Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014

Mercedes’ “slight lead” won’t last – Fernley

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014In the round-up: Robert Fernley of Mercedes’ engine customers Force India believes the manufacturer only has a slight lead over its rivals and doesn’t expect it to last.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

‘We’re the best of the rest’ (Sky)

Deputy team principal Robert Fernley: “It looks at the moment that Mercedes have a slight lead – but that will change – it’s only a matter of time.”

“We’re Making Strong Progress” – Nick Chester’s Analysis On The First Bahrain Test (Lotus)

“There is still a lot of pace to be found from the E22. We’re working with Renault Sport F1 on the operation of the power unit, we only ran the power unit at representative power levels during the last day of the test and there is more time to come from optimising power delivery and allowing the drivers more time to get used to it. We haven’t started looking at car setup yet which will unlock more performance.”

Marussia test hit by computer virus (Autosport)

John Booth: “It started off with the first disaster, which was a computer Trojan-type virus in the racks, which cost us the best part of the day.”

Kevin Garside: Why F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is cosying up to Russia president Vladimir Putin (The Independent)

“One media delegate still has nightmares about not informing news outlets about the place of Jarno Trulli, who had climbed one in the middle of the starting grid as a result of a penalty to another driver. It was barely worthy of dissemination, and definitely unworthy of Ecclestone’s time, but he wanted it recording and busied himself to make sure it was.”

Perplexity (A former F1 doc writes)

“I fail to see how talking to us about the significant ups and downs of this long hard process damages Michael’s privacy or makes Corinna [Schumacher] and the kids’ journey more difficult. I cannot possibly understand the reasons for any of this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it. This is totally unfair to the people who made Michael [Schumacher] the celebrity he is.”

Power and the girl racers (ESPN)

“While signing individual female drivers with racing experience and a decent profile is no bad thing – providing the women in question merit their positions, and haven’t been drafted in as a box-ticking PR measure – the most interesting piece of news concerning women in motorsport in the past week actually came from Qatar.”

Testing times for F1′s power players (Mark Gallagher)

“When I ran the F1 business at Cosworth, our standard durability test for a V8 was 3000kms; this gave us 800kms more than was absolutely required by our teams, and so provided a high level of assurance. Under the new regulations the plan would have been a durability test of, say, 4500kms; a mileage not yet reached by all of the Renault-powered teams combined.”

Caterham drives F1 car design with 3D printing (FT, registration required)

“‘We’re making between 800 and 900 parts a month this way,’ says Ian Prince, rapid prototyping manager at Caterham, the Malaysian-owned F1 team based in the UK.”


Comment of the day

Susie Wolff’s chance to drive in two practice sessions for Williams elicited the full range of responses from readers, from those who were strongly critical to those like @Timi who cheered the news:

A practice session isn’t qualifying, and it isn’t a race. Plenty of people have driven in practice sessions. The key word being “practice”. The times are negligible in first practice sessions, so her abilities aren’t that important here. She’s good enough in my opinion, to do the work needed in a practice session.

And to the people saying she’s only driving because she’s a woman… You might be right, but you might be wrong. I say, who cares really? The first female to drive in an F1 race weekend in 22 years? Sorry but that is incredible. Both incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly good as a milestone or landmark, if you will.

I’m all for positive discrimination. Especially when it’s pretty much a non-point/only affects the other Williams drivers. Empowering women (not to mention boosting F1′s world profile) is a great great thing that should be encouraged. This is a great day, and hopefully it will lead to top-rate female talent coming through different racing disciplines and finally ending up in F1, on merit.

Congratulations Susie Wolff! Drive the hell out of that car!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ivz, Jake and Mike Roach!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Francois Cevert was born on this day in 1944. He scored a single win at Watkins Glen in 1972, and no doubt would have had many more had he not been killed at the same circuit one year later.

Jean-Eric Vergne wore a special helmet in tribute to him at the Monaco Grand Prix last year.

Birthday wishes are also due to FIA president Jean Todt who is 68 today.

Image © Force India

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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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  • 63 comments on “Mercedes’ “slight lead” won’t last – Fernley”

    1. Oh seriously Dr Hartstein.

      It doesn’t make a difference if he’s a celebrity or not. If his family want privacy at this time, then that is their choice, and they are perfectly entitled to it.

