Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Monza, 2016

Palmer doubts passing could get harder in 2017

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jolyon Palmer says overtaking is unlikely to get more difficult in 2017 as it is already very hard.

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After another Driver of the Year win for Ricciardo, do we now think Red Bull have F1’s best driver line-up?

It had to be either Ricciardo or Verstappen. Arguably Red Bull go into next year with the strongest lineup of any team, and if they have a championship-winning car you’ve got to expect one of them will win.
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Keith Collantine
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113 comments on “Palmer doubts passing could get harder in 2017”

  1. Ricciardo driver of the year…. hahaha

    The same Ricciardo who after beating Seb in 2014, then got beat by Kvyat the following year who then lost his seat to Max.

    People voted for who they liked, not who was the best over the entire season, because had they truly voted for the best driver, that would not have been Ricciardo. This is even more evident when you look at his performances in places like Canada, Austria, Silverstone, Baku & Brazil. Then look at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Max spun and fell well behind, but still finished ahead of him.

    So now if Red Bull has s championship calibre car next year, him & Max are the ones to beat, wow talk about hyperbole.

    1. I agree. Most of other sites had verstappen as the top driver. However Keith and most people here love Hamilton and Riciardo beyond fact or reason. Nothing wrong with that. This is a opinion blog so he is entitled to it.

      1. The only pole that carries any meaningful merit, was the ones done by the team principals. They’ve got all the data, they see the drivers every weekend, they know all the goings on. And 3 years in a row they’ve all voted for the same person.

      2. Cant imagine why we support a 3 time world champion who has won 52 races…crazy or what !

    2. And yet he was named driver of the year by F1Fanatic, James Allen, Autosport, Mark Hughes, ESPN F1, to name a few…I think they know far more than a fan that shares a different opinion.

      1. But not by the team principals, who knows a lot more than all those names you mentioned. If I’m not mistaken, he came in 4th behind Rosberg 3rd, Max 2nd & Lewis 1st.

        Team bosses only voted for Seb once when he won his 4 titles, Lewis was however voted the best each of his 2 title years.

    3. How did Kvyat beat Ricciardo? It was the most uneven line up on the grid on avg Kvyat was .4 slower than Ricciardo, slower than what raikkonen was to Vettel in 2015. What happened in 2015 was that Daniil was lucky, when he stopped being lucky (Aus2016) he had no results to protect him from the sack.

      1. 2015 driver standings:

        Kvyat 95pts
        Ricciardo 92

        That’s how.

        1. 2016 driver standings:

          Rosberg 385pts
          Hamilton 380

          That’s how.

          (You clearly only use it when it suits you)

          1. Huh? Sorry, but what’s the relevance? I’m sure I was talking about Kvyat & Ricciardo

    4. So who would you vote for then?? Max Vercrashen?

  2. Vandoorne vs Alonso is so very exciting. I’m not expecting the Hamilton vs Alonso fireworks from 2007 but it should be really interesting to watch regardless. I think Vandoorne is a bit more refined than Hamilton was ten years ago, and Alonso is a much better driver than he was ten years ago, which is why I think it will be quite fascinating to watch. There will be so much pressure on Vandoorne, but his ability so high and vast that I do not doubt that he will be able to deliver. Whether he can beat an Alonso at the top of his game however, is yet to be seen. It is one of a few interesting battles shaping up including the ones at Mercedes (Bottas or Wherlein, whichever), Haas, Renault and Force India.

    1. Fikri Harish (@)
      27th December 2016, 2:26

      I was going to say it’s ridiculous to state Alonso, who is now of retirement age, is actually much better than he was ten years ago, the year just after he became the then-youngest double world champion in which one of them came from beating Schumacher but I poured myself a cup of coffee and gave it a proper thinking and it really isn’t as ridiculous as I thought.

      Someone at the age of 35 years shouldn’t be capable of having the year that Alonso just did. Not even Federer is capable of that feat. Not that I’m saying Tennis is comparable to F1 but still, what Alonso has been doing, driving brilliantly past the age of 30 in the astoundingly twitchy world that is modern F1, is a remarkable feat.

      1. @fihar @craig-o I think 2007 was Alonso’s worst year to date. He wasn’t bad driver wise, but the whole context with McLaren and Hamilton made him loose his cool. Every driver will have a bad year at some point, just like 2014 was for Vettel, after he won 4 consecutive titles. Or 2011 for Hamilton when he kept colliding with Massa.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          27th December 2016, 9:26

          Good points in all the above comments. I think too much is made of age, our reactions peak at 24 but the deterioration is very very marginal in active people, as opposed to tennis, football etc that require fast twitch muscle fibres (the first thing to go). Alonso’s as hungry as ever, so he will have a couple more years in him at this level. I think RB have the best driver line up, it will be exciting to see how they compare, the balance certainly seemed to shift from Ric to Ves at Brazil. Mclaren battle should brilliant as well. Can’t see Bottas touching Hamilton but that will help him massively in his title bid. Hopefully be a cracker.

