Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018

Raikkonen: French GP won’t ‘change the world’

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In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen suspects overtaking will be difficult at Paul Ricard this weekend.

What they say

I tested there in the past and there are a lot of different layouts they’ve been using in the past. I think it’s more or less the long layout where we’re going to race and I’ve been there with the McLaren and once with the Ferrari. Let’s see.

I think it will be more or less the same as in those days. It might be another difficult place where to overtake, at least that’s what it looked like in the past even if it was just from testing. It’s hard to believe it’s going to change the world.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

There’s been one topic dominating chat today – and some big numbers behind it…

Great insights Dieter. So, if my Maths is correct, compared to 2017,

1) Red Bull Group is better off by 130 million – 50 million of engines free + 80 million injection by Honda
2) Honda is better off by ~45 million – 25 million severance penalty from Mclaren + 20 million (100 million injected to Mclaren – 80 million injected to Red Bull Group). However, Honda’s production costs have doubled as they are supplying double the number of teams. That probably sets their benefit back by ~15 million to plus 30 million
3) Renault is worse off by ~32 million (50 million reduction from Red Bull – 18 million addition from Mclaren). However, Renault’s production costs have reduced. That probably reduces this 32 million penalty by ~15 million to 17 million
4) Mclaren is worse off by ~143 million (25 million severance penalty to Honda + 100 million injection of Honda + 18 million engine fees to Renault)

Those who made decisions at Mclaren really need a good answer as to why letting of 143 million was a correct decision so as to go from 9th in the championship to 5th (best case)

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 1953 Juan Manuel Fangio put his Maserati on pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, lapping the original Spa-Francorchamps in four and a half minutes

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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49 comments on “Raikkonen: French GP won’t ‘change the world’”

  1. I support Kimi simply because of the comments such as that one.
    May he win the French GP! He should’ve won in 2008 so it’s a payback time now.

    1. different circuits..

  2. LOL at that Force India tweet!

    On the other hand, that Honda tweet had a subtle zinger at the end: “both of them are real racing teams”.

    1. @phylyp the whole thread on Twitter is pretty cool, Sauber, Pirelli and Honda joined :D

      PR via Twitter are one of the greatest advancement since Liberty took over IMHO.

      1. Yeah I love this banter. I know it’s just social media kids managing it; but the appearance of these massive multi-million dollar companies having a bit of banter with each other about cake is awesome.

    2. Subtle? :D

    3. @phylyp I don’t think that was a ‘zinger’ which I’m assuming you mean against Mac (or maybe you mean against STR?) I think what he means to do is to not downplay STR, or see them swept under the carpet as a team now that RBR will inevitably get the spotlight and inevitably do much much better as they always do as the senior team vs the junior team. He’s saying, to me at least, STR is a valid team and will be valuable in this new chapter with the two Red Bull teams. He’s diplomatically keeping STR in the spotlight too, for they are supplying STR already, and the work they have done so far together has no doubt helped sway RBR to sign on.

      1. @robbie – that is also an equally possible interpretation, and more in line with a Japanese company’s values. Maybe it’s just my negativity that made me see something that wasn’t there.

  3. Boy that Alonso tweet. I was scouting around for some confirmation of his Le Mans pace, and that’s sealed it 100%.

    1. @newfangled – open up that linked tweet, and scroll down to see the 100 best laps by driver. :-)
      Also, even though Alonso didn’t clock the fastest lap, he nailed the best average by a margin.
      I’m sure he’s not looking forward to getting back into his F1 car this weekend!

    2. I know, right. Amazing!

    3. Pretty impressive indeed! I hate F1 for denying us a vettel/hamilton/alonso battle…

      1. Don’t blame F1…. the three top seats still waiting to signed & sealed for next year – Alonso is a free agent. The fact that nobody wants to sign him, is not “f1’s” fault but his own. It is mind boggling that their not even rumours/conspiracies that he will end up at any of the top teams……

        1. True, but if F1 weren’t structured around constructor competition to the extent that that there are only six competitive race seats out of twenty, we would have seen plenty more on-track action between the major drivers of the era.

          In fact, I can’t think of an era of F1 in which we have had so few signature on-track battles between the top drivers. Of course we look back on the past with rose-tinted glasses, but there still is not a signature wheel-to-wheel moment to define Hamilton and Vettel (Baku aside) along the lines of Senna vs. Prost or even Schumacher vs. Montoya.

          1. there still is not a signature wheel-to-wheel moment to define Hamilton and Vettel (Baku aside)

            @markzastrow – LOL at the parenthesized phrase, one that nearly made me spit out my drink!

    4. @newfangled It’s purely hypothetical until it happens of course but I’m fairly sure men like Vettel or Hamilton would do just as good if not better. Hülkenberg also did very well in 2015. I also think Kimi, Ricciardo and even Verstappen could replicate what Alonso did.

