Robert Kubica, Williams, Yas Marina, 2017

Williams could look beyond Kubica and Sirotkin – Lowe

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In the round-up: Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says the team may still look beyond the pair it tested in Abu Dhabi to find its second driver for 2018.

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  • 108 comments on “Williams could look beyond Kubica and Sirotkin – Lowe”

    1. Regarding, Williams and Kubica, i would bet my house on him driving for the team next year. They can say what they like but what a story of him coming back. Theres no-one else in the frame because its a risk you have to take with Kubica. As talented as it gets

      1. Does it come with a mortgage, or is it one of those Lego versions?

        1. I lie. What house! maybe the money in my wallet haha

      2. @johns23 Mark Hughes commented on the Sky F1 show last week that he is ‘98%’ certain Kubica will be the next Williams driver – indicating that the insurance payment issue is now resolved and that had been the block in getting the contract finalised.

      3. @johns23. You say there’s no-one else? If they could tame Kvyat he would be good option and comes with cash. Di Resta is probably better than you think but will not break any records. Don’t know anything about Sirotkin. If it was me then I would have a go at taming Kvyat if the sponsorship permitted. After all, he has outperformed DannyRic on occasions and that’s no mean feat..We’re not getting encouraging noises following Robert’s excursion. It looks as if he has the endurance but not quite the speed. We’ll see but Williams can not afford to get this bit wrong.

        1. @baron Has there been any reliable sources confirming about his performance yet? They’re being so cagey but i wouldn’t expect anything else. I must admit when i heard he was trying to get back to F1, i was a bit worried for him that he wouldn’t be up to it. But either which way, good effort from him, what has he got to loose.

      4. I agree, that statement above is one of those, blatantly obvious dismisses, Williams are just bidding their time. Sure the Stroll’s don’t want Kubica but honestly on the other hand they might not have a say and they might actually think Lance can beat Robert, either way it won’t look good on Stroll in light of Kubica particularities.

    2. I am not too hopeful of Kubica now to be honest. He was passed over by Renault. He is said to bringing in about 8-10 million of sponsorship. He was only 4 tenths faster on a compound 3 steps softer than Sergey. Even Schumacher lost so much of his natural speed after 3 years out. Robert has been out for 7 years and has even had a life threatening accident.

      While him coming back is a great story for F1, I don’t think it is really practical. Would love to be proven wrong though.

      1. how much fuel did both drivers have? kubica also did a pretty identical time to Sirotkin on softs or super softs I believe. also both drivers used the same car set-up – so neither driver would have got the most out of the car and having their own preference on set-up.. the car was set-up just for tyre testing, not a timed shootout… its pointless guessing anything in such a test. one thing is this graph, kubica first day long stints, and sirotkin 2nd day long stints. don’t know which tyres and how much fuel… sirotkin perhaps more fuels as shorter amount of laps kubica showing super consistency considering such limited time on modern Pirellis.

      2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        30th November 2017, 8:05

        I think the problem with Schumacher was his age being in his 40s. Kubica is still early 30s and will have time to recapture his abilities. My glass is definitely half full on this one.

        1. @rdotquestionmark But then Schumacher was a 7 times WDC and Kubica was at best on par with someone like Heidfeld.

          1. That’s a little harsh. I think Kubica was at a higher level than Heidfeld. I don’t think he’ll be in the Williams seat next year though, because if he was really on the pace Renault would have signed him. I hope I’m wrong.

            1. @john-h How is it harsh? It’s realistic. In 2007 Heidfeld pretty much annihilated Kubica. In 2008 indeed Heidfeld had some issues in quali with the car (which Kubica insisted BMW should not try to fix #teamplayer) and as a result of that Kubica scored a few more points than Heidfeld. Over 2009 Heidfeld beat Kubica again.

              On average Heidfeld was the better driver over those 3 seasons.

              In 2006 Heidfeld also was better, but that was Kubica’s first season. Still he lost that season to Heidfeld as well. So it’s 3-1 for Heidfeld.

              Not sure what warped people’s perspective on Kubica’s achievements since Heidfeld clearly was the better of the two. Heidfeld was a bit boring perhaps, but he did deliver.

          2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            30th November 2017, 9:34

            Absolute nonsense @patrickl. Kubica was an exciting a prospect as Hamilton. Even in 2010 he was getting that Renault into places it should never have been, mainly on the big drivers circuits. Watch his quali lap at Monaco and then say he’s just an Heidfeld.

            1. Oh come on. In 2007 Heidfeld well outscored Kubica. The next season Heidfeld had troubles with the car in qualifying and that helped Kubica outscore Heidfeld somewhat. Overall they were pretty well matched, but I wonder if given the right car Heidfeld wouldn’t have had the better again of Kubica.

