Formula E, Hong Kong, 2016

Rosberg not looking for Formula E drive

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Rosberg is not planning to race in Formula E, which Mercedes have an entry for next season.

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Comment of the day

ChuckL89 has an interesting take on that controversial conclusion to the Daytona 24 Hours:

I’d suggest that everyone take another, closer look at how that incident unfolded, in real time rather than slow-motion. Albuquerque did a fairly obvious early brake-test move on Taylor.

While brake-tesing a closely following competitor is not always a violation, it is a slightly dirty move. The car behind can either brake early in response, or hit the back of the lead car, or go outside (and lose the line), or, as Taylor did, go inside into the small gap.

At that point, Albuquerque could have made more room, but instead he chose to hold his line and take the hit, and hope no one noticed (and penalised) his brake-test move.

Essentially, it was a coin-toss for both drivers, with both bending the rules slightly while hoping the stewards saw it their way.

Personally, I never side with a brake-tester, since in my opinion it’s a form of overt blocking, rather than simple defence of your racing line.
ChuckL8

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On this day in F1

McLaren launched their most recent race-winning car, the MP4-27, on this day five years ago:

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Keith Collantine
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  • 44 comments on “Rosberg not looking for Formula E drive”

    1. “McLaren launched their most recent race-winning car, the MP4-27, on this day five years ago

      :( Do you really need to rub it in.

      1. Personally, I’m sorta used to it now… (sigh).

      2. @selbbin also, in that spec, it was the last car I’d consider “beautiful”

      3. Don’t worry about wins. After all its basically 3 years since the last Podium :-) Not to mention WCCs. Comming up on the big 20 there

      4. In a way, after years of having done nothing, the Mclaren board actually did something for a change..getting rid of Ron. Ok, Ron left once, but wasnt that on his own terms? Whitmarsh was probably still operating under his cloud.

        Now he is gone. Will be for the better or worse?

        Mclaren are the Arsenal of F1. Arsene Wenger continues to play football in his own version of the Premier League, but the board still persists with him, because he finishes in the top 4 every year, bringing in Champions League money. As long as Mr Kroenke’s pockets are lined, he doesnt care.

        Mclaren’s attitude has pretty much been the same…thats until the stopped getting on the podium and challenging for race wins.

        Now the board has made a tough call, one that had to be made. You cant do the same thing year in year out expecting a different result now can you?

        1. Not really sure why some people think that Ron Dennis was sacked because of McLaren’s performance on the track. There is much more to McLaren than McLaren Racing Ltd. In recent years McLaren has been wildly successful off the track, they make much more money from their Automotive and Technology divisions now than they ever did from the racing division – of which Ron was Chairman and/or CEO.

          I think its been well documented that Ron contract was not renewed (but remains as a director) because he had a major falling out with one of the investors (Mansour Ojjeh) and the majority share holder BHIC sided with Mansour. Mansour is also CEO of Tag Heuer who stopped sponsoring McLaren and started sponsoring their rival a few years back as part of the fall out.

      5. Oh dear! You are so right… :(

      6. I vividly remember how relieved McLaren were in 1997, when Coulthard’s win in Melbourne ended an unprecedented drought of 49 winless races.
        Well …

        And as @mrboerns points out, if they don’t win the Constructors’ title by 2018, that’ll be 20 years of being losers.

      7. That’s depressing. More depressing facts.
        It’s been 24 years and 3 months exactly the last time a Mclaren Honda won.
        And the last time any Honda won a GP (Not counting Brawn) was August 6 2006.

        To see a team with such a pedigree fall so far back hurts.

        1. Not really. I think its way more depressing to look at Williams. Mclaren just make it so easy not to like them. Their Over the top corporateness, general greyness, we-are-the-best-team-ever-even-though-we-barely-beat-sauber-talk. The way they keep a straight face at that is silly bordering on the pythonesque if you think about it. I generally have a good laugh at them these days.

    2. Who would have tought, in 2011, that long-declining Williams and title-contenders McLaren would both win races the following year, and then face a four-years drought?

    3. FUNFACT: Thats actually only one year better than williams on WCCs, the same on wins and behind on Podiums :D

      1. Also, behind on poles :)

    4. About Daytona and the COTD: I didn’t see it anything like that, but the lack of sportsmanship already came from earlier on the race and I have a sense that there was a favorite car that benefited from gentler eyes.

    5. Back when the 2017 rules were 1st. made public I and many others commented that they did not appear to be going to provide any help in their professed aim of making close racing and overtaking more achievable, but we were derided as simple minded ignoramus’s, now (last 3 months) on the eve of the new season we are getting bombarded by comments from drivers, engineers, team principals and other well qualified commentators all saying that passing will if anything probably be even more difficult than before. Why is it always so in F1, as in politics, that the obvious failings of any proposal are lauded as miracle cures whose actual effect will be exactly the opposite of what we think it will be right up to the time of failure ?

