Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

Former Hakkinen adviser Coton to work with Hamilton

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton gets a new manager but may still be called as a witness in Adrian Sutil’s ongoing legal action.


Hamilton gets hired help from his management company (Daily Mirror)

“Didier Coton has been appointed by his management company, London-based XIX Entertainment. Coton had worked closely with ex-driver Keke Rosberg?s driver management company and guided the career of double McLaren world champion Mika Hakkinen and now runs his own operation, Aces Management.”

‘Pig ugly’ F1 cars are snout of order (The Sun)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “I have to agree with the general sentiment that the cars are damn ugly.”

Motor racing-Ferrari have lots to do, says Massa (Reuters)

“‘Actually there is a lot of work,’ he told reporters with muted body language that suggested he was far from thrilled with what he had experienced so far. ‘It is a brand new car and it is not a [type of] car that we had in the last years; even to start with. So it is a car that needs a lot more work, a car that you need a lot more things to try as well.'”

Adrian Sutil and prosecution appeal against sentence in Munich trial

“As with the first case, it is understood that Hamilton will attend any retrial, but again providing it does not clash with his commitments.”

Schumacher: Title-winning car unlikely

“I don’t think we can realistically achieve a championship car immediately from where we started last year, we have to build our way there.”

HRT F1 Team establishes its permanent headquarters in the Caja Magica (HRT)

“After months of evaluations and negotiations in which diverse options have been assessed, Spanish team HRT has finally opted for the facilities of the Complejo Deportivo Madrid Caja Magica to locate its permanent headquarters.”

Exclusive Kobayashi Q&A: I want so much more from 2012 (F1)

“[On Tuesday] I ran the ‘standard model’ and Friday will be a first development step for us. Of course we don?t know now if it works, but we all hope it will. If it works as we hope it should improve our lap times. And it?s always about lap times!”

Barrichello ponders move to Indycar (ESPN)

Rubens Barrichello is set to decide next week whether he will switch from Formula One to the IndyCar series for 2012 following the decision by Williams not to retain him for the current season.”

Hard graft paying off for Di Resta (The Times, subscription required)

“Di Resta has brought in Gerry Convy, former soldier and trainer for David Coulthard, to handle his training regime this year and the effects are already paying off after a few weeks of hard work.”

Heikki Kovalainen via Twitter

“Good day today, ran KERS for the first time and no issues, also set-up work done so good catch up after yesterday…”

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

Comment of the day

“F1 is not about seeing which driver is the best” – a though-provoking opinion from Palle, albeit one I suspect many people may disagree with:

To be a proper F1 Fanatic I think You need to understand that F1 is a fascinating sport, where the competition comprises of:

Finance ?ǣ how to attract more sponsor money and get more prize money
Design ?ǣ how to design the best racecar within the written letter of the rules
Production ?ǣ how to produce the best racecar, to last a race distance
Tuning ?ǣ how to tune the cars setup etc. to suit the driver
Tyres ?ǣ Understand the tyres and adjust the car and driving style
Strategy ?ǣ how to plan development over the season
Tactics ?ǣ how to manage the resources in races to get the edge
Pit crew ?ǣ how to perform perfect pit-stops in cooperation with drivers
Motivation ?ǣ how to motivate the whole team to perform, perform
Drivers ?ǣ how to attract and keep the best drivers
Future ?ǣ how to develop the business, recruiting talents etc…

I have probably forgotten something important.

To me F1 is not about seeing which driver is the best, so rules have to leave room for designing new innovative solutions, and make it possible for a team to get a reward for being more innovative than the rest, i.e. not change the rules during a season as soon as someone have got an advantage.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

A pair of cars were revealed for the first time on this day last year:

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  • 75 comments on “Former Hakkinen adviser Coton to work with Hamilton”

    1. Just something I’m noticing, but did McLaren lose their aigo sponsorship? I was aware that the deal was relatively lucrative for a small sponsor. Surprised there hasn’t been anything mentioned about this yet.

      1. That deal ended at Monza last year. They were replaced at Singapore by Lucozade, a GSK brand. The deal with GSK was announced in between those two races.

        1. @Journeyer why would the two deals be inter-related? Wouldn’t it just be the Aigo contract ending and the GlaxoSmith one coming online? Or is AIGO part of GlaxoSmith?

          1. @raymondu999 They’re not related deals. One just replaced the other on the overalls.

