieved that is so tremendous that 1000’s of other dictators couldn’t have done?

          what Bernie has done is sucked the life out of it, turned it into a circus and now its a manufacturers championship with the money winning,

          Teams going broke, other teams getting millions for squat,
          the strategy group ,
          Good tracks replaced by crap tracks because it made bernie richer, Abu Dhabi ?
          max freaking mosely selling rights

          the list is longer than a new pencil could write

          and I cannot even watch it live anymore because the greed of the little gnome wants me to pay $700+ a season to watch

          bernie is a grub

          F1 would have been this and more without him,

          1. Yes, this exactly!

          2. Agree 100% but Rosberg will always be know for quitting not winning. Shame really. Last year was gut wrenching for him, so close. He came back strong this year… then quit. No stamina just a hollow champion that will be forgotten, only mentioned in pub quizzes. Who was the guy that quit F1 with no guts? Rosberg.
            A strange sort of fame.

    5. Bernie should thank Rosberg. If not for him quitting and opening up his drive for someone else, what would the F1 media and social media have to speculate about (as Edd Straw rightly mentions)!

      1. @bascb Whether or not Bernie stays… :)

    6. Bernies ribs must still hurt from the Rosberg bear hug..

      1. I feel no need to defend BE in general, and in this case I take no offence with what he has said. I’m sure Nico himself would agree. I don’t put too much emphasis on the word ‘just’ because in this case it is not being used to demean a WDC, but to distinguish Nico’s vs. those of the true greats that have indeed achieved more when F1 was far more challenging. The current format of F1 does not lend itself to great feats. And it is certainly not just about numbers. Gilles is one of the greats and never won a WDC.

      2. That bear hug was the funniest thing I’d seen all season.

    7. He brutally honest and I think it’s a great. Not to mention he has seen the greats come and go.

    8. Bernie is being asked how to compare Rosberg to multiple championship winners, and he basically just says the others have won more times than him. I don’t know how this could possibly be a headline.
      “The other names that you mentioned (Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso) have obviously won more than a few times and have achieved more. So I would just call Nico a world champion and nothing else”

    9. Bernie obviously didn’t take well to being picked up then!

    10. Maybe he’s just hissy because of the way ROS ragdolled him in front of the worlds cameras after the final race…

  3. Honorary degrees. Is there a better way to stick two fingers up at kids who have spent years amassing tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt as to hand a meaningless certificate to someone with no need for it? I’ve no doubt he knows a few things about spannering, but to a doctorate level? Come on! Unless I’m way off and He’s secretly done some world leading research in engineering.

    Perhaps they could throw Alonso one in Political Sciences or Bernie one in Philosophy and Ethics.

    1. Totally agree.

    2. Honorary degrees are quite different to actual degrees. They actually are quite meaningless.

      Here’s a reference from wiki: The degree is often conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished visitor’s contributions to a specific field or to society in general. It is often given to graduation speakers at a university or college, and the university may derive benefits by association with the person in question. The degree is not recognized by employers as having the same stature as a corresponding earned doctorate degree and should not be represented as such.

      1. Sometimes is the university education maeaningless as well, don’t you think!? If you don’t agree think about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. Their example is a prove that univerisity education cannot follow quick technological advancements. In order to come up with something big you have to leave it behind. But, if you have a strong desire to work for some of these guys, or companies they founded, university diploma is a mandatory thing, of course.

        1. All of them went to university (they dropped out during their studies). Typically, they stayed long enough to coalesce their ideas into a “research topic”, and then made a fortune actioning it. There are some areas of knowledge where universities are lousy at research (computer science is the classic, but most forms of engineering exhibited in motorsports are also examples) but are very good at instilling the fundamentals.

          In the case of engineering, the entire foundation is typically expected as a minimum by those parts of motorsport doing research, so having the degree (and the knowledge learned en route to it) remains vital. Computer science is an example of an area where the private sector decided that much of the advanced stuff taught in the university is just plain wrong (library studies has become another, at least in the UK) and encourages people to stay just long enough to figure out which specific error they’d like to correct (and, these days, if they figure it out before entering university at all, few in the industry are surprised). Granted, people with full degrees in either may still find employment, but usually working for people who haven’t got such a thing.

          1. @alianora-la-canta

            As someone undertaking a computer science degree the purpose of the education isn’t the functional skills which as you rightly point out can’t keep pace with the bleeding edge real world development and anyone with a web connection can learn from youtube. It’s about creating a mindset capable of learning.