              What is so special about his Monaco performance? He qualified 5th while he pretended to be a WDC contender.

              Heidfeld beat Kubica in Monaco 2007. Heidfeld didn’t participate fully in Monaco 2008 qualifying. So the only real yardstick we have available is that Heidfeld was better there.

              The problem is that at the start of the season Hamilton took out Raikkonen and Massa manage to spin himself out of both of the first two races. So Kubica for 5 minutes looked like a championship contender when he won that race in Canada after the two leaders were eliminated.

              On lucky win does not make an exciting prospect.

            2. @rdotquestionmark Heidfeld beat Kubica in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Kubica only beat Heidfeld in 2008.

              Kubica is not “just a Heidfeld”. I’ve always said people well underestimated Heidfeld and he was clearly better than Kubica.

          3. Yeah but Robert won a race. You have to categorize him with race winners. @patrickl

            1. @ppzzus You mean I should compare him to Panis?

              Or any other driver who had a podium finish turn into a single race win after the cars ahead dropped out.

            2. I prefer Alesi ;) @patrickl

            3. @ppzzus Ha, ha, is that any better though? Great guy and I loved his driving style, but I never considered him WDC material.

            4. @patrickl As far as i remember correctly (and I did check it on F1 official site) HEI and KUB were tied in 2006. Not on points of course but on races finnished together- you tend to forget that KUB started from Hungarian GP, were he scored on his debut (was disqualified due to a leak of his fire extinguisher and underweight as outcome) and that makes it 3:3 on 2006. I think thats were seeing Kubica as a WDC material started. You have to admit a rookie finnising P7 on his debut, geting his first podium on race 3 is impresive. He brought the fight straight to Heidfeld from day one and I think you can’t say that a polish rookie driver had a german team (BMW Sauber) working in his favor not their german (Heidfeld) no.1 driver. So it’s not 3:1 for Heidfeld, it nearly was 2:2 but they never had 4 seasons together. The numbers state clearly 2:1 on points for Heidfeld in full season. But points don’t reflect the total picture (DNFs, strategic errors, points lost no due to your fault). Kubica had the speed, consistency and hunger for success and was pushing the team forward, he even woke up a boring Heidfeld as you describe him. Its similar to Hamilton vs Button- Button ouscored Hamilton on total points and what does it prove? nothing- we all know Hamilton is in a higher league. So don’t be delusional they were evenly matched but Kubica was a much better prospect. Period. But I have to agree with you that Heidfeld was one of the most underrated drivers of his time. I think he could give a hard time to drivers like RAI, MAS, BUT, VET, etc- you know WDC or race winers.

            5. @ppzzus @maciek , I’ll side with @patrickl on this subject. Robert wasn’t that impressive in f1. You say Robert is a race winner but he only won because of team orders, Heidfeld was sure to win but the team saw that if Robert won the race the team not only would lead the constructors but Robert would lead the drivers championship, that’s why they changed the drivers through strategy.

            6. @arrrang Heidfeld had more points in 2006 and he outqualified Kubica 5 to 1.

              He brought the fight to Heidfield yes, but he still came up slightly short. That’s the whole point.

              So when people freak out when I say that, I can only point out the facts.

              The difference in those four seasons was not reliability. Heidfeld had just as much issues. Although he was the more consistent and reliable driver while Kubica made more driver errors on his own.

              Perhaps Heidfeld was “boring” and Kubica’s overly aggressive defending “exciting”, but in the end it’s the results that count.

          4. @patrickl So to what would you ascribe the fact that since the came into the sport anyone and everyone connected with the paddock, whether drivers or others, was always nothing less than glowing in their opinions of his talent level? And I mean before his accident, not sympathy opinions.

            I’m not saying he’s the right choice now, but on balance I tend to go with the flow of views of people inside the sport when it comes to drivers.

            1. @maciek Love for the underdog I guess. BMW as a one time feat actually producing a fast car, a lucky win in Canada and the 3 drivers fighting for the WDC fumbling a lot in the first few races helped make him look “good” for a short while. Coupled with a struggling team mate who for once didn’t outdrive him most of the races. At least also at the start of the season.

              In case of the drivers it would be mostly politeness. Hamilton for instance will always talk up his direct competitors. While I can’t imagine he actually thinks that highly of them at all.

              Plus a healthy dose of cognitive dissonance. For instance I doubt there were that many people saying how great Kubica was in 2006, 2007 and 2009 when he was getting beaten by Heidfeld. So you just remember the things you wanted to hear from 2008 and will ignore all those other seasons.

            2. @Patrickl, the thing with Kubica was never only about his speed or consistency. It was his understanding of a car, his feeling, his ability to outperform the machinery that made him a prospect. It was mostly obvious in his last season with Renault when he had dog of a car yet was on par with Rosberg and Massa in much superior machinery. It’s something that f.e. Heidfeld never had, he always performed exactly on the level of a car he drove, never above.

