F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says his team’s days of having a number one driver are “a thing of the past”.
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“Historically, this team has always pushed for one driver – a definite leader. But that has definitely changed. It’s a thing of the past. I want two fast drivers because that is the way you get ahead in the constructors’ championship. So both drivers have the same status.”
“When asked if Maldonado was only at Williams in the first place because of money, [Frank] Williams said: ‘Yeah, he was to some extent. I’m not denying that. But if we thought he’d been a wanker, he wouldn’t have got in the team no matter how much money he had.’”
“A deal with Mercedes needs really to be done after all the other horse trading is over. The problem is that the Formula One group is in a wild hurry to go to the markets in July and there is not much time to quibble for weeks on end. This may explain the presence of Mercedes boss Dr Dieter Zetsche in Barcelona.”
David Coulthard: “Frank is one of the few people in the paddock who will acknowledge he may have misled you and he will tell you to your face that the reason he did it was for the good of the team; for the hundreds of employees back at Grove. It’s hard to argue with that.”
“The ‘camaraderie and spirit of co-operation’ described by team principal Sir Frank Williams that came to the fore as the fire took hold when personnel from a number of teams battled to extinguish it, will again be prevalent over the coming days. In particular, McLaren are to loan equipment to Williams to ensure they can compete strongly.”
Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan on Maldonado: “Simply stunning – a master class from start to finish. He was strong all weekend, winning the race from pole despite a strong challenge from Alonso. One can’t ask anymore from a driver.”
“Schumacher may continue to embarrass himself in wheel-to-wheel racing occasionally, but he’s close to Rosberg’s pace these days – and Mercedes’ top management rate their younger driver very highly indeed.”
“If there is the hint of a pattern to the apparently random outcomes this year, it is that when the weather was cooler than expected – i.e. China and Barcelona – the Ferrari, Williams and Sauber have been competitive (recall Bruno Senna’s sparkling race in China). On hot days, the Lotus has tended to look very good. In the 40C+ heat of Friday in Barcelona the Lotuses looked by far the fastest cars over a race stint, even though they apparently struggled to get the last couple of tenths of single lap pace.”
“The 2009 world champ will make a guest appearance at the Kent circuit’s DTM meeting for hi-tech fire-spitting touring cars.”
Comment of the day
Guy reckons Pirelli got it “spot on” in the Spanish Grand Prix:
Having seen the Spanish GP, Pirelli hit that spot on – a Prime that allows for a range of race strategies, being stretched to half the race with careful management (Hamilton), or more aggressive use (most), and an option that is perfect for qualifying or a short and sweet fast stint if/when the race strategy calls for it.
I do agree that they should scrap one of the rules; either having to start on the qualifying tyre, or having to use both compounds in the race. Not sure you need to do both. And I do wish they would bring in something to stop the farce of cars not running in Q3 though.
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On this day in F1
It’s been a while since we last saw Williams lock out of the front row of the grid. But in the eighties and nineties it was a common sight.
In fact, Williams qualified on the front row of the grid on this day 20 and 25 years ago, in the 1987 Belgian Grand Prix and 1992 San Marino Grand Prix.
Both races saw Nigel Mansell start from pole position, alongside team mates Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese respectively.
Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT