Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Renault engine ‘a bit of a nightmare’ – Verstappen

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Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015In the round-up: Max Verstappen admits that the Renault engine is the biggest concern Toro Rosso face to secure fifth place in the Constructors Championship this season.


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Verstappen: Toro Rosso's Renault F1 engine 'bit of a nightmare' (Autosport)

"I think the car is capable of (fifth), it is just the thing behind the car which is a bit of a nightmare. I'm not going to lie about that, I think everybody can see that."

Vettel says Ferrari needs time to catch up (Racer)

"Obviously, the target is to catch Mercedes from where we are because we seem to be the team right behind them. They had a very, very strong season last year and had a strong build-up to this year, so I think it is amazing to see how good we are already."

Romain Grosjean: From first-lap nutcase to overtaker extraordinaire (ESPN)

"You do calculate the risk. Like Malaysia on the outside of Turn 12 that was a bit of a risky one. I assumed Perez would give me room, which basically didn't happen."

What Nico Rosberg must do to beat Lewis Hamilton - McNish (BBC)

"His problem is that the media adds to it. So far, Rosberg has fronted up to all the questions about trying to beat Hamilton. But it might be a better idea to decide not to go there and refuse to answer them. "

Indian motor sports gets government recognition (Hindustan Times)

"The Indian government has finally recognised motor sports as a sport by including governing body FMSCI in the list of sports ministry-backed National Sports Federations (NSF)."

Supermarket Fridges Become More Energy Efficient Thanks to F1 Aerodynamics (Williams)

"Williams Advanced Engineering has collaborated with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy to develop a new aerodynamic device that can significantly reduce the energy consumed by refrigerators in supermarkets and convenience stores. "

VIDEO: Hulkenberg at school! (WEC)

"This is what happened to Nico Hülkenberg on Wednesday in Saint-Pierre-du-Perray in the Parisian region when he had a session on the AOTech company’s simulator on his way back from the Bahrain GP, via a stopover at Paul Ricard, where Porsche was testing its LMP1 cars. "


Comment of the day

Does team radio show that there’s too much management involved in modern Formula 1 racing? @dmw isn’t so sure…

This is the upshot of having the radios. You get to hear how the sausage is made, so to speak. If we were to hear the radio coms of fighter pilots in combat it would also be filled with a lot of annoying prosaic discussion of managing fuel, control settings, systems failures, the position and behavior of other aircraft, etc. It would not be a battle scene from Top Gun. I really don’t understand it when people are mad because the drivers are not going flat out for 58 laps. What benchmark racing series are you thinking of where this occurs? As long as tires wear and fuel has mass, drivers will “manage” to get to the distance in the least time. Only if the distance is very short do such things not come into play. Imagine if we got transcripts from Saturday night engineering debriefs, where the “management” programs are designed and put into place. Then F1 would really not look like it belonged among boxing and bullfighting.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Felipe Massa who is 34 today. Also celebrating are Giedo van der Garde who is 30 and Jean-Eric Vergne who is 25.

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  • 42 comments on “Renault engine ‘a bit of a nightmare’ – Verstappen”

    1. That’s the first politically edgy thing Verstappen has said so far I think. I hope it doesn’t give him any backlash – I was enjoying him taking it easy media-wise. It’s obvious though that power-related problems have severely damaged the start of his F1 career and that must hurt him on some level, even though he keeps a brave and very cool face.

      1. His extraordinary touch on the brakes help overcome the Renault’s power deficit, as far as overtaking is concerned. No excuse for Renault’s poor reliability though. Renault somehow managed to be both the least powerful and least reliable engine.

        1. @kingshark Probably by spending the least money :). Although their engine doesn’t cost the least to buy..

      2. Down on power and incredibly unreliable power unit with both teams. For me it was really heartbreaking to see him retire in China so close to the finish, I really like the kid.

        1. Before the season started there were many, many people on this site bashing him as being too young, especially with the caption competition. Now after the first four races they have all gone quiet. Just shows that people should give others a chance instead of being so quick to put them down.

          1. Yes, there were, but not this guy. I’m glad Max is able to quiet the doubters wrong (looking at you, Jacques Villeneuve). His racecraft was superb so far, and we all know great racecraft is a sign of maturity.

        2. Yes, Ricciardo’s engine timed it better.

    2. I love that Seb and Kimi are synced up in starting sentences with “Obviously”.

      1. Better than Seb and Nico synced with “For sure…”

    3. I like COTD but talking little of boxing, you should always loud boxing, it’s extremely technical and lyrical.

      I would propose either full radio freedom or radio ban. I think policing and censoring intercom is only going to further aid the team’s that got it right in the first place sentencing the race to a formality, leading to an higher degree of predictability. This little detail and other deems that the race loses its importance, to the extent that a races became useless as the results start to follow pattern established before by the efforts of the non parc-férme, non radio ban and so forth, qualifying session. If you race on Sunday if you get the points on Sunday let the teams do something to change the faith of qualifying, I understand parc férme but there’s many rules that were “paid by for the teams”, that end up locking the grid, for instances who gets the advantage from having marginal tyre allocation? the big teams.