          1. @rdotquestionmark, I would like to add you your post that, to a certain extent, reaction time is not the key ability for a racing driver – rather, it is their ability to anticipate how the car will react that is often far more critical (i.e. the driver has already predicted that the car will begin to slide in one direction and has already begun to countersteer far faster than the human nervous system could have detected that the car was sliding in that direction).

            In that area, Alonso is still going to be quite competitive given his prior experience and, as a result, I would expect that he is still going to prove to be an extremely tough test for Vandoorne.

        2. I did also read on McLaren’s website that Alonso didn’t adapt particularly well to the Bridgestone tyre initially, which would have explained some of it too.

      2. Couple of thoughts on Alonso’s age. Firstly I think at this level drivers who are in F1, whatever their age, are in it because they can completely compete, or they wouldn’t be there. So I have no doubt whatsoever that FA is as wholely capable as ever. And secondly I think his experience over more formats of F1 will be an asset as they enter this next format. The ultra-conservey cars and tires have limited the drivers from pushing and theoretically they’ll be able to throw a lot more of themselves at the cars in 2017, so that should bode well for excellent FA. He (and all the drivers of course), should have a broader canvas if you will, to show their art.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          27th December 2016, 12:15

          Alonso barely put a foot wrong in 2016. I think whilst he may not have the outright pace of ten years ago, his experience makes him the most consistent driver on the grid.

          I expect the Stoff to regularly outpace FA on Saturdays once he finds his feet, over the course of the season however, I fully expect FA to come out on top.

          1. Ehhh barely put a foot wrong – take a look of his big crash again – where he was to blame..ended with a totally smashed racer in the sand…more than a foot wrong I would say (-:

      3. Senna driving in 93 was pure genius and he was 33.

      4. Schumacher was 37 at the time of his retirement, wasn’t he? Had he stayed, it would be hard to argue he wouldn’t have been able to fight for the 2007 and 2008 championships (and even win both of them). And that’s with cars that were more or less as physical as the 2017 cars will be.

      5. Alonso has been driving pressure free for the better part of 5 years.

        Let’s see how he copes with WDC pressure after all this time away from the spotlight.

        My money says his inner diva is just below the surface, begging to come out.

      6. Schumacher won five consecutive titles after turning 30. Alonso taking a handful of points in a midfield car isn’t exactly stunning compared to that…

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      27th December 2016, 4:17

      (McLaren) is one of a few interesting battles shaping up including the ones at Mercedes, Haas, Renault and Force India.

      Not including RBR? @craig-o

      1. @coldfly Yeah I think Red Bull will be an interesting one, but we’ve already had a taste of Ricciardo vs Verstappen… Just how tasty it gets next year will probably come down to just how much Verstappen (and Ricciardo too perhaps) can progress.

    3. Vandoorn won’t stand a chance. I predict Alonso will walk all over him for most if not all of 2017.

      1. I’ll remember that, let’s have a word together in six months time.

        1. Yup let’s :-)

        2. Sooo.. how did the Vandoorn vs Alonso battle go? ;-)

          Only place where Vandoorne won i the statistics race was most finished races. That did not give him more actual points than Alonso though.

          In my book my prediction has come true. Alonso walked all over Vandoorne in all of 2017.

  3. Re COTD, more likely a close 3 way battle with LH for WDC. But very likely a team title for RBR.

  4. If we must have down force, which I suppose we must to be the fastest, and we want cars to be able to race in close proximity and be able to make passes, we should go back to fan induced down force and save teams all that money spent on wings and wind tunnels.

    1. That actually is a great idea…really it is…thank you

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      27th December 2016, 3:12

      Fan Car. That’s old school; sure we can do something with magnetic fields in the 21st century.

    3. @hohum And we call it Fanboost! ;)

  5. Think young Mr. Celis might need more than one podium from two seasons in FR3.5 to get a race seat.

    Only way he’ll be near that Force India in 2018 is if they decide to have grid boys instead of girls.

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      27th December 2016, 2:41

      He was awful in GP3 as well.

    2. Willem Cecchi (@)
      27th December 2016, 9:08

      I watched the last Formula V8 3.5 race at Barcelona and he was at his absolute worst. Really should be nowhere near an F1 car.

    3. @neilosjames And we all know how much VET likes that…

    4. 🏎nice comment – but if MB offers a pratice test to Rossi then he and Justin Timberlake should have a go too…

  6. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    27th December 2016, 2:42

    I really feel for Hulk as he and Alonso were the top 2 on Merc’s shopping list but he unfortunately chose renault at the wrong time. I just hope Renault can deliver him a great car.

    1. I was about to say… Even worse Carrer choices than Alonso…could drive a Mercedes, stuck at Renault..

      Greatest ever driver not to score a podium.

