Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Ferrari won’t be “anything like as impressive” in China

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015In the round-up: Ferrari technical director James Allison does not expect they will be as competitive at the next round of the season in Shanghai.


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Sebastian Vettel's win a 'wake-up call' for Mercedes (BBC)

"I am fairly sure we will have our work cut out in China to do anything like as impressive a job as we have done here."

Lowdon slams 'complete nonsense' from Manor cynics (F1i)

"There was a team on the grid (McLaren) that neither of its cars finished and you don’t hear conspiracy stories about whatever. It’s just complete nonsense."

Toto Wolff: 'We need to increase the pace of our development...' (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"Within two weeks you’re actually caught up by a Ferrari and you lose the race fair and square on track is a bit of a surprise, but equally a bit of a wake-up call, which is good for us."

Lauda: Vettel 'not boring anymore' (ESPN)

"The more competition the better, and if Ferrari wins Bernie (Ecclestone) can't complain about boring Vettel because Vettel is not boring anymore."

Bottas laments his 'worst first lap' (Autosport)

"In turns one, two and four I was always sandwiched between other cars so I am not so happy with what I did personally in the first lap."

Ferrari F1 chief says his calming influence was key to Malaysia GP win (The Guardian)

"During the race my job was to look at the overall story, and if I started to scream or shake the whole team would start screaming and shaking. I don’t want to see these things any longer."

McLaren MP4-30 - updated aero package (F1)

"The duct is very similar to the one on the Red Bull and the Force India (the other two teams using such a device this season)."

Ex-Chef hat auf Vettel gewettet (Bild - German)

"Helmut Marko bet €400 on Sebastian Vettel winning the Malaysian Grand Prix"


Comment of the day

Carmen Jorda, GP3, 2013Can Ecclestone’s idea for a women’s racing championship work?

If you are going to have a women-only series, it would be better to have one as a ‘intro to car racing’ series, as a network of national series with perhaps a couple of international invitationals, that invite the best racers from each country to compete together and push their limits. Put in place the networking and sponsorship assistance that would be needed to balance the two areas where women face a demonstrable disadvantage over men in motorsport, get quality driver managers interested in helping out, and there would in a few years be an outpouring of female talent.

Of course, for this to work, the women would need to face men early and often. Doing multiple series and disciplines seems to help racers develop regardless of their gender, so it would be useful for there to be ‘wildcard’ entries for some men in some of the “women-only” championship rounds, and also to encourage the women to add some integrated-series races to their racing seasons, even before applying to GP3/F3/[insert next series here].

(Le Mans and GT series tend not to have this problem so much because there is a history of women coming through sportscar feeder series, at least in some countries. Most years there is at least one woman who shows competently well in Le Mans).

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Six years ago the short-lived A1 Grand Prix series was planning a return to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico with substantial changes to slow the cars before the Peraltada turn. The track will hold the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992 later this year.

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  • 126 comments on “Ferrari won’t be “anything like as impressive” in China”

    1. On Bottas, his starts are consistently poor, like last season, whilst Massa’s are consistently really good.

      1. Uh no? Last year Bottas was the second driver to gain most positions on the first lap, right behind Massa, who has been known to do that for a long time.

        1. helps when you have the fastest car in a straight line, and everyone’s tires are relatively cool.

          1. Straight line speed only describes high top speeds. It has no real advantage in a race start because you never reach 200mph or so…

            1. i actually know the difference between velocity and acceleration, and Williams had the ‘fastest’ car in a straight line, all the way to the speed traps.

    2. Aw, Rosberg will be disappointed if Ferrari aren’t as good in China.
      No conspiracy theories about McLaren?! I know Graeme Lowdon’s been a bit busy recently but he must have heard about those…

      1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
        31st March 2015, 0:15

        I’ve not really followed this Manor story, are people saying that both cars never ran at the same time or something? I can’t remember if they did in FP.

        1. I think its basically that Manor, is just doing enough to collect last years prize money and that they aren’t really interesting in competing this year.

          1. Their program only started a month ago and they surely do not have the resources of Maclaren let alone Honda, don’t be mean.

            1. I’m not being mean and want them to continue long into the future. I see the first few GP’s as nothing more then the first pre-season test that other teams go through.

            2. @hohum in fact taking 2015 to colect the money to come back stronger in 2016 is not a bad idea. #GoManor!

            3. @dragon86 Having modified the 2014 car to conform to the 2015 regulations in just 15 days and without having run in any winter test you expect Manor to come without any problems out of the box?

            4. @eclairstone No. If you had read my comment, you would have understood that I was comparing Manor at the first few GP’s to the other teams at the first pre-season test. They were using that time to work the kinks out and get their cars running. The same as what the other teams did at Jerez this year.

              I want them to do well and I want them to finish out the year and compete next year.

          2. I don’t believe thats the case ,
            Manor would be spending vast sums of money just to collect a vast some of money !

            If it’s $40 million in prize money , then the engines cost $16 million last year ,

            Why bother !

            I think there’s a lot of folk in Manor who want to race .

            1. Neither do I

            2. Manor is also racing to protect its f1 entry which also has a huge monetary value (I think the new teams paid something like 50million dollars when they came into f1). They are the start and parkers of f1. Starting and parking means that you just do the most minimum thing to qualify for the prize money.

              Marussia has been doing this kind of things all this year already. They even wanted to race with the old unsafe nose because they wanted to look like they did not have time and money to make a new nose for the car. But many people don’t remember that the new noses for 2015 were not just safety feature. The new noses made the cars slower (remember what pat symonds from williams said about the new noses?).