    4. Comment of the day ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON!Drivers have always had to manage stuff, we are just more aware of it now…I really don’t get why people think the drivers should be driving like they were on a caffeine high for the whole 90 minutes,F1 is a sprint AND strategic race…After a year of working with it I’m positive 100kg of fuel is more than enough for all races; the fact is that teams take into account safety car probability based on history and always carry at least 3Kg less than needed.A simple math based on the figures aired and the number of laps covered at the time reveals they always carry 95-97Kg of petrol so in a way it’s their own fault (add to that the compulsory 0,5Kg end-of-race sample to be given to the FIA)…On the tyre front I don’t particularly like how quickly the performance wears off (less than 10 laps sometimes) but the idea of two different compounds is in itself a good one as it plays to the strengths of the different cars and makes scenarios like “Kimi chasing Nico down in Bahrain” possible…These cars are protoypes whose limit is tested every time they hit the track so a little management is always there!Afterall is something brakes or goes wrong its not like you can order a replacement online and just bolt it on

      1. *If something BREAKES

        1. For me it is about the amount of management needed…as in…it overwhelms the race. The other side of the concept of the extreme management we have now does not have to mean ‘caffeine high’ sprints for every lap of every race. That’s just as extreme as the management. There is plenty of room in the middle for more actual racing for, let’s say, half the stints rather than just a few laps per set of tires, such that it isn’t ALL about management. These drivers aren’t able to push, and any pushing they are allowed to do is still within too many confines for my liking. There is no room for them to be gladiators out there on the track. They’re too busy monitoring things. Fighter pilots monitor things because if they don’t they’ll die. F1 racers are in a sport that is meant to entertain and enthrall, and less monitoring and more actual racing would only help. Would anybody actually vote for more monitoring and management than we have now?

          1. You are right and i completely get where you are coming from…For me the truth lies in the middle: i think the rules allow JUST enough scope for drivers and cars to comfortably stretch their legs in a race but this in Formula 1 and for some reason no one ever wants to be comfortable doing anything lol…Just look at Bahrain where Mercedes indirectly compromised their brake performance in the name of a tiny little more performance (they pushed the setup) or just the fact that teams use up to 5% less of fuel gambling on Maldonado bringing out the safety car for 3 laps (thus saving 5,1Kg of fuel)!Based on the terabytes of data collected last year they could comfortably run the cars in their comfort windows but it would make them that tiny little bit slower than needed to achieve their goal

    5. To quote Toto Wolff:

      Clearly you see differences between promoters and the show they are being able to put up. But again in my role it’s not so much up to me to judge whether the show is good enough or not, because I’m not selling any tickets and I’m not trying to sign promoters or TV stations. So we need to follow Bernie’s guidance on that, this is his job, what we can do is be part of these discussions and come up with our standpoint with some sensible guidance that we think is wrong and right.

      So what do you do when the sport’s promoter shows signs that he has lost touch with and doesn’t understand the audience that he’s trying to attract?

    6. Good news for the sport being recognized as it in India. Hopefully things will move fast and we get a race in here next season.

      1. @evered7 Together with Turkey two tracks I’d put on the calender right away.

        1. @xtwl Good to see some support for Indian GP here in F1F. Had hoped to catch a glimpse of Schumi before he retired but wasn’t in the country to do so. When I returned, the GP itself was gone.

          There is a good following here for the sport and if the Govt can work with the promoters, it should be back soon.

          1. Love Turkey for the turn8. A bit of Asia and Europe in the country as well.

    7. Is no one going to mention that Felipe Massa, Giedo van der Garde and Jean-Eric Vergne share the same birthday!!?!? So in 2013, 3 drivers on the grid shared the same birthday, that’s more than 10%, 1 in 7. What coincidence…

      1. Actually, if you take 40 people the odds are 99,9% two have the same birthday.

        1. Never tell me the odds!

        2. Yes, but what are the odds that if you take 22 people, and three have the same birthday? Probably quite low.

          1. 1,108%

            However, the probability of this happening once in 65 years, using the simplification of assuming 22 drivers for all this years and the years being independent from each other (which they clearly are not, but leaving out would lead to vastly more difficult maths rather than a hugely different result) is around 51,5%.

        3. @xtwl If you take 40 people the chances of 2 sharing a birthday is nothing near 99.9%, it’s only around 89%.

