Petrov’s future to be decided next month

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Renault set December 10th deadline for decision on Vitaly Petrov’s future with the team.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lotus Renault gives Petrov until December 10 to decide whether to stay with team (Ria Novosti)

Renault has given Russian driver Vitaly Petrov until December 10 to decide whether to remain with the Formula One team, his manager Oksana Kosachenko told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.”

Bernie Ecclestone claims Formula One will abandon Europe (The Times, subscription required)

“I think in the next few years Europe will be left with only five races. Europe is finished. It will be a good place for tourism but little else. Europe is a thing of the past.”

Helmut Marko on 2012 at STR: “We are looking for a top F1 driver…” (Adam Cooper)

“I would say [Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi] both improved from mid-season onwards, unfortunately Buemi had more technical issues. But still, we are not looking for a good F1 driver, we are looking for a top F1 driver.”

Domenicali bullish on 2012 prospects

“We need to wait and see what the others are doing and wait and see where the cars will be in the first qualifying in Australia. But I am confident we will do a good job.”

Hamilton stalls over contract talks

“Martin [Whitmarsh] has spoken to me about re-signing already. I know it is there. At some stage, when we have time, we will sit down and discuss it. Again, the most important thing is to focus on the season ahead.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Rob73 anticipates Kimi Raikkonen’s returns with Renault next year:

I can remember seeing Kimi in a Formula Renault, years ago at Silverstone. He absolutely blitzed the rest of the field in pretty dodgy weather conditions.

When he was on it in the McLaren he was awesome. The problem is, he appears to have an attitute problem when things are not to his liking, when is shocking to see.

I feel sorry for Grosjean and Senna ?ǣ they may not have Kimi?s talent, but they have not had a chance to shine.
Rob73

From the forum

Get your nominations for best driver and best pass of 2011 in, ready for the voting in the end-of-season review:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Anirudh, Daniel and Mark Stevenson!

On this day in F1

And happy 45th birthday Mika Salo!

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129 comments on Petrov’s future to be decided next month

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  1. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th November 2011, 0:04

    This implies Petrov is still welcome in the team, however Petrov has some options to weigh up? Where else would he go?

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th November 2011, 0:13

      he could take his money to Williams?

      • snowman (@snowman) said on 30th November 2011, 0:20

        They already have Maldanado’s money and had enough money to spend on another driver to have nearly signed Raikkonen so would be surprising if they would be interested in Petrov when Rubens or Sutil are available and both with sponorship

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th November 2011, 0:38

          @snowman yeah, but the PDVSA money is in doubt, apparently (something to do with Venezuela supporting a F1 driver, the news appeared recently in a round-up). And with Kimi’s negotiations long gone, I bet those people from Qatar won’t be spending money on Williams.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 1:15

            @fer-no65

            the PDVSA money is in doubt, apparently

            Under Venezuelan law, public money cannot be spent without the approval of the Venezuelan congress. A congressman started questioning the arrangement between PDVSA (a state-owned oil company) and Williams, because he claimed it had never been discussed by the government and nobody could produce the contract between Williams and PDVSA.

            And with Kimi’s negotiations long gone, I bet those people from Qatar won’t be spending money on Williams.

            Williams already have very close links with Qatar. They’re developing KERS technology to be used in powering the public transport system (particularly trains), and have a simulator in the country that the Qataris are using to train bus and taxi drivers (because the entier public transport sector is controlled by the royal family). Raikkonen’s presence was something to sweeten the deal, but that doesn’t mean that the Qataris cannot sponsor the team.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th November 2011, 1:56

            @prisoner-monkeys

            your general knowledge overwhelms me! :P

          • TheBrav3 said on 30th November 2011, 6:34

            @fer no.65 it’s not general knowledge he’s just repeating things keith said in articles from earlyer in the year in the case of venezuelan congress that article was only about 2 weeks ago.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 7:35

            Actually, I knew that stuff about Venezuela before the PDVSA story came up. I learned about Qatar by following Williams’ presence there over the last few years, and a little independent research to supplement it.

          • Yamashita said on 1st December 2011, 12:33

            @fer no.65 IMO. You are right about PM. Every new article Keith posted, I’m keen to wait of PM’s comments which I find it more reasonable and with alot of sense. :)Of course, some other comments are good but PM’s comments are always intersting.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 0:58

          They have Maldonado’s money … but do they have a soild driver in Maldonado? Both Petrov and Maldonado bring about the same amount to their respective teams, so they’re fairly interchangeable in terms of pay packages. If Williams think Petrov is better value for money, they could drop Maldonado and run Petrov in his place with minimal fuss.