              So marussia wanted to race unsafe cars which also were supposed to be faster but when force india voted no (and after that other teams chose to not vote at all!) making the new nose did not seem to be a problem at all…

            3. Why bother? Well, any return on an investment is worth it. So long as they turn the engines right down, use 2-3 of them (at a cut price from Ferrari) and just do enough at the races then its worth it.

              Look, I’m not beating up on Manor, we all want to see 20 cars on grid, but the problems at Melbourne were a little suspicious let’s say and looking at the pace at Sepang they are way way off anyone else in the field.

              Don’t get me wrong, I’d do the same if I were them but I suspect this is all about getting that prize money and then pulling out at the end of the year.

            4. @john-h Why qualify, then?

            5. And I don’t mean ” why bother at all”

              I mean ” why bother chasing prize money when it’s probably going to cost more to race for the year than the prize money is worth ”

              But good points @socksolid & @ john-h

            6. I absolutely believe that all in the Manor team just want to race – it’s the guys providing the money who I question. What is the reason for turning up? All the new teams over the last few years have gone out of business excluding Manor who came so close that they had to cancel auctions to sell all of their gear!

              I can’t see any other reason to invest other than if they are expecting a return which history would suggest, isn’t going to happen. The only chance they have of a return is if they are simply after the prize money and are looking to pull out as soon as they can..

            7. @WH Does failing to qualify mean failing to participate?

              I doubt it.

            8. @davidnotcoulthard The FIA have made it pretty clear that not attempting to qualify is indeed failing to participate, seeing as their decision clearing Marussia of failing to participate in the Australian GP was entirely underpinned by the conclusion that they were making a sufficient effort.

            9. @WH I meant failing to make the 107%.

              Sorry about being clear enough.

            10. I suspect this is all about getting that prize money and then pulling out at the end of the year.

              @john-h And what is the problem even if they show up / run this year just to collect last year’s prize money? It’s not as if they are stealing someone else’ prize money or as if they are being paid something over and above what others are rightfully paid like Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Williams get paid.

            11. @eclairstone nothing from the perspective of Manor. As I mention, I would do the same and its great that jobs are saved.

              But as an F1 fan I’m not that happy if teams are not trying to compete. Who’s to blame for that situation is a separate question, but its definitely not Manor’s fault.

            12. @davidnotcoulthard It’s all the same… fail/succeed, 0/1/2 cars on track. The incentive is there that if they don’t make a satisfactory appearance of trying, they don’t get the money they want. It isn’t the only reason an investor (or creditor) could pay to put a car on the track but it is one of them.

              @john-h The layoffs Marussia made at the end of last year still stand. If the allegations of effectively operating as a shell organisation are true, there’s no reason to assume there were any more jobs saved than, say, if Bernie were to spend the prize money commissioning the construction of a new yacht for himself.

            13. I suspect this is all about getting that prize money and then pulling out at the end of the year.

              This is one assumption many people make @john-h. But, would Manor not incur and accumulate more cost (last year + this year) than what they would get as last year’s prize money?

        2. Force India should concentrate on getting their own cars to be more competitive, not knock a minnow team who are doing their darn best to get out there and RACE!

          1. @steve49 So you’re saying voting “no” on something and after that getting on with life (including but not limited to car development) is a sign of a team not properly (concentrating on) developing their car?

    3. Does Arrivabene mean Mattiaci and Domenicali panicked during races?

      1. @austus I was left wondering the same. I think Arrivabene mustn’t repeat this message until Ferrari has gotten through a couple of though weekends.
        On the subject of penalty points, isn’t SFI being targeted? Fernley has been a little cheeky with some comments regarding the direction of F1, and as recent history shows (Webber) you only need a hint of doubt to get a penalty. I think SFI is being targeted because as Manor they are struggling and they mustn’t think we don’t know what they mean with their F1 friendly comments and proposals, it’s not the fact that Bernie is crossed with Manor that SFI won’t get the gauntlet especially considering Bernie has lent some cash for SFI to flow. Who’s not flowing at all is Manor who despite all critics is indeed trying every way they can to not spend money and therefore not race. It’s undeniable. Last year caterham did the 1st lap retirement trick but Manor is going extreme, they did the vanishing trick in Malaysia or in other words, sunday bernie told FOM not to capture Manor at all, not even for a little get to know the rookie Merhi. Feuds and rumours aside, the team had no intention of running in australia, the Ferrari engineers that support the team could have put the manors running and in Malaysia the cars never run at the same time not to mention that only Merhi started the car that was so reliable in 2014. Mehri failed the 107% possibly because Merc run mediums in q1, nevertheless Manor’s time was poor and by now I even question if Manor asked for a leniency on the 107% or if it was the FIA stepping ahead just to gauge the reaction. That Lowdon guy might as well stayed in his château shouting honourable words of racing, c’mon you could see the faces on the pitwall.

        1. maybe they’re being targeted, but checo perez doesn’t make it too hard either… the guy is worst than Maldonado! at least Pastor crashes by himself! Checo usually takes a good driver, doing a very good job out of a race for being a reckless driver…

        2. @peartree , @austus – Just my personal guess that something was lost in translation, if not literally at least in intent. Add in reporting “style” of the reporter or publication and you may end up with something more sensational than what was actually meant. Compared to previous regimes Arrivabene has been a breath of fresh air and quick to give credit to the whole team and the drivers. In interviews immediately after the race I heard nothing self aggrandizing whatsoever. It was all credit to the team and both drivers. Maybe The Guardian have a more sensational agenda or maybe they just got it wrong. ;-)

          I must say just from what I have seen and heard in rather brief time, I like Arrivabene’s style and he seems like somebody who would be good to work with.

