Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012

McLaren will rely on FIA to judge Mercedes’ wing

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: McLaren say they will “rely on the FIA” to rule on Mercedes’ controversial wing design.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

McLaren trusts FIA on Mercedes wing (Autosport)

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “Mercedes were very quick during qualifying and there is enough YouTube footage of Michael [Schumacher] being very defensive about photographs of the car. But I think we have to rely on the FIA [to make the correct ruling].”

BSkyB denies order to pull F1 story undermines Sky News’s independence (The Guardian)

“BSkyB has denied the decision by its chief executive to order a story to be removed from the Sky News website for 40 hours after a complaint from its Formula One production team posed a threat to the channel’s editorial independence. Jeremy Darroch stepped in after the article, posted on the Sky News website at 6pm on Saturday, caused F1 teams in Melbourne to voice concern to BSkyB’s TV production team, who were in the city covering the inaugural race of the 2012 season.”

Key man issue could stall F1 float (FT, registration required)

“The polite fiction is that the private equity group has a ‘controlling’ stake in F1, acquired for an estimated ??1.1bn in 2006. But whatever the shareholders? register shows, only one man yanks the strings of all the other alpha males involved in this testosterone-saturated contest ?ǣ Mr Ecclestone, the long-standing chief executive.”

Mercedes not keen on Formula One budget cap (The Independent)

Ross Brawn: “As you know we’ve been strong supporters of the RRA, which we think is the intelligent budget cap. We’re still very strong supporters and that’s what I’d like to see going forward, and we’re working with the teams and the FIA to see if we can find further solutions to a resource restriction.”

Why the F2012 is braking down (Sky)

“To minimise its tendency to force the tyre to pull sharply sideways when encountering a bump during cornering load, it needs to be set up with negative camber (wheels pointing outwards at the bottom) so that the cornering pulls the wheel upright. That cures the pull-rod geometry’s sensitivity to bumps but introduces a different problem – instability under braking because when travelling in a straight line the tyre does not have its full tread surface in contact with the track.”

Button proves the doubters wrong (The Telegraph)

“Their respective body language afterwards was striking; Lewis looking stony-faced on the podium. He said all the right things, congratulating Jenson on his performance and thanking McLaren for building a winning car, but he looked and sounded devastated.”

Nico Rosberg: “I also thought he was crazy!” (Adam Cooper)

“[Sergio Perez] complained about me? So maybe it?s nobody?s fault, because I also thought he was crazy! Maybe it?s just a racing incident, and we have to see on the video. It?s a very unfortunate incident.”

Red Bull Made Most Of Challenging Opener (Speed)

Christian Horner: “Malaysia is a considerably different prospect to here. Here it?s short turns, it?s bumpy, there are not a lot of high-speed corners here. Malaysia offers that variance. So I think it will be interesting to see. We expect them [McLaren] to be quick in Malaysia, as well, but hopefully we will be in better shape there than we certainly were here in qualifying.”

Tyre Talk – Q&A with Pirelli?s Paul Hembery (F1)

“Last year people thought that with the hard tyres only Red Bull and McLaren got them to work and get them in temperature, whereas this year the hard tyre is softer, like the medium tyres from last year, and the teams are saying that they can get them working within one lap. So when we get to a race like Malaysia this will be a huge challenge for us, with the choice of compounds for a track with up to 50 to 60 degrees Celsius on the tarmac and a very abrasive circuit.”

Comment of the day

DMC thinks Felipe Massa needs a new team, not a new car:

I think I’ve watched f1 long enough to know there is a lot more to this sport than supposedly having the same car as your team mate. Massa’s car on Sunday looked horrendous. Comparing drivers is sometimes very difficult when you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

Look at Button at Benetton he clearly wasn’t happy and he was trounced by Fisichella, but look at him now. Don’t write Felipe off, his talent is still there he just needs the environment to prove it. Sadly I don’t think its in the shadow of Alonso.

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost won the Brazilian Grand Prix 30 years ago today in controversial circumstances.

The race, held in very hot conditions at the Jacarepagua circuit, saw Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg finish first and second. Piquet collapsed on the podium due to the physical effort of driving the punishing ground effect cars around a high-speed circuit in high temperatures.

But after the race Piquet and Rosberg were thrown out as the FIA decided their cars were underweight. Their teams, Brabham and Williams, had taken advantage of rules allowed the cars to be topped up with water to run them below the minimum weight level.

Here’s a long video of the race with footage from various sources:

94 comments on “McLaren will rely on FIA to judge Mercedes’ wing”

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  1. Felipinho was trounced by Fisichella too, and look at him now!.

