F1 Fanatic round-up: 29/6/2010

Coming up on F1 Fanatic later today, find out how you fared in the latest round of the Predictions Championship.

In the meantime, here’s the round-up:


Valencia thriller puts Sebastian Vettel back on track (BBC)

Martin Brundle: “[Webber’s crash] was so reminiscent of my crash in Melbourne in 1996. In that situation, you just feel like you’re in suspended animation and slow motion, you have all the time in the world to think about things and wonder what’s going to happen next.”

Is Formula 1 bringing itself into disrepute? (The Buxton Blog)

“Nobody wants to see a race decided in the stewards office after the chequered flag has fallen. As Lewis proved in Valencia, and as we have seen many times in the past, a driver can often pull out the most incredible races when he has an obstacle, or a penalty, to overcome. What is most galling for the fans of this sport and for the drivers themselves, is when they are penalised off the track for something they have done on it.”

Why the FIA called it right in Valencia (Autosport, subscription required)

“Bear in mind that there was probably less than a car’s length in it between Lewis and the safety car. Also, there was no back-up timing loop at that point, so Whiting wanted to see footage of the incident. This, initially, was from an angle that was not conclusive and so there was a delay while aerial footage was sought. This confirmed that Hamilton appeared to be guilty but that it was indeed a close call. There was more to check. Depending on where the timing transponders are placed on a car ?ǣ for instance if one was at the back and the other at the front, you can have a situation where one car that appears to be ahead of another one actually records the same time. So, when it’s that tight, installation positions have to be checked, times and distances noted and calculations made.”

Former F1 engineer unveils new city car (CNN)

Gordon Murray’s latest creation is no McLaren F1.

Comment of the day

Yesterday’s big talking point was just what Lewis Hamilton was doing when the safety car came out. Chalky’s not convinced he would have had enough time to realise he had an opportunity to delay Fernando Alonso and act on it:

I know F1 drivers are supposed to be quick thinking, but we need to remember it?s not just a wheel and pedals in those F1 cars.

The drivers have a delta time to drive under the safety car, plus numerous over settings, that are probably relayed to the driver from the pits, to change to save fuel etc as soon as he passed the start/finish line.

It then seems that Hamilton spots the safety car alongside and hesitates, trying to work out what to do.

With no time to confirm off his team, he makes a decision to pass the safety car, assuming he was ahead before the safety car was officially on track.

After all this, we are expected to believe that he thought: ??Well if I back up Fernando and then gun it past the safety car, Fernando will get stuck and 15 other drivers maybe will pit and get out before him. That?ll work out nicely and really stuff up Fernandos race.?? I just don?t think so.

It was wrong to wait that length of time to penalise Hamilton. FIA should look into how NASCAR sort out cars behind the safety car.

I feel for Fernando, but it?s just luck and Ferrari did not have the luck today. Fernando?s radio transmissions were amusing though. Having the radio transmissions really bring the race alive at times.

From the forum

Ned Flanders picks up on an interesting point from Mark Webber about the merits of Tecpro versus tyre barriers.

Site updates

Apologies to those of you who were prevented from posting comments yesterday due to a glitch which produced messages saying you were posting too many comments.

Changes have been made to the site overnight which will hopefully prevent this from happening again.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Wind the clock back 30 years to 1980 and we find the French Grand Prix crowd being denied the result they wanted as Williams’ Alan Jones beat the Ligiers of Didier Pironi and Jacques Laffite at Paul Ricard.

It came at a politically-charged time. Jones had won the Spanish Grand Prix but took no points from it as the race was stripped of its championship status due to a row between several of the teams and the sport’s governing body.

The Australian driver was glad of the opportunity to wave the Union Flag from the cockpit of his car after winning the race on FISA president Jean-Marie Balestre’s home ground.

Here’s some footage of the race (with rather inappropriate music):

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42 comments on F1 Fanatic round-up: 29/6/2010

  1. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 29th June 2010, 0:57

    Glad to see you linked to the Buxton Blog. That was the most intelligent synopsis I’ve seen so far of why the rulings are a bit unsettling.

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 29th June 2010, 1:41

      I’ve not read his latest article but from what I’ve read so far, Will Buxton speaks a lot of sense. Shame he doesn’t update his site more often or he’d be a decent journalist

      • F1Yankee said on 29th June 2010, 2:07

        the addition of his pit lane reporting has been the only positive for speed tv’s coverage i can think of.

        • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 29th June 2010, 2:13

          Hs he been better than Peter Windsor? I never really liked Windsor from his often ridiculous press conference questions to his weird race reviews for F1 Racing magazine… But I never saw him working for Speed so maybe he’s better than I thought.

          Overall though I just feel sorry for Windsor… the USF1 fiasco has quite simply ruined his life :(

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 29th June 2010, 7:06

            I think Buxton has been a big improvement over Windsor. I feel bad for Windsor too, it seems that most of the mismanagement at USF1 came from Ken Anderson from everything I’ve read. That said though, Windsor should’ve known who he was partnering up with and done more to keep him in check when things started to go sideways.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 29th June 2010, 5:02

        Buxton is a pretty intelligent guy – he just doesn’t post stuff as often as the likes of, say, Saward …

        • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 5:28

          Seems to me Joe’s seen a big drop in visits since his smoking rant… :) Nowhere near the same amount of comments.

          • Patrickl said on 29th June 2010, 12:37

            Joe Saward isn’t posting much worthwhile lately either.

            I don’t like the Buxton blog though. It’s almost as bad as James Allen with opinions presented as facts and an annoying bias shining through.

          • Mike said on 29th June 2010, 21:11

            I reckon James Allen’s blog is quite good, maybe he can be a bit much at times, but at least he knows what he’s talking about.

            They had him do some small stuff for Channel 10, Compared to the rubbish we normally have to put up with HE IS A GOD!

            but I digress.

          • James_mc said on 29th June 2010, 23:50

            I would actually say that it was that, combined with his post criticising the “armchair bloggers”. And the continuing unnecessary sly digs in a few other articles. A great shame as when he writes good stuff (e.g. his piece on Helmut Marko) it is top-noch stuff.

    • mvi said on 29th June 2010, 7:51

      The Buxton Blog is great! Thank you for linking that.

  2. Becken Lima (@becken-lima) said on 29th June 2010, 1:13

    I´m loving Ferrari reaction in the ‘Safety Cargate’. They put some quotes from the Tifosi in their site:

    “Shame” – the cry of the tifosi on the internet

    “Shame. Yesterday we witnessed one of the darkest chapters of modern Formula One,” writes Lorenzo.Cloud. Just before, Redman had written: “The decision of the race officials on Hamilton is SHAMEFUL! ‘McLadren’ (McLaren thieves) up to their usual dirty tricks.” BlackMadonna of Germany says: “This race was a smack in the face of all Formula 1 fans, not just those who support Ferrari.”

    As early as 3pm yesterday the first messages from angry and outraged Ferrari fans (tifosi) from around the world started appearing on the Forum of http://www.ferrari.com about what was happening on the Valencia circuit.


  3. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 29th June 2010, 1:43

    Haha, that music is rather inappropriate isn’t it! Seems a million years ago that Williams and Ligier were battling for wins

  4. LAK said on 29th June 2010, 2:25

    Great articles :) I agree with Chalky’s COTD, Alonso and Ferrari need to calm down a little and stop accusing others.. I found it funny how distracted Alonso was during the race.. He should’ve focused more on the present and not on the position of a driver that’s not near him.. This is racing, timing and luck plays a huge role, and in this case the stewards..

    Where was this 5 second penalty rule when Schumacher had his incident with Alonso in Monaco, excuse my little knowledge, but I thought they said a 25 sec penalty is the least thing that can be given after a race..

    • matt90 said on 29th June 2010, 3:04

      I agree too. I’m amazed that more people reading this site thought Hamilton did do it intentionally rather than didn’t.

      • dragon said on 29th June 2010, 4:58

        Conversely, there’s a similar amount of people who think Alonso voicing his displeasure is another whinge, which is equally ridiculous.
        Well, perhaps not quite as ridiculous as thinking Lewis did it on purpose, but still…
        I guess you’ll always have blinded fanboys on both sides of the garage.

        • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 9:07

          I think the fact that Ferrari are making a lot of noise, and the rest of the teams seem to be shrugging and saying ‘that’s racing’, suggests the Ferrari response is somewhat out of proportion.

          Mind there is HUGE pressure on Alonso to prove himself, and for Ferrari to regain the dominance they used to have. They do appear to be slipping back in the average category.

          • Rob said on 29th June 2010, 11:32

            It says a lot about the amount of pressure Ferrari are under at the moment when they have spent almost two whole days complaining about something that, if it had gone the way they think it should have done, would have probably just meant that one driver (who happens to be the driver that Alonso has most animosity towards) would have finished significantly worse off than he did, and Ferrari wouldn’t necessarily had gained anything in points.

