Esteban Ocon, Manor, Suzuka, 2016

Manor have potential lifeline for 2017

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Manor may keep their place on the grid for 2017 after a bid was made to save the team.

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New Chapter 👊🏼 @mercedesamgf1 #VB77 #mbfamily #F1

A photo posted by Valtteri Bottas (@valtteribottas) on

Comment of the day

Mercedes get a big thumbs-up from @GeeMac:

I am so excited by this confirmation.

I am a big believer in Bottas and I fully expect Valtteri to exceed people’s expectations at Mercedes. Far too many people see him as a safe choice, as someone who will be blown to shreds by Hamilton, but he is fast, consistent, committed and he has proven over the last few years that he can take opportunities to score big when they arise.

He is also blindingly quick over a single lap as his several of his qualifying performances show (such as Sochi 2014 where he put it all on the line to try grab a pole he had no right to challenge for and his lap at Montreal in 2013).

Make it count Valtteri!
@GeeMac

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On this day in F1

Damon Hill’s first test in his new Arrows did not go well on this day 20 years ago – he managed just a single lap in the Yamaha-powered car.

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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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  • 62 comments on “Manor have potential lifeline for 2017”

    1. Maybe COTD should enunciate with words other than ‘blindingly quick’ – especially when the examples cited are from 3-4 years ago.
      LH is likely going to have a field day / cake walk / insert phrase here.

      1. @sjzelli So qualifying third in a Williams in 2013 wasn’t impressive and didn’t lay down a marker of Valtteri’s pace and talent?

        The fact is Bottas is fast. If he is fast enough to give Hamilton, one of the quickest out there and an all time great, a hard time occasionally, in my book that will mean he is a special talent.

        1. You mean like Rosberg?

          1. Would you complain if you had an f1 career like Nico Rosberg’s?

          2. Rosberg is a pretty underrated driver. I would say, at the very least, he’s equal to Vettel in terms of speed and racecraft.

            1. Lol. Rosberg is underrated sure, but nowhere near Vettel.

            2. Bwahaha. Ok grat

            3. Yep – they are both crying all the time in the radio…pretty equal..both german whiners..

            4. Looking forward to see bottas in the mercedes instead of those spoiled kids in the fastest cars (merc/Ferrari)

            5. When it comes to speed alone, especially in qualifying then Rosberg is one of the top talents that passed threw F1 circuits.
              BUT when it comes to race craft itself is where he loses points. His wheel to wheel ability was never much and he seemed to made panic silly moves whenever he tried to play hard-ball and not roll over.

        2. He is fast but needs to develop himself at being fast in traffic. His in traffic skills are not good enough to beat HAM (or VES, RIC for that matter) yet

        3. To me bottas will be a version of kovalainnen. He won’t win more than a handful of races but he will take points away from hamilton’s competitors. I can only hope that the Mercedes car is not the best car this season. Mercedes and Hamilton need to eat the humble pie so that next time they will hire the best driver available not one thinking that they will have the best car out there and that it will be a piece of cake.

      2. I think Bottas will be similar to Rosberg – not quite as fast as Hamilton but providing it’s painfully easy for Mercedes to get a 1-2 again, he’ll give him a challenge in the Championship fight.

        Big difference is that Rosgerg was already at the team when Hamilton came in. I think Bottas will improve with every race at the team so it’ll be interesting to see if he can match Hamilton by the end of the season or not.

      3. Likeley… But dont see why? While Bottas is no Max Verstapen in hype departmebt, and was only 5th choice… He aint exactly slow. He might be on Nico Rosberg level… And that is sometimes enough.

      4. I’ve been surprised by all the negativity towards Bottas’ move to Mercedes ever since Rosberg announced his retirement. Most of the fans (at least in F1Fanatic) seem to think that Hamilton is going to have a cake walk. I don’t think so. Hamilton didn’t have a cake walk with Rosberg and I genuinely think that Bottas will be at least as tough an opponent to Lewis as Nico was.

        Of course I’m a bit biased as a Finn. But I’ve never been as excited about any of our drivers before. Häkkinen was great, but his two championships were mostly due to the car and he often failed to deliver. Salo just wasn’t good enough. Räikkönen was on his best amazing, but he always lacked in qualifying and he also had occasional bad weekends. Kovalainen never really convinced me and I was surprised when McLaren signed him after his first season.

