Mercedes test new exhaust and Double DRS

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sam Bird, Mercedes, Magny-Cours, 2012In the round-up: Mercedes follow the trend set by their rivals as they test a revised exhaust package at Magny-Cours in addition to a new Double DRS configuration.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mercedes: Downwashed-Exhaust Sidepod (ScarbsF1)

“After 13 races of the 2012 F1 season, Mercedes AMG have finally followed the trend of side exiting exhausts to blow the diffuser area.”

Mercedes runs double-DRS in France (Autosport)

“The new-style double-DRS, similar to that which was run for the first time by Lotus in practice for the German GP, helps stall the rear wing for a straightline speed boost.”

Grosjean has ‘learned his lesson’ (BBC)

Eric Boullier: “He will have learned a lot because being in your car you have only one radio in your head. When you are sitting in the garage and you have both cars then you can learn much more.”

Fernando Alonso singles out Lewis Hamilton for Formula One title duel (The Independent)

“At the moment McLaren have won the last three Grands Prix and they are in top form. I think from Jerez in winter testing, Lewis was the driver that I respect more and we’re still here; 13 races afterwards we are first and second in the championship. It will be tough until the end.”

Stefano Domenicali: “We were totally black with no telemetry” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

Stefano Domenicali: “We had a problem of a power supply loss of both the main system and the back-up system. It never happened before. So we were totally black with no telemetry, no information. The only thing that was working was the radio communication with the drivers. That happened in the crucial part of the race when there were the pit stops.”

Perry in Italy promoting Texas’ F1 race (Austin-American Statesman)

Governor of Texas Rick Perry: “We hammered home the place to be in November is Austin, Texas. This is going to be a big, big impact, not only on Austin, but on Texas.”

Hamilton set to move to Mercedes (James Allen on F1)

“Eddie Jordan, apparently prompted by both XIX and Bernie Ecclestone, lobbed the grenade in on Wednesday, saying that Hamilton was on the point of signing for Mercedes. It was a final call to McLaren to improve the deal on offer or lose their man.”

F1 diary: Italian Grand Prix (The Telegraph)

“Hamilton doesn’t look overly thrilled afterwards and seems rather distracted. McLaren drivers have won the last three races ?ǣ all from pole ?ǣ and the team would have finished first and second here had Jenson Button’s fuel pressure not dipped. If the winner really is plotting a switch to Mercedes, it doesn’t seem ?ǣ on the surface ?ǣ like a terribly smart plan. It depends, I guess, on whether you prioritise sporting success or salary in the short term.”

‘Paying the penalty’ (Sky)

Mark Hughes: “Last year that etiquette was not worded in the regulation (though it was already how Charlie Whiting expected the drivers to behave, as was evidenced when he warned Mercedes that Michael Schumacher should leave a car’s width to his outside in his dice with Lewis Hamilton) but even if it had been Alonso could have argued that he had left that room. The regulations did not and do not cover any intimidatory feigning moves before the moment of truth.”

The Inside Line – on Sauber?s Sergio Perez (F1)

“I came to Europe, to Germany, when I was very young – only 15 – and that was a very tough time. To leave my family and my home country behind, coming to a completely different environment – that made me understand at an early age how difficult life can be.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

As Sebastian Vettel got a penalty for his incident with Fernando Alonso, several commenters have asked whether Paul di Resta should have had one for his incident with Bruno Senna.

@Mhop doesn’t think so:

Agreed it was quite marginal with Senna, but if you look at the onboard pictures you?ll see that di Resta was still in front when he moved over. Senna had no part of his car alongside and the incident was caused because he actually banged in to the back of di Resta?s rear right wheel with his front left! It?s totally different to the Vettel incident where Alonso was two-thirds alongside when he was run out of track.
@Mhop

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

‘Ferrari one-two-three’ was the famous headline after the 1982 Italian Grand Prix, held 30 years ago today. It was won by Rene Arnoux’s Renault, but as he was joining the Italian team for 1982 the locals had already taken him to heart.

Ferrari pair Patrick Tambay and Mario Andretti filled the podium, the latter having started from pole position.

