F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says his team should have made Sebastian Vettel work harder for his championship lead.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
Martin Whitmarsh: “We have made it all too easy for him. In India, for instance, we needed to get up there and give him a harder time at the start. But we weren’t able to make anything stick, and instead our two guys found themselves fighting each other and Fernando [Alonso] on the first lap.”
“Ferrari could have ended in a slightly nicer way but the people I worked with who are still there, I had a very good relationship with them and go and talk to them still.”
“There remains a call to change the surface material of asphalt safety run-offs to gravel traps in order to penalise drivers edging too far wide. Something [Hermann] Tilke is against. ‘Nobody wants this, it will result in less overtaking and less risk taking from drivers because once you’re punished for your mistake it’s race over. Drivers will be too careful’.”
“He is always coming up with ideas. Whenever Adrian is around it just brings everyone up – the engineering guys, the mechanics. He is such a beacon for our team. For us, when it is a bit smelly, he just sticks to his guns, and when it’s going well, you never notice it.”
Martin Whitmarsh: “He has the speed, and he wants to get up there and win. But if he hasn’t got something to learn at 22, there is something wrong.”
This article in Italian newspaper La Stampa makes a headline-grabbing claim about Alonso. It has already appeared in numerous English-language publications, however I’m not sure whether I would take it at face value. See Tweets below and this comment from yesterday for more.
Toto Wolff: “I think Bernie’s approach is a very effective and simple one; maximum budget, you don’t spend more, if you are caught cheating you are penalised – severely penalised – functions well. But we need to sort it out.”
“I’m a little bit nervous about it because it was such a huge shock when I went to Manila, in the Philippines, so I can imagine here that it is going to be worse.”
“The bottom line is that Gribkowsky did sell to the highest bidder as no other offer was as high as the one made by CVC. Gribkowsky has claimed that he could have sold F1 for £685m but since no other bidder was prepared to pay BayernLB this amount it is hard to see how it can be anything other than hypothetical. Ecclestone says F1 ‘was something they couldn’t sell. They had six people look at them and wouldn’t buy.’ It could well explain why he isn’t worried right now.”
“Even with ticket prices slashed by some 40% from 2011, the cheapest ticket was Rs 2,000 [£23.05]. This is far too expensive even for our urban population.”
“There are many banners in the crowd, most proclaiming support for perennial tail-ender and local hero Narain Karthikeyan. There are pockets of support for Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, but not a solitary sign of affection for Force India, based at Silverstone but running with an Indian licence.”
“Pirelli really need to do something to strengthen the side walls of the tyres to reduce the number of punctures. Apparently these tyres are each around 2 kilos lighter than the Bridgestones and the sidewalls seem particularly vulnerable.”
“The Jacarepagua track in Rio de Janeiro has hosted its last auto racing event before the site is redeveloped to make room for the 2016 Olympic Park.”
“Circuit of the Americas organizers are suing Dallas-based Rocket Red in district court in Travis County about that email, claiming its subscriber list was compromised. Circuit officials said that the unauthorized message, from F1 COTA News, was sent to a subscriber list that existed in January 2011, which is about the time the circuit’s contract with Rocket Red to manage its website was terminated.”
“Leave Red Bull? Leave a team moulded around him [Sebastian Vettel], devoted to his cause, with a car penned by Adrian Newey, the greatest designer in the sport’s history, to go to a team who struggle to understand their own wind-tunnel? A team that are historically unable or unwilling to run two top-drawer drivers, with Fernando Alonso – by some margin the most politically astute guy in a race suit – already fully and adoringly ensconced? Yeah, right.”
“If F1 is going to keep growing we need to embrace races in places like Abu Dhabi and India. If not, the sport will stagnate and I won’t be able to eat some of the best food in the world.”
La Stampa reporting Alonso drafted an angry tweet after qualifying. “It took a lot of persuading for him not to press the submit button” #F1
— Gary Meenaghan (@GMeenaghan) October 30, 2012
Alonso’s tweet reportedly read: “I want my 1.2m followers to know key rear aerodynamic components are still the same as they were in May”.
— Gary Meenaghan (@GMeenaghan) October 30, 2012
— F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) October 30, 2012
Comment of the day
@Jaymenon10 questions why Vettel gets criticised for having the best car:
What is the guy to do? He gets berated for winning just because he manages to get the best out of the best car on the grid? Ridiculous.
Vettel deserves the title as much Alonso, but deserving has got nothing to do with winning. You win because you are the best. People tend to forget that F1 is a team sport, it will be extremely improbable for a driver is a sub-par car to win the title (hopefully Alonso does). The romantics would love for this to happen, but the fact is it hardly does.
Adrian Newey and Christian Horner have put together a solid outfit, with an outstanding driver…because of this they win. Ferrari and McLaren have not, so it is simple. It is true to state that Vettel has had the best car in recent seasons, but so what? He is the one that’s made the best of it. He is a vital cog in a very complex operation.
From the forum
- How’s your F1 2012 career going?
- Your pictures and video from the Indian Grand Prix
- Have you been affected by Hurricane Sandy?
Happy birthday to GQsm, Jon Finn and pejte!
On this day in F1
Having brought F1 back to Japan at their Suzuka circuit, Honda can’t have been too impressed that Gerhard Berger stuck his Ferrari on pole position 25 years ago today.
Indeed there were no Honda-powered cars on the first two rows, something which hadn’t happened in over a year. Alain Prost was second for McLaren-TAG followed by Thierry Boutsen (Benetton-Ford) and Michele Alboreto (Ferrari).
Image © Red Bull/Getty images