        But I think Bottas is something different. He’s very fast in qualifying and very consistent in the races. We rarely see him make any mistakes. I think Bottas can challenge Hamilton in qualifying and I don’t expect him to have disastrous weekends like Rosberg had in Monaco and Canada this season. So all in all, I don’t think Hamilton will have easy time with Bottas – even though I think that it’s more likely Hamilton will ultimately finish ahead in championship standings at least at the first season.

        I guess it’s just that Bottas doesn’t have the sort of “win it or bin it” attitude that fans appreciate – but that is exactly why he might win Lewis like Rosberg did.

        1. Just to reiterate…almost all WDCers had the WCC car, so to say Hakkinen won mostly due to the car is to confirm he did not squander the necessary equipment when he had it.

          1. @robbie
            I don’t disagree with you there. Hakkinen was on his best a great driver (and my childhood hero) and he definitely deserved both his WDCs. But he probably wasn’t as great as his 2 WDCs might imply. In 1998 he had a superior car and in 1999 he was fighting against Irvine. Yet Häkkinen peaked when he had a car to win championships and that’s how championships are won.

            I’m not taking anything away from Häkkinen. My point is merely that in my opinion Bottas is (or has a potential to be) a better driver than Häkkinen was.

            1. It seems you don’t remember Hakkinen when he first appeared in Mclaren. He was making Ayrton Senna sweat and also many insiders say that Schumacher believed he didn’t have the natural speed of Hakinnen and that is one reason he worked so hard on everything to make sure he could keep up to talents like that by setting-up the car better etc.

    2. I saw that RB video early. It’s remarkable how RB manage to slip into every statement made of the 2017 rules the motivation for more overtaking. Supposedly the delta shaped front wing and the diffuser were engineered for close racing but we all expect that better wheel to wheel racing won’t happen, and it was certainly not Rb’s motivation for the constant lobbying behind the 2017 rules. The 2017 rules are compromise of where both Mercedes and RB were happy with. The Pu formula is still there but there’s more aero. They didn’t do it for us.

        1. No…we don’t ALL expect that better wheel to wheel racing won’t happen.

    3. Re The offer made to save Manor.
      I hope this works out for the team.

      1. I think we all do @drycrust

        Even if this feeling comes from my irrational tough of maintaining Jules Bianchi’s legacy, I really don’t want them to disappear.

        But they are pushing the boundaries, they cannot have this situation happening to them every odd year, I hope they pull trough and manage to stay in business, otherwise it is better to end the agony and uncertainty all together.

        A lot of people depend on this jobs, and they can be very passioned about the sport, but that alone won’t put food on the table

        1. A lifeline is a lifeline. It’ll keep you alive for a short time. That’s all it will do.
          We all have to hope that either F1’s rules are modified to allow cash to flow
          into Manor, at least on a temporary basis, or that somebody with money to
          burn plays Father Christmas. It’s in no-one in F1’s interest for the field to
          shrink once more. We desperately need a much bigger field, in fact.

          Just hope all the Manor people know that what we all want is roughly what
          they all want. A level F1 playing field and fair distribution of F1 funds.

    4. Valtteri Bottas hope you win the championship and if not, that you at least you end ahead of Hamilton!!!! I completely believe you can pull it off!!!! People, I’m so happy Bottas got the seat!!!! I really really hope he does a better job than Rosberg, who needed extra-human-strength to barelly win over Hamilton. Rosberg showed that no matter how strong he drove he wouldn’t be on par with Hamilton, so it was quite dissapointing to cheer for him. But now here is a new opponent who has the chance. He has done a good job in a Williams (for a Williams). Now he will be in the best car. If he is as good as I think he is, Hamilton will have a difficult season. It will be a great season!!!!

      1. Not too great or you are going to run out of exclamation marks !!!!!

        1. I often abuse the exclamation marks! But honestly: I am that excited!

    5. Surprised Mateschitz thinks that Red Bull will only start winning races mid season. I would think they are expecting to be the team to beat right out of the box.

      1. He might be cautious because of the huge amount of redesign that Renault did @todfod. They mentioned first wanting to get their engine reliable before extracting more power from it, so I guess he will be happy to see them win earlier if they did their job properly.

        1. And rightfully so given the shake ups going on at Renault.

          Already CA has suggested that it will take time for their PU innovations to “perform” which I’m guessing means a heap of pain for RBR and Toro Rosso.

          I think we may see a 2015 type start for them. I hope I’m wrong but with CA calling the shots at Renault I’m not confident.

