Romain Grosjean, DAMS, GP2 Asia, Imola, 2011

Romain Grosjean tests for Renault in Valencia

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: GP2 champion Romain Grosjean tests for Renault at Valencia in an R29, which he drove when racing for the team at the end of 2009.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

GP2 champion Romain tests R29 in Valencia (Renault)

“We did some qualifying running in the morning and some long running in the afternoon. We also did some pit stop practices.”

Interview with Derek Daly (GP Update)

“What I found is that the stewards definitely relied quite heavily on the driver?s input; not just from me, I?m sure it?s the same with every driver that is up there. They look to the driver for every incident. Having experienced it now, I believe the stewards are ultimately more comfortable in their role of decision-making, knowing they have a driver peer alongside them as a decision is being made.”

Singapore offers help as Indonesia again fails on fires (Reuters)

“Forest fires started illegally by farmers and logging companies on the Indonesian island of Sumatra during the dry season cause smog over Singapore and Malaysia each year, creating health problems.”

Formula One considers Grand Prix equity stake (The Independent)

“Martin Whitmarsh, the chairman of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and principal of McLaren, said that DC Advisory Partners had been hired last week ahead of the sport’s ‘Concorde Agreement’ negotiations.”

Pirelli wants to revamp colour coding (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “We need to differentiate that and give more colour, so the tyres are recognisable when they are going around. We are working on it. We haven’t got the solutions yet and maybe we could even have a contest for people to choose Pirelli tyre colours next year.”

Mark Webber column (BBC)

“I didn’t have KERS for the whole [qualifying] lap, and I couldn’t be sure it was behaving in the braking areas either when it was recharging, which is not ideal when you’re hitting the brakes from more than 200mph (320kph).”

Ross Brawn Q&A: 2012 already our top priority (F1)

“It is true to say that the teams that started big are still benefitting from their size because they have better options to make their adjustments. We had some headroom and we are filling this headroom now and I can already see the improvements. On a strategic level Bob Bell joining has been a great help to the team and in other areas the extra strength that we have is enabling us doing a better job.”

McLaren Group and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) form ground-breaking strategic partnership (McLaren)

“This ground-breaking collaboration brings together two great British companies, both of which are focused on innovation and high-tech research, and will run initially to 2016.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Drmouse isn’t keen on teams bringing in drivers to suit local audiences:

The simple fact is that, if they are good enough, they will get a regular seat at a team. If they are not, they will not.

If teams start swapping drivers around just to get local interest, it stops being the pinnacle of motorsport it has always claimed to be. Drivers should get their seats on merit, no more.

I am not saying the two drivers in question aren?t good enough (I don?t know too much about them, to be honest), but giving them a race just because it is their home Grand Prix is ludicrous! This is a sport, not a TV talent show, and popularity should not influence driver choice. It should be determined by the driver?s abilities alone. End of.

From the forum

Samg1988 has an F1 wheel he’s trying to identify.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jo??o Pedro CQ, Handcart and Adam Milleneuve!

On this day in F1

Juan Pablo Montoya scored his first F1 win in the Italian Grand Prix ten years ago today.

Held just five days after the terror attacks in America, several teams ran with American flags on their cars and Ferrari used a blank red livery with a black nose.

Here is Rubens Barrichello racing with Ralf Schumacher during the Grand Prix:

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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  • 75 comments on “Romain Grosjean tests for Renault in Valencia”

    1. In the Derek Daly article

      “I found is that the stewards definitely relied quite heavily on the driver’s input; not just from me, I’m sure it’s the same with every driver that is up there”

      The system seems flawed that a driver who has not raced since 1982 when cars, rules and everything was completely different can have such an influence just because he was once a driver.

      In the terms of consistency they need to appoint a constant driver steward preferably from within the last 15 years having participated in F1, that is paid to go to all the races. And also he will be fully aware of what he is looking for and what is or isn’t acceptable.

      It’s a joke that some one can just walk in and have that much influence over the decisions just because they were an f1 driver 30 years ago and were probably just briefed on the current rules at the weekend.

      1. Wasn’t it inherent in the driver-steward system that some would be older? I don’t agree with what Daly has said. But I can’t agree with you either. The fact that Daly’s opinion is different is a good thing. It means the driver stewards can go in there and say what they think. Which is what they were meant to do.

