Overheating caused Vettel and Grosjean retirements

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean’s alternator failures during the Euoprean Grand Prix were caused by overheating.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Renault: European GP Alternator Failures (ScarbsF1)

“In an F1 car the alternators function is constantly monitored, the power output and the unit?s temperature are visible via telemetry by the team in the pits. In the case of the Valencia failures, the teams already knew before the Safety Car the units were overheating and would fail.”

Glock: I?ll be fighting fit for Silverstone (F1)

“I still feel a little weak in the legs, but otherwise I am okay. It was obviously very disappointing that I was forced to miss the race in Valencia, but that is the way it goes sometimes. You cannot just ignore the symptoms I was experiencing.”

Boullier urges caution as F1 costs deadline looms (Autosport)

“We made some decisions already in the past which cost us money now; and may cost us more money in the future. So we need to make sure that we go the right way and don’t rush.”

Attention on Ecclestone after German banker jailed (The Guardian)

“Prosecutor Christoph Rodler yesterday rejected Ecclestone?s defence. ‘Ecclestone was not a victim of blackmail, but a fellow participant in bribery,’ he told the court in his closing statements.”

London GP a distant dream despite hype (Reuters)

“The idea, at this stage no more than a bit of fun to create some headlines and buzz ahead of the country’s annual race in the rural heart of England, won the support of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.”

Boris Johnson ‘broadly positive’ over London Grand Prix plan

“Mr Johnson said he was ‘broadly positive’ about the plan as long as air quality and noise issues were addressed.”

Sir Stirling Moss hopes London Grand Prix will finally be possible (The Guardian)

“I think it would be tremendous for London and for our sport and it would bring an enormous amount of money in. When you get a whole lot coming in where expense doesn’t really matter, it’s an enormous filler.”

Comment of the day

Should we have grid guys as well as grid girls? Or is the whole thing a bit dodgy? Chris Goldsmith offers a view:

The only thing with using ??grid boys? for female drivers, is that it makes an implicit sexual connection between the driver and the person holding their grid number.

While I do agree it?s fairly archaic to have grid girls, isn?t the problem more that there are people being employed solely for the sexual gratification of people around them, rather than some kind of gender inequality?

If you replace women with men for female drivers, what you?re doing, in effect, is confirming that they are there specifically because the driver is supposed to be physically attracted with them.

Of course, we know that the purpose really is to add a little bit of eye candy for the (historically predominantly male) viewers. That people are being employed as eye candy at all is something which should be addressed, and gender equality in this case only reinforces the negative connotations of why these people are there in the first place.
Chris Goldsmith

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher scored a comfortable victory in the French Grand Prix 15 years ago today, winning from pole position and setting fastest lap. Fellow German Heinz-Harald Frentzen was second.

Their team mates were third and fourth, Eddie Irvine holding Jacques Villeneuve back, the Williams driver spinning at the final corner in his attempts to pass the Ferrari.

Famously, the elder Schumacher even had the presence of mind to allow brother Ralf Schumacher to unlap himself in the closing stages. The Jordan driver went on to take sixth place from David Coulthard on the final lap.

Here’s the start of the race:

Advert | Go Ad-free


140 comments on Overheating caused Vettel and Grosjean retirements

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th June 2012, 9:02

    Its funny how the debate on the moral dilemma around grid girls is formed here. Many a guy talking about how its not right, views from women, that they don’t mind seeing a nice body and good on these girls to have the courage to get there. Interesting thoughts on grid guys as well.
    When one thinks about it this shows how the F1 crowd in general (or maybe just the drop in the ocean of F1 fans discussing on F1Fanatic?) are pretty open minded a group.

    For me the best solution would be to have a look not at how this is a problem, but how to better use the opportunities to make F1 better by not just putting some nice looking girls there, but make more of the whole grid thing.
    Either getting fans in with a competition (I bet that would be a HUGE success with fans if they could be there), or using it to better promote the culture of the place we are actually visiting, or reward the people who put in their effort to keep the track clean and operating, making it more worthwhile for the promoters and adding more variation would be lovely.

