Russell impressed by departing Raikkonen’s endurance in “relentless” F1

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In the round-up: George Russell says Kimi Raikkonen’s longevity in Formula 1 shows “age is just a number.”

In brief

Russell: Raikkonen’s career “incredible” in “relentless” Formula 1

Russell said it is “pretty incredible” what Kimi Raikkonen, the sport’s most experienced driver ever, has achieved. “Being here for so long and still, this year, performing at such a high level – Kimi and Alfa Romeo are our main rivals, so we keep a very close eye – and I guess as we say, age is just a number.”

The Williams driver completed his third year in F1 in 2021. “The time is flying,” he reflected. “This sport is so relentless, and you’re going race after race, after race. Sometimes you don’t get a moment to take it all in.”

Mercedes missed “clever” trick to clinch title for Hamilton

Mercedes could have ensured Lewis Hamilton won the championship in Abu Dhabi despite the controversial late restart to the race, said the sport’s former CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

It was put to him in an interview for Blick that when the safety car was summoned in for a final-lap restart Mercedes would have been tactically well-placed to order Bottas to stop on track in order to extend the race could not go green, preventing Max Verstappen from overtaking Hamilton to clinch the championship.

Such a move would have been “pretty clever”, said Ecclestone. “There would have been some ideal places [to ensure] the safety car stayed out. Many would have been upset, but nobody would have had the current finale in the back of their minds without restarting the race.”

Filippi: Younger generation finding racing via climate change

Envision Racing team principal Sylvain Filippi said that Formula E attracts a younger audience via climate awareness, who then follow the thread into racing.

“Formula 1 is so successful, as we know, be. Icause of the history and legacy in the news stories in the past and in the eighties and nineties, and if you are young kid now, you haven’t been exposed to any of that, it doesn’t really mean anything to you.

“So for sure, we see that the younger generation, the more they are in tune with climate change – because they would be the first affected, right – and they really understand it. So of course there’s a full segment of the younger generation that’s following Formula E and our team because all the things we are doing for climate change.

“There is also a whole portion of our fan base, which is the other way around, they are motorsport fans, Formula E’s a great motorsport too, we know the racing is amazing and hopefully we hope that by following our team, they get exposed to some information about climate change and it educates them. So I think, if you can do both, then you should be able to reach most people.”

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Comment of the day

After our Fernando Alonso caption competition, Pat Ruadh has some valuable advice for any budding trackside shooters.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

If you no longer go for a snap that exists, you are no longer a racing photographer

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On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1896: Philippe Etancelin, who shared victory in the 1934 Le Mans 24 Hours with Luigi Chinetti in an Alfa Romeo, and was part of the grid for the first world championship Formula 1 race in 1950 at Silverstone

Author information

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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61 comments on “Russell impressed by departing Raikkonen’s endurance in “relentless” F1”

  1. What a dumb thing to say. It’s not like he’s 85. It’s also not a real sport. The training if he does any is probably the most rigorous thing. Sitting on a private jet having people provide for every whim is hardly a feat to accomplish in your late 30’s. I mean these guys smoke cigarettes.

    1. Does this guy even watch F1?

      1. Good question.

    2. I’m afraid you have no idea what you are talking about, and I don’t mean it in an offensive way. You just provided an opinion on a matter you clearly have zero clue about

    3. Why are you even on this site?

    4. @darryn
      I absolutely 100% agree. Athletes at his age have been winning in cycling at the highest level! And that is a true physical sport. In F1 the athletic ability is just a cryterion for being able to perform, not the performance itself. In F1 you only get as tired as needed to overcome the forces generated by the car, whereas in athletic performance sports you get all you have out of yourself.
      Muscle endurance (for long isometric holds) – which is the only physical ability impacting fatigue in F1 – starts diminishing much later in life than other athletic abilities. The diminishing reflex speed makes you slower as a driver, but doesn’t make you any more fatigued in the car.

      People who have no idea about sports like to glorify F1 drivers without really understanding the subject.