          1. @bullmello, I agree, Ferraris history is full of examples of blame being placed everywhere but the top, even Enzo himself chastised drivers for what he considered a lack of courage, if you will pardon the pun, “there is nothing to be gained by flogging a dead horse”

            1. @hohum – So true. I believe this is the first season I’ve ever rooted for Ferrari as a team. Individual drivers over the years, but not the team until now. I have always appreciated their history and racing heritage.

              They say Arrivabene translates to english as arrives well. That works for me.

          2. I’m so glad for a change of the Guard at Ferrari ,

            Seems a happier place to be working and the chopping block seems to have gone ,

            My guess is that Mattiaci was always just the standin guy until The Fiat board cleared the floor ,
            Allison and team sure have done a good job , especially the horsepower guys :)

        3. That´s not true. Merhi just missed the 107% for 0,4 sec, Will Stevens times in FP were even better than Merhis and remember that Roberto is a rookie who drove his first km in the Manor car. So, bearing in mind that Manor ran their first miles this year in free practice on Friday I think the times they lapped are quite decent. Ecclestone doesn´t want them for his own personal reasons, but that´s not our problem. I prefer to see the Manor cars on TV coverage and not Ecclestones face.

      2. Does Arrivabene mean Mattiaci and Domenicali panicked during races?

        I read the quotes from another article, and in that one (sorry don´t remember if it was ESPN) looked more like the blame game that started back in 2010 with Alonso defeat at Abu Dhabi and the way people was scared to loss their jobs.

    4. The only reason I can think of why Ferrari might not be as competitive in China is because of the new FIA directive on fuel pressure! The FIA said it would be enforced in China and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ferrari are apprehensive about it.

      1. This is actually accurate I would think.

      2. No. It is because it will be a lot colder in China, so Ferrari will not have the tyre degradation advantage that they had in the high temperatures in Malaysia. The performance gap remains, as shown by one lap pace, but it was the ability to run longer stints and hence do only 2 stops to Mercedes 3 stops that enabled Ferrari to compete on more equal terms in Malaysia.

        1. But Kimi did 3 stops and climbed from 11 to 4th and also nursed puncture. So I do think Ferrari showed some serious pace and it was not only because of tyre.

          1. You’re right. Another rumor is, Ferrrari’s PU was more efficient in hot conditions than Merc’s.

            1. I won’t profess to know why from a technical standpoint Ferrari won’t be able to repeat Malaysia in China, but I think the odds are if it is a dry quali it will be Mercs 1-2, and without a safety car in which both Mercs are lined up one after the other sending one down to 9th…you get my drift. But at least given what happened in Malaysia, we’re fortunate to have something like this to ponder for a few weeks.

          2. I agree @aks-das, I think there pace was very good during the race. It was the suggestion that Ferrari are apprehensive about the new fuel pressure directive, and that that would be the reason why they might not be as impressive in China (in comparison with Mercedes), that I disagree with.

          3. @aks-das Look lap by lap, and you will see why RAI went from the back to 4

        2. with regards to tyre degredation. after 2 laps in malaysia vettel was 1.2 behind hamilton, a lap later .8 behind hamilton – would tyre degredation do that? i though tyre degredation comes in later in the stint.

          1. I think the tires are good for a few hot laps and then start to deg after that. Ie. they’re really only optimum for a few initial laps and then it’s about management and how the driver and car can and/or are willing to treat the tires based on the overall strategy to get to the finish line as highly placed as possible.

      3. My theory is that the hot conditions created a similar tyre situation to the first half of 2013. In 2013, the Red Bull had a huge amount of potential and ultimate speed (shown in the second half of the year), but they were limited by the tyres and therefore couldn’t use all their speed without shredding the tyres. After the tyres were changed following Silverstone, RB were no longer limited by the tyres and won all the remaining races apart from Hungary.

        Like the Red Bull, the Mercedes has an extreme amount of potential and ultimate speed (shown in Australia), but it couldn’t use all of it at a front-tyre limited circuit like Malaysia. While the Ferrari, being considerably lighter on its tyres, could use a lot more of its potential in the extreme heat – they even had a better average long run pace in practice 2, so it was visible earlier in the weekend as well.

        1. So if Ferrari are lighter on their tires, perhaps they will have trouble getting enough heat into them at other tracks.

      4. The only reason I can think of why Ferrari might not be as competitive in China is because of the new FIA directive on fuel pressure!

        Then you have not read so much about why Ferrari won this week.

      5. Ferrari performance gain seams like real and it is wrong to see heat or another single factor for this performance.
        The simple thing to look at is, to check performance of Ferrari against other teams as well as to Mercedes.
        The gap between Ferrari and all other teams was bigger than OZ, so unless if all other teams have problem with hot conditions like Mercedes than Ferrari’s good performance may not only be related with hot conditions. May be somehow Ferrari could not showed its real performance during Australian race.

    5. I agree with Lauda about Vettel. He is not boring anymore, because he is an actual underdog now instead of the consistent odds-on-favorite he always was from 2011 to 2013. His terrible performance in 2014 did wonders for his popularity, as strange as it may sound. This along with the fact that he now drives with Ferrari as opposed to Red Bull makes him all the more likeable. Last Sunday, I found myself doing something I’d never thought I’d do. I was cheering for Vettel.