    1. fair point.

      fisi pretty much beat everyone up until 05. another great driver in a bad car. and good driver in an excellent one.

      his performance at spa 2001 was excellent.

    2. @fer-no65

      May I ask why you started calling Massa “Felipinho” recently? No one calls him like that, not even here in Brazil, and it sounds kinda disrespectful.

      1. Um, I don’t intend to be “disrespectful”. It’s just (maybe) that people here call him Felipinho, as a surname only.

        I’ve heard many times commentators refering to him as Felipinho… I’ve read that too. But anyway, if I it sounds offensive, I’ll stop.

        1. Well, one of Massa’s nicknames is the “Little Brazilian” as is he isn’t of a impressive stature, height-wise.

          Or perhaps he’s “Felipinho” because he’s not as big (in terms of success) as Felipe, the 2008-spec Massa who was World Champion for a couple of minutes.

          Or maybe it just sounds disrespectful because @fer-no65 is an Argentine! (just joking, of course!)

          1. It’s not a throwback to Rubinho being number 2 at Ferrari and now Felipinho following the same path?

          2. I’m not against Brazil, to be honest :P. Love their girls, their football and their beaches. And I actually cheered for Felipe (not “nho”, notice :P!) in the 2008 WC, heh.

          3. “World Champion for a couple of minutes”

            “Muito bom” :)

        2. Hehehe. A quick translation of Felipinho would be “Little Filipe” and some people brand it offensive other would thinks it’s just a lovely touch… who knows :)

      2. I lived more than two decades in Brazil, and have to agree with Guilherme. I never heard anyone calling Felipe Massa “Felipinho”. And yes, in general Fer 65’s posts about Brazil indeed sound disrespectful.

        1. Read up there. Why would I be disrespectful with Brazil?

          I like your country… so it’s completely the other way round. I’ll stop now, but I tell you, they call him like that in the Latin American coverage…

          I didn’t know it sounded offensive. For me it sounds like a nice surname… but well…

        2. And btw, I never talk about Brazil, so how come you say “in general Fer 65′s posts about Brazil indeed sound disrespectful”.

          Don’t generalize about my posts because I’m never disrespectful to anyone here.

    3. I didn’t realize Fisichella trouncing 2 year olds counted :P

  2. Bring back Clive!

  3. Totally agree. I’m a die hard Massa fan since he signed for Ferrari, and I am convinced that his talent is being forced to remain still. My dad and I discussed during the race that had he gone to Sauber in exchange for Sergio Perez he would still have a good car (IMO the Sauber looks very very promising), he would know most of the team (including ol’ Pete) and he would have more freedom. Sure, Felipe’s psychic status is not good because of this, he is being forced to become the next Barrichello. And he will, if he remains with Alonso.

    1. It’s kind of a sad state of affairs when a driver only gets bettwe once he moved down the grid …

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I think it’s more a question of comfort. In a team like Ferrari a driver would always be under pressure to perform and carry the expectations of millions of die-hard (and sometimes unforgiving) fans. At the same time (and this has happened before in 2008) the Ferrari does not seem very user friendly and looks a handful to drive. In Felipe’s case he might not be able to adjust to it and thus it might have been better to go to another team. If Sepang turns into a disaster, I think calls for his sacking will become louder.

      2. I think that it’s a sort of psychological thing after his 2009 Hungary crash, as before that he was really excellent.
        He may say that he’s over it, but I know it takes a long time to get over something that almost cost you your life

    2. You must be Brazilian to say that. Open your eyes and see the reality. Massa is a bad driver, mediocre at best. When piquet( another bad driver) crashed in Singapore and massa took the fuel ring with him, he lost the wdc that day. He is a Ferrari driver because Ferrari likes the guy. A really good thing is that he time is running out. I really use to like him but right now and since he lost the 2008 because of his mistake he deserve to be sacked. I wonder how many good way better drivers havrn’t being able to get into formula 1 or couldn’t continue on it because they didn’t have sponsors or how many of them would have done way more if they would have had that opportunity. Something I have learn from Brasilia s is that they live from the past, senna was the only good driver brazil have ever produced. Look barichello, massa, piquet, piquet jr mediocre at best. And the brasilians think they are the best when they are not. Most of the best athletes in the world are from Spain ( I’m not an spaniard) and yes feliphino el pequeno Felipe needs to be fired. El Es muito dumb

      1. I’m not actually, and he’s actually quite a good driver: look at the 2008 season, where he outperformed Kimi.
        (I’m a Vettel and Kovalainen fan)

        1. @xjr15jaaag – And look at 2010 and 2011, when he was thoroughly out-performed by Alonso.