Fourth place for John Watson gave him a slender chance of beating Keke Rosberg to the drivers’ title in the final round at Las Vegas.

Here’s highlights from the race featuring the superb commentary of Clive James:

Image via Magny-Cours on Twitter

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74 comments on Mercedes test new exhaust and Double DRS

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th September 2012, 0:08

    Sergio Perez: “I came to Europe, to Germany, when I was very young – only 15 – and that was a very tough time. To leave my family and my home country behind, coming to a completely different environment – that made me understand at an early age how difficult life can be.”

    That’s basically the problem with every single driver outside Europe… Pechito Lopez (former USF1 driver, heh), Esteban Guerrieri (now in Indylights) and many other argies travelled to Europe at around 14 and lived together, and alone, for years… it must have been extremelly tough. And even worse when you realize it was “all for nothing” as they didn’t make it to F1.

  2. In 2011 Michael show glimpse of hs oldself and in 2012 he certainly improving more, just hope this upgrades can give him win and more podium in the remaining of ths seasom. Mercedes owe him that from the car failure or team mistake that cost him good result in the first half of the season.

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 12th September 2012, 1:06

      I really hope Schumacher can claim a victory this season. That would give him the chance to come to a good end with his return instead of either leaving disappointed or hoping for next year to finally return him to the top spot. On the other hand I wouldn’t mind Schumacher as a contender for the title next year :-P

      • How I wish MSC will drive next year…

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 12th September 2012, 7:35

          Yes, a Schumacher win before the season’s end will be an emotional highpoint of the season. With Mercedes finally making upgrades to the exhaust and sidepods as outlined by Scarbs and potentially racing a double DRS, it will hopefully improve the car enough to bring Michael home in first.

          A final win before Hamilton takes over the team and tries to live his rockstar dream, sigh.

    • Agree with you all, hopefully Schumacher will still race in 2013 his dedication to ths sport is incredible, he s the only active F1 driver present at the Magny-Cours testing.

  3. HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th September 2012, 0:39

    What next in the ” young drivers test”? Michael Schumacher claiming to be a young driver ? Rules will be tightened, unless of course the FIA believe, as I do, that the teams really can save money by testing on track and turn a blind eye.

    Alonso most respects Hamilton, so it’s Lewis to Ferrari then ?

  4. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 12th September 2012, 1:16

    Hamilton goes, so who replaces him? I see three possible options based on James’ article: Grosjean, Hulkenburg and Kobayashi. Realistically, though all flawed, they are probably the best drivers without any strings attached, and in all honesty their teams likely wouldn’t put up too much of a fight to keep them.

    Grosjean is a rough diamond. He’s quick, no doubt, but we all know exactly how absent minded he can be at the start. Hulkenburg is also quick, if not quite as much as Grosjean, though slightly anonymous in many races. Finally, Kobayashi is Kobayashi, quick on occasion and great to watch, if rather erratic. However, I suspect a team like McLaren will have a half eye on the Japanese market, which could be very lucrative if they could turn Kobayashi into a winner.

    Not an easy choice, then. Jenson’s going to have a new team-mate and the weight of a constructor on his shoulders by the looks of it…

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th September 2012, 2:18

      Grosjean is a rough diamond. He’s quick, no doubt, but we all know exactly how absent minded he can be at the start

      @lin1876 I think that’s a bit harsh on Grosjean. I mean, the guy got it very wrong a couple of times, but I don’t think Lotus would let him go just like that because of those crashes. Afterall, he got 3 well deserved podiums and it’s only his first full season. As others pointed out at the time, even Hakkinen suffered a race ban because of incidents on track. People learn, Grosjean is much more likely to learn than, say, Maldonado.

      • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 12th September 2012, 8:13

        @fer-no65 I was with you on every word until the last sentence..
        I believe Maldonado is getting just as bad press as Grosjean (although weirdly, only Grosjean AFTER Spa it seems)..
        They’re both young drivers who have had very little experience in F1, and this is their first year where they have competitive cars… Adding to the fact that when things get closer at the top, the racing is always harsher and the risks that drivers take are higher, they just need to take the learning curve, give it a few years, and these ‘Diamonds in the rough’ could turn out to be the next ‘Big 2/3/4′ for 2014 and beyond..

