Maldonado: Now drivers can make a difference in F1

F1 Fanatic round-up

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012In the round-up: Pastor Maldonado says F1 is more like GP2 this year and the driver can make more of a difference.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

I was so scared for my team, says Maldonado (Reuters)

“The season is unpredictable. I think it is more competitive… it has become like a GP2 championship. It becomes very strong, the drivers can make the difference… it’s a bit boring when you see only one car winning.”

Venezuela: racing for the revolution (FT, registration required)

“Although his remarkable victory ?ǣ a first for a Venezuelan ?ǣ is being celebrated by Venezuelans of all stripes, many have questioned why a government which professes to protect the interests of the poor doesn?t spend the money on the likes of hospitals and schools instead.”

Pastor Maldonado defends F1 funding from Venezuela (The Guardian)

“I’m not worried because the whole of the country is happy because of the result, especially because it has come quite soon. From now most of the people are looking forward to Formula One, which is popular in Venezuela.”

A motley crew (F1 Rejects)

“Only one driver was, comparatively speaking, at the beginning of his single-seater journey. He was a 19 year-old Venezuelan driver called Pastor Maldonado who had only had two years in Formula Renault since graduating from karts, but who had won the Italian championship in 2004.”

McLaren pace concerns Jenson Button more than mistakes (The Independent)

“The most important thing is to understand why I didn’t have any pace over the weekend on low and high fuel.”

Raikkonen downplays impact of tyres (Autosport)

“Previously the pit stops were made usually after every 20 laps, while we had less fuel. I think it would have been the same situation with Michelins and Bridgestones if we would have this much fuel as we have now. These tyres are good in qualifying: they have a good grip and all in all they are good tyres.”

Formula One revving up for listing in two weeks? time (City A.M.)

“Formula One?s eagerly anticipated ??6bn flotation in Singapore will take place earlier than expected within the next two to three weeks, City A.M. understands.”

Derek Daly via Twitter

“First pic of Conor Daly testing Sahara Force India F1 car – data aero mapping session in England

Monaco Grand Prix (Caterham)

Tony Fernandes: “Since the team returned to base I have received a very gracious communication from Jean Todt, thanking our boys for helping put the fire out on Sunday. The actions of the Williams team, people from our team and everyone else who helped out, stopped the situation escalating and it makes me incredibly proud to be part of a sport that shows such bravery and spirit.”

#70 The Flying Lap: Spanish GP debrief (The Flying Lap via YouTube)

The best of Williams (MotorSport)

“After a Schumacher splash ?n? dash, however, it was the same old story: the German closing relentlessly on another win ?ǣ until Hill conjured a second on the last lap to win by 3.4.”

Circuit of the Americas construction update May 17, 2012 (Facebook)

“A aerial view of the circuit. Photo taken May 4.”

x2 Monaco Grand Prix Practice Grandstand 99p All proceeds go to Charity (eBay)

“Due to a very sad family loss we no longer have a use for these tickets. They are for Thursday practice (FP1 and FP2) on May 24th. They are for stand K which is the large stand facing out looking over the harbour. 99p start as the tickets going to use and being enjoyed is the most important thing for us.”

EIE12 Keynote Speaker ?ǣ Sir Jackie Stewart (Rookie Oven)

“For me, as a massive fan of F1 fan, it was fantastic to be in the audience but aside from the amazing motorsport career Sir Jackie is a fantastic businessman, patriotic Scot and international icon. Not bad for a guy classed as ??thick?, wouldn?t you agree?”

Breakfast with Seb! (Replay Motorsport)

“Breakfast with the Monaco pole sitter, winner and world champion. It’s something I’ll never forget and cannot believe just how lucky I was!”

Comment of the day

Chris Goldsmith has an interesting choice of driver to partner Fernando Alonso at Ferrari:

I’ve voted Heikki Kovalainen. I?d say Perez, but in my opinion it’s too soon for him as he?s still making some mistakes. He needs to earn his apprenticeship in a lower team where he can improve his driving before the spotlight of being a top team is turned on him.