              There’s still one thing about Kubica that for me was the main reason for Heidfeld outperforming him in 2007 and most notably, 2009. He wasn’t always hungry when he knew that he won’t be competing for top spots. Albeit having the abilities to do so, he sometimes seemed like lacking some motivation if he knew that speed wasn’t there in a car. Then he did *okay*, but that was that. I’m curious to see if and how the WRC times changed that part of his mentality.

            3. Well, I mean tit for tat @patrickl, to me it seems that you’re very keen to point out anything that might suggest he isn’t good and discount anything that suggests he is. Anyhoo, if he gets the seat I guess we’ll find out how good he is or isn’t after years of absence and a bunch of reconstructive surgeries.

            4. @patrickl I hate people whom tend to describe F1 reality based on points scored only. Vandoorne did almost outscore Alonso this year. Massa beat Stroll only by 3points (43 vs 40), Verstappen is continuously begin RIC on points etc. Start watching races not exel result columns…

            5. @arrrang Oh get off your high horse. It wasn’t just points and it wasn’t reliability since that was quite even for the both of them.

              Heidfeld was simply better over those three seasons in whatever yardstick you want to use.

              If Kubica was actually better, he wouldn’t have lost 3 out of 4 seasons.

              If anyone should get a reality check it’s you. Don’t just look at 2008, but see the other seasons too.

            6. @patrickl ok I can agree that Heidfeld did beat Kubica 2:1 in their full seasons as team-mates. A analised the result data from races and quali and it’s very safe to say that Heidfeld was beter in 2007 and Kubica was in 2008 – without going into detail. I want to metion 2009 as it was their last full season together and we can agree that both of them were expirienced enough to compare their driving. Heidfeld however did outscore Kubica in 2009 and that’s what makes you say he was the better of the two. 2009 official resluts- HEI 19points, KUB 17 – is it a big difference? I say it’s not, KUB lost 6 to 10 points that season at Australian GP only where he and VET colided (and please don’t say that it was Kubicas fault and he is crash prone, VET recieved 10 place grid penalty for the next race from the stewards as it was VET to blame). That single race could have made Kubica won in 2009 (27 to 19 – or have it 25 to 17 cause we don’t realy know if he could have got in front of BUT but it did look like he had the pace). Later HEI got P2 at Malaysian GP and KUB retired due to engine failure. As a fun fact Kubica did outqualify Heidfeld there P8 vs P11 in Q2 it was 0,2 of a sec (and it is a usual difference betwen those drivers on both sides). The whole 2009 where Heidfeld secured his win over Kubica in total was decided by 2 points (TWO!), on quali Robert lead 10 vs 7 that year and could have won on points if it wasn’t to that lost podium finnish in Australia. But sure it is a big could have, should have, would have and so on. I’m mentioning Australia and Malaysia because thats when BMW had a chance for a good results- at the start of a season wich introduced KERS and other new regulations. The 2009 season where BMW car was rubbish- Constructors P6 only 1,5 point in front of Williams. If you want we can take 2008 and 2007 into detail to. But fact is that Heidfeld and Kubica were evenly matched and somehow it happened that Kubica got the 2010 Renault drive and Heidfeld was left at Sauber as a 3rd driver only to take in from Pedro de la Rosa at race 15. Kubica had the Ferrari 2012 contract signed and Heidfeld was lucky to be Roberts replacement at Lotus. Heidfeld deserves more credit that’s for sure but Kubica clearly wasn’t overrated be the F1 team bosses and fans. 2007-2009 was long ago and it’s hard to remember all the small details how their rivalry went. The facts are Heidfeld won 2 out of 3 on points (by a total of 9 more – 2007 +22, 2008 – 15 and 2009 +2), was also outqualified by Kubica during those 3 years. I have a lot respect and sympathy torwards “Quick Nick” but he was an expirenced F1 driver (6 seasons) when a rookie called Robert Kubica came and won the team over with his speed, consistency, technical feedback and improvement during his 3 year stint with BMW. @keithcollantine I’m interested to know your opinion on the 2007-2009 KUB vs HEI rivalry?

    3. I think Kubica has big chances. The key here is not his speed, or the team, but- looking at economics- who Lance Stroll feels more comfortable with. We know the Stroll family is bringing many, many millions- can’t recall how many, it was published somewhere- and I wouldn’t think his management would want someone who could challenge his current number 1 status. They would want someone he could learn from, someone with a champion attitude and mindset. With Massa out, I can only see Kubica, Alonso, a returning Button (?) for that seat.

      Would love to see Wehrlein, Felix Rosenqvist, Edoardo Mortara, even Da Costa considered for that seat. But it certainly looks like a seat reserved for experience and not raw, race winning talent. That is reserved for the other car.

