Red Bull started 2017 “very poorly” – Webber

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mark Webber says Red Bull expected much more from their car at the beginning of the year following the off-season rules changes.

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Comment of the day

@Carlitox muses on old Spa:

It’s amazing how you can still distinguish the old track from the Google Earth picture!

Even Masta is still there, wonder how many people just passing through even imagine that 50 years ago some metal tubes with wheels and a big engine were screaming past that place, closing in to 300kph. An error was a death sentence.

No wonder the track was shortened, but fortunately there wasn’t any Tilke in the seventies to ruin it.

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On this day in F1

  • Michael Schumacher won a rain-hit Belgian Grand Prix today in 1997. Look out for a new article on this race coming up on the site today.

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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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28 comments on “Red Bull started 2017 “very poorly” – Webber”

  1. …sources have confirmed that the highly-respected Ilmor operation is one of those that has been working hard to help it overcome its difficulties.

    If true, then I am pleased that Honda have taken this step. I think it must have taken a lot of effort from those involved with F1 inside Honda and the management at McLaren to get Honda’s senior management to agree to ask Illmor and the other specialist companies for help. I hope the results seen at Hungary weren’t just a “blip”, but are the start of revitalised regime of improved engines from Honda.

    1. They publicly crossed that bridge many months ago, @drycrust.

      Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa told in April:
      “We are utilising every source from outside.
      “We don’t disclose any consultants or supplier, but we are using lots of outside resource.”

  2. Wow, thanks for the COTD! Only my 2nd time being honored, last time was so many years ago. As an additional comment, if you aren’t familiar with the old Spa, in Google Earth follow the road after Kemmel, so that instead of turning into Les Combes, you go to the left, then there’s a huge right hander, that’s the old track. There’s this part where the road goes left and right to avoid a set of houses. That’s Masta. After that there’s another huge right hander and the road will merge into Blanchimont. Terrifying track.

    1. there’s a motorsport magazine article about following the roads round. it may be in their archive. also, it was fantastic in the computer game Grand Prix Legends. i haven’t played computer games for years but i did spend a lot of my adolescence competing in the 1967 world championship. spa was a 3:30 lap if you got it right. eau rouge was by far the hardest corner that i recall – mid-high speed, 3rd or 4th gear (most of the cars in the game only had 5 gears) and the elevation change made it so easy to lose the rear. obviously this is all a sim but still great fun. i think the game designers really went above and beyond on that game.

  3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    24th August 2017, 2:20

    That Stewart’s article has an unforgivable typo: it confuses Nurburgring with Nuremberg!

    1. @omarr-pepper Yeah I saw that. I doubt he was referring to the challenge of the Norisring in such glowing terms!

      1. @keithcollantine You beat me to it!

    2. @omarr-pepper I remember James doing the same thing on the Grand Tour

    3. FlyingLobster27
      24th August 2017, 8:49

      They got a photo caption wrong too. That’s Graham Hill, not Jim Clark.

    4. Tommy Scragend
      24th August 2017, 10:00

      That Telegraph article is terrible. Apart from the Nuremberg/Nurburgring error, the photo of Graham Hill is captioned as Jim Clark, and the whole thing is poorly written.

      It also says “Stewart won his first title nearly 50 years ago, battling with luminaries such as Graham Hill and Jim Clark”. When Stewart won his first championship in ’69, Clark was already dead.

      The article just looks like it has been written by someone who knows nothing about Formula One.

      1. The article just looks like it has been written by someone who knows nothing about Formula One.

        Yeah, my thoughts exactly! Oddly, though, the writer does other F1 stuff… but that also looks a bit ‘off’, now I’ve had a look at it. Like they just needed an extra F1 person from time to time, so they grabbed someone who usually covers other stuff.

        1. @neilosjames, their motorsport articles in general can be pretty hit and miss, suggesting that their motorsport division as a whole probably write those articles on the side rather than doing it as a first job.

          I recall that some of their past articles about the 24 Hours of Le Mans have shown a similar lack of quality control, suggesting that they aren’t really familiar or comfortable with the subject matter – at least, in this case, quite a few commenters on that article have highlighted how poorly written that article is, though I doubt that the Telegraph will bother correcting the article.