          1. @dbradock, to a certain extent, I think that there is an incentive for them to overdo it with regards to downplaying their chances. If they perform at a lower level, then expectations were already low and they would be performing in line with it, but if they perform more strongly than expected, then most people will be impressed with them and they will have a surge of positive headlines.

            They’ve done it quite a few times in the past – 2013 is one example that comes to mind, where they repeatedly talked about how they were struggling with the car in the pre-season tests and about how competitive the other teams looked, yet proved to be much more competitive during the season than their pre-season quotes would have suggested.

    6. Anyone surprised Mercedes at least sent Lauda to go and ask Marko about their drivers? Certainly they hardly expected to get a “yeah, sure we won’t stop our guys from going for a better car” answer like we saw from the likes of Mallya (with Hulk) or indeed Claire (for Bottas), but if there would have been a slight chance, they would have looked fools for not asking (and ticking off those boxes on the wishlist)

      1. Not surprised. If you don’t at least ask, you certainty don’t get. I note too that the headline is misleading…not Keith’s headline but that of the author of the article. It says Merc approached both drivers but within the actual quotes in the article it says Lauda approached Marko. That’s quite different. You accurately read past the headline too, @bascb

      2. @bascb
        I’d go as far as saying they’d have been failing as a management team if they hadn’t at least enquired about their availability. Red Bull have got two of the best drivers in F1, the least you’d expect is for Mercedes to ask if one of them was available.

    7. Love the animated video untilthe mention of modern Tilkadromes..zzzzzzzzzz

    8. Fancy putting a positive spin on a sport they pump hundreds of millions into!! Do they not know the new normal or post truth, whatever the days phrase, is to whinge about something before its happened and to bang continually a drum that it were better in’t old days and that they used to get 1350bhp don’t you know. I don’t expect the media to just be lapdogs to the sport but boy is it dull reading it day in, day out.

    9. support the smaller teams
      17th January 2017, 13:03

      I sincerely hope Manor survives.
      I cheered them on in Melbourne 2015 (had to make my own shirt) and I will be in Barcelona next month, this time wearing an official ⩕ shirt (available via the F1 shop).

    10. Can we have a clone of Hamilton and then have him drive 2nd Merc.

      I don’t think some people want any driver to be in Merc except Hamilton.

      At least give a chance to Bottas…

    11. Question for anyone with a high degree of understanding of aerodynamics…

      Could you explain how Red Bull’s claim that the ‘delta-shaped’ front wing will allow drivers to ‘get right up behind each other and still maintain grip’ is accurate? I was under the impression that it was the level of downforce generated by the wing, the complexity of the things and the importance of the front wing’s impact on downstream airflow that created the difficulty in following close – and that the basic shape didn’t really make that much difference.

      But I’m just a layman, so if anyone with a greater grasp than me could explain, it’d aid my understanding.

      1. I am not the one to expertly answer your great question but just for fun here’s my short answer, likely wrong but as I say just for fun. A swept wing has a little more surface area to it and therefore potential for more downforce and therefore grip, even in dirty air. And my second thought is that a driver can now get his nose closer to the car in front while the wing end plates will now be a bit out of the way of the leading car’s rear tires. That’s nothing to do with downforce but at least closeness to the car in front.

      2. I’d hazard a guess that the air can leave the front wing in a ‘cleaner’ capacity and circumnavigate the tyres a little better with a delta shaped wing, thus creating less ‘dirty’ air.

        That’s my educated guess.

    12. Villeneuve again.. Why does the press keep giving him a platform?

      1. Because he is smart, has the racing experience on his CV that in the history of the world is only shared by Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi, and he knows what he is talking about.

        1. @robbie, I’m not sure what you mean by your comment about having a CV that is only shared by Fittipaldi and Andretti. If you’re talking about his exploits in other series, such as sportscar racing and Indycar, then there are quite a few other drivers whom you could add to that list – could you explain what you mean?

          1. F1 Champion, Cart rookie of the year, Cart Champion, Indy 500 winner, 2nd in Lemans. He’s done more than that too. Yeah for sure many drivers have participated in multiple series throughout their careers, but not having won all that JV, MA, and EF have.

            1. @anon There is so much more to JV in terms of his experience which is why it just bugs me when people so quickly slough him off for his opinions, which usually have the majority of people agreeing with him and seem to only rankle a minority, but with such venom.

              JV was hanging around the F1 paddock as a kid, and lost his Dad to it. When it comes to his opinion about Mick Schumacher, JV knows first hand about the pressures of having an iconic last name and how that makes people automatically assume many things. JV was expected to win at an early age. That is when he learned about handling media, and pressure and expectations.