            There are lots of success stories of people without degrees within the world of computing. There are monumentally more success stories of people with degrees though.

            No one needs to spend 3 years at university learning to program, you can do that in 3 months at a boot camp. A degree teaches you how to learn and how to network with people.

          2. “It’s about creating a mindset capable of learning.”

            That is what I was told about University in general, too.

            It’s an institution of independent learning. It is much more important that it teaches you to think for yourself, apply logic and reason, and learn new things for yourself rather than teaching you specific facts.

            It also teaches you to figure out what you don’t know. As an example, I do not remember all the Laplace transforms I was taught. I do, however, remember how and when to use Laplace transforms, and know what to look up if/when I ever need them.

          3. I have to admit I was always led to believe that “creating a mindset capable of learning” was what primary and secondary school were for, but if they’re failing (a debate that I suspect would be off-topic), it’s logical that university would take up the slack. As for networking (in the “meeting other people” sense)… …university does broaden the number of people with access to that option.

      2. Thank you!

    3. Speaking as someone that has a doctorate from Bath, I really don’t mind at all. No one takes honourary degrees that seriously.

    4. As @selbbin explained, honorary degrees are really just that, honorary. For example, the former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari has an honorary doctor’s degree in 19 different universities all over the world.

    5. Bernie would probably reject his on the principle that the university wouldn’t negotiate a price below “free”.

    6. *sigh* I said the same thing earlier to Pennyroyal but Selbbin has basically covered it in more detail – It’s a functionally meaningless honour by a faculty to say ‘Well done, you did a thing! Do pop in and tell us about it every so often!’

      1. Why are people pointing out it’s meaningless to me. I literally said that.

        My point is that to someone who works and pays for a hopefully none meaningless degree, seeing them handed out like a participation trophy is slightly insulting.

        1. Honorary degrees are basically a marketing strategy for the schools that give them: “Kids, come to our school, Jensen Button has a degree from us!”

        2. You are completely missing the point, it isn’t insulting to anyone because it means nothing compared to a real degree.

  4. I was just reading Enrique Scalabroni’s twitter I don’t know if anyone else has, but he was discussing the importance of Rosberg, and how tricky it is for Mercedes to replace him. Check it out if you want, I’d love to discuss this matter (he usually answers in italian, english and spanish, this bit was in spanish, 5 hours ago or so).

    He claims that Mercedes are very concerned about this, because there’s no one like Rosberg right now. Not on pace, but on development. He says that Hamilton won on Nico Rosberg’s car, that just like Alonso and Vettel, Hamilton can adapt to the car, so he’s worse at developing it than a guy sensitive to changes like Rosberg and Webber (he named those 2 alongside Schumacher, Fisichella (!!) and Trulli (!!!) as “developers” more than racers, who gave their more gifted team mates the cars to shine… except Schumacher of course).

    I find that interesting. He surely has the connections to base his claims, but is Rosberg so essential to the team development? I seem to remember that Newey praised Webber a lot for just that, because he was much more sensitive to changes in the car and was better prepared to communicate with the engineers on the subject, so presumably they could develop the car, instead of trying to fix its inherent problems with his driving skill like Vettel.

    Oh, and thanks for the COTD! probably the slowest comment name-by-name in the site, ever!

    1. Jean-Christophe
      8th December 2016, 1:30

      Twitter uses Bing for translations. Sucks big time. Would have loved to read what he had to say but when clicking on translation it doesn’t make any sense.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th December 2016, 6:21

        you could try Google Translate (

        (not sure if it’s better, I’m lucky enough to speak Spanish)

    2. @fer-no65 nice feed. I respect Scalabroni and I do agree with him often. Lewis has a very peculiar driving style, that said I’m sure he’s smart enough to try to drive the best car the engineers can give him, which is what Senna use to do, even if that means the car is uncomfortable, in the end it’s better to start with known quantities and make it work that otherwise, that said this process doesn’t apply to all instances. Newey, in an interview recalled the moment Mansell returned to Williams, Mansell complained that the 91 car was way too stiff, obviously Newey did that so the aero was stable and the car was close to the ground but truth is Mansell demanded the softest springs they had and the car went 1 second faster.

