Boullier “would not be surprised if Raikkonen won”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Hockenheim, 2012In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier thinks Kimi Raikkonen could win in Germany from tenth on the grid.

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Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Q&A with Lotus?s Eric Boullier (F1)

“I don?t see much of a downside to Kimi to be honest. He came back to his speed level very quickly. I think he struggled a little bit with the strength and pushiness of the others and also with getting back into the Formula One format over weekends. But that is all history. Now he is there – and I would not be surprised if he won tomorrow.”

McLaren mystified by Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton’s lack of grip (The Guardian)

Jenson Button: “We’ve proved with Lewis at Silverstone in Q2 with the extreme wets, that when the car is working, the car is quick. The problem is it’s on a knife edge: if you get it working, it works well, as it should because the car is good. But we struggled to get it to that point.”

Lewis Hamilton should have won more F1 titles, says Sir Jackie Stewart (Daily Mail)

“I expected him to win more world championships that is for sure. I think he has got the skills and the natural talent, but what he has got to do is match that with mind management and mental discipline and that means sacrifices in all sorts of ways.”

No sign of Ecclestone as Alonso takes pole (The Telegraph)

“Having sentenced a German banker to eight-and-a-half years in jail for crimes including accepting ??28 million in bribes from Ecclestone, Munich?s state prosecutors are, according to local reports, stepping up their investigation into Formula One?s chief executive.”

Tyre issues caused Rosberg’s struggles (Autosport)

Ross Brawn: “Rather peculiarly, Nico was pretty happy with his dry tyre performance and not the wet and Michael was vice versa. Nico was the fastest on the prime tyre, but struggled to get the temperature into the intermediate for Q2. Michael was the opposite.”

Ted’s Qualy notebook (Sky)

Details on Grosjean’s KERS failure and Vettel’s anger at being held up by Webber.

German GP – Conference 3 (FIA)

Fernando Alonso: “Obviously it will depend on how the start is. Sometimes you feel a good start straightaway and you concentrate on the first corner line. If you feel too much wheelspin or too little, you try to cover it a little bit to protect your position, but obviously the race is long, 67 laps in front of us and everything isn’t finished at the first corner. So far, our starts have probably been the best this year so I’m not too worried at the moment.”

German GP – Domenicali remains cautious (Ferrari)

“We are very disappointed for Felipe, who did not find an acceptable grip level in what was his only lap, the first in Q2, in which he could have done a time that would have got him through to the next part: it?s a shame, because he could definitely have been competitive in Q3, as was the case two weeks ago in England.”

Experience stands the test of time for some (The National)

“Built in 1932, the famous circuit was initially a 6.7km flat-out track that ran through dense forest and was used primarily for road-car testing.”

P17 in qualifying for Nick at his debut in a Porsche (Nick Heidfeld)

“On paper, 17th doesn?t look that impressive, but I?m not too disappointed. The track conditions were very tricky and of course that didn?t make it easier for me against the Supercup specialists.”

Comment of the day

Were the drivers wrong to complain about the conditions during qualifying? Some thoughts from Enigma:

It?s not all about being brave. The cars are design in a way that makes it impossible to drive when there?s a lot of standing water. We saw a glimpse of that today with Hulkenberg losing it on the curved straight.

Something similar was happening in Silverstone. Sometimes there?s just too much water for the car to handle and there?s nothing a driver can do about it. It?s not about being brave or skilled, it?s a lottery at that point.

Also, the spray and poor visibility. Some onboards looked downright scary today. It would be safe if there was only one driver on the track, but imagine someone spinning and pointing in the wrong direction at the end of the long straight ?ǣ and then being hit by someone who?s going 280kph without seeing anything. That?s potentially deadly and that?s what the race direction wants to prevent.

I prefer a red flag to a driver getting hurt badly because they have no control whatsoever on what?s going on.
Enigma

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On this day in F1

Fernando Alonso won in Germany five years ago today. But it wasn’t the German Grand Prix – in fact, there was no German Grand Prix that year.

Alonso came out on top in a thrilling European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. The McLaren driver snatched victory from Felipe Massa as rain fell at the end of the race.

The chaotic Grand Prix also saw a brief stoppage due to rain, Markus Winkelhock leading in his sole F1 start, and Lewis Hamilton returning to the track on a crane.

