Vettel’s Valencia pace worries Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel’s pace at the start of the European Grand Prix is a cause for concern at Ferrari.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari concerned by Vettel’s pace (BBC)

Stefano Domenicali: “They did something very good this weekend; they improved the car. We are not at the level we should be in terms of performance. Red Bull was the quickest.”

McLaren: Maldonado incident avoidable (Autosport)

When asked if he thought Hamilton should have defended so hard, Whitmarsh said: “Clearly not, but you are dragging me into the conversation. In my mind, you saw him defend with [Romain] Grosjean and with [Kimi] Raikkonen, and he didn’t do anything different with Maldonado. It was a different outcome, but he didn’t do anything different with those drivers.”

Lewis Hamilton: “You have these ups and downs” (Adam Cooper)

“I don?t really know what happened if I?m honest. I went in the corner and I didn?t come out. To be honest it happened so fast I really don?t remember what happened. All I remember is sitting in the wall with only a lap to go.”

Horner sure Alonso will stumble (Sky)

“Fernando has done a tremendous job, scoring in every single race, but statistics say he has to have one bad weekend in 20. It will hopefully balance itself out over the course of the season.”

RB8 now a good all-rounder – Horner (ESPN)

“I think that we see form fluctuate from circuit to circuit, but we’ve had three poles in the last three races and that’s encouraging. We were in a commanding position here, tyre degradation looked very low and we were able to match that of our nearest rivals this weekend, and on that side it’s been positive.”

A rush of adrenaline, an emotional moment (Ferrari)

Luca di Montezemolo: “I saw all three champions of ‘my’ Ferrari hugging each other. Thinking back to so many amazing wins in these last 15 years and to the people who have contributed to that ?ǣ from Michael to Kimi, from Todt to the other drivers, from the engineers to the mechanics ?ǣ I was really touched.”

Comment of the day

Another great addition to Stats and Facts from Bleu:

It was first time since 2008 Brazilian GP since the driver won his home race. The longest such streak is between 1958 (won by Peter Collins) and 1962 British GPs (won by Jim Clark). Besides these two, the other time as there has been three years between two wins, is gap between 1995 European GP (Nurburgring, won by Schumacher) and 1999 British GP (won by Coulthard).

But then, nowadays we have a lot more races with no driver having home race. Since that Brazilian race, all Malaysian, Chinese, Bahrain, Monaco, Turkish, Canadian, Hungarian, Belgian, Singapore, Korean and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix have been held without a local driver with the exception of last year?s Belgian GP where Jerome d?Ambrosio was driving (and no one was believing that he would win).
Bleu

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On this day in F1

Last year’s European Grand Prix was one year ago today – Sebastian Vettel scored a straightforward win at a track which has previously struggled to produce exciting races.

F1 Fanatic readers rated it 3.8/10 which was by far the lowest score of the season – next was the Indian Grand Prix with 5.5/10.

What did you think of this year’s race? Add you rating here:

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114 comments on Vettel’s Valencia pace worries Ferrari

  1. DVC (@dvc) said on 26th June 2012, 0:41

    I predict this year’s European GP will score better than 3.8/10.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th June 2012, 0:54

      Yes, but was it the tyres that made it good or was it a case of many cars being competitive spiced up by the return of “reliability” as a factor.

      • SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 26th June 2012, 1:02

        Clearly not one or the other, but a combination of everything you’ve mentioned.

      • Tyler (@tdog) said on 26th June 2012, 1:35

        I think JEV also deserves some of the credit for bringing out the safety car!

      • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 26th June 2012, 6:11

        It was already good before the safety car, and before Vettel’s faliure.

        That was partly because the cars qualified out of order [because Q2 was so close], and also because Schumacher struggled for pace in the middle of the race. This left drivers like Alonso, Grosjean and Webber bottled up with wheel-to-wheel racing the inevitable result.

        It was also because of the varying strategies which left drivers at the front needing to overtake each other. Vettel aside, there was a lot of top-5 action both before and after the safety car period.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 26th June 2012, 8:52

        I’d say Safety Cars played a bigger role than tyres at Valecia…

        • q85 said on 26th June 2012, 9:48

          no as like stated above the best bit of racing was when no one but alonso could get past michael.

          The DRS worked about right here. Most tracks michael would not of been able to do that and they would of just breezed past him which is boring.

          michaels defence in that middle stage has been totally overlooked. it was great skill and very important for him strategy wise later in the race. and alonso getting through was vital also.

      • SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 26th June 2012, 9:38

        It was fun to see reliability issues return, it’s not a nice way to exit a grand prix, but it really spiced up the show.

        So, overtaking and reliability issues make for entertaining races, maybe we need another button on the steering wheel that the driver presses in a designated zone, it will ‘roll a dice’ and give them a 1 out of 100 chance of having their car forced to break down, but only if they are leading by more than some arbitrary time.

        It could be called the Reliability Determination System or RDS, it would sit well next to DRS.

    • callum (@095cal) said on 26th June 2012, 0:56

      I think its Vettel retiring and the safety along with the tyres making the race interesting lol, better than all the other Valencia bore fests!

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 26th June 2012, 1:25

        I predict this year’s European GP will score better than 3.8/10.

        Well, in that case it better be no higher than a rating of 3.9

        Valencia sucks. It’s a boring circuit. Nothing ever happens at Valencia.

        And before anyone opens the reply box, note this was sarcasm.

  2. SamC (@samc) said on 26th June 2012, 1:39

    I’m kind of curious why I have seen no mention anywhere of a potential problem for Alonso for stopping on the track at the end, it makes Hamiltons complete grid penalty look very very harsh, I know Hamiltons was after qualifying but the cars surely are still in parc ferme conditions after the race too until scrutineering is done, FIA not wanting bad publicity for affecting the big home race win?

    • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 26th June 2012, 2:02

      Its only after quali..we’ve seen many drivers stop on their in-laps over the years, no penalties were dished out.

    • mantresx said on 26th June 2012, 4:03

      Think about it, in qualifying you can control exactly how much fuel the car is going to have at the end of the session, which means that if you’re under-fueled it, it was on purpose to gain an advantage, on the race however it’s impossible to predict exactly the fuel you’ll use and you can gain very little and loose quite a lot if you get it wrong, that’s probably why there is no penalties.

      • SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 26th June 2012, 6:03

        I sort of doubt it was due to low fuel that he stopped, I find it hard to believe they would be cutting it that close even after a safety car.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 26th June 2012, 9:01

          Apart from being unusual (not sure if it ever happened) penalizing a driver for stopping at the end, I too think Fernando stopped to celebrate his unexpected win with fellow Spaniards. Their country is going through tough times and he rightly decided to share that moment with them. That was a treat.

          • q85 said on 26th June 2012, 10:37

            there used to be a rule that you couldnt actually stop and restart on the slow down lap. i was worried for fernando when he picked up the flag. its a silly rule and not sure if it still exists.

            Damon got a slap on the wrist for it at silverstone 94.

          • imarlab (@imarlab) said on 26th June 2012, 14:40

            Right on target, JCost.

            +1

    • nefor (@nefor) said on 26th June 2012, 5:59

      IIRC the rules specifically state that in Practice (Quali is part of this) the car must make it back to parc ferme under it’s own steam. The race is difference and so long as the car is brought back and passes scrutineering they are fine to stop on track and have it recovered.

    • PJA (@pja) said on 26th June 2012, 18:38

      While I didn’t think Alonso would receive a penalty that would change the result for stopping on track I was worried the FIA might fine him or give him a warning.

      As far as I am aware nothing has happened and I am glad as it is nice to see drivers celebrating a victory like that especially when it meant so much to Alonso and the fans

    • Aditya Banerjee (@) said on 29th June 2012, 8:31

      Button stopped at least thrice last year without completing a victory lap. It isn’t mandatory…

  3. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 26th June 2012, 2:28

    @bleu You truly are an F1 Fanatic. I salute your dedication to the sport.

  4. xeroxpt (@) said on 26th June 2012, 2:31

    Perfect DRS lenght, good conditions for racing = equals amazing show, quite simple of course F1 still has the problem of pole sitters running away in clean air but a bit of misfortune fixed that last weekend.

    • mantresx said on 26th June 2012, 4:16

      “F1 still has the problem of pole sitters running away in clean air” well that is very characteristic of F1 isn’t it? it would be interesting to see if they could reintroduce ground effect but many consider that’s a “cheap” way to produce downforce, certainly there is the danger of either making the cars too equal in performance (GP2 like) if the rules are very tight or making the cars too fast and dangerous if you leave engineers have their way. Unfortunately an opportunity to try it out was lost with the 2014 rules in my opinion.