      1. That is your opinion, above are facts. Very different thing between being able to theoretically do something, and actually pulling it out when things really matters.

        1. @pyon I don’t see any facts stating Vettel or Hamilton wouldn’t be able to do this, so what is your point exactly? I’m not denying Alonso did it so what would above facts really counter that I said?

          You might have had a valid point if I not already started my own statement with ‘It’s purely hypothetical until it happens of course but’

          1. Pyon is right.
            Your “fairly sure” statement means nothing. You being fairly sure has no basis. It’s your opinion but it holds no water so why even go there?
            Alonso did it and until one or more of them do it your hypothesis means nothing.

    5. FlyingLobster27
      20th June 2018, 16:12

      I’ll hand it to Alonso: he wanted to win Le Mans, and he pretty much did just that! Le Mans is never single-handed of course, but those stats show he made the most of his stints. He’s very fortunate to be able to drive as well as he talks.

  4. I think Daniel will now continue with Red Bull

    1. Yes, seems logical choice unless Hamilton quits. Ferrari historically like a 1st driver and think they have one. And Max might be the faster racer, he so far has never been ahead in points on Daniel, so Daniels consistency likely to pull him through.

  5. I agree with the COTD.
    – The tweets of Force India and Honda, though.

  6. The majority of the content in this roundup is damning of McLaren in one way or another. Congratulations to Zak Brown and Eric Boulder, legends in their own minds.

    1. ”Boullier”

      1. And how many people had been saying in years such as 2015 and early 2017 that McLaren were idiots for sticking with Honda, given the problems they were having at the time?

        1. I don’t really see what is so damning toward Mac. Honda still have everything to prove, and I’m sure if STR experienced the same year this year as McHonda suffered in year one, RBR wouldn’t be so enthused about taking them on. In one of the articles above Yamamoto eludes to their difficulties in the beginning supplying Mac with a good product and how the circumstances then for Mac and now for RBR cannot be compared.

          While I was concerned on Max’s behalf about the switch when it was still just a possibility, I am less so after reading the reasons why it made sense for RBR now, for I think things will accelerate in terms of development at Honda now. Already have. Finally. It’s fashionable these days to use hindsight to now slam Mac, but then they had to actually live too many races of an unworthy PU. Sure Mac can take some blame, for it is a team effort, but really, just because it is fashionable to slam Mac from armchairs, doesn’t change the realities.

          In fairness to Mac, let’s see how patient RBR will be if they go a few years of still barely matching where Renault are now. Mac has moved on, and Renault may just be a stepping stone for them, toward a works deal with someone.

          1. @robbie +1 to this. The failings of McLaren and Honda the last few years have probably served as a good technical and management lesson to the Red Bull Group as well as Honda, so where STR are today and RBR next year will be building atop those lessons.

          2. Agree 100%

  7. The tweet proves one thing though stick Alonso in with Hamilton and he will be slower in qually imo but maybe have better race pace, pity you cannot pass. Alonso would really struggle with a Ferrari or Merc to stick it on pole. And good look overtaking in the race. Could not do it in 07 in USA you are not doing it in 2018.

  8. 4 tenths is not even that much on a 3 min plus lap in these cars aswell. Buemi and Nakajima our not great. Would love to see the others have ago.

    1. its on average of 40 laps. So in a total of 40 laps nando was 16 seconds faster than the second fastest driver. Imagine in 130…

  9. Would love to see Fred challenge the likes of Hamilton and VET for the wdc.
    Too bad he sold his soul to the criminal Briatore.

  10. Im at shock here. I thought Verstappen was about to be demoted to Toro Rosso…

    1. After Montreal? Really?

      1. Verstappen did nothing he hasnt done before in Montreal.

  11. Getting to the track is an adventure in itself. It’s Hairpin City as you twist and turn and dip and dive through the twisty hill Getting to the track is an adventure in itself. It’s Hairpin City as you twist and turn and dip and dive through the twisty hill passes. Leave the aperitifs well alone, keep both hands on the wheel, channel your inner Carlos Sainz Sr and may the best hire car win.

    I admit that I am being sensitive about this because Sir Frank Williams is a hero of mine…but should the Renault press team really have said this given what happened in 1986?

    1. YEah, a bit ehm indeed.

      not to mention that reading that and then seeing what Kimi has to say about the track

  12. Free from the pressure cooker that was their last partnership, Honda’s personnel excelled. The smiles were back. Laughter could be heard in corridors of Sakura and Milton Keynes.