    2. Massa not too happy then? A car that needs a lot of work does not sound like a good start.

      1. We’ll see what Alonso says today and tomorrow. If we hear something similar from him… well, McLaren showed us last year that you can be competitive from Round 1 even coming off a tough preseason. But it won’t be pretty.

        1. I agree.

          The other thing we need to use discretion with is that some publications might be trying to do, in order to make a news story. Granted Reuters is probably reliable.

          The quotes used in this article could quite easily have been a different slant, so we need to take it all with a pinch of salt.

          1. I saw a short interview with felipe on the bbc website and he didn’t sound concerned. Ferrari have alot to evaluate, possibly more than most teams because it’s such a departure from the previous car. There’s plenty of testing left though.

    3. Harsh but fair COTD.

      About Ferrari, I’m not that surprised to see Massa saying that. It’s a brand new car, completely brand new, a direct opposite of the F150 (not the Ford truck, no…).

      They switched to pull-rod at both ends, plus they lost the blown diffuser and god nows how many other things. The Pirellis are not the same as those from last year (although they are similar), but all in all, it’s not a pretty situation for a team like Ferrari.

      Still, I think they’ll do well…

      1. Absolutely agree about COTD, it is not just about the driver, that’s why we have the constructors title, which as no 2 teams have the same cars is also a Team title.

        1. Don’t agree with COTD. This is what formula 1 means to nerds.

          In my opinion, Formula 1 ultimately is ALL about the drivers – it’s the pinnacle of motorsport with the best versus the best. As with any form of motorsport, a competitor is heavily reliant on their equipment, but I watch formula 1 for the racing, the amazing car control, the sheer mental strength needed to drive one of these beasts around at their absolute limit. The different tactics, tyres, engines etc all adds to the depth of formula 1, and make it even more appealing. But this isn’t unique to formula 1 – every sport has it’s equivelent of teams, tactics etc. Ultimately, formula one is about RACING. The smell of petrol and rubber, the noise of a V10 firing up, the exhiliration of taking a corner flat out when you weren’t sure if you could make it, the satisfaction of outbreaking another driver. This is what formula 1 is about. It’s the same with any sport – to truly appreciate it you have to be able to understand what’s at its core.

          1. Totally agree. It’s the drivers we watch. Everything else is essential yet secondary.

            (I’ve even got a jam jar full of petrol that I take the lid off 5 minutes before a GP start.)

          2. On my book COTD is part right, part wrong. The racecar is very important, but people follow drivers. The good old adage “nobody wins a Formula 1 race in a Fiat Panda” is quite right, but it doesn’t make the driver an accessory.

            1. @JCost
              People follow drivers? Tell that to the millions of Tifosi, who don’t really care who drives the Ferrari, as long as he wins.

          3. It really makes me sad, how many people completely forget that Formula 1 is a constructor’s championchip as well. I for one feel the rules are already too strict in certain areas, limiting the engineers in their imagination, similar like traction control limited drivers to show their true potential.

            It’s a mix of both that should be in a balance. That’s what makes Formula 1 so special. The cars aren’t almost identical chassis with different bodies (I’m looking at you NASCAR and modern DTM). The notion that it’s either ALL about the drivers or ALL about the cars is absurd and would ruin the sport for everyone.

            1. A generalization is never a good thing. Sure we have tiffosi, but most people are driver centered. When Alonso was driving for Renault, there were many Renault flags and hats in Barcelona during GP weekends but it’s not true today. Now it’s turned red.

              Constructor’s championship is, in terms of visibility, less important for fans and (I guess) most sponsors would rather have a WDC instead of WCC.

            2. @JCost
              I probably wouldn’t even dare to say what the numbers are. In Britain or Germany and Spain I would agree that it’s mostly driver centered. However in Germany there are loads of Mercedes fans. Italy is certainly not centered around any certain driver. And many fans around the world cheer for Ferrari or a certain team as well, no matter who is driving for it.

              The drivers get more media attention than the cars.

          4. Well, if it’s all about the drivers showing their exeptionall skills of driving these cars, then I guess F1 is no different to IndyCar.

            For me, the fact that the teams develope unique cars sets them apart from single chassis series (i.e. IndyCar). That, among other aspects, for me makes F1 a definitive team sport.

            (To exaggerate my point: was the whole late half of 1900’s space race all about the austronauts vs. cosmonauts?)

          5. i bet he’s saying that’s not the case anymore.

