“All the teams understand the tyres now” – Marko

F1 Fanatic round-up

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Montreal, 2012In the round-up: Red Bull’s Helmut Marko believes the teams have unlocked the mysteries of the 2012-spec tyres.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Q&A with Red Bull?s Helmut Marko (F1)

“At the first couple of races, if you were able to get the tyres to temperature it didn?t matter what car you were in – tyres temperature meant everything, the car nothing. That is now a thing of the past, as all teams do understand the tyres now and that means that we go back to the ??usual? balance of power.”

Austin?s F1 track gets inspection next week (Austin-American Statesman)

“Circuit of the Americas, the $300 million racetrack under construction in southeastern Travis County, will be inspected next week by representatives from car racing?s governing body, FIA.”

Mario Andretti Joins Circuit of the Americas (Circuit of the Americas)

“Circuit of The Americas is proud to announce motorsports legend, Mario Andretti, as an official Circuit ambassador.”

F1 full of double agents (The Sun)

Adrian Newey: “Perhaps the most outrageous example of gamesmanship I came across was when a team planted an engineer at one of my former teams for a year. He was a mole and then the other team took him back, and I am even told that during that time he was getting two salaries.”

Webber struggling with final chicane (Autosport)

“”I’m not happy in the last chicane. Normally I am [happy there], but I can’t get into it and then I have poor change of direction.”

Montreal F1 protesters target downtown site (CBC)

“Protesters have taken to the streets for the third consecutive day to voice their opposition to the Canada Grand Prix, one of Montreal’s biggest tourist draws.”

Heikki Kovalainen via Twitter

“Wow what a quali today, had massive moment in the last chicane was out of control, lucky not to have yesterday’s repeat.. On the limit!”

The FIA force Red Bull to change axle hole design feature (BBC)

“BBC Sport understands that on arrival at the Canadian GP, FIA race director Charlie Whiting felt that the holes in the Red Bull axles – which have been on the car since the start of the season – were also illegal.”

Ted’s Qualy notebook (Sky)

Red Bull’s axle holes had been on the car since the second pre-season test in February.

The most powerful woman in Formula 1 (CNN)

Video interview with Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn.

Comment of the day

Is 2012 losing its unpredictable edge? Damonsmedley thinks so:

Had a strong sense of deja vu, too, as it reminded me of the 2010 season with Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and Webber battling it out for pole.

All the whining about F1 being too predictable will look a bit silly later in the year, especially if someone runs away with it like in 2011. There?s only so many drivers that will win this year, and the championship story will develop itself along the way.

And hopefully that feeling of deja vu continues, as I?d readily welcome another 2010!
Damonsmedley

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

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On this day in F1

Lewis Hamilton scored his first F1 victory five years ago today.

He won a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix which was interrupted by a shocking crash involving Robert Kubica, who was fortunate to escape serious injury.

Nick Heidfeld finished second ahead of Alexander Wurz.

Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

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64 comments on “All the teams understand the tyres now” – Marko

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 10th June 2012, 0:42

    I would more than happily take 2010’s unpredictability with 2011’s quality of racing! Both went down as great seasons, and when the both are put together lots of people then go and say it’s bad for the sport? Why?

    We have a situation now where the best drivers are battling it out, and having to maximise the points they can get, whilst still having to be able to fight very hard for podiums and wins, with reliability ever so high (unless you’re a Mercedes or a Caterham). The top 6 drivers (Alonso down to Raikkonen) are separated by 25 points, a single race win. Jenson Button, Felipe Massa (if his form continues to increase), Romain Grosjean (if he stops crashing) and Michael Schumacher (with some luck) could all throw their name in the ring too.

    I wouldn’t really even say it’s an unpredictable season, it’s a season where so many drivers are so close in terms of performance it’s perhaps showing us that the current crop of drivers is potentially eclipsing the previous golden ages of Formula One. Just remember, we’ve never had 6 World Champions before, let alone 6 in cars which can win races.

  2. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1) said on 10th June 2012, 1:00

    Thank’s Helmut. Everyone cares what you think.