      1. @jureo
        That’s because all of the really good drivers got a podium, so what you’re saying is that he’s the best of a bad bunch of journeymen, and pay drivers, which is hardly the greatest achievement.

        1. @beneboy
          He matched Perez in their three years together. 226 points for the Hulk vs 238 points for Perez. You can’t deny there is luck involved when Perez scores 4 podiums in that period while Hulk scores none. He should have won Brazil 2012 and only lost the Monaco podium this year because he got a different strategy than his team-mate. He’s a lot better than some race winners in F1’s history.

          1. @paeschli
            If it was just once, maybe you could put it down to luck, but your team mate having four podiums to your none isn’t luck. It’s a sign that you’re not as good as them.
            Nico has bottled it far too many times, and thrown away several opportunities for decent results over the years, and the fact that none of the big teams have tried to sign him speaks volumes, he’s got to be the most over rated driver since I started watching back in the 80’s, and I can’t understand what other fans see in him, because to me, he looks like a journeyman who is taking up a seat that a genuinely talented young driver should be sitting in.

          2. @beneboy

            Mercedes would have signed him if he was free this year, Ferrari almost signed him in 2013. He has impressed in all the junior racing series he’s been in. Given he’s won the qualifying battle against Perez every year he was against him, I’d put a lot of his ‘averageness’ in the past few years on the Pirelli tyres. He’s gonna completely destroy Palmer next year. He’s also insanely good in wet weather conditions, like he has shown when he scores Williams their first pole in 5 years, when he led the 2012 Brazilian GP or Brazil last year again where he would have finished fourth at least if it wasn’t for the puncture he got.

    2. @come-on-kubica
      At the time Hulkenberg made his choice there was no better option, had he known Rosberg was going to retire he would “for sure” have held on, that said, Massa might not have retired either.

  7. ColdFly F1 (@)
    27th December 2016, 3:07

    I don’t think I’ve seen this Time Magazine interview with, and article on, Lewis Hamilton in the round-up yet.
    I picked up on this quote:

    The team’s job is to provide both drivers with equal opportunity. And unfortunately, I didn’t have equal opportunity, because I had failures on our side of the garage. The other side didn’t.

    I don’t like that attitude at all. He squarely blames the team for his car’s reliability, and makes it sound like (again) as if the team worked against him on purpose.

    And even if you look at it purely factual and define less reliability as ‘unequal opportunity’, then what about the other 20/21drivers. If anybody can complain about lack of ‘equal opportunity’ then it’s them!

    Lewis should show some more gratitude towards his team; maybe say he’s ‘blessed’.

    1. Lewis has to consider when he says this, that he only won the 2008 World Championship in part due to Felipe Massa’s bad luck.

      Hamilton had only one retirement that year, in Canada, which was his own fault. He did have the penalty in Spa, but this only lost him 4 points.
      Massa lost a certain win (10 points lost) with an engine failure in the closing laps in Hungary and had the issue with the fuel hose in Singapore. He failed to score in both races and lost the world championship by a single point.

      Sometimes you get the rough end of the stick and sometimes someone else’s misfortune helps you. Lewis complaining about this season isn’t going to do anything now. His engine failure in Malaysia cost him the championship, but he has to suck it up. He can’t change what happened. Comments like this only split the team and do nothing to help him succeed in 2017.

      1. Not taking the side of Hamilton , but comparing Hamilton and Massa’s reliability is pointless. Hamilton said it was up to his team to give both drivers equal opportunities. What happens outside of his team is beyond his’ or his teams control.

        1. That implies the team did not give them equal opportunities, which of course is nonsense. So @ambroserpm‘s point very well stands. It was not Mercedes who sabotaged his car, whatever happened on Hamilton his car could’ve happened to my car at home too, that’s just how the world spins.

          1. It doesnt imply anything other than they had unequal mechanical defect rates. I doesn’t imply sabotage either. We shouldn’t read too much into his statements. He was the one suffering the emotional let down.
            Hamilton can sound ungrateful sometimes, but if you are competiting, you don’t want to hear the starters gun a minute later.

          2. That implies the team did not give them equal opportunities

            Well obviously the two drivers did NOT have equal opportunities @xtwl. What’s the difference between two cars with different reliability compared with two cars with different power or downforce?

            Hamilton can make that observation without meaning sabotage, which is all he did.

          3. @lockup There has been absolutely no influence whatsoever from Mercedes that would have resulted in Hamiltons car breaking down, hence Mercedes gave them equal opportunity, so absolutely nothing for Hamilton to be so vocal about towards his team.

          4. Hamilton does not imply intention @xtwl. He says ‘unfortunately’. The team’s job IS to provide two equal cars, so that the two drivers have maximal and equal opportunity in driving them.

            If one breaks a lot more than the other, they’re not equal are they? Nobody is saying anything about it being deliberate. Just unfortunate, as Lewis says; but a fact.