      1. I don’t think we should leave out Kvyat from that list of probables. He still has an outside chance.

      2. I think if Lance Stroll blocks the Kubica move, he will go down as Formula 1’s biggest villain. A zero talent driver with a billionaire father bought his seat in Formula 1, has blocked the miracle comeback of an extremely talented and passionate driver who constantly defies the odds.

        1. Well, we know that Renault clearly believes he is not as good as Sainz at the very least. In the sense that it’s not worth getting him even strictly for potential PR benefits. It seems like teams see some data that makes them doubtful of Kubica.

          1. It’s a little more complicated than that, insofaras Renault thought the Sainz/Honda/Toro Rosso/McLaren merry-go-round was worth joining. The reasons for the driver selection may have had nothing to do with drivers. But even if so, it’s not good for Robert.

          2. @zimkazimka – Maybe at Renault it wasn’t just about talent, but also longevity. Hulkenberg and Kubica are 30 and 32 years old, whereas Sainz is way younger than both of them at 23. Since it is a long term project, as they have been saying for a while, having a guy who is talented and will be at his prime when the team comes good surely is better than having two older guys who would soon be heading towards retirement.

        2. @todfod During the Renault test, Kubica was setting laptimes comparable to Palmers’. It’s quite clear why they weren’t interested.

          1. @patrickl

            Honestly, if he hasn’t got the pace, he shouldn’t return. It wouldn’t be fun to see him struggle after such a heroic recovery. The last thing he should do is pull a Schumacher or worse.

        3. Despite the money Stroll brings in, I am not sure how he could veto Robert from driving a Williams…..that would be some contract…and the way Stroll drove last weekend…was embarrassing….
          But its not looking good for Robert…Williams not making the right noises…Renault thought he obviously was not up to it….I favour still a experienced guy….Verne….Button would be excellent…Kvyat..possibly….and still think Massa retired (if he really has) too early….

    4. Pippa Mann says:

      “Here’s the thing, this group actually has this much money to help support female racers? Well then let’s actually use it to support talented female racers, help them stay in, or get back in racing cars in series across the globe.”

      This group won’t be spending money at grassroots level to promote female talent and try supporting their career as they advance through ranks and higher-tier categories…. why?

      Because, a female-only series will make them money. They are in it mostly to make more money.

      1. @praxis, and if they were able to identify promising young female racing drivers at a young age and help them make it into a major racing series, then there would be opportunities to make money from sponsorship deals, management fees and so forth.

    5. ”Mercedes’ Toto Wolff says female-only series will harm women’s F1 chances”
      – I don’t intend to be a grammar nazi, LOL, but why do people tend to use ‘will’ when they should use ‘would’ instead? When talking about something that isn’t guaranteed whether it will happen or not, one should use would, not will.

      1. @jerejj One should used ‘could’, not ‘would’ or ‘will’.

        1. @ninjenius That’s a suitable replacement word for ‘will’ as well, but in this particular sentence, ‘would’ is the best fit IMO.

      2. If he is expressing an opinion from the position that this proposed series is already a reality, will is acceptable.

        Blame google translate, germanic sentence structure and cultural differences

      3. It’s because he’s convicted he’s right therefore using ‘will’.

        I think he is indeed right btw.

      4. I’m with Jere on this one!

      5. @jerejj Sadly grammar seems to be a thing of the past. Ben Edwards and David Croft both have diabolical grammar, it’s quite awful listing to them say ‘gonna’ for two hours

        1. @strontium I don’t really consider ‘gonna’ as a grammatical error as it’s a slang word.

          1. @jerejj fair enough, you’re right to say it’s not grammatical. Although personally I think it’s dreadful english and I do expect better from people whose job is to speak

            1. Hey, leave Edwards alone! He’s the only decent commentator left out there! The spoken word is different to written English though, so maybe we can cut them some slack? Well a little bit anyway.

            2. Are you watching it on a moving picture box?

              Get off your Victorian horse ! !

      6. Maybe Toto is a pessimist and thinks one of these ridiculous schemes is bound to become more than a paper dream?

      7. Well, if it was a quote, then perhaps Wolff being Austrian might explain something?

        I mean, I would (note!) like to see native English speakers have a go at inflection of verbs in Austrian German.

        (and in the likely case of grave grammatical errors in the above: I am capable of grammar problems in both English and German. My wife who is a teacher would add that my grammar in our native language isn’t really up to speed either)

      8. Here is the actual quote from the text of the Guardian article:

        Toto Wolff, the Mercedes F1 executive director, believes a single-gender motor racing championship would “undermine” women and harm their prospects of making it to Formula One.