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 10th June 2012, 3:40

      Geez, someone asked the man a question, and he replied – as you know, that’s what an interview is meant to be – with his honest opinion, in saying that the teams are getting on top of the tyres. Why do people feel the need to rubbish him off like that? Sometimes I get a feeling of Marko-hate here that is really unpleasant.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 10th June 2012, 8:06

        @guilherme People are not computers to only do whatever is “right”. And Helmet earned that attitude by being a KAR(if translation from Albanian is needed then it’s a four-letter word, starts with C, ends with K)

        • caci99 (@caci99) said on 10th June 2012, 11:41

          @montreal95 Never imagined I would have seen an albanian word in here, and you have chosen one of the worst :)

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 10th June 2012, 12:30

            @caci99 hhh that’s about the only word I know in Albanian, thanks to Top Gear Albanian special. No wait, there’s the female equivalent word too but I don’t know how to write it properly. But it’s pronounced roughly the same as “peach” :) And btw you can use that word in reference to Dr. Helmet as well…

      • dkpioe said on 10th June 2012, 8:18

        you have to have read his comments from past interviews and his philosophy about torro rosso drivers to realise he is a scum-bag, whose oppinion shouldnt be posted on legitimate f1 sites.

      • tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 10th June 2012, 16:07

        Marko comments are like fingernails scratching a chalkboard. There is no value in his comments. By the way, what is his purpose at Red Bull?

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th June 2012, 1:13

    Another reason why we don’t like what Helmut Marko says. No matter if it’s true or not, it’s always not something you want to hear.

    • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 10th June 2012, 2:38

      I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m ecstatic about this news. Sick of seeing any Joe Schmo in any car winning because his tires are working better. I should also note, that you, @Fer-no65, are absolutely reliable in always posting something on which I have the complete opposite view. Seriously, everything you have ever written on this website I have disagreed with. It’s quite remarkable haha

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th June 2012, 2:47

        @mpw1985 it’s really not hard to explain. Most of the times Helmut talks quite a bit of rubbish, in the sense that there’s always something very controvertial in what he says.

        Now he’s saying like it is, apparently, and sadly so. Because it would be a lot better (IMO at least) if no one “unlocked” the tyre secrets.

        I’ll keep an eye on what you comment. It’s always interesting to read the complete opposite of my opinion :)

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2012, 2:56

          Because it would be a lot better (IMO at least) if no one “unlocked” the tyre secrets.

          That might be so, but it’s not like Marko is saying “we’ve unlocked the secrets of the tyres when no-one else has”. He’s saying “everyone has unlocked the secrets of the tyres together”.

        • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 10th June 2012, 4:05

          Having tires that no one can understand is like having a lottery system. It totally demeans the sport, and doesn’t let the real talent stand out. Yeah, I guess it’s kind of exciting to see guy like Perez up at the front, but where’s the joy in that knowing that it was almost all down to the tires and had nothing to do with his talent? Everyone thinks guys like Perez and Maldanado are world class drivers because they had one good race thanks to their tires, when in reality guys like Hamilton and Alonso are the real stars of the season so far- drivers who have both been able to consistently get the most out of their cars no matter if their tires are working or not. Having guys like Maldanado win, and then qualify out of Q1 the next two races, completely undermines the credibility of the sport, where the best drivers get noticed, move to the best teams, and win. If everyone can stand out and do that, than what would be the point of even having drivers anymore?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2012, 4:31

            I guess it’s kind of exciting to see guy like Perez up at the front, but where’s the joy in that knowing that it was almost all down to the tires and had nothing to do with his talent?

            Because it turns Formula 1 into a team sport. Drivers like Perez and Maldonado aren’t succeeding because they’re playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey. They’re succeeding because the team is working to understand the tyres and the way they behave before anyone else is and/or when no-one else can. It equates to success on the circuit just as much as it does off.

            All the Pirelli nay-sayers like to depict the current state of the sport as being one where teams slap tyres onto the cars with no idea what they will do, and their driver’s success or failure being a direct result of whichever car is kindest to their tyres, which the nay-sayers changes from race to race, even when the cars themselves aren’t being changed at all. This is patently untrue. What we’re seeing is two distinct races this year: one where the teams race one another to understand the tyres and extrapolate the best set-up for the driver, and then one that takes place on the actual circuit. As Martin Brundle poitned out during qualifying, the teams are constantly recalculating what they know about the tyres. It’s not random at all.

            Having guys like Maldanado win, and then qualify out of Q1 the next two races, completely undermines the credibility of the sport, where the best drivers get noticed, move to the best teams, and win. If everyone can stand out and do that, than what would be the point of even having drivers anymore?

