F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says other drivers would do as well as Sebastian Vettel if they had his car.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“I think lots of people in the paddock wish they could have Adrian [Newey’s] car so they could show that they’re just as competitive as Sebastian. Fernando, for me, is more accurate. He hits all the apexes. Sebastian misses four apexes on a single lap and still goes quickest. He goes off and he still goes quickest. And I think ‘Holy crap, I couldn’t do that lap even if I was on the limit’. His car is just that far ahead of everyone else’s.”
“Asked if he had a chance of pole, Hamilton said: ‘Honestly, no. But I’m going to give it my all. The last four races have been won by a certain guy. But if we get ahead it will be a huge bonus.’”
“The team contended that attempts to use either a bimetallic strip – which would change shape to open and close off cooling ducts depending on the temperature of the brake friction material – or a thermal actuator was a breach of the regulations.”
“Arguably we have been too conservative and risk-averse in regulation interpretation. Given our brand and our position, I think we are more risk-averse. There are things that have happened which, had our engineers come to me and said we’re going to do this, I’d have said forget it. I’d rather campaign for clearer, less ambiguous regulations.”
“The new measure should raise at least $16 million in extra revenue for the governing body, whose own budgets are under pressure.”
The payment structure is described in the latest version of the 2013 Sporting Regulations which can be found here.
Heikki Kovalainen: “The fact is I don’t bring any money, I told my management not to collect money, I don’t want to do that. If somebody was coming and backing me and supporting me then fine, but I don’t like that idea. If I’m not good enough here to stay just with my own skills then so be it, it doesn’t bother me too much. That’s life. That’s how the world is going nowadays, that’s what the teams need, they need money so if that’s what our team is going to do then it’s their decision and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “It didn’t feel nice, the car, but the lap time seems to be pretty okay. Hopefully we should improve and it should mean that we should get a bit more closer than we were today.”
“I am not entirely satisfied. The performance of the car is not on the level I would want it to be, or that I had expected. The car is too slow. Period. We definitely have to sort that out because next year we should have drivers with enough experience to get somewhere with a good car, preferably at the front of the midfield.”
“I wasn’t concerned this year and I’m not concerned for next year.”
“You look at the places like Spa and Monza or Suzuka and they are incredible circuits that have an amazing heritage and have been at it for more than 20 years. This is only our fourth grand prix, so while they all have a great status in the business, what we have achieved here in four years is quite amazing.”
“A Ferrari spokesman said the staff had arrived after daybreak and, extolling the quality of the team’s espresso coffee machine, suggested with a smile that they had simply wanted to enjoy a ‘nice Italian breakfast’.”
Governor Rick Perry: “The U.S. Grand Prix will bring 1.2 million visitors to Central Texas, and is an opportunity to demonstrate to people from around the world everything we have to offer in the Lone Star State as a tourism destination, and as a place to live and work”
“At the main grandstand, I encountered a person in his late seventies trying desperately hard to convince a security personal to allow him to carry water to his seat. He begged and tried to reason with the guard that he would have to traverse three flights of stairs every time he was thirsty and all this, despite paying 30,000 Rupees for the “comfort” a watching a race at the prime location.”
Comment of the day
The Limit on McLaren’s lack of championship success in recent seasons:
Everyone already has written off Mercedes even before the 2013 season has started, so for me, the pressure is on McLaren next year and on Martin Whitmarsh especially.
The Lewis Hamilton fixation the media has has deflected attention away from McLaren’s quite embarrassing decline this season, from a front running team in Australia to nothing but an also ran.
Jenson Button has a point. Hamilton’s departure is a loss to the team, but a bigger concern must be why their cars have been so inconsistent for the past several years. Button mentions Hamilton’s championship title of 2008, McLaren’s sole achievement since 1999.
We were led to believe that the Whitmarsh era, more open and apparently relaxed than that of Ron Dennis, would bare fruit. It has, so far, failed miserably and garnered more scandals than actual results.
From the forum
No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.
On this day in F1
Three-times world champions Nelson Piquet’s F1 career came to a low-key end on this day 21 years ago.
Piquet’s final start came in the 1991 Australian Grand Prix which was red-flagged and abandoned after just 14 laps due to heavy rain.
Piquet tried to persuade chief engineer Giorgio Ascanelli (latterly of Toro Rosso) to let him turn some unofficial laps after the race was called off, but was not allowed to, and the curtain came down on a career which included three world championship and 23 Grand Prix wins.
Images © Jamey Price for F1 Fanatic, Sahara Force India F1 Team