          1. Yes, but I’m saying that the main reasons for the supreme domination by Alonso is partly due to the psychological impact of his crash.
            I’m not saying that massa is as good as Alonso, but I am saying that pre-2009, he would have been a lot closer to him than he is now

      2. I remember him a very talented driver in Sauber back in the day before he joined Ferrari.

        1. That’s funny, the only thing I remember about Massa at Sauber was a lot of crashes.

          He only really got “good” once he’d been at Ferrari for a year or so and seen how Schumacher went about things…

          1. Actually you were right when I think about it again…Something else threw me off when I said it…probably the season 2005 when he was relatively better than his teammate.

      3. When piquet (another bad driver) crashed in Singapore and massa took the fuel ring with him…

        That was the team’s fault, mainly for installing that stupid traffic light system. You can’t blame Massa for that, he has to trust his team to do their job at the stops.

      4. Piquet 3 time world champion. Thank God he wasn’t good he would have won everything.

        1. @markp i think he meant Nelson “Nelsinho” Piquet Jr; Piquet Sr. certainly didn’t drive at the Singapore 2008 GP.

          1. He definatley states at the end of the post Brazil only had Senna that was good and includes Piquet snr and jnr in a list of mediocre at best list at the end of the post. By those standards only Prost Fangio and Schumacher are above mediocre.

    3. I dont think Massa is any slower than he has ever been. He is driving completely normally. It is Alonso who has grown.

  4. There are drivers that are adaptable and others that arent different driving styles suit different eras I think Massa has been well treated in Ferrari, and probably better than the average slower teammate.

    1. @ukfanatic I think you can attribute that to Massa being accepting of his fate as a number two driver. Having a subordinate driver for Ferrari is probably as important as having a championship challenger.

      1. I dont like Alonso but at least Im capable of admiting that theres nothing that Massa can do to beat Alonso, Massa was never reckoned as an elite driver and there are reasons for that. Massa had a bittersweet year in 2008 and got alot of support even from Kimi, kimi tried to help Massa, in 09 he had that injury and everyone supported him, what more could have been done? There are at least 6 drivers faster than Massa and that is just F1. Listen you may want to win the lottery but that doenst mean you won it, its out of your hands.

  5. that piece by sky is a must read for all Ferrari haters.

    1. Why… because it underlines that they have designed a fundamentaly flawed car by trying to be too clever?

      I’ve read the (excellently written) article and if the main problem is the pull-rod front suspension, that is not easily resolved whatever progress they make at the rear of the car because changing to push-rod will require new crash tests.

      Personally, I’m no Ferrari fan but I’d love them to be at the front end of the grid so that we have more teams challenging for the titles. Do you mean Massa and Alonso haters instead should read this article to explain their spins?

      1. People that say that Massa hasnt been supported and the bit about the car behaviour.

  6. COTD makes a good point, personally I’m fed up with Massa but it’s a fact that had Ferrari not introduced the the “electronic pit release” Massa would be a world champion and Lewis Hamilton would not be a world champion. It seems that even your team-mate might have a faster car than you, I well remember that back when Jenson first drove for Honda his Japanese team-mate was often faster until his engine failed, Jensons’ engine failed as well but later in the race leading me to conclude their engines were set to different power outputs and I still suspect that Vettels engines were mapped for more exhaust gas downforce than Webbers to ensure SV got pole, I don’t mean Webber was knobbled just that Vettel was 1st. among equals. Another example is suggested by the extra-ordinary lengths Alonso went to to remedy his percieved disadvantage at McLaren.

    1. C’mon! Lewis would say similar things about McLaren pitting him too late in China back in 2007. He would also say that Massa handed Kimi the title in Brazil or Spa’s stewards decision awarding Massa the win was a joke. The fact is Massa is running way behind his teammate and that’s the easiest way to judge a driver’s performance. The same way people are rating Lewis awfully because he’s being beaten by his teammate Massa is being rated by the same rules.

      Sure we should bear in mind that Alonso is very good, but neither Barrichelo nor Irvine have ever been that far away from Schumacher.

  7. I see that there hasn’t really been any of the traditional backlash over the cost of the Australian Grand Prix this year, which strikes me as odd, because it’s usually a quick story for newspapers to put out on the Monday after the race.

    With that in mind, I thought I’d share this: the federal government has been setting aside money for the Pacific Highway upgrade project. This includes a 14km stretch that is being built at the moment, complete with a 3.2km bridge. This section alone is being funded to the tune of $618 million. Even paying the premium amount of $50 million, this would be enough to guarantee a Grand Prix for over a decade.