      1. @mouse_nightshirt I agree, I simply do not understand the rationalization behind Dr Hartstein. I do understand the fixation but a fan should know that it is always a stranger to a celebrity, it’s not like there’s a law saying that a celebrity owns anything to anyone, that’s inane. People chose to like Schumi its not like he raced in F1 because he wanted to be a pop star its not what F1’s for, he owns nothing to anyone, people just need to curb their fixation because it’s not logical to stalk an ex F1 racer, or anyone else but the ones you love…not platonic.

        1. It’s OK to stalk the ones you love? :|

          1. I can’t get into the stalking thing….and I’m a cartoon villain! :-)

      2. Hartstein has lost it. It’s Corinna, Gina-Maria and Mick who are suffering the most. It’s not a question of Michael’s celebrity status here when his life is in such a precarious position.

        Hartstein might feel it is necessary to the fans that the family speak out, but it’s his own private take on this, he shouldn’t be airing those, it only adds more pressure on Michael’s family.

        I am a huge fan of Michael’s, and everyday there’s a dark corner in my mind which reminds me that Michael is fighting for his life. But I do not wish to make things any worse for the family, if they don’t want to come out and talk it’s their wish, and nobody should have any say on the matter otherwise.

      3. Agreed @mouse_nightshirt and @wsrgo. I’ve been in the situation in the last 18 months where my father was critically ill in hospital. All our family friends knew that the people who were suffering the most were my mother, my brother and I and they did the right thing, they offered support without intruding. That is what the F1 community should do. MSC is an F1 icon with millions of fans round the world, but he is a father and a husband first and foremost. I think that keeping the media out of the loop for a while is the best thing to do and the Schumachers are more than within their rights to do so. All we can do is carry on hoping he gets better day by day.

        I think Hartstein has good intentions and has done some good work in clarifying some of the news we have received to date, but he is wrong in that blog post.

      4. I totally agree.

        1. I agree with those above this post and below who fail to understand this doctor’s forcefully written opinion. The family has the right to their privacy first and foremost, and who is he or anyone to tell them they don’t.

          I also think it is very possible that the family IS respecting the fans by keeping quiet because it sounds like a roller-coaster between hope one day and the feeling of hopelessness or at least helplessness the next. Would the doctor have the family build up hope to the fans when the family itself doesn’t even know how hopeful they dare get? Would he have the family dash the fans hopes when they are trying to be as positive as possible and there is still hope? I think the family is respecting the fans by having them sit vigil with them while this whole sad thing remains unresolved for now, with only more time giving the real answers, unlike the speculative ones.

          1. Perhaps that should read…’Would he have the family dash the fans’ hopes when they THEMSELVES, as his family, are trying to be as positive…’

      5. That doctor just want to make a name for him self. That’s the only reason.

      6. That’s the paparazzi mentality right there. and imo, these people need help if their own lives are so meaningless that they have to pry into others. Especially during such difficult times – it’s just a lack of human decency and saddens me a bit that people would actually come out and argue about their perceived entitlement for information.

    2. I for one am tired of Gary Hartstein’s repeated speculation about a patient he is not treating. Most reputable medical practitioners refrain from commenting on the prognosis for someone who isn’t their patient, even when couched in hypothetical terms. It’s distasteful if not unethical.

      The only people who should decide what information is released to the public are Michael Schumacher’s family, in consultation with the treating doctors. If what they think is best for his recovery is to keep us in the dark, so be it.

      I for one Keith wish you would stop linking his posts (that’s not a criticism, I just think that Hartstein’s speculation is only encouraged by increased traffic to his site).

      1. It’s pretty clear that Michael’s fans are beginning to feel like their devotion, commitment, and passion for someone they’ve elevated to hero status over many years means nothing.

        That is one comment that I simply could not fathom the meaning of. Their support of him in the past suddenly ‘means nothing’ because his management/doctors/family (rightly or wrongly) refuse to keep them personally updated?

      2. @tdog I cannot agree enough with your statement. You’re bang on.

        I have always thought it incredibly unprofessional to speculate so much on a patient who has nothing to do with you, especially when you’re not even privy to any of the medical notes, investigations or examinations.

