Rio Haryanto, Manor, Red Bull Ring, 2016

Haryanto’s sponsor goes cold on F1 return

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In the round-up: Rio Haryanto’s chances of returning to Formula One this year have been dealt a blow by the company who previously sponsored him.

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Jenson Button: a champion, but a great? Maddme’s view:

I would put Button up as one of the greats… Remember he did not get a car capable of winning a championship until 2009 (Brawn) and even then, by the mid point of the season his competitors cars had caught up. He started out in Williams for his first year and then (under contract to Williams) was shipped out to a very inferior Benetton and into an even worse Renault… Onto BAR, still a midfield team, who he managed to podium with before Honda came along and injectsed the necessary capital to produce an eventual car with championship potential, at which point, Honda pulled out.

If you look at Hamilton, he has nearly always had a car capable of winning races from the McLaren in 2007/2008 right through.

If the fortunes were reversed and Hamilton needed to wait 9 years before having a suitably competitive race car, I am pretty certain, his abilities would be questioned in much the same way, assuming he could capitalise in the same way Button managed.
Maddme

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  • 61 comments on “Haryanto’s sponsor goes cold on F1 return”

    1. Silly Season remark – Bottas is already wearing Mercedes colours.

      1. first thing I noticed as well: LOTS of silver on those photos…

      2. Really what dull way to break it for everyone, at first glance I thought I was watching Nico. JB one of the great no matter how much alchemy you put up or drink or whatever you do with alchemy you can’t justify the title of one of the greats to JB, unless you are speaking from the bottom of your heart, that I understand, not agree with but understand.

    2. Interesting to see Max use that POV and not the in-car view.

      1. nelson piquet
        4th January 2017, 5:36

        this view is more suitable for consoles, the in car view doesnt give you a realistic vision for the track because you sit at least 1 meter away from a tiny screen

        1. Well you don’t have to sit so far away form the screen, and the screen doesn’t have to be tiny either. In any case, using the T cam doesn’t make the view any more realistic than the in car view. In car view, with the FOV adjusted properly, is always more realistic than the T cam, regardless of how realistic the physics are, or where the TV is mounted.

          1. Agreed @mikeymike the in car view gives more of an idea of how certain corners have a blind turn in such as copse at silverstone or turn 4 at the hungaroring, and how the front wing isn’t visible from the cockpit

      2. It’s more of an arcade than a sim game though, I’m sure he’d use the in-car view if it was Assetto Corsa or something which is a bit more realistic

      3. @selbbin yes and …the fact Max is playing an official f1 game… When he was with STR his home set up was a sim racing game, now wherever he’s and considering he’s driving for RB and is the greatest marketing and more influential driver he can’t be caught playing an obscure sim running an illegal mod. He might not have mods there but you can get asseto to run anywhere.

    3. That motorsport article really makes a complicated thing as easy to understand as possible.

      There’s a shady area in the regulations, that’s not a new scenario, it happened a lot over the past few years. What is so disappointing, is every time this happens, rather than respecting the hard work of rivals who have come up with innovative ways of getting their car to be faster, and rather than trying to develop a similar system for their own car, Ferrari cry to the FIA about it. It’s surely embarrassing for them, no?

      1. @strontium Nope. It wasn’t embarrassing for RBR to protest Brown over the double diffuser in 2009, even though the loophole was “real”, meaning it couldn’t be banned by the FIA. Someone’s trying to ruin your good work(RBR was the best chassis of 2009, yet it lost the championship)by potentially illegal means and you wouldn’t protest?

        And if the Autosport article is correct, then this current case is even less “embarrassing”. Because Whiting indicated that this current trick is not even a loophole, it’s flat out illegal. Someone who tries rigging the competition by illegal tricks has no right to complain when caught

        1. We also now know Merc had been running an illegal suspension.

          Something that the press refuses to pick up.

          1. They weren’t, because the said system was banned only after the 2016 season. But for next season it’s illegal and they have to deal with it.

        2. Red Bull might have built the best car of the ones that “missed the trick”, but the Brawn clearly was the better chassis @montreal95! Off course Red Bull did catch up once they invested boatloads of money into completely redoing what they could to get a DDiffuser in there too while Brawn did not have the money left to invest much, but with development during the year, that car would still have been clearly ahead.