            So from the drivers’ point of view, the opportunities were not equal. That is not saying it was deliberate.

          5. if you are referring to any of the last three years, than the quote “That implies the team did not give them equal opportunities, which of course is nonsense.” is complete nonsense.

            I challenge you to see how many times Lewis Hamilton’s grid position has been set back due to reliability issues vs his teammate. And if only for 2016, Mercedes CLEARLY did not give both drivers equal opportunity, any denial of that fact is a clear admission of bias/mental obstruction.

            ROS had almost no issues with reliability in 2016, where as his teammate suffered heavily in the first half of the year, and only as required (to keep ROS in front) towards the back half. It’s so obvious though, I mean, even Toto and Lauda couldn’t help themselves repeat and repeat the ‘both cars’ rhetoric early on in the season. They were clearly trying to maintain that they were giving equal opportunities, but fortunately, some people are not blind. Same as what happened to Lewis in 2014 as well when his car kept failing in qualifying, just a real poor showing from Mercedes Benz and a clear illustration of how ignorant and stupid they think the people who follow F1 are.

      2. The Ferrari was faster in 2008 @ambroserpm. Obviously that should have been allowed for along with its reliability and pit operations!

    2. I kinda preferred this..

      “There are so many ­haters, it’s kind of crazy,” says Lindsey Vonn, an Olympic champion skier and a close friend. “When I first met him, I had heard the rumors that he was really arrogant. He’s not even remotely arrogant” 😉

    3. @coldfly
      To an extent i agree with what you said but Hamilton is a driver in a series which we dont know who will have fastest car as the new rules about to come into effect.
      Sure Merc might have the Title fighting car next season but there is also a very big chance that Redbull can come with a monster designed by Newey and if that happens, 2016 is the last chance for Lewis to win a title which he failed due to things out of his hand.Similar to Felipe back in 2008 he fought hard but from next season onwards ferrari’s real downard trajectory started. same for Mclaren since 2012 where they had championship winning car and all the goods and they blew it up quite spectacularly im afraid. That’s where his point lies i guess.If Merc is as fast as this year sure he will get over it quite quickly but if it wasn’t thats where Lewis will see back and say the same time and time again.

      I criticize him for saying this too but what you can expect from the drivers who are trying to be competitive and then hampered by rule changes / less-competitive personnel etc. Its Luck what is needed most then comes in Skill factor in terms of having the right car

      1. monster designed by Newey

        Everybody getting ready to dust off there comments about how the Red Bull can only win thanks to Newey? Or doesn’t that apply now Vettel is not there? Mind you, we can copy a lot from Mercedes, just replace a few names and off we go.

        1. I didn’t get you mate @xtwl
          are you saying newey wasn’t the reason why they win or opposite of that

          1. It wasn’t the only reason as many liked to believe, in similar fashion it was not only just the Mercedes car that won Lewis and Rosberg their titles.

          2. @Xtwl
            I knew that but my point is based on his advancements and unparalleled achievements in Aero Designs means there is a chance that they will get head start particularly in the next rule set which purely based on increasing aero hence i said if he nails it.

    4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      27th December 2016, 9:11

      When Lewis signed his last contract extension he explained how he was going to become a leader of the team and drive them forwards, leaders do not throw their colleagues and team members under the bus like this. Who exactly is he blaming when he says the ‘team’ let him down? Is he not a member of said team? I was gutted to see Nico win in these circumstances but bad luck happens, deal with it like a man.

      1. He didn’t say ‘the team let him down’ @rdotquestionmark.

        Spare us the invention, and the sexist pretence that you’re more masculine.

    5. I don’t like that attitude at all. He squarely blames the team for his car’s reliability, and makes it sound like (again) as if the team worked against him on purpose.

      It’s a simple statement of fact, and doesn’t say anything about ‘on purpose’. He even says ‘unfortunately’!

      He and his teammate were ‘in the same car’, which is totally different from being in a different team. Of course he’s unhappy when his car happens to handicap him by 4-5 races and he loses by 5 points.

      And what is “squarely” about holding the team responsible for his car’s reliability? Who else is responsible?

      Not to say the comment was made in the context of backing up Rosberg and was basically explaining why he felt that was justified. He always has plenty of positive things to say about the team. So you’re trying a bit hard with this one IMO, reading things into it that aren’t there.

      1. I can see this specific quote from both sides of the coin, but when I consider other things LH has said beyond this one quote it is unquestionable that LH feels he was conspired against by his own team.

        So on the one hand, yes he had more unreliability, therefore he had less (read unequal) opportunity to score points.

        But on the other hand he says it is the team’s job to provide him equal opportunity, and the fact is all the work they did starting from when they first put the 2016 car on a fresh sheet at the drawing board, and including ahead of every race weekend, was 100% with equal opportunity in mind. They all did their jobs to the best of their abilities with the best intentions in mind, and LH undermines that with wording that could be much much better if he had just chosen to do so.

