Webber tips Lotus to shine in Malaysia

F1 Fanatic round-up

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: Mark Webber expects the Sepang International Circuit to suit Lotus.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mark Webber reflects on positive opening (BBC)

“Malaysia is quite an aerodynamically demanding track and the Lotus looks good in that area, so I’d also expect a challenge from Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in Sepang.”

Christian Horner Q&A (Grand Prix)

“We chose not to protest [against Mercedes] and there are teams that were more animated than us. The thing we have asked Charlie Whiting for is clarity because one could argue that it is a switch that is activated by the driver, which wouldn’t be in compliance. There will be a load of debate before Malaysia.”

John Barnard on Formula 1 today (MotorSport)

“If you wanted to come today and do a car from a clean sheet of paper, certainly in F1, you?d have a hell of a job to make anything that looked different. Apart from the details, it would be very similar.??

BSkyB chief says F1 story was pulled as news team had not been ‘briefed’ (The Guardian)

“The chief executive [Jeremy Darroch], discussing the F1 story controversy for the first time, said that the “issue was about process” and that Sky’s sports team on the ground at Melbourne ?ǣ the site of last weekend’s 2012 season opening Grand Prix ?ǣ “weren’t properly briefed” ahead of publication.”

The Inside Line – on Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (F1)

“Q: If you could banish one thing from your life – for the rest of your life – what would it be?
SV: If I could, it would be the internet. Unfortunately I can?t because the decision is not mine to make, but I think we all use the internet more than we think. I am aware that the internet can do a lot of positive things, but there are also negative aspects and that?s why I believe in a healthy dose of ‘self-limitation’, as of course banishing it is not an option.”

Aerolab vindicated by Force India ruling (Autosport)

Aerolab managing director Jean-Claude Migeot: “We are pleased that the truth is out, which was the main difficulty before Force India was trying to demonstrate a huge conspiracy between Team Lotus, Mike and myself, which actually never existed and was never found in any evidence.”

India’s Kingfisher Air flies towards point of no return (Reuters)

“[Vijay] Mallya, who with his cricket and Formula One racing teams and flashy lifestyle bills himself as the ‘King of Good Times’, has failed in numerous bids to bring in fresh equity. His options are hobbled by a 49 percent cap on foreign investment.”

Comment of the day

Colossal Squid sees through Ferrari’s PR:

I have to laugh at the Ferrari press statement they made about giving Felipe [Massa] 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.
Colossal Squid

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36 comments on Webber tips Lotus to shine in Malaysia

  1. F1 98 said on 22nd March 2012, 0:14

    Can’t wait for Malaysia

  2. F1 98 said on 22nd March 2012, 0:16

    Not a fan of ferrari but hope Massa can do well better than Alonso

    • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 22nd March 2012, 0:54

      @ F1 98

      haha…unless Alonso crashes, or spins off, or his car dies..at this point, Felipe has no chance of being better than Alonso.

      • UKFan (@) said on 22nd March 2012, 1:36

        Its just natural. but people keep saying that Ferrari makes everything to beat Massa down, the most ridiculous bit that most people defending Massa dont even like him.

        • ivz (@ivz) said on 22nd March 2012, 2:32

          I don’t really understand how Ferrari have got it so wrong this year. They have been so focussed on beating Red Bull, that they thought they had to go so radical with the 2012 car to do so. In the end, it has produced a car that I feel is worse than what they have had the last two seasons. McLaren is a team that Ferrari should learn from, they taken a more evolved approach with their car from last year, and look where they are at. Ferrari may feel that there is more potential once they get this new car to where they want it, but how long is it going to take? It won’t matter if its a full second quicker then everyone else by mid season, if they are so far behind in the championship.

          And just on Alonso, he must be wondering what has happened since going back to Renault after being at McLaren. Its almost like since then, he has found himself in a car that is just not competitive enough to challenge for consistent wins.
          Must be really frustrating for him!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd March 2012, 2:57

            @ivz

            I don’t really understand how Ferrari have got it so wrong this year. They have been so focussed on beating Red Bull, that they thought they had to go so radical with the 2012 car to do so. In the end, it has produced a car that I feel is worse than what they have had the last two seasons.

            Ferrari’s problem is that they keep firing their talented people the moment something goes wrong. They got rid of Chris Dyer after Abu Dhabi 2010 when he botched Alonso’s strategy call, and they got rid of him without really taking the time to investigate what happened and why. It was just a knee-jerk reaction. Then they got rid of Aldo Costa, and replaced him with Pat Fry. And while Fry certainly is talented, Costa probably could have done a lot with the 2012 chassis.