            I compeltely disagree with that. Why shouldn’t smaller teams be rewarded for getting things right? According to you, the sport should be structured in such a way that only two or three teams can win anything. If that was the case, why should anyone else even bother showing up? Why should the Sauber and Force Indias and Caterhams even bother to race? It’s not like the Pirelli tyres are giving them any more opportunity as Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren. They all have the same information, and the same tyre allocations, and that means that everyone has the same opportunity as everyone else. Some of them are just making the most of it moreso than the others.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th June 2012, 17:37

            You’ll like this, @mpw1985

            Having tires that no one can understand is like having a lottery system.

            No it’s not. Tyres are always difficult to understand, it’s only that now it’s a bit harder than before. It’s up to the team and driver to get the best out of what they are given.

            How’s it different to the blown diffuser last year? No one besides Red Bull had a clear undestanding of how to make it work. One team did and they won everything. On the basis of what you’re saying, then it’s not fair either. Afterall, how’s it possible that Red Bull won everything because they got the blown diffuser?! well, because they worked out the car and the regulations much better than the rest of the teams.

            All the hype about random races is thrown to the bin when you see who’s leading the championship. It’s Red Bull and McLaren who are up there. It’s Alonso, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Rosberg who are leading the scoreboards. So then, I ask, is it really random?

            It’d be random if Senna was leading the championship, but no. We get the usual names up there in the field.

            And, by the way, who says Sauber and Williams don’t have properly good cars? They got there because they got things right, not by luck. Sauber raced well in Malaysia because they were properly fast AND because they made good decisions after the changing weather, just like Ferrari did. On normal circumstances, none of them would’ve been so far ahead of the competition.

            As @prisoner-monkeys says, they all get the same information. It’s up to them to understand it better, and of course, some conditions might favour one car or another, but that’s no different than cold or hot weather favouring one car’s performance.

          • subsailorfl said on 10th June 2012, 19:01

            1990 French GP. It was good to see an underdog getting it right and taking it to the others. Unfortunately it didn’t quite come off. Williams will get it worked out and possibly get some drivers that are of higher talent.

            http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr491.html

    • Lothario said on 10th June 2012, 10:04

      I hate Marko because he treats Vettel as his little golden boy. Seb can do no wrong in his eyes…

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 10th June 2012, 14:19

      He probably means RED BULL understand the tyres not ‘all the teams’, reverse psychology in the works by Marko but I suppose the unpredictability of this season so far was inevitable, given the great intellects we have all around the paddock. Perhaps the unpredictability will possibly end today, if Vettel cruises to another victory.

  4. Harvs (@harvs) said on 10th June 2012, 2:31

    Helmut is the worst advertising tool in the Red Bull garage, hes such a male genital

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2012, 2:53

    Had a strong sense of deja vu, too, as it reminded me of the 2010 season with Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and Webber battling it out for pole.

    All the whining about F1 being too predictable will look a bit silly later in the year, especially if someone runs away with it like in 2011. There’s only so many drivers that will win this year, and the championship story will develop itself along the way.

    I’m really in two minds about this comment. Yes, the season is losing its unpredictability – but that was always going to happen. But at the same time, I think Helmut Marko’s comments about everyone getting on top of the tyres has merit. There isn’t one team or driver that has suddenly broken away from the pack; everyone is all in it together. We’re only a third of the way through the sesason, and it’s by no means over.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 6:22

      @Prisoner-Monkeys That comment wasn’t in response to Marko’s interview. I posted that after quali just before I went to bed (so if you think it’s tosh my excuse is that it was 5 AM! :-D) and I was commenting on the fact that the regular winners will establish themselves as the season goes on.

      It’s not so much about it becoming less predictable (we may be able to predict the group of drivers the winner will come from, but not the definitive winner like last year to an extent), but about the big teams pulling ahead, the front-runners gaining momentum, and by the end of the season I doubt we’re going to have many surprise results from teams like Williams and Sauber.

  6. HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th June 2012, 2:59

    Well the nits are really picking now, in-board brakes (again) anyone?

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2012, 3:47

    “Circuit of The Americas is proud to announce motorsports legend, Mario Andretti, as an official Circuit ambassador.”

    Speaking of CotA, the dispute between Tavo Hellmund and circuit management has reportedly been settled out of court.