            Drivers are essential, but are not the main thing right now… it’s more of a team sport nowadays, rather than the driver making the true difference…

            1. Team sport, 100% agree, and athough through history the overiding difference has always been innovation (active suspension on the FW14/15, blown exhausts 2011 and the 6 wheeled Tyrell to name a few), the second major factor has always been the drivers. I think that most would agree that there is little between the top drivers given equal equipment. But for me it’s how each driver adapts to the equipment, conditions, track and pressures of the time. But for me it’s a team sport. The difference between F1 fans an other sports fans is that we are more able to accept brillaint performances from others.

        2. I only watch F1 for the Corridor of Clunge, myself.

    4. Coton is a great choice, IMO. All Simon Fuller needs to do now is let Coton do his thing and not interfere too much.

      That said, I wonder who got those two introduced. Anthony Hamilton, maybe?

      1. So i guess we wont be seeing anymore of this? http://i39.tinypic.com/1z5og93.jpg

        1. I, for one, think Lewis has style. Other may disagree, but at least he’s not dressed like the typical eurotrash/Ed Hardy wearing members of the F1 paddock (I’m looking at you, Mr. Schumacher). The article was also for an American magazine, to promote F1 in America (it was in GQ). So you can thank Lewis and his turquoise pants when a couple thousand more people tune in to watch the US GP.

          1. I don’t think a pair of turquoise pants is gonna make thousand people watch F1. They already know Hamilton as “Nicole’s boyfriend that races cars”.

            I saw someone say that on TMZ one day (while waiting for Family Guy to start! don’t get me wrong!!)

            1. You mean nicole’s ex.
              I guess it was about time he got his management set right. This looks to be a good start.
              And yeah, Turquoise pants wont make people in USA watch F1. Unless F1 is some sort of a Reality show.

          2. Oh no!

            Who else wears earrings in F1?

          3. uhh myles you think lewis woke up and said to him self my chest is going to be cold but my ankles hot today better ware 3 tops no socks and round it all off with turquoise pants?? All that picture shows you is what the numpty taking the picture considers to be fashionable.

            As for this.

            “so you can thank Lewis and his turquoise pants when a couple thousand more people tune in to watch the US GP.”

            The only people who read GQ are women and gay men with the greatest of respect to both groups i don’t think seeing lewis with his leg over a wheel is going to make thousands of them say I need to see a race!! Especialy considering any articles along side probably read like this. f1 driver lewis hamilton (get it in early) is wareing blah blah blah blah designers name self promotion conceptual imagination prevents aids saves the rainforest and hoovers your carpet insert raw sapphires into envelope marked sapphire death ray laser project ,space,the moon please allow 1-500 weeks for delivery some space couriers will charge extra for orbiting costs.

        2. I actually think the shots are ok. The blue pants are awful, but I actually like that he striked poses that are not really common. And seriously, I’m all for giving Hamilton some slack. (because really, if you can be in GQ, it would be dum to turn it down)

        3. Wow. The only thing that picture is going to do is get Lewis pointed at and laughed at.

    5. Love Kumui, so much class.

      When he said he was proud to work with Key I thought, yup. That’s a gentleman racer.

    6. Di Resta & Hulkenberg are hyped up way to much. FI Made abig mistake getting Hulk.

      1. Are you on crack? Sutil is a mid runner, no more and no less. He had how many years at Midland/FI and did he ever dominate his teammates in anything like the way Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso have done? No. He had his chance, and in PDR and the Hulk FI now have a fresh, hungry, and fast team. The Hulk should never have been let go from Williams, and if the new FI car (which I think is actually one of the uglier cars of 2012 but that’s just me) is fast then these two drivers will extract the maximum from it.

        Sutil was and is very overrated. I will not miss him in F1 at all…

        1. We all know, that Vettel&Alonso have had special treatment throughout thier career’s .

          1. even so, none of them were beaten by Fisichella in the sunset of his career, though…

            @Clay is right.

          2. Vettel & Alonso have had special treatment because they are the cream of the crop and make all the difference to a teams results.

            1. except when vettel was teamed up with di resta,

            2. @harvs – Yes, 6 years ago. Vettel went to F1 and made a huge impact from day one. Di Resta was beaten by midfielder Sutil.

              @mattynotwo – Alonso wouldn’t get “special treatment” if he wasn’t special. Likewise SV.

            3. Is special treatment fair? If they’re so special, why the hell they need special treatment?

              Disclaimer: I think Vettel is better than Webber. I wouldn’t say it four years ago, but today? No brainer.