        I’m a critical care doctor myself. I could have spent the last 2 months pontificating and second guessing, but we simply do not know, and nor do we have a right to.

        In a way, I’m sort of glad he’s done this because I think it shows what his motives are. I’ve been very against Gary’s pontification from day one for exactly this reason, because I suspect his motives are less about Michael and more about himself.

      3. I’ve come to conclusion I agree as well. When his posts started, it seemed pretty harmless and it was nice to get some light speculation from someone who medically knew what he was talking about. Since then though I’ve just become tired of it. I don’t know who he thinks he is.

    3. I thought Hartstein’s articles shed some light on a situation I didn’t know a lot about. I thought it was a reasonable approach, until now.

      It’s none of his business if his family wants to keep things private. I hated the speculation surrounding MSC but I never viewed Hartstein’s articles like that. I wish he hadn’t said something so stupid.

      1. Basically how I feel about this. Honestly, I think most fans take into account Michael is human. His family is in charge, not us. Michael, the people he worked with and his family made him a celebrity, not the people buying his merchandise. I don’t think there’s ever been a who won races that nobody felt anything for, so to suggest his fans made a 7 time WDC, 91 race winning driver, a celebrity is nonsense.

    4. I think it will be very interesting to see what happens after each engine supplier comes to terms with their Power Units and beings to produce roughly the same amount of power (when will that happen, I couldn’t even guess). At that point, the effect of the changes in the aero regs will be brought to the forefront. In my opinion, the removal of exhaust blown diffusers will serve to equalize rear downforce across the grid (at least compared to the last several years) and produce very close racing and a potential for mixed results GP to GP.

      1. That’s if Renault and Ferrari (to a lesser degree) manage to catch up before the end of season of course.

    5. Thank you for the birthday shout out! :)

    6. ‘This is totally unfair to the people who made Michael the celebrity he is’

      This dude is a 10/10 knobhead. Does he really feel indebted when someone’s life hangs in the balance. He has such little respect for someone’s wishes and now feels the need to propagate distasteful speculation into his condition. It must be such a burden for the Schumacher family to answer tedious PR questions when they are losing a loved one. If he really admired MS so much he should back off and let the family decide how to best handle this situation. What does the MS family owe him?

      1. No, no, Dr H is entirely correct: it really IS unfair to the people that made Michael the celebrity he is. The thing he’s missing, however, is that the wishes of the fans don’t matter.

        It’s just that simple. He’s entirely right, and completely wrong, all at the same time.

        1. @wonderduck I must disagree with you and it really isn’t unfair, in a situation where a life hangs in the balance, regularly updates are not a necessity not matter how many hours you devoted to supporting Michael on track. If something tragic were to happen, you would be informed.

          1. Tell me: how exactly would a thirty second update read by the hospital PR person endanger Schumacher’s life?

            Not that it matters, of course. As I said earlier, what the fans want don’t matter.

      2. @frankjaeger Whilst I understand the fans’ and Gary Hartstein’s wish to get to know more details regarding Schumacher’s condition, I agree that the way his family feels about it matters more now. The fans might have spent hundreds of hours watching Schumacher drive and cheering for him. Still, no sportsman belongs to his fans and we simply need to acknowledge it. It’s not like we are being kept entirely in the dark and there are obviously reasons why the family has chosen not to reveal more information. So let’s just accept that the waking-up process is going on and stop all the speculation.

        1. Totally agree dude. Like you say, a sportsman does not belong to his fans

    7. I’ve been reading Hartstein’s blog since Schumacher’s tragic accident as I found it to be a good source of information about the probabilities and likelihood of Michael’s situation and his recovery.

      However I’m disappointed to read that entry. Michael’s life and that of his family has been shattered. they’ve been through an ordeal that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. If they have chosen to keep the medical affairs of Michael private then that is entirely their decision and one I very much respect. Michael Schumacher and his family owe us nothing. To demand information or call it unfair for not being kept in the loop is to me a gross lack of respect and tact at an immensely tragic time for the Schumacher family. Personal tragedy and suffering isn’t something that should be made public spectacle. We live in a society of 24 hour news, where the glare of the media that is all too often rife with misinformation, unsubstantiated rumour and a general lack of respect for the dignity of any individual that becomes the focus of its attention. I’d want my loved ones kept out of the spotlight at such a terrible time too.