          The probability of 3 sharing a birthday from a group of 22 is much more convoluted to calculate. I’ve seen a discussion on this topic which seems to make sense which puts the probability of 3 or more drivers sharing a birthday at 1.11% but though the logic seemed solid to me I haven’t independently checked the maths. It’s not a huge number but by no means is it a ‘winning the lottery’ sort of unlikelihood so if we had a field of 22 drivers every year then it isn’t terribly unlikely to happen.

          Does anyone know if it has happened before in the 65 years of the world championship (albeit the likelihood increases with grid size).

          1. @jerseyf1 ‘Nothing near’,….

            1. @xtwl Fair point, though it may be close in an absolute numerical sense I should clarify that what I meant is that in terms of probability it’s a million miles away.

    8. Spot-on COTD.
      I think the biggest difference between “The Good Old Times” and today is availability of information. Fans and journalists (and also engineers and drivers) have a lot more ways of gathering information about what’s really going on. Of course, for some this removes much of the magic F1 used to have when they didn’t really know what was going on. But this doesn’t mean that whatever the teams and drivers are doing now is really different from what they were doing back then. It’s just our perception that, in many cases, simply wasn’t ready for demystification.

      1. “Availability of information” has also changed in another aspect: In old times, teams had no information about the state of the tyres, how much fuel was still on board, how much managing was needed to get the gearbox/engine to the end. All that was on the driver, who also decided when (or whether at all) to pit. Fangio was a master of managing things, Prost was as well. However, they were managing their cars and races, whereas today we speak about managing the drivers from the pitbox, which goes as far as managing their moods through team-radio.

    9. Ugh that article on what Rosberg needs to do to beat Hamilton. Again the nonsense about momentum and mindset. “Hamilton has been on a roll since after the Belgian Grand Prix last year.”

      As if Hamilton wasn’t just as much ahead of Rosberg all last season. The only reason the championship lasted till the last race was because of Hamilton’s technical difficulties. Otherwise it would have been decided well before Abu Dhabi.

      If anything, it seems that Hamilton has also shifted his setup focus to go for maximum qualifying results like Rosberg did last season. Probably in fear of Ferrari or Rosberg starting ahead of him. Which in turn means he now struggles to keep the tyres alive during the race. Just like Rosberg suffered during the race in 2014 (and till this season). Guess that’s one of the downsides of having a team where there is no designated #1 driver.

      1. With the perceived problem of following other cars in 2015, track position is now more key than ever. So in this, I think if Hamilton is indeed setting up for qualifying, he is doing the right thing. Just get in front, and then control the pace from then on (as seen in the last 2 races).

        1. Yet Hamilton only won because he was lucky Raikkonen was held up by Vettel long enough.

          Besides, last season Rosberg never got past Hamilton while Hamilton did get past Rosberg several times. It’s not impossible to overtake. We have seen plenty overtakes this season too. Only the same drivers who didn’t get any overtakes done last season now complain it’s “impossible”.

          And yes Vettel probably made the same mistake. Sacrificing his race pace for a quick qualifying lap. He went down even harder than the Merc guys.

          1. give it a rest already. 3 different threads is more than enough.

    10. This kid is inmature for f1. He just enter the f1 and he is so arrogant that he begans complain all time. Hr should be more humble, he got the worst of this father, complaining all time when thinks not go like planned. I think this kid may be one big failure in f1.

      1. LOL your rant excalated real quick!…Relax man,he’s doing just fine so far

      2. Thank you Alex for making me spit my drink out in laughter. Haha just great.

      3. And the biggest hypocrite award goes to…

      4. It’s funny how your comment is just about the exact opposite of mine (first comment in thread).

        1. Fair and balanced!

    11. Lol at COTD comparing nowadays F1, with drivers managing disintegrating tires, with combat pilots. “Lewis, control your missiles, we plan to go to the end of the battle with those”.”Ok, but what is Nico firing?” “He is in another strategy. Also, we need to fly lower repeat,fly lower”. “Maldonado touched my left wing! I’m down!”. “Roger that, stay cool”.
      It is clear and evident in any motor sport that a big part of the key to victory is control your equipment, but it’s sad when you realize that the fastest category in the world is so focused not on being faster but on avoiding degradation.

      1. You are right but like i pointed out in a comment above this is F1 and the competition is so fierce that the only way to push 100% all the time is to be slow and heavy; even cars with the exact same engine,gearbox and suspension design lay down very different lap times. To be competitive you have to run everything on the absolute limit and even though teams could run enough fuel to last a race and a diff setting to not chew the tyres they don’t do it because it costs time. Even with more fuel or even unlimited fuel allowance they would at some point ask the drivers to manage something. On top of that the cars are prototypes so the limit if pushed further with every track session, even at the last race of the year teams are still exploring the ultimate limit of their machinery

    12. Well to be fair to Max, that Renault engine is so bad it is nightmarish….

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