Schumacher continues Pirelli criticism

F1 Fanatic round-up

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2012In the round-up: Michael Schumacher continues to criticise Pirelli’s tyres, saying: “we drive like on raw eggs”.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Schu on tyre troubles: ‘It’s like driving on raw eggs’ (CNN)

“We drive like on raw eggs and I don’t want to stress the tyres at all. Otherwise you just overdo it and you go nowhere.”

Mercedes sideswiped in Formula One deal (The Times, subscription required)

“Mercedes, which is estimated to have spent more than ??1 billion on Grand Prix racing in the past two decades, is on the verge of quitting Formula One as the company is denied a seat in the new boardroom that will control the sport when a Stock Exchange float is completed.”

Mercedes not quitting yet (Sky)

“A spokesman told Sky Sports: ‘We are in discussions with the commercial rights holder and we would like to ask for your understanding that we are not currently commenting on these discussions.’”

Silly stories (Joe Saward)

“There are a bunch of stories knocking around this morning which are designed to be noticed. One is the suggestion that there could be a Bahraini on the board of the Formula One group, another that Mercedes-Benz could pull out of F1. Neither are to be taken too seriously.”

Boullier says Silverstone test ‘nonsense’ (Autosport)

“We had a strong discussion, let’s say, and definitely I was against this, especially for the reasons raised. For me it is absolutely a nonsense to have a young driver test in July when all the young kids are in the middle of the season and focused on racing and the championship. We cannot disturb this. It is completely the wrong timing.”

Jean Alesi bumps IndyCar field to 33 cars for Indy 500 (AutoWeek)

Jean Alesi now has an Indianapolis 500 deal. Surprising as it is, the former Ferrari driver will make his Izod IndyCar Series debut this week in a Lotus fielded by a small Firestone Indy Lights team.”

Rubens Barrichello on first 200 mph oval lap: ‘Bloody fast’ (USA Today)

“It was bloody fast and very, very much different than anything I have ever tried. I’ve had places that in Formula One that they say, ‘Oh, it’s almost flat and it’s a big corner and it’s a big challenge.’ But the walls were never so close.”

Who was Villeneuve (Ferrari)

“When he died, everyone had already been resigned to it for a while. There was something in the air that meant it could have happened at any moment. Few people went to say their final farewell at the hospital in Lovanio and you could count the drivers on the fingers of one hand.”

An old-school circuit (ESPN)

“F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his six favourite shots from last week’s test in Mugello.”

Comment of the day

The crowd looked healthier at the Chinese Grand Prix this year. PRCandME was there:

More like 75,000 to 100,000. The main grandstands were completely full and the two opposing stands at the hairpin were 95% there. It?s a huge place. I?ve been there the past 5 out of 6 years and this is the largest crowd I?ve seen yet.

PRCandME

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Miguel and Tororosso!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gilles Villeneuve died in a crash during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix 30 years ago today. An article on that terrible weekend will appear here later today.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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113 comments on Schumacher continues Pirelli criticism

  1. cg22me (@cg22me) said on 8th May 2012, 0:07

    In many respects, I do agree with where Schumacher is coming from… He does have a point in which I agree with.

    However, the way he continues to go on about it, I think, reduces the validity of his claim; it’s becoming more of a moan than a genuine point of argument.

    Perhaps he should wait until the Summer Break before making this argument any bigger.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 0:45

      @cg22me I know what you mean. What I would like to hear from Schumacher is what his alternative is. It’s always better to offer a solution instead of complaining about a problem.

      Does he want to go back to a tyre war? If so no way do I agree with him – on grounds of cost (too high), safety (no way of controlling cornering speeds) and the quality of racing (remember 2002/4?) it’s a complete non-starter.

      Does he just want more conservative tyres? That would be a more reasonable view, though here too I have reservations – it didn’t take long for the teams to suss out the tyres last year and by the end of the season people were complaining the tyres weren’t aggressive enough.

      Schumacher’s status within the sport is such that when he speaks, he commands attention. But as you say, at the moment this seems too much like whingeing rather than offering an alternative view on what F1′s tyre policy should be. After all, he complained about the tyres in 2010 as well.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 8th May 2012, 2:16

        And he was happy with the 2012-spec Pirelli tyres during the winter, if I remember well.

        His complain opens the debate about the philosophy of today’s racing: driving carefully to optimize tyre wear or the whole race flat out?

        I think drivers should make the most out of the conditions, and if the limit is quite close, then they have to adapt to it. There have been plenty of races in F1′s history where managing the tyres better than the rest have been the key component to the win.

        Maybe these tyres are a bit more challenging than before, but afterall, the teams get round those limitations and by the end of the season, we’ll see a lot less of those “surprise performances” that been happening this year.