I?d love to see Kubica back, but who knows if he?s going to be fit, and he hasn?t driven a wheel in anger in two years now. With the best will in the world, it?s not a chance I would be taking, personally.

Heikki, while not immediately an obvious choice, has really shown some promise while driving for ‘Loterham’. He?s consistently outperformed his team mates, and shown a really solid consistency. He?s also managed to put in great performances despite not being in a good car, in a manner frankly not that unlike Alonso himself. If he?s able to show that level of motivation driving a car which has no hope of driving for points, imagine what he might be able to achieve in a car which could fight for wins.

It’d make or break him one way or the other, but I think he?s driving much better than he ever did for McLaren or Renault, and deserves to get a chance at the sharp end of the grid. Let?s face it, out of the options available, he?s one of the few proven race winners.
Chris Goldsmith

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On this day in F1

Ferrari driver Piero Taruffi scored his only world championship win in the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten 60 years ago today.

His team mate Alberto Ascari missed the opening round of the championship as he was competing in the Indianapolis 500, which also counted towards the title.

Swiss driver Rudi Fischer was second in another Ferrari ahead of Jean Behra for Gordini.

Image ?? Williams/LAT

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69 comments on Maldonado: Now drivers can make a difference in F1

  1. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 18th May 2012, 9:36

    Wonder what the flotation will bring. How much money is the sport really worth according to the market? What will happen with Mercedes? Will Bernie appoint a succesor? Will it be his daughter?

  2. John H (@john-h) said on 18th May 2012, 11:31


    “Five different teams winning five different races, we really don’t know what’s going on, and I think that’s the same up and down the pit lane.”

    Can someone please tell me why this is so exciting? It just seems so random at the moment that winning races isn’t due to some massive achievement and hard work by the team but instead who can switch on the tyres under certain conditions.

    Think about Rosberg winning in Malaysia and where he was at Barcelona. Some fans may love this random F1, I absolutely disdain it and feel I hve to keep saying so for some reason just to get it off my chest.

    Victory should come to those that work hard, not those that get lucky.

    • Skett (@skett) said on 18th May 2012, 12:09

      Victory should come to those that work hard, not those that get lucky.

      Comments like this annoy me, because you seem to be claiming that not everybody in f1 works hard. And how is it random? I expected Rosberg to do well in Malaysia and I expected Williams to do well in Barcelona. The williams was especially obvious, they’ve shown good race pace all year and now they’ve got their qualifying sorted I expect them to keep being competitive.

      • dennis (@dennis) said on 18th May 2012, 12:22


        I think you’re completely missing the point when you think he says that some teams don’t work hard. It might even be the opposite. However, listening to many comments of teams and drivers, they themsevles don’t seem to understand what they’re doing right or wrong.

        I thought Mercedes due to their DRS would be strong in the qualifying of China, but their race pace surprised me a lot. And if you can honestly claim, that Maldonado’s pace did not came as a surprise to you in Spain, than you’re either Nostradamus, or a liar.
        I was expecting Williams to get closer to the top teams for quite some time now, but I didn’t think it would end in an outright win.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 18th May 2012, 12:22

        @skett Ok perhaps ‘works hard’ was the wrong choice of words but hopefully you see my point.

        There was a reason that Ferrari for example were winning more than Toyota in 2007 (despite similar finances) – they were obviously doing the right things and that didn’t just mean work hard but also how they worked – better and smarter. My point is that Ferrari were a better team than Toyota for example not predominantly because of how they randomly could switch their tyres on.

        I’m not saying that Williams aren’t doing better things this year and that hard work can’t make a difference, I’m making the point that there is too much randomness in who has the best package from race to race at the moment.

        If it was ‘especially obvious’ that Williams would do so well at Barcelona then why did no-one say so in the predictions championship even after free practice?