          1. @bascb Well, it’s obvious that I meant “best chassis if you discount the trick”. So if you have such a chassis, and someone upstages you because of a borderline illegal trick, wouldn’t you protest? Of course you would! It’s worth a shot and there’s nothing embarrassing about it, and in the current situation when it’s not even borderline even less so.

            1. I have no bone at all with RBR (and all other teams who did not use the idea themselves) protesting something that they had thought to be illegal @montreal95. If I would, I would feel bad about Bennetton getting booked for probably using illegal settings with their funky menue. Protesting things is perfectly fine for me. We all know that teams do this all the time to get “clever” bits others come up with banned. It is part of the game.

              I do strongly object against “best if …” ideas. YEah, Hamilton would have been the best this year if he had not had bad starts and an unreliable powertrain. Sure, Red Bull was best non DD chassis, or things like RBR in 2014 had the best car if not for the engine etc. But that is just nonsense, or maybe to say it nicer, fantasy land.
              Reality is that some did think of the loophole, others did not. Just as Red Bull was great at exploiting the blown diffusor thing (or should we say that maybe McLaren or Ferrari or Mercedes was a better car apart from the hot blowing thing at the time? It would be fair to do so, but stil nonsense IMO.).

            2. @bascb We don’t disagree. From the moment the FIA ruled the double diffuser legal, the discussion is a mere “what if” mostly for fans and by the fans, which can be fun but has no purprose in the real world. I’ve brought it up merely as an example to prove to @strontium that if even in that situation it wasn’t embarrassing to protest, then in the current situation it’s even less so.

            3. We seem to certainly agree, that the notion that protesting something is somehow devious, pathetic or sad is wrong yeah!

      2. @strontium, as montreal95 notes, every team does exactly the same thing to each other – for example, it happened to McLaren in 2011, when Red Bull questioned the legality of certain materials that could be used in the exhaust system and forced them to abandon their blown diffuser design (leading them to copy Red Bull’s design instead).

        Just as they have questioned the designs of others, Ferrari have been on the receiving end of such treatment in the past as well – Mercedes questioned the legality of Ferrari’s turbocharger unit at a late stage in 2014 in a move that was also perceived as trying to spoil Ferrari’s development work, although in that case Mercedes’s appeal failed and the FIA ruled that the turbocharger design was legal.

        1. I thought McLaren abandoned the ‘octopus exhaust’ because it was so fragile it kept failing. Still, Red Bull were surprised how well Woking ‘stole’ their design concept and made it work almost immediately.

          Red Bull seem to have eased off openly protesting other teams after they were caught red-handed with those blatant hinged/sleeved flexi-wings in the last race of 2014.

          1. @optimaximal, it is correct that they abandoned it because it kept failing, but the reason it kept failing and was so fragile was because the surrounding bodywork that they were using to control the exhaust gas flow kept overheating and warping.

            The reason for that is because McLaren wanted to use a particular type of insulation material in the exhaust system in order to protect the diffuser and surrounding bodywork, but Red Bull launched a successful protest to Whiting that blocked McLaren from using that insulating material. That resulted in the overheating problems mentioned above and made it impossible for their ‘octopus exhaust’ concept to work in practise, hence why they had to abandon it.

            1. I never knew this (assuming it is accurate). I wonder what the grounds for banning such a material would be

            2. As @3dom noted, I was never aware of that story. If it’s accurate, then McLaren had probably a very good car that year given how fast it was with a reduced double diffuser.
              I too would be interested in the reason given by RB to request a ban on the components.

        2. I think I get the issue here, wrt suspension gadgetry that causes the back of the car to sit down above a certain speed, thus reducing wing rake and drag, and how that could be deemed a moveable aero aid. What I don’t get is how they can have much hated DRS and yet sweat this other trickery.

          I’ve probably got it wrong and there are likely technical reasons for that in relation to the regs that segregate the two concepts, but I can’t help cynically saying that if this is considered a ban worthy moveable aero device, then please ban DRS too.

          Otherwise let Merc and RBR proceed before Newey blows a gasket feeling completely shut out from developing any kind of innovation whatsoever.

          My gut tells me there will be no ban at a time when that would make it sound like champions Merc have been illegal (they won’t have been because the system will have only been banned after 2016), and at a time when they are aiming for faster cars, not to stymie them. Nor will they want to advantage Merc further as has been suggested the ban would do by hurting RBR more.

          1. DRS is specifically excluded from a number of regulations regarding aerodynamics, which is why it is able to be included on a car that can’t even have a mass damper due to moveable aero rules.

      3. It’s the 2nd time Ferrari asks for clarification on a rule in these past couple seasons, and I remind @strontium that Ferrari didn’t lobby anything on the other complaint they made, which contrasts with the dozen odd protests and rule changes that RB has prompted in the last 6 seasons.

        1. @strontium The motorsport article is quite cynic because autosport has claimed that in the past most cars run these system and that I’ve seen actually not only a scarbs sketch but also Piola’s drawings comparing all 3 iterations of the same suspension trick.

    4. Re COTD

      Is it a rights of passage that a driver or any driver for that matter, should start their career driving for a back of the grid team before they progress up to a top team?

      I keep seeing it everywhere, “Lewis has always driven for a top team”…. So what? Is there an unwritten rule that says otherwise? I think it’s time people move on from that statement, he proved that he deserved the seat in 07.

      1. You’ve missed the point of COTD by a mile.

        1. No I didn’t

      2. There is an unwritten rule that says you cannot know the full strength of a driver until they’ve been in a car that is significantly below their abilities. For most drivers, that is because they have to start in a lesser car to prove they deserve the better one. In other cases, that doesn’t happen – Fangio’s 1950 car was good but his performances when the cars weren’t so good were also consistent with those expected from a great champion. There is some debate as to whether the 2009 McLaren counts as that car for Hamilton.

        However, it’s not an iron rule; some careers simply don’t end up encompassing a truly slow car, and for someone with Lewis’ record, it’s unlikely to do any long-term damage to what is already an excellent record even considering the quality of car he’s typically had. The record is likely to look even better by the time Lewis leaves his F1 prime, and besides, there are many factors that define greatness. Jim Clark is the example par excellence of a driver respected as a legendary driver without needing a bad F1 car to offer further proof.

    5. I could never consider Button as a great.

      He had to wait nine years to get a ‘best car’ so he could win the championship because he wasn’t rated especially highly by anyone in the business of regularly building championship contenders. He was beyond fortunate with the Brawn – in a different Universe the team would have folded, he wouldn’t even have had a drive in 2009 and he’d be remembered now as another Nick Heidfeld or Ralf Schumacher.

      Drivers like Michael Schumacher, Alonso, Raikkonen in his day, Hamilton and so on don’t land in big teams by accident. They show incredible ability, force their way to the top of all those shopping lists and go from there. Sometimes they end up in the right big team at the right time, sometimes they don’t (Hi Fernando). But they never spend the best part of a decade puttering around the midfield, waiting for someone to notice how awesome they are and go all out to secure their services.

      Don’t get me wrong, Button developed into a very good driver and spent most of his career in the second tier, behind only the true top talents. But he never did enough to come close to what I’d call a ‘great’.

      1. Not every driver can be in the best car, that is why there are drivers in the midfield.your way of determining a great driver is obviously by results success and not ability. Button scored more points as teammate to one of the drivers you consider great, and he did so coming from being stuck in a midfield team! Button also convincingly beat barichello to the championship in the same way Schumacher beat barichello.

        1. My way of determining a great is mostly down to ability… results only tell part of any story. For example, ‘Button scored more points than Hamilton’ is an entirely results-based statistic that tells but a fraction of a tale, yet it’s brought up over and over and over because it’s the only straw available to be clung to.

          But ability alone isn’t enough either.

          If it helps, the only driver currently active that I’d call an ‘all-time great’ is Alonso. If I loosen up a little bit, Hamilton and Vettel join the group. But even loosened up, my group of ‘greats’ from the last 20 years contains only five drivers – Schumacher, Hakkinen, Alonso, Vettel (just) and Hamilton. And the only full-career driver in that period who I thought had the pure ability to have been a great, but who didn’t make it, is Raikkonen.