    6. Perhaps she should have headlined her article:
      A women’s only championship is a bad idea. End of. (Elizabeth Werth)

      1. Roger Irrelevant
        30th November 2017, 13:35

        And end a sentence with a preposition? Shocking. What’s next? Split infinitives?

    7. “During the race we believe this tape was much larger. We measured a loss of downforce equivalent to opening the DRS, but all around the lap, and without the drag drop.”

      In those circumstances, Vandoorne’s 12th suddenly looks a great deal better.

      But I’m rather pleased such lumps of tape aren’t common obstacles… wouldn’t be overly thrilled if an important battle was decided by one.

    8. A women’s-only racing series is sexist and degrading. The reason why women have not been as successful as men in racing is because women on average have 30% less muscle mass than men- that makes up for something.

      1. It’d be fun to see the replies.

      2. The reason why women have not been as successful as men in racing is because women on average have 30% less muscle mass than men- that makes up for something.

        Astronauts and fighter pilots – higher G-forces than F1, yet women do just fine. G-forces are the only reason F1 drivers need muscle, right?

        The few women I’ve seen in racing (Danica Patrick, Susie Wolff, etc.) didn’t struggle due to these limitations, but more due to racecraft, which would be agnostic of gender.

      3. seems like 30% less muscle mass might be a significant weight advantage. it’s all about talent.

      4. It’s an interesting debate. Why is there women’s tennis? Shouldn’t it just be ‘tennis’? What about golf?

        (Note, I’m afraid I do not have the answers, just more questions!)

        1. @john-h – good questions.

          Tennis, I think it’s because strength still has an advantage (not strength, standalone, but combined with talent). IIRC, part of the reason for the Williams sisters’ dominance is their better strength. So, mixing up the sexes might not be equal.

          Golf – I don’t know the sport well, so someone else can comment. To me it seems like a skill game, so your question appears to be a good one in this regard.

        2. Nah its because Males are more likely to be outliers. Both more athletic/intelligent and more stupid/ not athletic, you don’t need many to dominate a sport like f1 or golf etc.

          Females tend to be clumped round the median, so lots of bright women, less stupid ones but less geniuses also. Of course historical socio reasons have an impact on this but statistically its a fact. Then add in an aggressive chemical, testosterone, and you build the picture further.

          1. What complete nonsense.

            1. Aimed at me? Or my wife? She did a Doctorate way back when and this was one of the areas she looked at, specifically in relation to psychopathy but there is also a physical outlier that creates these extremes of ability.

              Just snorting ‘nonsense’ is a bit weak

        3. When there are sports with elements that equalise the ability of men and women to compete (the horse in equestrianism, the boat in sailing, the car in motor racing), there is generally more equal participation than in those where it is purely a matter of the human body and maybe a small item of equipment (bats, for example, change how bat-based sports are played without reducing the effect of the human body on competition).

      5. Go back and rethink that one mfreire , the reason that there are very few competitive female racing drivers is well known in that there are very few female drivers in karting. Wolf said it and he is right.

        It´s not a sexism thing, nobody is being oppressed and it is not that females cannot build the appropriate levels of strength and fitness, it is simply that most females don´t want to be professional racing drivers so there are very few of them when compared with males.

        I don´t think that there is even a story in this, if anyone really wants to force more women into racing then they need to start them off and support them in their the early stages of their careers – karting, same as the male drivers.

        I agree that a segregated series is not a good idea and any female drivers that get a seat in F1 should be there on merit. But then i believe the same thing about male drivers too and plenty of them get in by just buying their seats, that is always an option for the female driver too.

        The sponsorship opportunities for a female driver in F1 would be immense.

        1. @matt I agree. Women can be astronauts and fighter pilots as @phylyp has said. I won’t try to claim I know why fewer females go go-karting. I wouldn’t be surprised if more are than ever though, but the bottom line is there simply isn’t that same huge pool of female drivers to draw from that there is of male drivers as the series’ advance toward F1.

          Of course some women are stronger and more athletic than some men. Not all men are stronger in other words. But why is there men’s tennis or golf etc separate from women’s? We can plainly see men drive the ball much further off the tee. After that I think women are just as capable and accurate at hitting irons and putting (they might need to on average go a club or two higher to get to the green but so what they’ll still get there) ie. the shorter distance stuff. In tennis men (at the pro level) serve and volley harder due to their on average greater height and strength. I don’t think racing applies here and it is simply that we haven’t seen the ‘Senna’s’ yet, so small is the pool to draw from.

          Woman’s hockey is exciting to watch. And it is different from the men. They’re skating a little slower, they don’t body check nearly as much, but they can finesse the puck and make passing plays just as well. They’re not slapping the puck as hard. But when it is a level playing field amongst both teams the games are exciting since the competition is present. The tension as your favourite team ‘goes for the gold’ is no less exciting.