            Right now, what it all boils down to is the way Ferrari are treating the symptoms, and not the underlying disease. They’re making decisions that are good in the short-term, but are failing to meet expectations in the long-term. I think the blame for this rests solely with Luca di Montezemolo. Luca is becoming increasingly embedded in his own political ambitions, and he isn’t afraid to use Ferrari to increase his own profile. He named the 150 Italia for a hundred and fifty years of Italian unification. He made the call to replace Dyer (and possibly Costa, though I can’t be sure). He’s the one calling for three-car teams, which would enable Ferrari to consolidate their positions in the Constructors’ Championship. And he’s the one so outraged at the lack of an Italian driver that he is floating the idea of customer teams where the constructor selling a chassis gets to decide who drives it (because he wants an Italian driver in the sport, but he knows none are good enough and he doesn’t want to burden Ferrari with an under-performing driver). Luca is using Ferrari for his own political ambition, and it needs to stop, because it’s bad for the team.

            Honestly, I’m surprised there haven’t been reports of Enzo Ferrari’s vengeful spirit stalking the halls of Maranello. When Enzo was alive, he never would have stood for what Luca is doing to his team and his legacy. Ferrari is more than just one man, but Luca seems to have forgotten that.

          • John H (@john-h) said on 22nd March 2012, 8:39

            PM is bang on the money here. Ferrari actually had a decent car last year without the ebd. Instead of evolving it, they sacked people and started from scratch… They’re back where they started. Blame Luca.

          • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 22nd March 2012, 10:10

            @Prisoner Monkeys
            i don’t know on what talented people are you talking about because i don’t remember that Ferrari fired Adrian Newey ,did you expect them to promote Chris Dyer (the man responsible for the Abu Dhabi disaster) or Aldo Costa with all my respects but under his management the team succed only to lose titles that where more easy to win (2008,2010) you forgot to mention that the team didn’t replace them with the only Pat Fry they also hired Steve Clark,Hirohide Hamashima,Marco Fainello, Giacomo Tortora, Ioannis Veloudis,Rupad Darekar…..
            As for Ferrari problem is very obvious the guys in Maranello (unlike their colleagues in Working & Milton Kenyes) haven’t the philosophy of building an F1 car with the simulator without testing
            how we expect for a team who is well known for a such policy of design to be dominant just from the beginning they need time to adapt to the new situation and that’s what they are doing right now
            as for Luca maybe he is more focused on the street cars & the business of Ferrari (Ferrari is not only motorsport)in italy he is already famous another title would not rise his popularity as you think

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 22nd March 2012, 6:11

      That would be a great story, but I don’t it coming.

    • suka (@suka) said on 22nd March 2012, 8:06

      @Prisoner Monkeys,

      Great reminder to all of us who just keep talking about the drivers but mostly forget that their real trouble is with the Ferrari’s way of thinking, which is logically mostly influenced by Luca.
      I wonder how long will Alonso be able to make wonders in crappy cars.
      Massa should go looking for a better place for him maybe even Alonso.

  3. sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd March 2012, 0:29

    concerning the f-duct rear wing on the mercedes, you could argue that last year the driver closing his DRS inadvertantly gave him more downforce… so perhaps mercedes f-duct is just another similar secondary affect.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd March 2012, 0:48

    The Austin plot thickens! The Austin Children’s Centre is having a charity auction tomorrow, and one of the items up for bid is the “Ultimate Formula One Grand Prix Experience, Montreal”, which contains airfares, accomodation, reserved seats at the race, and the opportunity to meet Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher.

    And who donated this package? Tavo Hellmund.

    • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 22nd March 2012, 1:29

      Well observed.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd March 2012, 2:01

        Well, he is on the outer with CotA management. He seems to have been releived of his position after the circuit was in breach of its contract, and he’s currently in the process of trying to make a legal case against Bobby Epstein and Red McCombs to gain control of the circuit back (though since FOM ruled that he was the one in breach of the original contract, he’s going to have a devil of a time getting control back). He firmly believes that he is the only person who can see the race happen – despite being the person who put it in jeopardy in the first place – but when he goes ahead and pulls a stunt like this, it’s really a vote of no confidence in the circuit that he is trying to get back. Honestly, he should just admit he was in the wrong in the first person, and try and work with Epstein and McCombs instead of derailing the process further by wresting control of the circuit back.

        Of course, there is another explanation – Montreal is in June. Austin is in November. It makes a lot of sense to drum up support for the race in Austin by getting people talking about it beforehand. Looking at some of the other packages up for auction, this event is probably catering to a certain clientele: a trip to New York Fashion Week is on offer, as is an access-all areas pass to the taping of the finale of an “America’s Next Top Model”-style show called “Fashion Star”, and backstage passes to the Austin City Limits music festival, which has attracted the likes of Kanye West, Muse, Them Crooked Vultures, the Foo Fighters, Coldplay, and The Eagles, all of which are pretty big names in the music industry.