      We’ve seen Ham win in 08, whilst being the undisputed #1 driver, and we’ve seen Ham partner Button and Nico to the same effect, I’m not going to go against Scalabroni but I think it should be pointed out that Nico beat Ham in 2013 on what Ham said was “Nico’s car” and both drivers have very distinct driving styles, so when one tries the setup of another, they can’t drive the car. I’m sure Ham’s feedback is less technical but I would suggest perhaps more truthful, as Ham’s cars tend to be quite competitive, just look at McLaren when he left and to Mercedes when he joined.

      1. @peartree:

        Correction: In 2013 Lewis (189 points) beat Nico (171 points).

        1. Nico won more races, though. It’s been pointed out recently that some people consider that an important measurement of a season. :p

          1. Do you remember this? “Behind the race leaders it was the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battling for third. Rosberg was the faster of the two at this point, and he repeatedly asked the team to be allowed to pass Hamilton, but team principal Ross Brawn replied, “Negative, Nico, negative.” He later explained that Hamilton could also go faster, but was under orders to ease off. When Rosberg stayed close to Hamilton, Brawn ordered him to drop back, saying that there was nothing to gain and the priority was to bring both cars home.” ( Malaysian GP 2013 – wiki )

          2. But Hamilton was on the way to win silverstone before the puncture, on a side note I’m glad we don’t have tyres like that anymore

          3. One of which he was sitting in third before two drivers ahead had random tyre blowouts gifting him a win. One of whom was Hamilton.

            Nothing at all like this seasons results in either context or a large enough sample size to be meaningful.

        2. @rantingmrp Not a correction, I said beat, not outscored. It’s like saying JB beat Hamilton over the 3 seasons, no he didn’t Lewis was much quicker.

      2. Why would you believe that Hamilton’s feedback would be less “technical”?

        Is it that same theory again about Rosberg being more astute compared to Lewis who is merely naturally gifted?

        I honestly wished someone who provide some evidence of this, other than Rosberg being offered a place at some prestigious university in the U.K.

        1. So you want evidence of Rosberg being more intelligent excluding actual evidence of Rosberg being more intelligent.
          Nico also speaks 5 languages and scored the highest ever score in Williams’ IQ test.
          Lewis is a 30 year old man on Snapchat.
          But truthfully both probably have forgotten more about F1 cars than any of us here will dream of knowing.

          1. I remember Nico once being interviewed while juggling and riding a unicycle, seriously, he is an impressive guy!

          2. When Rosberg joined Williams and took their mandatory engineering aptitude test, he scored the highest marks in the team’s history. He turned down the opportunity to study engineering at Imperial College London to pursue a career in racing. “Everything relates to physics and maths,” he once said.

            Didn’t know that, thanks!

          3. Brum…

            Speaking 5 languages is not a sign of intelligence. He passed a test, anyone can pass s test if they study hard enough.

            “Lewis is a 30 year old man on Snapchat”…. By that logic, no one should be on Twitter, Facebook, instagram or any other social media platform.

          4. Kgn11 regardless what you think of Rosberg, being able to speak 5 languages certainly is a sign of intelligence which is defined as ‘the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.’

            I’m not a Rosberg fan either but being dismissive of someone who takes the time to learn something new is the peak of ignorance.

        2. I thought everyone was over this thinking, especially as Hamilton literally just won a race in the most tactical way possible?

          I guess not!

        3. I agree with KGN. Trevor Carlin agrees with KGN. He says Lewis is smart and Nico is a natural which is the opposite of what we tend to agree on.

      3. Lewis showed in Baku how much he developed W07. Regarding Nico’s calling a day it seems very logical now. Why develop a tool you have to hand over to your rival to beat you? Especially now, when technical rules are changing profoundly and your input/effort will be greater than rival’s. The best thing to do is to get out of the business. It’s obvious now that background of his decision is not black and white after all.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th December 2016, 14:05

          @Boomerang well reasoned indeed! Lewis is horrible because he could have just held onto the wheel and fixed his punctures during the race:-) What kind of athlete is he? So Rosberg hits him and takes him out everytime they are on track… So what? Man up Lewis! and fix your car while you’re driving, that’s what real drivers do!

          Lewis makes better calls than the 50 person strategy team of Mercedes but that’s nothing because during the race he doesn’t actually develop the car. He should be making aerodynamic changes to it like Newey does over the season. A race can last 2 hours. What is Lewis doing in that car? Nowadays, it’s not enough to win the gran prix and get pole position. You need to do the work of 1,200 people at least!