          I think an all female racing series could be just as exciting to watch and it would not prove their capability against the men in F1 (for example). It would have to be an apples to apples comparison to know. Perhaps it would open doors more for women to then jump to F1, but I would think if they are prepped enough for a female series they may as well be scouted for F1 right off the bat. Women have succeeded in drag racing too. I think more women have raced than we are aware, once you go back over the years and the series.

        2. Someone should ask Laurence Stroll why he spent $90 million (and counting) of his own money to get Lance into Formula One as opposed to Lance’s sister (I don’t know her name but she appears to attend every race). For all we know she might have become a better F1 prospect than Lance, while that is an admittedly low bar.

      6. More likely it is because women get a lot less money per capita at every level of racing, including entry-level karts (where the average for both is probably below the threshold of success in the category in question), and because motorsport is expensive at every competitive level these days.

        1. Some very interesting responses but I have a notion that generally, women see motorcracing as pretty stupid and pointless.

      7. Well, there is a tournament called something like: “Female European Chess Championship”, that I don’t understand.

      Last week I posted a less than flattering comment about the Yas Marina Circuit and Keith (@keithcollantine) selected it for COTD.
      Perhaps I was wrong to do so. Last night I watched two stonking GP3 races that were held at the circuit this year. They had everything; battles for the lead, midfield passing – true racing excitement all round.
      So what happened in the F1 race? Absolute monotony. Is it the circuit’s fault, or is it F1’s?
      If you have a circuit that’s maybe two-thirds as good as it could be, and a Formula that’s only half as good as it could be, you get a race that’s one-third as good as it could be. And that’s what I think we saw at the Grand Prix on Sunday. Stalemate.
      Maybe it’s not the circuit, maybe it’s the attempt to hold a race for over-complex machinery on a restrictive circuit. If GP3 can put on a superbly competitive event there, why can’t F1?

      1. @nickwyatt it’s a good point. circuits are not de facto ‘good for racing’ for all the many different types of series that race on them. the brands hatch indy circuit is amazing for ford fiestas, but i can’t see it working that well for F1 or WEC (would love to proved wrong). similarly, the old hockenheim was often pretty entertaining for F1 (though it varied over the years) but i imagine it would be a bit tedious in an F3 race.

        the other potential problem, which is not talked about as often, is that if everyone optimises their weekend (i.e. the fastest cars start at the front and stay there) then there is no way you will get an entertaining race, regardless of how brilliant the track is or how well the cars race one another. obviously this has been the case since the year dot.
        however, i believe that F1 teams are significantly more organised than they were in previous decades (through improved simulation, comms, reliability etc.) so the ‘perfect’ weekend paradigm is more likely nowadays. the human element is the only predictor of disorder. my suspicion is that GP3 teams are less organised and the fact it is a spec series means the human element comes to the fore, more so than F1.

        1. @frood19 @nickwyatt I’m adding the obvious comment that GP3 doesn’t suffer from the same aerodynamic issues caused by following another car that plagues F1 currently. A spec series generating closer racing should not be a surprise.

          1. @ju88sy yes, but my point is that if the fastest GP3 car qualifies on pole and has a normal/perfect race then there is no chance of an exciting race. it’s immutable logic. my theory is that it has become much easier for F1 teams to deliver the perfect/normal weekend than it used to be. hence, you will get increasingly spread out fields.

            1. @frood19, I understand and dont at all disagree with your point – it should be no surprise that some F1 races are processional with cars on the grid in order of pace. However for spec series, with the performance margins narrower we often end up with closer racing and more surprises than F1 on circuits where F1 produces a follow-the-leader Sunday.

          2. @ju88sy Yes but is it all down to aerodynamic wake? If it is, Mr Brawn and the FIA should be dealing with it immediately. I no longer think that it’s right to blame the circuit solely for the inability of some formulae to deal with it.
            I very much agree with @frood19 that some circuits suit some formulae and not others: watching Formula Ford at La Sarthe would be a bit tedious, for example. But I would have thought that the circuit is the more permanent factor and that the formula has to adapt or be adapted to deal with it. Individual teams and car designers might not like it, but the overall sport is more important that any team.
            Not sure what the answer is. I’m going to watch the F2 race from Yas Marina tonight; looking forward to it!

            1. @nickwyatt Right the circuit will always play a part Yas Marina which is characterised by an excessive amount of 90 Degree turns into straights does not lend itself to F1 drivers being able to close through sectors to position for an over-take, seeing as the circuit was designed for the F1 event from the ground-up it is right to criticise it – as reported Hermann Tilke is very aware it with a change being considered for the future.

