Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Hartley came within “centimetres” of crashing in Azerbaijan GP

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In the round-up: Brendon Hartley reveals he nearly crashed out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

What they say

The Toro Rosso driver said he was convinced he was going to crash after a gust of wind caught his car.

I had one really close call into turn four today where I had a big oversteer on entry, bit of a gust of wind, and I was pretty sure I was heading into the wall. I must have just made it out within centimetres. That was on the first stint.

Other than that I drove a pretty clean race and Kept my composure. I’m really happy to get my first point but definitely we’ll all be working hard to find a bit more performance for Barcelona.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Fernando Alonso, Toyota, World Endurance Championship, Spa, 2018
Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway, Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota, World Endurance Championship, Spa, 2018

Fernando Alonso began life as a World Endurance Championship driver for Toyota in practice at Spa-Francorchamps yesterday.

Comment of the day

Should a multiple constructors’ championship-winning team like Williams really consider become a semi-customer team in the Haas fashion?

Is Stroll really suggesting that one of the most successful teams in F1 history, multiple champion, is to be treated like a brand new team? Williams is a team that a couple of years ago was getting regular podiums.

If they want to emulate Haas maybe they should focus more on Haas management style, passion, and ambition, and less on the help they get from Ferrari. Williams is fully capable of producing a top chassis. At least one that can compete with an underfunded Force India

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On this day in F1

  • Michael Schumacher kept the home hero Fernando Alonso at bay to win the Spanish Grand Prix on this day in 2003

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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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52 comments on “Hartley came within “centimetres” of crashing in Azerbaijan GP”

  1. Some readers may have experienced difficulties posting comments during particularly busy times on the site lately and seen incorrect messages stating they were posting comments too quickly. This was due to a technical problem on the site which has now been addressed.

    Great news, thanks a lot!

    1. ColdFly (@)
      4th May 2018, 8:49


      1. If so thanks Keith!

  2. Cue outrage at Hamilton daring to observe there are beautiful women in 3…2…1…

    1. I’ll be the first to admit that I did feel a wave of oppressive boredom crashing over my head upon reading this. The amount of quotes he gets for saying the utmost irrelevant things is too damn high.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        4th May 2018, 7:22

        Oppression is not being able to say you are attracted to whatever your preference of gender or what you consider beautiful to be. Even if you do consider this to be in bad taste surely you would rather hear someone’s real opinion so you know who they are.

        1. @rdotquestionmark
          Thank you for mansplaining ‘oppression’ to me, or at least the one meaning you associate with it.
          Shall I now explain to you the concept of polysemy?
          I think I’ll let the dictionaries do the talking in my stead:

          1.1 Weighing heavily on the mind or spirits.


          3 : overwhelming or depressing to the spirit or senses


          1. I find the term ‘splaining depressing to the spirit and senses.

            Dismissing someone’s opinion based upon their demographic group lines up nicely with the authoritarian variant of the definition of oppressive.

          2. @philipgb

            I find the term ‘splaining depressing to the spirit and senses.

            So do I, and I have had heated arguments with people using that term colloquially.
            However, I found it rather fitting here (even though with a certain tongue-in-cheekness), because you did give me a completely unnecessary and unsolicited explanation of something you apparently know no more of than the person you explained it to. Maybe not 100% fitting, as I’m a man as well.
            In essence, I said something to the effect that I found Hamilton’s statement unbelievably irrelevant and boring. And you treat me with a litany on societal oppression based on a single misunderstood lexeme. So far, so amusing. But when I explain what went wrong, you go all Jordan Peterson on me. I find that downright hysterical.

            informal : very funny

          3. @rdotquestionmark @philipgb
            Oh wait, sorry. I had you two confused.

          4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            4th May 2018, 14:59

            Just wow 😂

          5. It is hard to tell us men apart 😁

    2. As a bilingual silver alien I’m offended Lewis didn’t said anything about eating miami food. Now seriously, the gp weekend is really tight as it is, going to Miami is going to multiply the frenzy by 11.

    3. Don’t you know? The beautiful women of Miami are a tourist attraction. What’s to be offended about it?

      That. Was sarcasm.

    4. @philipgb

      Lol too funny. My god, did a man just say he observes beautiful women today. What a misogynistic pig.

      Quick people on twitter create some outrage since its past 2016.