          Sometimes I feel like a bus driver or a ballerina is driving Lewis’ car!


    3. I remember 2009 when McLaren produced a dog of a car and after a couple of races I remember Lewis telling the team very bluntly over the radio that they needed to take a totally different direction with the car and by the end of the year with his feedback the car had won a couple of races and a few podiums, Lewis scoring the most points of anybody in the second half of the season. Thats some tangible proof of his development credentials. Rosberg has no such track record so I dont know where this myth arose from. Probably from the same place as the ‘cerebral’ myth!

      1. Thank you! Finally someone speaks the truth.

        1. I won’t profess to know from an armchair how good LH or NR are at car development…it’s always a collaborative effort…that’s why they call it a team.

          So to claim that from one radio communication a driver took the car from a dog to a race winner, like the whole team couldn’t already see what they had at the start, and what they always try to do every year anyway, which is to improve the car, seems strange and is proof of nothing. As is claiming Nico must not be as good at developing cars because someone in his armchair hasn’t heard a similar story, is equally silly. To then respond by thanking someone for speaking the ‘truth’? Talk about grasping at any little straw to prop one’s hero up.

          Realistically I would suggest both LH and NR have been excellent at pushing each other and the team forward with their input. The consistency and continuity of having Nico there will now be missed at Mercedes now that he’s gone. He doesn’t have to be better or worse at it than LH, like there is even a reliable way to rate that, to have contributed greatly to the team for more years than LH did.

          1. Yours is a fair-minded and rational judgement that has no place on the elementary school playground of internet comments.

      2. Miss Construed
        8th December 2016, 4:40

        “Wrong, start over” midway through a season isn’t the optimum feedback they’re referring to.

      3. @blackmamba Exactly, and that’s another great fact. I repeat myself I respect Scalabroni but I feel regardless of Nico knowing 5 languages and trying hard to be quicker, there’s work hard and work smart. We know Lewis can develop a car, he hasn’t had an win less season in his career.

      4. Also lets remember the 2012 Mclaren and 2013 Mclaren that forced Whitmarch to depart.
        Lewis was happy with the car in 2012, Jenson had issues, team decided to listen to Button instead of Lewis and abandon the 2012 car and they got the nice 2013 abomination.

    4. @fer-no65 Yeah, Rosberg is so essential to the team’s design that he spent three years at Mercedes achieving nothing and ending up with a rubbish car year after year. Then Lewis joins Mercedes in 2013 and a year later Mercedes have this unbeatable car.

      1. @rantingmrp

        You obviously havent watched F1 for very long have you?

        1. Apart from China 2012, what did he achieve prior to 2013?

      2. @rantingmrp
        You might be unaware of this, but it was around 2011-2013 when Mercedes recruited a whole group of technical directors and chief engineers. First it was Geoff Willis, then Bob Bell, then Aldo Costa, and then Paddy Low.

        I think they probably had a greater effect on Mercedes’ improved performance than Lewis did.

        1. @kingshark

          I think they probably had a greater effect on Mercedes’ improved performance than Lewis or Nico did.


      3. Furthermore, McLaren produces a dog of a car the moment Lewis steps out. Why isn’t anyone talking about that?

        1. Paddy Lowe was the ’13 cars architect but was placed on gardening leave early in the year, leaving the team scrabbling to understand and develop it.

          1. Well I guess they are still “scrabbling to understand and develop it” ;)

        1. only part of the story. Even on tracks where the engine is less important the ML failed.

        2. @john-h I remember Lewis saying once that he could win more races if his engine was better than everyone else’s – this is tangible proof that he developed the Mercedes V6 Hybrid powertrain himself.

          1. *power unit

        3. The 2014 Mercedes PU wasn’t that bad, was it?

    5. @fer-no65
      Probably this view is based on Rosberg involvement on testing. He drove a lot more than Hamilton in terms of days and miles (Hamilton oftenly skip testing for various reason). Mercedes value Rosberg greatly on that, I suppose. Not many top drivers put their effort on testing. While Mercedes can put Ocon or Wehrlein, both of them is relatively not on the same level, and Mercedes knows that.

      Putting this into mind, it is likely that Mercedes prefers top driver who are willing to do more testing. and who’d that be? signing Alonso or Vettel would make Mercedes ended up with two Hamiltons. The odds are leaning to the likes of Perez, Bottas, or Hulkenberg (if he can get out of Renault contract first).