      On another note, Rosberg looked like a miserable sob there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so down in any of his video blogs.

      1. here in argentina have a saying wich is “to swallow a frog” whenever you’ve got to eat your own words. Ok, that’s what’s happening to me right now: i’ve always thought of Vettel as a good driver, maybe 1 or 2 WDC material, but not 4 in a run. But now (i must admit, probably biased for my tifoso condition) i’m starting to see him with another eyes. Maybe he’s better than i thought, but still not as good as they want me to believe. In any case, he’s doing a great job! That being said, i would love to have Vettel and Alonso driving the same car, so we can have a more fair appreciation of each driver (i’m still think of Alonso like the best of his generation, way ahead of most of the field, and evenly paired with Hamilton perhaps)

        1. maybe look at it this way,
          if Kim can have a no problem race we just might see a closer comp between the 2 of them,
          it would also be interesting to see what the bosses come up with, to which order they finish in,
          if they do start to interfere with the way they cross the line i for one will be unhappy and they will loose all my respect again just after they managed to gain some support from me.

      2. On another note, Rosberg looked like a miserable sob there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so down in any of his video blogs.

        He looks like Britney Spears back in 2007 J/K

        He looks really tired. I´m guessing he must have the “second place” syndrome like Mark Webber did back in 2011, he must be feeling lots of pressure not to fall harder in to the Number 2 roll and to be motivated after being so close to the championship.

        Also I think he is getting criticized in some media for not being closer to Hamilton, is not easy to be in a winner car.

        1. I think Nico is just a bit frustrated, nothing more. He definitely had pace and was reeling SV in near the end quicker than LH was. But yes he does need to take that final half-step and get leading and keeping a lead…easier said than done, especially against Lewis I know, but that is his still his mission statement carried over from last year. Race pace. After only 2 races Nico knows he has the car and plenty of time to use it. There’s everything to play for yet. He’s just too close to LH on pace to have any kind of ‘Webber’ syndrome. Webber rarely pressured SV…Nico is always a concern for LH.

          1. To be fair the only reason Rosberg was catching Hamilton at the end of the race was because he was on the medium tyres apposed to the hards and even then the chase was inconsistent and didn’t make any real impression. Hamilton was never under real pressure from Nico.

            1. @woodyd91 Yeah but to be fair that’s just part of the game. The way Nico’s weekend shook out he had good mediums for the last stint. The way LH’s shook out he had to be on hards, but that’s because he had the advantage of mediums on quali day. So LH got pole, and NR was quicker at the end of the race, based on how they used their own tires throughout the whole weekend. Perhaps an indication that NR is indeed trying for better race pace compared to last year where he’d get pole often but not have the race pace.

              And just because it so happened that Nico getting sent down to 9th meant that he never really pressured LH in Malaysia, doesn’t mean during any given quali or race this season LH will not have NR right there on pace and be someone he (LH) will have to dispatch first and foremost before worrying about SV et al.

      3. Any takers on a bet that Rosberg will switch teams next year ?

        1. Lol, leave the best car behind and go where? Even if you speculate he won’t be able to beat LH again, and even if you take it as far as speculating he’ll come third to SV, where would he be better off such that he could answer next year to an already-prematurely-being-projected disappointing season this year?

          I project NR will be fighting LH down to the wire again for the WDC this year, with SV third in the standings, and NR will be happy to do it again next year as his contract currently allows.

          1. Actually Nico might have a better chance in another team. If he can’t win against Hamilton for a second year he might see it as a futile task and if he drives the same car then he will always come second best. So maybe the chance to change that is by driving a different car. Yes Merc have the best car but that doesn’t mean they will always have the best car.
            If he gets in a team that can make a car that can fight Lewis car then he can win because of the different factors between teams.
            Hmmmm…maybe he could go after Kimi’s seat. Kimi is gonna retire after another two years or something and Ferrari are already competitive. That will depent if he thinks Vettel is as hard to beat as Hamilton. If he believes Vettel might be easier to win against then he has a good reason to chase that seat.

        2. Rosberg – Alonso switch??? What better way to improve the sport’s x-factor and excitement.

          I know it’s hypothetical, but as an Alonso fan you have to hope he will land a top drive before his career is over

      4. Vettel was never boring, only fans of other drivers got irritated by him winning, ie – they were jealous. this happens in sport.

    6. ColdFly F1 (@)
      31st March 2015, 1:16

      Ferrari F1 chief says his calming influence was key to Malaysia GP win (The Guardian)

      Does Horner read The Guardian?

      1. I do hope that F1fs in the UK get a better “highlights” program from the BBC than I watched here in OZ last night, our highlights seemed to consist of a selection of “something happened” out-takes with no explanation other than the original (poor) broadcast commentary from I think DC (Scots accent) and another unknowledgeable motormouth, I swear I saw Kimi make the same “drag-reduced” pass 4 times. There was absolutely nothing in this broadcast to inform or entertain the casual viewer, I was bored throughout.

        1. Sorry to post this as an answer to your unrelated post @coldfly, but a pop-up ad. prevented me from getting to the “post comment” box when I tried to post it as a stand-alone comment.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            31st March 2015, 5:05

            no worries @hohum!
            I’m glad I did not wait for the highlights of Ch10 (I knew that by then I’d know the result).
            Answering an earlier question you had. I watch live/delayed F1 streaming via VPN or some weird ‘betting site’ (send PM for details). And this time it worked perfectly, I did not even have ad breaks.
            I will not pay foxtel for 100’s of reasons!