              He also has the experience of taking the biggest risk with his career possible, by forming a new team from scratch, and his presence is what brought Honda back into F1 at the time. The odds were always going to be stacked against him, but as he said of it, the rewards would have been massive too, just as with any huge risk. After he left F1, he tried once again with a group to form a team using the last viable Toyota chassis they made, which was touted to be a good one. As JV said, 3 groups presented their business plan to the FIA as potential new entries and they left feeling like they had wasted their time as the FIA weren’t serious about taking in a new team.

              All this to say JV has been a daredevil on the track, and a massive risk taker off the track with intimate involvement in all aspects of what it takes to form and run a team. So to me his opinions should at a minimum be respectfully disagreed with after being given a clear hearing. I haven’t agreed with everything he has said myself, but I sure try to understand where he is coming from and why he is saying what he is.

              And 20 years ago when they brought into F1 the grooves tires that he called a joke and got hauled up on the FIA carpet for that, he asked instead for the very kind of cars we are about to experience this season. F1 needs to be special again, and it hasn’t been of late. JV and all of us know F1 can do way better.

            2. @robbie, I’m not sure that I would agree that Villeneuve was instrumental to Honda joining the sport.

              For a start, in the late 1990’s Honda had been pretty transparent that they wanted to return to F1 – they had been embedding a number of their designers at Mugen to design their engines, and their extensive links with Mugen made the partnership with Jordan in the late 1990’s a semi-works team.

              They initially tried to buy out Jordan, then they actively considered building their own car and entering in their own right (Postlethwaite designed a prototype, the RA099, which was meant to be a test mule whilst he designed what would have been Honda’s factory car for 2000 if he hadn’t died of a heart attack first). Honda probably would have entered F1 anyway at the time, either as a supplier to Jordan (whom they did later provide full factory support to the following year) or even in their own right as a full constructor.
              It is also worth noting that Postlethwaite, having previously worked for Tyrrell (renamed as BAR), had opened up links between Honda and what became BAR, so it could be said that he had already laid some of the groundwork for that deal before Villeneuve was linked with the team.

              Equally, quite a few other parties who were involved in getting Honda onboard with BAR – Adrian Reynard, the owner of Reynard Motorsport (the original designer and producer of BAR’s chassis until they went bankrupt in 2002), had extensive commercial links with Honda, as did Pollock (there is a suggestion that the main reason why Honda went for BAR over Jordan, whom Honda were originally considering, is because Pollock included the right to buy the team in his negotiations).

              I also have to say that the later teams which Villeneuve was involved in during his attempts to enter F1 were not exactly of high calibre. Stefan Grand Prix was a somewhat dubious affair given that the funds that Stefan supposedly had to progress with his endeavour were questionable, whilst Toyota, IIRC, later indicated that Stefan had over exaggerated both the level of support they were supposedly going to supply and the amount of equipment which Stefan claimed to have bought from them. The Bahraini border authorities also completely refuted Stefan’s claims of having sent equipment to Sakhir for the opening race in 2010, confirming that they never received any such shipment.

              It also has to be said that, whilst Villeneuve cast the FIA in a negative light over his joint bid with Durango, the FIA had quite serious and genuine grounds to reject that bid. What Villeneuve neglected to mention is that Durango, whom he was working with, had a very chequered past to say the least.

              In GP2, Durango had repeatedly come into conflict with the FIA and Dallara due to the poor, and sometimes outright dangerous, preparation of the cars. In 2006, the team were expelled from the sprint race in Silverstone – they were forced to leave the circuit entirely – because the rear wing on di Grassi’s car collapsed during the feature race, with the stewards ruling that Durango were to blame for undertaking a botched repair job on the rear wing instead of returning the wing to Dallara for repairs.

              Asides from also being penalised for illegally modifying components, they were repeatedly dogged by accusations that, because they were constantly short of cash, they kept carrying out seriously dangerous repairs on their cars (for example, Coletti had a steering column failure in 2008 that was thought to be due to a botched repair). By 2009, the situation was reportedly so bad that, just before the team ran out of money, Dallara reportedly impounded one of Durango’s cars because it was it was so badly repaired that they considered it to be lethal – those are some pretty serious charges against the team.

              On top of that, three months before Villeneuve announced that he was forming a partnership with Durango, the Italian authorities had announced that they were launching legal proceedings against Durango for fraudulent accounting and tax evasion – I don’t recall Jacques mentioning that his co-partner in his application bid was facing an ongoing criminal investigation at the time.