      @Keith I only accidently his the “report” button on darryn’s quoted comment above.

      1. Well said. It’s like the guys that commented above have never competed in sports or driven a car to know the difference. It’s like they’ve never even watched F1 to be honest. F1 is more like competing in chess than cycling or marathon running.

        1. F1 is more like competing in chess

          Yeah – especially since the chess pieces weigh 50kg each and the players have to lift and move them using a tether round their necks.

      2. How many of those cyclists experience greater than 2G acceleration / deceleration on their neck 50+ times per race?

        An F1 car would break you.

        1. @grat
          Oh grat, grat, grat…. You’re ignorance and lack of logical thinking is painful.
          “2G acceleration / deceleration on their neck 50+ times per race?” – bla bla bla…
          Only 50? Hahaha, what a silly little number. That’s it? Just 50? Make it 5000 and I may start to be impressed. What’s the world record here? Oh, there is no record, it’s always just 50 and that’s it. In physical sports they go for records of the human body’s abilities. In F1 they just do 50 and go home.

          “An F1 car would break you.”
          Yes. So would an F2 car, an Indycar, an LMP, a rallye car, as well as a motocross bike etc. Also a 5km sprint on a bicycle would break me, and 10 minutes in an NBA game. Throwing a javelin would break my shoulder. All of it would break me. And I wouldn’t be able to lift a single weight in a weighlifting competition. That’s not adding anything to the discussion though, you silly.

          How often do F1 drivers not finish races because they are too fatigued? Zero? Zero.
          How often do drivers get injured in the cars just from driving them? Never? Never.
          In physical performance sports athletes’ bodies get injured all the time because they themselves determine their physical output, and that is always maximum.
          An F1 driver doesn’t make himself purposely more tired than what the car makes him. His input is not 100% – it’s only as much as is needed to drive.
          Imagine and F1 race was not 40 or 60 laps, but the maximum number of laps the winning driver can withstand until their bodies break – 200, 300 or whatever it would be. Now THEN it would be a physical sport.

          1. Many corners and braking events are over 4Gs these days. These guys are serious athletes. The reason so many of them cross train by cycling is because they need those leg muscles to brake with. The reason that races aren’t much longer than they are is because of safety, because fatigue is deadly in the cockpit of an F1 car. Time to get out of the armchair Amian!

          2. @ferrox-glideh)
            Many corners and braking events are over 4Gs these days.
            – Whoopty do! Cool. That doesn’t add anything to the discussion.

            These guys are serious athletes.
            – They are. Nobody denies that. So are construction workers, fighter jet pilots, furniture movers, divers etc.

            The reason so many of them cross train by cycling is because they need those leg muscles to brake with.
            – Whoopty doo, Captain Obvious :) Yet another truism that doesn’t add anything to the discussion.

            The reason that races aren’t much longer than they are is because of safety, because fatigue is deadly in the cockpit of an F1 car.
            – Exactly – the race length is limited. And no – fatigue is not deadly in F1. It’s not the 1960’s. If you lose control of the car, you just spin out of the track and go home. But that’s beyond the point.

            And the races are indeed are short – way shorter than they could’ve been, way below the limits of the athletes’ abilities. (In LeMans 24h each drivers drives for 8 hours, and one stint is up to 3h. In Rallye Dakar they drive a stage every day for 2 weeks – each of them can last up to 6 hours, especially on motorcycles. Just for comparison.)
            But the point I’m making, which flew over your hear, is that F1 driver’s output is determined and limited to only what is required to withstand the forces imposed by the car. The driver only needs to use as much force to steer the wheel as it takes to… steer the wheel, not more. The driver only uses as much force to press the pedal as it takes to…press the pedal, not more. Drivers don’t impose fatigue on themselves.

            Time to get out of the armchair Amian!
            – It’s time for you to start reading with comprehension, because you haven’t addressed a single point I’d made, and you haven’t made a single point either. You just disagree for the sake of disagreeing not even understanding what you disagree with.

