Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Silverstone, 2015

Jaguar Land Rover ‘investigating Silverstone bid’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jaguar Land Rover has investigated a potential bid to buy the home of the British Grand Prix.

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Start, Silverstone, 2011
Was F1 less predictable in the ‘Red Bull era’?
Have Mercedes made F1 even more predictable than Red Bull did?

Mercedes is guaranteed to win the race unless something very, very odd happens. Red Bull never had this in 2010 or 2012 (like Alonso, Vettel was simply very consistent and finishing on the podium all the time). And definitely not in the likes of Mercedes in 2011 or 2013.

Vettel was simply sublime all 2011, yes he had the better car but he was just flawless. In 2013 they only won 4 of the first 9 races, Vettel was only twice on pole and we know how good he was at that. It’s really after the summer break he upped his game to another level and took a car that was already slightly ahead of weak competition to a level it had not been before the summer break.

Many still underestimate what Vettel did but he had four brilliant seasons where he was on it almost every single weekend. Yes he had the better car in 2011 and 2013 but never ever in the predictable way or so far ahead of everyone else than Mercedes have had in the past two seasons. A more average driver would not have scored what he has whilst a more average driver than Hamilton or Rosberg would surely win many many races with this Mercedes.
PorscheF1 (@Xtwl)

From the forum

Pascal Wehrlein, Prema, GP2, Yas Marina, 2015
Pascal Wehrlein, Prema, GP2, Yas Marina, 2015

Mercedes’ test driver and DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein drove for Prema’s new GP2 team at Yas Marina yesterday. European Formula Three champion and two-times Macau Grand Prix winner Felix Rosenqvist was also in action. More pictures here:

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On this day in F1

One year ago today, following Toro Rosso’s announcement the 17-year-old Max Verstappen would race for them in 2015, the FIA introduced three new rules which would prevent another driver of the same experience entering F1 in the future:

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  • 43 comments on “Jaguar Land Rover ‘investigating Silverstone bid’”

    1. Think in the latter part of 2013 whoever had the strongest car was always going to sweep up as developments stalled and all teams’ focus went to their clean slate, totally new concept 2014 cars.

      As we all know, it was RedBull with a driver who has shown he will consistently scrape everything out of a car’s performance, in Vettel. That was probably the only point of their dominance which was Mercedes like in knowing who will win – the bit when everyone else had appeared to have given up!

    2. Well, with Mercedes, at least you don’t know which driver will take the pole and win. With Red Bull it was always just Vettel, so it’s definitely not as boring as the second half of 2013. That was absolutely, without anything coming close, the most dreadful F1 half-season I have seen in over 20 years.

      1. Also, since Hamilton/Rosberg have not really approached anywhere near the Senna/Prost scale of teammate acrimony, what is Mercedes worried about? They have two drivers who can win and a package that can’t currently be beat.

        1. Worried about escalating tensions… In todays coorporate world, that is as tense as they will allow them.

    3. Ron finally says what we all thought about 2013

      1. @f1-yankee – And of course Whitmarsh was still McLaren CEO and team principal in 2013, not Ron Dennis. So I guess it wasn’t Ron’s fault…

        1. Who said it was.

          1. Nobody – yet. But it will happen.

            1. @strontium, well, the way that Ron Dennis structured those comments seemed to implicitly lay the fault at the feet of Whitmarsh, even though he made sure not to mention him by name.

              The thing is, if Perez’s comments about McLaren’s management are accurate, Ron himself is not exactly blameless either for the problems that year – Perez has indicated that Ron’s back room manoeuvres as he moved to kick Whitmarsh out destabilised and split the senior management of the team in 2013, which in turn caused recriminations and arguments over the technical direction of the car that slowed development.

          2. @f1-yankee – It’s interesting that after what is arguably the worst season ever in the history of McLaren that Ron is pointing out mistakes made by someone else in 2013.

            1. That is because you fail to understand the difference between the two years. In 2013 they could have been fighting for the championship and instead they were fighting to get some points.
              In 2015 they may have not even be fighting for points on most races but there was no other way anyway. Unless you think they should never have partnered with Honda but anyone who thinks that is better to not have a manufacturer backing you and giving you free engines etc is extremely deluded.

