Raikkonen concerned over Lotus’s pace

F1 Fanatic round-up

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Marina Bay, 2012In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus are not as fast as they should be.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Kimi suffering from lack of grip (Sky)

“If we keep doing like this were not going to have any chance, but we have to try to improve. There’s still quite a few races left, so hopefully we can be stronger than today.”

21/09/12 – Singapore GP – Conference 2 (FIA)

Renaultsport F1 director Jean-Francois Caubet: “I think the V6 will be on the track for all the teams in two years. I think Mercedes, Ferrari and us are all changing our dynos from V8s to V6s so now it’s impossible to make a change. For [Renault's engine supply to] the teams, the strategy is to keep four teams and I don’t know if it’s possible to do more.”

Close fight for pole – Hamilton (BBC)

“[Hamilton] said his later race-simulation run ‘felt pretty poor but I heard it was worse for others so that’s comforting.'”

Lewis Hamilton has been offered less money in new McLaren deal (The Guardian)

“According to reports last week, Hamilton has been offered just two-thirds of his current ??15m-a-year deal by McLaren, while Mercedes are believed to have offered more than ??20m. Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s team principal, admitted on Friday night: ‘I am sure he will want more money and I am sure we will want to pay him less. That is how business normally works.'”

Di Resta not getting carried away (Autosport)

“I’ve learned not to get carried away, which is why I am focused on making sure we are in this position tomorrow – because if we are it would be a remarkable result.”

The irreplaceable Sid Watkins (McLaren)

“‘I remember sitting in the car and not being able to see anything,’ said Mika [Hakkinen]. ‘I was feeling pain, and I couldn?t move, but I understood what was going on ?ǣ I understood that I was hurt quite badly. It was difficult to breathe, and getting more difficult?? then I lost consciousness. After that, I remember nothing until being in the hospital and looking up at Sid Watkins.'”

Swiss efficiency (ESPN)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “It’s important for us to say as a customer team that we certainly do not want to go back to those times, seven or eight years ago, when the costs were so enormously expensive. Over these years and together with the RRA, although the RRA is chassis related, in that whole movement, including the engine freeze, we have seen F1 moving in the right direction. We don’t want to take three steps back and that is definitely a concern for us.”

Changes at CVC (Joe Saward)

“The firm lost $1.8 billion in an investment in Australia?s Channel Nine and that has led to the resignation of the head of CVC?s Australian unit Adrian MacKenzie.”

Formula One Betting: Singapore Grand Prix – Qualifying Preview (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.

Comment of the day

@Aussierod on the winds of change in the provisional 2013 F1 calendar:

First time in F1 history that another continent has held more races than Europe. Asia eight to Europe seven.

Some might say this is the changing face of F1, however considering the nationalities of the drivers and teams, the crowd attendances, the TV viewing figures and of course the history of the sport. I would say it is more of a money grab by the sports commercial rights holder.
@Aussierod

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Jacques Villeneuve won the last Portuguese Grand Prix on this day in 1996.

Villeneuve passed Michael Schumacher around the outside of the final corner (see video), then jumped both Jean Alesi and Damon Hill in the pits.

That moved him within nine points of Hill in the championship as they headed into the final race at Suzuka.

Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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46 comments on Raikkonen concerned over Lotus’s pace

  1. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 22nd September 2012, 1:14

    Would like to do something I haven’t done before – and that’s to wish not just all the fanatics but everyone else who’s birthday is today, a very happy one!

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd September 2012, 1:56

    The situation at CVC is fascinating and ominous . Ominous in that the Gulf Arab states are acquiring a bigger stake in the company that owns FOM and that combined with investment in teams means the center of influence is moving rapidly towards the Arabian peninsular, not necessarily a bad thing but we are likely see more races held on Tilkedromes in the desert.

    The fascinating, well mildly interesting, thing is that in Australia CVC have owned the 9 TV. network and yet Aust. F1 fans have been dreadfully under-served by F1 being broadcast on the 10 network which only shows us qualifying and the race, not the practices, despite having 3 channels full of nothing but re-runs of old drama ,comedy and soaps. Surely FOM could have served the Australian fans, F1, 9TV, and CVC better.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 2:07

      Australian viewing figures for Formula 1 rarely top 400,000 nation-wide. As depressing as it may sound, there is probably a bigger viewing share in all those old dramas and sitcoms. They’re cheaper, too, because once they’re in syndication, the network only has to pay for them once. And it doesn’t help when a lot of the practice sessions are on in prime time slots.