        • Skett (@skett) said on 18th May 2012, 12:58

          I don’t disagree that whoever does the best job should win (I assume thats what you were actually trying to say). But the simple fact is that this whole “turning on” the tyres thing is just who can use them best in the current circumstances, something that is coming to light more than usual because its so close. I suspect the tyres last year had similar operating windows.

          I’m not disagreeing that the tyres still need some work, but I don’t think they’re the random lottery generator people are making them out to be.

          To be fair I said they would do well, not necessarily win. I actually had a bet placed on Maldonado that I’d placed 2 weeks earlier for a podium, I got lucky and decided to place one on him for the win as well since the odds were so good. I don’t play the predictions championship though.

          • bag0 (@bag0) said on 18th May 2012, 14:57

            Pirelli changed the tyres for this year, the similarities between lastyears and this years tyres are the brand and the colors, nothing else.
            The ban of the BDs closed up the field, noone can gain a big advantage via aero upgrades, the only real difference is now the powertrain and of course the using of tyres.

            If you can “turn them on”, meaning get enough heat in them so the surface is “molten”, and the tyre just wearing, you are good to go, you can go fast, and save your tyres. On the other hand if you cant get heat in them, or overheat them, you wont have grip, and big chunks will come off the surface. The problem is, that noone knows how mutch heat is the optimal, and with an operating window of 5 celsius no team can set their car up for sunday, as the track temperature changes about 8-10 (or more) celsius a weekend.

            The point is you are either lucky, or you are a genius who can predict the weather and set the car up perfectly without actually running in those conditions.

          • Skett (@skett) said on 18th May 2012, 22:10

            From James Allens website:
            “Speaking to the JA on F1 podcast, due out on Monday, Hembery points out that the medium tyre used in the first four races, including Bahrain, was the largely same product as the soft tyre which was used in 18 of last year’s 19 races and was the most raced tyre last year. He argues that rather than the tyres, it’s the loss of downforce from the banning of the exhaust blown diffuser which is mostly to blame for teams and drivers struggling this year.”

            To be honest the reason I thought Williams would do well was nothing to do with this anyway. If you look at how they’ve performed over the first few races they’ve been consistently quick in race trim, only hampered by bad luck and worse qualifying.
            This car is also known to have decent downforce but high drag, it was getting absolutely destroyed down the straights at the tilke circuits. What was generally considered to be its other main weak point (traction) seems to have been sorted though, something which I hadn’t expected tbh and meant that the car performed even better than I’d have figured. As I said I was predicting a podium not a win. I was actually expecting both williams to be in the top 5 so had a podium bet for Bruno too (though that clearly didn’t pan out so well).

  3. naz3012 (@naz3012) said on 18th May 2012, 11:55

    COTA is looking good, not a huge fan of those vast tarmac run-off’s that they seem to have put in round the outside of the already tarmac’d turns

  4. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 18th May 2012, 18:50

    Cheers to Keith for the Motley Crew link. I read it yesterday, I have visited F1Rejects for years now, even if they have slacked on regularly providing what is otherwise the best GP roundup in the sport.

    I don’t think that site gets a lot of mention here.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 18th May 2012, 23:04

    I was just thinking, what if Williams hasn’t won the race and there would have been people in the garage as the fire erupted? :/

    Anyways, tyres tyres tyres! I like the Pirelli’s at the moment. I’d get bored if they were the same year in, year out though. Just like I’d get bored of the same driver winning everything, or the same political bickering, or no innovation, or no new circuits, or no new drivers…I could go on. Point is, variety is the spice of life. We’re what…5 races into one season where the tyres are unpredictable, so what? It’s nothing in the big scheme of things. Worry if it’s 5 seasons, not 5 races.

  6. Nickpkr said on 19th May 2012, 21:29

    Tire manipulation conspiracy , if they can really get them with a 3-5degree range, it will easy to give any team slight adv with a 7-10 degree “error set” even if not purposely. Heck we could have all teams win once in a super tight champ prior to Stock sales :/

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