    So I’d say that Bernie’s asking price is actually fairly cheap by comparison.

    1. The lack of criticism may have something to do with the attendance figures this year. Apparently it was the biggest crowd since 2005!

      1. This was the first time I missed going to the race in 5 years and that was the first thing I noticed when watching on tv. The crowd looked great. Made me wish I was there even more. Definitely next year.

        I usually try to do the weekend fairly cheaply but even so with race tickets, accommodation, flights, public transport, food, drink etc it adds up pretty quickly. Most out of town visitors would spend more than I do. It must pump a fair bit of money into the Victorian economy so they’d be getting a decent return on part of their $50 million investement.

    2. Highways are expensive but this money is going to areas where people are dying in traffic accidents, anything less than a 4 lane divided highway is unacceptable. I did enjoy the race glad to see a good attendance but their seems to be some “spin” on exactly how much it costs.

      1. I am simply pointing out that even if a race costs $50 million, and even if all of that money is paid by the government, it is a fraction of the actual money they have at their disposal.

        1. Yes but you know, 50 mil here a hundred mil there and before you know it you’r talking real money.

          1. Except that races only cost, at most, $50 million per year. Governments have plenty of money to set aside for the races. It’s only really a problem when they decide to build a brand-new circuit from the ground up, because it starts costing over $400 million for the circuit alone.

          2. Oh excellent point the race only costs $50 million. Which is not much compared to a road improvement project for the Pacific Highway (a road that has at times been the most notorious blackspot in Australia).

            You might also like to consider that the Pacific Highway project is a Federal Government Project, and I’m pretty sure that the GP is State Government funded. So, your point about it being small change compared to the money they have available is wrong, because the Vic government doesn’t have that money.

          3. your point about it being small change compared to the money they have available is wrong, because the Vic government doesn’t have that money

            But nor is the state completely broke. The fact that they can keep paying for the race, year in and year out, proves as much.

          4. Someone’s been watching the West Wing…I was about to post the same quote!!

        2. Like DVC, I also thought that the GP was funded by the Government of the state of Victoria, not the federal government. Anyway, you have to wonder whether the total costs (not just the amount paid to Bernie) v. income actually balance out. There’s also the issue of what the people of middle park and other adjacent areas think of the F1… but personally, I think that the benefits are all about Melbourne’s ‘branding’ as an international city and destination, which is a pretty intangible and unquantifiable factor but one recognised by most.

          1. I’m sure the Australian Government is no different than the Canadian Government and no doubt many other systems in the free world. Let’s be clear on one thing first and foremost…’their’ money is our money…it is all tax dollars that have come out of the hands of the people, no matter the level of government we are talking about. So ultimately it is the people that are paying for the highway, or the F1 race. And one thing I am convinced of more than ever is that all governments are experts at squandering our tax dollars, which is why it drives me crazy these days when I hear of politicians talking about needing to raise taxes to fund this thing or that. They have plenty of money. Governments don’t have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem, and if they could/would run themselves like a business or a household has to, rather than like they have a bottomless pit of our money at their disposal and if they need more they just force us to pay more, then they could easily afford both the highways and the F1 races that draw people from all over the world to inject money into the community, the province, and the country.

            Toronto currently has a mayor that ran on and got voted in on the concept that he would ‘stop the graveytrain’ ie. the abuse of the public’s hard earned tax dollars. That sentiment could go so so far at all levels of Canadian government, and no doubt in many other countries too. Especially in a soft global economy where jobs are scarcer, and pay raises too. So the concept of higher taxes on top of taxes that are already getting unbearable, is revolting to me and I love the ‘stop the gravytrain’ concept even though I live just outside of the Toronto area code. It applies everywhere.

          2. @robbie The problem with the ‘stop the gravytrain’ concept is that he’s too radical and is actually spending more than he’s saving us. Take it from someone who works for him. But now this conversation is outside of the main subject.

          3. Fair enough Paulocreed…perhaps the conversation doesn’t belong here but I’m certainly intrigued by the concept that he is spending more than he is saving us. Hadn’t heard that and I don’t know where you mean, but if you work for him I’m sure you know way more than I do. eg of a question I would have…Is the spending just temporary while he rights the ship and has to deal with contracts that were in place before he got in?

  8. I have to laugh at the Ferrari press statement they made about giving Felipe a new chassis for Malaysia. It was something along the lines of “to determine the unusual performance of the car” during the weekend. The article then goes on to emphasise how Ferrari are doing everything to support Felipe. It’s hard to see that when they question Felipe’s (admittedly very poor) performance itself in the same article.