        • Dave (@davea86) said on 8th May 2012, 2:50

          I’ve been wondering whether this is just Mercedes trying to put pressure on Pirelli to use tyres that better suit the team. They had tyre wear issues earlier in the season and while they look like they’re getting on top of it, it would have to be to their benefit if Pirelli start to lean toward using harder compounds. And Schumacher is the perfect way to apply that pressure since, as was mentioned above, when he speaks people listen.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 8th May 2012, 6:30

            @davea86 it was never a wear issue – it was a temperature issue. The car is very hard to dial in in terms of temps. If you’re the slightest bit out, while other cars might have a margin of error, the Merc seems to lack that. Look at the races where they have underperformed – basically all races except China. Compare Friday temps to Saturday and Sunday. You’ll see that the closer the temps are, the better the Merc pace is.

          • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 8th May 2012, 14:15

            That enters once again the question of what can be changed or modified …
            Indeed we already had some obvious suggestion as driver not having to start on the tyres with which they did their faster lap or having to pass both spec of tyres which limits strategic option …

            But about the tyres themselves, or other regulation, until now I’ve defend the fact that it would be nice to open the window of operability of the tyre as we know that 2-3 °C could make a huge difference in performance. But what would be even beter is not modifying the tyres but another regulation and allowing the team to modify the set up between saturday and sunday … Okay that will also allow specifial configurations for flying laps and quali laps and then modified for the race but so what ? we would have an even greater show both during quali and race as the time would be faster and the cars at their best in both case …

          • Darkknight said on 8th May 2012, 21:48

            *as was mentioned above, when he speaks people listen.* That’s what he all about, no matter what the fans, non fans, haters view he still The Schumacher. Eventhough he is the oldest or not in his prime he still got center of attraction. Listed World’s 2nd richest sportman, combine current top F1 drivers earning still couldn’t beat him: http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-michael-schumacher-worlds-second-richest-sportsman/

          • Darkknight said on 8th May 2012, 21:49

            *as was mentioned above, when he speaks people listen.* That’s what he all about, no matter what the fans, non fans view he still The Schumacher. Eventhough he is the oldest or not in his prime he still got center of attraction. Listed World’s 2nd richest sportman, combine current top F1 drivers earning still couldn’t beat him: http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-michael-schumacher-worlds-second-richest-sportsman/

      • “I know what you mean. What I would like to hear from Schumacher is what his alternative is. It’s always better to offer a solution instead of complaining about a problem.”

        Someone has been watching the apprentice :D jks

        What schumacher needs is other drivers to come out and say the same thing, otherwise it just looks like him making excuses.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 11:01

          Someone has been watching the apprentice

          Nope, never watched it!

          • Keith, off topic but i just noticed pictures of the Mclaren at the Mugello test, testing a new, higher nose! Is this why you couldnt post any pics of them? :]

            I wonder if theyre going to run it as soon as this weekend

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th May 2012, 11:31

            Is this why you couldn’t post any pics of them

            I did post a picture of them:

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/05/03/mugello-test-day-pictures-2/

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 8th May 2012, 15:59

            I think if anything surprises me it is the fact that we are only 4 races in. I like NR’s philosophy better. The race is to see which team will get a handle on these tires sooner than the others. I still see these tires as a problem only when you don’t nail the setup vs. temp thing on a given day, but that is not to say it cannot be done, as proved by none other than NR in China. In other words, nail your setup and they aren’t like ‘raw eggs’.

            I think MS might be concerned at this point that NR might outpoint him for a third year in a row and he might not be able to do anything about that. That said, MS has had some bad luck, so I’m sure he’ll have some better days (pace has been there), but it’s starting to sound like as strong as NR is, he (MS) may not catch up to NR and will have to live with having been beaten 3 years in a row upon his return to F1. I think in his and Brawn’s minds, this cannot happen…cannot be happening. MS should have been able to adapt and be firmly taking it to NR and others by now. And if he feels handcuffed to do anything about it, then I think we are hearing that frustration coming out. It just simply is nowhere near like MS had it in the past. He had it better than any driver in the history of F1 in terms of resources thrown at him, and his records reflect that. Ergo, he is feeling the pain the most now that it is such a struggle for him just to push the car. A car that has shown race-winning capability. By NR. On a day that saw NR run away from MS at the start of the race.

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 8th May 2012, 21:27

      The tyres are the main source of strategy now that there’s no refuelling. Schumacher’s problem is that the drivers are having to “baby” the tyres. If they could make it so that you could drive them on the ragged edge but still need 2-3+ pit stops during the races then it would be ideal.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th May 2012, 3:25

      Schumacher is not going around whingeing, he has an opinion which he states when different reporters ask him about it, when they have all published the story it will die until the next race or next team/driver has a problem/opinion .

  2. John H (@john-h) said on 8th May 2012, 0:07

    Salut Gilles

  3. Roald (@roald) said on 8th May 2012, 0:18

    As much as I agree with Schumacher, he’s only going to look bitter in the eyes of a lot of people now. To be honest, I think even a young Schumacher wouldn’t have really fit in modern day Formula 1… The same way I think Hamilton would’ve done much better had he appeared years before.