    5. Of course, following the PC culture of the day, the beautiful women need to be replaced with grid kids…. Otherwise somebody might get their feelings in a twist.

      1. Halo Hater
        4th May 2018, 7:04

        Correction-. Otherwise somebody might get their nickers in a twist. Hahaha

    6. This is just ridiculous. Hamilton is a role model. By terming beautiful women as “distractions” he’s merely objectifying them, which is just not acceptable in today’s society. He’s also excluding the men and the kids, by implying no attention will be spent on them. If anything he should say he’s expecting the grid kids to be a distraction… oh wait… that didn’t come out right.. [facepalm]

    7. @philipgb – Hamilton’s comment does not surprise me, and I don’t mean that in a negative way.

      He does seem drawn to different aspects of US culture, and has attended festivals like Coachella. So the party side of Miami being an attraction to him is quite natural.

      I must disagree with the distraction part of his quote (I know he meant that humourously) – his split from Nicole in his earlier years did seem to impact his mood, if not his racing; but since then, his personal life and persona don’t seem to have affected his racing. While his racing has had its ups and downs, that seems to be more in line with what’s happening in F1 at that time (e.g. post-WDC blues) than any of his non-F1 activities.

      1. @phylyp

        His comment is ok until you realise he only means plastic women who look like a bag of spanners with those awful fashion victim personalities. Then again he makes an equal effort in his appearance (Hair transplants..ouch) to pull them, so they’re welcome to each other.

        A big shout-out to those larger women in Miami who don’t wear make-up or spend all day on instagram, you’re beautiful too.

        1. @bigjoe – oh, trust me, his sense of style and my lack thereof are worlds apart, but as you say, to each their own.

          1. I think his style is cool, but his comments (allegedly) about his girlfriend putting on too much weight were a bit off especially when he’s short and bald.

    8. or giggled inside for a moment that he said “it’s going to be a hard weekend”

  3. Guess who’s the other world champion (other than alonso) on that toyota picture?
    Jose maria lopez who doesn’t get to be included on the caption. He was one step away drom f1, anyway im surprised Toyota kept him, and dumped Davidson.

    1. @peartree Supposedly Lopez had a two year contract with Toyota that didn’t allow them to drop him. I was very surprised when I first heard they were keeping him instead of Davidson.

      1. It would’ve been a hard choice for Toyota, since they’ve arguably got the best line-up in LMP1, apart from Rebellion’s #1 car. Dropping Nakajima or Kobayashi wouldn’t have been an option since they need a Japanese driver in a car for the probable LeMans victory (to be fair, the latter is at least on par with the other Toyota drivers). I was actually expecting Conway to get relegated.

      2. @forrest thanks. that makes sense but it’s not like Toyota had to keep Lopez even if they really didn’t want to.
        @flatsix I know all about the defunct wtcc, shambolic in my opinion, and lmp1 is not that different.
        However Flatsix, I didn’t knew, that on top of toyotas disregard for loyalty, Lopez hasnt performed. Nonsense, really.

    2. FlatSix (@)
      4th May 2018, 8:56

      @peartree, @phylyp Yes, the easiest world titles ever captured that is, but a world champion nonetheless.

      @forrest, @sundark There is not a single second of doubt that I’d choose Davidson over Lopez. The time he’s been with the team and the work he has put in it, unbelievable they didn’t sideline Lopez, who in his turn has quite a few big crashes and lost podiums on his name in WEC…

      1. @flatsix – could you say why “easiest title”? I don’t follow WTCC, so don’t know the circumstances behind his 3 titles. Dominant car, inadequate competition, something else?

        1. FlatSix (@)
          4th May 2018, 12:41

          @phylyp Well, there’s a whole lot of adverbs that you could use here in his defence;

          1) The best driver ends up in the best cars.
          2) All champions in the end had the best car.
          3) You need the best car to win.
          4) You still need to be a top driver to win in a top car.
          5) You still need to own your teammate.

          But Lopez came in the series after participating in just two previous WTCC events, granted of the two he won one. Citroën had a cheap decent driver here, or that is how I saw his appointment. It’s not like his GP2 results 7 years earlier where anything to brag about. They hired Loeb and Muller as french giants in motor sport, and I’m fairly sure they expected the latter to be their championship contender.