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2012, 8:46

          @keeleyobsessed

          I believe Maldonado is getting just as bad press as Grosjean (although weirdly, only Grosjean AFTER Spa it seems)..

          I think the difference is that Grosjean’s incidents have mostly been limited to the first lap, and on the first lap, there is a much wider scope for writing things off as being racing incidents since everyone is very close together. Take, for example, Grosjean’s incident with di Resta at Silverstone compared to Maldonado’s incident with Perez: Grosjean and di Resta came together very early on, at a corner that tends to bottleneck the field a little. It’s easy to write that off as two drivers making a mad dash for position before the Wellington Straight, which is the first place where the field has a chance to take a moment to sort itself out. But when Maldonado lost it under brakes going into Brooklands, he and Perez were really the only two cars on the same piece of road, so it’s less excuseable.

          And there’s also the way Grosjean is highly-rated both by fans and the paddock. Despite having six first-lap incidents that culminated in the Spa shunt, he already had three podiums and three points-scoring finishes. He also had a front-row start and was widely expected to win sooner rather than later. Compare that to Pastor Maldonado, who has been a controversial figure ever since he replaced Nico Hulkenberg at Williams. He’s had a string of penalties this year alone, and while he won in Spain, he’s only had one other points finish, an eighth place in China. And while he is also a GP2 champion like Grosjean, his title came in 2010, the year six GP2 drivers were promoted to Formula 1, creating a vaccuum at the front end of the GP2 field (though, funnily enough, he beat Sergio Perez in 2010, and Perez is highly-rated).

          • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 12th September 2012, 13:56

            @prisoner-monkeys I’m not even sure why people seem to be annoyed at Maldonado for taking Hulkenburg’s seat… Maldonado has the talent, he brings money to the team, and all Hulkenburg seemed to do in 2010 is score 1 surprise pole in Brazil, which came in mixed conditions and was more ‘luck of the draw’ than ‘the fastest guy on the track’. He never made any indentation in 2010 (a year that wasn’t well-renowned for the heat of the racing admittedly, but he never crossed onto my radar).
            Maldonado has had a lot of incidents, there’s no denying that, but so has Hamilton, Vettel has had 3 penalties that immediately spring to mind (Spain, Germany and Monza), no driver is perfect, and Maldonado is unexperienced with a front running car.. As such, people decide to bring up incidents that happened in his junior formulae as some sort of proof…
            as @fer-no65 says below, agreeing with the idea that Maldonado could become a star of the future, particularly as the new rules come into play in 2014, a young name then could learn a lot in the early years to really start making an impact in 2016 onwards…

          • F1 Lunatic (@f1lunatic) said on 12th September 2012, 17:43

            @keeleyobsessed,

            Like pointed out already by others earlier, what makes Grosjean the lesser criminal is that the incidents he has instigated so far have all leaned more towards immaturity/stupidity/overeagerness/etc….

            BUTT, Maldonado ‘seems’ to have an INTENT, be it his move on Perez in Monaco, Hamilton in China(?) and Valencia, and some of his GP2 races….a dangerous intent of taking out cars for feeling wronged, irrespective of whether he was justified in feeling wronged, he can never justify the drastic consequences that such dangerous antics are capable of.

            After all, a gun is only feared if it has a bullet in it!!

        • @keeleyobsessed Well, maybe, but compare Grosjean and Maldonado, and there’s a whole season between them. And Maldonado’s crashes are much worse than Grosjean.

          First lap crashes are more likely to happen than the other incidents. Maldonado’s actions on track have been, at times, disgusting. But I know what you mean, I also think that if Maldonado gets it right, he could well be a contender in the following years.

    • Based on the article: Grosjean is out, in my opinion. He’s managed by Boullier so that automatically means he will either keep racing for Lotus until he reaches his full potential, either get dropped and leave the sport as a persona-non-grata. In my humble opinion. I also don’t see McLaren going for Hulkenberg, Di Resta or Koba. They are decent drivers but far from being McLaren material. At least for now.