    4. So imagine rosberg wins the title in 2016 but still has friction with Hamilton. Mercedes will get rid of the new world champion or a triple world champion? Hmmm

      1. Neither; they’ll keep them both.

      2. Not that different from Williams in 1993, 1994 and 1997 where the title was won in one of Frank’s cars but the champion didn’t stick around to defend it in his car.

        1. Hill didn’t win the title in 1994 and Villeneuve didn’t leave Williams after 1997…

          1. you read what @kazihno said wrongly. in 1993 Mansell didn’t defend (off to win indycar), 1994 Prost had retired and in 1997 Hill was dropped for Frentzen. but yeah would have been easier to understand if he mentioned the years the title was won, not the year the champion wasnt there!

            1. Thats so very true!

      3. They ditched the reigning world champ when they bought Brawn.

        1. Other way around

        2. Did Button have a contract for the following year @selbbin? I thought he just got a better offer from McLaren, they had become competitive at the end of 2009 after a dismal start, and fair enough he didn’t win the title again, but he had more chances to challenge for the title with McLaren than with Mercedes before the current regulations.

          Be interesting to know if he had signed to stay on at Brackley for say a 2 year contract, whether he would have still been there for the dominant years

    5. This is why people value honesty, Toto. You let him keep the points.

      But maybe Jenson and Valterri are more your cup of tea.

    6. I think it was pretty obvious that the 2013 car was worse when in Jerez they were fastest only on merit of a suspension component put in upside down! Unfortunately for Ron this does nothing to alter the performance of the 2014 car which was also pretty slow. What any team with a Mercedes engine should have done is made a car as slippery as possible and work back. At the start of an engine formula there will always be massive disparity between the engines and they play the biggest role in your performance. Williams were completely right on that and as Dennis points out once you set off down a development path you must stick to it. Without Honda, could I see Mclaren finishing ahead of them in 2015? I don’t think so, I feel they would be battling Force India for a third season and then realistically a fourth until a rule change.

      Providing Prodromou has control and Honda sort themselves out then we could see McLaren challenging the front again. But when they get there they will face their worst enemy, themselves. McLaren should have won a title in 2007 and 2012 certainly and 2003, 2005 and 2010 possibly. In each case they either had speed but no reliability, an internal war or a comedy of pit stops, strategies and penalties. The lack of sponsors also underlines their poor management. I think McLaren will need a substantial pace advantage to win their next championship and realistically that’ll be 2017. By then McLaren will only have 4 titles in the last 25 years. Not a great return.

      1. @rbalonso
        McLaren did not have “the speed” in either 2003 or 2010; in fact, they had the third fastest car in both seasons.

        Perhaps you should replace 2003 and 2010 with 2000; another season where they clearly had the car to win but for reliability.

        1. By “the speed” @kingshark I mean a car capable of challenging for regular wins. As with most seasons which go down to the wire the performance advantage swings depending on the circuit and momentum of the team. For that reason, I do not believe that McLaren had the third fastest car in 2010. There were times the car was the class of the field and three 1-2 confirm that even if one was handed to them by Red Bull. The 2010 championship is the ultimate game of “what if” but Hamilton lost many points that season from driver error (Italy and Singapore) and mechanical failure (Spain and Hungary) which would have gave them a strong shot at both titles. For me, the car was certainly no worse than the Ferrari but certainly behind Red Bull, who did their best to lose the championship.

          Upon reflection, I agree with you that in 2003 McLaren had maximised their performance and were not regular challengers but I remember a lot of hysteria around that time inferring McLaren had let Kimi down. But to nitpick his results from that season is unfair as I think he did a great job and was only beaten because Schumacher won 2 of the last 3 rounds. The collision at the start of the German GP cost Raikkonen dearly as did retiring from the lead at the Nurburgring. Michael won 6 times as many races so I do not begrudge him that title at all.

