F1 Fanatic round-up: 18/10/2010

Posted on | Author Cari Jones

Here?s today?s round-up:


Exclusive interview with Bernie Ecclestone (F1)

??The answer came back as quick as a shot. ??I?m still here!? That?s the headline Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone wants to see as he readies himself for his 80th birthday at the end of this month. And indeed, he?s still very much here – so much so in fact that he arrived uncharacteristically late for the interview because he?d been embroiled in three simultaneous meetings, ??trying to solve problems?. Ahead of his ninth decade, the indomitable Briton looks back at his successes – and looks ahead to his successor.??

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will not win in Korea, says Karun Chandhok (Telegraph)

??The odds of either Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button winning next weekend’s inaugural race in Korea and clawing their way back into championship contention in the process are slim, according to the one man to have actually driven the circuit in a Formula One car.??

Todt cools talk of African grand prix (ESPN F1)

??FIA president Jean Todt has stated he cannot see Africa playing host to a Formula One grand prix in the next five years.

??F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone claimed earlier in the summer that he felt South Africa could be in a position to host a race inside three years, but Todt does not believe it is viable.

????At the moment it’s only some rumours about some interest for some countries in Africa to organise a Formula One event but I don’t see any opportunity in the next three to five years,? Todt said.??

??The G Forces nearly ripped my head off?? ?ǣ a ride in a 2 seater F1 car (James Allen on F1)

??This is the final part of the programme undertaken by a group of media and fans recently at the Yas Marina Circuit to understand what it takes to be an F1 driver.??

Durango, Villeneuve Not Giving Up Dream (Speed)

??Durango boss Ivone Pinton says that he and Jacques Villeneuve have not yet given up on some kind of F1 involvement in 2011 ?ǣ but could go to NASCAR instead if things don?t work out.??

Kubica sad Raikkonen won’t be back (ITV F1)

??Robert Kubica has admitted he was disappointed to learn that Kimi Raikkonen had ruled out a potential Formula 1 return with the Renault team.??

‘Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will deliver’, McLaren boss predicts (The Mirror)

??Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will deliver under intense pressure in Korea, Martin Whitmarsh has predicted. The Vodafone McLaren team boss said the veterans of two title-winning campaigns both had the ability to deliver when it counted most. And he said McLaren’s rivals wrote the team off at their peril.

????Both drivers have won world championships, they understand the difficulties of such a unique situation and both have learned how to deliver their best under high pressure,” Whitmarsh said.

????They will be ready for this battle. With three races remaining and 75 points on the table for the drivers, it would be unwise to write off Jenson, Lewis or Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.???

Comment of the day

It seems the majority of you think Felipe Massa should not stay at Ferrari at the end of the season. Steph disagrees:

Yes he should stay. A lot of fanatics will know I?m a huge Massa and a complete Ferrari fan but I didn?t have a single doubt about this poll. I?ll always say what happened at Hockheinem was wrong and if I thought Massa was better off elsewhere then I would vote for him to go.

Massa has had a fairly bad year compared to Fernando but he is in a fairly unique situation; he?s come back after serious injury and even Sid Watkins thought he came back too soon, he had eight months out and Brundle commented at Monaco that Felipe was still not as sharp as he was, he?s got the hardest team mate in the world and he hates the tyres. Should he have worked around those problems? Yes, probably but next year he?ll be much better prepared. The tyres will be new and the points are back at zero.

Felipe is still good enough to be a Ferrari driver. He?s shown flashes this year; fastest on the hards in q1 at Monza but then fluffed his q3 strategy, Singapore was a great recovery and Malaysia he made up as many places as Lewis. Hockheinem he showed he could lead a GP again. Bahrain, Turkey and Spa he outqualified Alonso (more down to Fernando?s errors like in Monaco but he got it right).

This is a great timed poll in a way because everyone seems to be debating about him but for me it?s premature. Give him one year to see how the Ferrari situation really is when he?s had some time to get up to speed and the tyres are new and the score board is back at 0.

As much as I want him at Ferrari I won?t respect him if he settles for a constant number role 2 there. This year there was at least some logic as terrible as it was and next year it could all change.

From the forum

Joao Pedro CQ asks Whether Portugal’s Portimao circuit should hold a Grand Prix?

Happy birthday!

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

On this day in F1

Jenson Button clinched the world championship on this day in 2009 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Button qualified 14th on the grid but worked his way up to a fifth place finish and an extra four points. This meant he had 89 points ?ǣ to nearest rival Vettel?s total of 74 ?ǣ and had secured both the drivers? and constructors? world championship for Brawn.