      Not based on the article: I find it hard to understand why everyone is perfectly convinced Michael will be the one replaced at Mercedes. If Merc get their updates right and manage to be at least sort-of-competitive at the end of this season, that could very well mean Michael will want to stay with the team and fight for the title in 2013. Isn’t that the reason he came back to F1 for afterall? Why would he retire while he’s still motivated, still reasonably fast and why would he do it right at the moment when Merc finally got the car right?

      Also, McLaren are a Mercedes powered team. Would it be that absurd for Hamilton to swap places with Rosberg? That would solve a lot of problems on both sides, to be honest. Mercedes could benefit from Schumacher’s car-developer skills for another year, and could use someone like him to get some sense into Hamilton. Second of all, Michael owns some of the glue that holds that team of Ross Brawn, Aldo Costa and co. together now. Plus a Hamilton-Schumacher team has an immense advertising / exposure potential, something that would sit very well with the german management.
      On the other hand Rosberg would solve McLaren’s replacement issue and he could be quite the wisest choice of them all. Pairing Nico with Button always seemed like a good idea to me. They are both consistent (when their cars allow it) and two of the most level-headed drivers out there. In my opinion: exactly what McLaren needs to restore some stability with the team and challenge for the WCC at least.

      Unless Ferrari decide they don’t need Perez for the time being and let him have a go at McLaren, that’s how I see it: Hamilton / Schumacher at Merc; Button / Rosberg at McLaren.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th September 2012, 2:54

        Would it be that absurd for Hamilton to swap places with Rosberg?

        @tony031r Rosberg has a contract for 2013. So, yeah, it’s absurd. Unless they are willing to pay Rosberg to cancel the contract and get Hamilton, which surely is asking for a lot of money. So why would Mercedes do it? I think it’s completely out of the question, Rosberg is staying.

        • In my opinion, the fact that Rosberg has a contract with Mercedes makes it all the more likely that he might move to replace Hamilton, if Hamilton moves to Mercedes.

          From Rosbergs point of view, he has a single victory from this year, but Mercedes hasn’t provided him a car that could challenge for the win in 90% of the circumstances. For him, its quite a long stretch to put his faith in Mercedes until 2014, where the new engines might favor a factory team. If Mercedes is about as competitive the next year, as it is now, and the new engines in 2014 don’t play out in their favor either, then Rosberg has spent 5 years of his career in Mercedes, with close to nothing to show for it in results, and he might find it really difficult to find a new team, should Mercedes call quits after that time.

          On the other hand, should he accept a possible offer of transferring his contract to McLaren, who is probably the most competitive team at the moment, he could expect fighting for podiums at every race next year, after which his resume could look a lot better, whatever he should decide from then on. It is likely that McLaren will be competitive in 2014 as well, and in a few years Button might retire, leaving Rosberg to be the de facto number one in McLaren.
          Also, given that McLaren aren’t willing to pay Hamilton what he is asking, and Mercedes has been rumored to have outbid them, then McLaren might be happy with a cheaper contract.

          Now to take a look at the same situation from Hamiltons perspective – he already has one WDC title in his pocket and is possibly getting another one this year as well, so he has some more maneuverability in his career. Moving to another team might mean a “wasted” year anyway, as it takes some time getting comfortable at a new team, so a year before the new engines could shuffle the field might be the best time to do it – then he would feel at home with the team in 2014, and be ready to exploit the possible advantage Mercedes might get. Even if it doesn’t work out in 2 years, he would still be a one or two time WDC and a driver said to be on of the best on the grid, and he would have a much easier time securing a better ride from that point.

          Also, a lot has been said about his connections with XIX, and his desire to develop his own brand. From that point of view, even if McLaren would meet all his requests for his personal sponsorships etc (which McLaren won’t), it would still make sense to move to a different team, which would separate his image from McLaren, where he has been all his career, and make it stand out more on its own.

          My 2 cents.

          Also, as

          • (forgot to add @fer-no65)

            To go even a bit further, I think that if Schumacher decides that he isn’t ready to quit yet, Mercedes would keep him on the team in any case. His commercial value on itself might be enough to pay for the termination of Rosbergs contract. Also, as he will retire sooner rather than later anyway, it is much more reasonable from his point of view to bet on Mercedes once more, and possibly be at the top again next year (Mercedes is expected to deliver results by everyone, I think) or even in 2014 as well.
            And with Rosberg possibly swapping places with Hamilton, both Mercedes and McLaren would get a German and a British driver, potentially increasing both teams’ advertising options.