      • dutch in sweden (@dutch-in-sweden) said on 30th November 2011, 7:05

        Petrov will go to Williams, sounds like Williams, Lotus and Renault made a deal on Raikkonen and Petrov is part of that. Hope Grosjean kan be part of that deal and gets time at Williams. Senna will stay with Lotus.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 8:36

          @dutch-in-sweden

          sounds like Williams, Lotus and Renault made a deal on Raikkonen and Petrov is part of that

          Why would Lotus cut a deal with Williams for Raikkonen? It’s believed that the Raikkonen-Williams negotiations fell apart because of “irreconcileable personality differences” and Raikkonen’s supposed demand of a $12 million starting salary. What on earth do Lotus have that Williams would want? They’ve already got Renault engines; they signed that deal months ago.

        • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 30th November 2011, 13:14

          I think you are making the mistake of thinking that the Renault Team (soon to be Lotus) have some influence to exert over Williams driver lineup by virtue of the Renault engine deal. This is wide of the mark as Renault no longer has anything to do with Boulier’s Enstone based team other than engine supply. The black and gold Team are customers of the Renault High Performance engine factory at Viry-Chatillon just the same as Williams since GENII Capital bought the remaining shares in the former Renault Team from Renault. Red Bull are the “works” Renault team nowadays.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 0:24

      He’s said that Renault is his first choice, but that he also has a Plan B and a Plan C at the ready. I’m guessing the other teams he is looking at would be Williams, Force India and Caterham. Williams were banking on Raikkonen to secure sponsorship from Qatar; if the Qataris have lost interest because Raikkonen is now with Renault, Russian rubles work just as well as Qatari riyals when it comes to funding the team.

      The second option is probably Force India. Vijay Mallya is struggling with Kingfisher Airways, and both the Indian government and the Indian public are probably watching him very carefully. I would not be surprised if the VJM05 runs without Kingfisher sponsorship next season. Petrov brings the money that Kingfisher does not have.

      Finally, there’s Caterham. Rumour in the paddock suggests that Jarno Trulli’s seat is open to anyone who can buy him out of it, and while there is talk that Red Bull will place Daniel Ricciardo there, Vitaly Petrov brings fifteen million dollars to the team. Red Bull will be hard-pressed to match or better that for Ricciardo’s sake.

      I think the biggest factor in Petrov’s future with Renault is Robert Kubica. Eric Boullier has said that he wants to get Kubica back into a seat as soon as Kubica feels he is ready, even if it means a mid-season replacement. With Raikkonen on a two-year deal, Petrov won’t want to commit to a team if he knows that he could be replaced after half a season. So he’ll either ask for a guarantee that he will see out the season (meaning Kubica can only race in 2013), or ask for a guarantee that if he is replaced mid-season, the team will find a seat for him somewhere else either in mid-2012 or in 2013. or he can hope that Raikkonen loses interest and either walks away from the team, or is fired. The former – Kubica waiting until 2013 – is probably better for all involved, because Kubica won’t want to rush his recovery and Petrov will find a seat.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 30th November 2011, 5:16

        I could see a possible scenario where Renault plays hardball with Petrov over his recent outburst. Their best offer to him, a year deal for 2012 with conditions that a recovered Kubica can take his seat and he become chief test and reserve driver. Petrov won’t take it and then Boullier could slot Grosjean into the vacant seat under the same conditions given to Petrov.

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 30th November 2011, 13:19

        Kubica will not be in a Renault in 2012 or 2013. His contract with the team expires in January 2012. My bet is we won’t see him race in 2012 at all, rather he will spend it testing with Ferrari and return to competition as Alonso’s team mate in 2013 if he can prove his recovery has worked.

    • graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 30th November 2011, 6:05

      My first thought – that’s Petrov out then.

      This is Petrov’s manager confirming that he is not definitely contracted for 2012, as we all thought. I have a feeling that she is putting it diplomatically by stating that they have any say at all in the matter.

      By 10th December, I would bet good money that Vitali will be moving on.

    • smifaye (@smifaye) said on 30th November 2011, 10:22

      Yeah it does read that way, that Renault want Petrov to sign but he is holding out on a better deal. I don’t think there is a better option for Petrov though. He should sign with them and get it done.

    • laird18 said on 30th November 2011, 10:32

      She doesn’t say anywhere that Lotus are offering him a race-seat.

      Petrov is out.

    • UKFan (@) said on 1st December 2011, 4:02

      Petrov seems not to like to have team pressure to doubted especially because he brings so much money so I think he has a serious autority issue. lets wait

  2. adzz36 (@adzz36) said on 30th November 2011, 0:06

    I can’t see Petrov leaving Renault out of his own choice…

    Interesting quote from Marko as well, looks like Toro Rosso could even drop both Buemi and Alguersauri, by the end of 2012, if not immediately.