          3. Oh Amain, you need help. The point you are trying to make is flawed. If you think construction workers are anything akin to elite athletes, you are living in a fantasy world.
            Physics is an actual thing, and you might understand it better if you stopped watched the world on a screen and tried experiencing it in reality. For instance, the pressure required to brake an F1 car from top speed can be around 200 pounds, not something that an average person is capable of. I suspect that there is no reasoning with you however, so I will stop trying.

        2. I agree that Russell’s comment is a bit over the top. Kimi isn’t exactly a oil driller working 60 hours a week into his late 50s. F1 drivers are incredibly fit and have to work hard to maintain that but I do not think they live incredibly hard done by life styles. Nothing against George but I think he’s had a pretty privileged upbringing, he has worked very hard for where he has got to but a lot of people have much harder lifestyles, and they have no option but to keep going.

          Don’t romanticize the g force’s f1 drivers put up with, it is a lot but they train for it. If you put an average Joe in the car yes there neck will go but they too could be conditioned to deal with it. I used to fly competitive aerobatics, when I started out I could do 3-4g for about 30 minutes before I was done. After a few months of practice I could comfortably cope with 5-7g for the same time period before the aircraft would run low on fuel, and we’d have to call it a day, but I’d be OK to keep going. And I’m no athlete, I just ate well and went to the gym a few times a week. The body adapts pretty quickly.

          The schedule of an f1 driver is pretty full on and the jet lag must take its toll. But then there are thousands of pilots who cope with similar or even worse schedules, and they are not being paid millions of pounds per year, have trainers who follow them around and have dieticians to make their meals.

          Kim’s a pretty relaxed guy, if his lifestyle was incredibly taxing I’m pretty sure he’d just walked away, I mean it’s just a hobby after all.

          Don’t put f1 drivers on a pedestal, at the end of the day they are just people like you and me, there is nothing that makes them superior in anyway that is worthy of worship. You are just as capable as any of them.

          1. @nicharvs
            “After a few months of practice I could comfortably cope with 5-7g for the same time period before the aircraft would run low on fuel, and we’d have to call it a day, but I’d be OK to keep going. And I’m no athlete, I just ate well and went to the gym a few times a week. ”

            Thank you for the invaluable info!!

          2. I suspect the g loads you dealt with were not rapidly changing in direction, but in a sustained acceleration which is totally different from what happens in an F1 car. It’s like saying climbing a mountain is easy when you take a hiking trail rather than scaling a cliff face to get to there; sure, you carry your weight to the top, but the difference in actual exertion is huge.

          3. @ferrox-glideh
            “I suspect the g loads you dealt with were not…”

            Oh stop, please, just stop. That’s religious level of apologetics, bias and glorification.

  2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    28th December 2021, 0:41


    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      28th December 2021, 0:42

      (drunk Irishman celebrates winning caption competition… a la Nico Rosberg)

    2. It’s a good one 😂 well deserved

      1. Constantijn Blondel
        28th December 2021, 9:24

        @Tristan (and @fullcoursecaution), I was about to post that, too. :)

    3. Damn. I was sure my late entry had a chance (well, a chance of zero given that I posted it “after” the winner was announced).

      Nonetheless, congrats, a great entry, I like what you did there.

  3. Eddie Jordan suggesting Hamilton should have taken a chance on a crash and not let Max past, Ecclestone being coached into suggesting Mercedes should have pulled a dodgy move to keep the safety car out. It just goes to show how those involved in F1 think. It’s not about winning a fair race in a sporting manner, it’s about winning at all costs, nothing else.

    The drivers are just the pawns in the game, despite all their skill, the engineers and aerodynamicists the bishops and knights. What I long to know is who are the kings and queens? Is it the team principals and those who bankroll them, or are there some hidden game masters pulling the strings at a higher level?

    1. It’s not about winning a fair race in a sporting manner, ….

      it’s about saying outrageous things to make the ‘paper’, and having media outlets reproducing it.

      and us, poor mere mortals, commenting on it.