      1. Actually the only known study of 2017 F1 aero spec with cars following each other shows that the rear wing is disturbed before the front wing when following a car.

        This is due to the rear wing being so much lower. This has a compound knock on effect of making the diffuser less effective and the balance shifts forward through aero.

        This aero induced oversteer should make the cars better balanced when following closely than 2016 cars and be much easier on the tires.

        You’ll still have to be man enough to make the pass, something that fans feel drivers are entitled too for some reason. But the cars should be much better balanced and that’s what matters in overtaking.

        Or you know, keep repeating what you’ve heard claimed with absolutely no evidence.

        1. @theDUKE, I do hope you are right, time will tell.

          PS. get an account so I will at least know you have been notified of a reply to your post. It is rather arrogant to comment without right of reply.

      2. ExcitedAbout17
        1st February 2017, 9:03

        Compromise!

        PS still excited about 2017 season

      3. @hohum i don’t Think anyone ever said this was about overtaking or Racing. This was always about the 2014 moanfest about Cars that are too Quiet, unspectacular and Not aweinspiring.
        I fully Suspect this to turn out one of the dumbest rule shakeups ever

        1. yes @mrboerns, it was largeyl another one of those knee jerk things. And as always in F1 it came partly from self interest (bernie wanting to “break” mercedes, Red Bull and to an extent McLaren seeing it as their hope to get on top themselves instead) that helped it along.

          Overall, as @hohum mentions, if follows the all too common way things like these go. Somebody comes up with a “great” plan to make everything better, people get on the bandwagon, ignoring everyone who thinks differently, or rather laughing away their worries while referring to “the fans”, “everyone” “the public” or whatever other presumed entity who is asking for the change.

          1. Well first off they HAD to get off those jokes for tires that they’ve had to suffer through (and us as well), and they HAD to make the cars faster. The cars simply needed to be more beastly and more challenging for the drivers. Even the drivers were asking for more challenge. Recall FA saying if the product doesn’t improve he’s gone.

            I think that a lot of the F1 insiders that have chimed in with negative comments about the direction, have also used words like the racing ‘could’ be this or that. They don’t actually know for a fact. We will not know until they are all in a pack racing in anger, and that will not be until the first race Sunday of the season.

            What bugs me about the pessimism is that not only do we not know yet what the product will be like (other than that the drivers may actually be taxed again and be found to be performing greater feats with these cars) but things in F1 are never written in stone. We’ll have faster more enthralling cars at a minimum, and if they need to tweek the aero regs so that mechanical grip carries more weight, then these are the cars with which they will be able to do that.

            Sheesh it’s like people are expecting the perfect solution with these reg changes, and without even seeing what the current iteration will bring, have already assumed something terrible. I don’t get it. At a minimum I’ll take processions in cars that actually look and act like the pinnacle of racing any day over what we have been experiencing, which is F1-lite. And the jury is still out on what the product will actually be, and that can be tweeked. What’s the problem?

            1. @robbie but more downforce and grip does not exactly make the car harder to drive now, does it? Faster, yes. More physical, yes. But harder? Last time i checked the drivers actually struggled more than they had in years when the high torque engines were introduced to relatively low grip in 14. Member Kimi spinning? Oh, i member..

            2. Well, @robbie, let me ask you, a) WAS there really a need to make the cars go faster in such a step and b) was changing the dimensions the best and most logical way to improve the tyres.

              To the first, we saw times already going down fast with every season, just look at the old speed records that were in sight of being broken and were broken the last 2 seasons. I really don’t see that urgent need to make the cars faster by a step at once.

              To the second question. Sure, I agree that it is good that they went away from the “made to degrade” and “cut from debris” tyres. But if they had stayed with largely the same construction/dimensions, but just told Pirelli to get working on improving them, that would have been far more straightforward.
              It would have been far easier to get a test car with more or less comparable downforce to test with, for example. Now we still run the risk of finding out that Pirelli underestimated things (despite having simulation from all teams that they can compare with the testing), or even that they overestimated it all and we end up with rock hard tyres that will not be getting temperature in them in short stints.

              To me however “fast” they make the cars look, if they make them fast by being able to just glide through corners like they did before 2014 it will greatly take away from the fun of watching.

              I liked how almost everyone had trouble getting the power just after they introduced the new engines and before they upped the downforce. If anything, it would be more fun to have far less downforce and make it harder to make the car go where the driver wants it to go instead of making it more glued to the track in corners.