      Michael Schumacher is my childhood idol, a personal hero and I dearly hope he makes the best recovery possible. I do not however feel I’m entitled to any information on his condition. Nor do I believe any fan should feel so.

      Hartstien should be ashamed for what he’s written.

      1. Well said +1

    8. Regarding the f1fanatic library tweet… Start with Nuvolari, then Fangio and Moss.

      Great adds to your collection!

      1. @alex-bkk Thanks! I’m a happy bunny at the moment. If nothing new appears on the site for a few days, you’ll know it’s because I’m in full ‘log fire, pipe, slippers and recliner’ mode.

        1. I must have missed an “announcement” about your library… Just finished re-reading “Cars at speed” (Robert Daley, 1961), good insight to the “guts and glory” days of F1 drivers.

    9. Chuffed with my COTD :). Cheers @keithcollantine

      1. @timi That’s a very good COTD.

        I believe that we really should not forget that it is just two free practice sessions that we are talking about. I do not think that Wolff is good enough to become an F1 race driver but she did a solid job at the Silverstone testing last year and I am pretty sure that she can give good feedback. After all, F1 is full of development / reserve / test drivers such as Gary Paffett or Nicolas Prost, who are never going to get promoted to race seat.

        F1 will probably never have a lot of female drivers but it does not mean that there are no women, who would have what it takes to beat (at least) some of the male drivers and they should be encouraged to follow their dream. The appointment of Wolff is just part of the process.

    10. So teams already have a clue where there are? Fernley sounds like he knows not only where Mercedes is but also how good (or bad) the rest is.

      We, the general public, will have a clear picture by the end of this week, right?

      1. I too had thought the same thing but upon reading carefully I came to understand that he meant the Mercedes Engine vs the Ferrari or Renault and not so much the “Teams” per se

    11. I had never heard of Hartstein, so to be honest I was disheartened after reading through that.

      I too think about dear Schumi daily, I believe miracles can happen but as the days tick by I can’t help but worry more.
      I wish i knew more about the situation a fraction of the amount I wish Michael would wake up!
      I’d just subconsciously accepted the fact we are in the dark, that there might not be any news for the foreseeable future and that when there is anything to report we would be told.
      We are in the dark due to his family wishes, his flesh and blood, his children, his wife who has been with Michael every day since the tragic accident. This is THEIR decision!
      They wish they knew more too! despite knowing everything we don’t!

      The only thing true fans should be doing if they care about Schumacher is to be patient and think positive.
      Who the hell does this guy think he is? To me it seems he is speculating in a pessimistic way and spreading negativity about Michaels prognosis..
      And to say we made him the person he is!? ***!?

      I was very pleased to read Massa’s recent statement regarding his visit and took hope from what he said, then read this guy dismissing it as though Felipe was maybe lying or exaggerating?! What a farce.

      I would appreciate it if only officially released news on Schumacher was posted I trust this website as my main feed on all F1 related news and info and would rather avoid speculation on this subject.

      I will try and keep my thoughts as positive as I can until I know any different, I feel very sad but cannot grieve for someone who is still alive whatever their condition, I know if I was his son or brother I would not give up hope.


      1. The real tragedy in Hartstein’s mind is that HE is not informed, and HE is not able to present more information that increases the viewership of this crummy little blog.

        It is a common defense to attribute one’s own desires as to of “the People” and their right to know

        Go Screw Hartstein, you do not speak for this fan and I really want you would stop harassing MY hero and his family. I (and millions of other fans) put MS on the pedestal that he is on. My wallet buys his merchandise, F1 tickets to see him, and all the things that put MS where he is. I am telling you to “SHUT UP AND CRAWL BACK UNDER YOUR ROCK”. The fans, as you say, have built MS; watch now as we destroy you.

    12. Day 4 of the second Bahrain test will be when we get a sense of the pecking order and even then it will only be confirmed in Q3 at Melbourne. Trends are certainly developing, but I don’t think anyone can say with any confidence where they are as yet. While the Mercedes powered cars (particularly Mercedes and McLaren) look to be ahead, Ferrari have been getting a lot of miles in and seem to be quietly confident. It is going to be great to watch.