In the race, Red Bull?s Mark Webber went from second on the grid to take his second career win, followed by Robert Kubica in second and Lewis Hamilton in third.

36 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 18/10/2010”

  1. I think Massa will stay for the next year, but he wont suffer another year like that. We will find out what he’s really made of. I think a lot of people would like to see him leave Ferrari a la Rubens and show he’s a No.1 driver of calibre. I’ve looked through his results in the past, and he’s always been a strong driver.

    For me, he’s not getting any younger, and to have an emotional blow of pulling over to let your team mate go through, with all the talk of not being a no.2 driver before the season started, and also the reaction of people back home in Brazil, may have changed his emotional perspective on his current position. Having said that, he’s racing in a latin F1 cultural phenomenon, that will be very hard to leave.. it would be like leaving an emotional super family and going outside in to the cold.

  2. Q: Can you say what these three things mean to you – money, power and success? Let’s start with money…
    Bernie Ecclestone: It means zero to me.

    I think he ment to say: “It means zero to me. Unless you add one or two zeros to it…”

    1. 3 questions later though his answer was:

      I would rather not go without money

    2. Yeah, well of course only people with too much money can ever afford (pun not intended) to say that it means nothing to them when in fact everything they do is defined by their fortune.

    3. I’ve got to say that was a fully rubbish interveiw, the ost intresting question was brushed off, they repeated themselves over and over again, you could practically here the words
      sycophant sycophant, blowing in the wind. How boring.

  3. Same forum link as yesterday?

    I agree with Kubica, it would have been good for the sport and the team to have Räikkönen next year. I appreciate how honest and candid Kubica sounds in that interview.

    Funny how Chandhok said that Webber is worried about the straights before turn 4. I think Red Bull will very likely be quickest here, but with some McLarens right behind them on the grid, they don’t have much of a chance of leading into turn 4. Webber’s right to be worried. Especially if this rumored super F-duct works for McLaren, they’ll be untouchable on the straights, which is of course where all the overtaking will take place. Red Bull’s advantage in the 3rd sector will mean nothing if they can’t stay ahead in the first lap. Should make for an action packed first lap anyhow.

    1. Oh, and I think Chandhok’s right about Kubica as well. He should go very well in Korea, and with the top speed Renault showed in Japan, maybe he’ll be the spoiler here and be the driver who is able to overtake the Bulls on the first lap…

    2. weird how Kubica said:

      “To have a world champion driver as a team-mate would always be really good, and I think it’s what Renault needs as well.”

      so basically: “what Renault needs it’s not what Renault has…”

    3. This is old stuff, actually. Quite strange this appears again…


    4. Have changed the forum link.

    5. I like reading these pieces by Karun, and what he says about Kubica and the Red Bulls and McLaren makes sense.

      But we will see, a lot can still happen and there might be up to 7 guys with a chance at winning it this weekend.
      Great season to enjoy it while it lasts!

      1. I don’t think theres any doubt the Redbull will put it on pole baring a slightly Singaporesq crak under preassure but the first lap could decide what kind of a race we see, if Fernando or one of the McLarens gets past we’ll have a race on our hands, an theres a great chance of that happening.

        Someone raised the point a little while ago, with a first section like that, it almost doesn’t matter who gets pole, slip stream on the first lap could make all the differance.

  4. Just like Kubica everybody who is a Kimi fan out there is dissapointed to learn that he will not some back in F1.

  5. Something’s not right about Chandhok’s article:

    I think Korea is another Red Bull circuit. They proved by the end of Japan that they were a good half a second clear of the McLarens and Ferraris.

    Yet the data from the Japanese Grand Prix shows that:
    – Mark Webber’s fastest lap was only 0.055s faster than Jenson Button’s
    – Vettel’s pole lap (Red Bull’s biggest advantage, remember) was 0.384s faster than Hamilton’s and only a further 0.209s faster than Button on a different tyre compound.
    – Hamilton’s “ultimate lap” in qualifying was a mere 0.072s slower than Vettel’s; Jenson’s was 0.612s

    Hardly a “good half a second”. The only time that happened was in qualifying and because Button was on the inferior tyre.

    And now for another interesting fact: Korea has the same amount of corners as Suzuka, but an extra straight. It is also shorter than Suzuka, meaning more mileage will be done on McLaren territory than at Suzuka (i.e. a greater percentage of the lap is run in a straight line).

    Add into the equation the double F-duct (Red Bull will be bringing upgrades too, but nothing like this) and the possibility of Red Bull cutting their downforce so they don’t get mugged on the straights, it’s anyone’s game as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Hm, I did find that part of what he was saying a bit curious. Thanks for digging int it and bringing this information up to correct the view.