      1. Bernie wouldn’t have gotten where he is now without this mentality, I guess.

    2. @skipgamer Apparently it’s also about not paying attention to what was actually going on, otherwise they’d have noticed the FIA was trying to play things so Mercedes lost regardless of what they did. Bottas extending the Safety Car would simply have netted Mercedes a points penalty.

      1. If Mercedes made different strategy choices they would have won.
        Now they were cought with the pants down.

        1. How? Even in hindsight I don’t see what could have saved them. It was check mate once Latifi crashed…

          1. If Mercedes changed tires the same lap Verstappen did, Hamilton would have won the race and the championship, regardless of a raced last lap or not. Mercedes failed. But they can’t admit it.

          2. No, it’s not that easy.
            Had they pitted, Verstappen would have stayed out and inherited the lead with relatively new medium tyres. With his wheel to wheel racing qualities and with his lead in the championship it’s far from likely that Hamilton would have passed him (cleanly) in the reminder of the race.
            Plus there was a good chance that the race would finished under safety.
            With so many risks pitting Hamilton would have been plain wrong, whereas Red Bull had nothing to lose, gambled and got lucky.
            Mercedes made a few questionable strategy decision but here they were spot on.

  4. So, is Bernie suggesting that Bottas should have done a Piquet Jr?

    1. Wouldn’t be surprised, he was known for unorthodox things like these.

    2. Yeah, but Bernie would also have been the first to call that Mercedes be thrown out of the championship.

      1. My guess is that Bernie is not a Mercedes fan and just wants to stir things up.

    3. That was my thought too when I read what Mr Ecclestone suggested. If Valtteri had done such a deed then I’d expect him to receive some sort of punishment for it, and it would probably cost him his career as an F1 driver.
      In the ensuing cries of foul play and such like Mercedes would have claimed Valtteri did it on his own accord.
      My understanding is the communications between the pitwall and Valtteri are on basically an open channel, so there wasn’t any chance for Toto to call Valtteri without everyone at Red Bull knowing about it. Maybe Valtteri was expected to do this on his own initiative, but why would he? Maybe he’d get a bit of a bonus if Lewis won the WDC, but nothing huge, so hardly worth ruining his career over it.
      While many of us aren’t happy with the Stewards’s and Michael’s decisions, as far as I know no one has claimed they were puppets.

    4. Hardly a suggestion.
      It’s the way bernie and Jordan used to think and act.

  5. No, Hamilton shouldn’t have attempted a crash and no, Mercedes shouldn’t have used any dodgy moves.

    Hamilton kept it clean, it’s better to be tough and clean than a dirty cheat. Ham can hold his head up high the way he lost this title, he did everything he could.

    It shows a depth of character some heroes from the past sorely lacked.

    1. Coventry Climax
      28th December 2021, 18:50

      Yes it shows depth of character, -although there wasn’t much he could do about it, and he’s not been heard of since- yes there undoubtedly were drivers in the past that lacked it, but to say in the past they were all like that? Get real man.

  6. Bottas stopping on purpose would’ve probably got detected as a tactical move quickly, although the only thing doable would’ve been excluding him from that race, so nothing lost for his teammate.

    1. @jerejj

      They warned that they could give points penalties, so they could give such a big penalty that Mercedes lost the constructors.

      1. Depends how they approached the problem. If they did it as a reaction to Masi’s odd rule interpretation, then yes, they would be open to sanctions. But if they had gamed this scenario out (SC during last few laps) they could have pre-planned that Bottas would stop as the Lafiti clear up was almost complete; and probably got away with it, as everyone at that time was expecting the rules to be followed and Ham to finish under SC or at least have a handful of cars between him and Max anyway. In the scheme of things it would have hardly cause a ripple as it would not have affected the outcome of the race. The FIA could hardly come out and argue it did affect the outcome as they were intent on ignoring the rules and affecting the outcome themselves.

  7. Bernie is just mad isn’t he? As if that were even more obvious. I could see DSQ coming immediately to Mercedes if that would have happened.