  5. Cacarella said on 29th June 2010, 2:48

    Great article by Wil Buxton, agreed 100%

  6. Macca (@macca) said on 29th June 2010, 2:59

    Why is the music inappropriate?

    Damn the video, I watched it an now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say, lol

  7. Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 3:16

    I love this car. $9000 come on! 3 people, central driving position. Reconfigurable interior.

    I want one with a latte already in the cup holder please.

    Although, I’m interested to see how easy it is to get in and out of that car without bumping your head. :)

    • KNF said on 29th June 2010, 3:48

      I like it, the driving position is like a McLaren F1, and it has underbody aerodynamics… Doesn’t look like it has a double diffuser though and probably no RW80 either…

      One note though, lose the “i-Verb/Noun/Adjective” naming scheme, it’s so 2003… :D

  8. Joey-Poey said on 29th June 2010, 3:28

    I don’t think the music is inappropriate so much as the cutting to it was very sub-par and the shot choices were at times about as bland as can be. But then that’s coming from an editor X). With good enough editing, you can make just about any footage fit the bill.

  9. Scalextric said on 29th June 2010, 5:47

    I remember when those catch fences were the new safety upgrade. Of course, they only caught the first car to leave the circuit at a given spot and lots of fence posts and fencing followed that unfortunate car to its resting spot. Safety has evolved, but tire barriers are still the solution of choice? Amazing.

  10. Macca (@macca) said on 29th June 2010, 6:19

    Very very very cool video I found on Youtube that I just had to share. Enjoy.


  11. mvi said on 29th June 2010, 7:59

    In his article at autosport.com, is Tony Dodgins saying that the stewards in the Valencia race were looking for a penalty for Hamilton that would not change his position in the race?

    Here is some of what he wrote:

    “You might think that a stop-and-go would have been better. The FIA is able to work out the probable impact of a penalty and so it would have cost Lewis more time in the pits and punished him more in line with his crime. That’s certainly a view, but the FIA tends to take into account precedent so that it limits the extent to which it is accused of inconsistency.”

    When Webber scored his debut win at the Nurburgring last year, for instance, he was able to serve a drive-through penalty for weaving at Barrichello off the start, without losing his lead. Had the stewards deviated from that, they would have found themselves dubbed ‘Ferrari International Assistance’ again. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t…”

    • DGR-F1 said on 29th June 2010, 10:05

      Isn’t that the whole argument against the FIA in a nutshell?
      Why don’t we have realistic punishments – ie things that actually punish misbehavior – instead of taking 25 minutes to decide what might be suitable without spoiling the ‘show’ for the fans?
      It might not be ‘Ferrari International Assistance’ anymore, but this year the FIA appears to be ‘X-factor meets the Oscars’ in their attitude. I wonder what grid position you have to start at before you get really punished, as you will be out of camera shot for most of the race?
      Somebody out there really needs to remind the FIA that F1 is about that scarce thing called ‘racing’, and not about pretty boys in pretty cars (OK, so thats always been a part of it, but not media-hungry judges too)
      And we need to begin again to question the motives of Old Charlie Whiting and his cronies who are allegedly ‘in control’ of the race, as Valencia showed they don’t even have much control over the Safety Car….

      • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 10:17


        It’s so easy to blame the referee.. I don’t think Whiting and Co want any but the fairest decisions. Remember Jean Todt is directing the grand scheme now. I’m pretty sure he’ll be checking the books at the end of the day to make sure all is good and proper.

        Fact is, is easy to speculate, and blame, but it is our own subjective opinions based on our positions hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the actual events.

        All we’re really doing his, is venting and socialising (or anti-socialising in some cases) :)

  12. BasCB said on 29th June 2010, 8:24

    From this here, it seems Prodrive is actually doing very interesting things on a technology development stretch, similar to what Williams is doing with their ownership of Williams Hybrid Power.

    It makes the debate about weather and what Formula 1 should do / not do in embracing “green” a little bit off the point.
    A lot of these companies in the racing industry are working on high tech solutions in chassis and drive train solutions, so it would make sense for them to use some of that knowledge in trying something new to boost their race cars performance.
    And it shows a reason why Prodrive is not going into F1 right now, as they need to first invest in research to bring something to market before risking some of the money on entering F1.

  13. Forbes Magazine says the most “powerful” driver in the world is… Danica Patrick.


    I think their methodology might be just a tiny bit flawed.

  14. HounslowBusGarage said on 29th June 2010, 8:45

    Went away for a long weekend, got back late last night. Did I miss anything?

  15. Candidate for COTD

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