          1. @neilosjames Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are definitely the great drivers of this century. I don’t think Häkkinen was nearly as good. He was fast, but he was also struggling to win a race until he had a very fast car in 1998. He lacked some aggression, motivation and wet-weather skills to be really considered a great driver. He was good under pressure, though, and therefore he managed to win two world titles. I feel Räikkönen is a somewhat improved version of Häkkinen, and while he is incredibly talented, he is not as all-round as the true greats. Rosberg and Button lack some outright talent and are therefore considered boring, but at least they’ve managed to perform at a very respectable level, somewhat below the level of the top drivers.

        2. Kpcart

          But aren’t your results determined by your abilities?

          We keep hearing, “put any driver in that Mercedes and they’d be WDC” … but that’s not really true is it? You saying Rio, would be WDC?

          1. If he was in a 2014-2016 Mercedes and didn’t have a teammate (I can’t think of anyone much slower to pair him up with), he’d be WDC 3 years running in my opinion. Fairly comfortably as well.

      2. Drivers like Michael Schumacher, Alonso, Raikkonen in his day, Hamilton and so on don’t land in big teams by accident. They show incredible ability, force their way to the top of all those shopping lists and go from there. Sometimes they end up in the right big team at the right time, sometimes they don’t (Hi Fernando). But they never spend the best part of a decade puttering around the midfield, waiting for someone to notice how awesome they are and go all out to secure their services.

        I feel like this is failing to put things into perspective, as Button’s early career was rather complicated.

        First there’s his Renault stint. Sure, Renault was a mid-field team at the time, but this is a bit of a misnomer. Renault had just arrived in Formula 1 as a full team with title ambitions and the budget to back them up. They eventually prefered Alonso over Button to build their title bid, but things might well have been different had Briatore not been Alonso’s manager.

        Then Button moved to BAR, another aspiring team with ambitions, budget, and engine manufacturer support. After beating Villeneuve in 2003 Button was essentially on the same footing as Alonso: a young driver around which an aspiring top team was building its long term plan. And indeed 2004 was a tremendous year for Button and BAR: they didn’t manage a win but they still finished “best of the rest” behind Ferrari in both the WDC and WCC, ahead of Renault. Unfortunately for Button, BAR/Honda promises didn’t exactly pan out while Renault’s did. But it’s not like the team’s ambitions disappeared: they looked quite strong again by the end of 2006, still had the motivation, still had the budget, still recruited, and indeed finally produced a championship winning car just before Honda pulled the plug.

        To add to that, in mid-2004 Button had actually signed with Williams for 2005. It ended in a contract dispute, and considering where BAR and Williams were in 2004 I’d say that it was two then top teams willing to fight to have Button working for them.

    6. Whiting response is not so clear cut “would be likely to contravene article 3.15″ – I would argue by using the word likely he is saying there is a loophole around depending how it is presented….. why else the word “likely” and not something more definitive?

      1. He describes it as “likely” to contravene the article because all he has been given is a broad description of a concept. Until he is presented with an actual system he couldn’t possibly determine whether in his opinion it is legal or not.

        Another point is that Ferrari’s description specifies that the aerodynamic effect is the main effect (which is really what puts it in contravention of article 3.15). If anyone does decide to run this type of system their defence is likely to be built on a view that its primary role is something other than aerodynamic so even if Whiting’s response had greater conviction it still doesn’t rule out any particular team’s interpretation if they think their defense could hold water.

        The whole concept of 3.15 is nonsense anyway as everything on an F1 car is a moveable aerodynamic device including any suspension component – it’s just a deliberately vague rule used by the FIA to try and stop what they decide they don’t like (in a similar way to the inconsistent and sometimes bizarre interpretation of the rule about the driver driving “alone and unaided”) and for that reason any innovation around the suspension is always at risk of a 3.15 complaint and whether it will be upheld or not can’t be rationally determined in advance.

        1. Bang on the money @jerseyf1

      2. Charlie’s been in F1 long enough to know that the day he tries predicting something as definitely not allowed (which isn’t specifically banned in the regulations)… …is the day before he is presented with a system that complies with the letter of the regulations and neither their spirit nor Charlie’s previous understanding of them.

      1. It’s one of the worst COTD’s ever.

      2. Not sure I entirely agree with it but it’s right that if a driver has a fast car, people assume he’s a fast driver. If someone has a poor race in a Mercedes and someone else has a stunning 10/10 race in a Manor, most people will say the Mercedes driver did better.