    • Hallard (@hallard) said on 29th June 2012, 23:19

      Extremely well put, sir. That’s pretty much exactly how I feel. Even if you dont feel like it’s a problem, you have to admit that the whole grid person concept has potential to be so much more awesome than it is.

  2. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 29th June 2012, 9:28

    Interesting that the safety car appeared to actually helped to cool Vettel’s alternator; I was one of the people who immediately assumed it was a problem which was a consequence of the safety car (and Vergne’s ridiculous manoeuvre). Still, I am firmly of the opinion that it was Renault that cost Red Bull an emphatic win which could prove to be very costly for Vettel’s title hopes.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 29th June 2012, 14:43

      @vettel1 But you could say, it was Renault that won them the title last year, with the low fuel consumtion. (They started lighter, as less fuel is needed to the race distance, gained advantage in the first 1-2 stints, remember taht with 10-20 laps to go Button was usually gaining on Vettel, but could rarely catch up, as the advantage was too big by that time.)
      The other thing is these are the same powerplants as last year, so it was the teams own fault not to make it last.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 29th June 2012, 17:40

        @bag0 – the alternator is new for this season, and it was a brand new engine for the race (so Red Bull can hardly be blamed). I agree with you in the respect that these things happen – nothing will ever have bulletproof reliability – but it was a fault as a result of poor design on Renault’s part which proved costly to both Vettel & Grosjean in loosing them a possible 25 & 15/18 points respectively.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th June 2012, 9:42

    Helmut Marko at home is still saying its “everyone against Red Bull” in the paddock (in German – he was at a gig in Graz), poor guy. Bad loser probably summs it up nicely

  4. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 29th June 2012, 10:38

    Wow, COTD!

    I do appreciate that some people enjoy seeing the grid girls, and I am under no illusion as to the reason for their appeal. I’m a man, and the blood in my veins is as red as any. I enjoy looking at girls as much as the next man, and I’m certainly no crusader for political correctness.

    There really are two issues. The first, and most obvious, is that it is sexist and objectifies women. When I watch motorsports with my wife, who is just as big a motorsports fan as I am, she finds it pretty enraging the way that women are portrayed by the sport. Especially when Martin Brundle occasionally condescends to talk to them on the grid, in a rather shameful attempt to make them look stupid and expose the fact they don’t know anything about F1. This doesn’t bother me – I’m sure there are plenty of people (caterers, manual workers, medical staff, etc) who go to races as employees without any interest in motorsports whatsoever. There is no reason why these workers need any interest or knowledge of motorsports to do the job they’re employed to do. The difference is that these others are all employed for practical reasons, while the models on the grid and around the paddock are there for purely aesthetic reasons. It’s a sad reflection on F1 that a significant proportion of women employed in the motorsports industry are employed simply to stand there and look good. It’s not even as if they’re there in a cheap attempt to grab attention towards some promotion or other.

    By contrast, the majority of female F1 fans aren’t watching F1 solely because they fancy the drivers (most I’ve spoken to would struggle to pick out a genuinely attractive driver from the grid) but rather because they enjoy the excitement of watching incredible machines being driven by some of the best drivers in the world. In short, the same reason why men tune in to watch. Which is really the heart of the problem, and the reason why F1 should ditch the whole concept in favour of something more modern, or more inclusive for fans. F1 doesn’t need to degrade itself by relying on a display of sexy people to draw in the crowds; it’s not why people watch, and the sport would be no poorer without it. In fact, it would be an opportunity to demonstrate how forward thinking the sport is. Fans or children would be great. Or as someone suggested on the original thread, men and women in the traditional dress of the host country. Or, y’know, just a fun plastic sign, or an inflatable, arm-flailing tube-man, or a big flag attached to the top of the car. Just anything which gets away from this ridiculous idea that motorsport must rely on a certain level of sexual imagery in order to be popular.