      There simply isn’t enough interest in Formula 1 to justify greater coverage down here.

    • Drop Valencia! said on 22nd September 2012, 10:27

      I haven’t read the article, but Kerry Packer said you only get one Alan Bond, well James Packer got CVC and did the same thing, sold Channel 9 for billions, only to have it become worthless… Lucky they did so well with F1.

      When 9 had the F1 broadcast rights they were atrocious, much worse than 10 are doing now…

  3. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd September 2012, 6:33

    “According to reports last week, Hamilton has been offered just two-thirds of his current £15m-a-year deal by McLaren, while Mercedes are believed to have offered more than £20m. Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s team principal, admitted on Friday night: ‘I am sure he will want more money and I am sure we will want to pay him less. That is how business normally works.’”

    While I certainly think he’s a better driver, Hamilton is really starting to remind me of Villeneuve.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 22nd September 2012, 6:52

      @kingshark Rubbish, even if it’s a true report. You advise him to accept a pay-cut that in his opinion(and in mine and most of the world probably) he doesn’t deserve, is that it?

    • Hamilton move is more like the schumi move to the uncompetitive ferrari in 1996. I am quite sure that he can put the mercedes forward. Besides, like one said, what a shame to be pay far more less to Alonso, it is a question of proudness, and drivers are not being known for lacking ego. Finally he must move to grow as a man, nobody stays from 13 in the same school, he will miss sth to stay on an overprotected environment. But the key is in the hands of schumi i think, not mercedes or hamilton. Will he continue or not?

      • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 7:37

        Hamilton’s proposed pay cut will see him on equal terms with Button’s 12m a year deal.

        Martin is really not hiding his pro-Button feeling on this one.
        He negotiates Button’s deal in double-quick time but is slow to conclude Hamilton’s deal.

        No one in F1 rates Button on equal terms with Hamilton. No one. Not the fellow drivers for sure. He is no donkey of course and gets respect for keeping Hamilton honest but no way is he and will ever be among the elite top-ranked drivers like Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen.

        Martin is mental if he thinks Button can be team leader. Funny how Button is speaking like one already by choosing his potential new team mate in the media.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 8:09

          @ginola14

          He negotiates Button’s deal in double-quick time but is slow to conclude Hamilton’s deal.

          Or the situation at McLaren has changed. Next year, they will be paying Mercedes for their engines, and there is uncertainty over how much money they will get from their sponsors. With less operating income, they can’t afford to pay their drivers exorbriant sums.

          Martin is mental if he thinks Button can be team leader.

          Button seemed to do okay for himself last year.

        • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 22nd September 2012, 8:44

          In terms of performance it’s 1-1 between them in the two full seasons they’ve had together. Hamilton is likely to come out on top this season, but Button has upped his game recently. It may be close.

          I was among those who thought Hamilton would obliterate Button when they came into the same team, but I was wrong. Each has had their ups and downs but on the whole they’ve been evenly matched.

          What’s absurd is to suggest, on that basis, that Hamilton is worth £8-10m more than Button. No chance.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd September 2012, 9:31

            What’s absurd is to suggest, on that basis, that Hamilton is worth £8-10m more than Button. No chance.

            Do you seriously believe that Button can win Mclaren a championship in a car that isn’t a significantly faster than any other car on the grid?

            Button just about beat Barrichello at Brawn. I would think Lewis is worth at least double of what Jenson is

          • HeX (@) said on 22nd September 2012, 9:50

            @todfod What makes you think that Hamilton is worth double?

            Yes Hamilton has greater raw pace compared to Button, but it’s not like Hamilton’s twice as fast… I don’t see how I’d pay twice for someone who has slightly better speed.

            Besides, Button is a driver that would tend to get his job done well, unlike Hamilton, who always seems to be easily distracted by his other social problems.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 10:09

            @todford

            Button just about beat Barrichello at Brawn.

            Er … I’m sorry?

            Button didn’t “just about beat” Barrichello. He had the measure of Barrichello all season long. Buttin had six wins; Barrichello had two. Button had four pole positions; Barrichello had none. And in the fifteen races they both finished, Barrichello only beat Button four times. At the end of the season, Button had 95 points to Barrichello’s 77; under the post-2009 points system, Button would have had 248 points to Barrichello’s 196.