    13. On Hartstein:
      Yes, his comments about the family owing Michael’s fans something are a bit off key (possibly driven by his emotional attachment to the subject and the constant requests over Twitter for people to explain what is happening), but his real point is by running total radio silence, as they are, it’s just driving speculation that either nothing is actually happening or something bad has happened, hence him specifically referring to the article recently published that surmised the worst with no factual evidence to back it up.

      1. Engaging in speculation, and commentary on that speculation is the height of irresponsibility from a medical professional and supposed news outlet.

        We will know when we know. Yes, I care about MS, and his final outcome will have some impact on me for a time, but my investment is barely a shadow compared to those who surround MS on a daily basis. At this point the public’s right to know is probably the lowest priority.

        Speculators will make all kinds of wild claims in the absence of hard fact in effort to sell their rag. None of this will help MS recover any faster, and only serves to hurt his family. The responsible thing is to wait patiently for real information. There will be no hiding this in the end, and we will all come to know when the people involved are ready to speak.

        If one respects MS, they must respect the wishes of his family who are his proxy at this time. MS is important to me, but no where near as much as my own friends and family. If the worst were to happen, I will shed a tear, but his family will weep for a lifetime. These are the times when we drop the facades of celebrity, fandom, and insatiable thirst for information. The kind and moral among us will remember that we are all just people in the end, not heros, not F1 Gods, not screaming hoards of fans who are owed something, just people who feel pain…

    14. Interesting to read Force India’s Fernley and Perez comments on the team’s progress. With The Hulk there too, it would be fantastic to see them progress up the field this year. Otherwise, I think the general consensus is that it’s a shame Hulkenberg is being wasted in another mid-pack team.

    15. And I think we can all see why now he was not kept on as the F1 doctor.

      If he held similar views on other subjects while in his role I would imagine they would not wait until he felt the need to publicly announce what he thought. The very opposite of Sid Watkins.

      I unfollowed on Twitter after his constant negative commentary of everything happening at all times in F1.

    16. I’m curious as to how Marussia managed to allow a Trojan into the ECU, surely they should only be using FIA approved software or at least stuff developed by trusted programmers. Can’t imagine one of the guys taking the system home and downloading whatever he found on the web. Anyone know?

      1. If the virus is asking for cash before they can start the engines then we know its serious.

        1. Hahah classic bernie

      2. Maybe they picked it up from a site while looking for shapes on which to model the nose.

        1. @hohum LOL!!! Now THAT was the funniest comment I’ve read in a while!

          1. Hehe good one

    17. Disagree with COTD completely. it has too many logical fallacies. How does her driving in FP1 at Silverstone will help a really deserving woman like Di Silvestro to get a seat? It won’t. In fact it may even hurt her chances if Wolff drives badly. Mechanics from rival teams talk to each other and since it’s not a matter of tech secrecy they will talk about it in great detail. Neither driving slowly in FP1 will give the team any useful information for the rest of the weekend since when you’re driving the car 3 seconds of the pace its behavior changes completely(to say like COTD did that times don’t matter in FP1 is wrong as well-absolute times might not matter but getting as close to the limit as possible does). In the past, when a slow driver was given a seat in FP1 it was done purely on PR or money grounds. Now it’s the first of these. I bet you that if Williams is even remotely in the hunt for high placings in the championships they will find a way to wiggle out of this agreement.

      and you misinterpret the term “positive discrimination”. It doesn’t mean that someone of inferior ability should get a position based on some factor unrelated to the requirements. It means that should there be 2 candidates of roughly equal abilities, then this unrelated factor will give an advantage. That’s not the case here. Nothing of Susie Wolff’s previous career tells me she should see an F1 car any other way than from the outside like you, me or any other spectator

      Sorry for being so critical of your post @timi but that’s the way I feel about it

      1. not joining in on either side, but it is important that stuff gets critizised and everyone drumming the same drum without thinking about it themselves can be doing the sport and themselves a disfavour.

        This new situation isn’t all good, and it won’t be all bad… talking about the downsides can’t be seen as a faux pas

      2. It’s not completely disagreeable. He has a point. Wolff has the ability to do the job she’s going to do.

        What I disagree with is the ”positive discrimination” bit. How can anyone support an oxymoron? A paradox?

