F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Mark Webber refutes Mercedes’ suggestion he might have been told to delay his pursuers to help Sebastian Vettel in Monaco.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“I heard afterwards people had been speculating that I was ‘backing up’ Nico [Rosberg], Fernando [Alonso] and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who was also behind me, to help my team mate Sebastian Vettel gain places… That is absolute rubbish. You just cannot be that fancy around Monaco.”
As I wrote on Sunday, the lap charts bear this out:
“I don’t know if it is going to happen. I hope everything will be OK. They are sorting things out internally with some of their funds. If they are ready for 2013 we will have them.”
Williams have previously said the fire in Spain was caused when they were draining fuel and not by KERS. But that won’t put Ecclestone off his hobby horse:
“I think the fire was a lot to do with that kinetic energy thing which sparked. It should never have been introduced. It’s an expensive secret because nobody knows anything about it. The public don’t know and don’t care.”
Engine manufacturers say an engine and energy recovery system package for the 2014 will cost €18m (£14.4m).
Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel has a performance clause in his Red Bull contract which allows him to leave in 2014.
“This exhaust solution was not the “Octopus” as described; in fact McLaren Technical Director Paddy Lowe explained to me at the 2012 cars launch, that ‘it didn’t look anything like an Octopus’. Adding ‘The exhaust we had was a slot, we called it a fantail’, which was a simpler, albeit still innovative solution.”
“Back in 2004, McLaren was approached by Dr Malcolm Smith, a Cambridge University Don. He had a solution that could absorb the sudden bounce from the tyres, in a way that conventional shock absorbers cannot.”
“If McLaren fail to get their act together before the circus rolls into Montreal in 10 days’ time, it would not come as a major surprise if Ross Brawn, the Mercedes chief, hears a knock on his motorhome door an hour or so after the chequered flag falls.”
“‘We’re taking on this monster industry, but we know it’s going to work,’ says [Gordon] Murray, standing in front of a mural depicting his victorious Formula One cars. ‘I love the idea of being a giant killer.’”
Comment of the day
The main problem of the ‘second tier’ (if I may use this combination of words) F1 drivers is not that they cannot deliver, that is, be as quick and great as a Vettel but that they are unable to perform consistently at that level, which, in my opinion, is the case with both of Williams’ current drivers. By hiring Maldonado and Senna, Williams might have gained a lot of money that they have been (successfully) investing in the development of the car but I think they have also lost some valuable points that Barrichello or Hulkenberg might have scored.
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On this day in F1
A puncture brought Nigel Mansell’s string of victories at the beginning of the 1992 season to an end in the Monaco Grand Prix.
It dropped him behind Ayrton Senna, and he was never going to find a way around the master of Monaco. Not for a lack of trying.
Here’s Mansell losing the lead (the pivotal moment was missed by the TV director):
And the frantic final laps:
Image © Red Bull/Getty images