      1. To my knowledge, Lewis has missed about 3 test sessions since he has been at Mercedes and those were in season test. Don’t quote me on that as I’m not 100% sure of the numbers.

        One he missed was due to an already prearranged doctors appointment and I believe the others were this season’s tire test.

        Now, has he ever missed any of the more important test sessions? No. Yes Lewis has said in the past he does not like testing, but he still does it. So no he does not ‘oftenly skips test for various reasons’

        I find it astounding that even to this day, someone of Hamilton’s calibrate is being perceived as less intelligent and lack the technical abilities of his teammates. And let’s not try & deny it, this is indeed about that. And all this chatter started when JB joined McLaren.

        1. Lewis is the best at everything, obviously.

          1. No, the point is that no other driver’s intelligence is so consistently called into question. The intellectual functioning to drive a complex piece of machinery at phenomenally high speeds and make rapid decisions, combined with acute spatial awareness, means that any (successful) Formula 1 driver is smart enough by definition. But Hamilton, no. He’s the only one who’s constantly downgraded relative to his team mates. The ‘evidence’ given is usually some frivolous cultural pretext – likes pop music, uses snapchat etc. But it’s basically veiled racism.

      2. You say Pascal is not of the same level, but he’s been doing testing in about 4 different teams cars (pretty much at the same time) and frequently blitzes laps whilst clearly providing good feedback else he wouldn’t be used.

    6. Interesting read @fer-no65. Nice to hear driver contribution to development insight from the engineer.
      He speak highly about Rosberg and Webber contribution that give their teammate a change to win WDC.
      But the one thing I miss is his opinion on who’s the best driver to replace Rosberg. I was thinking Sainz was the best option but he doesn’t think so.

      1. Scrap that, he just reply that he think the best available driver to replace Rosberg were Alonso or Perez

        1. In terms of development Alonso would be a terrible pick.

    7. We’ve heard all these before.
      True Mercedes may value Rosberg’s role in testing, but we keep assuming Hamilton isn’t intelligent. Perhaps Hamilton can quickly tell what’s wrong with a car, while it takes Rosberg much longer to discern.
      When it comes to the race, you also need a driver that can drive around problems.
      Many of those tests are also about reliability, not performance.

      1. Nobody said Hamilton isn’t intelligent.
        I remember reading somewhere that Kimi lapping a lots not knowing that a bolt were loose on his car barge board. His teammate only do 2 laps and pointing the problem right away. But Kimi still does 1 second faster.
        There is drivers that had raw speed and can adapt to any condition and there is driver who had technical sensitivity.

    8. Nico could be. I could imagine him as a background developer. Admittedly, it’s probably less noticeable than in the Fisichella/Trulli era (I’d second categorising Fisichella that way, and it would explain why the incremental-development-orientated Toyota was so keen to have both Trulli and Ralf Schumacher* in the same team at the same time). However, it’s possible that in 2018 and 2019, the effect will begin to tell – especially if Lewis (who’s not a bad developer himself, from what I can tell) ever leaves. In the shorter-term, I expect that there will be a small drop, but not a huge one… …and that unless someone like Bottas or Alonso joins Mercedes, development will skew heavily towards Lewis (it’s hard to balance development between both drivers if one driver is neither well-known to the team nor likely to be as good a developer as Rosberg was, and hard to change such an impression unless one is a psuedopolitical heavyweight).

      * – I’m assuming from the context that Ralf is intended. Michael was a great developer too, but that tends to be overshadowed by the “great racer” part of his skill set.

      1. This is a story a recently posted somewhere else:

        As a student I attended a guest lecture by Willem Toet once. He was then at BAR I think, but worked with Schumacher in his early years at Ferrari. He told quite a funny story about a test session in Fiorano, which explained a little about Schumachers set-up skills.
        Schumacher was in the car in the morning sessions, doing his laps. Towards the end of the session, the engineers noticed on the telemetry he was changing his braking points, steering, etc. They asked him if something was wrong. He said ‘I don’t think so’.
        After the lunch break Eddie Irvine got in the car. He set off, but returned to the pits after two laps and jumped from the car, went up to the mechanics and said ‘I don’t do another lap, until you bolt back the floor to the car’. The mechanics went under the chassis and indeed the floor had partially worked loose from its fixings.
        Toet said Schumacher had an incredible feel for the car and a natural ability to adapt to changing conditions (his lap times didn’t drop at all when he adapted his driving to the floor problem), but wasn’t the most technically savvy. As a matter of fact, his driving abilities sometimes obscured problems with the car.
        When the floor was bolted back, Irvine did his laps, but never got very close to Schumachers lap times. We all know Irvine (and later Barrichello) were not as quick as Schumacher, but they were highly valued at Ferrari for their abilities to evaluate and set up a car.