        • @fer-no65 Rosberg is under contract with Mercedes and McLaren is a Mercedes powered team. So if the option of swapping places with Hamilton comes up – an option that, from my point of view, benefits EVERYBODY involved – I’m sure coming to an understanding over Rosberg’s contract / transferring his contract to McLaren won’t be such a big issue. Seriously, much weirder things happened…

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th September 2012, 2:57

        @tony031r, you’ve made me think, what if Ross Brawn has decided to retire AGAIN (with a lot more in the bank), Michael to take over team management ? Schui would want the best possible driver to replace him, any ideas ?

        • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 12th September 2012, 6:29

          @hohum

          That would certainly be something. This could possibly happen in the future. However, managing a team and driving are two completely different things. I have heard many times that MSC is a great team motivator, however being a manager (taking management responsibilities) and driving are quite different. It could be as different as being a politician or being a mechanic. I think MSC would be a fairly tough manager, as he would expect drivers to have the same level of commitment and expertise that he has had, in his carrier. Maybe this would be a good thing! Certainly a very good way to determine if drivers are lazy or not. Who knows; but im certain MSC will always be involved in F1 one way or the other.

          On the other hand, the point @tony031r makes, is quite good. If I was Rosberg, I would seriously think about making some changes in my career. Because, at the moment Rosberg dis not getting anywhere. I am sure that if Rosberg had the opportunity to swap into a McLaren, he would do it no questions asked. Again, contracts can be changed.

          Everyone assumes that MSC is retiring. But I am not so sure. MSC looks quite satisfied to me, form his expressions and body language. Certainly doesn’t look like someone who is planning to retire anytime soon. Especially considering that he has not won (and I think he definitely CAN). I think MSC has significantly regained much of his form and recently is consistently beating his team mate. Why would he retire now? If I was MSC, I’d seriously give myself another shot with another team! Now there is a thought. Maybe MSC will swap with LH and/or try another team – the only problem with this idea is that MSC does not strike me as a person who would leave due to his commitment to existing team. Maybe MSC replaces Massa! LH moves to Mercedes. Who knows? There are many possibilities.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 12th September 2012, 7:42

            I can’t help but share that sense of optimism.
            I remember a thread in the forums from last season about ideal driver pairings and I put Button and Rosberg together, they both do a stellar job without all the ridiculous fuss. Given that McLaren seems fed up with Lewis, someone like Rosberg is just what they need.

            I know he has a contract, but contracts are never set in stone in F1.

            In addition to that, Schumacher could use 2013 as an opportunity to knock some sense into Hamilton. Winning 2 of the last 3 races for the team that brought him up as a youngster, only to leave them for a less competitive team because he wants more money and freedom strikes me as not only immature, but stupid.

            That is, unless he is doing it for the opportunity to work with Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher, then it would be brilliant! :)

            As a final thought, look at how Massa improved and blossomed under Schumacher’s guidance, if Lewis could humble himself and do the same he would be nigh on unstoppable in the future.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2012, 8:55

          what if Ross Brawn has decided to retire AGAIN (with a lot more in the bank), Michael to take over team management ? Schui would want the best possible driver to replace him, any ideas ?

          I can’t see that happening – not straight away. Perhaps Brawn could steadily transfer control of the team over to Schumacher, but I can’t see him retiring one day and Schumacher taking his place the next. It’s asking for trouble.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 12th September 2012, 7:57

        Hamilton and Rosberg get on well, we know this. Nico is established at Mercedes, their de facto number one, and there is no pressing reason for him to leave. By contrast, Schumacher’s three year experiment is over, it hasn’t really worked out, and I fully expect him to retire (again) at the end of the season.

        Who McLaren get to replace Lewis is a thornier issue. If Ferrari have long term plans for Perez I don’t see them letting him go to Woking. In addition I don’t see McLaren falling over themselves to sign up one of the Force India drivers, though that may turn out to be the least worst option.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 12th September 2012, 8:16

        What about Massa to Mclaren?