        So starting with his public insinuation that they swapped crews ‘for no apparent reason’, causing TW to publish a letter defending the whole team, and no wonder as their intentions have always been righteous, to his final show of attitude that he would tell us in 10 years what really went on, cannot be taken any other way than that he has felt entitled to a guarantee of 100% equal reliability to his teammate, and I have never understood that to be anything a driver could or should ever expect as a given in any racing series no matter the era, such are the thousands of variables possible.

        It is like LH hasn’t been able to let his reliability issues speak for themselves, like we might have missed something, like we can’t all understand he has been more handcuffed by his car after seeing it for ourselves, but has felt the need to pile onto that by shouting poor me to the world, in case someone might think it was his fault or he wasn’t good enough when he’s already proven that not to be the case.

        Rather he’s been a turnoff with his over the top reactions and comments that equate to throwing his team under the bus for all they’ve done with all the best intentions. Particularly coming off 2 WDCs in a row, I think it has been deplorable for him to turn on his team the way he has.

        I honestly think, since at one point I did read that he has been taking Kanye West’s advice about things like being his own person etc, that LH is trying to brand himself, and brand himself as the greatest just as West thinks he himself is, and so if the car fails him he has to shout that from the highest mountain and even go to an extreme (like West does) to do so. LH is a West wanna be, and for me KW is a huge turnoff too. LH has also spoken about Ali, but then Ali could truly pull off his ‘I am the Greatest’ because it was an approach no one had done before and he absolutely backed that up in the ring. Around here at least, even when LH wins a WDC he’s not voted driver of the year.

        I think LH’s third WDC particularly, went to his head, starting with implying with 3 races yet to go in 2015 that his job was done, and now he is on some different plane than before, and for me at least, it’s not good.

        1. So starting with his public insinuation that they swapped crews ‘for no apparent reason’, … to his final show of attitude that he would tell us in 10 years what really went on, cannot be taken any other way than that he has felt entitled to a guarantee of 100% equal reliability to his teammate

          That is the mother and father of a non-sequitur @robbie. In fact your whole huge post is just stuff that’s going on in your head. Why not shorten it to how you feel soooo alienated? :)

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            27th December 2016, 13:27

            Are you okay @lockup?

        2. Ah it’s Robbie with his conspiracy theories again!

    6. Despite Mercedes having a no-blame policy, Hamilton rather throw the team under the bus than having the thought some people believe the loss might have anything to do with him. His ego just couldn’t stand it. It’s typical him. This of course follows insinuations about sabotage and disfavor and by the team. He finds the team so disrespectful. What a guy.

    7. I don’t like that attitude at all. He squarely blames the team for his car’s reliability, and makes it sound like (again) as if the team worked against him on purpose.

      That is entirely your own bias and has nothing to do with what Hamilton actually said.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        28th December 2016, 1:19

        Yes it’s ‘my opinion’, and to make that clear to people like you I started the sentence with “I don’t like”.
        You’ll be struggling to back this up as ‘bias’ though, as I’ve had as many positive comments (even put HAM 1st on my DOTY list). But there seem to be many myopic fans who are up in arms when somebody is critical of their hero.

        PS – Yes Hamilton said exactly that (it’s a quote, sMarty); he blames the team!
        PPS – I stand by ‘my opinion’ of not liking this attitude; I did not hear ROS complain about unequal opportunity after Abu Double (giving him 1 more failure in 2014).

        1. I never said it wasn’t your opinion. I was pointing out that nothing Hamilton said makes it sound like the team was working against him on purpose, that is purely your own bias. All he did was state the facts. If you cant see that well I cant help you.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            29th December 2016, 2:06

            Not ‘bias’ (look up the word, mate).
            Not even ‘my opinion’ (read my note carefully – I just don’t know and won’t claim I do)
            I just said (again quoted) “(he) makes it sound like …”

          2. makes it sound like

            *deep breath*

            Ok let’s try this one more time. Hamilton does not say or imply that the team worked against him on purpose. It doesn’t sound like that in the slightest. The issue here is entirely you, there is nothing wrong with what Hamilton said.

            Maybe you need to look up the word ‘bias’. While you’re there you may want to refresh your memory on ‘unfortunately’. Because clearly you do not understand that he was saying he had bad luck, not that he was deliberately sabotaged.

            I stand by my original point.

            Maybe we can break this down and make some progress.

            makes it sound like (again) as if the team worked against him on purpose.

            Ok point out to me specifically what he said that states that the teams unreliability issues were in any way deliberate, baring in mind that he uses the word unfortunately, which is the complete opposite of what you are saying.

          3. ‘unfortunately’, you only hear your own voice!

          4. Martin:

            Ok point out to me specifically what he said that states that the teams unreliability issues were in any way deliberate



            See you cannot actually respond to that can you? I rest my case. I’m assuming you’ve realised your mistake now and are just trying to deflect rather than actually discuss the issue. Fair enough. I’ll take the win regardless.