    Another thing when thinking about Felipe is the amount of stuff that he’s gone through in the past 3ish years. In 2008 he missed out on the WDC by one point. The next year he had a terrible car and was horribly injured, lucky to survive not to mention make it back to F1. The year after that Alonso is brought into the team.It was not said at the time but we all knew Alonso was brought in to lead the team, Felipe became a sidekick, and although Felipe kept with him and performed strongly over the first half of the season he was told to move over and let his team mate win on the one year anniversary of his accident. Then there was the resulting media fallout in his home country, which was harsh.

    Each one of the incidents described above taken individually would have been mentally devastating for anyone. Together, it’s not much of a surprise he hasn’t regained his form since Germany 2010. Maybe it was the straw that broke the Camel’s back. Maybe Felipe mentally is all out of fight, he’s been fighting against a lot of different things for so long.

  9. I’m with Coulthard. When Jenson snagged the lead at turn one and then even managed to pull away, I’ll admit that as big of a fan I am of him, I did not expect it either! Hell, like Jenson, I was holding my breath the whole time, feeling he could be caught and it’ll all unravel. Yet, he kept the pace up, took advantage of all the right breaks that came his way and really just drove flawlessly. I’ve been arguing for him for the past year or so as someone who races with similarly steady tactics. It makes me feel a bit of a connection with him as a driver: the underdog. The one that doesn’t blow you away with raw speed, but somehow finds himself making do quite well with what’s available.

    I know it’s only race 1, but I’m starting to believe he’s got a realistic shot at the championship. He came in second pretty solidly last year. In fact before Vettel sealed it up, he was his last remaining threat. So maybe Jenson’s consistency will see him all the way to the top this time!

    1. cheers to that :D

    2. I second that @joey-poey…only I didn’t feel he could be caught and it would all unravel…not that I expected a runaway either, given that the field is closer this year. I think the only thing that surprised me is that LH didn’t capitalize on his pole position, but as to what JB did, I think JB is simply not the same driver as he was a few years ago, and I think last year boosted his confidence as a race winner and a WDC even further, and I think he is every bit ready, willing, and able to compete against everyone, including LH. If he had gotten caught I don’t think anything would have unravelled…I think it would have been a great battle with whoever might have caught him, and I think he still would have ended up with a great finish, some strong points, and fully in the fight for the rest of the season.

  10. Im not buying that Mark Hughes article on Skysports at all, or at least Im not buying his evaluation of the pullrod front suspension:

    To minimise its tendency to force the tyre to pull sharply sideways when encountering a bump during cornering load, it needs to be set up with negative camber (wheels pointing outwards at the bottom) so that the cornering pulls the wheel upright. That cures the pull-rod geometry’s sensitivity to bumps but introduces a different problem – instability under braking because when travelling in a straight line the tyre does not have its full tread surface in contact with the track.

    The tires orientation as the suspension moves through its stroke (e.g., when encountering a bump) is entirely dictated by the geometry of the upper and lower wishbones, not the pull-rod (or push-rod). There is of course a certain amount of flex as the cornering forces are distributed through the carbon fiber suspension components, since nothing is infinitely rigid. Nevertheless the pullrod is mounted to the top of the wiheel upright, which means that any contribution of the pull rod to this flexing would be an increase in negative camber (looks like this -> /_/ \_\ ) , and I dont see how increasing the car’s static negative camber would counteract this.
    Furthermore, every single team sets up their car with negative camber on both the front and rear tires, in order to maximize the overall grip of the tire’s surface when cornering. F1 cars tend to run fairly extreme camber angles too, of around -4 degrees in front if I’m not mistaken. This kind of set-up does in fact hinder straight line grip, especially under heavy braking, but I fail to see how this could be unique to Ferrari. I think that if the shortcomings of a pull-rod front suspension could be so succintly outlined by an F1 pundit, then Ferrari’s engineers probably would have gone with a push-rod set up in the first place.

    1. And doesn’t Pirelli give guidelines on minimum/maximum camber to use for maintaining the optimum wear on its tires? Didn’t Red Bull exceed the recommended maximum amount in one race and that was the reason for some extraordinary wear on the inside?

      1. Yeah, they did it at Spa last year. There was some concern that the tyres would be damaged after qualifying, and the FIA refused to let them replace their tyres before the start of the race. Tyres can be replaced if they are damaged (like in the event of an accident or a puncture), but the FIA ruled that Red Bull had set their cars up, knowing the risks the camber settings would bring, so they were not permitted to change their tyres. The FIA then adjusted the rules for Monza, making Pirelli’s maximum recommendations for tyre camber the maximum allowable.