  8. MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 10th June 2012, 4:08

    As much as I love Jenson as a person, we’re really seeing the “regular” JB this season, especially when you compare him to an on-form Hamilton. Bar non-driver penalties and team mistakes, Hamilton would be WAY ahead of Button in the championship. He’s up 7-0 in qualifying, and hasn’t qualified outside of the top 3 once. JB has missed getting into Q3 2/3 races (and BARELY made it in in Canada), while Hamilton consistently puts the car where it needs to be. Hope all the damn bandwagon Button fans will shut the hell up now.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2012, 4:42

      @mpw1985 – If Hamilton and Button’s positions were reversed (ie Hamilton was crippled by an oil leak and made it through to Q3 by the skin of his teeth while Button was trouble-free all weekend and comfortably qualified third), would you be saying the same thing?

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 10th June 2012, 15:32

        If Hamilton and Button’s positions were reversed (ie Hamilton was crippled by an oil leak and made it through to Q3 by the skin of his teeth while Button was trouble-free all weekend and comfortably qualified third), would you be saying the same thing?

        If the positions were reversed… hamilton would still out qualify Button in Q3. That is the difference between the two drivers.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 6:27

      He’s sensitive to the car’s setup and I don’t think it will be long before he’s outperforming Lewis again. He’s on a different strategy for tomorrow (one that worked out for Vettel in Monaco and nearly got Kimi a win in Bahrain) so he cannot be discounted for the win. Jenson also lost a lot of running, which explains his lack of pace in qualifying. I think we can expect a strong showing today, which would be remarkable considering the lack of practice. Let’s wait and see first, hey?

      • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 10th June 2012, 7:00

        Except Vettel had a lot of luck at the start of Monaco. The crash took out a number of cars in front of him then he was forced to cut the chicane giving him another advantage as the rest of the cars in front fumbled their way around the crashing cars. Had there not been the crash he would have been held up and probably ended up 6th or 7th.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 10th June 2012, 7:18

        @damonsmedley, you’re right of course, we should wait and see, but I’m not expecting Jenson to challenge for the win. In fact, both McLaren drivers sounded very pessimistic after qualifying. Also, the comparison with Kimi in Bahrain is invalid, because Kimi could start every stint on fresh tyres, whereas Jenson has used more tyres than anyone else in qualifying. Also, I think Red Bull and in particular Vettel will be too strong today for either McLaren driver to be thinking of victory.

        • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 10th June 2012, 8:11

          @damonsmedley

          He’s sensitive to the car’s setup

          I love this one. It’s the go-to excuse for Button fans. You think saying that makes his poor performances justifiable? “Hey guys, Jenson’s consistently been outperformed by Lewis, but it’s ok because he’s he’s sensitive to his car setup, so it really shouldn’t be seen as detriment.” Great drivers can overcome problems and adjust themselves accordingly. Alonso, Hamilton, Senna, Clark- all of these guys could drive around “set-up” issues, whereas people like Schumacher, Vettel, and Button basically need bespoke or perfect setups to stand out (Schumacher had a tailored car with hundreds of millions of dollars in development behind him every year, Vettel is struggling-relatively, that is- with no EBD, and Jenson, well, if he ain’t on form on Friday, he ain’t on form for the weekend).

          I’m sorry, but there’s no way in hell Button “cannot be discounted” for the win tomorrow, bar a torrential downpour and numerous safety cars. It’s honestly delusional of you to think that. Lewis managed 31 solid laps on the super-softs on Friday, and the compounds are not that far apart in performance. If you think Button is gonna come from 10-1st now that he doesn’t have his only advantage (artificially degrading tires, which now, as it seems, Lewis has actually gotten the better of this season), then you’re just plain wrong. I wish you were my bookie.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 8:24

            @Mpw1985 Wow. It was just an opinion, wasn’t it? Certainly not an attack… And as I said, let’s wait and see.

            And how is it a lesser excuse than “Jenson only beat Lewis because Lewis made mistakes”? That’s quite funny, too, because Jenson, unlike Lewis, didn’t make mistakes. Lots of people could probably go out there and drive a car flat-out and crash into every wall and retire from every race, but that doesn’t make them a good driver because they’re quick. That’s why I think Jenson and Lewis are pretty even. Lewis is only marginally quicker in qualifying but continually makes mistakes while Jenson comes through to take the big points.