        There are plenty of examples when it was decided by the F1 community that certain drivers are fast and others are slow only to be proven wrong. Vettel is a good example – lots said he only won in the Red Bull due to his car. He then joined Ferrari and suddenly he’s talked about as a top driver.

        Similarly, people still question whether Hulk is a good driver – if he was in a Mercedes last year, I think he’d have won the WDC considering Hamilton’s technical issues and people would have a very different opinion of him. He didn’t get that chance though so he’s still a “midfield driver.”

    7. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      4th January 2017, 10:27

      @Maddme Certainly I think there are strands of greatness in Jenson, those that came to the fore to produce his fastest lap of the weekend, with race fuel onboard, on his final qualifying run in Monaco in 2009, or a utterly unmatched sixth sense for the grip of a slick tyre on a wet racetrack in evidence as recently as his lap to put him fifth in the qualifying classifications in Austria.

      However individual great drives are not enough to indicate greatness. Many of the drivers on the grid have produced some truly great drives. Raikkonen’s drive to victory in the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix is unquestionably a great drive, similarly some of Checo’s podiums, particularly his drive to P2 under the rear wing of Fernando Alonso in Malaysia, were fairly great. Even the fact that Pastor Maldonado won in a Williams that was, at best, the fifth best car on-track in Barcelona in 2012, was pretty darn great.

      However what separates the likes of Button, Raikkonen and Perez from the Hamiltons and Vettels of this world, is the ability of the very elite drivers to consistently produce top-drawer performances even when there are mitigating factors. Greatness is not about performance peaks. Greatness is not about a snapshot in history when the planets align. Greatness is about producing a exceptional level of performance each and every time you step over the side of a racing car.

      I think Jenson himself would admit that the stylistic demands he made of a car, and a very narrow window of optimal performance in qualifying especially, meant he was unable to match the performance tempo of some of the headline acts.

      1. I quite agree.
        Mclaren replaced the great Mansell with Blundell. Surely, Blundell must be a great too.

      2. “Greatness is about producing and exceptional…performance each and every time.”

        I largely agree. But since Roseberg finally won I’ve been considering how exceptional performances often outshine consistent great results.

        This year Riccardo vs. Versappen will be great sport. I could see Riccardo having more points while Versappen gets attention for freakish drives like Brazil last year.

    8. The game of politics has just began, Ferrari move at this particular time where it is rumored that RBR car parts were already in production since the end of November after a final check made by Newey himself is not to question the legality of such device (they already know that), they’re targeting Mercedes & RBR development work at this critical stage of the season.
      The interesting thing is how Mercedes and RBR will react, will they continue their work and hope the FIA will give them green light ? Or will they return to a more conventional design ?
      Knowing how arrogant the RBR guys are, i have already answered myself !!!

    9. I like Jenson, Always have. He’s a throughly nice guy…. However I wouldn’t ever consider him one of the all time greats.

      He’s good & deserves credit for the success he had so i’m not trying to take that away from him but I think the thing that separates him from the greats is that unlike drivers like Schumacher, Prost, Senna, Hamilton, Ascari etc…. He was never really able to get more out of a car than the car was capable of on a consistent basis. When the car was good he was good, But if the car was off then he would struggle with it.

      Look at 2009 as a perfect example, When the car was at its best early in the year he won 6 of the 1st 7 races; However from Silverstone when the car wasn’t as good as it had been (And others also caught up/passed them) he really struggled with it, Far more than Rubens did who actually ended up out pacing Jenson for a lot of the final half of that year.
      And the same was true in 2007/2008, Those car’s weren’t good & Rubens often ended up dragging more out of them with Jenson often seeming a bit lost.