    Formula 1 is in pretty bad shape right now, at least that’s my opinion. We have only 4 engine suppliers and the 13th slot remains unfilled as of yet. Aerodynamic dependence is much too high and tyre degredation is all there is to talk about in a day and age when cars are nowhere near proper cars anymore. There’s no sliding through a corner, there’s just one line going through there and that’s it. No DRS is going to fix that! And on top of that the cars look terrible, who in their right mind would replace a poster of the F2002 with one of the 2012-spec Ferrari?

    Guess that’s about it for my rant today! I’d like Schumacher to bow out of racing and get involved in FIA, maybe he can actually try and change the rules he dislikes so much. He’d be very credible and people would surely listen to him.

  4. Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 8th May 2012, 0:21

    It is worth pointing out that Boullier (or at least Lotus) voted in favour of the Silverstone test location when the proposition was put to the teams. He appears to be somewhat confused – the Autosport article notes “I had to choose what was best for the team and that was Silverstone”.

    I’m not sure I agree with his logic anyway. The aim of each of these young drivers is to get themselves an F1 seat. The Young Driver test is one way to go about this, as is winning championships in GP2, GP3 etc. The ability to shift their focus between them and deal with distractions to their season will come in very handy. F1 has lots of distractions.

  5. Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 8th May 2012, 0:22

    To those that still don’t agree with Schuey, look at the situation from his PoV and not from the fans’. Sure, the racing is exciting to see, but for the drivers it certainly isn’t.

    • GT_Racer said on 8th May 2012, 2:19

      Indeed & I think thats the point many fans miss.

      Watching all the crazyness & unpredictability of these tyres is fun for a fan (well those that enjoy what we have now anyway), But drivers want to push the car & race hard, Having to drive round at less than the limit of themselfs & the car is not as much fun.

      I did some races way back in the 80s (Nothing really professional) & there was 2-3 races where tyres were an issue & I can certainly see where Michael is coming from as having to drive off the limit to save tyres is seriously no fun & the further away from the limit your having to drive the less fun it is.

      About the only thing I could suggest to get an idea of how un-fun it is would be to play a computer sim & set a flat out lap time, Then spend the next 10-20 laps running a couple seconds off that to emulate looking after the tyres & see how long it is before you start getting bored & want to start pushing hard again.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 8th May 2012, 6:05

        I would have to agree with tyre the over importance on tyre management. I like looking at drivers go flat out as well, but at the same time I also like seeing overtaking and unpredictability. Next season, I think Pirrelli need to re-think the balance between tyre conservation and performance, as tyre management does lead to exciting racing but it shouldn’t be the only factor drivers have to think about.

        I dont think Pirrelli has missed the mark by a lot in their tyre development. A slight tweak to make tyres last a little longer or make them slightly more durable should do the trick.

        Schumacher though, seems to be whining a little too much about this. If his fans claim that he is the best driver of all time, I expect him to be versatile enough to control his driving aggression and get the best out of the situation. Right now he could learn a thing or two from his teammate, Alonso and Button

        • vjanik said on 9th May 2012, 12:50

          As it stands now it all comes down to setup and how hard the car is on its tyres. the driver is even less important than before. even Ayrton Senna wouldnt be able to beat an opponent who hit the Pirelli sweet-spot.

          i am researching F1 articles going back 30 years to see how many times tyres are mentioned. (drivers interviews, race reports etc). Will share once i have it.

    • timi (@timi) said on 8th May 2012, 4:03

      I personally don’t think it’s that exciting to watch. Seeing someone gain a second per lap because their tyres are 3 laps younger, is incredibly boring and frustrating to me.

      • Kylevin said on 8th May 2012, 7:50

        Agree

      • Tom Haxley (@welshtom) said on 8th May 2012, 8:19

        @timi

        +1

        They aren’t racing, they are seeing who can get to the end without damaging the tyres too much.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 8th May 2012, 16:15

          It’s still a race though isn’t it? Even if it is to see who can get to the end without damaging the tires too much? I hate rainy races because even on TV the cars are noticably going at a crawl compared to dry conditions. The race then is to see who can finish without going off or colliding with someone, at a pace that is 80% of normal. Is that not still a race?

          I also think that is may be temporary. As NR pointed out, the race is also to see which teams gets a handle on these tires on a regular basis by establishing setups such that their car treats the tires better such that they aren’t ‘raw eggs’.

          From a driver’s standpoint, sure I can agree that it must be frustrating. But F1 has rarely cared what the drivers want. And if it is making the fans happy, to me that is more important as without them there’s no sponsors and there’s no money to go racing.