            Obviously, Lewis has been a lot calmer this year and isn’t making mistakes like in 2011, but it’s not like he’s smashing Jenson by any means. Which is kind of ominous.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 8:27

            @Mpw1985

            If you think Button is gonna come from 10-1st now that he doesn’t have his only advantage (artificially degrading tires, which now, as it seems, Lewis has actually gotten the better of this season), then you’re just plain wrong.

            We’re F1 fans. No-one is right or wrong. You can’t possibly know the outcome of the race yet, because, I’ll have you know, it’s not been run yet.

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

            Great drivers can overcome problems and adjust themselves accordingly. Alonso, Hamilton, Senna, Clark- all of these guys could drive around “set-up” issues, whereas people like Schumacher, Vettel, and Button basically need bespoke or perfect setups to stand out.

            Conversely, Button can produce a pretty good result whatever his state of mind. On the other hand, Hamilton’s performances can be predicted pretty accurately based on his mood.

          • Mads (@mads) said on 10th June 2012, 15:51

            @mpw1985
            “Schumacher had a tailored car with hundreds of millions of dollars in development behind him every year”
            I though Schumacher did reasonably well in his first race with Jordan.
            But whatever, do selective memory all you want, just don’t go all mad on people because they aren’t on the same bandwagon as you are…

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th June 2012, 17:40

            @mpw1985 now I understand why you tend to think the opposite of what I think :).

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 10th June 2012, 8:16

      I agree. Never jumped on that Button bandwagon and always said that the fact he beat Lewis last year was because Lewis had a troubled season, that’s all. In terms of raw talent they’re not even close. Even last season Lewis was ahead for most of the season on points and beat Jenson 13-6 in qualy.

      That’s not to say that Button isn’t an excellent driver. But a driver who has a very narrow “operating window” in which he can excel, can never be considered a true great.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th June 2012, 9:04

        Hm, I don’t think its that clear cut @montreal95, just think about it, what has Hamilton changed this year? Indeed, he is looking a tad more at Button’s approach in that he does not jump on every opportunity but keeps calm.

        Its just far to easy to say that Hamilton is better at getting the most speed out of the car even when its not to his liking. Making many mistakes is also part of their approach, as is learning to make your own decisions on tyres etc, that’s why Hamilton is a 1 time WDC just as Button is.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 9:20

          It’s also worth noting that Hamilton was thrust into a top seat straight away, so he had no years of wasted talent as in Button’s case. Jenson used to qualify that BAR on the front row back in 2003/2004/2005 and then took it (now Honda) to victory in 2006. He’s still a great driver, but as is also the case with Mark Webber, we’re always going to have to wonder “what if?”, which is a shame.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th June 2012, 9:28

            Hm, but rembember that Williams was still at least at the top of the mid pack, or even in the mix for wins, when Button got his first races for them @damonsmedley, its just he was probably not as well prepared for it at the time as Hamilton was.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 9:32

            Not sure it was quite capable of wins, but it was certainly a lot better than the car he had the next season! But even so, he did a solid job in the Williams. There were a few bumps along the way, but he did enough to attract Briatore’s attention (who has spotted some great drivers) despite his “playboy”-ish baggage.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th June 2012, 9:54

            True enough, and we can hardly blame Button for not getting along with the Briatore bandwagon after his first year at Bennetton, can we @damonsmedley!

        • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 10th June 2012, 9:47

          @damonsmedley
          Lewis is “marginally” quicker in qualifying? Really? He beat Button 14-4 in 2010. Last year, Lewis was 17-2 in qualifying (if you include the chances where he was clearly quicker than Button, but didn’t have the opportunity to do a second run, for whatever reason), and this year, he is 7-0 in qualifying. I would hardly call that “marginal”. Jenson beat Lewis in 2011 in what was arguably Lewis’ worst ever F1 season, and Jenson’s best ever (even so, Lewis was ahead on points for most of the season, completely outqualified him, and had the same number of race wins). Yes, Lewis made mistakes last season, but many of them were simply racing incidents, some of which were not even his fault. And you don’t think Jenson didn’t make mistakes last season? If I recall correctly, he had about 3 drive-through penalties in Canada last year, took out two of his competitors, and yet was lauded as a genius for beating Vettel (who was on much older tires) at the end of it all. I don’t mean to say that Jenson’s not an excellent driver, or that when he’s on form, he can really shine, but to say that he is on Lewis’ or Fernando’s level is simply ridiculous. Seriously, if he wasn’t such a cool guy, and the BBC didn’t love him so much and take every opportunity to defend him and cite his “beautifully smooth” (read: slow) driving style, then he simply wouldn’t have that many fans. Jenson has a cult of personality about him, and I’m sure I’d rather grab a beer with him than with Lewis, but as far as racing is concerned- and that’s what this is all about, isn’t it- Lewis is simply a better racer.