      • If Lewis leaves i think Kimi is the obvious choice for McLaren. Given a good car he is championship material, plus he already drove for them.

        And Schumi should go to Ferrari for 2013 and then retire.

        • Kimi is NOT leaving Lotus. No way that’s gonna happen with all the sponsor commitments and his contract (which involves some percentage of the team’s ownership as well, as far as I can remember).

          Plus, he looks reasonably content there, the team revolves around him and they gave him a competitive car this year, a car in which he still has a serious chance at the WDC.

          The only logical reason for him to leave would be Lotus not being able to serve him with a car he can challenge for the win with. But I have a feeling they’ll get there with that DDRS update scheduled for Japan.

          Also, if he indeed leaves Lotus next year, why wouldn’t he go back to Ferrari instead of McLaren? He publicly stated that if Ferrari would be interested in him, he would consider it.

          It’s all too much of a long shot there. Kimi is staying at Lotus next year. That’s a fact!

          • Lets see. From McLaren’s point of view its an obvious move. That was the point of my comment. Nothing is ever certain, but undoubtedly they will attempt to get him (if Hamilton does leave).

        • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 12th September 2012, 13:58

          @vjanik Schumi and Alonso at Ferrari? That’s just asking for trouble :P

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2012, 2:33

      If Grosjean were to go to McLaren, who would fill the vacancy at Lotus? I can’t see them taking d’Ambrosio full-time. My money would be on Kevin Korjus (which I would welcome), because despite his rough season in Formula Renault 3.5 this year, he’s just moved from Tech-1 to the ISR-Lotus team, and was Lotus F1′s reserve driver at Monza.

  5. Hamilton leaving McLaren would be stupid IMO. They have consistently given him a good car to race, or at least a better car than the Mercedes ones for the past few years.

    I’m also curious as to why Alonso keeps ‘gassing up’ Hamilton. This is not the first time he said something extremely positive about him (I think I remember Alonso saying that Hamilton is the only other person to push the car beyond it’s limits, whatever that means). Maybe Hamilton gave him a good impression when they were doing their little intra-team battle.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 12th September 2012, 1:43

      Your thinking, is exactly what Alonso wants. Basically his whole season is a mind game either with his team or rivals, Briatore did good :) No matter how bad or good Ferrari or the rivals are, Alonso will rise above them! :) (note for fanbois: sarcasm ye?)

      He points out Lewis, as he pointed out Vettel and Webber earlier. Who ever is number two in standings.

    • Source said on 12th September 2012, 6:02

      It is a Young Dirver’s “TEST”, do you not expect them to test new equipment?

      They can run new drivers in 2 year old cars any time they like you know. The Test has to be of benefit for the teams as well as the drivers.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 12th September 2012, 7:44

      @Ryne

      Alonso has always considered Hamilton is main rival, though he sure does seem to be mentioning quite a lot again recently.

  6. Yeah, that’s fabulous — Rick Perry traveling around Italy, embarrassing Americans along the way. Talking about how much better COTA will be than Monza, one of the most beloved circuits on the F1 calendar, is a sure-fire way to win people over!

  7. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 12th September 2012, 1:52

    Charlie Whiting expected the drivers to behave, as was evidenced when he warned Mercedes that Michael Schumacher should leave a car’s width to his outside in his dice with Lewis Hamilton

    that wasn’t etiquette, that was ordering schumacher to switch places with hamilton. otherwise i agreed with the article :P

  8. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 12th September 2012, 5:47

    Keith, your F1 diary link from The Telegraph is messed up.

  9. f12007v (@f1fan-2000) said on 12th September 2012, 6:31

    It might be interesting to have Hamilton pairing up with Rosberg.

  10. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 12th September 2012, 6:41

    The James Allen article – and the enormous amount of comments if you have the time for it – make an interesting read. Combined with the piece of speculation from the independent article, that McLaren are offering Hamilton half of his current salary, the plot thickens. If true, it’s understandable if Hamilton does not to feel wanted anymore by his team, especially with McLaren offering Button the equal of Hamilton’s current salary only last year (it’s not as if the crisis has suddenly deepened since October last year). So in effect, for the next two years (the length of Button’s current contract), Button would be earning twice what Hamilton would get. Despite the fact that I hope Hamilton will stay and not care about the money and his “brand” so much, that’s just insulting to Hamilton’s talent.