    • I can’t see Petrov leaving Renault out of his own choice…

      Not so long ago Petrov didn’t sound particularly happy to be at Renault. I think it’d be great if Petrov told them to shove it and took his money elsewhere… wherever, even to Marussia.

      The real question though is what excuse will be used when they fire Raikkonen in the middle of the season:
      [ ] lack of motivation
      [ ] lack of leadership
      [ ] strong leadership but led the car development into a deadend
      [ ] contrary to his contract, Raikkonen grew a beard and changed his name to Raikkfeld
      [ ] Renualt/Lotus/whatever doesn’t have the money to pay the bills

      Should be fun.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 30th November 2011, 5:21

        Petrov would be a big boost to Marussia. A Russian driver in a Russian team would certainly be popular in an increasingly nationalistic F1.

        Pic would have to go, but who cares.
        Petrov and Glock might actually be able to push Marussia in the right direction.

      • IceBlue (@iceblue) said on 2nd December 2011, 21:07

        Re: Kimi
        You forgot to mention:

        [ ] I am great, kneel before me attitude.
        [ ] Sorry I was too busy at the clubs last night.
        [ ] Honest, I’m better than my career statistics show.
        [ ] I could have ruled WRC if I had cared enough.

  3. Duchess (@duchess) said on 30th November 2011, 0:10

    I feel like I’m the only one that is seriously peeved that Kimi is back in F1.

    He’s had his chance and he left of his own choice because he was bored. IMO he should stay out and give the new kids a run. It’s just ridiculous.

    As for the situation with Vitaly, it’s basically Boullier’s poor people management vs Oksana The Overbearing Manager saga round 2. Insanity and unfair.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th November 2011, 0:12

      It seems as though he was more ‘sick’ of the things that surrounded the sport, and going and experimenting with new things, even if you fail, is a commendable thing. Rather than being bored and sticking two fingers up. Not that his performance in 2009 was anything special though.

    • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 30th November 2011, 0:16

      If we’re talking about older drivers not staying aside and letting the kids racing, Raikonnen’s behind Trulli, Webber, Schumacher and de la Rosa.

      I’m actually with you though, I would have preferred to see a new driver instead of Kimi back. As you said he blazed off in a cloud of indifference last time.

      • Duchess (@duchess) said on 30th November 2011, 0:22

        I do feel similarly with the other older drivers on the grid like Pedro de la Rosa (why why why??! He’s a great person, but no!), Jarno Trulli, Rubens & Schumi. Mark Webber I feel isn’t done yet.

        Honestly, I just want to know how Kimi thinks F1 would be different this time, because it’s not.

        • Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 30th November 2011, 0:46

          I don’t think its Kimi’s obligation to let young drivers in. It’s the teams that need to do it. Clearly if Lotus/Renault want to have a rookie their spoilt for choice. Also Mark Webber is actually older than Kimi at 35 vs. 32.

          Also Kimi did not hate F1. Clearly its well known he did not like doing PR days but saying he did not like F1 is simply not true.

          • Duchess (@duchess) said on 30th November 2011, 1:40

            Nowhere did I say Kimi ‘hated’ F1 but his apathy was fairly clear in his last few years in the sport. Sure, that may be due to a distaste of how Ferrari run things, but that doesn’t dispel the reasons behind his departure from the sport overall. I just want to know in what ways Kimi feels his sojourn in F1 will be different compared to last time around.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 1:02

      I feel like I’m the only one that is seriously peeved that Kimi is back in F1.

      Nope, I’m annoyed, too. I don’t think he brings anything to the sport (in fact, I feel his aloofness takes away from it), I don’t think he has the commitment or the motivation (judging by his behaviour in the WRC), and when he doesn’t start getting the result he wants (or the results that his fans want), forums and blogs across the internet are going to be inundated with fans making excuses for his on-track performances in the mistaken belief that saying things the loudest means being right.

      • Duchess (@duchess) said on 30th November 2011, 1:42

        Thank you thank you thank you for saying the things that have been running around in my mind. I suppose the ‘pro-non-Kimi’ camp isn’t as empty as I had imagined!

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 1:55

          I suppose the ‘pro-non-Kimi’ camp isn’t as empty as I had imagined!

          It’s not – but Raikkonen’s supporters have a reputation for flooding discussion threads. If you’ve ever been over to the Autosport forums, you’ll know you can’t say a bad word about Raikkonen. Even if you’re perfectly civil. The moderators will simply delete your posts as soon as they see them. Not because they are ardently pro-Kimi themselves, but because they know that the Raikkonen fans will attack the moment they see that someone doesn’t worship the ground he walks on, and they’re just trying to head off a serious conflict. It’s the reason why I left.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 30th November 2011, 5:24

            Kimi once said, “F1 would be heaven without the media.”