    10. Button was the least convincing WDC I remember seeing in over 20 years.
      He did hit the ground running in 2009 in the first 7 races, but after that, his performance was borderline farcical. For the rest of the season, he kept struggling to make it into Q3 at all, while Barrichello kept fighting for pole positions. And he tried to make it look like Barrichello was just taking unnecessary risks, on top of that.
      He was outperformed by Barrichello for the rest of the season, bar the last race, which saw Barrichello covering the entire race distance with front wing damage after touching Button in the first corner. What saved his neck was a grotesquely uneven distribution of unreliability at Brawn GP that ridicules Hamilton’s bad luck last season.
      Button had zero reliability issues, his only DNF in Belgium was due to a first lap incident in the back half of the grid. The only real surprise here is that it only happened this one time.
      On the other hand, Barrichello had a gearbox failure (Turkey), a fuel hose malfunction that forced him to pit again after one lap (Germany), a loose suspension damper spring (Hungary, qualifying), a burning car (Belgium), a gearbox change (Singapore, qualifying), another botched pit stop (Singapore), a puncture (Brazil), and, finally, clutch problems at the start (Australia, Bahrain, Turkey, Belgium).
      In the end, Button’s title was secured thanks to Barrichello’s unbelievable share of bad luck, as well as the fact that Brawn went from having the one dominating car in the first half of the season to having one of the three strongest cars after Red Bull and McLaren had managed to close the gap. So, in addition to Barrichello being crippled by unreliability and team errors, the progress of Button’s most dangerous challengers (Barrichello, Vettel, Webber) was greatly slowed due the fact that four different drivers (Hamilton as well) were costing each other big points.
      In the end, Button was saved by the bell. He managed to defend the lead he had built in the first 7 races despite being outscored by 5 other drivers (Vettel, Barricchello, Webber, Hamilton, Räikkönen) in the last 10 races.
      There was no skill involved in that. Just luck.

      1. Ouch! Awesomely brutal post.

    11. Pertamina pretty much scuttled Rio’s chances of ever sitting in a F1 car. With that short lived sponsorship with him, they achieved “maximal efforts”? I know about the country of Indonesia but knew nothing about its state-owned oil company(much like I never heard of SOCAR but learned about it after the Baku race). In that respect, I guess it worked.

      1. @photogcw
        The question is, what audience are they targetting? It’s not like Joe Rolex-owner is going to buy 5 million barrels of crude oil from Pertamina after seeing Rio Haryanto in an F1 race …

        1. It could be a campaign to introduce the brand name and awareness to the world. Indonesia is one of the biggest petroleum producers in the world. Ironically, the article says nothing about the company’s sponsorship in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series. I live in part of the USA that is heavily dependent on petroleum production(south Texas) and very few of these state-owned companies do business at the consumer level here.

    12. Lol at COTD, well there is a reason Button is never mentioned amongst greatest of this generation…

      He is excellent, like Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikonen… But he is no Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso… And he clearly is no Fangio, Senna or Schumacher…

      1. I think you’re right pretty much. You can only take advantage of the situation you are presented with. This is exactly what Button did in 2009.

        If he was not an excellent driver how come McLaren recruited him to drive for them in 2010. It was not the case, as someone said above, that Brawn/Mercedes did not want him. They had just taken over the team and wanted to include a German driver.

        He is not quite in the class of Hamilton, Alonso and probably Vettel. But how come when he has been team mates with two of these three his performances have compared quite favourably. On his day, when he was happy with the car he was pretty much unbeatable. Look at Canada 2011 for example. If this is not the drive of a champion I don’t know what is.

        I think Jenson compares very favourably with the likes of the other one time champions in the last 10 or so years, Raikkonnen (who I have always thought is over-rated) and Rosberg. I think this is the general view of those in the F1 community.

    13. That pic of Verstappen reminds me. I was pretty disappointed with this year’s F1 game despite the initial hype. First of all the lack of current F1 tropes with no energy system/recovery. They could really add to the engine mode options by having a couple for low/high harvesting for an overtake button/mode, just having DRS and fuel saving engine modes made it feel like still playing the V8 formula really. It’s a shame because it’s a great opportunity to teach fans how these systems work from the drivers perspective.

      Then there was the absolutely terrible AI with co-op multiplayer for some reason. It wasn’t so noticeable in single player, but for some reason online they just go stupidly aggressive. A mate and I couldn’t complete the first two races without the AI just barging in to us on the straights and catching our rear wheels sending us in to a spin, or just taking us out entirely from damage.

      It did have its plus sides I guess though, the practice sessions in single player were definitely awesome, as were the re-introduction of safety cars and the voice activated engineer was lots of fun. In the grand scheme though it was little saving grace. When compared to the likes of FIFA or NBA2K, particularly with their career modes, it’s undoubtedly falling far short of the benchmark for world class sport games which F1 deserves to be included in.

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