      • Andy (@turbof1) said on 26th June 2012, 10:54

        Perhaps they should test ground effect more properly to get an idea of how and what. Would be pretty simple: just take a random 2009 car and slap some skirts on it.

      • timi (@timi) said on 26th June 2012, 12:57

        I don’t think it is that ground effects are a “cheap” way of getting DF. It’s more that it is incredibly dangerous at high speeds if the seal of air underneath the car is broken. More safety reasons I think

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th June 2012, 2:53

    A welcome return to paying the penultimate price for a speed inducing modification a DNF. ?
    I was actually surprised in these days of KERS to hear that the engines are still reliant on an engine driven generator, the implication that the safety car period was causal probably means that aerodynamic packaging is so tight that the generators suffer from heat build up at slower speeds. I would be interested in an authorative analysis of this, no doubt in 2014 everything will be running of the 1 battery-pack and hybrid generator.

    • vjanik said on 26th June 2012, 11:57

      after 2014 the electric power will still come from an “engine driven generator”. even the KERS batteries are engine driven, albeit indirectly. there is no such thing as free lunch.

  6. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 26th June 2012, 2:56

    If Vettel hadn’t retired, he would have won with ease and the race would have been deemed average by most F1F’s.

    Regarding Maldonado, he needs to mind his step as he’s treading on thin ice. It wasn’t that long ago that he was considered a pay driver, he turned that perception on its head by consistently beating his team mate and superbly winning the Spanish GP. However, people have short memories and tend to remember you for the negative rather than the positive (just look at Massa for example). If he isn’t careful, he’ll earn himself a reputation as a reckless, dangerous and inconsiderate driver and it can be very difficult to shake that kind of rep, even if you are a talented driver.

    • Kimi4WC said on 26th June 2012, 4:28

      Care to expand on a pay driver thing? I think Senna, Alonso, Schumacher and many other are keen to hear about that.

      Anyway, I think all the drivers did very well in first part of the race, it was so close, many times I though we were gonna have a major incident, but they managed. I think it was tough race, and it took toll on many.

      Looking at championship table, I’d say it was in most interest of Hamilton not to have this incident and make it as easy as possible for Maldonado. Maldonado already got his win and smashing Senna like there is no tomorrow, hes safe.
      Said that, I dont think Maldonodo should have driven on to that kerb and launch into Hamilton. Lewis had no traction, he could have overtaken him at any exit he wanted if he was smart about it. (Kimi done exactly that after failing to do so during braking).

      It is sad to see Maldonado not to keep his cool in this situation after what happened in Australia. I guess he is not a quick learner, but he got talent to drive fast.

      Hamilton is just impressive, didn’t care for a guy before this season. But his attitude change made me think otherwise, way he handled himself post-race is just shows he is a bigger man. His immediate reaction in car is understandable, liked it too!

      Hoping for four way Championship. Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and Kimi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Snafu (@snafu) said on 26th June 2012, 6:49

        you didn’t really expected Hamilton to give his position away, did you? He held up kimi who could go and overtake Alonso…this way Alonso would get less points…but he didn’t!

        that’s racing!

      • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 26th June 2012, 13:11

        @Kimi4WC
        Maybe the term ‘pay driver’ is wrong, but that does detract from my point that many F1 fans (myself NOT included) had the perception that Maldonado was in F1 partly because of his talent, but mainly because of the financial clout that he had behind him.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 26th June 2012, 7:03

      @tmcs88

      If he isn’t careful, he’ll earn himself a reputation as a reckless, dangerous and inconsiderate driver.

      Too late. He already has this reputation. Now he needs to work really hard to reverse it, but it will be almost impossible for someone who’s unable to own up to his own mistakes.

      People have short memories and tend to remember you for the negative rather than the positive (just look at Massa for example).

      I think we all remember Massa’s good races, but sadly, he isn’t there anymore. Nowadays he’s consistently unable to challenge Alonso. He needs to change it or he’ll be replaced. Reminiscing the good times won’t help a bit with his current situation.

    • HewisLamilton said on 26th June 2012, 17:10

      Very interesting perception on Maldonado. I felt similar to you on this except you can replace Maldonado with Hamilton.