            Relax guys, he never hated the sport. He’s only 32, a young man by almost every definition and he wants to go racing again. Who are we to deny him that after all he has accomplished. Hate if you want to hate, but at least give the guy a chance to prove himself.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 9:06

            I’m not talking about the media. And I never suggested that Raikkonen hated the sport – why would he come back if he did? No, I’m talking about the way Raikkonen’s fans are like the mob: if you upset them – even slightly – usually by suggesting that Raikkonen is not the greatest driver in history, then they proceed to make life very difficult and painful.

            Don’t believe me? Go into any thread about Raikkonen on the Autosport forums, post “I don’t like Kimi” and see how long you last. That’s why I don’t like Raikkonen: his fans take things far too seriously, and they are very poor sports.

          • HewisLamilton said on 30th November 2011, 16:41

            Hmmmm, you can simply replace “Raikkonen” with “Hamilton” in that comment about Kimi’s fans. Their fans are actually quite similar. (of course you don’t have to go to Autosport forums to see that, it can be seen right here)

            As for me, I’ll wait and pass judgement on Kimi AFTER he has been back in the cockpit. He had the talent in F1 before, I’m not sure that it’s gone.

          • Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 30th November 2011, 16:57

            I never been to the Autosport fourms so I can’t confirm what your saying. However, if its true then that is just silly on the part of his fans. I am a Kimi fan and I do defend him if people misrepresent facts (Ice Cream-Malaysia 2009,etc) but if he does something clearly wrong I would be happy to lambast him.

            Also at this point I think the speculation Kimi is going to leave half way through the season, etc is premature. I am going to withhold judgement till Australia. Everyone who tries to make predictions is doing so blindly in my opinion.

      • PM I think you are generalising hugely about Raikkonen fans, I have never been on the autosport forums so I wouldn’t know but I don’t think that has been the case for fans (of any driver really) on this webpage. Raikkonen is clearly not the greatest driver in history, and the huge majority of people who want to discuss reasonably about Formula One will accept that, if they don’t they are just trolling and why bother with them.

        I don’t understand your reasoning, how can a man who is a multiple GP winner, world champion and undoubtedly a very talented driver not add something to the sport. You will not have missed him in the two years he has been away, but surely that is to be expected because you are not a fan of him.

        People like Petrov, Trulli, Maldonado, Liuzzi and even Barrichello bring nothing to the sport; Raikkonen has much more potential to drag that Renault by the scruff of the neck and galvanise the team like Kubica did last year than any of the other middle of the road drivers they were also supposedly courting.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 30th November 2011, 14:12

          @debaser91. I dont think I could agree anymore with every word you said.

          Trulli, De la Rosa and especially Barrichello are the ones that are just blocking talent and ruining the sport. They bring no talent, excitement or even fans to the sport. They are just trudging around the circuit until they get older, slower and ultimately, fired.

          Raikkonen might have left the sport because he seemed kind of fed up. But I would still expect more excitement out a partially motivated Raikkonen than a fully motivated Barrichello

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 30th November 2011, 11:25

        Well, I hope @prisoner-monkeys you’re wrong about the masses of Kimi-trolls.

        I am a fan of Kimi, so I’ll probably look at his actions from a more positive side then a neutral or ‘slightly-anti’ observer, but I try to be an ‘objective fan’.

        I feel that here on F1F most people do the same.

    • 1 of the 3 said on 30th November 2011, 11:33

      @Duchess @Prisoner Monkeys
      Kimi is back because he brings much to f1 in the way of interest. It’s a bit like Damian Hirst’s “For The Love of God” (2007). Everyone talks about it and many hate it but it’s always getting talked about.

      Kimi is the same – just look at how many people are commenting these past two days all over the world.

      My favorite driver (Sutil) will be long gone because of situations like this (and others of course) but that’s how the world works – in culture it is like this imo. That’s why I mentioned the Hirst example… I mean is the question, “is For The Love of God Art?” even pertinent in today’s culture? Well, for many yes it is indeed important which is why they react with rage. The world culture is very cynical at the moment imo ( just look at Bernie’s Europe comment!)

      having said all of that – I strangely am happy kimi is back…

  4. snowman (@snowman) said on 30th November 2011, 0:13

    I have read the Petrov thing from a few different places and still quite don’t understand it. The Renault seat is the prize and the thing in demand here not Petrov but they word it as Petrov can decide whether he wants to stay or not.

    At the end of that article it then contradicts what was said before by saying “Petrov would have to compete for the second drive with Bruno Senna, who was deployed in the latter part of the season, and Frenchman Romain Grosjean.”

    Would the seat maybe be less desirable because it is some type of sharing option with Grosjean?