        ”Positive discrimination” is almost as bad as ”It’s not the winning it’s the taking part”…….It’s what losers say. If you need any form of discrimination (and that includes financial backing) to get into your chosen field ahead of other more capable candidates then you are a loser…plain and simple. You needed discrimination to succeed, you are a natural born loser.

        Doesn’t just apply to Wolff. Plenty of losers need positive discrimination to succeed. All part of being a loser.

      3. Its funny, nobody thinks ill of male drivers because of the failures of individuals in the past.
        Why should Wolfe be the standard bearer for all women in all of F1? Why cant her success or failure be purely her own, and not indicative of her entire sex. Be she fast or slow, it really doesn’t matter. There is a very long list of females who have been successful in racing, even winning major championships against fully-funded male champions, yet we very conveniently forget their successes when we start thinking about women in F1. Before, LH, we never had a person of African decent in F1, before Fushida, there were no Japanese drivers, yet we let those people’s results stand on their own and did/do not judge an entire segment of the population on their actions.

        In fact it may even hurt her chances if Wolff drives badly…”

        By this logic we should be surprised that she even got the chance after de Villota lost her eye.

        1. @javlinsharp You took my comment completely out of context. Look at what COTD whom I disagreed with says: “I’m all for positive discrimination. Especially when it’s pretty much a non-point/only affects the other Williams drivers. Empowering women (not to mention boosting F1′s world profile) is a great great thing that should be encouraged. This is a great day, and hopefully it will lead to top-rate female talent coming through different racing disciplines and finally ending up in F1, on merit”

          Was it me who brought up the subject of coninuity by gender? No, it was the COTD which also stripped the term of “positive discrimination” of its intended meaning. I merely followed his line of thinking to show what’s wrong with it in my opinion

          We don’t really disagree about what you said regarding Mrs. Wolff. She shouldn’t be a standard bearer. She shouldn’t be allowed near an F1 car either. It has nothing to do with her being female. It has everything to do with her not having the necessary talent. She’s having the seat because she’s female and Toto Wolff’s wife, not because of Susie Stoddart’s “grand” achievements in racing of which there were none. That can’t be good for the female cause in F1 can it? It’s naive to think otherwise. If on the other hand De Silvestro gets a drive in FP1 then you could say yes she’s there on merit. Only she has got a much worse deal with no guarantee of any driving whatsoever. Maybe she should marry someone important in Sauber? Disgraceful…

          And on a side note: please quote my nickname if you want a response from me, it’s a simple copy paste. Otherwise most chances that I wouldn’t know you replied to me so won’t be able to reply in turn

          1. There are plenty of males in F1 who have no business behind the wheel. Give Wolff a chance to drive before judging, no? Its only practice and if the team is comfortable with entrusting her with a multimillion pound machine on a race weekend then who are we to say what it is wrong.

            I didn’t include your @handle because I did not expect a reply and repeat that action on thi s post as well

      4. No worries, it’s better than disagreeing and not voicing your concerns @montreal95!

        You claim my post has many logical fallacies, and I would say there are some reasonable assumptions I made, however it is you making the logical fallacies.

        Oh no, the engineers might talk to eachother and say she’s slow :o, shock horror. If us fans can go on wikipedia or whatever medium and see her past results and know she isn’t fast, I think every engineer knows it. Only a silly team boss would think ‘oh wolff was slow the other day, i’m not putting a woman in my car’. As we’ve seen, and you yourself mention, it’s money or ability that gets you a drive. So why would one slow woman immediately rule out every woman? If a woman cam through GP2 and finished 2nd in season 2 and 3 and then won the fourth time around do you honestly think a team boss would say ‘nah, remember wolff?’. Please. That’s just naive. F1 is a fairly simple sport. The fastest team/driver combo wins (most of the time). I don’t see a team passing a top driver because of one slow driver of the same sex.

        She may drive the car around at 3s slower than standard, but anyone with two feet and two hands can do a straight line speed test, no? Or clutch test for race starts, or calibrate the gears, ERS. As I said, I don’t think she’s good enough to race, but for the tests I just listed (and there are way more that you don’t need a rapid driver for), she is good enough in my opinion. The assumption you have to be fast or less than 3seconds off the pace, to get any credible data is hilarious. I can guarantee you the teams could have gone 3seconds faster in Jerez. Does that mean their running was null as well? Hmm…

        As you say she probably got it because of money and Toto. But, so what? We have slow drivers every year doing the exact same thing. But now we have a woman, which means it breaks barriers. Which is great in my view. Not pure as I outlined originally, but hopefully this step will open the door to drivers like Di Silvestro to get a drive on merit.