  4. Since Honda had change development approach with help from Ilmor on engine and Mercedes on its hybrid it’s seem this is the right time for Alonso to jump ship and let Norris fight for WDC in 2018.

    1. The Longbow executives will be expecting their Christmas bonuses as well.

  5. “I have to admit that, unlike most Formula 1 drivers, Spa is not my absolute favourite.” –

    That’s it! You can be a pay driver, you can luck into a podium, you can crash all you want but none has Spa not as his favourite!

    1. @xtwl Calm down, almost all drivers don’t have Spa as their favorite circuit. There are more challenging and exciting circuits out there.

      1. @mashiat I don’t understand? Which circuits?

        1. Hehe. Ricciardo prefers Suzuka and I’ve heard another say it but not sure who now. (Vettel?)

          1. @balue I thought Macau was Ricciardo’s favourite? It stuck in my mind because it’s unusual to hear someone pick a non-F1 track.

            I think Vettel has often called Suzuka his favourite.

          2. @balue, @keithcollantine I’m afraid I’ll be hanged for this if any of my compatriots find out but in all honesty the three great tracks are in my mind Silverstone, Spa and Suzuka. Of those three Suzuka is my favourite too.

            I do believe if you were to hold a world wide survey amongst drivers Spa would come out on top. Just think of all the GT racers who race there,…

        2. @xtwl Well as @balue said Suzuka is a pretty popular choice. And I’d be surprised if HAM doesn’t put Montreal as his favourite.

          1. HAM has said Montreal and Silverstone are his favourites.

            Of all the tracks mentioned, Silverstone I simply cannot master on F1 2016, if you scrub off a couple MPH anywhere your entire lap is compromised it is so so difficult!

            My all time favourites are Spa, Imola and Montreal.

            Of the ‘newer’ tracks I think Austin is a bit special. Elevation, sweeping fast corners and a nice little tribute to Istanbul Park turn 9 near the end but as a right hander rather than a lefty.

          2. @offdutyrockstar I agree Austin is a cool track but for me as fake as Abu Dhabi. It’s just a combination of things we already had. Esses from Silverstone, Spa style elevation in one corner, Turkey T8, China length straight,… and then the hideous combination that is T13/14/15. I really think it’s a great track but it lacks its own identity which should’ve been there given they had a gigantic space to work with and most likely all freedom to do whatever.

          3. @offdutyrockstar, Hamilton’s choices are certainly not surprising, given that the former is both the one where he took his first win and where he’s enjoyed most success (only one behind Schumacher in terms of number of wins there), whilst he’s enjoyed both the atmosphere and the success he’s had at Silverstone (equalling Prost’s record of five wins at that circuit and the first to take four wins back to back at Silverstone).

            @keithcollantine, Ricciardo has been a bit inconsistent with his choices – you are right that, back in 2016, he said that his favourite track was Macau, with Monaco as a close second, but earlier this year he changed his mind and said that Monaco was his favourite circuit.

            You’re also right that Vettel has said in the past that his favourite circuit is Suzuka, and Bottas has also said that Suzuka is his favourite circuit (though Silverstone and Spa follow it close for him). As for Alonso, back in 2013 he said that Sepang was his favourite circuit, in part because it was the first race where he picked up a pole position, his first podium and his most successful circuit.

        3. @xtwl Suzuka, Monaco and Singapore to name a few. Singapore may not have the history, but it certainly is much more challenging than Spa.

          1. @mashiat I don’t think that’s true. I think one would find nailing Spa harder than Singapore. I hardly doubt the drivers find the many 90° corners that exciting either,…?

          2. How could I neglect Interlagos! replaces Montreal in my top 3 actually

  6. Great news if Ilmor is fully onboard with Honda. I was wondering what McLaren’s scare tactic of talking to other teams were when it was obvious there would be no supply and seemingly nothing to gain by further pressurizing Honda, but if it was to force Ilmor into a serious role at Honda and them finally abandoning the idea of ‘Japanese built’, then it all makes sense.

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