  11. It’s like two steps backwards one step back at Ferrari the last few years.

  12. In the round-up: McLaren say they will “rely on the FIA” to rule on Mercedes’ controversial wing design

    I guess I wouldn’t either if I had Mercedes supplying me with engines.

    1. And I imagine that they wouldn’t bother protesting it either as they were the team that originally refined the concept to such success 2 years ago and probably have a beautifully resolved and effective solution waiting for the big green go button to be pressed as soon as the FIA unequivocally state that it’s legal. My feeling is that Macca are well ahead of the curve on this and the exhaust regs and will be feeding more developed versions of both into their program this year.
      I was very concerned at the departure of Fry and the hiring of Michaels, but perhaps the combination of a dedicated operations director and the lack of ‘radical’ ideas this season will pay dividends.

      1. Along that line, I hope FIA does not bring more restrictions on exhausts.
        I had my doubts about Fry myself and did not expect him to do miracles at Ferrari.

    2. @suka…great point about Mac being Merc supplied and therefore being pretty diplomatic about wing designs.

      Anyway, I thought that the design of Mercs as well as the exhaust of Red Bull’s had been cleared as legal…the fact that some teams are asking for a clarification only means to me that the other teams will be given a description of why the Merc wing(s) are legal, not that they will suddenly be made illegal.

      1. I am not much technically inclined but I understand that the (hot/cold) blown diffusers and engine mapping led to various implementions which led to eventual ban so in that sense, I was worried Merc’s and thus all other similar could be restricted during the season. I hope I am wrong.

  13. Very interesting statement from the Tyre Talk – Q&A with Pirelli’s Paul Hembery article:

    Q: You are heading into your second season, so the rookie status is gone. What is it that you want to do better this year?
    PH: The medium and the hard compound last year were too hard, and that resulted in disadvantaging about 10 teams when we used the hard tyres, as they just could not get them to work. This is only okay if you are at the front. So we wanted to change that and wanted to make the tyres warm up quicker and make them not so difficult to use.

  14. Happy Birthday Ayrton Senna da Silva!

    1. In Portuguese:

      “Feliz Aniversário Ayrton Senna da Silva”.

      The world misses you.

  15. What’s the story with Williams and Brabham in 1982? Did they fill the car with water which later evaporated and so the car was within permitted weight before the race, but under weight after the race?

    1. Before the race, giant canisters filled with water were attached to the car. Filled with water, the cars passed the minumum weight requirement. The ruse was “water-cooled brakes” *coughliescough*

      Just before the race, the tanks were emptied. After the race, the tanks were filled; where they passed the weight test again.

      Unsuprisingly, they were disqualified.

      1. @caci99 @cjpdk But not all the drivers whose cars had ‘water-cooled’ brakes were disqualified: John Watson, for example, inherited and kept second place.

        Which Keke Rosberg was not happy about come the end of the season when Watson was his principal rival for the championship.

  16. So when camera people and photographers come and stand in front of the McLaren pit and start taking pictures of the McLaren car, they mustn’t push them away or cover over their front wing out view. So Merc AMG F1 was quicker, so what! I forgot to see who was on the front row of the grid and who won the race, can anyone tell me!!!!!! And oh yes, what is that grided up hole into front of the McLaren do?!!!!!!! Maybe McLaren is hiding and F-Duct system or something! or maybe just maybe another team has perfected what McLaren is unable too do.

  17. I’m surprised that nobody has commented on the Guardian article that is mentioned above on Sky News’ “independence.” It also says: “More than a million viewers watched the climax to the first grand prix of the season on Sky’s new dedicated F1 channel on Sunday but its overall audience was down 75% on BBC1’s coverage last year.”

    Down 75% — that’s enormous. So much for pay TV channels. And very bad news for the sport.

    1. I was thinking the same – I can’t see the teams being happy with that kind of audience! I’m just crossing my fingers the teams kick up a fuss and we get proper BBC (or even itv!) Coverage next year, cause I ain’t paying to watch…

      1. It’s all well and good trying to get the footage back on the BBC or ITV but that doesn’t mean that FOM will reduce the price to the broadcasters. They’re in a lot of debt themselves.

        FOM are under an obligation to make money.