            3. @mrboerns Yes it sounds like the cars will be more physically demanding with higher G’s so the drivers have been training harder in preparation. They should be so physically taxed as the races near completion that they are struggling to concentrate by that point, if F1 is to call itself the pinnacle. Who cares that one time Kimi spun dealing with the new torque in banana peels for tires. He (et al) spent that day lapping at practically GP2 speeds.

            4. @bascb a) Yes. Speeds are one thing. Ridiculously slow race lap times are another. The drivers have been unable to push themselves or their cars to the limits and have been doddling around the track.

              b) How is there less ‘risk’ in trusting Pirelli to improve the tires in their pre-2017 dimensions than
              with these bigger tires? Odds are pretty good that now that they have been mandated to make something more like normal race tires instead of trick ones, I think the drivers will be much happier with how they’ll be able to push themselves and their cars. And being wider they’ll naturally be providing a bigger contact patch on the track. If there were a need to fear Pirelli’s lack of a 100% proper test mule, then that should also raise alarms about the general lack of on-track testing for a number of years now, yet simulators and computer models have compensated. Pirelli only got in trouble from lack of testing when they were mandated to make extreme tires that were meant to create the whole story of F1 with their ridiculous characteristics. Now it should be much more about the drivers than the limiting tires. You seem to prefer watching drivers going around like they’re on ice as passengers held back from racing, and to me that’s not the pinnacle of racing.

            5. Fully agree Robbie.

              I wish some fans would face the sun instead of staring at shadows all the time.

              BasBC – the larger dimensions have allowed Pirelli the room or platform with which to improve the product and thus the degredation profile and operating window. The smaller dimensions were one of the reasons they struggled to work with thermal degredation via chemical means without producing tyres that had such a variable working range and thus tiny operating window. There is a well informed article in Motorsport magazine on this.

              The removal of chemical/heat degredation is all well and good but the ability to make tyres that can be pushed, return to OK and still degrade appropriately instead of lasting a whole race can only be a good thing.

            6. That really is nonsense @robbie. The only way to close the gap between the top speeds in qualifying and the race is to bring down the fuel loads, that would mean either super efficient (meaning even more hybrid stuff) or refuelling.
              The effect will still be there, maybe even more so now, the 2017 redesign does not help this issue at all. Qualifying speeds were already quite fast, and now they will be even faster. Race speeds are likely to remain a lot slower than that. Having durable tyres would help there regardless of their size.

              As you rightly mention, apart from the “requested” focus on making the tyres “made to degrade” previously, the biggest issue why it was so hard to make good, dependable and reliable tyres was a lack of testing. Pirelli has complained about it for several years now.
              I am very happy that at least now teams and the FIA saw sense and committed themselves to a bit more testing. But I am convinced that had they done the thorough tire testing 3 years back, we might have already had far superior tyres than we did have in F1. Pirelli were already allowed to go more robust last year, after the numerous issues and worries from drivers about their reliability.

              We all saw what happened with the tyres suffering worrying and (I hope) unexpected damage from debris, which led to using very high tyre pressure as a stop gap solution. If that is not a clear sign that their development suffered, then what is.

              And yes DRG, off course having better tyres is good news. But they are not better just because of having different dimensions, but because of giving more attention to their development, including testing and indeed letting go of trying to artificially doctor in degradation. We could have had all of that years ago. And we could have had all of that without changing the dimensions.

            7. @bascb I haven’t isolated top speeds in quali, you have. The point is the actual race lap times are way slower than in past years of F1, and with cars and tracks only safer than ever the cars should be way faster, and the drivers should be spending much more of each stint actually being able to push themselves and their cars, rather than spending practically the whole race doddling around and conserving. And you have agreed that is through better tires.

              I think you are way off the mark suggesting lack of testing is the reason Pirelli hasn’t made good tires. The were not asked to make good tires. They were asked to make tires the deciding factor in races, so they made them thermally sensitive in order to create variation amongst the cars and drivers as they struggled to keep their tires in the right window, and when they couldn’t consistently do so that meant variation and passing due to tire discrepancies from one car to the next where aero dependency has continued to damaged close racing. Ie. The tires had been meant as another bandage to processions from aero dependency like DRS was brought in for. Until they all learned about the tires that is, and were all consistently handcuffed by them and variation from them diminished and all they were left with was them all being on tires that were just too limiting and too frustrating and no longer added to the show through varying the circumstances amongst the drivers.

              It was only when Pirelli went too far in their level of gadgetry with the tires that they needed that mid-season test with Mercedes to quickly solve exploding tires. Sure, blame lack of testing if you want…I blame the mandating of joke tires as the real issue. Now that they are going to be on real tires and the cars have changed so much too, Pirelli has cautioned again about lack of testing but moreso because of such big changes, and when they do get testing days they don’t always translate to temps they’ll be dealing with once the race season starts. And they want to improve the wet tires too.