        However, him talking to the media like this is… It sets a very problematic trend. The stewards (including the driver steward) need to work as a team or cohesive group. Daly has undermined that and it is dangerous for the future of the driver-steward program.

        1. I think this next bit of talking to the press might be more to offset the error of the initial speaking out, he does seem very much bent on explaining himself here.

          If he ends up explaining to us how the stewards work, then this has had some useful outcome, not just the extra bit of controversy it initially caused.

        2. I must say I am pretty sceptical of the drivers wanting to punish everything far to much, and a couple of days ago, I got the impression Daly was right with the likes of Rubens etc. on that.

          But listening to him on Peter Windsors show (here), made me change opinion about it. Actually what he says about the line between ok/dangerous being unclear is very much to the point.
          I really like him talking about the stewarding (first time that’s happened) and think he is right about more need for clarity and consistency.

          1. @Mike, I also agree having a different viewpoint from the driver steward is good.
            What was trying to get across is having a different driver walk in of the street every grand prix to do the job does nothing for consistency, especially when the stewards seem to be putting more weight on his views than their own.

    2. Can’t stand Glaxosmithkline. Horrible company.

      1. Could you imagine if in 2016 the two companies decide to make their partnership go oven further –

        “Glaxosmithkline Mclaren Mercedes” anyone?

        That would be a horrible name.

        1. Free Horlicks at the McLaren Technology Centre!

      2. Who knows, maybe they now get better, using McLarens experience :-)

      3. They’re responsible for the Wellcombe Trust, which is one of the largest charities in the world. That’s worth something.

      4. A company that is currently in phase III trials of creating the worlds first malaria vaccine, who spent £3.96bn on research and development in the last year alone whilst distributing 1.4bn vaccine doses around the world and helping to combat countless debilitating illnesses.

        On the grand corporate scale of good to bad, a truely ‘Horrible’ company no question…

        1. And obviously none of their drugs have been distributed with the knowledge that the side-effects would exacerbate the problem.
          And they research their drugs in an entirely moral and humane way.
          And they are doing all this out of the goodness of their hearts, not trying desperately to profit as much as possible from some of the world’s poorest people.

          Lovely company. They put their name to a charity as well so that makes everything ok.

          1. Every drug has side effects and interactions with other subtances Mark.

            When you’re next ill and your doctor advises you to take medication, please tell me you will use your clearly superior judgement to dismiss it instead of going with the collective recommendation of the professional medical community.

            Regarding profit, the benefits of modern life simply wouldn’t exist without private, profit driven ventures.

            Like it or not, the profit they make largely gets reinvested into producing more breakthrough treatments that ultimatly lead to more lives being saved, more charity donations, more tax – which in turn pays for the NHS, Police, Fire Service, so on and so forth.

            But feel free to keep riding that moral high horse you’re happily straddling.

    3. Hembery also said that with the company using stickers as its current markings, there were no plans to introduce a glow-in-the-dark element for next weekend’s Singapore GP as Bridgestone did last season.

      I didn’t even notie the glow in the dark stuff last year… but the inner child in me wants it back!

      1. Same! Certainly news to me.

    4. Ralf would probably be penalized for attacking Rubens so early nowadays.

    5. The funny about the Indonesian Haze affecting the Singapore GP is rain actually helps to alleviate situation and improve the air quality.

      Here’s another article by Yahoo on the haze:

    6. The green stripe that Bridgestone used to designate the option tyre worked great, why not just use that? I don’t see the need to have a different colour for each compound, when all that matters is whether or it is the option or prime compound for that particular race.

      1. Actually I found it much harder to distinguish the green colouring, particularly on the onboard shots. And it was a particularly sickly shade that looked awful on every car except the Mercedes.

        And there definitely should be different colours for each compound. Otherwise we’d have, for example, the soft tyre being referred to as the ‘prime’ in some races and the ‘option’ in others, which doesn’t help people’s understanding of what’s going on with the tyres from race to race.

        1. I agree with that Keith.

          The Bridgestone solution was not good. Green was bad for only having one colour, meaning it was a different compound that had the green strip almost every race.

          Now its clear that each compound has a colour, making it far easier to understand. I think the colours are quite fine, although they could use even more of it on each tire side wall if they want to make it more distinct.
          But I guess its fine Pirelli are asking fans for ideas, if only to not to miss out on a chance to get some tips.