          Let me play the cynic regarding MS (once again). There wasn’t racing at Ferrari when MS was there, as his teammates were under contract to not compete against him. So when he dominated in the best car, we the fans didn’t get to see him challenged and therefore we were robbed of racing. At least with these tires, it’s the same circumstances for everyone. Not so when MS was at Ferrari. I’ll take the races these days, over the parades and the passes through pitting in the MS/Ferrari era, any day.

          • vjanik said on 9th May 2012, 13:07

            MS had two dominating seasons. 2002 and 2004. The rest were pretty close and we had amazing races. the “MS/Ferrari era” is much more than just 2002 and 2004.

            As a contrast to this year’s tyres i give you the 2005 season. Tyres had to last the entire race. They were only allowed to be changed if damaged, or if it rained. You might expect this to create boring racing. But we had some truly classic races that year and an exciting championship. kimi’s drive through the field in Suzuka was imo one of the best races of all time. He pushed 100% the whole race while dueling and passing almost all the time. This wouldnt be possible in 2012. (not in the same way – ie flat out racing – not tyre conservation)

            In Schumacher’s last race for Ferrari he got a puncture in the first lap and after pitting was last. He pushed hard and was able to make up the ground in an amazing drive. this is probably what he was expecting in Bahrain but the tyres didnt allow him. (speculation of course, but im looking at it from his perspective)

      • Darkknight said on 8th May 2012, 21:51

        @Timi +100

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th May 2012, 3:37

        Another great idea similar to tyre management would be fuel management, just like an economy run, start the race with two thirds full tanks and see who can make it last to the finish while gaining or not losing places, WOW really Awsome eh. HRT might even win a race, wouldn’t that be terrific?!

  6. AJ (@aj13) said on 8th May 2012, 1:26

    So Mercedes is allegedly pulling out of F1, due to being shafted over the concorde agreement/the F1 commercial rights flotation.

    I suspect more likely is a lawsuit to challenge the terms of the flotation/ownership of commercial rights is more likely.

    This will have the effect of devaluing the precious multiplier valuation we’ve been hearing about for F1′s rights.

    What will be fascinating is whether BE can pull off 1 more divide and conquer trick or whether the stakes are too high and the wheels will finally fall off the BE wagon.

    • F1 Junkie (@f1junkie) said on 8th May 2012, 3:50

      People are very quick to forget what indestructible tyres did to the sport. Has everyone forgotten the silly groove tyres that were introduced in an attempt to reduce grip and therefore cornering speeds?

      Even with the indestructible slicks, it was boring, predictable racing based on who had the best reliability/aerodynamics. Tyre management levels the playing field. I would compare it to racing in the wet. The reason we’re seeing so many winners this year is because aerodynamics, while still important is less critical than tyre management. In other words, it’s back down to driving skill.

      I say keep the Pirellis forever.

      • timi (@timi) said on 8th May 2012, 4:12

        @f1junkie but @aj13 didn’t talk about tyres, let alone tyres being “indestructable”.

        So I guess you meant to make a fresh comment?
        The problem I find on here and in forums is that if someone complains the tyres wear out too quickly and need an increase in life span, then they are immediately reminded of the tyre war, or the “indestructable tyres”. It’s just ridiculous.
        If I asked you what you thought of capitalism, and you said it’s ok but could spread the wealth amongst the population, would I have grounds to call you a communist because you dispute ONE point?? People jump to extremes and it really irks me.

        I think when most people complain they just mean that with 4 or 5 added laps to each compound, a happy medium could be reached. Flat out for a 20 lap stint, or nurse the tyres for 25 laps, but 0.25 seconds slower. Increased strategy variances, no more of this 2 stop soft – hard, or 3 stop soft-soft-hard. The strategic part of F1 has become an absolute farce.

        I went slightly off topic, so back to my main point. No-one mentioned indestructable tyres, so please, instead of attempting to boost your point with hyperbole, just go on what has actually been said.

        • Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 8th May 2012, 10:33

          “if someone complains the tyres wear out too quickly and need an increase in life span, then they are immediately reminded of the tyre war, or the “indestructable tyres”. It’s just ridiculous.”

          +100 on this.

          Much of the criticism of the Pirellis has been targeted at tweaking the setup to improve things, rather than being simply condemnatory. Pirrelli’s initial reaction was, I thought, overly defensive, and basically ignored the substantive points being made.

          I’m somewhat encouraged that Pirelli’s public comments have been a little less dismissive in the last week, and hope to see them quietly make a few changes over the season.

      • babis1980 (@babis1980) said on 8th May 2012, 14:41

        Last year F1 used these indestructible slicks was 2010. Was that season boring? Are you serious? It was IMO one of the greatest seasons ever….. if Bridgestone had not pull out of the sport + DRS = great racing, it is simple as that.

