Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2018

Mercedes now more competitive in hot races – Wolff

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes the Hungarian Grand Prix shows the team can be more competitive in hot weather conditions.

What they say

Wolff was asked if he was surprised by how long Lewis Hamilton was able to run on ultra-softs at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix:

I think free air plays a big role. But it’s a little bit of a mystery that sometimes you perform on a tyre and not on the other one. And I think it was the other way around with Ferrari.

So more data to collect, more to understand, but the over-arching feeling for us is that we won a race in Budapest with 60 degrees track temperatures. That is something we would have thought would not be achievable for us and that gives me a good feeling that we have understood more and we can be more competitive in the hot races in the future.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Chase Carey reckons most F1 fans believe Liberty’s tenure in charge of the sport has been for the better. Who agrees?

This Liberty narrative is increasing worrying, referencing to Bratches’ comments about glamour, Brawn’s recent ones about Formula E and now Carey all happy. However the fundamental flaws are still here.

Their biggest win is the fan engagement. There are a lot more videos about the sport, which can only be a good thing. They certainly appear more fan-friendly.

Nonetheless, many promised ‘revolution’ changes are often cosmetic and not necessary for the better. The coverage of the races is still questionable, important moments are still missed, the celebrities are a must, CG ads only gotten worse.

From the economic perspective is getting worse, pay-TV is only increasing. Ecclestone wanted to have F1 for the rich and Liberty’s target is not so much different, albeit at least allowing the others to catch up some highlights.
Michal (@Michal2009b)

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Ronnie Peterson took pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix in his Lotus 79

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  • 16 comments on “Mercedes now more competitive in hot races – Wolff”

    1. Regarding the COTD: I have mixed views on this particular topic. Some things, yes, are better now than they were under the previous management, but some other things not so much and or aren’t so different from how they were before.

      1. I was thinking the same, but of all the things we want to be changed, does liberty has the power to change them? A LOT of contracts comes from Bernie’s era and i guess it can’t be changed, much less with the current structure of rule making process and unfair money distribution (again, Bernie’s work…)

        1. @matiascasali Not all of them as, for example, some of the areas are the responsibility of the FIA, and yes, a lot of the contracts do come from the Bernie/CVC era as well, which means that changes concerning them can’t really be done until at least the end of the current Concorde agreement that runs till the end of 2020.

          1. There is no current Concorde agreement. Bernie signed individual agreements with the teams after the last one lapsed in order to break up FOTA.

            1. @asanator Yes, there is. It’s been brought up and stated quite a few times over the years. The one that came into effect in 2013 and runs till the end of 2020.

      2. The TV broadcast is much better than it used to be. Before it was like watching a two horse race, with maybe some extras as a side show, now it’s as though there’s 20 cars on the grid. I’m sure I’d seen race after race without seeing a Sauber full frame, now it’s as though there’s ten teams competing. I’m sure there’s been races where Toto, Christian, and the Ferrari people were wondering why they bothered turning up because his cars got so little coverage, but that same weekend there will be sponsors for poorly funded teams who will have walked away from watching that same race believing they got their money’s worth.
        Most importantly, no teams have gone bankrupt since Liberty Media took over. I believe that’s because they realise they need teams to compete.
        I believe F1 is considerably better than it used to be because of Liberty Media. Yes, I don’t agree with everything they do, but F1 is better now than it had been before they took over.

        1. @drycrust, whilst we might not have seen a team declare bankruptcy, we have just seen a team through the administration process due to financial problems (Force India).

          There are also questions for the longer term about Sauber and Williams, as the former is vulnerable if Mike Manley, the new CEO of Fiat Chrysler, steps back from Marchionne’s plans to promote Alfa Romeo via F1, whilst the latter is potentially quite vulnerable next year given the anticipated withdrawal of Stroll’s support and their sponsorship deal with Martini ending at the end of this year.

          I would therefore be wary about saying that things are “considerably better” just yet as it has to be said that most of the changes to the sport that they’ve made have been limited, in part because they’re still dealing with the structures that were already in place under CVC and Bernie – something that could be said to cut both ways in some respects.

      3. I think some people forget that liberty media are a huge money-making corporation, not much different from CVC.

        For some reason there was this idea that they were some sort of saviour. I think people are finally realising they’re not. That’s not to say they’re worse or better than Ecclestone, or that they won’t be in the long run, but their aim is the same: to make money (as much of it as possible)

        1. Strontium
          We all know Liberty bough F1 to make money, I don’t think anyone expected them to be seen as the saviour of F1. I do think they have been better at communicating what they want done, and can change, at least till a new concord agreement is reached between the teams. Bernie and CVC, but especially Bernie, was just contemptuous of the teams, but more importantly the fans, which at least, so far, Liberty have made a clean break from. I for one say, amen to that.

          1. Last time I checked, businesses are in place to make money…for the owners who take the big risks, for the employees and their families, and for their shareholders if they are public. It is not a crime to make money. It is exactly what everyone wants and needs to do. And Liberty certainly doesn’t sound like they couldn’t care less about F1, and just want to sit there and expect it to keep rolling in.

    2. Toto says they understand the tyres, but it doesn’t sound like it.

    3. Can somebody tell me who John Chico, Percy Jim and Heath Hall are? I can only recognize the second guy in this band… :-)

    4. As someone who primarily follows the midfield, I find the TV show is as bad as ever. It is simply that because 6 cars rather than 2 can plausibly win a given race, there is forced to be attention on 6 cars and 3 teams. Nothing has happened to convince me that any meaningful positive change has happened to the TV product; and further, pre-2012 Ecclestone-era F1 also “zoomed out” to look at midfielders when appropriate (something that still doesn’t happen to any noticeable extent in Liberty-era F1). Rather, it seems like we still have post-2012 Ecclestone-era F1 (win contenders all the time and them only, except when people I’ve never heard of in the pitlane seem more interesting or there’s a reaction shot to be had).

      The at-track product is, however, substantially improved. Albeit pricey (especially the eye-watering prices for Fanvision – I worked it out as something around £100 for a weekend’s hire of Fanvision, which is about half the cost of buying an entire unit!). I will give credit for this. Also, they at least seem to be trying to improve the online product. Their survey site is haphazard and this sometimes brings up weird results, but at least now if I ever question a “x% of fans want”, I can pop over to https://www.f1fanvoice.com and check the exact question and (via the forum) any applicable caveats. I can understand that sometimes there is a reason why Liberty seems to think it is justified in doing strange things. This just wasn’t possible in the all-presumption Ecclestone era.

      So in summary, the product is better, but from a low base, and not yet back to where it was seven years ago – but reasons for optimism exist.

    5. I know I am bringing up nothing new but I’m gonna keep saying it. If you can’t fully understand a tire halfway into the season then we are doing the wrong thing. We don’t need to have a tiny operating window in order to have better racing. We just need to reduce the life of the tire. The tire performance needs to be consistent and give you about one lap to get back to the pits to change tires. The next step up should be .5 tenths off or just enough to keep the gamble. Sigh. Ok I’m done now.

      1. The problem remains that the addiction to aero downforce and thus the dependence on clean air is what has caused them to feel they need to try to mask that with gadget tires and drs. Make the cars able to race closer, which is exactly what they are working toward, and tires don’t have to be the overwhelming story of F1.

    6. It is good Toto. Better ever than never. Just change numbers of tread depth of car tyres according to climate change.
      You are mid year genius.

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