        2. @hohum

          Yep, I watched the highlights on One as well, and there was an editing mistake where we watched the same couple of minutes of the race twice! I agree the highlights had no flow, and I was not impressed. It is such a shame that the broadcasters in Oz have ‘done a BBC’. Half the races live is not acceptable.

          1. @paulguitar, right, and without the lap number display I would have totally lost the plot. I suppose we are supposed to continue to watch F1 on 1 until we get so frustrated we sign up for Foxtel, so in effect one outdated business model is trying to sell us to another business model that is desperate to contract subscribers before everyone realises that the old 500 channel package is an outdated business model, 2 greedy tycoons past their sell-by date.

            1. @hohum

              Exactly, it’s a joke. I am only in Oz for another 2 weeks though, then back to Blighty where I pay through the nose for Sky……..Can’t win!

            2. ColdFly F1 (@)
              31st March 2015, 5:10

              PS – and because we can no longer get F1 live, I will stop my FIA subscription as well. No use following lap times if I cannot see the race on tv at the same time.

          2. @aussies

            I totally missed the highlights on Ten or One ! So I just waited till it was posted on you tube ,

            I missed the Aus F1 on TV and tried to hide for a few days until I found a copy , didn’t open F1F which was a dumb idea

            Malaysia , I just got results and waited till I could watch it , ( on Tuesday) booooooo

            I hate not watching it live

        3. From that description you got exactly what the free-to-air UK audience got. (UK pay TV viewers get a different review, by different presenters).

        4. @HoHum, log onto google and type in “f1 live stream” then you wont have to pay for the sport you as a fan helped come about and have the god given right to watch free. the aus highlights for coulthard BBC was terrible.

      2. Daily Mail I think, judging by the whingeing, basic factual errors and the way the whole world’s out to get him…

    7. Seeing Alonso helping with his own tyres is amazing…

      I remember last year both Alonso and Vettel both came into the season as the team’s star. But Alonso has lost faith in Ferrari whereas Vettel lost his motivations at Red Bull. I saw them both sad, unhappy and a bit grumpy last year.

      This year Vettel helped out the engineers a lot, when the car spun in Jerez he helped recovering it and cleaning it up. Vettel’s reaction after winning at Sepang illustrates how much he loves his new team. Alonso seems to be very hapy and McLaren too, the way he answer interviews shows enthusiasm with his new team.

      So both drivers are happy where they are and are working tirelessly with their teams trying to achieve something big, isn’t that the only thing that matters?

      1. Well said.

      2. Alonso said he is living his dream at mclaren, i think he wants to emulate Senna and win his 3rd championship at Mclaren. he is genuine, as is Vettel, both have achived ultimate success in f1 and are now comfortable and living their dreams in racing without expectation from their own selves, as they already have the results.

      3. Vettel’s passion for Ferrari is clear and his desire to emulate Schumacher is also very clear and good luck to him. His impact on the car is very little at this early stage, he simply hasn’t had the time to make any real impact to the car other than light changes, the credit for the car goes elsewhere at this stage. It’s more about bringing the team together at the moment for him appose to giving technical input

        I don’t happen to think that Alonso statements about Mclaren are true. It’s just where he ended up. He wanted to get into Mercedes but there was no room and the only other option was Mclaren. I think he will just make do now with his position but it’s most likely that he will retire after Mclaren after 3 years. Whether Mclaren can provide him with a championship in that time well that will depend on Honda ability to get it’s engine to 100% and Mclaren finally being able to build a good chassis again.

        Are they happy? Well I think one is very happy with his move, and one in content with his move.

        1. Strongly disagree with you concerning Alonso. Although Mercedes would have been his first pick for obvious reasons, he is confident Honda and McLaren can replicate their past success or he would still be with Ferrari. Regardless of what some here claim, Ferrari wanted to resign him. After 2 races, everyone is on the “Alonso should have stayed with Ferrari” bandwagon but unless Vettel or Kimi win a championship, Alonso will be justified in his decision to take a risk and leave.

    8. Karthik Mohan
      31st March 2015, 5:00

      I don’t think this is what F1 needs, nor is it what F1 fans want to watch. I don’t think we need two teams dominating this sport. I think there should ideally be a third team competing for the wins. Their name should start with a “R”, and they should have a bull as their logo.

      Alternatively, can we go back to the V8 era?

      1. So you would prefer to return to an old era that will result in one or two teams dominating the sport that were more to your preference instead?

        What would there to be gained for going back to the V8 engines? It would guarantee that Honda will walk out and both Mercedes and Renault have indicated they’d walk out too if there were any attempts to force them back to the old V8 engine format.

        You would potentially destroy much of the manufacturer base in F1 and possibly even force some teams out of business – and to what net benefit for the fans?

        1. they could use detuned v8s that still sound great, and have more level playing field, and incorporate more ERS like in current era. the competition would be closer, and the “efficiency” line could still be used.

          1. Yes, but you can polish a turd as much as you want… It’s still a turd! Going back to the old engines is basically the sport admitting defeat and/or burying its head in the sand.