    9. Rosberg was “developing” that car for 3 years and he got nowhere. Hamilton joined the team and they started winning races.

      Not pretending that Hamilton built that car for them, but to pretend that Rosberg did is even more ridiculous.

  5. Yet another disgraceful and disrespectful comment from the senile Mr Ecclestone.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      8th December 2016, 6:05

      If I were the reigning WDC I would quit/leave the sport immediately ;-)

  6. That Bernie is really a rude little grinch of a character.
    Why do you even need to make a comment such as that.
    All you need to do is congratulate Nico. Would your mother be proud of you putting others down?

  7. Nothing special, just one of 14 world champions there have been during Nico’s lifetime (since 1985). If you are one of thousands and thousands of people who would like to achive what you’ve done – enough said!

    Other nobodies: Mansell, Hill, Villeneuve, Räikkönen, Button, Rosberg

    1. Seriously….

      Mansell: made the moustache cool and only f1 and indycar simeltaneous champ
      Hill(assuming you mean damon and not graham or phil): late to the sport and always gave 100% – nearly winning in an arrows – seemed to lose focus at the end though
      Villeneuve: suffered from having the second name villeneuve and needs to learn to keep opinions to himself sometimes
      Raikkonen: mighty quick when he feels like it, sometimes annonymous when he doesnt. 33% podium strike rate
      Button: mighty when the car is to his liking, always performs well against team mates
      Rosberg (assuming nico): suffered with being paired with hamilton at merc

      Seriously whoever wins the title deserves it!!! They scored more points than anyone else that year!!! If your going to slag off some drivers slag the duds – theres been enough!!!
      Eg inoue, gutierez, badoer etc etc etc

      1. Haha, Bernie *hated* Nigel for taking F1’s British audience away when he went to the US in 1993.

      2. Lewisham Milton
        8th December 2016, 18:43

        You lost me at “made the moustache cool”.

    2. Bernie didn’t say that Nico was nobody, just that he wasn’t among the greats and it’s hard to disagree. And he didn’t say it randomly, he was asked a question similar to the ones I’m asking you: Would you say that Rosberg is in the same league as Alonso, Vettel, Schumacher and Hamilton? Or would you rather rate him somewhere between Button, Raikonnen and Villeneuve?

  8. Well, he is right. He didn’t say that Rosberg is a nobody, he simply said that he is one time champion and thats it. Or Rosberg became one of the greats because he retired?

    1. Fair point.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      8th December 2016, 6:11

      Or Rosberg became one of the greats because he retired?

      To me ‘yes’ (or at least he gained more respect) by this ballsy and smart move!

      1. Nothing “ballsy” about retiring after sneaking into a championship in one of the best F1 cars in history. Rosberg would have gotten more respect if he had stayed and beat Hamilton again.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          8th December 2016, 7:21

          Well @realstig, it seems most F1 drivers disagree with you; ‘respect’ is the word they used most!

          1. @coldfly, on the other hand, Lauda did mention that Rosberg’s decision to walk out on the team went down very badly with his team of mechanics given the effort that they poured into Rosberg’s title challenge this year, only for Rosberg to then walk out seemingly without caring what they felt. Those on the outside may feel it was a smart move, but the mechanics on his side of the garage seem to feel it was anything but that.

          2. @coldfly It is all PR talk. The two people that do not have PR filters in F1, Bernie and Niki were critical of Rosberg. Mercedes did everything in their power to ensure that Nico felt at home at Mercedes. They gave him a fast car, rearranged the technical personnel for his benefit and extended his contract just a few month ago and he repays them by this act of disloyalty. Nico did not act in good faith. If he did he would have informed Mercedes of his true intentions so that Mercedes has ample time to plan.