        Pirelli was asked to replicate Canada 2010 and they delivered big-time. Now it is their job to adjust to the new situation. So they must put the teams to : 1) get rid the same tyre as qualy rule 2) 3 types of tyre – 1 prime and 2 option were the teams would choose their option Friday night 3) qualy tyres for everyone or 1 extra set of tyres for the Q2 and 1 for Q3.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 5:27

      I suspect more likely is a lawsuit to challenge the terms of the flotation/ownership of commercial rights is more likely.

      Mercedes would not have any claim to the commercial rights under the floatation, and so would have no grounds for a legal case. Bernie appears to be offering a share of the sport to teams that have won titles. Since entering the sport as a works team in 2010, Mercedes have won just one race.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th May 2012, 7:25

        @prisoner-monkeys, where do you get the idea that

        Mercedes would not have any claim to the commercial rights under the floatation, and so would have no grounds for a legal case.

        from?

        If a company/team is not offered a new deal, or is offered considerably less favourable terms than his competitor in that series by the commerical rights holders they might have a pretty strong case in the courts to argue the fact that they were unfairly treated, this is how market regulations distorting the market work (at least in Europe, if you would please read up on them before making a claim)

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 7:59

          @bascb

          is offered considerably less favourable terms than his competitor in that series by the commerical rights holders they might have a pretty strong case in the courts to argue the fact that they were unfairly treated

          Unless the terms of the deal are quite clear. When news first broke that Bernie had offered Ferrari and Red Bull a share of the sport, it was reported that he was offering them that share because they had won World Championships since 2000. McLaren are reported to have agreed to Bernie’s deal, and they have also won a title – the 2008 WDC – since 2000.

          If the deal offered to all the teams offers them a share of the sport as a reward for winning titles, what cause to Mercedes have to launch a legal challenge? How are they being unfairly treated if the only teams to get a share in the sport are teams that have won titles? Yes, the team at Brackley won both titles in 2009, but they were competing under a different name, and the current Concorde Agreement is very clear that those titles are credited to Brawn and not Mercedes.

          So, what am I basing this on? Deductive reasoning, really. The only things that Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren have in common here is that a) they have won titles since 2000 and b) they are still competing in 2012. Therefore, I believe that Bernie is offering teams a share in the sport as a reward for their recent success. How on earth can Mercedes claim to be treated unfairly then?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th May 2012, 8:30

            I really am reluctant to go Yes/NO with you here PM, but what you write is exactly the background for a claim by Mercedes, if they consider it reasonable to file such a claim.

            Yes, the team at Brackley won both titles in 2009, but they were competing under a different name, and the current Concorde Agreement is very clear that those titles are credited to Brawn and not Mercedes.

            First of all, Please refrain from stating mere assumptions as facts, none of us ever saw the Concorde agreement (and only a few people outside the teams even saw part of them).

            For that name change Mercedes did it under the rules stated in the CA, i.e. they got the consent of all relevant parties. Therefore its hardly clear, nor obvious, nor serious business practice to introduce a NEW limit into a proposed agreement, that would achieve very little but exclude team Mercedes explicitly from getting the full benefits of that title.

            The only reason why Bernie did put this in, is because he wants to achieve something with Mercedes. None of us know exactly what, but the logical reaction by Mercedes is, to leak their conserns, hint at quitting and hint at a lawsuit that would upset the schedule for the planned Singapore stock sale. This is part of the negotiation process, nothing more, nothing less.

            But it does not mean, that Bernie is perfectly logical, and fully in his right to propose this. He is not, and he knows this full well. As for his reasons? Get the best deal he thinks he can get out of it for FOM/CVC.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 8:46

            Please refrain from stating mere assumptions as facts, none of us ever saw the Concorde agreement (and only a few people outside the teams even saw part of them).

            It’s not just in the Concorde Agreement. It’s in the sporting regulations as well. Article 6.3 says the following:

            “The constructor of an engine or chassis is the person (including any corporate or unincorporated body) which owns the intellectual rights to such engine or chassis. The make of an engine or chassis is the name attributed to it by its constructor. If the make of the chassis is not the same as that of the engine, the title will be awarded to the former which shall always precede the latter in the name of the car”

            In other words, the World Constructors’ Championship is awarded to to the entity recognised as the constructor. The constructor is the entity whose name is on the car. Therefore, the 2009 World Constructors’ Championship was awarded to Brawn, and nobody but Brawn can claim that championship as their own.

            Therefore its hardly clear, nor obvious, nor serious business practice to introduce a NEW limit into a proposed agreement, that would achieve very little but exclude team Mercedes explicitly from getting the full benefits of that title.

            And they did get the benefits of that title – the end-of-year television rights payout, which was given to the team.

            How can Mercedes make any claim to the title won by Brawn when they did not own any part of the team until 16 December 2009 – six weeks after the 2009 championship ended?

            If Bernie is attempting to restructure the Concorde Agreement to reward teams who have won championships with a share in the sport, how do Mercedes have any claim to a share in the sport when they have not won any championships?

          • Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 8th May 2012, 10:19

            “Unless the terms of the deal are quite clear.”
            Which they (clearly) aren’t – deductive reasoning notwithstanding.
            My own guess is that a lawsuit could quite easily delay any flotation.

            In any event, I’m not keen on a few selected teams being given preference in this way, based on what are effectively arbitrary criteria. I’m reminded of your previous comment…
            “There is a reason why the teams compete, the FIA sets and enforces the rules, and FOM manages the calendar: it’s a separation of powers designed to stop one body gaining too much influences over the others…”

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 10:39

            @nigel1

            Which they (clearly) aren’t – deductive reasoning notwithstanding.

            They aren’t clear to us. They will, however, be very clear in the deal offered to Mercedes.

            My own guess is that a lawsuit could quite easily delay any flotation.

            And if it came down to that, I imagine that the lawsuit would basically be a case of “we think we should have more than we are being offered, even though we haven’t done anything to earn it”.

            I’m not keen on a few selected teams being given preference in this way, based on what are effectively arbitrary criteria.

            I suspect that Bernie is offering a share in the sport to those teams that win titles – and that any team who wins a title in the future will be entitled to a similar share in the sport. This wouldn’t be a one-time-only deal, but more a means of rewarding successful teams.

            I’m reminded of your previous comment…
            “There is a reason why the teams compete, the FIA sets and enforces the rules, and FOM manages the calendar: it’s a separation of powers designed to stop one body gaining too much influences over the others…”

            As per my above hypthesis, if Bernie is offering a share in the sport to successful teams, then that share would be large enough to give the teams a cut of the profits, but not so great that they can influence the decision-making process.

          • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 9th May 2012, 23:54

            @prisoner-monkeys

            How can Mercedes make any claim to the title won by Brawn when they did not own any part of the team until 16 December 2009 – six weeks after the 2009 championship ended?

            How can any company claim rights to the patents and copyrights of companies they have acquired, if the said items were created before they bought that other company? Because they did not only acquire the “team”, but also all of its legal rights and obligations and intellectual property.
            If someone were to buy the entire Ferrari branch from Fiat, would they also be ineligible for the benefits gained from Ferrari F1 past titles?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th May 2012, 2:23

            If someone were to buy the entire Ferrari branch from Fiat, would they also be ineligible for the benefits gained from Ferrari F1 past titles?

            If what I think is happening is actually happening, then yes. How can any group that buys Ferrari and renames it in their image claim ownership of Ferrari’s titles?

          • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 10th May 2012, 8:26

            @prisoner-monkeys

            If what I think is happening is actually happening, then yes. How can any group that buys Ferrari and renames it in their image claim ownership of Ferrari’s titles?

            And what if Ferrari itself decided to change their team name at F1? Lets say they would like to be “Enzo F1″, for example? Would they then lose all of their results as “Ferrari” as well?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th May 2012, 8:46

            I can’t see that happening, but yes.

          • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 10th May 2012, 12:08

            On what grounds would they lose credit for all of their titles and victories, if the owners are the same, all of the team members are the same, the drivers are the same, and the cars are the same? Just on the grounds that instead of “Scuderia Ferrari” they would like do be called “Scuderia Enzo Ferrari” or something similar? Are the victories attached to a string of letters, not the team itself? If so, then the concorde agreement is one awkward agreement indeed, because I don’t see a similar scenario being legal anywhere else.

      • woofie said on 8th May 2012, 10:37

        BE being absurd again!!!

        “What hgave they [Mercedes] done in F1? They won a race and that is it”

        Depends which part of Mercedes decides on a challenge. Mercedes have been racing for 111 years – pre Ferrari – won 2 of the first 5 drivers titles (with Fangio 54 and 55) since the sport was organised as a proper FIA championship in 1950.

        They have supplied engines to customers who have won 80 GP’s.

        Apparently they’ve just won 1 GP. The sooner we loose the crazy little dwarf the better.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 10:43

          Depends which part of Mercedes decides on a challenge. Mercedes have been racing for 111 years – pre Ferrari – won 2 of the first 5 drivers titles (with Fangio 54 and 55) since the sport was organised as a proper FIA championship in 1950.

          I believe Bernie is attempting to reset the historical multiplier (that gives teams more money based on how long they have been in the sport) from 1950 to 2000. Because right now, we’re in a situation where Williams and McLaren are being paid lots of money, but have had no recent success. It’s been over a decade since either won a WCC title.

          They have supplied engines to customers who have won 80 GP’s.

          An acheivement that largely means nothing, because Article 6.3 of the sporting regulations clearly states that results will be credited to the team, and not to the engine supplier.

          Apparently they’ve just won 1 GP.

          They have – in China this year.

          • woofie said on 8th May 2012, 11:34

            “reset the historical multiplier”

            More likely its to be based on who’ll vote for what Bernie wants.