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 29th June 2012, 10:49

    That people are being employed as eye candy at all is something which should be addressed

    Frankly speaking, I don’t see a problem here. Come on, we don’t find ourselves in a monastery. There are whole industries that employ people only because they are good looking and it doesn’t mean that these people have low value or that they are dumb. I know adult movie stars that are highly intelligent people. And here we are talking solely about people standing, looking good and smiling. OK, I would be happy to see some grid boys as well but there is nothing wrong with the concept as such.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 29th June 2012, 11:03

      It’s interesting that a lot of people have said things along those lines. I don’t think I suggested anywhere that I thought these people were thick. Martin Brundle might get a kick out of trying to make them look thick, but I wouldn’t assume anything either way. I don’t particularly like the idea of using these idealised images of people, because I think they’re potentially slightly harmful, and I don’t think that everything needs to be sexualised.

      We’ve become so used to seeing sexual imagery in pretty much every aspect of our lives that we just accept it. All I’m doing is questioning whether it is necessary, and whether it is positive.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 29th June 2012, 11:43

        @mazdachris No, of course, you didn’t suggest that, all I wanted to point out was that being a grid girl does not make one a worse (or a better) person. And it’s their own choice to stand there as eye candy instead of trying to follow in Danica Patrick’s footsteps just like Alonso’s choice is to race quick cars even though he is a good looking man that could have become a model as well. What I want to say is that I’ve never perceived the grid girl stuff as a message ‘men race cars, women look sexy and that’s how it always will be’, that would be ridiculous.

        Talking about the sexualisation, I think it’s always been there, now it’s simply taken a different shape than in the past. I was born in the USSR where there was ‘no sex’ (that is, nobody talked about it openly) and I clearly prefer the current trends over the hypocrisy that was then.

        By the way, here is another example of F1’s sexualisation, grid girls don’t need to feel lonely :)


  6. Tim Katz (@timkatz) said on 29th June 2012, 14:23

    Right, I can’t pretend to have read every comment about grid girls here. But it’s one of the alternative suggestions that I’d like to write about.
    Grid Guys.
    As an openly homosexual man (gay, queer, poof – whatever you like), grid guys would be just as offensive to me. It’s the objectivisation of a human being that gets me down; the expectation that some kind of titilation or desire response can be elicited by the display of an attractive body in a totally irrelevant situation. Sexual response has got nothing to do with racing. Racing has got nothing to do with sexual stimulation.
    Don’t try and create a response from irrelevant stimuli.
    Grid Candy (male or female) is as relevant to a grid of racing cars as a display of beautiful food would be to a football match.
    And anyway, how many Grid Guys would you include with the Girls – 50%? One in ten?

  7. Fixy (@fixy) said on 29th June 2012, 14:36

    I don’t agree with CoTD. Nobody forces these girls to attend a race, they choose to.
    It’s true their function is pretty much useless, but even then they aren’t naked, although their dresses are short. I don’t see what the problem is.

  8. James (@jamesf1) said on 29th June 2012, 15:07

    You can tell it’s that dull period after one race and between another when we’re talking about grid girls in such detail.

    The sport is generally watched by men, generally run by men (not through lack of access by women, by choice I’d say) and is competed by men in every race (although of course that is likely to change in the next 10 years). The women that do watch arent really that bothered by the grid girls. When I’ve watched F1 with other women they’ve never really passed comment on the grid girls, other than “she looks cold” or “she’s pretty”. None have been that bothered that there are just girls.

    Secondly, women are less bothered by what they watch on TV than men. i.e.:
    Men would rather see grid girls, but not “grid guys”
    Women generally wouldnt mind either grid girls or “grid guys”, some in fact would rather just grid girls (and not because they’re that way inclined either!).

    I think the one thing you can liken this discussion to is Vegas. Unless you’re going to see the Chipendales, if you were going to see a show of vulgar, wealth, sleeaze and so on, you’d expect to see show girls.

    Anyway, I find it hard to imagine that the grid girls will go away any time soon, and I’m not complaining! Also, dont the ladies have the drivers to marvel over? Perhaps that’s why the grid girls are there for the blokes! =P

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th June 2012, 16:07

      @jamesf1, I think you make several questionable assumptions in your comment.