        2. As you know Keith I’ve said before that the soft,super soft etc. nomenclature is confusing and Pirelli should revert to a numerical grading so we don’t have either the super-soft or the medium being called the soft & hard respectively. For the viewer all we need to know is which tyre is the softer or harder option, it gets confusing when the soft is the hard(er) compound.

        3. I don’t agree with the last paragraph. In Italian prime and option don’t exist as terms, and when the commentators refer to a tyre calling it soft, does it mean it’s the soft of the two compounds used or that it is actually the compound named “soft” (the yellow one)? Last year this problem never occurred, and it would be enough to say at the start of the race that the soft tyre is actually super-soft and that the hard tyre is actually soft. As everyone is looking to please the greatest part of the public, most people don’t know/care about what changes between one compound and the other.

        4. Having watched F1 for years I still get confused because in my mind “prime” is something that is preferable, so would be the softer compound. I understand why they do it, but it goes against my intuition.

          1. As in, “Alonso’s on the prime tyre.” “Oh right, he’s on the best tyre, oh no wait..”

    7. If anyone wants a laugh flip over to the the FOM description of metallica’s like my mum talking about a church chior heheheh Metallica rock!

      1. They do indeed rock. I’d love to be there because F1 Rocks is on the 28th October, and Metallica are releasing their next album – a collaborative concept album with The Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed called Lulu (being a fan of both ‘tallica and The Velvet Underground, I think this sounds brilliant, particularly after the success of the Josh Homme/Dave Grohl/John Paul Jones collaboration Them Crooked Vultures) – on the 31st. F1 Rocks could be the arena debut of some of the songs from that album.

      2. Is there any coverage of the F1 Rocks events? I’d love to watch the Linkin Park and Metallica concerts.

      3. I’m imagining Fuel or Motorbreath played at breakneck speed. MAybe Whiplash.

    8. AMuS reckons that Renault could drop Vitaly Petrov and snub Robert Kubica regardless of his physical condition and instead run Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna in 2012 because Grosjean might give them a subsidy from Renault for the engine suppliers, and it is supposedly easier to find sponsors in Brazil than in Russia.

      However, I’m sceptical. Formula 1 is saturated with Brazilians, and if Petrov keeps beating Senna, then Senna will find it hard to get sponsors. Petrov will also have two years’ experience in Formula 1, which is more than Grosjean and Senna combined. He’s also steadily getting better; at circuits were Renault can be in the top ten, he’s in the top ten (anybody else spot the way he was comfortable enough with his Q2 lap time at Monza and Hamilton was not despite Hamilton being just one thousandth of a secnod faster?).

      I suspect this article comes on the back of the reports of an October deadline for a decision on Kubica and something has been lost in translation (having read the article in question, it was a soft news wrap-up, kind of like Autosport’s Grapevine column). I think the current line of thinking in Renault is that if Kubica cannot race, then Senna or Grosjean could drive for the team. Grosjean is a candidate because of his connection to Renault, while Senna is a candidate because he can reduce the dependency on Russian sponsors. If you read Joe Saward’s recent article on the state of the two Lotuses, Genii have borrowed heavily from a Russian baner named Vladimir Antonov. All the sponsors and partners they get seem to be drafted in to pay off the debt to Antonov (which makes sense – Renault have twice as many sponsors than half the grid). The whole thing is beginning to feel like a Ponzi scheme, with sponsors being brought in to pay off sponsors; the team will stay afloat so long as more can be found, but as soon as they run out, they won’t be able to pay off Antonov and everything will collapse. Senna’s presence in the team would expedite the process of paying off the loan.

      1. I agree, I really can’t see Kubica driving for Renault next year – regardless of physical condition. Boullier is setting strange deadlines that he seems to have set for the sole purpose of being able to sign a new driver with sponsorship over Robert, which is a huge shame.

        I predict a Petrov – Grosjean line-up, but i’d love Senna instead of Petrov.

        As for Kubica, I think a team with money, but towards the back of the grid… say, Lotus, could snap him up mid way through next year.

        1. Well, if Renault the team and Renault the car manufacturer severed their ties – the constructor name – I could see Renault treating Red Bull as the de facto works team and thus getting the most support … and then pulling a few strings to get Kubica into a Red Bull. If Kubica can race, a smarter way of doing things might be to put him in GP2 for a year. Get permission to run a third car that cannot score championship points or something.