              But my overall contention is that because these are no longer going to be mandated joke tires, but something much closer to the type of normal racing tires Pirelli has known how to make for decades, there shouldn’t be any concern of them getting them wrong, in spite of the limited testing and lack of 2017 car. The only time there was real concern was when they were mandated to make tires far inferior than they could, with very specific characteristics to create the show
              in F1, that simply reducing aero dependency somewhat, and keeping up with mechanical grip could have solved. But claiming these big changes have created too much risk for Pirelli due to lack of testing on a 2017 car is not something I can buy into. I think they’ll figure it all out and already have simply because they get to make real tires again.

              As to changing the dimensions? Why not. What has been so spectacular about F1 post-97 once they narrowed the cars and brought in smaller grooved tires? Now the cars will look more the part of the pinnacle of racing, and they’ll be on bigger tires with more contact patch to the track, and perhaps can start to eat away at the too big gulf between aero and mechanical grip. I predict a big component at some tracks will be that due to the drag created by the wider cars and tires, teams will be forced to run less wing in order to not get caught out going too slowly at the ends of straights, so at certain tracks it’s possible mechanical grip will have the emphasis over aero. And that’s just in year one of this new chapter. Things can be tweeked. With the previous iteration that you’d like to see them keep, they’ve done all the tweeking they can do and it’s not been satisfactory.

    6. I have said for years that there should be a Formula 2 and Formula 3 and these categories should follow the F1 calendar. Much the same way as what is done with MotoGP – Moto2 – Moto3

      1. @macca, for years of course there were, but Bernie wanted to own the series so he invented GP2

    7. Dont watch the Haas video– you wont get those minutes back…

      1. U are so right!!! I already lost those minutes! I must reed the comments first.

      2. thank you for the warning @brawngp, I will spare myself the time.

      3. I don’t know… I thought it was charming. So, DO WATCH THE HAAS VIDEO! It might make you smile, which is a good use of 2:18.

    8. With a similar change coming in F1 in 2017, this could mean we see fewer overtakes …

      Fewer overtakes is what I’m expecting. I guess the question is how much less will the overtakes be. At what point should F1 think they need to change their aerodynamic rules?

    9. Have to say – that medical car piece is an excellent read, it also links to an interview with Bernd Mylander which is worth a look too (assuming I am not the only person who HASN’T seen it).

    10. Why anyone would think that Rosberg would feel compelled to do (race in) formula E is a miracle to me. He quit F1 because he was ready with racing top single seaters after achieving a goal. He doesn’t need FE as a category where he can redeem himself, he could have stayed where he (in a much faster, better paying car) was if he felt a drive to race a formula car.

      1. I think it was just an innocent question asked of Nico because it sounds like Merc are considering entering the series. Doesn’t mean anybody was thinking Nico should feel compelled to do that, nor have Merc entered yet so it wasn’t about 2017 and continuing racing. Nor does Nico need to redeem himself from anything.

      2. @bascb – I have absolutely no evidence for this but I can imagine him telling someone how interesting Formula E is as (one or more of) (a) a viewer (b) a sponsor (c) a tech consultant (d) a manager (e) an owner (f) a TV commentator… There are probably a whole heap of other potential roles. It would be so easy to jump to the “(g) a driver” conclusion.
        Rosberg’s whole life has been centred around racing, I can’t see him not being interested in a broader sense than just driving. And I guess journalists need to make a crust, too.

    11. Id take what engineers say about overtaking and by proxy what their computer screens say with a huge pinch of salt. Time and again we are told the modeling suggests this only for a driver then to change tack and befuddle the systems. See LH in the last race backing the pack up. Umm he can slowdown AND increase pace. Who knew!

      These data engineers have become gods in our sport, id suggest we wait and see rather than take their pronouncements as gospel

    12. Fewer overtakes but more overtakes going wrong….. Does that mean more flying carbon fibre or more cars sliding off the track and losing position.

      Either way that’s probably a recipie for some fairly spectacular racing because I can’t see the likes of Max not attempting an overtake.

      Pity Pastor M isn’t driving this year :)

    13. Liberty Media shareholders are so screwed and they don’t even realize it. Don’t believe me? Pull up the old ticker for CART, NYSE:MPH. Same thing will happen here. This acquisition will go down as the second most disastrous media M&ha transaction, second only to Time Warner AOL. Mark this post.

    14. MAG drove the last Mclaren on the podium – lets call it MAGclaren ;-) until they are on the podium again…..maybe they should have kept him as a driver – VAN and MAG would have been a nice couple today…

    15. Rosberg has started playing on horses – thats the only place he can use his luck now…

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