    Anybody make sense of all of this?

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 30th November 2011, 0:26

      I’m guessing it’s a bunch of PR spin originating from Petrov’s manager. I can’t imagine a seat-sharing type deal. Renault may be doing what Force India is perceived to be doing with Sutil at the moment, which is delaying the announcement of his firing so that his stock is higher in negotiating a seat for himself at another team. Once a driver is dropped, that immediately diminishes any bargaining power they have with other teams. My guess is Petrov and Sutil are both currently vying for a seat at Williams, and with both having sponsorship, pairing them up might make up enough that they’re able to drop Maldonado.

      There are also continued rumors among reliable F1 journalists on twitter of a huge shake up at Renault to be announced shortly, the implication being that top staff (possibly Boullier?) could be on the way out. I’m sure that will have some bearing on who gets the 2nd seat, if in fact it happens.

    • I thought it was Renault that had more options, and could choose whether to keep Petrov or not, not the other way round.

  5. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 30th November 2011, 0:14

    F1 will abandon Europe? Oh pull the other one Bernie. F1 won’t abandon it’s heartland, where the vast majority of the drivers and all of the teams and engine manufacturers currently hail from…

    In a few years, sad though it will be, you will be gone, and whoever takes over the business side of the sport will *hopefully* realise what year it is, what is good for the sport, what is good for the fans, and drag F1 kicking and screaming into the 21st century, in the countries where it is watched, wanted, and appreciated.

    • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 30th November 2011, 0:25

      Western Europe still gives F1 17 of the 28 drivers, 10-11 of the 12 major technical directors, 9 of the 12 teams and all 4 engine designers. Not to mention most of the pit crews, and probably a fair chunk of the tv revenue and sponsors.

      What Bernie means by not being the spiritual home is that there’s more money to be made elsewhere, because the Western Europe market is near capacity in terms of money that can be made for F1. The track owners are tired of pumping in ridiculous fees into races where, from memory, the only source of income that the F1 group does not take is ticket sales, of which they probably snag a percentage. The fans are only going to be tightening belts with GFC v2 on the horizon as well.

      If they continue to neglect Western Europe however, then there will be a considerable market for growth available there in 10-20 years.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th November 2011, 1:02

      That made me laugh as well. Sure, it’s going other places, and tracks like Catalunya, Hungary, Valencia can probably go (as much as I like Hungaroring!) saying F1 is ‘finished’ in Europe is just another Bernie comment really.

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 30th November 2011, 1:10

      Well said, @ajokay. It is Bernie, not western Europe, which will shortly be a thing of the past, and although I would never wish or look forward to anybody’s death, I have to say it could be a good thing for the future of F1. Depending on who replaces him, of course.

      • I quite agree. Bernie in my mind has destroyed the sport with his stupid Sky viewing rights deal.
        Hopefully when it comes time to renew it he’ll be long gone and channel 4 will still be interested!

        • GT_Racer said on 30th November 2011, 11:26

          f1 on channel 4 would have been a disaster.

          no interactive extras, commercial breaks etc….

          would proberly have been fine for the casual viewers, but for most real fans the channel 4 coverage would have been watered down rubbish.

          the sky deal may not be good for those without sky, however at least it will offer the f1 fans who properly understand the sport some indepth coverage with plenty of extras & proper technical features.

          • John H (@john-h) said on 30th November 2011, 12:28

            the sky deal may not be good for those without sky, however at least it will offer the f1 fans who properly understand the sport some indepth coverage with plenty of extras & proper technical features.

            I can’t afford Sky. Does that mean I do not understand the sport? This deal is only good if you already have sky or can afford it (i.e. clear it with the rest of the family) + you don’t a problem with giving the murdoch empire more money.

            There are many f1fanatics out there like me who would much rather it was on 4, and that certainly doesn’t make us any less knowledgeable about the sport.

            Nor would it be a disaster to people like us either.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th November 2011, 1:13

      Yeah, and I think the 700 million people probably disagree with ‘Europe is a thing of the past.’ I certainly do. Still, 5 countries…
      Monaco
      UK
      Germany
      Italy
      Belgium/France maybe (hopefully)

      Spain? Doubt that will go completely, at least not until Alonso retires. I have an odd soft spot for Hungary.

      Russia? Is that race going to be in the European or Asian part? I doubt that matters much. The countries so big and independent that straddling 2 continents means it doesn’t need to count towards Europe or Asia, may as well count in its own right.