            4. @jcost – Point is, SV and FA have proven themselves special without so called “special treatment” that Matty alluded to. So it’s natural that a team will back them. And yes, that is fair.

            5. @David-A : “Di Resta was beaten by midfielder Sutil.”

              That was because Force India split their strategies with the eventual situation favouring Sutil in the majority of cases. I think James Allen or someone like that wrote an article on it. Check the facts before just skimming the surface.

            6. @charliereay – In any case, the partyline that @havs used about PdR beating Vettel in F3 is becoming tiresomely worn out, considering what has happened since then.

              Di Resta’s qualifying form faded in the second half of the year, losing out 10-9. The fact that he lost out by 15 points to Sutil, regardless of strategy, is not a shining endorsement for his current ability.

            7. I meant ” @harvs “.

      2. If Sutil were that classy driver, where are the results? 5 years with Force India and not even a podium? Come on.

        1. Not that I rate Sutil at all, inconsistency was his game, but a podium in a Force India? Yes Fischy pulled it off, but their car has not been that competitive since. This comment is exactly why I agree with comment of the day. It takes more than a number driver to finish first. Would MSC have won the WDC in the RB7 last year?

    7. “Actually there is a lot of work,’ he told reporters with muted body language that suggested he was far from thrilled”

      It’s crazy how different media report the news, in the italian Gazzetta (whice is the most important sport newspaper) they said something like this

      “great potential from the new car, I can’t wait to work on improving”

      I guess it was a slow news day for many.

      1. @ducatiusa

        The Reuters article however seems to quote what he actually said with more context.
        Italian media is… Well… The italian media.

    8. Love the COTD. Very well put. Drivers (Michael Schumacher) were what got me hooked on to the sport first. But the sustained interest has remained because of the other factors. Having raw speed is one thing but that has to be backed by good car-developing skills, a team that is willing to put itself behind a driver 100%, the wherewithal to think out of the box and come up with something new, etc are things that make F1 a far more involved sport unlike any other.

      1. Agreed, the COTD nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.

    9. Ferrari looks like went crazy with going with over the top design ideas which are probably good ideas in isolation but not yet optimized for working together… which i guess would be lot of work for the team. But i feel they should not have been disappointed with 2011 car… cause when blown diffusers were restricted by FIA for the Silverstone Ferrari was the better car among the top pack… which was a good sign about the car’s balance and competitiveness.

      1. Excellent point. The EBD ban and softer tire compounds alone were going to strongly suit Ferrari this season. I applaud them for trying radical solutions, but they may be pushing their luck by going this far.

        1. Arghhh I meant to stick this reply to @TheBrav3 ‘s comment

    10. Thinking of getting tickets for becketts if there’s any left, which grandstands at silverstone are you or have you guys watched from?

      1. Try having a look here: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/groups/going-to-the-british-grand-prix-at-silverstone.
        In my opinion becketts is an incredible grandstand (i’ve been lucky enough to experience the Club Silverstone stand and you can see so much of the circuit, it’s incredible!

        1. Cheers lukey :)

    11. I do hope Rubens comes to Indycar. Eddie Jordan really needs to shut up sometimes, making the jump to Indycar does not diminish Ruben’s dignity. He could easily pull a Mansell/Fitapaldi/Andretti and be the class of the field. With his reserves of experience, the simpler, slower Indycars will be an easy transition.

      I would love to see him come over and win an Indycar Championship. It would be a truly fitting and dignified way to cap off a remarkable career.

      1. Hadn’t heard that from Eddie, but couldn’t agree more.

        Go for it, Rubens! IndyCar needs the positivity :)

    12. F1 is certainly about more than just the driver. But do I watch it for these things? Hell no. They’re interesting facets of the sport in their own right, but I am more interested in a Prost winning in a 1985 McLaren than seeing what a 1992 Williams can do for a Patrese. The high nose versus low nose technical issue will be fascinating this year, but only in so far as it affects the outcome of Hamilton v Alonso v Vettel.

      As for allowing innovation, last time I checked there was enough room for development in F1 cars to produce a field spread of several seconds. I doubt if you opened the rules up you’d see HRT become podium contenders – more likely Red Bull would just be even more dominant, staying ahead by adapting others’ innovations to their own. It’s the same when people talk about too much reliability; really it’s all about a wish to see the smaller teams do better. In both cases, there’s no guarantee it’s going to benefit them, as F1 history has shown.

      1. I doubt if you opened the rules up you’d see HRT become podium contenders – more likely Red Bull would just be even more dominant, staying ahead by adapting others’ innovations to their own.