    So I guess I have to prepare myself for Hamilton moving to Mercedes, and hoping that next year’s Merc is capable of challenging for wins again. Remember, this year they came out of the box pretty strong, too, only the double DRS turned out to hinder the development of the car (as suggested early in the year by Gary Anderson and confirmed recently by Rosberg). I just hope that next year’s car will be easier on its tyres.

    What will help smooth the transition for Hamilton is if he wins the title this year. Currently, he perhaps feels a little uncomfortable at being stuck at “only” a single world championship title. With two titles under his belt (equaling Vettel and Alonso, significantly) he would have the peace of mind to take in stride a season of “improving the car for next year”, if that turns out to be necessary.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 12th September 2012, 8:36

      @adrianmorse

      Allen put great effort on making his article relevant and he made very strong points apart from that ridiculous thing linking Vodafone, Sergio Perez and Brazil! The brand in Brazil is not Vodafone and will not be in near future.

    • David BR2 said on 12th September 2012, 12:15

      If you’re right, Hamilton getting half Button’s salary when he’s the faster driver is plainly ridiculous.

      Personally I don’t know what the fuss is. Hamilton’s relationship with the team seems terminally soured, McLaren seem to think Button can do the job for them (their problem), and Mercedes apparently want him. I also think Schumacher has hampered development at Mercedes while simultaneously now lacking the hunger to win and track record to drive the team forward of a Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso.

      Hamilton’s only concern should be and maybe is winning the title in his final year at McLaren, because I think he has a seriously good chance. At a guess, I’d say the deal is done and the real issue is this.

  11. Lateralus (@lateralus) said on 12th September 2012, 7:41

    Rick Perry is a contemptible scumbag.

    Signed,
    A USA-merican

  12. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 12th September 2012, 7:50

    If this was the first we’d heard of Rick Perry, no doubt we’d be more enthusiastic as he waxes lyrical about COTA. Unfortunately many of us pay some attention to US politics, and therefore remember his abortive and foolish bid to become Republican presidential nominee.

    Oops.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2012, 8:20

      At least give the man some credit. He’s probably very proud that Texas is hosting a world-class event like Formula 1, even if the Italian Grand Prix was his first exposure to the sport first-hand.

      What if the Italians were lobbying for an Indycar event at Monza, and so sent Giuliano Pisapia, the mayor of Milan, to Indianapolis to talk up the event at the Indy 500? How would American audiences feel about that?

  13. Jason (@jason12) said on 12th September 2012, 10:37

    I expect Merc to have a stronger car than Mac next season.
    Ross Brawn is almost as good as Newey when it comes to innovation and car development – see 2009.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 12th September 2012, 11:38

      Every season since 2009 we’ve been hearing about how Merc are going to have a great car next year due to Ross Brawn. Brawn didn’t come up with the double-diffuser which was the key concept the 2009 car was built around which led to its success. That idea came from one of Honda’s development teams, though Brawn did cleverly know how important that was and therefore backed a winner when Honda left.

      I’m not doubting Brawn’s ability as a great engineer and also a great builder/manager of teams but I don’t think it’s correct to compare him with Newey’s level of innovation and ingenuity nor to expect Merc to overtake Mac next year.

      2014 is a different story but mainly because any of the current top teams might take the wrong direction in development under the new regulations. Personally my money is in Newey to come up with another cracker in 2014 (though no doubt a fragile one!)

    • 2009 coincided with a rule change though. 2013 does not.

  14. I really enjoyed ‘The Inside Line’ with Perez, it seems like he’s an open and entertaining guy. Hopefully he won’t change after joining some top team. I don’t have a problem with the likes of di Resta, I actually like them a lot, too. I just think it’s good to have different characters in our sport.

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th September 2012, 13:11

    Good article from Scarbs on the new Merc EBD syste,. I hope we actually get to see these developments come to fruition sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see how the Lotus and Mercedes systems compare.

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