        1. FOM ARE making money. They could probably cut the fees in half and still make a tidy profit, that’s no argument. It is why I want the teams to get a stake in control of the rights…

  18. Hmmm. McLaren once relied on the FIA to rule that Ferrari’s bargeboards were illegal, having been shown to be so during scrutineering by FIA stewards after a Grand Prix and the fact having been admitted as such by Ferrari. The FIA ruled for Ferrari, saying that McLaren hadn’t made a good enough case…

  19. “Their respective body language afterwards was striking; Lewis looking stony-faced on the podium. He said all the right things, congratulating Jenson on his performance and thanking McLaren for building a winning car, but he looked and sounded devastated.”

    I’ve wondered why Lewis has always seemed so despondent when Jenson beats him. He never seemed to get this down when he was beaten by Alonso, or a driver from another team. Is it all in his head? My feeling is that Lewis knows he’s one of the quickest natural talents behind the wheel – he knows on raw pace everyone rates him higher than Button, and as a result he assumes that the default setting should be “I’m faster, I’ll beat him.”

    To some extent, he’s probably right. But it fails to take into account what Button is supreme at – intelligence. He’s clearly one of the most intelligent men on the grid, and since 2009 he’s also one of the calmest and most deliberate. Both Ross Brawn and Brundle have commented in the past that Button has been able to analyse the race that the guys around him are running – comparing likely fuel or tyre strategies, or expected pitstop times, seeing what tyres a guy three cars up is running and what state they’re in, while evaluating his own race and performance. When he gets out of the car (with the exception of the “no grip and massive front locking” comments after a bad qualifying), he generally seems to understand where he personally has gone wrong, or gone right.

    Lewis on the other hand is a pure driver. I think he’s realised, slowly, that while he has a natural pace advantage, he doesn’t have an answer for what Button’s good at. It’s not a case of finding a few tenths in a corner, or trying a desperate pass where none would dare. It’s about understanding yourself, your car, the track, and what’s going to happen in 20 laps’ time. Button’s taken years to get to that point and he’s reaping the rewards now.

    1. @Hairs I would say it’s because when Alonso beat him it was only his first season, and for the most part Hamilton was still ahead in the points.

      When someone from another team beats him, Hamilton can explain it away due to the differences between cars.

      But being beaten by a guy who has the same equipment as you is a lot for any professional racing driver to take. Case in point, Alonso in 2007.

      1. Great comments, both of you.

        1. I think his mood was more to do with him throwing the win away by messing up his own start. (and in the back of his mind, knows the media where going to jump all over Button ‘beating him’)

          Losing 2nd to Vettel under the SC wouldn’t have botherd him so much in that it was completly out of his own hands, but getting a good start was down to him and he didnt get it right.

      2. Okay, let’s not be biased here towards Lewis. He is a great driver. However there are certain obvious strategies of 2007 ignored.

        Firstly, the 2007 McLaren was undoubtedly designed for Lewis Hamilton. He was already at the team for years, and Ron years before already pitched him to the next British world champion at McLaren. Lewis was his most prideful creation if you want to call it that.

        Secondly, Alonso was brought into McLaren for commercial purposes, and to guarantee wins in case the Hamilton ambition didn’t happen. Otherwise Alonso would have never agreed to go to McLaren if he was driving at eqaul ground.

        And let’s not bash Alonso there. Every top driver once established, wants to be treated as a number one from there on. Senna wasn’t much different after Prost left, then Berger, and afterwards when he agreed to join Williams. Nor was Prost when signing for Williams. Nor Schumacher.

        And when Hamilton met expectations so early in his career, the British team that he was racing for, did show more heart and desire to have British driver as world champion than rather a Spaniard. Yes, Alonso got emotional, anybody would in that situation. He came into the team with an agreement that he was number one. But patriotism in the team walked around that.

        My most diehard McLaren friends, also British, were already only for Lewis after his first race and ditching Alonso. And you think Alonso wasn’t feeling that in the McLaren garage, that is British? Things like that play mind games on a driver, and it reflects on the track.

        1. @ivano Just when I thought I’d read every nonsense conspiracy theory there is about McLaren in 2007, you manage to surprise me. The ‘the McLaren was designed for Hamilton’ bit was especially amusing.

          I’m not going to waste time asking if you have any proof for this imaginative work of fiction because there obviously isn’t any. Conjecture, speculation and having some friends who are McLaren fans does not count as an alternative.

          Let’s cut to the chase: I’m not going to waste any more time on people who think one silly quote from Ron Dennis proves every piece of nonsense they can imagine about what happened at McLaren in 2007.

          1. LOL. Not conspiracy. That is typical of one minded people to label things they refuse as a conspiracy. Very disappointed in your response, was a loyal British or McLaren nerved touched there?