          3. That’s because the drivers and Bernie/Lauda are looking at it from different angles (and for that matter, Bernie and Lauda are looking at it from different angles to each other)…

          4. If true that Nico’s mechanics have been affected as suggested, I suppose that is natural. They probably really like the guy and know him and his likes and dislikes in a car through and through. And they’ll miss him. At least he didn’t spend the season implying the things LH did about his own team. And…certainly Nico was never going to base his decision on upsetting his mechanics or not. Nico himself said that was the hardest part of the decision…leaving his Mercedes family.

      2. Ok, you respect him more. He is not one of the greats because of that.
        The same way i think he is extremely weak (he knew that it was not going to happen again and quit) by doing that. Which doesn’t make him a nobady like some are saying.
        So, what Ecclestone said (and I almost never agree with him) is fair. He is a champion and nothing else.

        Actually i think retiring was Rosberg’s smartest move, no one is talking whether he deserved the championship or not (he should have won? no. did he deserve it? of course.) anymore, people are talking about why he retired.

  9. One of the few things Ecclestone can’t control: the motivations and trajectories of the drivers who compete in his (at least for now) championship. Perhaps–at least in Ecclestone’s eyes–Rosberg is bringing the series into disrepute with his sudden exit: even the champion sees another season in Ecclestone’s autocracy as simply ‘not worth the effort’. In turn, Ecclestone reacts against this belittlement by undermining Rosberg’s triumph.

    Rosberg is not the first to walk away, but in a generation where the most longstanding of drivers have typically been known to stick around their talents practically expire (Button, Massa), might Ecclestone be ruminating over the notion that his colossal, overstuffed show isn’t quite as attractive as it has been made out to be? I’m guaranteed to be in the minority with this opinion, but I’d love a return to, say, a 12-race calendar. Maybe drivers would be able to maintain a life away from the sport that way, and Formula 1 would have the defending drivers’ champion racing in 2017.

    1. It’s not Bernie’s championship. It’s the FIA’s championship.

      1. Of course it is–but one hardly gets that impression with the way Bernie likes to throw his weight around.

    2. 16-18 races (with a target of 17 races per season, with one reserved for one-off/occasional rounds to ensure each season is different) would be fine by me. There are too many races that seem to be there for the money rather than what they contribute in other ways to the championship. (F1’s bank balance would look dramatically different, but maybe it needs to if it is to become sustainable).

      However, I think the intensity of effort Nico put into 2016 meant he was at risk of retiring regardless of how many rounds the series contained. Fewer races would help but not guarantee.

  10. There is always an excuse with Ferrari. 2 years ago it was the Leadership. A year ago it was the power unit. Now their excuse is the aero! Seems like there is always one nigling problem after another and round snd round in circles they go. Oh its the KERS……now its the diffuser……oh oh, its the technical director…you know what, it must be the pull rod….and on and on and on

    1. Yeah, pretty sure we have heard them repeat this one too (didn’t they say it in 2009 and maybe 2012 too?) @blackmamba. It really fits their “we know the issue and will be better next year” ritual they repeat annualy

  11. Lets see Mick go from F4 to F1.


    1. He lacks the superlicence points, but next year he may very well exceed the minimum threshold.


    I find this quite interesting…could Smedley be headed to Brackley?

    If Paddy Lowe is being linked with a move away from Merc, is Toto looking to line up a move for Rob? Toto has a lot of power over Williams. He may very well snatch Bottas and Smedley in a single swoop. With a sweetened engine deal on offer, Williams may not have a choice.

    Is Rob ready to take on a Senior Role on the pit wall? I’d say yes. He isnt a from a design/engineering background, but that might help, as Merc may be interesting in a different perspective.

    1. Rob is from engineering, isn’t he? I’ve read he had a degree, something like aerodynamics & chassis building?

      1. What I meant to say was that most of his career in F1 working in race operations. He hasnt worked in an F1 engineering office. He started with Jordan as a Data Acquisition Engineer before moving to Ferrari’s test team.

      2. @rike, yes, his undergraduate degree was in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University.

    2. I saw Joe Saward write yesterday that apparently Williams is not in a position to let Bottas go, because other contracts require an experienced driver like him being there @jaymenon10. A commenter asked whether it was about Stroll having asked for that guarantee, and got the answer that might well be it.

      So Toto is seemingly not going to exchange anything for Bottas as he is staying put. As for Smedley, yeah could be. But then he would first have to sit out half a year before he can start anyway.

      1. I also think Bottas brings several Finnish sponsors who are contracted through ’17 so won’t be able/willing to break contract with Williams and move, lest they have to buy themselves out.