        And “positive discrimination” has nothing to do with ability. It is the favouring of an individual due to attribute X or Y. In which case, I stripped it of nothing, you in fact added your own meaning. You’re thinking of it in the standard office example people give, but that’s just an example. Please, look up the definition.

        1. @timi Let’s start from the end shall we? Positive discrimination as you’ve described it is a meaningless term with no grounding in real life. What you’ve described as an “office interpretation” is the way this works in every aspect of real life. Per your description someone can get a job based on his pretty eyes. That’s not how it works. In fact I’ve looked up the definition and what it says is as follows:”Affirmative action or positive discrimination (known as employment equity in Canada, and positive action in the UK) is the policy of providing special opportunities for, and favoring members of, a disadvantaged group who suffer discrimination”. How is that relevant here? It would be if Susie was an F1 worthy driver who was denied the opportunity to prove it because she’s a female. But the fact is she isn’t

          There are slow drivers and there are Susie Stoddart slow drivers. Big difference. The only driver slower than her in the last 20 years at least is Chanoch Nissany. Again not the same thing. To think that she can improve some other female driver’s chances is wishful thinking with no explanation on how that may come to pass. I, on the other hand provided explanation on why it won’t do any such thing

          And this is not a pre-season test that teams simply cannot run to max power and need to check reliability of parts. And neither this is a straight line aero test at Idiada. This is the FP1 of the British GP we’re talking about and yes, they want to run as close to the limit of what’s possible given the low(as it’s FP1) grip levels. Normally teams start working on performance from the first few minutes of the first practice. They just do 1 installation lap to check that all is normal and then it’s back to the performance business, so it’s lunacy to give the car to someone as slow on a race weekend. And I again propose a bet to you that should this race be somehow significant for Williams in championship position terms they will find a way, with one excuse or another to deny her the car and give it to one of the regular drivers instead

          The fact that you mocked my mentioning of the mechanics from rival teams talking to each other proves you don’t understand how F1 works. The word of mouth means a lot there. Nobody cares in F1, what’s written in wikipedia etc. But they do care about what fellow members of F1 community have to say. I know this from many interviews I’ve read with tech personnel of F1, and columns such as that by “Spanners” which is a nickname of a current F1 mechanic who writes an incognito column for Autosport.
          So what that means? Unfortunately with there being so few female F1 drivers, it’s not easy to break perceptions. If it was, De Silvestro would be at least a 3rd driver by now-she has both the ability and the marketing potential, But sadly she isn’t, and Wolff getting in the way of Williams having a good weekend at Silverstone won’t help her cause in any way

          1. @montreal95 Your word of mouth point still makes little sense. If they listen to word of mouth, which they most likely do then they’ll know wolff is slow. Again, why that should reflect badly on all women drivers would in fact be naive. Following your logic, which is solid, wouldn’t they take a driver based on what engineers in the relevant discipline says, and not because the last woman driver was slow..?

            As fun as this is, it’s just devolving into an argument of repetition and semantics. I’m happy there’s finally a woman in the sport I love. Whatever, the reasons for that, I’m not bothered. It makes a much larger social wave, than the slim possibility an F1 one weekend is ruined for one team. A team with which I have no allegiance and no monetary, or emotional stake in. I’m a man who like barriers being broken down. This may lead to one, so I’m happy.

            I take your points, but kindly disagree. Since neither of us are making any new points, how about we agree to disagree, hug and look forward to the new season :)

    18. Looks like Ferrari also have done a Filming Day run for F14-T!

      I love the new engine’s growl! :)

      1. @seahorse yeah me too! and the Ferrari engine sounds even better than Merc for me

    19. Can someone explain this one to me?

      “One media delegate still has nightmares about not informing news outlets about the place of Jarno Trulli, who had climbed one in the middle of the starting grid as a result of a penalty to another driver. It was barely worthy of dissemination, and definitely unworthy of Ecclestone’s time, but he wanted it recording and busied himself to make sure it was.”

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