  7. The Limit said on 26th June 2012, 3:56

    Good point. Interesting to see that Martin Whitmarsh made the valid point that Lewis fought both Grosjean and Raikkonen fairly without incident, in situations not unlike the one involving Maldonado. When I first saw the crash live, it looked to me as if Maldonado lost his temper after being forced off the track and then drove into the side of Hamilton. Maldonado ‘claims’ that he lost control going over the curbing but the video evidence doesn’t show the Williams behaving in such a way.
    I can imagine, off topic, how unpopular the FIA would be if they penalised Alonso for stopping on track. For me, it was the emotion of the victory from both the crowd and Fernando that made this race memorable. Took me back to the days of Mansell at Silverstone in a way, great stuff!

    • Dave (@davea86) said on 26th June 2012, 9:09

      I’m not sure that Whitmarsh is right though. Raikkonen and Grosjean both passed Hamilton by going around the outside at turn 12 to get alongside him, which gave them the inside line into turn 13 to make the pass. Maldonado made the same move but had to go off the track because Hamilton positioned his car so there wasn’t room for him to stay on the track.

      I’m not saying Hamilton was wrong in doing that, I’ve discussed that on other articles here and the consensus seems to be that being on the racing line gave Hamilton the right to do what he did. But Hamilton can’t have done the same thing for all three passes because Grosjean and Raikkonen wouldn’t be able to fit their cars between Hamilton and the left side of the track if he had made the same move he did when Maldonado tried to pass.

      It looked like he’d been passed there twice by exactly the same move and tried something different to stop it happening a third time.

  8. leotef (@leotef) said on 26th June 2012, 4:50

    Watching the first half of this Valencian GP, it strongly smells of the 2011, all covered with fingerings… Again Adrian might have found something magical in RBR8? Then it should be a big shame…

    • Lachie (@lachie) said on 26th June 2012, 5:04

      Precisely.

      The race ended up being good but gave pretty ominous signs that a 2011 borefest is right around the corner after such a brilliant start to the season.

      • iBlaze (@) said on 26th June 2012, 10:05

        I’d say the jury is still out on that. Remember how dominant McLaren appeared to be in Melbourne? People said the same thing then..

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 26th June 2012, 10:52

          Or when Vettel won Bahrein.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th June 2012, 5:41

            @f1fannl I personally never for a moment thought that Vettel would return to 2011 form post Bahrain. He was hounded down relentlessly by the Loti.

        • leotef (@leotef) said on 27th June 2012, 8:21

          If past is any indication of the future, the early dominance of McLaren this season at Melbourne is at best shaky, or put it other words, very temporary, while what felt like seeing the Q3 by RBR8, one shot lap with astounding 3 tenths gap, followed by definite full dominance of the race was something invincible like last year.
          Guess is that the driver’s capability differential among the top 3-5 contenders are very very thin and ergo the gap couldn’t be more than 1 sec for the first lap unless there’s huge performance difference in the car. Dunno know and hope not, but the forms exhibited by RBR8 not only VET but WEB were quite different from what it normally is said to be so far this season.

  9. Girts (@girts) said on 26th June 2012, 7:15

    RBR were obviously very strong at Valencia but I think the picture might look different in a couple of weeks. If I remember correctly, Vettel has always been strong at Valencia and last year it was one of his most dominant wins, while life wasn’t as easy in the next races at Silverstone, Nurburgring and Hungaroring. Now we are heading to Silverstone again, it’s a circuit of a different type, the temperatures are almost definitely going to be lower and there is a decent chance of rain, too. For sure, Domenicali’s attitude is right but there is a reasonable hope that the close battle we have seen so far among the top teams this year will continue.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th June 2012, 5:46

      @Girts I think what was worrying them was that Vettel was achieving the same tyre life as the Lotus even despite unleashing such pace. Vettel’s first stop was the same lap as Grosjean’s first stop.

    • Nickpkr said on 27th June 2012, 23:01

      Can’t relate to 2011, nobody is pushing the tires and Vettel could had the best window of them all in Valencia, Maldonado and Rosberg had it once already and no pecking order.
      I like drivers do make difference now, even rookies have a chance

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th June 2012, 7:23

    “Fernando has done a tremendous job, scoring in every single race, but statistics say he has to have one bad weekend in 20. It will hopefully balance itself out over the course of the season.”

    Statistics say that Sebastian Vettel has to have one bad weekend in twenty, too.

    In fact, I would argue that both Vettel and Alonso have had bad weekends. Alonso has simply made the most of them.