              All in all, I would have to say that Jacques was being rather deceitful about the reasons for his bid being rejected. On the contrary, it’s quite clear that the FIA were being quite serious when they rejected a bid where Villeneuve was a co-partner with an organisation that had a record of repeated safety violations leading to potentially fatal consequences for both their drivers and to other teams and was undergoing a criminal investigation.

      2. Many former champions do, to be fair.

        1. No question.

      3. @mayrton While that was my initial reaction to his article, upon reflection, I’ll actually back Villeneuve in this case. He of all people know what it means to drive in the shadow of a former great name, he had to do it based off his Gilles’ success in the late 70s/early 80s, and whats worse for Jacques, was that his father was the peoples favourite.

    13. Good news about Manor – I’d love to see them survive.

      Can’t wait for the season to start. This year’s driver line ups promise to be really interesting:

      Hamilton/Bottas
      RIcciardo/Vestappen
      Vettel/Raikonnen
      Perez/Ocon
      Alonso/Vandoorne

      Some sumptuous battles to come, probably the best in years.

      1. @dbradock Not sure Perez/Ocon is really a battle, nor will Vettel/Raikonnen considering that it seems quite clear to me that Raikonnen is paid to be #2 to Vettel.

        I’ll be interested in Alonso/Vandorne as Vandorne comes with so much expectation from his GP2 success, and the fact that I genuinely like the guy. I also think Alonso is on the decline, in the same way we saw Schumi at Mercedes, while the brain/experience is there, it seems that the fast reflexes and fearlessness seems to be better in this sport.

    14. About Bottas, Toto Wolff said “He shares our values and passion, and he’s modest and humble and he’s hard working”

      If Mercedes have another competitive car, I wonder how long it will take for us to see his brutally ruthless side. It was interesting to see how the dynamics changed between Hamilton and Rosberg over time, we’ve had glimpses of it from Verstappen and Ricciardo. Maybe we’ll see fireworks this coming season ;-)

      1. Toto Wolff said “he’s modest and humble and he’s hard working”

        So, they signed a guy the complete opposite of their other driver?

    15. Manor have to decide by the 20th? What’s so pressing about that? If this is Obama’s retirement plan it’d make my day.

    16. If Manor get out we’ll miss one of the better young talents alongside Verstapen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyFEYDoUcIs

      It’s just sad to see Magnussen, Palmer, Ericsson, Wherlein still on the grid and Nasr out.

      1. i am from brazil, i think nasr is a better driver than most people give him credit for, and that’s certainly an impressive lap…

        however, after 2 forgettable seasons, it’s hard to feel he losing his seat was unfair: nasr can sometimes be fast, sure, but he can also incredibly unimpressive. people here tried to hype him up, blame his troubles on sauber (and, sure, in those last 2 years, sauber was never a dream team, so much so that now i wonder if he shouldn’t have kept his role as williams’ reserve driver; he could be taking massa’s place now…). but truth is he had a shot and missed, which is much more than we can say about some other drivers, like lucas di grassi.

        1. His first season was good enough, I think he deserves another season. I would bet that he can perform better than some guys on the grid.

    17. I don’t get it – Merc is so sure Bottas is their guy and only offer him a one year contract – hardly a show of confidence. Sounds like Bottas will be under extreme pressure to perform or else he may go back to Williams as Maasa will be gone.

      1. I think giving him the drive is the show of confidence. As for the 1 year contract, I think that makes sense for all of them. Mercedes knows that both Alonso AND Vettel can be available for 2018, would be stupid not to at least have the option of vying for their services. And if Bottas impresses, they can easily agree on a new deal with a longer contract.

        For Bottas, remember he will be getting something in the range of 5 million salary. If he does a good job, wins races, maybe even has some role in the championship, he will be trying to get at least double that for the following year!

    18. I hope Pascal’s career isn’t ruined by a sideways move to Sauber. Would have been happier is he was placed in a Force India. But totally disappointed at him not getting the Mercedes drive. I wonder if Wolff’s manager role with Bottas prompted this decision. A single year’s experience, and a DTM title-winning experience the previous year, is enough to step into the second driver shoes at a top team, I feel, especially since Pascal has proved his mettle convincingly. He has also tested for the title winning team.

      Hope Monisha Kaltenborn gives Pascal a great car to race and prove himself or this could be the end of his championship winning dreams.

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