        1. yup, another solid reason why not to let Bottas go @optimaximal (much the same reasoning is why Perez is not much mentioned, because FI would lose too many sponsors by such a move to even be able to consider it.). It does show that Mercedes really doesn’t have an easy job to get their driver line up working this late in the year.

  13. Regardinig the COTD @fer-no65 is 100% right. Gaston Mazzacane is indeed the slowest guy on earth! I never understood how he was able to race in F1. On the other hand, it was a pity that José María López didn’t make it to F1 as he is a very fast driver.

  14. The ‘Poison Dwarf’ might well be so ill mannered as to put down the current World Champion, given his own pathetic performances early on in his ‘racing career’.
    Nico, F1 World Champion 2016.
    The ‘Poison Dwarf’, failed to qualify, Monaco 1955.
    Time for the ‘Grim Reaper’ to call on Bernie.

    1. I would rather buy a used car from Nico than from Bernie, any day! :)

  15. ColdFly F1 (@)
    8th December 2016, 6:16

    Formula 1’s Jenson Button awarded honorary degree in Bath

    Must be a blow to all those with merely a degree in showers ;)

    1. Ba dum tsss :P

    2. Surely this will contribute to the national brain drain…

    3. Theoretical Bath – he is English.

  16. At least they haven’t lost their sense of humour AMG Mercedes places an ad for the best job in motorsport right now

    1. So far Mercedes is doing a pretty solid job of crating PR value and attention from this @uneedafinn2win! Their twitter banter with drivers including Max Verstappen on the first day was relly fun too.

    2. Thanks, that made my day :-)

    3. The communication part of this advert seems to tackle HAM ;)
      Shows extreme patience … LOL

  17. No matter how Ferrari perfrms next year, Marchioone at least hasn’t gone to LdM mode and gone “next year will be much, much better!”

  18. Check this article out Keith.

    Don’t think about applying though. I have already applied and you have no chance. :)

  19. When I first read the round-up headline, I thought Bernie had managed to say something unabashedly nice about someone who deserved it (which would warrant top spot on the round-up on most days of the year).

    After reading the summary, it’s clearly the usual sour grapes from Bernie’s inability to make money on having a graceful champion take the title. Which given that it’s December and no big news is happening, still warrants top spot on the round-up. Alas…

  20. Bernie may have been quoted out of context but to call him “just” a champion, demeans the whole sport.

  21. Bernie has a point, Nice was hardly Germany’s Mansell was he ! You can just see the effect on the crowd someone like Max has and Lewis had to see that you need to be more than super accurate with your driving. To get adoration they need something else. Few have had it and certainly Nice isn’t one of them.

  22. Bernie’s honesty has to be admired. Unfortunately honesty is painful to some.

  23. For those curious to see how Donald Trump will act as President, just look at the way Bernie handles F1. Talk about two classy men…

  24. Jenson’s honorary PhD thesis was titled: “On the low coefficient of friction between rubber and asphalt under high shear forces”

  25. On the one hand, one might be inclined to agree with Ecclestone because F1 history books will always pay more attention to some world champions than others. The number of world championship titles is not always the decisive factor though. For instance, Jim Clark is generally considered to be a bigger legend than Nelson Piquet.

    On the other hand, the worthiness of Nico Rosberg’s title depends on your point of view. If we believe that Hamilton has more natural talent than Rosberg (that is my impression from public discussions among F1 pundits and fans anyway), then it means Rosberg has had to work harder to win his only world championship trophy. Also, some will say that Rosberg’s heritage eased his way towards the top but in truth everyone has to fight a different kind of battle and the mountains ‘working class heroes’ have to climb are not necessarily higher.

    All in all, such considerations make me believe that F1 (fans, pundits, Ecclestone etc.) today spends too much time trying to decide how great and worthy of success a world champion is if when everyone should maybe just congratulate him and say “well done”.

    1. He didn’t have to work harder. It just took three engines to blow up for Hamilton more than for Rosberg. With one during the race, while Hamilton was within a few laps of winning that race. Plus throwing away a race in Spa to make up for those lost engines.

      In a time where F1 cars rarely fail this is quite a lot of work to overcome

  26. Bernie is feeling that his monopoly of power over F1 is slipping away, hence his need to flex his muscles to get a reaction – the reason for trolls on the net.

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