    • Julian (@julian) said on 26th June 2012, 9:11

      I don’t know why but hearing a team principle say things like that is kind of off putting. Its almost as if he’s going out in public saying I want x to have bad luck so it benefits me. Doesn’t matter if it’s coming from Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren or whoever, it’s very off putting to me.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th June 2012, 10:45

        @julian – I think I said this a while ago. Teams like Ferrari arrive at a circuit expecting to be competitive based on what they know about the car and the circuit. Teams like Red Bull arrive at a circuit and assume they will be competitive irrespective of what they know about the car and the circuit.

        If I didn’t know any better, I’d say these comments were made by Christian Horner’s doppelganger at The F1 Slate. The obvious implication is that Vettel is the perfect driver who will capitalise on a single mistake from Alonso and take full advantage of it, as if the championship will depend on it. The only problem with this statement is that Alonso’s lead over Vettel is so great that even if Vettel wins in Silverstone and Alonso decides to go down to the pub instead of race, Alonso will still have the championship lead when the championship moved to Hockenheim.

        • Um. What? “The perfect driver”? Creative interpretation, there!

          Also, if Vettel’s and Alonso’s fortunes were reversed in the next GP, as you (sort of) describe, Alonso would come out of it leading Vettel by, yes, ONE point. One whole point. Which was the situation as they were going into the European GP, of course. And it would be exactly what Horner was talking about: one bad weekend for Alonso balancing everything out again.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 26th June 2012, 20:18

            what the hell are you guys talking about…. Horner was just pointing out that a DNF for Alonso (a bad weekend) and Vettel winning as Alonso did (on Vettels bad weekend a DNF) and we’ve be back where we started.

            Nothing to do with being prefect or taking full advantage., just the law of averages.

        • Aditya Banerjee (@) said on 29th June 2012, 8:33

          +1

    • @prisoner-monkeys Refresh my memory: how many times this season has Alonso had the kind of bad weekend Vettel just had? I can’t remember his car breaking down and stopping on track even once. But yeah, no doubt Alonso would have made the most of it if it had. Probably would have still scored points, right? ;-)

      Vettel and Alonso entered the European GP separated by ONE point, so it seems to me they had both been doing about equally well at making the most of their “bad weekends” — up until Vettel had the sort of bad weekend normal mortals really can’t do anything about.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th June 2012, 10:51

        how many times this season has Alonso had the kind of bad weekend Vettel just had? I can’t remember his car breaking down and stopping on track even once.

        I seem to recall him having a car that was practically undrivable when the season started. It wasn’t until the Mugello test that Ferrari started to make serious progress in bettering the car. Nevertheless, in the first four races of the season, Alonso managed to score a fifth, a first, a ninth and a seventh.

        • Wait — so you’re counting bad weekends BEFORE the season started? Okay, then…

          However, what you quoted in your original comment was Horner referring to misfortune like Vettel’s this weekend. If Alonso had had a DNF at some point in the season so far, he and Vettel would be a lot closer in points right now.

          • Postreader said on 26th June 2012, 13:13

            He said “when” the season started, not “before”. The mugello testing was mid-season. Are you doing it on purpose aka_robyn?

          • No, that was an unintentional misinterpretation of the phrase “when the season started.” (I know when Mugello testing happened.)

            However, I fail to see how that — or anything PM said in his response to me, actually — has any bearing on my overall point, which is that Alonso has not experienced the type of “bad day” Horner was referring to.

          • Julian (@julian) said on 26th June 2012, 15:07

            @aka_robyn
            I think the point PM is trying to make is that Alonso had bad weeks, not just a bad day, in what was a dog of a car. But he made the most out of it as he possibly could. And as a result he is now leading the championship.

            Or something along those lines.

          • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 26th June 2012, 15:54

            @aka_robyn

            At leas until May, Alonso was operating in damage limiting mode, while Vettel l was able to challenge for victories and pole. While Alonso took every single opportunity and scored more than his car would realistically allow him to score, Vettel failed to capitalize on his car potential – which obviously until Mugello test was much greater than Alonso’s Ferrari and more often than not it allowed to fight for poles, podiums and wins. One might say he doesn’t cope very well when he doesn’t have the great performance advantage and there are other drivers with machines comparable to his. And if you want to talk about bad weekends, ask Schumacher.

          • The main point I had been trying to make (apparently not very effectively) was a pretty narrow one: all Horner was saying was that Alonso was bound to run into bad luck at some point, which will hopefully even things out, pointswise. And if it’s bad luck like his car breaking down, even Alonso’s unparalleled super-awesome skills won’t allow him to “simply make the most of it.”