      Maybe going down to 5 isn’t out of the question, although I reckon it should be.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 1:40

      F1 won’t abandon it’s heartland

      An expensive sport on a continent that could drag the world into another recession any day now? If the euro goes belly-up, Formula 1 might not have a choice.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th November 2011, 2:20

        I can’t see a recession being deep enough to seriously impact the larger European countries much more than the previous one. I don’t pretend to know anything about the economy, but to me it seems unlikely. If F1 left Italy, who seem to be among those in the worst state, then Ferrari would revolt. Germany and Mercedes would. UK and every other team would. I don’t see that much changing other than Spain losing at least one race, maybe Hungary too.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 5:02

          I can’t see a recession being deep enough to seriously impact the larger European countries much more than the previous one.

          No, but a lot of governments are going to be as fiscally-responsible as they can possibly be. That means cutting back on unnecessary expenditure. Since only a handful of races on the calendar are run without any government support, that means a lot of the events could lose the money the governments put up for the race. And if they can’t find someone or something to fill the void, they will lose their races.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 30th November 2011, 5:32

            I have a feeling whoever takes the helm after Bernie finally calls it a day will have a big problem with that possible scenario. I imagine he will have to lower race fees and campaign quite hard to remind governements that holding a race can be a great source of revenue and tourism.

            The World is changing and F1 will have to change to. Our world, if we are to become sustainable will have to become incredibly efficient. F1 will have to adapt, but I am confident it will.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 8:43

            @adam-tate – Except that race fees are driven by Economics first and Bernie second. If Bernie has one calendar slot open and two competing bids (from, say, Moldova and Bhutan), he will take the higher bid every time. Not because he’s greedy, but because a limited supply drives up demand, and a higher demand takes prices up with it.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 30th November 2011, 12:31

        You can’t just build an F1 engine in China, you need the learning that has come from years of development. Experience counts for more than $ sometimes in this world.

        • TheBrav3 said on 1st December 2011, 2:20

          There was an x f1 engineer on the flying lap recently talking about his composits company that he setup in india because labour was so ridiculously cheap. If someone involved knows what they’re doing and it’s properly handled there’s no reason an f1 engine couldn’t be built in china they’re not made with magic after all.

    • smifaye (@smifaye) said on 30th November 2011, 10:29

      @ajokay you can see that Bernie speaks from purely a money perspective. The money is definitly not in Europe but F1 should be there.

      As you say Europe is where it all started, Europe is where it remaisn. The teams, the fans, the engines, the drivers, the best race tracks. If F1 goes any further down the route of racing in places where the countries have no history then it is not going to a sport I can feel as passionate about.

      I look forward to the day Bernie steps down, but that will be a sad day because it will probably mean he won’t be with us anymore. Bernie has done a great lot of good for the sport but he does do and say some awful things.

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 30th November 2011, 13:41

        Is it not possible that Bernie might be issuing europe with a wake up call to get its act together? Let’s face it, countries like Italy, Greece and Spain see tax evasion as a national pass time second only to football, that’s the reason these countries are on their uppers. Maybe he’s gently trying to suggest that unless something is done, they’ll lose something most dear to them.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 30th November 2011, 11:37

      @ajokay I hope you’re right. But as others pointed out above me, it’s about the money.

      Since economy = psychology, I won’t repeat all the blackest scenario’s economists paint of the future. Let’s just say that it involves buying a potato with a wheelbarrow full of cash… So I can see where Bernie’s coming from.

      Now, I tend to think that it won’t come to that. And Bernie has a long history of making rather extreme comments, as part of his negotiations.

      The only thing I hope, is that under the new concorde agreement, something will be done to protect the heritage circuits: Spa, Silverstone, Suzuka, Canada, Monza, Interlagos, Monaco (Am I forgetting others – doubting about the German tracks and Hungaroring). But I’m so afraid we’ll end up with once every two years Spa and Valencia and Barcelona and Tilketracks for the rest…

  6. gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 30th November 2011, 0:14

    I think Petrov and Raikonnen is a far more attractive option than Senna or Grosjean, regardless of Petrov’s financial backing. Senna didn’t really impress this season, and Petrov did enough in the first half of the season to show he has more to him than last year.
    As for Bernie, I think more powerful people in the ownership of Formula One need to start thinking about succession more rapidly with his increasingly frequent idiotic outbursts. Europe made Formula One; Asia and the Middle-East bought Formula One. And it is to the sport’s detriment if this trend continues.

  7. Estesark (@estesark) said on 30th November 2011, 0:53

    Here is a picture of Mika Salo at the Brazilian Grand Prix, being naughty with Vitantonio Liuzzi’s “blackboard” helmet.

    Let’s hope that turning 45 won’t devoid him of his juvenile sense of humour.

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th November 2011, 1:13

    What makes current decisions in the driver market so awkward is simply waiting until 2013 and the shifts that will occur a year down the line. For just a moment, assuming the highly possible come 2013;

    If Kubica returns, it’ll be then rather than now.