        2. Well you embellished what he said @coldfly. Claimed he said it was on purpose when he didn’t, suggested there was something incorrect about holding the team responsible for reliability, picked that one line out of the whole Time article, and dropped it into a thread completely off-topic.

          So you did rather set yourself up for an accusation of bias.

          Citing Rosberg not complaining about a car failure when he was already behind doesn’t help either. Rosberg was super correct in his interviews, but deliberately went off in qualifying to prevent his rival setting a time.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            29th December 2016, 2:18

            Not off topic; great article/interview, and as suggested should have been in this round-up. @lockup

            If you read all my comments you can’t accuse me of being ‘biased’; I put HAM at the top of my DOTY.
            Just argue why you don’t agree, and we’ll be just as good friends ;)

            I just didn’t like HAM’s attitude on this occasion. And after reading the article that (bitter) feeling stuck with me. Hence, I shared it here.

          2. Just argue why you don’t agree, and we’ll be just as good friends ;)

            Quite so @coldfly I am generally up for a debate in a friendly spirit:) I was just pointing out that your post did rather invite a suspicion of bias. After all Lewis was on the front cover of Time (omg), and had a full article about him that was generally positive; and you extracted one negative from it, embellished and misrepresented his quote, and dropped it into a thread about other matters.

            IMO if you read his words carefully he is being blunt but reasonable. It IS the team’s job to provide two equal cars, within a margin, and that did NOT happen, unfortunately. Your objection is based on what you yourself are adding.

            If you’d just wanted to flag up the article for your fellow Fanatics you might have posted :”Lewis Hamilton, the greatest race-car driver of this generation, has big plans for 2017“, after all :)

          3. ColdFly F1 (@)
            30th December 2016, 1:23

            I could have pointed to another part of the great article/interview; it’s just that as a fan on Hamilton(‘s race craft) I was taken aback by that specific comment. Hence, I decided to comment on that bit.

            By linking in the article (which for whatever reason was missed on F1F) I hope many more could enjoy it.

            Have a great 2017, @lockup.

          4. @coldfly just because you put Hamilton DOTY does not mean you cannot be biased. That’s the great thing about being biased! You see you have read a perectly valid statement from Hamilton and in your head put a negative spin on it. That is your bias that Hamilton speaks negatively about others. As I have repeatedly pointed out nothing from that quote states or implies that the team deliberately worked against him. That concept is one purely of your own devising (hence bias).

            It’s not a new thing around here for people to take Hamilton’s words and negatively spin them though ;) Merry 2017 to you both!

        3. I can’t spot my naughty word this time @keithcollantine. Why do you persevere with this ridiculous system?

  8. Regarding the recurring budget cap stories and the latest one in particular, wonder if last season’s spending that “skyrocketed” had anything at all to do with developing drastically new cars for next season? Sweeping reg changes usually do dictate simultaneous development for the current and future seasons which increases costs across the board. Plus there is one more team in F1 when comparing overall budgets year to year from 2015 to 2016, which would likely inherently boost the 2016 total. If implemented, a budget cap will completely backfire with unintended effects.

    1. @bullmello
      I 100% agree. Simply look at Testing ban its intended effect is to decrease the money pouring into development by running more on track. Now after 9 years we have Simulators which resemble real life conditions and ability to develop the update testing at the cost of equal to 2X times of what on track testing does. On top of that Still Small teams are where they are which is the main reason why the Budget cap/ Testing restrictions are tried to keep in place.

      The only most important thing FIA had to understand is no matter what they do F1 will be play thing of Big manufacturers who can pour Millions into development so accept the hard thing and take out the Stupid restrictions. I say bring back on track testing which helps all rather than this exceptional Simulations/ CFD designs which cost more than what the old school testing does.

    2. @bullmello, I will agree that the cumulative spending over 2016 will be abnormally large due to the major changes coming up between now and 2017, and therefore it is not going to be representative of the normal spending patterns in the sport.

      Furthermore, I suspect that some of the teams may be wary of the idea of a budget cap if they fear that Liberty Media may be using it as a means of justifying squeezing down the proportion of the revenues of the sport which are allocated to the teams.

      miki, I am curious as to your source for the claim that the relative cost of simulator testing is more than track testing, since that doesn’t seem to agree with what most teams have said (Ferrari may find that the costs are comparable, but most teams have usually said that track testing costs quite a bit more than simulator testing).