            Most sports have a clear and transparent distribution of prize money – based on the previous years performance in the championship.

            Too much to expect from a certain BE who loves the power to divide and rule.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 11:47

            More likely its to be based on who’ll vote for what Bernie wants.

            In which case, the teams could reasonably bring negotiations to a halt.

            Most sports have a clear and transparent distribution of prize money – based on the previous years performance in the championship.

            Formula 1 currently does. Nobody has ever protested against the Concorde Agreement, or challenged its legality. The difference between Formula 1 and other sports is that the details of the Concorde Agreement aren’t released to the public.

          • woofie said on 8th May 2012, 12:14

            @pm The difference between Formula 1 and other sports is that the details of the Concorde Agreement aren’t released to the public.

            As I said, not transparent then

    • dysthanasiac (@) said on 8th May 2012, 17:23

      F1′s commercial rights are not held in public trust, therefore the word “fair” might as well not even exist. The only grounds for a legal challenge would arise if it’s somehow contractually stipulated in the current Concorde agreement, or elsewhere, that Mercedes is to be offered terms that are equal or comparable to those offered to other teams, something I highly doubt Eccelstone would ever accept. Otherwise, Eccelstone can do whatever he damn well pleases as long as he has the backing of CVC’s board, which is pretty much a given at all times.

      If the rumors of Mercedes’ withdrawal from F1 are coming from Mercedes itself, I’d say it’s entirely appropriate for them to be offered a lot less than a seat at the table. That should be reserved for stalwarts of the sport, teams whose presence is never in doubt.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 5:05

    Michael Schumacher continues to criticise Pirelli’s tyres, saying: “we drive like on raw eggs”

    Who else thinks Schumacher should be made to drive on actual raw eggs after making that comment?

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 6:18

    “We had a strong discussion, let’s say, and definitely I was against this, especially for the reasons raised. For me it is absolutely a nonsense to have a young driver test in July when all the young kids are in the middle of the season and focused on racing and the championship. We cannot disturb this. It is completely the wrong timing.”

    I’m not sure what Boullier is complaining about here. He’s not obligated to run at Silverstone – it’s looking like most of the teams will have a choice about which test they attend.

    Personally, I like the idea of holding the test at Abu Dhabi simply because it’s a circuit that most young drivers will not have experienced first-hand before. If a driver who attends the Abu Dhabi test were to be promoted to Formula 1, then the first four races of the season – Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain – will be on circuits they have never driven on (and that’s without mentioning the later circuits that they won’t have experienced). Consequently, the ability to adapt to a new circuit is a major skill that a driver needs. Especially since he will be learning the ins and outs of the Formula 1 car in the early races, so his development during the first flyaway leg is critical if he wants to be comeptitive on circuits that he will likely have driven before once the championship touches down in Europe.

    Conversely, running at Silverstone means running at a circuit that all major feeder series – GP2 and GP3, Formula Renault 3.5, Formula 3 and so on – hold races at, so there is a fair chance that the young driver will have already driven it. And while this might be handy in allowing them to set lap times that are representative of their abilities sooner rather than later, it also means that they won’t be able to demonstrate their ability to adapt to a new circuit.

    After all, consider this: of the twenty races in the 2012 season, a rookie starting this year will race at twelve circuits that he is (statistically) unlikely to have seen before.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 8th May 2012, 6:55

      @prisoner-monkeys, Boullier is complaining about the fact that with other teams having signed up for Silverstone, it would be more expensive for him to go to Abu Dhabi. Although it’s a bit silly to sign up for a test and then say you hope it to be cancelled, I do agree with his reasoning that it’s not the right time for the test – both for the teams and for the young drivers who are in the middle of their season.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 7:03

        Perhaps, but he had to know what it meant when he signed up for it.

        Besides, a) Red Bull and Toro Rosso have been reported as “likely” to go to Abu Dhabi, b) no team has actually confirmed their plans for the Young Driver Tests, and c) there is still the provision that would allow teams to attend Abu Dhabi if there is bad weatehr during the test at Silverstone. So Boullier is really making a mountain out of a molehill, complaining about something that might or might not actually happen. And Autosport are just as bad for running it as headline news given that it’s such a non-issue.

  9. Brolloks (@brolloks) said on 8th May 2012, 6:58

    Schumacher certainly commands respect, as you guys mentioned above. Being the greatest athlete to ever grace the sport will inevitably gather attention to anything he says. Watching the interview you see that even though English is a foreign language to him, he can articulate his thoughts logically and put his ideas into words – something most people can’t do in their mother tongue. Michael is intelligent. He has massive experience, and above all – insight. He laughed while making some comments, whilst making others sort of tongue-in-cheek. He was not whingeing. To be fair, he simply answered the interviewer’s questions. People, this is not Di Resta, Sutil or newly arrived Vergne looking for reasons as to why they as youngsters are not performing as they believe they should be. This is the great Michael Schumacher simply explaining his view on the current state of Formula 1. And to be fair from a real racer’s point of view (be it Michael, your wonder boy Hamilton, Raikkonen, Giles Villeneuve or Senna), who wants to be “confined”? Yes, it’s more than a matter of simply driving the wheels of car (i.e Button, Prost) as we know, and appreciate, but it has to be frustrating.

