Toyoharu Tanabe, Christian Horner, Red Bull-Honda, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Wolff: Honda’s progress “makes me happy”

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he’s pleased by Honda’s progress in their fifth season since returning to Formula 1.

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What they say

Wolff was asked for his impression of Honda’s performance in their first race with Red Bull, where Max Verstappen finished third after overtaking Sebastian Vettel.

Very strong. You saw how they’ve eaten up Sebastian into turn three. Power was enormous.

And seeing them come back strong makes me happy because it’s a good group of people and they’re really decent men and the combination with Red Bull certainly will become a threat. The level of performance, we must certainly have them in calculation for the championship.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Should F1 ignore teams’ championship results when it comes to sharing its income?

Why don’t they just split it evenly? Especially since the word sport has seemed to disappear from the vocabulary of anybody that runs F1.

If it is a show, pay all the entertainers the same.
Darryn Smith (@Darryn)

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On this day in F1

  • 30 years ago today Nigel Mansell scored a surprise won in his first race for Ferrari in Brazil. Johnny Herbert also scored points on his debut in F1’s final race at Jacarepagua.

Author information

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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  • 43 comments on “Wolff: Honda’s progress “makes me happy””

    1. Toto has to be one of the biggest trolls F1 has ever seen.

      1. To look better you always should make the competition look stronger.

      2. Toto has to be one of the biggest trolls F1 has ever seen.

        Only because of his height.

        But F1 is littered with trolls, and examples of trolling. The funny thing about Toto is, I genuinely think he’s one of the more honest people on the grid, but as a result, no one ever believes him.

        I think he genuinely worries about Red Bull and Ferrari, because he knows you can’t rest in this sport– if you’re not moving forward and staying ahead of your competition, you’re moving backwards, and you wind up where McLaren has been since 2013.

    2. COTD ! Great idea, then they can let a different team win the championship each year with a different team as runner up each year and the championship winner coming from behind to take the championship in the last race, obviously there will be some difficulty with diversity amongst the drivers so it will be okay if they have drivers adopt the role of “Flaming Queen” etc. at the track and for publicity events.

      1. I love the fact that pretty much any of the top drivers can already fit the role of “Flaming Queen” with ease ;P

    3. Toto’s just happy because a strong Honda means that if Ferrari continue to struggle, he can say Red Bull are faster than Mercedes instead.

      1. @petebaldwin – nailed it :)

      2. Haha bingo

      3. COTD look no further

    4. Re: COTD, there has to be incentive against just fielding a car that barely rolls around inside 107% and collecting a check.

      Of course you can then say “what about Williams?”

      1. @grippgoat – I think COTD is making the point that F1 is more entertainment than sport. And also the fact that the winners in the sport anyway get the marketing benefit and exposure of their finishing positions.

    5. BlackJackFan
      26th March 2019, 2:03

      Robin Fridges…??
      I thought spelling was no longer an issue these days… ;-)

    6. BlackJackFan
      26th March 2019, 2:05

      “If it is a show, pay all the entertainers the same.”
      Do you think all actors in a movie are (or ever will be) paid the same…? Or all movie studios get an equal share of the house-takings…? ;-)

      1. Good point BlackJackFan, in a show, it need not be about fairness, and the most popular ‘actors’ tend to get the biggest pay – music to Ferrari’s ledgers no doubt!

        There should be some incentive to try and move up the grid in renumeration.

      2. I heard a program on the radio where the person said all performers at a concert have to be paid the same as the lead act, so what the COTD day was suggesting could be consistent with the accepted standard. Besides, there are corporations that want to pay a team so their brand name can appear on a team’s car, so teams that finish high in the WCC will charge more than those that earned few points. So Mercedes will charge more than Williams. Maybe that isn’t fair, but it does mean winning pays more than loosing.

        1. Not sure where that info comes from. Support acts do not even have to be paid, in fact it’s possible some buy their way on to the stage for the promotional benefit of supporting a large act.

        2. Hi ST: “…so what the COTD day was suggesting could be consistent with the accepted standard”
          But… no way is this ‘The Accepted Standard’, even though somebody on the radio mentioned it about one concert…! Was it a charity concert, by any chance…?

        3. @drycrust If it was newsworthy enough to get mentioned on the radio, it was probably specific in some way, whether that was the concert, venue, band or some other entity insisting on and getting that equal treatment in place.

    7. that tweet from Frijns is epic, but DiGrassi really has a point regarding penalties in FE

      1. @gechichan Seems more like a childish retort to me…it’s completely unrelated to the point of debate 😂

        1. @gechichan @neutronstar Robin’s implied point is that Lucas was not paying sufficient attention to the situation to comment on it, if he persistently mis-spells one of the opponents’ names (differently, so it’s not even an auto-correct or consistent mis-spelling scenario). Robin was moved under braking by Buemi hitting him (hence his lack of penalty) and therefore has legitimate reason to feel annoyed that someone who wouldn’t have seen the start of the accident at the time made a false claim.

          1. But paying or not paying attention to a racing incident has absolutely nothing to do with somebody’s spelling prowess. It’s a childish retort from Mr Fridges… ;-)

    8. Can’t comment directly on the promoted article. I quite like the technical parts and the numbers from that article. This is slightly oriented but to be expected, and it is clear what it is.
      All in all this is as much informative as advertisement. I wish we could learn a little from any advertisement, we would be a lot smarter.