      1. i read that back in 2012/13 time.
        Its also very much logical honestly Yes there are extra wages of Having fuel / Engine(in customer teams view)/ Staff/ Tires /track rent etc but its beneficial when they can straight up test the parts to see which works and which wont work and also testing off races greatly helps them to fine tune the car to core which will help them to gain more understanding compared to the Simulatorand Dyno’s (in engine constructors case) it costs alot to build alone the normal one Best example is Sauber which doesn’t have the simulator yet and let alone with the likes of RBR which is using a very advanced Simulator.
        Validation is most important part even for big teams hence they go for ultra complex systems like simulating real world elements with all aspects to gain advantage by getting the validation done and turning the track testing ban into nothing.
        What FIA did to ban usually turned against it and its only just the beginning as the technological advancements are going faster than speed of light having track testing might have helped small teams than killing it now with out it i guess they will be even more weaker and finally succumb to money problems.
        A idea comes to my mind is having On track testing not only helps struggling teams by giving seat time to drivers who pay for it. it also helps them to develop the car and perhaps hire better guys who has skill as well but alas this is what we can’t get at the moment.

        1. miki, the thing is, track testing by itself is not usually enough to evaluate the performance of a component given that you will not have consistent operating conditions whilst on track (such as having to account for variations in climatic conditions etc.).

          Just as there have been instances of a component working in a wind tunnel but not working quite as intended on track, so there have been instances of a component seemingly working well in initial track tests but subsequently proving to not work as expected.

          Ferrari had such a situation with the F1-2000, where they modified the rear bodywork based on the results of a test at Fiorano that later turned out, when they ran it in anger, to be having a negative impact on the performance of the car (the onboard instrumentation indicated that it actually increased rear airflow separation, but had been missed during the test session as other changes they’d made to the car had masked its effect). It was a fairly expensive error, as it almost helped cost them the title that season – so even with track testing, errors do sometimes slip through the net.

          With regards to costs, we recently had a bit of an insight when, late last year, some of the teams complained about the prospect of having to undertake tyre tests for Pirelli in Abu Dhabi.

          Pirelli paid for one major cost component, which was the cost of paying for the hire of the circuit itself (which would have included the cost of providing the marshals and medical cover).

          Even so, quite a few teams baulked at the cost of running their cars in that test, with one team manager indicating that the running costs would be in the order of $500,000 for a single 12 hour day of tyre testing. It says something when even Ferrari basically said “that’s a bit too pricey for us”:

          A few years ago, Symonds indicated that just the mobilisation costs of getting to a circuit were in the order of $250,000, and that is before you begin running around on track – even if everything goes well, he estimated that you were looking at your minimum costs being in the order of $1000 per kilometre, whilst accident damage or production issues can cause costs to spike.

          When Mercedes conducted that secret test for Pirelli a few years ago, the cost of that test was even higher – some private estimates reckoned that it cost Mercedes in the order of $1 million per day to run those tests. Whilst the initial cost of purchasing a simulator might be high, I can’t see how the running costs of a simulator session would by itself be in the order of twice that of a track test (you’d be getting on for around $1-2 million a day otherwise).

          Even if the smaller teams were selling seat time, it would only partially offset the cost of testing – it’s a big money sink, and it is why track testing is an item which a lot of series have severely clamped down on as a cost control measure (for example, the WEC has progressively reduced the amount of track testing over the past few years to try and keep spending down in that series).

  9. Red Bull go into next year with the strongest lineup

    Come on, the RB driver have won 4 races in total.
    It’s not like Ferrari has two world champions, McLaren has Alonso and Mercedes only has Hamilton.

    1. @jeff1s That, frankly, isn’t much of a valid argument.

  10. I’m very happy Ickx is getting involved. He’s been around the paddock of many WEC races (our Belgian 6 times Le Mans winner, yup!) but one must not forget he was also almost a world champion (8 Belgian wins and 1/5 starts was a podium visit) and a Formula Two title holder, a winner of the Bathurst 1000 and should have been a double victor of the DAKAR too. Coming back to my point, he should be there for Vandoorne as one cannot forget Vandoorne is next to Ickx maybe the best Belgian ever had in motorsport, and on top of that he is Flemish. That second part might mean F1 finally get’s released into the mainstream in Belgium. How can that be with Spa I see you wondering; Well I doubt a fifth of the Belgians know what beauty lies in our backyard. So up up and away Vandoorne champion in 2018, or what did the Dutchies say about Verstappen in 2015? Am so happy, also Vanthoor driving Porsches from now on.

    1. Arguably, Max Verstappen is also half a Belgian and lived there for most of his life @xtwl, even though he drives under a Dutch licence.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        27th December 2016, 11:31

        Yes I was going to mention Max was born in Belgium, I wasn’t sure whether that’s why he had such big support at Spa or if that was travelling Dutch fans. I think Stoffel is definitely one to get excited about and he’s coming in with the perfect experience under his belt and a mature head on his shoulders, very excited to see how he compares with Fernando. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve not attended the Belgian Grand Prix yet. Something I aim to rectify next year.