Will Alonso repeat his victory in Germany today?

Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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31 comments on Boullier “would not be surprised if Raikkonen won”

  1. plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 22nd July 2012, 0:11

    Cecotto gaining 10 places in 1 lap left my jaw on the ground today. He looked like he was driving an F1 car against the GP2 cars for one lap!

    • Toxic (@toxic) said on 22nd July 2012, 2:49

      Great call from the team though but he kept that up. I almost thought that he will loose the car when exiting pit box to get in front of Leimer as fast as possible. after this it was easy. Well deserved win.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd July 2012, 13:55

      @plutoniumhunter It was pretty unreal to watch it unfold, breezing past 2 cars on the OUTSIDE, regardless of tyres is brave, especially when you don’t make that sort of move too often and they have no reason to let you pass.

  2. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 22nd July 2012, 0:13

    It always seemed a bit of a shame to me that an F1 race leader, albeit under odd circumstances, would only have one F1 start. Still, definitely one to tell the grandchildren!

  3. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 22nd July 2012, 0:28

    The thing I most remember about the 2007 European GP was the verbal handbags Massa and Alonso had before they got on the podium! I wonder if they’ve ever chatted about that as team-mates? Somehow I doubt it!

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd July 2012, 0:42

    I see the article in The Telegraph is implying that Bernie is giving Germany a wide berth because of the potential for the prosecutors to file charges against him. But this is hardly out of character – Bernie doesn’t always go to every race.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:21

      No, but he said he would, let’s wait and see.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:50

        Maybe he had a perfectly-valid reason for not attending, one that has nothing to do iwth the prosecutor. Look at yesterday’s round-up, which discusses the possibility of the French Grand Prix returning to Magny-Cours. Maybe Bernie is in Paris discussing this with the French government. For all you know, he is.

        And the German Grand Prix isn’t over yet. Just because Bernie wasn’t at Hockenheim for qualifying, that doesn’t mean he won’t attend the race.

  5. GR (@gr) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:04

    Does anyone know what Boullier means by ‘…struggled a little bit with the strength and pushiness of the others…’?

    Perhaps it’s something lost in translation and he didn’t mean those exact words, but I’m intrigued by what he means as ‘pushiness’

    • Aggressiveness?

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 22nd July 2012, 10:47

        Or maybe lack of respect. I know I am the only one, but I sometimes feel like Maldonado, Kobayashi, Perez and Grosjean lack some respect for the other guy driving at 300km/h beside them (and by respect I mean giving the other guy enough room to drive his race, if not for real respect then at least because another time it might be himself needing some space). Grosjean has improved on that since his gravel trap heyday, Maldonado has become worse (and Raikkonen had quite a few moments with him, in which he lost quite a bit because he tried not to be stupid and ruin his race the way Maldonado does).
        To me, this years Hamilton shows how one can be able to tame oneself (most of the time) and some moves against/by him this year were very entertaining rather than borderline scary.

        So all that may have taken some getting used to, coming from a series where you fight only agaist your car, the ground and time.

        And yes, I know its not a new phenomenon, guys like Mansell, Senna, Schumacher and others were just as bad when it came to driving against others, but I feel that had a different ‘quality’, they did it knowing whatever stupidity they do could be their last, today that doesn’t seem to concern any drivers anymore in a time of extreme crash tests and parking lot circuits and I certainly hope that isn’t a mistake.

  6. timi (@timi) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:13

    Completely agree with @avatar ‘s comment of the day. (Also, awesome avatar pic!!)

    One thing I haven’t read anyone comment about with regards to the cars in the wet, is the tyres. In previous seasons it has rained a fair bit harder, and there has been more standing water, however the tyre were just simple better at clearing the water. I just don’t think the pirelli inters and full wets are good enough. Just my two-cents

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:49

      @timi Not sure the Pirellis are worse than the Bridgestones at clearing water. Maybe they are, but maybe the newer design of the cars have made it worse. You know, the low front wing and the tall and thin rear wing?

      Just saying. The last time we got a serious downpur like at Canada or Silverstone was at Malaysia 2009, right? And before that?