        What I’m trying to say is that this auction is aimed at a certain demographic. No doubt it’s a big “social event”, and the successful bidders will probably be people of some wealth and influence. What better way to get people talking about Formula 1 coming to Austin than by sending someone to Canada, which was voted the most exciting race of 2011? They come back, start talking about it, and other people listen and get interested about Formula 1 in Austin.

    • Julian (@julian) said on 22nd March 2012, 7:28

      Ahahahaha :)

      Brilliant!

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd March 2012, 1:20

    John Barnard, who should know, demonstrated the futility of trying to restrict costs by restricting what can and what cannot be developed. I believe spending the money on combustion efficiency and friction reduction in the engine would be far more beneficial and cost effective than designing and producing multiple aero parts with micro differences in an attempt maintain laminar flow and smaller tip vortices over a slightly greater speed range.

  6. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 22nd March 2012, 1:27

    If Red Bull or McLaren had this Mercedes wing and they were clearly ahead of the pack it would probably be banned, or protested upon quite severely by the other teams at least, but i get the feeling that because it’s on the Mercedes and it makes them more competitive, but not enough to dominate just to bring them nearer the front of the pack, the teams seem to be more leanient towards it and that’s a good thing, it’s as if they welcome the challenge from Mercedes as do i and i hope that the FIA don’t ban it.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd March 2012, 1:45

      I wouldn’t say the teams are lenient. McLaren, maybe, but I cannot help but notice that one of the two teams leading this push for a review of the original verdict is Lotus, and they stand to gain the most from having it banned because they are the ones most likely to catch Mercedes.

      I’m surprised Ferrari haven’t weighed in on this, though. With the F2012 being very difficult to manage, I think there is a real chance that Mercedes can catch them if they take too long to get their act together. I would have thought they would be one of the first knocking on Charlie Whiting’s door over this, but then I guess that their priority is turning the F2012 around so that they’re actually competitive, and then they won’t need to worry about appealing rule verdicts.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 22nd March 2012, 8:04

      I don’t think the FIA are going to ban it, at least not for 2012. Charlie Whiting has already explained why the concept is legal, namely, it is 100% passive. I’m with Ross Brawn on this one, I think that it’s just business as usual in F1 and that some competitors simply try to sidetrack attention from their own inventions. The fact that FIA probably didn’t expect to see what Mercedes have now done with their wings or how RBR have positioned their exhausts doesn’t mean that these devices are illegal, according to the current rules.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd March 2012, 3:11

    @colossal-squid

    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.

    I think you’ll find that what Ferrari are doing is something of a scientific test to determine what the real problem is. On the one hand, they have Alonso finishing fifth overall. On the other, they have Massa retiring after making contact with Senna while running outside the points. With the F2012 being the subject of a lot of criticism (which is seemingly contradicted by Alonso’s result), Ferrari are essentially trying to determine whether Massa or the chassis is the bigger problem. So what they’re banking on in Malaysia is one of two scenarios:

    1) Massa’s performance is much closer to Alonso’s than it was in Australia, in which case, the fault lies in the chassis he used in Australia. This is no ddoubt what Ferrari are hoping for, because it means they don’t need to take any further action.

    OR

    2) Massa’s performance is much closer to his race in Australia than to Alonso’s race. In this case, the problem lies in Massa; for some reason, he simply isn’t delivering results. If this happens, Ferrari will no doubt review Massa and try and figure out what he is doing wrong.

    There is a third scenario that can possibly come into play here: Massa’s result in Malaysia is poor, and it is down to a bad chassis. I think that there is only a remote possibility of this happening, since I find it incredibly unlikely that Ferrari could build three chassis, and two of them are duds. However, if it does happen, then they would need to look at Alonso’s car compared to the two Massa used and see if anything is different.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 22nd March 2012, 3:32

      I don’t know about everyone else, but all these issues with Ferrari are wearing me out! lol. I would hate to think how Ferrari themselves would be feeling right now.
      And @Prisoner Monkeys you have a point about Luca di Montezemolo, would be interesting to see what might happen if he was replaced, but I guess we will not see that in the near future.
      Kinda rings the same bell with that is happening in F1 with Bernie Ecclestone at the helm.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd March 2012, 3:59

        @ivz

        Kinda rings the same bell with that is happening in F1 with Bernie Ecclestone at the helm.

        I’m not so sure about that. The article from Sky seems to have been very alarmist, and it’s impossible to verify, since it was the only one of its kind and it has since been taken down. It only quoted extracts of documents purported to be internal legal proceedings within CVC, so I think there was a lot that we don’t know about. Whatever the case, I’d be very interested to know exactly which teams were unhappy with the publication of the documents.