            Saying that Button “just about beat” Barrichello implies that they were fairly evenly matched, and maybe even that Barrichello came out on top. But that isn’t even remotely true – arguably, the only time Barrichello really beat Button was in Valencia.

          • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 12:47

            Button didn’t “just about beat” Barrichello. He had the measure of Barrichello all season long. Buttin had six wins; Barrichello had two

            i think you are abit misinformed.

            Jenson had the measure of Rubens only in the first half of the season when the car was dominant and Brawn settled on Jenson as the no 1 driver.

            Rubens had all the inferior race strategies given to him when pace-wise, he was on par with Jenson.

            In the second half of the season, it was widely acknowledged Rubens had the upper hand. He clawed away at the points gap while Jenson disappeared into a black hole for some period. So how is it possible Jenson had the measure of Rubens ‘all season’?

            That said, think about why the likes of Vettel and Alonso consistently mentioned Lewis as the one driver who can drive “beyond his car”. When mroe than one fellow class A-lister drivers rate you (and makes no mention of Button at all), you know why people find it absurd that Lewis has to take a PAY CUT to remain with McLaren.

          • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 13:01

            I won’t blame Brawn on making Jenson no 1 driver for 2009 as he was the younger and clearly more marketable driver.

            When they knew they had a dominant car, it was evident to them that their dominance wouldn’t last long as they did not have the resources to upgrade and develop their car continually over the season.

            So as a small team with a dominant car though, they had to make a tough decision not to have 2 drivers race each other and guarantee no points or a 1-2 finish are thrown away due to Rubens and Jenson taking each other out. Jenson thus became the default lead driver who will be allocated the better race strategy over Rubens if it becomes clear that a strategy split is required.

            Furthermore, the decision to re-sign Rubens only happened after Honda pulled out and Ross Brawn decided to ditch the idea of taking an inexperienced driver like Senna on.

            Honda almost had Bruno Senna signed before the withdrawal so the whole car was already structured around Button and not Rubens when it was being built.

            All of this is found in in Ross Brawn’s own account of the season in his book co-authored with Chris Hilton so this is not some theory put forward by a random dude like me.

          • Well said I agree. Other than his 2008 WC win what has he done to earn the salary that he is on now. Vettel is on less money and achieved more

          • @prisoner-monkeys . Misinformed?? I’m sure your a Button fanatic, but how could you possible turn a blind eye to the 1 podium that Button got in the last 10 races of the season. I dont think I’ve seen a more un-derserving performance by a championship winner

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd September 2012, 11:19

            @todfod, @ginola14 – It’s pretty obvious by now that Brawn GP ran out of money after Valencia, most of which was spent undoing the problems of the upgrade introduced at Silverstone. By the end of the season, they were race-by-race sponsor deals just to get to the next round of the championship. Meanwhile, everyone else was spending plenty of money closing the gap. Button certainly didn’t coast to the championship. The fact that the team got to Abu Dhabi at all was a miracle in itself.

            @todfod – Button scored two podiums in the last two races; second at Monza and third at Abu Dhabi. You will also note that he was the only driver to score points in every race he finished, and that he only retired from one race. It’s funny that you should call it an “un-deserving performance”, given that it is exactly what Fernando Alonso is doing right now. The F2012 is nowhere near the most competitive car on the grid, and yet Alonso is leading the championship because he is banking points at every opportunity (and he’s got a few other results going his way when he’s needed them the most).

          • @prisoner-monkeys

            Clearly Alonso’s F2012 is a second a lap faster than every other car on the grid.

            I cannot believe that you are even comparing a drive in a dominant car to one that is the 3rd or 4th fastest car on the grid. Also wouldn’t call Alonso’s driving simply banking points.. he has scored 2 out of a possible 3 podiums in the last 3 races…as compared to Jenson’s 2 out of 10 races.

            I think you just need to look at Jenson’s mid season performances this year to remind yourself of his 2nd half of the season with Brawn

        • @ginola14 – he seemed to embrace the team leader role rather well last year when Hamilton kept crashing into Massa; he was the only one in a position able to win the championship other than Vettel by the end of this weekend last year.
          Albeit, 2011 was an abnormally bad year for Hamilton (and I agree with you that he is a faster driver) but that doesn’t mean Button couldn’t be a team leader: he may not be as good as Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton etc. but he is a world champion and he can lead a team.

          • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 11:21

            That’s why all else equal, Hamilton should always be paid more than Button.
            Save for personal issues which clouded last year, he has always been CONSISTENTLY fast at any kinds of circuit. For the boys working on the car, this is on its own a good enough reason to be motivated knowing they have someone who can deliver on race day. Button simply has too many of those off-days for a driver sitting in a McLaren when he can’t find grip or get the set-up right for some reason and disappears into the twilight zone of the midfield runners and when that happens, it is terribly morale-sapping for the mechanics working on his car.
            I am being impartial on Button here and last year was a wake-up call for Hamilton that if he doesn’t give 100%, he has a team-mate who can beat him (though frankly the way i read it, seems like most people think Button obliterated Lewis last year; they weren’t exactly apart by 100 points and Lewis delivered the same number of wins as Jenson).

          • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 11:40

            What I can’t stand of late is Jenson speaking with authority that he doesn’t mind seeing di Resta or Perez in the no 2 car for next year (nice of him to decide he has the no 1 car already; something he can’t say for sure if Hamilton is around). As though he alone has already decided that Lewis should be given the boot.

            I had always dismissed the theory that Martin Whitmarsh favors Button over Hamilton as just BS forum talk but recent events only served to give weight to that theory. I had noticed on more than one occasion Martin’s awkward body language when he interacts with Lewis; whereas he shows relatively and readily more affection when Jenson wins. When Lewis wins, it is just a normal race routine weekend where Lewis does what is expected of him. When Jenson wins, its showers of praise and all the fawning adjectives like world-class, fabulous, class of the field are sputtered out. I know it’s a bit exaggerated but this is the vibe I get from what I watched.

            Button was Whitmarsh’s signature signing for 2010 and it is natural for him to back someone he signed to the tilt but no-one would do this at the expense of a quicker and more talented driver like he does. When Jenson joined McLaren, he said he was walking into a lion’s den that was Hamilton’s home ground and try to rattle him. Well, it is increasingly obvious that it is Jenson’s home ground now and Lewis is being discouraged from staying on and quietly being ushered out of the door; so that Whitmarsh can finally install Jenson as no 1, a process which Jenson is doing his part to accelerate.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 12:44

            @ginola14

            What I can’t stand of late is Jenson speaking with authority that he doesn’t mind seeing di Resta or Perez in the no 2 car for next year (nice of him to decide he has the no 1 car already; something he can’t say for sure if Hamilton is around). As though he alone has already decided that Lewis should be given the boot.

            It’s likely nothing more sinister than journalists asking Button who he would like to see as his team-mate if Hamilton were to leave. And with all the speculation over Hamilton’s future, you can understand why they’re asking it.

  4. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 22nd September 2012, 7:01

    What a fantastic overtake by Villeneuve! Notice how he thinks ahead to use the backmarker to complete the overtaking maneuver If not for the Minardi Schumacher would be ahead before the first corner

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 7:32

      @montreal95 – That move had nothing to do with the Minardi. Watch it again, and you will see that Villeneuve has already gotten ahead of Schumacher before they even encounter the Minardi. If anything, the Minardi was in Villeneuve’s way, since they were following the same racing line.

      • I was just about to say that, JV is ahead and pulling away and then cuts in front of Schumacher to avoid the Minardi, if he wasn’t already ahead by that point he wouldn’t have been able to cut across schumacher. But a great move anyway!

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 22nd September 2012, 8:37

    That’s a good article on Sauber. Sauber have a decent and honest shareholder in Kaltenborn. I do hope that this year wasn’t a fluke, especially with Key leaving. I’d love to see them more competitive still in 2013. They have been a pleasure to watch this year and are a team that always keep out of trouble and cause no one any bother :)

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 8:40

    I would say it is more of a money grab by the sports commercial rights holder.

    Were you watching last year’s Indian Grand Prix? It was sold out. Were you watching the 2011 and 2012 Chinese Grands Prix? They were sold out. Have you seen any of the Malaysian Grands Prix? They are regularly at or near capacity crowds.

    On the other hand, there have been the occasional disasters. Korea and Bahrain in particular never draw much of a crowd. But what would you propose as an alternative? A revival of old races – like, say, Portugal? Given that their economy is poor, all you’re going to do is create a race that is unsustainable and that nobody attends. At least races in Asia can stick around and work on attracting crowds.