            The new hybrid formula is relevant to the companies providing the engines, has resulted in more entertaining racing and is more user-friendly for spectators at the tracks. The only ones who don’t like it are the ones who did a crap job, those who use their engines and those who made deals with the former offering cash in order for them to stick around for the next 5 years…

            The ‘purists’ decry the fact the engines aren’t ear-splittingly awful anymore, but when both the AUS and MAL promoters say it’s bringing in younger fans because it’s safer for their ears and families enjoy being able to talk about what is happening, surely that’s good for F1 at a time when the main promoter is chasing 70-year old deaf Rolex wearers and TV figures are tanking because of £500 paywalls?

      2. Another Alternative way is
        Ask Renault to Sort out their V6 Turbo engine and Rebull to sort out their issues with their engine supplier to make its chassis better

        1. By Toro Rosso’ s pace I think Renault is doing ok , RBR seem to have lost their way ,

      3. Karthik Mohan
        31st March 2015, 8:43

        My comment was supposed to be sarcastic.

        1. Thank God!

        2. Common internet parlance is to add a /jk or /s suffix to a post to indicate a joke/sarcasm.

          Deadpan humour doesn’t translate well in text :)

      4. Williams in the mix would be cool, but Red Bull can go the way of the dodo. They have shown nothing but contempt for F1, and along with Bernie they can take half the blame that the sport is losing viewers. Not because of dominance (not that it helped, but there is no reason for blaming a team for doing well), but because of their constant whining and talking the sport down. Even during the good years, we had to listen to Horner whine, and now he’s just a constant high pitched noise.

        1. Journalists are always looking for a story, a headline, something to create interest in the weeks between races… so they purposely ask “loaded” questions and they quote just the sections a few words and come up with a sensational headline…. and the forums go mad, and the internet traffic flows and they happy….

          Take the time to actually listen to a whole interview with Christian, Lauda and even Bernie and you will 90% realize the they have been given a loaded gun and sold down the river… there answers in context to what they saying actually make a lot more sense than the sensationlist headline would make you believe..

          Redbull have done a lot for F1, they run two teams, a championship winning team and a team show casing young talent, they put on all sorts of displays around the world – perhaps understand the “show” aspect of F1 a lot better than anyone else, at a time when other European racers are disappearing from the calender they do a fantastic job of bringing back the Austria GP – which has been rated on many levels exceptionally highly…

          But let the poor man complain that his engine is rather disappointing, after probably harboring hopes of closing in on Mercedes and promises from Renualt and lets shoot down the entire operation….

          1. Ha! True.

            Journalist: Do you think that Red Bull were doing better with the V8?
            Horner: Well… yeah, that’s pretty clear.
            Journalist: Would you like Red Bull to be at the top again?
            Horner: Of course!
            Journalist: Is it completely impossible for Red Bull to quit F1?
            Horner: Uhm… not impossible, no.


            I’m not saying that’s the case with Horner’s comments, but journalist do things like that more often than not.

          2. Horner has been interviewed many times live. His every bit as whining and annoying and full of hints as the most sensationalist articles.

      5. Personally, if it meant never having to listen to Christian Horner ever again, I’d be quite happy if the Crimson Bovines carried out their threat to leave F1.

        No team have ever been worse for the sport IMO, and it’s not like the product that provides the funds is perfect either

      6. LOL. You’re mean!

    9. I8 believe the investors just want the money – at the end of the season, they will hide by the fact they ran the season, then shout up and down about f1’s unfair money distribution, and claim that is why they are not running in preseason testing 2016, they will rock up at melbourne with no intention to run with the same old chassis, get fan support behind them, and then will close up shop and look like they tried their heart out to make the season start…. that is my prediction, i would put money on it. a couple rich bastards will make some money at the expense of everyone in the team actually working hard for no return.

      1. Of course they just want the money – the whole deal to rescue the team was for the 2015 season to essentially be a survival attempt, using the 2014 prize money to clear the remaining debt whilst a stable base was established for 2016-onwards.

        They’re guaranteed 10th place this year, providing they don’t miss the required 3 races (it’s murky as to whether Bernie can legally dock them money, since they effectively were entered in AUS), so there’s a little income, but there’s no ‘money to be made’ with this endeavour – The investors have agreed to shoulder debt and given they have to bring the team to 90% of the events, what little prize money there is won’t matter.

        Nobody can be running Manor for any reason(s) other than a) they want to be there and b) they actually care about the staff at the team.

        At the end of the day, if the investors cared about media exposure, they’d put their logos on one of the front-running cars for a lot less than they’d spend running Manor.

    10. Thank you for the Comment of the Day!

    11. Things have Changed after last sunday, Formula 1 has turned more like WWE where in one who becomes dominating is always boo’ed and competitor is always praised.

      Same thing Happened here – Vettel with 4 years of dominance gained so many critics that never have I realized that size able amount will come back from that chunk (Count me in) and support him again because he has now turned out to be from Good guy stables.

      I’m not fan of Vettel but Ferrari so I will support him – I was not used to but yeah.

      1. @vjskang Well, Vettel was booed as well even though he was the underdog if I understood the boos after Jordan’s interview correctly……

        Or were they booing Eddie? :)

        1. the booing is by insecure fans who can not handle it when vettel wins. they will boo when he breaks the all time record for pole positions, the all time record for race wins, and the all-time record for WDCs. vettel did one thing wrong in his career, he disobeyed a team order to pass a slower teammate… wow, while look at what Schumacher and Senna did in their careers and they do not get booed. Vettel has been always polite and non-arrogant either in his time in f1.