          And yes, the reason why he is not “ominously” beating Jenson is quite clear, isn’t it? I mean, you can’t really be that biased, can you? Lewis has had simply the worst luck so far this season- clutch problems in Australia, weather in Malaysia, gearbox in China, terrible pit stops in Bahrain, fuel problem in Spain, awful pit-wall communication in Monaco. And while I’m on a rant, I’ll look at both of their performances so far this season, and let you tell me who is the better driver and who’s actually the driver that’s “making the mistakes”.

          Australia- Lewis outqualifes Jenson, but is beaten off the line thanks to an incorrect clutch setting. He more or less matches Jenson’s pace throughout the race, but is unlucky to lose out to Vettel during the safety car.

          Malaysia- Outqualifies Button again, and shows Brilliant wet-weather pace (as usual), but is unlucky with his car’s performance/ tire calls when the weather dries, still managing to bring his car home 3rd. Jenson, meanwhile, has no pace at all, crashes into an HRT, and finishes 13th.

          China- Lewis, as is expected, outqualifies Jenson, but is demoted to 7th because of gearbox problems. Both drivers show solid pace throughout the race, and make very similar passes, but Lewis only finishes one place behind Button. Admittedly, Jenson had a poor last pitstop, but it seems unlikely he would have caught Nico anyway.

          Bahrain- Lewis beats Jenson in qualifying (noticing a trend?), and is leading him throughout the race until his team completely botches two pitstops. Even then, Button cannot pull away from him, and he eventually retires.

          Spain- Lewis blasts to pole position while Jenson fails to make it into Q3 (he must have been especially sensitive to set up that day ;) ), but is demoted to last because his team seems to be about as competent as a 5th grader. Still, he manages to beat Button during the race (who started 14 places above him), and manages an incredible 31 laps on the option tires.

          Monaco- As usual, Lewis outqualifiies Jenson (who fails to make it to Q3 again), but is beset by poor information being relayed to him (he wasn’t too happy about not being informed to hustle when he was battling Vettel in the pits), and finishes fifth. Meanwhile, Button can’t manage to pass a Caterham, and is stuck in 13th, when he crashes out.

          Canada- Lewis qualifies on the front row, as usual, while Button makes it into Q3 only because Maldonado is a terrible driver and botched the last corner of his lap.

          Now, please, tell me who is being more consistent. Lewis could have won in Malaysia (with consistent rainfall), won in China (with no penalty), finished on the podium in Bahrain (without losing 16 seconds in the pits), would have surely won in Spain, and could very well win today. I think it’s “ominous” for Jenson that he is already 18 points down on Lewis, given Lewis’ luck so far. But hey, those are just the facts.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 12:47

            @mpw1985 Fair enough, but I have to question (remember, not rubbishing anything you say, just questioning because we’re both human beings) a few things you’ve said, and clarify what I had meant.

            Lewis is “marginally” quicker in qualifying? Really?

            Yes. Jenson could be beaten 20-0 and they could still be quite evenly matched if the margin wasn’t huge. And it never is. Compare the two to the RBR and Ferrari drivers, and they’re pretty evenly matched when it comes to their final Q3 times (at least in the first few races, anyway).

            If I recall correctly, he had about 3 drive-through penalties in Canada last year, took out two of his competitors, and yet was lauded as a genius for beating Vettel (who was on much older tires) at the end of it all.

            Actually, if I recall correctly, Sebastian was on much younger tyres. Jenson was lauded as a genius because he was by far the quickest driver out there, despite nearly being taken out by Hamilton and then having a scrape (that was a racing incident as Jenson was past before the corner and Fernando took a deeper entry) with Alonso. He caught and passed everyone because he was quicker than everyone, despite Red Bull having the quicker car.