            However, if we’re changing the subject to each driver’s relative performance in their respective cars this season: if Keith decided to hold a poll today called “The Driver of the 2012 Season So Far,” Alonso would have my vote. He has done an amazing job. It STILL doesn’t mean he would be able to do a better job than Vettel with a car that’s sitting stationary on the circuit through no fault of his own!

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 26th June 2012, 20:28

            @aka_robyn you made the point perfectly, I’m not understanding why people are arguing with you.
            Horner didn’t even say or imply the points people are arguing, they seem to have something set in their minds and can’t see it from another perspective, yours, which I agree with.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th June 2012, 22:31

            Vettel failed to capitalize on his car potential

            Not really, given that he would be leading if not for an alternator failure.

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 26th June 2012, 10:54

        +1

    • Andy (@turbof1) said on 26th June 2012, 11:00

      If that car stays that dominant, vettel can afford to have a bad weekend, or 2, or 3. That last update made them instantly 3 tenths faster.

    • Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 26th June 2012, 11:19

      You can’t ‘make the most’ of your car switching off; no driver in history could do that. And it’s a particularly bad weekend when it happens in a race you’re going to win. Regardless of how beautifully Alonso has driven this season, when his car breaks in the lead we’ll all agree he’s had a bad weekend.

  11. Girts (@girts) said on 26th June 2012, 7:30

    As for the ‘avoidable’ accident, I believe that both Hamilton and Mr. Whitmarsh are being too diplomatic here. Almost every collision is avoidable but that doesn’t mean that drivers should avoid any clashes at any cost, particularly if the rival tries to overtake aggressively as Maldonado did. There is a difference between ‘leaving the space’ and just giving in. Hamilton has every right to feel angry with Maldonado after what happened.

  12. Aditya Banerjee (@) said on 26th June 2012, 7:36

    When asked if he thought Hamilton should have defended so hard, Whitmarsh said: “Clearly not, but you are dragging me into the conversation. In my mind, you saw him defend with [Romain] Grosjean and with [Kimi] Raikkonen, and he didn’t do anything different with Maldonado. It was a different outcome, but he didn’t do anything different with those drivers.”
    Which is exactly why Hamilton should have been careful. Raikkonen and Grosjean are both safer drivers compared to Maldonado and Hamilton shouldn’t have defended so vehemently from him.
    I do not believe I have the ability of foresight, but watching the helicopter shot of Hamilton and Maldonado approaching the turn(I’ve forgotten the number, there are too many numbers on the track) at the end of the DRS straight, my instinct was saying that there would be a crash. And when there was, I did not react. Is it because the duo have clashed on multiple occasions in the past? I had a similar experience in Buddh last year between Massa and Hamilton.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 26th June 2012, 8:42

      Still, the “Clearly not” might be honest, but it’s also a bit disappointing to see that for me @adibanf1

      Had Whitmarsh said “in hindsight” he’d be right; this comes from a team manager that couldn’t provide either drivers with a lot of faultless team efforts this year (and no updates here, while the pace seems to have dropped relatively I might add), and about a driver that didn’t even make a mistake, just didn’t take the smartest heat-of-the-moment action and lost way more than he deserves as a consequence. He who is without sin etc.

      All in all a worrying weekend for McLaren. Are pit stop and Button struggles holding back team progress?

      • Aditya Banerjee (@) said on 26th June 2012, 15:39

        They seem to be underperfoming in the updates sector with respect to Red Bull, Lotus and even Ferrari. Button is a factor too, I think he is facing a psychological barrier, which is similar to the one Massa is probably facing. This is strange, considering he seemed to carry on his performances from last year at Melbourne.

    • Whitmarsh comment “clearly not” is in hindsight. It should be obvious to everybody now that Hamilton shouldn`t have defended as he did when we know the outcome. He might just have well have stated that Maldonado should “clearly not” have been as aggressive as he was in hindsight.

      Whitmarsh just stated the obvious, in hindsight knowing the outcome of course Hamilton should have let Maldonado go and not defended as hard as he did. But nobody knew the outcome that at the time so why bother speculating. Still i have to admit that I could see the incident coming before it happened, after all Maldonado and Hamilton fighting for position will end in tears more often than not. Maldonado will stick his nose in there every single time (10 times out of 10) and will never back down. Hamilton will also force the issue 9 times out of 10.