          As for the 2000 season, I think that Ferrari had McLaren pretty well covered. Schumacher won 9 races, retired from the lead in Monaco, had a puncture while leading in Spain and crashed out 2 races at the first corner. The only other race was the French GP where Schumi retired from second leading Hakkinen. The results from that season appear closer given Schumacher had 4 non-scores in 5 races but his form otherwise was imperious.

          1. @rbalonso
            In 2010, Ferrari was a “class of the field” as often as McLaren was. There were just as many weekends where Ferrari was better than McLaren as vice versa. McLaren was only really a class of the field in Canada. Ferrari was a class of the field in Germany. Other than that, the other four wins for each team were highly circumstantial. McLaren were not dominant in Turkey or China despite 1-2’s in both races, neither were Ferrari in Bahrain.

            McLaren did a better job than Red Bull maximizing their car in 2010, and a much better job than either Ferrari or Williams to maximize their car in 2003.

            As for the 2000 season, I think that Ferrari had McLaren pretty well covered.

            Not at all, especially not when you look at Hakkinen’s season.

            McLaren were 1-2 with Mika leading in Australia, before both cars had engine failures.
            Mika retired when leading in Brazil.
            Mika retired when catching Michael in USA.
            Mika had brake pedal problems in Monaco, cost him a podium.
            Mika had a jump start in Malaysia, could’ve won that race.

            McLaren was on par with Ferrari in 2000 (just as many races where McLaren was fastest as vice versa). In contrast, by no stretch of the imagination did McLaren have the fastest or even equal fastest car in 2003 or 2010.

    7. They call Rosberg and Hamilton driver discord? I actually like to see driver discord and that is not driver discord. It would be good for the “show”.

    8. I don’t think many people would dispute that pretty much any driver on the grid could have won the championship with the car that was given to Hamilton and Rosberg on race weekends provided their team mate was an inferior driver.

      Where Hamilton and Rosberg deserve credit though is firstly for getting the car to be the car they had at those weekends. All the aero theory and engine data in the world is useless without top drivers delivering consistency with such little testing and practice opportunity.

      And secondly for the fight they gave each other. The beginning part of the season that Hamilton dominated, Rosberg was on his heals the whole way. The slightest slip up and he would have been there to collect the win. And the last half of the season Rosberg turned it around and frankly was faster than Hamilton but with racecraft and consistency Hamilton still managed to wrap things up and take wins from Rosbergs slipups.

      We may not have seen them realistically battling other teams like Vettel did, but other than 2010 we also never saw him battle a team mate on his level. Battling a team mate with identical machinery and the team half behind you is a different challenge than battling other machinery with the team entirely behind you.

      1. well said there @philipgb.

      2. Excellent points. Fully agree!

    9. COTD is bang on.

      Welcome any changes to the predictable dreariness of the last two years

    10. Ham is a genius behind the wheel but as a company, even Steve Jobs was fired when he brought unbalance to the organisation. In big enterprises, individuals who think they become irreplaceable, are dangerous to all the levels below. Ham has clearly become a bully when Ros has not been capable of matching Lewis speed. Lewis interviews have become progressively more and more arrogant and unpleasant, maybe not understanding what it really means for a huge organisation to spend 400M Euro in Marketing per year, in a toy. Tough decision, but as a Manager i’d let Lewis go, not Rosberg. Nico is just slightly slower than Lewis (maybe not recently) but he appears to be a much more mature person and a better team player. Ricciardo in Mercedes, Lewis in RedBull?

      1. I agree. Rosberg is far more of a team player. And he also works harder on finding the best setup (because Hamilton can do great without getting that perfect) etc.

        Pair Rosberg up with Max, with Vandoorne or maybe Wehrlein, and you have a solid line-up for a long time going.

        On the other hand, as with McLaren keeping Button over Magnussen for a large part to make the sponsors happy, I think that Hamilton does make an incredible good fit with the audience Mercedes wants to break into, while Rosberg hardly inspires anyone to the same extent.