          1. No MS got booed a lot. See Austria 02 particularly. But I don’t think booing is always about the individual. Moreso it is about the quality of the racing or the state of F1 that has some fans disappointed and when SV got yet another win that just exasperated people and reminded them the product could/should be better.

            That said it is interesting what one race can do, in this case in terms of SV’s win. If he has changed some people’s minds about him from one race, I can believe it. We have had Greats like Gilles Villeneuve be considered one of the Greats without winning one WDC. It isn’t always about the numbers. The timing of SV’s win has been popular for a few reasons. He’s stop the Merc train, at least for one race, and showed they aren’t perfect. He’s offered hope for those who are tired of Merc taking everything. He’s justified his move away from RBR and to Ferrari. He’s given Ferrari a win, and set a great tone for them for the rest of the season. He’s shown he can do it without a ‘Newey designer car’. To me he appeared happier with this one win than after sealing up his WDC’s…or at least the third and fourth one. At Malaysia he looked/acted like he had just won the WDC.

        2. Actually it seemed like it was Hamilton getting booed.

      2. To be honest boo is not a bad thing, if you can cheers then you can boo. The problem is the using and point of the boo.

    12. I think the trend over the next couple of races will be Mercedes continuing to dominate at cooler/lower tyre wear circuits (probably not the extent they did at Melbourne though), but with Ferrari getting closer and closer the hotter the track is, and the rougher the tyre wear is. Malaysia generally sees the highest track temperatures of the year, so I wouldn’t expect Ferrari to be repeating their Malaysian performance level for the next couple races at least.

      However, it should be remembered that Ferrari have used fewer development tokens for the PU than Mercedes. They could get even closer, even fully catch up to Mercedes as the season progresses.Here’s a quote from Helmut Marko:

      “According to my information, Ferrari has an update package for its engine for Canada,” Marko told Bild newspaper, referring to the June race in Montreal.

      “Then they will be level with Mercedes, or maybe even better.”

      1. Tough to say. Merc won’t be sitting on their hands. Let’s see how reliability plays out too. If most races have SV unable to pit one less time like Malaysia, I’d be surprised if they were ‘level with Merc or even better’ by Canada. But hey…if it happens it’s going to make for a fascinating season. And it will have been a huge leap in form for Ferrari. Given that Merc will be developing everything too, even if less so than Ferrari PU-wise, I think most of the races this year will be Merc 1-2’s.

    13. Helmut Marko probably shouldn’t have laid that bet – or admitted to it.

      Article 16 of the International Sporting Code specifically prohibits anyone employed by a team participating in FIA-sanctioned racing and connected with an FIA-sanctioned race from betting on the race(s) in which they are involved. This applies even if the individual’s involvement has nothing to do with their employment in the team.

      Last I checked, Helmut Marko was in the Red Bull team. He was participating (if only in a minor way) in the Malaysian Grand Prix. He’s basically admitted to an infraction of Article 16. Oops.

    14. Apex Assassin
      31st March 2015, 17:48

      Who is this Mark Gallagher @_markgallagher ? and where are these skilled women who are being deprived of a drive in F1??? Just saying…

      Also, since this will be labeled as misogynistic by the femenazi womynists I may as well tack on:

      In the opinions of Williams F1 Susie Wolff was never a consideration for a race seat, even with an unexpected injury to a race driver. This was proved when Bottas got injured and Willams hired Adrian Sutil to be the Reserve Driver. Therefore in the really, really real world: Sutil > Wolff. So we can finally stop talking about her as a “race driver”? She plays a simulator and drives the car out of the garage and for a couple of installation laps. That is all.

      1. Mark Gallagher has been around in F1 circles for years.

        You won’t even register on this site so we can report you for banning.

        Mark wins!

    15. A women’s only championship is a terrible idea unless it’s been decided that women are inferior drivers to men… There is no other reason to split the two up and have a separate series.

      If it being suggested that there should be a women only series because the current group women drivers are not good enough – what’s the point? I want to watch the best drivers in the world. I couldn’t care less if they are men or women. There are certainly more women involved in F1 currently than black males. Should there be a black male only series? There aren’t many in F1 with ginger hair either…. Should that be a stand-alone series?

    16. Men and women championships are seperate in the vast majority of sports. So Bernie proposes a women’s F1 and suddently all hell breaks loose, and I will wondering why. Or is F1 not a sport?

      1. @afonic Because in most (not all) other sports the different physical attributes of men and women mean that men have a massive advantage. That does not apply in F1.

        I can however see the merit of a grassroots level womens only league, as suggested by the COTD. Instead of this separate league being for performance reasons (as for other sports) it would help remove some of the intimidation and prejudice I presume women face trying to get into motorsport, as well as helping spread the message that women can/should be able to partake in motorsport just as much as men.

        1. I don’t have to remind you that F1 is extremely demanting physically, are you 100% that men won’t have an advantage here as well? Endurance is one thing, but you also need strength ot counter the effects of the G-forces applied to you. I think that a woman could race in F1, but I am not so sure she could be able to compete in a top team for the championship.

          Besides, sexism is still strong in F1 and in motorsport as well, maybe we need to fix that first and then worry why women aren’t driving in F1.

          1. @afonic It is demanding, but strength is not what differentiates performance.

            There are women in Indy-car, that prove that the physical demand is not an issue at all. And that’s in the, by far, most demanding racing categories.

            When was that last time someone said, “I did not have the strength to hit that apex!” or “My neck was so tired I could not control my throttle application to get a better exit and do an undercut”?