    Webber to retire.

    Massa to be replaced at Ferrari.

    Schumacher will be gone, if he really goes with the ’3 year plan’…

    If a Toro Rosso driver stays in 2012 he surely can’t be there in 2013 as well. He’ll either be fired or moved up.

    Renault and Force India aside, and not to forget Kobayashi/Perez’s contracts ending, I believe these are the main question marks that are making decisions difficult at this present moment. Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull will most likely have spaces and these have got to be filled by someone. I’m thinking Kimi’s 2 year deal is a funny choice.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 30th November 2011, 5:39

      Everyone seems so confident Webber will retire after next season. It’s been repeated by numerous sources, but where did it originate from? I’ve never heard Webber give credence to it. What if he doesn’t want to leave? Will RedBull really push him out in favor one of the 4 junior drivers?

      In the same train of thought, with Ferrari talking such a big game about 2012, what if Massa performs brilliantly next year? What if the impossible happens and he, not Alonso leads the charge? Will they seek to push him out as well? I can see a similar situation with Schumacher in Mercedes too.

      2012 may be very kind to Webber and Massa, and though they have both been around awhile, they aren’t the oldest guys on the grid and neither seems keen to retire. 2013 might be a big reshuffle, but nothing is guaranteed.

      Meanwhile Kubica is still the biggest mystery in the field, followed closely by Raikkonen.

      • TheBrav3 said on 30th November 2011, 6:52

        They’ll keep him as long as he wants to stay because you couldn’t ask for a better number 2 this year. Thats what every team with a great car and a number 1 want.

        • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 1st December 2011, 3:32

          I really hope he doesn’t leave…I’m just predicting the various movements that will more likely happen. I hope he stays many more years for Red Bull though. After seeing him as the WDC favourite in 2010 for so long during the season I’m not gonna give up hope.

    • Not quite!!Schumacher will be gone to Ferrari in 2014,his last year.It isn’t over till the fat lady sings!!

      • The most interesting shuffles will happen at the end of 2012. Hamilton’s contract is up for renewal this year, and if he changes ship, everything else may move slightly. Not at Mercedes where both Schumacher and Rosberg areat relative comfort, and neither would want to move to McLaren. Alonso, i guess it is safe to say, wouldn’t move to McLaren, even if they knelt before him. Don’t think Kimi wants any more of Ron or his team anymore either. Massa/ Webber may move to McLaren, if their seat is grabbed by Hamilton. Also Kubica is another possibility, but i wonder if he’d go there.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 30th November 2011, 1:15

    Happy Birthday Anirudh, Daniel, @Journeyer and Mark Stevenson!

    Someone please kick Bernie,he always wanted F1 to be shifted in a boring place (track),where there isn’t any or little interest of F1.More then half the field of drivers are from Europe? Only Brazil outside Europe had more drivers in 2011.All the teams & engines are also from Europe only I guess Cosworth are from USA? SO WHY???

  10. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 30th November 2011, 1:23

    I though Petrov was a definite for 2012, didnt he sign a 2 year deal at the end of 2010?

    When Raikkonen was confirmed this morning it was clear in my mind that he would team up with Vitaly and that was that, set in stone. I didn’t realise that there was an uncertainty on Vitaly’s position..maybe Senna and Grosjean have a chance after all, but surely changing both drivers between seasons surely isn’t a great idea for any team.

  11. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 30th November 2011, 2:58

    @keithcollantine – While I do appreciate the love… my birthday is on December 30, not November 30. ;)

  12. celeste (@celeste) said on 30th November 2011, 3:17

    I was going to comment on Kimi´s comeback… but I lost motivation in the middle or writting…

  13. Calum (@calum) said on 30th November 2011, 5:24

    I can certainly understand Venezuelan’s getting upset over the PDVSA sponsorship – imagine the uproar if George Osbourne had announced in yesterday’s speech that the UK Government was going to be funding £100m to Mclaren for Hamilton’s new contract! :P

  14. Kazuki (@formula-1) said on 30th November 2011, 7:26

    @keith-collantine I do know about the Petrov deadline but I don’t feel you chose a great worded source, it is that they have until 10th to decide if to sack him or not, not Petrov deciding to leave.

  15. Hairs (@hairs) said on 30th November 2011, 7:44

    Couldn’t agree less with the end of the COTD. Senna has had a year and a half in f1 and hasn’t outperformed his cars. Grosjean was handed a seat in f1 and hadn’t bothered to get himself fit enough to control the car. They’re not owed a thing.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th November 2011, 8:51

      Ditto. I’ve seen a lot of people saying “but he stepped into the car mid-season; he needs time to get up to speed” … but when Vitaly Petrov couldn’t compete with Robert Kubica at the start of last season, the fans almost unanimously decried him with “he shouldn’t be in Formula 1!”. Senna tends to qualify well and race poorly; points were almost a certainty in Brazil until he crashed into Schumacher and got a penalty. He just doesn’t have it, but I think people have been subconsciously extending him an olive branch because he’s a Senna.