        2. I would like to see Grosjean with Kubica (if he is good enough to race) Or grosjean with Senna.

          1. No, I think Grosjean will wind up in a Renault customer team. Maybe Williams and possibly Team Fernandes. But that would likely come at the expense of Barrichello or Trulli.

            1. I’d be perfectly happy to see that happen.

    9. More craziness from India – a whole lot of people in Formula 1 (including Nico Rosberg and “half” the Hispania team) have had their visa applications to enter India rejected.

      1. It’s like they almost don’t want the race. They need to sort themselves out.

      2. Not a great showing by India there.

        The price is, as Adam-Hay Nichols says somewhat understandable in a way. But less so if you think about how the journalists are invited to help publicize a, according to the India government, great bit of entertainment, that could help tourism. It almost seems a bit like thinking: oh, western country journalist, so must be rich/has big company backing. Which for a lot of free lancers just isn’t true. Awaiting a snark from Joe Saward about it :-p

        1. If Rosberg or some one was denied visa, it is basically that they missed some parts in visa application. Indian govt can’t say that “Hey F1 is coming to india & let’s just show some relax in giving VISA’s even they show little respect in filling up all details requested”.

          Moreover govt wants to keep it’s distance as far as away from F1 event because it is considered sport/entertainment for wealthy people & they don’t govt to be shown that govt is going all the way to please at expense of looking after ordinary people.

      3. Anyone know whether Vettel’s been accepted? We’ll get a great race if he stays at home!

        1. +1 and Alonso starting at back end,cos we know he’s gonna fight hard to get into podium.. will be classic!

      4. I wonder if Force India might take Robert on as a reserve, if Renault declines his services and Nico Hulkenburg gets promoted to replace one of FIF1’s current racers (for any reason)? That way Robert would have a good chance of a decent race seat in 2013 and have a smooth transition into it via the FP1 system. He might even be able to do a few races in World Series by Renault or something in combination with the test/reserve driver role.

        1. Oops – that was meant to link to the Kubica discussion in the previous section, not this visa one. Sorry for any confusion caused.

      5. One of the great legacies of British and French Imperialism is the independent Public Service and their “red tape”

    10. A healty stock of birthday bunnies today! Have a very nice and happy birthday today João Pedro CQ, Handcart and Adam Milleneuve :-D

    11. Heidfeld thinks he’ll be racing next year. Perhaps we should stop calling him Quick Nick and start calling him Thick Nick.

      1. start calling him Thick Nick


        1. He has to know that the only reason why he raced in 2011 was because of Kubica’s accident. And for a man who had a reputation as being able to make or break young drivers, he did not hold up too well against Vitaly Petrov. He has to know that his career is over. He should probably let it go with a bit of dignity rather than trundle around with someone like Hispania.

          1. Fully agree with that, I think he might do a very solid job with BMW in the DTM. Or maybe have a spell at GT / endurance racing instead of each week telling the press how it was a tough race, but they are looking to the future while there is hardly any progress at all.
            But who knows, maybe this is just a statement to make BMW sign the contract!

            1. I’d be inclined to put him in an open-wheel racer if he wants to get back into Formula 1. DTM and GT have entirely different cars.

              That’s why I think a special GP2 entry that is ineligible to score points – maybe if Kubica had to retire the car one lap short of the end – or put him in a Formula Renault for a season, just to get him back up to speed with a view to racing in Formula 1 in 2013.

            2. Oh, wait. You’re talking about Heidfeld. For some reason, I thought you were talking about Kubica. That’s what I get for not paying full attention to the subject.

              Right. Heidfeld in DTM or GT racing. I can see that. I’m all for it.

      2. It would be nice to see him racing again, but I can’t see where he would be racing. I don’t think he wants to race for one of the bottom three teams, so his options are already limited. Williams would probably be the only place he has half a chance of getting into.

        1. He doesn’t. Williams can have Barricello if they want an experienced hand they have to pay.
          Instead Williams are more and more likely to go with a young talent sporting some experience but offering a better sponsorship package (or whatever we want to call the bag of cash they bring), and Heidfeld will not be able to bring much of that.