    • David BR2 said on 26th June 2012, 17:23

      I agree I saw the crash coming and it was no surprise at all.

      But I still don’t know if Hamilton should have relented. For the points, people will say yes, but ceding to Maldonado basically barging his way past without using any kind of driving skill to maximize his faster speed would have set a precedent. As it stands, Maldonado lost points and more credibility overall, rather than learning that he can just blunder past someone racing for the championship however he wants. Hamilton knows full well that his real problem is the McLaren car development and garage performance, not the immediate points loss.

    • Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 26th June 2012, 19:00

      As said before, I think Whitmarsh (despite being right at certain point) shouldn’t have say this on the press. It sounded like critcism and I don’t remember he being critic about Button’s awful season so far. My impression is that Whitmarsh and Lewis don’t get along all that well. Didn’t Whitmarsh stated that Mclaren let the wrong driver go in 2007?
      I might be completly wrong, it’s just a thought, Mclaren sometimes, not to say always, it’s hard to read.

    • Kimi4WC said on 27th June 2012, 6:09

      I’m all out to defend Maldonado that he is incredibly fast and his oil money gave him as much advantage as to other great champions.

      But by no extend is Raikkonen a safer driver than Maldonado, there is no comparison between two. Kimi is a legend, just watch all his wheel to wheel action this season – talking about smart drive and no need of DRS.

      Maldonado has raw speed, but with line up we have this season, Alonso, Vettel, Kimi, Hamilton – raw speed is not enough. And Maldonado seems to have troubles learning.

  13. JCost (@jcost) said on 26th June 2012, 9:21

    I’m worried too. But the optimist in me believes we still facing a race-specific season. Vettel could not enjoy such advantage everywhere. He was pretty handy in Bahrain too, but that dominant pace at Valencia was very much the same we witnessed last year.

  14. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 26th June 2012, 9:49

    Well, in hindsight, every racing incident can be avoided.

    LH had every right to defend his position. He was heading for a podium finish with 2 laps to go. Just because PM is a aggressive….sorry, RECKLESS driver does not mean that LH had to let him through without much of a fight. If every driver starts doing that then in the future PM would be waved past by every driver.

    That is not RACING.

    • Aditya Banerjee (@) said on 26th June 2012, 15:43

      No it isn’t. But is Schumi had been in Lewis’s position, he would have been lambasted. And badly.

  15. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 26th June 2012, 10:05

    I remember people always said that Mclaren are relentless development machine, but they are falling back. Hamilton even said that they didn’t have new parts since Barcelona. I know they are bringing big upgrade to Silverstone, but Red Bull brought big upgrade one or two races earlier (first part pf upgrade was mounted in Montreal).

    • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 26th June 2012, 15:09

      Well but that was true. McLaren have had the fastest rate of development but this year it’s a big surprise. Now when drivers have started to perform, the team itself is plagued with errors.

      In the drivers conference in Valencia, LH was hesitating in answering about the developments coming to Silverstone. I really don’t expect any major upgrades for Silverstone. The drivers will have to slug it out through pure skills.

      • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 26th June 2012, 15:13

        Well, last year Mclaren couldn’t overtake Red Bull, though their car was also very good (at least in race trim), though they were bringing upgrades more often than this year, which they began having fastest car, and now they’re sliping down the order.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th June 2012, 5:54

      @osvaldas @neelv27
      I have never bought that McLaren was such a development machine. What exactly have they done that was of note? If you really looked at the development brought upon the MP4-24 in 2009, it wasn’t much. The MP4-24 at the start of the year had two fundamental flaws:
      a) a flawed front wing endplate design
      b) weight distribution

      Otherwise the car was a good car. It was just that the rear of the car wasn’t getting air due to the flawed front endplates. Once the front wing endplate fed air in the right places, it basically switched on the downforce generation that was already there to begin with.

      Look at what happened the next years:
      2010 – After Turkey 2010, they brought 3 updates – 3 ENTIRE updates until the end of the year. Those were an updated F-duct at Abu Dhabi, the blown diffuser which they spent Silverstone to Spa fine-tuning and finally the new front wing cascades they introduced in Singapore.
      2011 – They brought a tiny amount of updates. The most notable was basically installing new software to the SECU in Germany (for a better blown diffuser effect) and a new DRS which they brought to Silverstone, but kept on not racing it until, again – Spa.

      Other than the fairy tale story of 2009 development, not much has happened.

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