    9. The problem with the COTD suggestion of paying all the ‘entertainers’ on the F1 ‘show’ the same is that that isn’t how real entertainment works.

      The stars with the biggest crowd draw demand the greatest share and that still sees Ferrari paid the most despite not winning followed by Mercedes and Red Bull. No one is really tuning in to see Racing Point.

        1. So… are you saying, you’re no one…? ;-)

        2. @alianora-la-canta

          No one is clearly an inaccurate statement then.

          A statistically insignificant number of people are tuning in with greater interest in the on track action of Racing Point than in the top three teams would be a more accurate statement.

          1. @philipgb Depending on the exact statistic in question, I can agree with you on that one.

            Last time it got systematically measured in 2016, 80% of fans didn’t support any team in particular and 70% did not support any driver in particular (in both cases, that was defined as either “I literally don’t favour any particular team/driver” or “I favour four or more drivers/teams”). I think the Force India (as it was then) statistic was 1.25% of the total, compared to 8% for Ferrari, 3-4% each for Mercedes and Red Bull and 0.5-2% each for the rest.

      1. Money should be paid evenly. Sponsors would pay more for historic/ succesful teams so the market decides that but it would at least be a good foundation for all to receive equal funds from the sports revenues. In my opinion.

        1. I agree with you… as long as we don’t use Show Business as an apparent source of inspiration.

        2. How would equal payments be justified?

          The different teams clearly have different degrees of leverage when negotiating payments based upon their popularity. How would smaller teams who are less relevent to the popularity of F1 to its audience justify equal payment when they bring less value to the sport?

          Ferrari appeal to a considerably bigger audience than a small team, they make F1 more money by merit of their popularity and thus command more money in return for their participation.

          I don’t see what leverage smaller teams have to justify a flat distribution of F1’s earnings when they aren’t equal contributors to its success.

          1. In the NBA for example, all 30 teams get the same piece of the revenue-pie to fill their roster with. This means all 30 teams. This creates a level playing field for all 30 teams. You still have teams doing well and others messing up, but teams can rebuild their roster within a few years, if they manage it right.

            In F1, however, the teams don’t share all the revenue as a series like the NBA does. FOM generates money from TV rights, the series sponsors like Heineken, Pirelli, DHL etc. and from local race promotors paying fees to organize a GP. That money is then diveded among the teams (currently it’s rediculously uneven). But the teams get to keep all of their own sponsorship money AND they can throw in as much of their own money as they want.

            So Ferrari for example, do not only receive the biggest piece of the collective pie, they also get the most individual sponsor income because they are the most popular team, AND they pour in their own money from selling cars. A team like Williams can’t compete with that and to me, it creates such a big dissadvantage that this sport is decided by accountants more than it is by drivers and team’s actually out-enginering each other.

            Liberty can’t make F1 teams share their individual sponsor money and other income, but they CAN share the collective revenue equally. In fact, to help level the total income situations I would advocate to give the bottom team the biggest piece of the FOM and gradually work your way down to paying the 1st the least. The prize for being the best team still is getting the most individual sponsorship money and Red Bull, Mercedes etc. can still throw in as much of their own money as they want.

            This would really help to level the playing field and If all teams have more or less the same amount to spend, the team that trully does have the best combination of drivers and car design, i.e. done the best overall job, wins the championship. Then the competition is where it should be imho

            1. A major difference between something like football or basketball though is that those teams have their own locations that hold events

              They then allow the TV crew in to film games and feature equally in the footage

              They can also charge whatever they want for tickets and that revenue is theirs

              F1 teams participate at events hosted by the organising body and don’t host themselves, and there’s little guarantee of what proportion of screen time they receive, so they don’t have the same leverage to make revenue demands like other sporting franchises do

    10. Thank you for the birthday wishes, Keith!

      1. @alianora-la-cant happy birthday. I see you are joined by quite a few people. What a way to celebrate the start of the Summer

      2. Happy Birthday from me as well @alianora-la-canta. I hope you really have a nice day to celebrate it and enjoy it.

        1. @johnmilk @bascb Thank you very much for the good wishes :) Had a nice party at work, and today Dad and I are going karting :)

    11. The ‘What they say’ quotes are a week old and were reported widely by various other websites.
      I think Racefans.net is missing its own high standards here: 1) the round-up articles should be referring to news of the past 24 hours, and 2) the source should always be 100% clear (where/to whom did Wolff say this).
      @keithcollantine

    12. Translation of Toto’s quote:

      “Honda’s F1 progress makes me happy – any points taken from Ferrari makes me happy”

      Also, Mercedes 3rd fastest car confirmed… To Toto, at least.

    13. From the BBC-article:
      ”Revised engine rules, keeping the current 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrids but with changes to make them louder.”
      – They shouldn’t be made louder just for the sake of doing so. The sound is one of the lesser problems (if it even can be called a problem in the first place) anyway, so it’d be better just to let it be and focus on more relevant aspects instead.

      The little spat between Di Grassi and Frijns, though.

      1. I often try to get onboard with this sentiment, but then I hear a V10 scream and it makes me sad

        I don’t think it’s will ever capture that other worldliness they had no matter how loud they get

    Comments are closed.