      3. Nick only got a seat last year because Pedro de la Rosa turned out to be slow… …but if this sort of pattern keeps up, he could make a second career from being a team-neutral first-choice sub. At least until the return of in-season testing gives teams confidence in their ability to develop home-grown youngsters.

    12. This is an interesting article about the ticket sales in India, not for the fact the corporate boxes are almost gone (that was to be expected at a first Indian GP), but the lowest priced ones are already gone.

      I must say, I quite like the idea of those transferable tickets they offer, so people can share with friends to each go on different days.

      1. Yes, it seems the organisers have been creative in looking for ways to allow as many people to view it as possible. Good to see.

      2. Being able to share the fun is a brilliant innovation. Maybe other venues could consider it as a way of boosting ticket sales?

    13. While I am inclined to agree with the COTD regarding F1 being the pinnacle of motorsport, I think we need to look at the bigger picture here. We just lost a fantastic circuit in Turkey and while I can’t draw too many comparisons to India, we shouldn’t be naive to the fact that it is spectators who fuel the circuits high cost of having a race. If you give the fans another reason to dive into their pockets by having a local guy in a race seat that can only be beneficial for the track and the sport, right? I did say in my original comment that I can only respect a decision to fall based on nationality for an inaugural race, otherwise it does become very silly.

      1. In Turkey’s case, there wasn’t anyone good enough to be considered even on commercial grounds – the only one in GP2 would have been embarrasingly slow if put on the F1 grid. It might have worked once but it would have been off-putting for future years because people don’t generally go to races to see their favourite being flattened by everybody else. They need to be good enough to have a chance of beating somebody. At least with Narain and Karun that is the case.

        It has to be said, though, that drivers getting a seat on nationality has a long history in F1.

    14. About the color coding of the tires: I think it’s pretty clear the way it is now. What they should however do is change the information we get about it. They (RTL 7, Dutch broadcaster of F1) always show what tires the top 10 are on. This is completely useless, since it’s softs most of the time. And you can already tell when qualifying is over. They should actually show what the rest of the field is on, since this is a lot more interesting.

      1. They did show the whole field at Monza – BBC anyway – but they took the TV caption away so quickly that everyone missed it! Including Martin Brundle.
        Then most of the drivers on harder tyres got wiped out on the first lap…

        This race was the first time I can remember having trouble telling the tyres apart. Yellow and white looked too similar to me. Maybe it’s the amazing light at Monza in September.

        1. I think the way they colour them is fine but they do need to tighten up on making sure that the soft and medium can be distinguished easily, especially given they’re the most common combination.

    15. I had a funny thought when reading about Grosjean getting back into the car he was in 2 years back.
      They might even give him exactly the same chassis he had for racing that year, only now he knows what to do with it!

    16. Thanks for the birthday wishes Keith!

      1. Happy birthday!

    17. Deja Vu, Romain.

    18. On the tyre colour-coding issue: why not have just two colours – prime and option. The exact compounds will be up to Pirelli to vary from race to race, and that info will obviously be available to the public, but what we really want to know is whether a driver is on the prime or option. Likewise for the wets – inters and full wets – two colours.

    19. This is a sport, not a TV talent show, and popularity should not influence driver choice.

      for your comment i think you are a fan that is not too familiar with today’s f1.
      A tv show, that’s what current f1 is.

    20. Many thanks for the birthday greetings Keith, and happy birthday to Joao Perdro CQ and Adam Milleneuve! Total thrills here, my son’s gift is taking me to Spa-Francorchamps next season, that’s a first time at a GP for me, I’m stunned!
      Prep and planning will be with F1Fanatic covering all the things I need to know. I really enjoyed the fans films from Spa, that was a great feature (and I’d love to see more from other races). Who knows maybe next year it’ll be one of mine with them…

      1. Best birthday present ever! Be sure to keep us in the loop :)

      2. That is a lovely gift, and to Spa as well!

        You migth even start to look forwart to time flying by :-)

        1. Thanks AndrewTanner and BasCb – for sure I am a very lucky and very happy sixty year old! F1F is my regular company for races as though I’m not posting I’m always reading the articles, comments and follow the live chat. Now I’m excited about maybe meeting up with F1F fans there. Bonus!

    21. Romain is testing but Robert is getting well. A photo from last night i think!

    22. Hope the Singaporean Government doesn’t have capital punishment for the Indonesian farmer who litter their airspace….

    Comments are closed.