            2. The simple fact is that modern F1 cars have outgrown many of the circuits and no amount of fiddling with rules will will ever work. The bold vision for F1 going forward (I hate that term) is to design and instigate tracks the like of which we may never have experienced before, to bring back the challenge to F1. For example, extreme gradients which will knock out a battery pack in seconds, stuff like that. These extraordinary cars are being asked to race on tracks designed when 100 mph was considered extreme.

    10. Now that Massa won’t be the one to drive, I think Kvyat will be their best choice. Possibly most likely too. And Since I think it was Paddy Lowe who brought Kvyat up as a possibility before, he could just be keeping the fact well hidden that their most likely choice will be him.

      1. I’m with you on that @thegianthogweed. If they can ‘tame’ Daniil, he has the raw speed to challenge. Plus, he brings cash does he not? An interesting metric would be how he would blend with Stroll and the answer is, he probably wouldn’t, but Stroll would have to accept the superior performance and experience of Kvyat. However, his age may be an issue for the main sponsor, but that is the way I’d go.

    11. I suspect the sudden interest in sauber by Fiat (or should I say Ferrari) is to further increase their political power and block Brawn and co from making the changes the sport needs. A team can survive and engine supplier withdrawing but this partnership goes much deeper than that. Three teams on the grid are now entirely dependent on Ferrari for their survival. Sauber barely survived BMW’s withdrawal don’t forget and that was back when they were performing well. I just hope Brawn calls their bluff and can see his vision through to reality.

      1. Sauber did fine after BMW left. They were back where they always were. Somewhere in the midfield around P7.

        They survived Kaltenborn’s reign you mean. 2013 just after Sauber just left still went sort of OK, but when Kaltenborn was truly on her own the whole thing collapsed completely and they became part of the back markers ever since.

    12. I don’t particularly like the idea of a women-only racing series, but I’m struggling to determine why because I have absolutely no problem with existing gender segregation in sports.

      Obviously the more physical ones it’s entirely sensible, but what about those, like F1, where physical strength and stature are not hugely significant factors? I’m OK with women-only snooker, darts, shooting competitions… there are women-only chess, e-sports, card game tournaments, and I’m fine with them existing, and everyone else is too.

      So why is it that motorsport is pretty much the only sport in which a female-only competition would NOT be OK…?

      1. Because some women have been successful in motorsport (best current example is probably two-time and reigning IMSA champion Christina Nielsen – who by the way is now looking for a race seat) without needing to segregate. At that point, the emphasis should be on ensuring gender equality regarding opportunity, rather than artificially dividing people. Once capable people (of any categorisation) are removed from a series, it weakens the talent of both sides of the division.

        1. But the same could be said for the sports I mentioned, often to a greater degree. Women have definitely succeeded in many of those fields. And yet it’s OK for them to still have segregated competition…

        2. Please do not use the words “gender equality” so loosely because there is no segregation in F1 based on gender unlike so many other sports it is completely open to women as much as it is men.

          F1 is one of the most gender equal sports out there. The fact that there are no women in race seats is not because they are being prevented, it is because so few women race.

          “”Ah but then feeder series should be more equal then”” Same, there is nobody trying to stop women racing, no action needs to be taken other than to encourage young drivers, that is it.

    13. Lowe insisted the team was in no hurry to finalise its 2018 line-up, and suggested the fight for the remaining seat was not just between the drivers it tested in Abu Dhabi.

      My hopes have been completely dashed after reading what Paddy Lowe had to say. I believe Kubica wasn’t good enough. That’s what my gut feeling tells me. I so hope I’m wrong.

    14. Huge mistake to get Kubica, his times are poor and Williams desperately need someone of Bottas’ class to pull the team forward as a whole. Id love it to be Kubica but time and injury dilute anyones talent even someone of Kubica’s immense promise.

      Id go Weherlein. I know he’s a diva but so what, that’s half the grid at least. He’s got decent experience now, he’s not a crasher and he’s part funded by Mercedes anyway.

      1. I think I’m with you, Wehrlein would be a good choice. It wasn’t that long ago he was being considered for the mercedes seat, and although this season he’s been a little meh at times, the prospect of Kvyat again, an off pace Kubica or Di Resta even do not seem like great alternatives. Either Wehrlein or Timo Glock ;)

      2. Is Paul DiResta out of contention for a 2018 seat?

        1. I think Kubica makes sense for the following reasons:
          1. He brings somewhere around 10 million euros (reportedly). Williams (through an interview with Massa) need money and that is a major factor in their driver selection.
          2. His past form and natural talent was so good that a medeocre Kubica would best DiResta at his best. I personally rank DiResta with a driver like Sutil.
          3. Kvyat has had his time and although the environment at red bull was a pressure cooker on him I think that he is to unpredictable to get the most out of the car consistently.
          4. The comeback story has to be a factor. Not only for the press (read sponsorship exposure) and merchandise increase but because Kubica will without question be so determined to get the best out of himself and the car.
          5. He is apparently very good at car development.