    Have Honda been so caught up in what they have been doing that they have ignored how much pressure Red Bull have been putting on Renault since 2014? It may be sunshine and rainbows now, but if Honda don’t deliver Red Bull will turn up the pressure even more than McLaren did…

    1. @geemac I was thinking that. if honda display the same reliability next year as they have this, red bull will be defaming them til the cows come home. admittedly they are more reliable than last year but that’s not saying much.

      the reason red bull have gone for honda is the same reason mclaren did – to be the works team. when mercedes came back in earnest the writing was on the wall for mclaren; ditto for renault and red bull. the significant advantage i can see for red bull (vs. mclaren) is that honda have got all of their learning out of the way and should be closer to parity for 2019 – but it’s hardly been a smooth progression (2017 being the nadir) so it’s still a big risk, especially given they are winning races with the current renault.

    2. Well Honda delivered on their upgrade in Canada no? RBR have seen that they can deliver now they are free from McLaren.

      It beats Renault always promising and always never delivering or under-delivering or have you not followed what has happened in the past couple of years and just see RBR rightly complain about the poor product Renault have been giving them for which they are paying?

      Where is the MGU-K they said would arrive at the start of the 2017 season yet here we are still in 2018 with no sign of it because of unreliability problems?
      Where is the qualifying mode that both Ferrari/Mercedes have had for years yet Renault still don’t have one?
      Where is the touted focus of reliability Renault kept harping on about before the start of the season and last season and yet a lot of their cars are close to being penalised again already? Or them running out of parts last season because their engines kept blowing up?

      Red Bull put the pressure on Renault because they failed miserably in 2014 (not to mention because of Renaults bad product it brought about the demise of other teams like Caterham). Then in 2015 Renault built a WORSE engine than in 2014 before they got their act together and still yet right now they are behind. Given that Renault threatened to quit F1 if these hybrid engines were not introduced and here if anything it is backfiring on them.

      Do people forget the videos of Grosjean hammering the desk in the pit garages when Renault pulled out another rubbish product in pre-season in 2015?

      And yet all this time the teams were paying Renault the MOST for the WORSE product. Fans like to complain about Red Bull and their treatment of Renault but quite frankly, it’s a business. Renault have been given plenty of years to catch up to Ferrari/Mercedes and they’ve failed every year. Honda in less than year out of McLaren, have pretty much caught up to Renault in terms of power and improved their reliability massively. Renault are standing still and next year they will be they will have RBR to prop them up and help them look good constantly getting on the podium.

      1. not to mention because of Renaults bad product it brought about the demise of other teams like Caterham

        Next to the loads of speculation I’m really wondering how this line of thought runs?

      2. Honda have a history of promising and not delivering (I think I lost interest when we were told about the spec 3.7 and then 3.8 engines) and of making gains and then getting worse (compare their 2015/2016 progress to what happened in 2016/2017).

        All I’m saying is that, for all the PR speak, there is still a question mark over Honda. They should get better, they have the resources to get better, but they need to consistently show they can get better. Renault haven’t been great, but they have given Red Bull equipment with which they have been able to win races in the hybrid era.

    3. Pretty sure those were the same enthusiastic smiles they had when they first began the McHonda effort. For now, they have everything to prove, including what seems to now be a popular thing to say, that they have now matched Renault. I think that remains to be proven. Let’s start with seeing that consistently be the case, and then when their next leap will be, because we know Renault level of performance puts one in third these days.

    4. Very much what came to my mind too @geemac. Off course they are happy and all, and surely they are now more fit for purpose then when they started with McLaren a couple of years back. But I’d be surprised if some people in Honda aren’t already dreading the inevitable moment when Max, or even better, Marko (closely followed by Horner) starts explaining how the engine is to blame.

      1. @bascb For sure, which is why Yamamoto has accurately stated this is huge pressure for them and a huge challenge. I want to say on Max’s behalf this is going to be great, and it may, but after McHonda, and in spite of what they have done with STR this season, Honda has everything to prove. We’re going to have to see it to believe it. And that’s ok too. F1 is supposed to be hard. And if RBR truly figures they were never going to advance with Renault, then their only option now is to be patient, and really, it is a new day for them too, to have a works deal on the go. So they’ll have to work it up into something big. And that doesn’t happen overnight. Exciting times. Dieter has reassured me (us) this is he right thing for RBR to do for several reasons, so I’m stoked to see what evolves. It’s very exciting for F1 overall.

        1. I agree with that @robbie, no sense entering F1 if you don’t think you are up to the challenge. Honda will have to prove themselves – that is more or less the whole reason for them being there!

          And I am sure that the deal makes a lot of sense for Red Bull, since Honda are not too far behind Renault currently and are sure to a) be far better for the budget, b) work incredibly close with Red Bull to try and make this a success, especially now that the separation from McLaren seems to have finally shaken up things enough that Honda might be ready to do the job this time.

  13. Nothing will change Kimi’s world …and that’s why he’s so boring and well past it – His spark is now a smouldering stub.

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