            Jenson beat Lewis in 2011 in what was arguably Lewis’ worst ever F1 season, and Jenson’s best ever (even so, Lewis was ahead on points for most of the season, completely outqualified him, and had the same number of race wins).

            And Jenson also had two retirements in a row — through no fault of his own — when running in strong positions. I’m not even saying Jenson is a better driver, but I disagree with the notion of Lewis being a God that Jenson can’t get close to.

            Seriously, if he wasn’t such a cool guy, and the BBC didn’t love him so much and take every opportunity to defend him and cite his “beautifully smooth” (read: slow) driving style, then he simply wouldn’t have that many fans.

            Well, I’m not going to argue against the fact he’s a cool guy affecting my opinion of him! But all I’m ever doing is picking my favourite people, not my favourite drivers because they can do this, that or the other, because I’m not an expert and I don’t feel I’m smart enough, informed enough, or enough involved with the inner workings of each and every team to be able to do that. It’s not naivety, I don’t think, it’s just giving people the benefit of the doubt and not jumping on every opportunity to criticise people that are actually amazing drivers.

            I didn’t jump on the bandwagon (I desperately wanted Rubens to win in ’09) when he was dominating and I certainly wouldn’t call my fondness of him anything like that anyway. I like him because drivers are, believe it or not, quite evenly matched when you get to this level. I’m not going to pretend I’m in a position to make such damning judgements on drivers, so instead I’ll just stick to being a fan and support everyone, and have soft-spots for those I find nice away from the track. And I have no idea what the media coverage is like in the UK because I don’t live there, so it’s definitely nothing to do with that.

            He more or less matches Jenson’s pace throughout the race, but is unlucky to lose out to Vettel during the safety car.

            Definitely unlucky with the safety car, but I was watching the onboards from the race the other day and it’s amazing how quickly Jenson pulled away from Lewis after the start. If he was quicker, he would have caught back up after the first corner and taken the lead back. But he wasn’t quick enough.

            And on the subject of qualifying, I’m of the belief that if you can prove yourself to make the difference on Sunday, Saturday doesn’t really matter. I mean, you only get points on Sunday. Kimi and Jenson are both being dominated in this respect, but they’ve proven to be very handy in the race.

            Jenson, meanwhile, has no pace at all, crashes into an HRT, and finishes 13th.

            Jenson, who had no pace at all, managed to get in front of Lewis and was looking like running away with it before making that silly error. After that, he was forced to the back, and I think it’s not quite right to say he had no pace at all, because he wasn’t unusually slow (and I’m not even sure Lewis was faster).

            Admittedly, Jenson had a poor last pitstop, but it seems unlikely he would have caught Nico anyway.

            I think he would have. And even if he didn’t, that was another classy performance from Jenson where he proved he’s not slow on Sunday. Difficult to compare them, however, as Lewis had a grid penalty and started from a less-than-ideal position.

            Even then, Button cannot pull away from him, and he eventually retires.

            He was on for strong points and doing all he needed to do. The retirement was not his fault.

            Meanwhile, Button can’t manage to pass a Caterham, and is stuck in 13th, when he crashes out.

            Jenson was unlucky at the start though, wasn’t he? Of course, it’s his fault for not making Q3, but he was unusually unlucky at turn 1 which cost him the race and any chance of points. He couldn’t manage to pass Kovalainen because the Caterham it’s Monaco. Just like everyone else that couldn’t manage a pass on that day. Not as if Jenson was the only one. And his crash, if you’ve seen the FOM race edit, looks to me like Kovalainen’s fault for pulling across when Jenson was alongside (and inching ahead).

            Now, please, tell me who is being more consistent.

            That’s easy. It’s Lewis. Never really touched on who’s being consistent this year, but sure, Lewis is being more consistent and bringing home the points. In fact, he’s ahead in the driver’s championship as a result.