          I guess we’ll see if the Strolls agree

          1. He’s not got any pace though so he wont get the drive. You can earn millions more finishing 4th rather than 6th

      3. Youll see Kubica perform better than Bottas, he is Hamilton/Alonso class.. you read into times which were a car he wasn’t allowed to setup as it was a tyre test and know one knows how much fuel onboard.

      4. I’m not sure anyone of Bottas’ class is available for Williams to pick, and Wehrlien is unfortunately too young to be eligible (Williams’ main sponsor needs someone 25 or over in one of the cars for marketing reasons).

      5. It would have been nice to see Kubica in a race this year, if he’s not fast enough then at least the fans would be able to judge it for themselves rather than relying on dubious testing times. I dare say he would have been quicker than Stroll in Abu Dhabi either way.

        Wehrlein has been disappointing this year, he hasn’t really performed any better than Nasr (although in his defense, I think his car was further off the pace).

    15. The Ferrari lego car was a bit more impressive because they also made the tyres out of lego!

      And the Shark fin looks suspiciously like an actual part on that Renault too…

    16. Would it be wrong to assume that one of the reasons we see few women in racing series is that young women are less dumb than young guys, and less predisposed to spend huge amount of money in a, most of the time, fruitless – not to say dangerous – endeavor.
      Apart from the occasional multi million dollar contracts, what is the benefit in dedicate one’s youth to go in circles at 200mph. I think mostly young men are dumb enough to take part in it and mostly young men’s fathers are dumb enough to invest on it. (And, yes, we are dumb enough to pay dumb people doing dumb things.)
      And how many, even good one, drivers had we seen discarted by F1. In fact, I do not think F1 or other motor series are prejudiced against women but they could be prejudiced equally to anybody who isn’t able to provide speed and money.

      1. no that’s wrong to assume. there are plently of women that would do it, but are hindered by societies views on how they would look. in an equal footing, we would have equal men and women in nearly everything.

    17. A woman racing series is a great idea. How do you get girls into a sport? Give them rolemodels and inspiring stories. Right now there is no chance a woman will arrive in f1, the odds are stacked against them. Doing nothing will change nothing. Every time this subject comes up, we have an example of one, Maybe two female drivers. But that doesn’t mean girls identify with them. People like different personalities, so to get girls into racing, you need a good range of personalies and attitudes, competing at a high level. Like their own racing series.

      1. I completely agree, but also I think the best way to improve as a racing driver, whatever your sex, is to go racing. It doesn’t really matter what vehicles you are driving or who you are racing against, you learn more about racing the more you race.

        Having a female only karting/single seater/touring car series or whatever should encourage more women to take up motor racing as drivers because it gives them a series in which they can go racing in what may be a more comfortable environment for them, and it can be used as a platform to improve their driving and racing skills. This can only be beneficial because better drivers are usually more confident, and if they are more confident then they are more likely to stay in motor racing, and the more women that stay in motor racing then the greater the chances of there being successful female racing drivers at all levels of competition.

    18. I think if teams thought Kubica was fast enough and not a big risk, then he would have a seat by now. The will-he-won’t- he get a seat question has been going on for a few months now. His performances are clearly not appearing to be that much better than any other potential driver so I am doubting if he will get a place.

      As to who Williams will go for, I think it’s pretty wide open. Di Resta is probably the very safe bet. Kvyat a more risky choice and Wehrlein, until this season has always been highly thought of. Wehrlein will be without a seat in 2018 it seems so I expect Mercedes would like to get him a place, possibly in return for a reduced engine bill.

      1. Continuing thoughts on this, why not go for Di Resta for a year and see who else becomes available at the end of 2018?

        1. Yeah I have found it hard to invest much thought in this as it’s a hard one to call. Many speak highly of Kubica, but it’s been 7 years and he has a damaged arm. A complete mystery that the team is simply the best equipped to make a judgement on. Meanwhile they have reserve driver di Resta. Many around here don’t seem to think very highly of him from his previous tenure in F1 but that was with Force India that if I’m not mistaken wasn’t as good as they have been in he last few years, so did Paul really have the car to show anything?

      2. Di Resta has ZERO chance… he has no money to bring with him.. Williams wants money. Even Kubica after the failed Renault attempt now has money (said to be 8-12 million) from 2 new sponsors. Werhlein brings an engine discount. Sirotkin brings Russian sponsorship money. Kvyat would need to find sponsors after being dumped by Red Bull. So it will be Kubica/Werhlein or Sirotkin. Williams hasn’t shown much interest in Werhlein, and Williams will choose Kubica, with Sirotkin as 3rd driver doing many FP1s – this will be their best money deal, while still having decent drivers.

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