      • Something to remember when talking about Senna’s race pace is that he had technical problems in 4 races.

        He lost KERS in 3 & lost 4th gear at Brazil.

        Also questionable as to if he actually deserved the penalty as dont forget he got the penalty for the 1st bit of little contact & not the 2nd which resulted in the puncture.
        Consistency would say he didn’t as neither Hamilton nor Massa got one for a bit of contact at Suzuka.

        • TheBrav3 said on 1st December 2011, 2:34

          Actually i’m pretty sure consistency would say “what is an f1 steward?…sorry never met one.”

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 30th November 2011, 9:16

      I think you’re being too harsh on Grosjean, Hairs. He was drafted into the car mid-season, so he didn’t have a whole winter to train himself to be fit for F1; getting fit isn’t simply a matter of pumping some irons for a few weeks.

      Second, getting into the seat next to Alonso has got to be one of the hardest gigs in the sport (granted, PM, neither would Kubica be an easy team mate).

      Third, the 2009 season was incredibly close, so if you were half a second off the pace, you were often as many as 10 places down on the grid. Just ask Kovalainen or Nakajima how they liked 2009.

      Finally, Grosjean has dominated the GP2 this year (was in contention as well in 2009), and has outpaced both Petrov and Senna in his two Friday outings. If anyone deserves a shot (I realise that’s not always relevant to getting a drive), it’s Grosjean.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 30th November 2011, 12:32

        Grosjean was on the back burner for Renault for months before he got the drive. It’s not exactly a secret at this stage that to compete in F1 you need to be ultra fit. That much was obvious when Schumacher entered. Grosjean should have been aware of that requirement for years before he came anywhere near F1. You can argue “he couldn’t afford a personal trainer” or something, but the guy’s family owns a bank in switzerland. And he’s the same scrawny guy now that he was then.

        Sutil was well thought of in GP2, look how he turned out. Performance in the lower formulas can be an indication of talent – but there are other talents a driver needs to succeed in F1 that they might not have.

        I think of him in the same way as Scott Speed and Sebastian Bourdais: Their weaknesses were fatally exposed when they got into an F1 cockpit. Petrov? Petrov hasn’t been great. But there’s a big difference between “not great, can do better” and “not great, this is all he’s got”. Why you’d worry about Grosjean not getting his “shot” when Hulkenberg has been on the sidelines is beyond me. Or, for that matter, D’ambrosio has kept up with a very highly rated teammate and sometimes beaten him, but is still out the door. He at least has the physical ability to drive the car.

        • joac21 (@joac21) said on 30th November 2011, 18:54

          Grosjean its not fit enought to drive the car ????? how do you know that o what did i miss ??

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 1st December 2011, 18:40

            So, apparently, went the complaints from the trackside team members. That, and the fact that in every race he lost control of the car at some point, sometimes with race-ending results.

        • It’s not exactly a secret at this stage that to compete in F1 you need to be ultra fit.

          It’s not a secret, it’s a popular delusion. Look at the top drivers, none of them look particularly fit. Most care enough not to get too fat but that’s about it.

          More tellingly, the difference between Vettel, the World Champion, and Vergne, a rookie, is about 0.5%. Look at the result of the recent young driver test: the rookies, some of whom have never driven F1 car before, perform only about 1-2% worse that their much more experienced, “ultra fit” colleagues.

          This confirms what Williams have been saying for years: a great car makes a great driver. Alternatively, if you have a crappy car, it doens’t really matter who drives it. Case in point: Timo Glock and Virgin.

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 1st December 2011, 18:37

            It’s not a secret, it’s a popular delusion. Look at the top drivers, none of them look particularly fit. Most care enough not to get too fat but that’s about it.

            No idea where you’re getting that from. A lot of drivers do triathlons to keep in shape during the off season. If you don’t believe Vettel is fit, compare how he looked getting out of the car at somewhere hot like Bahrain or Malaysia this year with 2009. I remember Button jumping out of the car and running around, barely sweating after one race while Webber and Vettel looked like drowned creatures who were using all the energy they had to breathe. Difference? Button has run Triathlons for years whereas Webber was off training from his accident and Vettel still wasn’t up to scratch.

            Of course, if fitness isn’t a problem, then here’s a reasonably young guy, with not a lot of fat, trying one out. The manager seems quite wedded to the fitness “myth” when he suggests the man’s neck is about to fail. On a slow cart track.

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