        1. Traveling Dutch fans. 40.000 of them. I was there and it was ace.

    2. The turnout of fans in Spa this year is going to be epic. 2016 was already a record breaker.

  11. Budget cap talk by the owners sounds like Mosley whenever there was a move to get a bigger share of the pot. A simple diversionary tactic.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      27th December 2016, 10:04

      But I do have to ask, why are the teams spending so much more than 20 years ago. Williams apparently won the championship spending around £30million-ish. Today this only gets a spot on the back row if you’re lucky

      1. Jonathan Parkin, mind you, do your figures take into account the fact that those claimed spending figures would not have included development costs which were borne by third parties (e.g. engine development costs which would have been absorbed by Renault instead of by Williams)? Those figures also sound low when you consider the size of the driver salaries around that time – Senna’s contract with Williams in 1994 was reportedly worth $20 million a year at the time, which by itself would make up almost half of that claimed budget of £30 million a year at the time.

        I’ve seen some suggestions that the budgets of the teams in the mid 1990’s were quite a bit larger than that apparent figure of £30 million (about four times those figures), in part due to the freedom to develop new driver aids (e.g. traction control, active suspension systems and so forth) causing a major surge in spending before they were mostly banned in 1994.

        1. Jonathan Parkin
          27th December 2016, 11:45

          You’re probably right. I can’t remember where I saw that figure to be honest but I did see it somewhere, but I do know that to be competitive back then they didn’t seem to spend anything like what they do now.

      2. Simple. Teams spend as much as they can get to fund their racing, because there has never been an absolute limit established as to the maximum money one needs to spend to maximise a set of regulations. In all cases, optimally-invested high income has always yielded a faster car than an equally optimally-invested lower income. 20 years ago, there was less money in the sport. Now, thanks to fewer, larger sponsors, 10% escalator deals with circuits and pay TV, there is considerably more money for teams – especially the ones that were already wealthy. Also, bigger teams (though not smaller ones) can more easily get much larger credit – in 2014, Mercedes accumalated a larger debt (just from that year’s expenditure) than Force India was able to spend in total, and would have been able to buy Marussia, complete with paying off its entire debt, with about £15 m to spare.

        Teams that don’t want to abide by the budget cap will have no trouble dodging it (in fact, the ones with the biggest budget will have the easiest time of dodging it). Also, if any attempt at compulsion is made, could be interpreted as the FIA getting involved in commercial affairs or the FOM getting involved in regulatory ones – a matter already under investigation in both directions. So Chase Carey won’t be getting his way on this one. If the big teams don’t stop it, the lawyers and loophole-exploiters will.

        1. @alianora-la-canta – All very good points on the budgets and budget cap issues. It will not solve anything, only waste more money, time and effort on a useless diversionary tactic.

  12. Luckily for F1 Celis is another in a long list of test drivers Force India use for money. Thank god they always give their race seats out on talent.

    1. True. But Alfonso has to say such things, so the investors can hope he can improve enough to get a seat (anywhere) on talent.

  13. What is the Monza layout for 2017?

    Same as 2016, or is that planned change expected to be implemented for next years race?

  14. With respect to JP’s comment about passing next year and how hard it is to imagine it being worse than 2016, that’s the approach I’ve been taking from my armchair too. So fingers crossed to a much more enthralling product on the track moving forward.

    1. @robbie, I’d agree that a lot of people have automatically jumped to the conclusion that downforce and aerodynamics are always a bad thing, whilst not necessarily considering the mechanisms by which that performance can be achieved.

      One example would be the wings, where people have complained about the wings being made wider based on the assumption that they will be more sensitive to the wake of a leading car.

      What a lot of people have missed is the fact that the new regulations have increased the aspect ratio of the wings (making the wings wider, but decreasing the chord length slightly). In principle, this could actually improve the situation – increasing the aspect ratio of a wing reduces the lift induced drag (the force arising from the change in the direction of the air flowing around the wing), thereby potentially reducing the disturbance in the wake of that wing.

      Furthermore, modifying the aspect ratio would also potentially reduce the size of the wingtip induced vortices – also considered to have a detrimental effect on the trailing car – so even if they are producing more downforce overall, the improved efficiency of the wings might actually have a beneficial impact on the trailing car by reducing the size of the wake produced by the leading car.

      1. Interesting point @anon, though on the other hand that means DRS will have less of an effect. In fact with the fat tyres and fat diffuser the rear wing is already a much smaller % of drag to be ‘reduced’.

        Of course there’ll also be a bigger tow, a bit more mechanical grip, less speed change, less time on the straight, less time on the brakes, and more corner speed increasing the wake through the corner, so who knows how everything will combine.

        But the lower rear wing connects with the diffuser flow again now so I’m thinking a huge, high wake that’ll make following more of a factor than ever. I’m more nervous than optimistic. It’ll make lapped cars more of an issue too, if their effect extends from about 2s to say 3s or whatever.

  15. Oh geez, that’s me!

  16. I don’t see how it would be possible to enforce a budget cap unless teams were expected to have a uniform accounting system.

  17. Funny – did PAL one real overtake in 2016?

    If 2017 is going to be harder then he has a big problem…

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