      First of all, the sport is generally watched by men. – If I remember right surveys showed it actually has a significant female following.

      Second, you say women do not run the sport by choice – Something I find hugely unlikely, given that most of our current society is structured like this, but not by choice, at least not from the women involved.

      To me its more about a missed opportunity to do something more with the presentation at the beginning of the race and what image and values F1 as a sport wants to show and how this can help get a wider audience and better returns from fans.

      • James (@jamesf1) said on 29th June 2012, 16:32

        Mountain and mole hills. If woman really felt strongly about this, there would be a louder opposition. If anything, this is empowering woman. Allowing them to be seen on the grid in what is largely a male dominated sport, which yes, I believe is down to choice rather than opportunity. Engineering is generally more appealing to males. It’s not a chauvanistic assumption, just a clear statment. There is a siginificant female presence outside of engineering, such as PR, media, management and catering. They’ve obviously a passsion and a following for the sport.

        I didnt suggest that the female following was small, but it’s quite clear that it is smaller in comparisson to the number of men which watch the sport.

  9. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 29th June 2012, 15:11

    Re: alternators, Rob White is widely reported as saying that [temporary] fixes might include “changing a few settings on acceleration maps so the running is less severe.” I don’t see how this could affect electrical power consumption (all the electronics and electro-mechanical devices would carry out the same functions), so this must be mechanical (perhaps “severity” leads to vibration) but again it’s difficult to correlate this with overheating.

    Does anyone have any insight into why “acceleration maps” — with the obvious potential for negative effects on overall performance — could assist alternator cooling?

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 29th June 2012, 20:22

      @paul-a As Scarbs wrote, the alternators sit under the exhaust system, and on the lower part of the engine, the temporary solution might lower the risk of overheating, by reducing the temperature of the engine and exhaust.

      • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 29th June 2012, 23:48

        Thanks for replying. I had thought about that, but to make any meaningful change to local temperatures, surely the loss of power would be significant? [They could also open up the airflow to the radiators, but again the loss of aero performance would also be felt.] My best guess is that the “acceleration maps” might allow a power limit (adjust mixture and/or ignition advance?) at low speed where the local airflow around the heatshields would be at its worst, and (again a guess) the driver cannot use full power as full aero downforce is not yet created by the rear wing. But this raises another question: aren’t the ECUs “fixed” by the rules?

        I just hope they can find a solution (manufacturing batch), as otherwise we’re going to have Lotus, Williams, Caterham and Redbull drivers “nursing” EGTs and not performing 100%.

  10. SebasF1 said on 29th June 2012, 15:17

    This is the first technical error of Renault Sport F1 in 2012 : http://www.wallpapersf1.com/Moteur?wallpaper=931

  11. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 29th June 2012, 19:13

    There’s a nice little promotional video by Santander on YouTube about the London GP. I found it very entertaining, at least :D


    • James (@jamesf1) said on 29th June 2012, 19:46

      If we get past the chaos and congestion it would cause, I would love this to happen. However, one thing scares me about this circuit – Admiralty Arch! It’s tight enough for people passing through it normally at 30mph, let alone an F1 driver threading a needle at 180mph!

    • suka (@suka) said on 29th June 2012, 21:07

      Thanks for the video.
      @jamesf1, I guess the teams would have to calibrate their simulators down to every inch of the track.

  12. IceBlue (@iceblue) said on 30th June 2012, 0:49

    So, an F1 alternator is less than two inches in diameter and two and three quarter inches long (5cm x 7cm)? You’re going to have to show me a picture of one with a ruler for me to believe that because I’m not buying it.

  13. katederby (@katederby) said on 30th June 2012, 8:19

    The idea what having grid girls is ok because “no one forces the women to do it” is rather odd.
    I don’t object to them because they are grid girls, but for how it portrays women in the sport… as nothing but window dressing, with nothing to contribute. How is that encouraging women who want to get into motorsport as engineers, designers, mechanics,drivers etc?

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.