In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says Lewis Hamilton has made a “good change” by leaving McLaren.
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“For McLaren, [Alain] Prost was going out, [Ayrton] Senna; it was me, now it’s Lewis, and usually for a better life, for good change. McLaren is 14 years not winning the constructors’ championship, most of these years sometimes with the best car, so I’m sure Lewis wants to win as well.”
“Schumacher, in turn, suggested that Hamilton had played a part in the decision making process leading to his retirement. ‘I was in the picture when the negotiation was going on, but I didn’t want to decide; I was not sure,’ he said. ‘Sometimes in life your destiny will develop by itself, without any hard feelings and without any regrets. We all know Lewis is one of the best drivers we have around and I cross fingers that we will have a successful future.'”
“There?óÔé¼Ôäós no more to say about this. I have options, obviously, and you know some of the options, but whatever that will be, we?óÔé¼Ôäóll decide when the time is there.”
Jackie Stewart: “His reputation has already been affected by his unsuccessful return to the sport,” Stewart told BBC Sport. People will applaud the decision as it should have happened a while ago.”
“It was not about the offer. I had two offers on the table which were very, very similar. It was about Mercedes, a team which has not been that successful over the last couple of years but I know they want to win. Some of the greatest drivers have gone from a good car to not such a great car and have helped to develop a winning team.”
“The wheels were certainly greased by Bernie and, via Bernie, Niki Lauda who we understand managed to convince Hamilton, when the Brit started to have doubts over the move, that it was in fact the right one by appealing to his emotions over his sensibilities. He was sold on the concept of taking the team and doing what the great Michael Schumacher could not. If Hamilton could turn Mercedes into a world championship winning outfit, his reputation and his standing would be immeasurable. He could do what Schumacher did at Ferrari. He could create something magical.”
“Until Spa we had fair racing, but from now on it’s logical. Kimi is fighting in front of the championship and I don’t have many hopes in terms of position. I could be seventh if I score good points, but Kimi is still at the front.”
“It is understood that all cars inspected at Suzuka on Thursday passed the new check, which is intended to pick up on backward rotation of the front wing about its horizontal axis.”
Bob Constanduros: “It was very difficult [to be impartial], for example, in Austria in 2002 when Rubens Barrichello was asked to slow down for Michael Schumacher [to let his team mate win the race]. Because I was pretty incensed about that. But I did change. It was quite a difficult thing to come to terms with. Yes, I had to remember that I must not get involved, just ask straight questions.”
Now it's time to focus on the race ahead. @gvandergarde will be in Heikki's car in FP1 on Friday and then Heikki's back in as per normal.
— Caterham F1 Team (@CaterhamF1) October 3, 2012
— Tobias GrÃ¼ner F1 (@tgruener) October 4, 2012
Well that was interesting. Pastor Maldonado, on the record, just told me he might not be with Williams next year. Keeping options open.
— The Buxton Blog (@thebuxtonblog) October 4, 2012
Wondering if I should send Mrs Schumacher some Le Mans and WEC links – she'll be wanting him out from under her feet before long
— Kelly McNish (@KellyMcNishMc) October 4, 2012
I'm constantly impressed at the way Nico Rosberg handles himself. His old man was tough as old boots. And Nico is a chip off the old block
— Byron Young (@byronf1) October 4, 2012
Comment of the day
@Ajokay hopes Schumacher will race on despite leaving F1:
I do hope he doesn?óÔé¼Ôäót disappear like last time (aside from the odd sporadic motorcycle race). He?óÔé¼Ôäós clearly still incredibly able and fast enough.
There are guys out there 20 years older than him racing and winning in LMP and GT cars. He could (and should) easily become a sportscar legend.
From the forum
- Suzuka ?óÔé¼Ôäómade easier by resurfacing?óÔé¼Ôäó according to FIA Medical Car driver Alan van der Merwe
- What are Hamilton, Raikkonen and Webber?óÔé¼Ôäós title chances?
- Are you attending this weekend’s race? Join the discussion here: Going to the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka
Happy birthday to Cholle and Yorricksfriend!
On this day in F1
The last United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen was held on this day in 1980.
Bruno Giacomelli led until an electrical failure sidelined his Alfa Romeo on the 32nd lap. That left the new world champion Alan Jones to end his season with a win.
Team mate Carlos Reutemann made it a Williams one-two ahead of Didier Pironi, in his last race for Ligier.
F1 never returned to Watkins Glen and the circuit reportedly never paid the fee for this last race, having run into financial problems:
Image ?é?® McLaren