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 22nd July 2012, 4:53

      I believe this sudden issue with driving in wet conditions is damaging the sport. There is obviously an fundamental design flaw here that is causing the problem. While I’m fully aware that these can are built to perform at their optimum and not in wet conditions, I think many others will agree me when I say we used to see cars drive in worse scenarios than we have seen of late. There are 2 components that have changed in recent years 1. Tyres 2. Car design. Whether or not it’s a combination, these changes point to the inability to handle ran induced tracks. Forgetting the aerodynamic modifications of recent times, ride height and other various changes are made to wet set-ups in F1 cars for wet conditions and could be a contributing factor, but I believe the evidence lies in the fact that the other series using the same tyres are suffering from the same experiences point to the issue being the Pirelli’s.
      Thank god Bernie’s idea of sprinklers didn’t come to life or we’d be spending half of the race behind the safety car like in yesterdays GP3

      • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 22nd July 2012, 9:05

        Omg where’s the edit function auto-correct typos everywhere, hope you get the gist :)

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 22nd July 2012, 10:57

        As far as I know the Pirelli wet weather tyres clear as many litres of water per second as the Bridgestones do, but haven’t the rear tyres become wider? Not sure. Also it would help a lot if the teams increased ground clearance by a couple of inches.
        Last weekend I watched Formula3 at Spa and it was pouring, yet they raced and it worked. Sure they were driving quite slowly compared to the dry (let alone compared to F1) but they knew it would rain all weeend and they set up the cars accordingly and after just about every driver had off moments in the first race, the ones after went fine.

        All that being said, I mst agree with the cotd that I don’t want to see a bad accident happen that could have been prevented to I’ll live with the barely existent rain races.

    • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 22nd July 2012, 5:40

      From my understanding, wasn’t it also compounded by the fact the cars weren’t set up for wet conditions to start with? So maybe not all the blame can be layed on the tyres?

  7. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:15

    Ohhh that race in 2007! How great it was!

    The thing I remember the most, though, wasn’t Winkelhock being leader with Spyker. It was Liuzzi, acquaplaning, and out of control at the end of the straight, almost hitting the Safety Car! It was soooo scary! 5 cars spun off at that first corner, it was mad!

  8. HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2012, 1:42

    Was Seb really angry at Webber, I could see Marks rear tyres spinning up as he tried to accelerate to the line and Seb closed up behind him but as neither was going to unseat Alonso on pole I feel a tactical team advantage was squandered when Seb displaced Mark from p2 knowing that Mark had a 5 place penalty and Seb would automatically move up to p2, had Seb backed off it would be Seb p2 and Webber p7 on the clean side, not p8 on the dirty side. Maybe Seb didn’t think of that being busy trying put in a fast lap but I doubt it.

  9. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 22nd July 2012, 6:24

    A bit strange of Jackie Stewart to bring up the mind management and focus angle again, in relation to saying he expected Hamilton to have won more titles by now. In which car should he have won those titles then? The 2009 car? In 2010 his consecutive DNFs in Monza and Singapore are often cited as having lost him the title that year, but that year was rife with “what-ifs”; certainly Webber and Alonso also had a pretty good claim on that title, and Vettel actually lost three victories on his way to his first title. Hamilton’s 2011 wobbles have been widely discussed already, but no combination of what-ifs could have kept Sebastian Vettel from the title that year. Perhaps the 2007 title should have been his, and I’m sure Lewis would have liked to prevent his gearbox from glitching through sheer focus of mind, but in the end I think 2007 was a strong year from him.

  10. infy (@infy) said on 22nd July 2012, 8:12

    Do the teams think Ferrari will struggle today? Is that why they are all punting their drivers to win?

  11. Victor. (@victor) said on 22nd July 2012, 11:11

    I find it interesting that Domenicalli is outright blaming Massa for not getting into Q2 now. It has stopped being ‘Massa will be up to speed soon and we fully support him’. Good for him, considering Alonso got pole position, Massa indeed should have found ‘an acceptable grip level’.

  12. DVC (@dvc) said on 22nd July 2012, 11:42

    I’m with Webber on this. The stadium section would be great on another track, but at Hockenheim it is a huge let down. This used to be one circuit on the calendar that was truly different to all the others, now it isn’t.

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