          Lopez had two teammates within the same team, Muller and Loeb. Both won plenty of other races too, and Muller finished second in each year Lopez won, with Loeb third in the two years he drove for the outfit. It is for sure the young Lopez extensively beat the much older yet more experienced Muller, and the inexperienced Loeb (in circuit racing that is).

          If you think the Mercedes dominance was annoying Citroën’s sheer pace with max success ballast was even more so. In the reverse grid races they often took no more than two or three laps to be in a leading position. In the three seasons the three cars won 57 out of 70 races and propelled itself to the most successful car in the WTCC.

          Besides the fact the WTCC is (to me) of lower quality than for example the BTCC or DTM it really ruined touring car racing for me. Now I only watch the DTM. The new WTCR however has given the series some more life.

      2. @flatsix @phylyp easiest world titles for Citroën, a little bit more difficult for Lopez but he beat fair and square Muller and Loeb in very same machinery in 2014 and 2015, and then beat Muller again in 2016. Of course, it was a 3 car Citroën championship, then the others behind.

        1. Many thanks @flatsix @spoutnik, that made for interesting reading!

  4. “We are very happy that Liberty, with the FIA, have seen that we can’t continue going down the road of creating artificial overtaking with DRS.”
    – Agreed, but once again, just because DRS is being used doesn’t mean an overtaking move would automatically be ‘artificial’ especially when it’s still completed in the braking zone for the approaching corner (and or at the corner in question), not before. Furthermore, people are always a bit too eager to blame DRS alone for the motorway-style passes without thinking about the possible other aspects that could actually very well have an even more significant impact on making them look easy than DRS. Another user pointed out on this site recently by claiming that the disparity between the engines/PUs is the reason for the motorway-style passes, not DRS, and gave the RB-battle from the last race as an example, and I agreed with him.

    1. @jerejj I’m one of those who thinks the very presence of drs harms the integrity of the sport. With cars less affected in dirty air, and cars creating less dirty air to begin with, the removal of drs will remove any debate as to how or why a driver made a pass.

      While disparity in pu’s is a thing, and always has been, one cannot blame that alone for ‘motorway style’ passes. Not when we know for a fact how damaging aero dependence on clean air is to close racing, this year and last as bad as it has ever been. And we know how the finicky tires do not like following a car either. PU disparity is just one component.

      Sure the RBR battle showed what equal pu’s can provide, until DR lost all his front downforce in dirty air…

    2. I forgot to include earlier: First Gasly and now Sauber. How many drivers and or teams going to keep imitating FA, LOL?

  5. Hamilton should be a regular on r/ihavesex

  6. That Sauber tweet 🙄 … How could they be P11 in 2017? They were P10 out of 11 teams in 2016, Manor bowed out, leaving behind 10 teams for 2017.

    1. Also they are P9 currently!

    2. Aah, so a closer inspection of that tweet shows its not an official account of the Sauber F1 team, and a correction was issued:

      *P10 in 2017 ! And P9 in 2018 ! Sorry guys

  7. Lol Kimi is a real porker. All the time loat to Seb can be attributes partially to substantial weight penalty.

    Maybe next year he might be competitive.

    1. Dude 5′-7″, 154 lbs is far from porker. I’m 5’10” which means my equivalent BMI would be around 168 lbs. In high school playing soccer (ok… football) I hovered around 165, but I am currently 185. I run and mountain bike, yet here I am, morbidly obese in comparison to an F1 driver.

    2. Kimi weighs 150 punds, not 150 kilos. If he were much thinner, he’d be an unhealthy amount underweight for a man his size.

  8. Strange comment from Wurz, given that they increased the DRS effect for 2019.

    1. @vjanik But he is speaking about the change to the outwashing front wing, which will reduce wake, and therefore reduce the amount of dirty air behind a car. This should help a little in creating more non-drs passing opportunities, is spite of the presence of drs.

      He is also speaking to what he thinks and hopes might be the beginning of a new philosophy and the eventual end to drs all together. I predict for the 2021 overhaul there will be no drs. For now the cars are designed for it and they can’t just take it away without that costing huge amounts in re-design in too short a time. Rather, these are relatively minor tweeks that they can do for now that are relatively inexpensive. The major overhaul will have the teams with ample time to adapt.

      I’m excited that Wurz is excited.