        I think that Bernie knows FOTA is going to be difficult to deal with when it comes to the new Concorde. They have been in the past; they can’t even agree on how to enforce their own rules, like the Resource Restriction Agreement. The Concorde is a very complicated document, and negotiation is going to take a while. I would be very surprised to see one signed before September. So I think that what Bernie is trying to do is limit FOTA’s power by dealing with the non-FOTA teams first. The FOTA teams will see that Ferrari and Red Bull have already cut deals with Bernie, and will hasten to sign up. Their political power will be weakened as a result, and Bernie is more likely to get what he wants. I suspect Bernie wants to expand the calendar out beyond twenty races – possibly to as many as twenty-five (Europe is probably going, so that leaves New Jersey, Argentina, Russia, Mexico, South Africa and I wouldn’t be surprised if Venezuela want a race) – and he needs the teams to agree to that. This has been something of a sticking point with them, since they feel twenty is the maximum possible. In order to get it, he is going to have to make some concessions to them, which means giving them a stake in the sport. It’s the quickest and easiest way to appease them, but he won’t want to just give it to them and let them run riot.

        That’s why the leaked document was a disaster for everyone involved. It puts everyone on the back foot – Bernie will be cautious negotiating with the FOTA teams, FOTA will want to ensure they’re not being sold short, and Red Bull and Ferrari will want to re-examine everything. As for poor old Sauber, Toro Rosso and HRT (the other non-FOTA teams), they know they haven’t been invited to the party, and will have to settle for whatever they’re given. The net effect is that it slows down the negotiation process, and makes it harder for everyone to get what they want, because nobody will trust anybody.

        • Accidental Mick said on 22nd March 2012, 8:39

          If Ecclestone wasn’t so greedy, having more than twenty races in the season wouldn’t be a problem. In former times teams didn’t have to attend every race.

          One could work up a system where every team had to attend twenty races with last years WCC had first choice of venues, 2nd team had second choice and so on down the line. Limit the number of teams at each venue to ten and add venues to make sure every team ran in twenty races.

          Thered are (were, because it used to happen) benefits to come from this.
          1. You can have as many teams as you want providing there are enough venues.
          2. You can have as many venues as you want providing you have enough teams.
          3. You will get venues competing with each other to attract teams.
          4. You will get races where the top teams don’t appear thus allowing smaller teams a place in the limelight.
          6. The evil dwarf could charge the venue less for each race (although I admit that is unlikely).

        • Ilanin said on 22nd March 2012, 10:51

          The Daily Telegraph and the Times both reported that the Sky story was indeed genuine: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/9151599/Australian-Grand-Prix-2012-F1-flotation-plans-stir-up-anger-jealousy-and-intrigue-in-paddock.html (I’d link the Times one, but it’s behind a paywall).

          I am not sure that 25 races even is possible – the teams are already struggling to get their new cars ready for testing inside the four months of off-season they have, so lengthening the calendar would make this even harder. The alternative would be to pack races more tightly into the season; that might be possible, if inadvisable. F1 doesn’t actually need more races.

  8. JCost (@jcost) said on 22nd March 2012, 6:20

    Vettel wants to banish Internet? That’s pretty radical, the world is addicted to the Net and it cannot be changed.

  9. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 22nd March 2012, 7:26

    During the day, he’s an F1driver. At night he’s on the internet, visiting F1 sites, posing as an Australian teacher…

  10. Girts (@girts) said on 22nd March 2012, 7:44

    Lotus haven’t convinced me so far. The only really impressive thing I have seen from them is Grosjean’s quick qualifying lap at an atypical Grand Prix circuit. After that, he made a poor start and got passed by Maldonado (not in a very nice way but the Williams seemed to be quicker anyway). Raikkonen couldn’t get into Q2 and, in the race, he often wasn’t able to pass cars that are theoretically slower than Lotus. So I would like to see more evidence of their ability to ‘shine’. And, even if the cars have the pace now, they need to take their chances quickly as the big teams should get ahead of / increase the gap over Lotus & others as the in-season development goes on.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 22nd March 2012, 13:53

    With regards to Vettel’s comment, banning the internet now would be like banning water, electricity or fuel. We all use it probably more than we think but that’s progress for you. It’s just another communication device, like smoke signals, the train and telephone before it.

    There is nothing wrong with the internet.

    The people who use it, now that’s another matter.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 22nd March 2012, 20:39

      I believe that right now is the most important communication device and is more than just that. Phone is just a two way conversation, Tv and papers never had the ability to offer complete information and freedom since the creation of content is limited and those who can create it are few. Only internet represents true freedom. It is no coincidence governments are scared of it and try to limit it.
      In a world that seems to get more and more closer to government assisted capitalistic corporate fascism, the internet is a blessing.
      I guess Vettel haven’t thought that far since he just thinks about the next race and gets annoyed by people bashing him on-line.
      No matter how annoying people are on the internet the irritation they cause can’t come close to the gift of freedom the internet gives. I prefer getting annoyed than lose my voice. The fact that some opinions annoy others is the very essence of freedom.

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