  10. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 8th May 2012, 7:06

    Schumacher: he was asked a question and he answered truthfully. I do not blame him. I also agree with him. @keithcollantine with regard to offering a solution to the problem, I propose developing tyres without the artificial degradation gimmick. If we still want to see multiple stops during a race, the tyre manufacturer should just bring soft, fast compounds to the races (and revise the tyre rules in the way you proposed in an earlier article).

    One recent race on Pirelli tyres where I thought the degradation played too big a role: the feature race in GP2, the second weekend of Bahrain. Guido van der Garde led from pole, and quickly established a 1.8 second lead over Davide Valsecchi by lap 5 (or so). Interestingly, he said he wasn’t even pushing. Nevertheless, his tyres were gone by lap 7, Valsecchi closed the gap in two laps, blasted by on the straight. Superior stint management by DAMS and Valsecchi (and a very impressive performance by him), but not the kind of racing I am most interested in. By contrast, check out the GP2 race from Turkey in 2006 that Keith posted in the “Your favourite F1 race” forum thread. Incredible battles on regular race tyres.

  11. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 8th May 2012, 8:15

    I love the racing that has occurred this, and last year, and I don’t really want to see Pirelli leaving the sport, or bringing in more conservative tyres. I know it’s probably not as much fun for the drivers, but then again, they are the best drivers in the world, and they should be able to deal with anything that is thrown at them.

    If I do have one qualm, then it is this: – I think the problem with the Pirelli tyres is that there is no chemical bonding with the track, leading to it becoming ‘rubbered in’, so the tyre will just tear away until it has no more grip to give, meaning that there is a very artificial drop-off point.

    Now, I’m no tyre expert, but if the tyres worked more like the bridgestones we saw from 2007 to 2010 (from a track bonding point of view), combined with the rate of wear we see with this year’s Pirellis, could we not see more of a variation between being able to push the tyres and conserving them? This is mere speculation of course, because as I’ve said, I am not a tyre expert, but in my mind this would reduce the artificial drop-off point that we’ve seen with the tyres of the past two years and increase the effect of a driver’s skill.

  12. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 8th May 2012, 8:31

    I just think it’s silly that Schumi is complaining about the tyres so much. As a team if you cannot figure out how to work your tyres in the best way possible then it is your teams fault. Bahrain was always going to be abrasive on the tyres with high temperatures and a dusty/unused racing track.

    I also feel that he is not giving any suggestions to improve the situation. Just ranting on and on about it is going to get old real fast. Personally, I like the tyres the way they are. They seem to provide the only mechanical variability in an aerodynamic era.

    • artificial racer said on 8th May 2012, 22:30

      1. he was asked, he answered
      2. he’s not actually complaining about figuring out how to work them, he’s saying the best way to work them is to drive very slowly

  13. Sean N (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk) said on 8th May 2012, 8:47

    With comments like these it’s time for Schumi to leave F1 I think. F1 has changed and he needs to get used to it. Either that or get used to finishing 10th every race. It’s a shame he has added nothing to the sport or his reputation since his return and comments like these just back up that theory. Bye Bye Schumi.

    • artificial racer said on 8th May 2012, 22:33

      He may not be doing that great (but most likely would have been on the podium if not for mechanical). But the point isn’t about him getting used to it. He is used to it, he just doesn’t like it. And if you kick him out for this, you can kick out several of the top drivers who have said the same thing. Note that most drivers will not come out with criticism this overtly because it is bad politics and bad image.

  14. Chris Anderson (@anderscja) said on 8th May 2012, 10:19

    Why can’t they just go back to the 2011 tyre. It seemed ok and at least you could push for more than 5 laps without the deg starting. Schumacher is just saying he would prefer to push quicker. A normal thought as a racing driver. I am sure he is not the only one struggling with these tyres.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th May 2012, 11:04

      @anderscja – Because the teams started to learn exactly how the tyres were working, and could anticipate the setup requirements in advance. When Pirelli won the contract to supply tyres, part of the deal was to keep up a rolling schedule of tyre development to keep teams on their toes.

      Plus, the hard tyres in 2011 were up to a second and a half per lap slower than the soft tyres. A lot of the races were a case of driving for as long as possible on the soft tyres to limit the amount of time spent on the hards. The 2012 tyres were developed to cut that gap down to about seven tenths of a second, encouraging more drivers to use the hard tyres because they would last longer, but keep the driver in touch with the cars on softs.

  15. Eggry (@eggry) said on 8th May 2012, 10:24

    egg….

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