        Although that is true due to budget reasons, there is a other side to it.
        The only way for HRT to get a chance of winning is to build a car with as much downforce as the Red Bull, which is difficult for big teams like Ferrari and McLaren, and near impossible for everyone else.
        If we had other directions teams could develop the smaller teams (the current midfield that is, teams like HRT have a too small budget for the current F1) have a chance to excel in that area. It would ofcourse quickly be picked up by the big teams, but they do have more of a chance.

    13. In that link it doesn’t sound like Schumacher is planning on leaving F1 at the end of the year.

      1. No but Mercedes might think something else…
        I think if he’s again beaten by Rosberg, Mercedes will put Hulkenberg or DiResta in the car. At least on fridays…
        They probably want to keep a good and friendly relation with Schumi, so I expect that his wishes play a big part in what will happen with his own seat, but if he won’t go, they start evaluating their upcoming stars…

    14. I completely agree with COTD. I don’t have a particular favorite driver, I rather see certain teams do well. It’s a shame it’s hard to connect with a team nowadays. All innovation is in aerodynamics, which I have a basic understanding of, but not much more. It would be a lot easier if team A had a better engine than others. Or if team B found some revolutionary new suspension that gives a ton of grip. But now team A is faster because they have strategic placed bodywork that lets the air flow in exactly the right way. Drivers do make a big difference. Just look at the Vettel vs Webber or Alonso vs Massa situation last year. And the good drivers can shine in any car they drive (How lots of drivers got a seat based on their performance in a crappy car). But ultimately even a Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso can’t win the Championship in a HRT.

      1. Just like a brilliant footballer can’t win the league in a bad team.

        I just think it’s sport, really. Cream will always rise to the top!

    15. I like that COTD it sort of highlights what I like and dislike about F1..

      Also, the list of components that make up F1 are really the noise which you have to see through to understand who the best driver is.. That’s why it’s so difficult to know who’s actually good..

      Is there a formula out there where all cars precisely equal so you can see who the best drivers are… I’d like to watch that!

      1. It’s called GP2.

        1. Even GP2 (and pretty much every other motorsport formula) will allow changes to car set-up so yet again you have the team making changes which can benefit or hinder the driver.

      2. And it’s pretty fun to watch too

    16. So Massa reckons the Ferrari is not good enough and Schumacher reckons the same about the Mercedes, even though it has not been tested yet. So that leaves McLaren and Red Bull from last years top 4. No real comments from either yet. Pretty standard test runs.

      Now pre-season testing predictions can be well off, as I remember with Williams a few years ago, but will it be another Red Bull domination?
      Or will Lotus or Force India come and shake it all up?

      Then there’s the dream scenario that the whole field got even more evenly matched. Nah, that wouldn’t happen. What am I thinking?

    17. Who is the strange wolf like creature in the suit behind hamilton?

    18. I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of the COTD

      for me, there should only be 1 more new rule this season….NO MORE NEW RULES UNTIL 2013…unless its for safety reasons of course

    19. Thank You for all the comments to my COTD, also those who disagree, I like the discussion.
      I would like to add that You have to remember that F1 is different to most other sports, because of the technical development competition being part of it. Most other sport is Amish-like in its ban on any new techniques, technology and application of modern methods to improve.
      I agree that GP2 makes very interesting racing, but the technical development issue of F1 is what makes it more interesting for me. That is probably also because I’m a MSc myself and mirror myself more in the engineers like Newey than the drivers, even if I do a track day or some carting every now and then. In my job I feel greatly inspired by following F1, with its mix of teamwork, development, unique individuals, businessmen and organizers – all of which is important to make the show go on.
      I agree with “The Edge”, who advocates for No more new rules until 2013 – unless its for safety reasons of course.
      I’m fully aware that this will not especially benefit the smaller or midfield teams, but I just think it will be more fair.

    20. Brilliant COTD, @Paelle Really well put and I could not agree more.

      When I first expressed interest in Formula 1 I always knew, respected and liked the fact that although focus is on the drivers, ultimately it’s a team effort. There may not be much the focus on the teams outside the F1 paddock but I don’t mind.

      The drivers are naturally where most focus falls and that’s understandable but for me, that’s not enough. I’m not all about cars on tarmac once the flag drops because the sport doesn’t work that way.

      Simply put, If I wanted just cars on tarmac and nothing else, I’d be missing so much action and fun in the sport.

      F1 has the perfect balance of individual performance and team spirit.

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