F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: the FIA will make the “unwritten rule” of defensive driving a written regulation.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“The wording will confirm that drivers can make one move to defend their position, and must then leave at least one full car’s width of asphalt on the outside (which does not include the kerb) if they return to their racing line.”
I wrote the following about this matter in an article in 2008:
When the rules as written give so little detail, and when the stewards issue ‘clarifications’ that seem to contradict past precedent, and when controversial decisions are published with so little reasoning (the Hamilton-Raikkonen incident [at Spa] was summarised in seven words), you have to question the sense of leaving important rules of race-craft shrouded in secrecy.
“As I said, I really don’t know how the race is going to go tomorrow but you’d think that it would be between us and the Red Bulls. So we will have to wait and see, but I don’t think Ferrari are that far behind in terms of consistency. Over one lap they maybe don’t have the pace but in terms of consistency we saw them very strong in Suzuka so they might also be there tomorrow.”
Martin Whitmarsh: “I have to confess, we do listen to some of the other drivers and on the monitor I have a driver-button and afterwards, when they’ve gone on pole, I have to turn it off immediately so I don’t have to hear Sebastian [Vettel] whooping it up in the car.”
“Again, there will be no Korean drivers on the grid ― it will probably take a couple of years or much longer to see them in action here.”
Summary footage from the last race with a few new clips of team radio, one of which shows how McLaren were convinced Hamilton had a puncture.
“Our sport in the end is very unique; you depend so much on the technology that you have. For the majority of people out there it is difficult to understand that. They just see someone winning and think he must be the best driver but often that is not the case.”
“We will have a look at why Bruno [Senna] was lacking in pace, but Vitaly [Petrov] pulled a strong result out of the bag.”
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Comment of the day
An interesting take on Hamilton’s pole position from DaveW (bear in mind Red Bull can still achieve a 16th pole position later this year):
This pole has some momentous characteristics that will make him happier in retrospect.
First, it comes in downpour of criticism, and stems another onslaught of hysterical press.
Second, it comes after two consecutive races where he doesn’t even get a second Q3 lap in, thanks, in part, to team bumbling.
Third, he is first man to pull Excalibur from the stone this year, and it was not because Vettel had some problem, besides a lingering hangover. He beat him with sheer speed.
Fourth, his pole blocks Red Bull from being the first team to achieve 16 poles in a year, defending this important superlative owned by McLaren and Williams. In an era where McLaren has not been able to add much to its trophy shelf, thwarting the fizzy drinks company from stealing another bit of its legacy was priceless. I’m sure Ron Dennis will send Hamilton a fruit basket for that one.
From the forum
- Share your favourite videos of F1 drivers in TV adverts.
- The IndyCar championship title will be decided today. Remarkably, championship contenders Dario Franchitti and Will Power are 17th and 18th on the 34-car grid. F1 Fanatic Live will continue running after the race to cover it so join us for that and, beforehand, the final three races of the British Touring Car Championship where another title hangs in the balance.
- As I write this f199player is competing in a 24-hour kart race and updating us on his progress here.
On this day in F1
Michael Schumacher made a sensation return from injury in qualifying for the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix.
He took pole position with a lap almost a full second faster than team mate Eddie Irvine, with David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen sharing the second row 1.1s adrift.