            And hey, I wouldn’t call speculation facts, but there you go. ;-)

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 13:41

            @mpw1985 Just checked — Button made his last stop on lap 51, while Sebastian made his on lap 54. So I don’t think Sebastian had “much older tyres”.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 10th June 2012, 11:29

          @bascb Let me put it this way: Hamilton had to change his attitude to become a better all round driver and resume his beating of Button that was in evidence for more than 1.5 seasons. I don’t agree with “Button-like style”, because clearly this is not only Button’s style. Why don’t you say “Alonso-style”?
          On the other hand, can Button change his driving style to increase his “operating window” and resume his half season of beating Lewis again? IMO as has been proved by all his time in F1 since 2000 the answer is a resounding no. Feel free to disagree but do tell why.
          @damonsmedley What has the time spent in a top-team or not to do with my comment? I wasn’t at any point referring to their results other than comparisons of them as team-mates. I agree that points and stats mean nothing when taken out of context. However all Jenson’s career seems to indicate that he needs a very specific set of circumstances to operate anywhere near his extremely fast best. That’s what I called a narrow operating window. And that’s why IMO Jenson cannot be considered a true great in the mold of Hamilton, Alonso etc. People often compare Jenson to Prost but they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact the driver he should be compared to is Reutemann. A world beater when all is perfect, but nowhere in sight when otherwise

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 10th June 2012, 12:55

            @montreal95

            What has the time spent in a top-team or not to do with my comment?

            The fact that he didn’t have an amazing car back then and still managed to get poles and front row starts, indicating to me that he hasn’t always been confined to having pace in this apparent “narrow operating window”.

            People often compare Jenson to Prost but they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact the driver he should be compared to is Reutemann.

            They couldn’t be more wrong because they’re two different people from two different eras. When you compare eras like that, you’re comparing entirely different sports. It’s not fair nor is it logical. It’s a bit silly. Similar results do not mean similar drivers.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 10th June 2012, 14:14

            @damonsmedley A car that is fast and a car that suits a driver are two different things. As I’ve said Jenson is extremely fast when the car suits him perfectly. So if such a car isn’t fast he can still do something good with it. If a slow car also doesn’t suit him however then it’s a double disaster and you get the season he had in Benetton 2001.

            I also, dislike it when people compare results. Espesially from different eras. It’s madness! However it was neither the results I compared above, nor even the driving style. Just the fact that both drivers are similar in that single critical aspect: “A world beater when all is perfect, but nowhere in sight when otherwise”. Again here, the car doesn’t have to be a world beater, but it has to suit him perfectly.

  9. celeste (@celeste) said on 10th June 2012, 4:40

    The FIA force Red Bull to change axle hole design feature (BBC)

    “BBC Sport understands that on arrival at the Canadian GP, FIA race director Charlie Whiting felt that the holes in the Red Bull axles – which have been on the car since the start of the season – were also illegal.”

    Ted’s Qualy notebook (Sky)

    Red Bull’s axle holes had been on the car since the second pre-season test in February.

    Am I the only one who find this wrong?

    Why are other teams looking for problems on the RBR cars, even when there have been there for 4 months. And why does the FIA listen to this teams…

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 10th June 2012, 7:15

      Err because that’s always the way its been. If you were a one of the other teams and you saw what you thought was an illegal design on another car would you just sit there dumb and happy?

      Its no different from any highly competitive sport.

      The FIA have an obligation to investigate and provide an answer.

    • infy (@infy) said on 10th June 2012, 10:12

      Well teams pay good money to employ staff who’s sole job is to analyze their opponents cars. If they find some one is cheating and dont report it, then thats a lot of money wasted!

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2012, 4:44

    @celeste – From the sounds of things, the FIA ruled the axle holes illegal without any influence from the other teams. I’m guessing the decision was made in light of the decision to ban the holes in the floor.

  11. Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 10th June 2012, 10:33

    I love the cloak and dagger stuff Newey talks about. It does make you wonder to what length teams will go to. He makes reference to a possible double agent in RB recently, or has all this just made all the teams super paranoid! Can you imagine being a fly on the wall at some of these meetings, I wonder if they employ counter espionage technology to ensure their not being bugged!!!!

  12. I Love the Pope said on 10th June 2012, 13:54

    Go Alonso!

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th June 2012, 14:13

    Bit from the article about CoTA being due for an inspection next week…

    Epp will stop in at New Jersey before he returns to Austin. In New Jersey, with New York City’s skyline as a backdrop, world champion Sebastian Vettel will drive the street course Tilke will put together for New Jersey’s Grand Prix, scheduled for 2013.

    I read that as Vettel doing it next week, am I right? Sounds good!

  14. maxthecat said on 10th June 2012, 14:28

    There is something about Helmut Marko i really don’t like.

  15. Newelly12 (@newelly12) said on 10th June 2012, 22:14

    Looks like every one really understood the tyres in the race

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