    I think far too much emphasis is placed on Formula 1 staying in Europe. It is, after all, the World Championship. Not the European Championship.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 22nd September 2012, 10:45

      It was to do with the Minardi actually; Villeneuve got a tow off the Minari, and had the Minardi not been there, Villeneuve would have had to go around the outside of MSC at the next corner, and Schumi would have maintained the lead; you can see Villeneuve getting away when they ome up to the back of the Minardi

    • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 22nd September 2012, 12:17

      “I think far too much emphasis is placed on Formula 1 staying in Europe. It is, after all, the World Championship. Not the European Championship.”

      I have a different view on that tbh. I think that f1 should be about the pinnacle of every aspect of the sport.

      You wouldn’t not let a driver race because he was European?

      If Monaco, Spa, Monza and Interlagos were all in Britain, I would hope that all of them would make it onto the calendar. Obviously, for fan fairness a world championship should embrace all cultures but not at the expense of the heritage of the sport. All circuits should make it there on merit. It was not long ago we had Bahrain on the calendar and no Spa. Albeit for reasons to alter the track. My point is, the teams base themselves in Europe and most top team people are European. We can’t pretend that it is a true world championship until we have an African track and team. That still remains a long way off. F1 should cater for its entire fan base and use tracks which challenging, regardless of nationality in my opinion.

      • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 12:24

        They should just drop all Herman Tilke circuits period (except for Sepang which credit to him, is one of the better ones).

        Bahrain is a joke, new Hockenheim is rubbish, Abu Dhabi is sleep-inducing (i dont give a damn the place looks like a Star Trek movie), Shanghai not much better (they had to move the race to coincide with its rainy season to make it artificially exciting).

        Could go on but one gets the point.

        • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 22nd September 2012, 13:16

          In fairness to Tilke, I think half of his problem is the parameters set to him by the FIA. He has to use horrible run off zones which take character out of any track. Also he is building them in baron wastelands with no trees or weather variations (like spa) which add another dimension to race tracks. India and COTA look very promising for the future but we will never see tracks like we saw in the glory days again. Many were designed nearly 100 years ago through primitive towns or connected to public roads. In the modern world that’s impossible.

          My problem with Tilke is his love of medium speed corners. Undulation and high speed off camber corners are exciting. 1km of 100% throttle is not.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 12:42

        All circuits should make it there on merit.

        Which European circuits are so astonishingly brilliant that for them to miss out on a spot on the calendar is criminal?

        Imola? It’s just chicanes.

        Magny-Cours? It’s decent, but it’s no Spa or Silverstone.

        Estoril? It’s only ever been good for bikes.

        The Red Bull Ring? It’s not bad, but it’s still a shadow of its former self.

        Brands Hatch? It’s too small.

        Perhaps the only European circuit that I can think of that deserves a place on the calendar, but has not been included is Motorland Aragon. And ironically, it’s a modern circuit. But the circuit owners don’t want Formula 1 – when there were serious questions about Korea’s ability to be ready in time for the 2010 race, Bernie approached the circuit and asked them if they would be willing to take on an extraordianry round of the championship. I believe he even offered them a greatly-reduced fee and waived the usual contract nonsense that everyone criticises him for, and they still said no.

        • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 22nd September 2012, 13:25

          “Which European circuits are so astonishingly brilliant that for them to miss out on a spot on the calendar is criminal?”

          What? You know that that is not the point being argued here. My point is not that Europe deserves more its that other continents deserve less. I could list 5 tracks that are still on the calendar that are worse than spa technically. I am not saying bring back the golden oldies from the 90s. There tracks were woeful too. But in a financially perfect world for all tracks, Abu Dhabi would not be picked to be on an “worlds greatest circuits” list. That is not F1. You can’t demand the best drivers, designers and manufacturers and then expect them to race on tracks that are empty that fans and drivers detest purely because they are another part of the world.

          • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 22nd September 2012, 13:34

            Spot-on.

            I wish they would bring back the Montjuïc circuit though!
            Zillion times better than the lame Barcelona and Valencia circuits and the corresponding snoozefests they induce.

    • Wasn’t China only sold out because it dramatically cut its capacity by closing grandstands?

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 8:43

    COTA has completed the final layer of pavement. I believe Charlie Whiting is due to complete a track inspection in thee days – but at this point, it looks like it will be a mere formality.

  8. Broom (@brum55) said on 22nd September 2012, 10:04

    He may have his detractors but Villeneuve was absolutely scintillating in that GP!

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd September 2012, 10:22

    Further confirmation that Jaime Alguersuari is set to return to Formula 1 – Pirelli are looking at Robert Kubica as his replacement.

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