      1. @robbie Yes they changed the front wing, but at the same time increased the DRS effect. So i would not call that a change in philosophy. Its kind of one step forward one step back.

        I also hope that we will not have DRS in the 2021 rules. But i will believe it when i see it.

        In 2009 we had a major aero overhaul which was supposed to address the ability for cars to follow each other and overtake. The “solution” was to simplify the aero, get rid of the various aero appendages, narrower and higher rear wing, and a lower and wider front wing.

        In 2011 they introduced DRS which was supposed to be a temporary solution (but looks like we will have it for at least 10 years).

        In 2017 we were going to have another “revolution”. This time, they reversed most of the aero changes that were made in 2009, and kept the DRS.

        So forgive me if i am not excited.

        (to be clear – i love F1 and am enjoying the hell out of this season. I hope wurz is right and we do get a change in philosophy. but its hard to be excited about something which might maybe happen in 2021, when we could have done that ages ago.)

        1. @vjanik Fair comment but to me drs exists now and will exist next year, but an out washing front wing exists now and won’t next year. So that is a bigger change than making drs ‘more powerful’ which we don’t know by how much. The bigger change physically to the cars, and in terms of philosophy, is the front wing change.

          We (they) are still dealing with BE era cars, as were the ones you cite in 09 and 2011, as well as 2017. The last decade has seen the four top teams with more power than they have ever had, but now there is a new sheriff in town looking after the other teams as well as the long term health of the sport overall…something BE/CVC hadn’t cared about for the last decade of money grab.

          Yeah they could have done this ages ago…if they were really motivated to do so. Under BE there was not the motivation nor the caring by the top teams to do anything but look after their own self interests. The new F1 will see a complete shift in that. Sure we are still seeing resistance from some of the teams. Naturally the excess they have been allowed is not something they want taken away, but it was never sustainable, and now the new sheriff is here to point that out and to actually affect the changes we know could have and should have happened long ago.

          If they still have drs in 2021, which I am 100% confident they won’t, that will mean an utter failure to affect the changes they know can remove the need for such a device. But because there has never been the real motivation nor effort to actually change, I am fully confident that there are many combinations of shapes and sizes of front and rear wing, floors and diffusers that have never been tried, that can easily result in the ‘need’ for drs. I predict that out of the two-car wind tunnel work they are finally doing in a well considered manner, we will see differently shaped wings/cars than we have ever seen before in F1. They won’t make nearly as much wake, and they won’t be nearly so dependent on clean air either.

          1. Of course that should have read…’easily result in the ‘need’ for drs to disappear’…

  9. About Leclerc:

    We’ll see. For now, this F1 rookie is beginning to shine, and he’s a very cool, very open and rather funny guy. No spoiled rich kid, either: he shared a modest apartment in Monaco with his father and brothers, Lorenzo and Arthur.

    Should “modest apartment” & “Monaco” share the same sentence? Haha!

    Love his racing anyway, hope Baku was the first of his many successes!

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      4th May 2018, 12:44

      Regarding someone comparing Leclerc to Prost rather than Senna, is it really true that Prost won races as slow as possible. He had the fastest lap record until Schumi beat it. Senna on the other hand had about 19 or so

      1. Jonathan Parkin, it is one of those comments that is thrown out by journalists because it fits into the lazy stereotyping of the drivers and how they want to paint each of those figures.

        I think that part of it is because quite a few journalists seemed to be almost confused when watching Prost driving because his driving style wasn’t dramatic or flamboyant as some – it didn’t fit into their perception of what they believed it should look like for a driver to be driving fast, and I can recall some articles from early on in Prost’s career where you can sense that the journalists are struggling to reconcile the fact that Prost was quick but wasn’t throwing the car around in the way that they thought he should be.

        I think that is why, to some extent, you get comments like that – it sometimes feels like journalists use that phrase at times to try and justify to themselves how a driver like Prost could be so successful and quick, because it is almost as if they still cannot accept why he should have been so quick.

        @rpiian, admittedly, as somebody who was born in Monaco and is a Monegasque citizen, the situation might be a little different for Leclerc than it might be for most other drivers who live in Monaco. I do agree that it does sound rather unusual to hear the words “modest” and “Monaco apartment” in the same sentence though.

    2. Yeah, I had to laugh at that too

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