    1. Becoming a father has changed Bernie.

    2. @krichelle DSQ for Bottas or Mercedes losing WCC points would’ve been the only realistic sanctions, but fortunately, such a move never occurred.

  8. Very cunning, Bernie. I like it:

    Bottas stopping out on track would have nullified the FIA’s attempt to manipulate the race outcome by bending their own safety car rules. And didn’t Red Bull retire Perez to increase the likelihood for Max to win the Championship?! Whichever way, there would have been controversy anyway.

    So yes, great thinking by the old fox!

    1. I think one of the repercussions of Michael Masi’s actions is that, at future races, teams will be more likely to take matters into their own hands and consider the sort of thing that Bernie is suggesting rather than trust in the FIA.

    2. And didn’t Red Bull retire Perez to increase the likelihood for Max to win the Championship?

      How, exactly? Please illustrate me. This is a genuine question.

      I have read some conspiracy theories, about Checo’s car being deliberately short on fuel and other crazy stuff but I can’t make any sense of them. I tend to go by Occam’s razor and choose the simplest explanation: they retired Checo’s car because something (mech) got very wrong. But I would like to know a better one.

  9. That F1 principles score of 213 for Verstappen is quite interesting; not many permutations are possible.
    – 6×25, 2×18, 1×15, 1×12 (4th seems low though, maybe: own drivers, 3 Ham, 4 Ver)
    – 6×25, 1×18, 3×15 (interesting that at least 3 TP didn’t put Max in the top 2; their own drivers 1&2?)
    – 7×25, 1×18, 2×10 (or 12 & 8)
    – 7×25, 2×18, 1×2 or 8-25, 1×12, 1×1 (that would be something)

  10. “Is he suggesting that Hamilton was ‘nasty’ for the seven years when he won his championship titles?”

    Well, let there be no doubt that before 2017 Lewis wasn’t known to be “the purest” in the history of this sport, and Silverstone was un ugly reminder of that Lewis.

    (For those who think otherwise, look up what Lauda said in 2011 about Lewis and ask yourself the following question: Is the penalty point system here only because of Grosjean or did Lewis’s ugly 2010-2011 campaigns also contributed?)

    1. Luckily enough, those of us who’ve watched F1 for much longer than Lewis’ career can make up our own opinions about where he ranks on this “purity” scale. I’d be surprised if many neutrals agreed with you.

  11. Off topic but if you haven’t seen it yet it is captivating for every f1fan. Steve Nicholas interview on a YouTube channel, I think it’s JayEmm on cars, calling out Gordon Murray, Prost, Senna, Max and Lewis.

  12. Bernie Ecclestone’s scenario would have been a disgusting and unsatisfactory way for the championship to end, but to be honest it isn’t any worse than what actually happened. It is not the same as Piquet Jr because he wouldn’t be crashing, only stopping, so wouldn’t be dangerous. You could argue that Mercedes had been screwed over by the bad race directing, and that this unsporting act would just be undoing the one done by Masi. I hate the scenario, as it is essentially race-fixing (as what happened was), but at least it would be two negatives cancelling each other out to make the right outcome. And I emphasise that I am not a Hamilton fan or Mercedes fan, just an F1 fan, and that Verstappen deserved it more over the entire season. I am glad that Mercedes didn’t do this, as it would be unsporting, but it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as Singapore 2008 even ignoring the fact that he wouldn’t be crashing, because they would just be undoing an unsporting act with one of their own.

    Audi would have done it.

  13. Team bosses seem to speak my exact feelings on top 10.

    Max Lewis, both great, max slightly better..

    Them Norris and the usual suspects.

  14. So… Bernie’s solution to the Race Director not following the rules, is for Mercedes to not follow the rules?

    Bernie has officially lost it.

  15. Coventry Climax
    28th December 2021, 19:00

    What a bunch of commercial croc by this Filippi-guy.

  16. Bernie is a scoundrel who thinks it’s alright to cheat as long as you don’t get caught. I really wish that someone would seal up that windbag.

    1. oOd man biding his time for the inevitable. May god have mercy on his warped soul.

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