            It’s obvious fact a British team would want a British driver as a world champion. Like Ferrari would want an Italian as world champion, if there was an Italian driver to the standard. They tried with Alboreto for years, and always favoured him even when Berger was trouncing him.

            Proof… ??? Hamilton was already test driving the 2007 car way before Alonso, and was at the team before the Spaniard, meaning Ron ALREADY KNEW OF HAMILTON’S POTENTAIL, and had input from Lewis for the 2007 car. Oh wait, so saying Ron just signs people without the potential to win? Lewis was already ultra fast when testing for McLaren in the previous years. Only drawback he was a rookie, and McLaren needed a proven champion to lead the team until Lewis came of age. Which he did, just much earlier than expected. So what is nonsense there?

            It’s clear and out obvious that Alonso was never going to sign for McLaren if he knew Hamilton was fast, and if the team were going to give them eqaul cars and rules.

            So you as a Brit are saying that in a British car you wouldn’t want a British driver winning the title? LOL

          2. @ivano there’s a huge difference between “hoping your rookie driver does well” and “potentially sabotaging your season to favour the unproven rookie when you’ve got the best driver on the grid arriving into the team”

          3. @Ivano, I would say that at McLaren they rather would have liked to win the championship with any of their drivers in 2007.

            Why on earth would they do the coup of luring over Alonso from Renault after his first championship (a year before he actually went to work with them, and he got his second WDC at Renault), and paying him a royal salary, only for some quick rookie?

            McLaren only took the risk of trying out rookie Hamilton in the car next to Alonso, because they expected Alonso to be able to do good enough for the team even if Hamilton would not live up to their hopes. Not to mention they decided on him only at the end of the year, before that they were pondering other drivers with more experience in F1 cars.

          4. @Hairs. Spygate mainly sabotaged their season. As I said, Alonso was a guarantee. If McLaren really wanted Fernando to win the title, they would have told Hamilton to play second drive from Monaco and onwards. But they didn’t, they let Lewis race freely. More evidence than that? And unspoken team orders were apparent with Coultard once Hakkinen established himself. Though not here with Alonso and Lewis, which cost them the title.

            @Bascb. If that was the case then McLaren would have backed one of the drivers from the half way point, and had a better chance at the title. Which is the more logical choice for any team manager.

            Again as I said, Alonso was sure to win races for them and that’s the reason to have gotten him onboard, and he came with the Santandar deal as well. He was the perfect backup in case the rookie they were grooming for years didn’t happen. And it was also about money, even Ferrari accepted to drape it’s car for Santandar money while also having a driver that promised good results.

            McLaren and Ron are a clever combination. They like to have their odds balanced when taking risks. Example, when they brought in Kimi, they still kept Coultard, but already then Ron was pitching Kimi from day one as the team’s future. It’s just that with Lewis it happened earlier than expected. And to not be clearly non-sportsman, nor to disappoint the British fans, and not to make it obvious against a major sponsor like Santandar that favoured Alonso, there most likely was pressure to have a British driver become world champion in a British car after Lewis matured so soon. If McLaren really objectively cared about the title regardless with which driver, then before the half way point of the season they would have backed one of the two drivers, obviously they could have never had said to Alonso, and nor to Lewis which would have upset the British support and the fate that Ron already saw in him since 1998.

            For me that’s the most logical explanation why McLaren didn’t win the title. Their car was equal to Ferrari’s then, that was a risk to not backing one of the drivers from Monaco, and it made no sense having two drivers denying each other points if it wasn’t about sponsor and patriotic politics.

            And again, would Alonso have signed with them if he was told that Hamilton was as fast, and they would have eqaul chance for the title from the start? Never would have happened, like Prost would have never accepted Williams in 1993 if he was paired with a experienced driver like Senna or Mansel then.

            Again, I feel both Lewis and Fernando are great drivers. Just saying that in 2007 Lewis instantly won a lot support from the British public, media and the team, which aided him a great deal, but also got Alonso emotionally involved. It’s a normal thing in any competition of sports, as deep down inside we choose the flag of our parents. Just as Ron already did when he gave Lewis his first F1 drive.

            It’s no conspiracy, it’s just the obvious when accumulating all the factors together instead of religiously following a single press conference or a biased article.

      3. @keithcollantine Very true, Mark Webber is a case in point. He behaves like a different man to the one who ridiculed the younger Seb now that he’s been trounced.

  20. Didn’t take long for Sky to become mired in it did it? Bernie must’ve know Sky would look for any story to make their coverage more ‘appealing’

    We don’t get many F1 scandals about drivers and their private lives, i expect that to change now Sky is involved.

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