    2. I certainly hope so, I would like the WCC to be still a fight, and the WDC to be more than a three horse race, and for that McLaren need to do well in Korea.

    3. He is a rookie, he’s not a seasoned pro. He’s kind of been thrown in to the limelight at least partially due to his nationality and marketability. So I can’t imagine he’s always gonna hit the g-spot with his articles, but still, people will read whats he’s got to say due to the above reasons and a few others I should imagine, like his general likability.

      1. I hope it didn’t sound like a criticism of him. He just has his numbers off.

    4. Korea is shorter? I’m quite surprised. On the F1 2010 game it feels much longer. Possibly because Suzuka is more high speed and flowing.

      1. Noticed that chandok drove a red bull at korea.. then tipped them to win? saying thank you maybe…

        I hope he is wrong, the championsip and the sport doesnt need another boring Red Bull race. Hope it rains

  6. So what does Jean Todt have against South Africa, or even North Africa? Haven’t the recently announced venues in India, Korea and Russia shown that Bernie is still capable of sorting the venue and the organisers?
    Or is it more that Todt doesn’t know any African drivers? If thats the case shouldn’t he be promoting motorsport more in Africa, and generating interest, and possibly new drivers – remembering that the FIA is also alegedly in control of everything from Karting to Touring Cars to Rallying to Truck Racing – and create the market and the interest to ensure some possible venues? Why doesn’t he delegate the job of creating the interest to the likes of Bernie, Norbet Haug, Old Schuey and Red Bull?
    If hes just going to sit in Paris and say ‘I don’t see any opportunity’, then he isn’t doing his job, is he?

    1. I think he simply meant it was too soon, which is pretty reasonable considering that several new venues are already in the pipeline for the next few years and some existing venues may get crowded out. The article says Todt was in Kenya (not sitting in Paris!) when he made his comments and he said that Africa was a fantastic place to organize road racing, specifically mentioning WRC and Cross-country. Sounds like he is promoting motorsport.

      Bernie, Haug, Old Schuey and Red Bull could maybe get some practice in creating interest by starting with some existing sites which can’t sell their tickets.

  7. “I think in the position we are in, it is clear that the biggest gain for the team is to have two strong drivers if it’s possible,” said Kubica.

    This comment later in the article doesn’t seem to suggest he thinks much of Pets driving and reflects what Keith was saying in the Massa article. Put the best drivers in the best cars.

    I really think Kubi would have loved the rivalry with Kimi and something in me tells me that he’s a bit tired of dragging Pet along.(car development and support)

    Don’t get me wrong I like Pet, but maybe he’d be better off banging doors in salon racing.

    1. Indeed, it helps for a driver to get another set of opinions, on everything to do with the car, Petrov can’t be any help at all.

  8. no Raikkonen next year??? WHYYYY?! He was the most interesting driver in F1. I guess us Finns will need to wait for Kovalainen to evolve if we wanna see another great Finn rise to the win. Meanwhile I’m just gonna support who I think is the most skilled and that would be either Webber, Button or Vettel. And I hope Massa can go back to his winning days next year and I would love to see him pass Alonso during a race and saying on the radio “Thats called OVERTAKING, it doesn’t involve breaking the rules and its what racing should be about” and no, I don’t hate Alonso, I think he is extremely talented, but he whines too much and apparently couldn’t pass Massa even though he was “faster”.

    1. “I guess us Finns will need to wait for Kovalainen to evolve if we wanna see another great Finn rise to the win”

      You make him sound like a Pokemon :P

    2. Kovi evolve? Not in this life time.

      1. I think he’s doing a grand job at Lotus. Next year’s car should be pretty good, and assuming he’s a better driver than he was this time last year he should shine a lot more.

        1. I’m with Electrolite on both points, yea I just noticed I did make him sound like a pokemon… :P

  9. God I miss the Brawns. That video brought it all back!

    1. Yeah they were good. Shame they were changed to Merc colours when shown at the festival of speed eariler this year.

  10. Thank you veru much Keith! I did really enjoy the Massa debate and I love having a CotD about him :)

    1. You’re welcome but Cari gave you the COTD, I was having my Sunday sleep :-)

      1. Then thank you very much Cari :D Either way, I’m chuffed :)

  11. Button’s been champion for a year already! :)

    1. Not technically. This time last year Hamilton was still reigning WC. Button didn’t become WC until after Abu Dhabi even though he’d tied it up in points after Brazil

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