            Sure, it is demanding, just as equestrian (if only a bit more), but once you are at a certain fitness level, which for modern professional sportsmen are frankly not difficult to achieve (men or women), it is ALL about skill, car control, racing wit etc.

            That is why people get annoyed for these comparisons with athletics and the call for inequality and discrimination. Which is what this would be, because it is not as if that would make racing into “for men only” and “for women only” going form “for men only”. No, what is being called for is going from “for anybody” to “for anybody” and “for women only”.
            What was the problem with “for anybody”?

            1. It is “for anybody” right now, and I don’t see any women around. Besides strength, I also mentioned endurance. And I don’t see how Indycar is most demanding than F1, they run around in oval tracks…

            2. @afonic Is that a problem in your view? Or are you simply overlooking the reasons for that fact, the same way you overlook the fact that only 6 of the 16 races will be on ovals in Indy? In that case, refer to my comment below.

              And I’am sorry, but ” and I don’t see any women around” is not an argument for anything, it only implies that the reality does not fit your expectations. Start by examining why that is.

          2. @afonic, Get real, there are women piloting fighter jets in several countries defence forces not just because it is PC but because they have physical attributes well suited to the job.

            1. I don’t get the point getting in agruement with any of you. If there is an exceptionally fast woman driver we will see her in F1, there is nothing stopping her. Until then, a top level championship for women would boost participation in motorsports.

              My initial comment was that what Bernie suggested is not that outrageous, and it could be a good idea to create a lower league. I didn’t say women shouldn’t be allowed in F1.

              My other comment was my (subjective) opinion that it’s hard for a woman to drive an F1 car as efficiently as a man, meaning “win the championship” efficient, not “get in the top 10”. That’s all.

              @hohum There are thousands of jet pilots around the world, only 20 people though drive F1 cars right now.

    17. On the COTD a women’s championship actually makes sense. When you drown out all the sexist claims and easy potshots to take at Bernie for making the comment, actually think about it. The Olympics (and all the sports it covers) do just fine, so does soccer, and the WNBA. So why not racing? Maybe a non-patronizing woman’s league is what’s needed to see females at the top of motorsport.

    18. All this talk about women in racing has brought up questions:
      1) Why should we discriminate against one sex? All racing is equal opportunity at the moment, why should that change?
      (To me, equality means equal opportunity, is that not the case as is? Well, to be fair, it does go the other way slightly, sometimes, women have for PR reason been offered positions in motorsport just because they are women, even though there are literally hundreds if not thousands of willing and better suited men. Although this is not a serious problem, given that results are what matter at the end of the day for most teams involved.)
      2) How much persuasion or marketing from officials and representatives of motoracing series is reasonable? And why should, and is it fair to target one select group in this effort while discriminating against others?
      3) Is the problem of wealth necessary to even get basic experience in racing a much bigger problem to be solving? Hamilton is often quoted as saying to come from a poor background, but fact is, most families could not afford to buy and do all the necessary things, and drive their kid around the country like his was. And things have also become more expensive in the mean time, and I’m just talking about simple grass roots carting.

      My frustrations:
      People often conflate motorsport with athletics or soccer and similar sports, that for this discussion are completely irrelevant. These are sports, where there is an evidently clear biological advantage to one sex. There is no such evidence for motorsport. Much more logical comparison would be equestrian.

      The other big frustration is that people miss the fact that girls are truly less interested in participating in motorsport. And that this is what drives the numbers. And the origin of that may be biological. But is that a disadvantage for the individual – NO!
      This is where the comparison with equestrian comes in, since it is my sport, I perfectly well understand the numbers game and what drives it. Many, many girls like horses, and that is the reason they get involved. The majority of my competitors were always women, so were the majority of winners, champions etc. Is this also a problem? For me, and I suspect most others, sex never comes into the picture. Until such questions get brought up, at which point, people should track down the reasons for there being much more competitive women riders in my country, or much more men pilots in racing and realize, that it is children’s preference for different things that set up the initial numbers in the lowest forms of each sport and everything results from that. Now, I don’t see a problem with that, where is the problem? If you don’t see the world as “women’s team” and “men’s team”, or if you don’t have the aptitude to tell everybody what they should want, I don’t think how you could claim there is, unless you just look at the top winner ceremonies in each of these two sports and assume some prejudice and discrimination has taken place, without examining the actual reasons for these two outcomes in these two sports.

      My opinion:
      It might be logical and beneficial (not necessarily fair) to separate one group of people from an other (men and women in this case) in sports where there is evidence for clear biological difference in regards to performance abilities.
      There is no indication of this in motorsport, so the debate in my opinion is somewhat pointless.
      I could spend much time bringing up arguments against the specific case proposed by the COTD, but I don’t feel a problem to propose such a “solution” has even been demonstrated to exist.

    19. I’m so sick of hearing about women in F1. If they are good enough why aren’t any in F1? Get out there and prove yourselves or lets stop the debate.

      1. Because little girls have cars taken away from them when they play with them.

    20. The racist, egotistical and chauvinistic ancient little gnome has shown his true colors again. His next comment will probably fit nicely with the backasswards Hoosiers of the fine state of Indiana. When will these people recognize the rest of the world has moved on from the ’60’s. Maybe Ms. Wolfe should show for race day in a vintage mini-skirt to get his attention…or should the Women’s World Championship be for cheerleaders? That way they wouldn’t show a few of the “pay to drive” types the door back to their private planes.

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