      2. @nuvolari71
        So you’d fire the guy that’s won two consecutive championships, but keep the guy who looks mentally weak, is often unable to overtake competitors that are driving much slower cars, and who has come off second best in almost every racing incident he’s been involved in over the last two seasons ?
        Remind me to never invest in any company you’re managing !
        If Ferrari get their act together next season I’d be surprised if Nico finishes the season in the top three, he’s nowhere near the level of Lewis or Sebastian when the pressure is on.

        1. I would and I explain you why. In simple words, F1 is a line on the P&L of a manufacturer. That line is called Marketing. It’s an investment on image, R&D, people. It’s an expense which you hope has a ROI. Because it’s marketing, it’s aimed at enhancing the mage of the company. It’s about branding, reaching countries or market on the list of the manufacturer. People will have to identify themselves in that brand and go buy a C Class. Mercedes has the luxury of having a great car on which half the grid this year would have won the championship. So, at this point Lewis, an employee, don’t forget, has less importance and if, on top of that, he looses popularity and he is just so slightly denting the image of Mercedes, then he becomes a damage. Not to the sport maybe but to the enterprise. Lewis, by solid stats, is not very popular as a person, apart from the UK (one country out of 196 on the planet) and in some asian countries. 400 Million euro investment per year in marketing and its return is a far more important argument than a rude top class driver. I have seen Vice Presidents fired overnight after 20 years of service for a disciplinary reason by global multinationals, people much more important than you, me and Hamilton combined. Lewis is a great driver but he has no manners or discipline, which makes him fascinating to some of us but what counts is the Board of Directors satisfaction, ultimately the share holders, to reach their image and their worldwide respect as a Brand. So, maybe not yet but if my marketing people recognise a flection in sales over the next 12 months and they show me that Hamilton is contributing to this, i’ll fire him without any regret. Obviously, anyone else who is in the same situation. Is that clear?

      3. You can’t think of an F1 team the same way you can think of a multinational corporation; the requirements are fundamentally different.

        1. In the essence of a honest debate, can you please list me the “fundamentally different requirements”?

          1. In a normal business, you make money by selling products. However, in F1, you make money by winning races and championships, and by getting sponsors, and it’s easier to get sponsors if you’re winning races and championships. While the money payouts are determined by the WCC, it’s the WDC that generates the press and the exposure, which is what the sponsors want. So it pays to have a driver who’s in it for themselves to an extent, since their efforts to win the WDC will get that exposure more than if both drivers are pure team players focussed on the WCC.

            Of course, in the real world, it’s all more complicated than that, but I believe that’s the kernel of it.

      4. Ultimately Rosberg atlest in the open seems more team friendly…

        Lewis tends to argue with the team over choices.. Acts like divas he tends to hang out with.

        But he is the world champion…. Then again probably there are atleast 20-30 drivers who could be world champions this year with Mercedes.

        Nico would easily and galantly done it with some #2 beside him.

        But.. What if Ferrari was 3seconds behind them at end of each race? Who do you entrust to bring home the victory…

        Their choice currently stands well. Hamilton needs to grow up a little and be happy for the team when they score 1-2. But that is not what he is about… Makes him a champion, but likeley a very poor teammate.

        But who can you replace him with that has similar speed? Riciardo-unproven, Alonso-drama king, Vettel-teammate destroyer, Button-old… Anyone else even fast enough? Would young guns be good enough at the job?

        Or what provide Lewis with easy #2 and see him debauch in to a lazy superstar? Then entire team is slower.

        Lewis needs someone to keep him true. But nobody else better than Nico… Atleast not now. Maybe 2017.

    11. Part of the problem is that the season goes on for far too long. Couple that with the testing and development restrictions and it means that if one team gets it very right their dominance will be locked in from longer than it would have in the past. This season felt like a real slog, particularly after the end of the “European season” where I always mentally begin thinking forward towards the next year. I have no idea what next year is going to feel like, particularly if Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull and McHonda still have no answer to Mercedes.

    12. I laughed when i read what Toto said. Hes talking complete rubbish.

    13. Mercedes wants end to driver discord

      Making room for Verstappen before Ferrari grab him?

    Comments are closed.