Perez lets slip his Sauber successor is Gutierrez

F1 Fanatic round-up

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Yas Marina, 2012In the round-up: Sergio Perez accidentally reveals Esteban Gutierrez will drive for Sauber in 2013.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Perez spills the beans on Gutierrez race drive (Reuters)

“The car will be strong because the rules don’t change much, and the team have a good experienced driver in Nico [Hulkenberg] and he will have a strong team mate in Esteban [Gutierrez].”

All bets are off at season-ending Grand Prix (FT, registration rivals)

“For [Sao Paulo], the event should mean at least $120m in revenues and 10,000 temporary jobs. It is these attractive statistics that are likely to prompt Rio de Janeiro to launch a competing bid to host the Grand Prix after 2014.”

Acorda, Sao Paulo! (TotalRace, Portuguese)

This article suggests Bernie Ecclestone has been approached by another group looking to host the Brazilian Grand Prix – though he may be using this to persuade the Sao Paulo race organisers to commit to building new pit facilities at Interlagos.

Brazilian GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Bruno Senna: “It?s been a very challenging season, lots of learning. We got some very good results and some tough races as well. Considering it was my first full year in Formula One, and with the small handicap of not doing free practice on Fridays, I think it?s been a pretty good year. In the end most of my races have been very strong. Just starting from a different position from where I should be starting has made me score less points than I could have had. In the end of the day it?s learning and you normally do much better on the second attempt at the same thing, so for sure there will be a lot of improvement to be done for next year.”

Mercedes to ditch new exhaust (Sky)

Norbert Haug: “We certainly, with hindsight, should have started much earlier with Coanda because it gives you a benefit – if you can manage it properly,” he said at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Thursday. We so far cannot, because we were late introducing it in Singapore.

Hamilton expecting to face win drought (Autosport)

“I never know when I’m going to have a car quite as good as this one, so I really hope this weekend I can utilise that. I hope we’re competitive enough to fight the Red Bulls.”

Burn Enters Formula 1 Racing (Burn)

Eric Boullier: “We are proud that The Coca-Cola Company [via burn] has chosen Lotus F1 Team as the best vehicle to represent the burn brand in its most high profile partnership.”

Button wants Alonso to win title (BBC)

“I said after the first race I don’t think he’s got a chance, and I didn’t think he did. He was a second off in qualifying, or even more. [Ferrari] have done a good job and he’s obviously done a great job as well.”

Sebastian Vettel arrives for F1 showdown with reliability concerns (The Guardian)

Christian Horner: “For sure, the alternator is a concern. It is the third failure we have had this year. It is something Renault need to get on top of this week.”

A round-up of tittle-tattle (Joe Saward)

“It is believed that Jules Bianchi and his supporters can raise around $4 million but Bruno Senna is probably able to raise $10-12 million and thus that would be better for [Force India], which should be OK financially thanks to TV money but may need some budget topping-up because of the lack of money available from Kingfisher Airlines.”

Button and Hamilton to be guarded by extra security at Brazilian GP after past troubles (Daily Mail)

“Button and Hamilton will be accompanied by a police escort and armoured vehicles on the 45-minute trip from the Interlagos track to their hotel.”

Did Piquet Jnr have a future in F1? (MotorSport)

“It was after that, of course, that the ‘Briatore affair’ came to light ?ǣ funny, that ?ǣ but some might suggest it should more properly be called the ‘Piquet affair': according to technical director Pat Symonds, after all, the idea came originally from Nelson Jnr…”

In 2010 Piquet Jnr gave a different version of events in that notorious weekend at Singapore.


There’s a Facebook group for those in the Netherlands affected by their move away from free-to-air live F1 coverage.

Comment of the day

@Osbos has lots of useful links for those keeping an eye on the weather in Interlagos:

Some rain radars for Sao Paulo/Interlagos:

Redemet (use S??o Roque/SP)
Redemet (animated) (to enable cities, please use Cidades on the left of the window)
Simepar (to the west of Sao Paulo)
Note: these radars are not real-time, like

I also have some links to satellite images of the region/Brazil:


From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Five years ago today evidence emerged detailed McLaren’s claim Renault had access to their intellectual property in 2006 and 2007.

The claim followed McLaren’s $100m fine from the FIA for using Ferrari intellectual property. However the FIA found no wrongdoing in the Renault case.

Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

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97 comments on Perez lets slip his Sauber successor is Gutierrez

  1. Girts (@girts) said on 23rd November 2012, 8:41

    It is believed that Jules Bianchi and his supporters can raise around $4 million but Bruno Senna is probably able to raise $10-12 million

    I think I can understand why some F1 drivers refuse to look for sponsorship money more actively. It’s not because they’re too proud or arrogant. The sponsorship is usually a short-term solution and normally it prolongs one’s F1 career but it’s not what you need if you want to focus on long-term prospects and win races and championships in the future.

    Look at Bruno Senna. His whole F1 career has been a struggle. All the time he has to live in fear of losing the financial support and accept different restrictions and hindrances, such as lack of pre-season testing or sitting out FP1 sessions. For sure, it’s very hard to improve yourself as a driver under such conditions and it’s almost impossible to convince the top teams of your potential.

    It’s probably a different thing if you have constant backing that you can always rely on, such as PDVSA for Maldonado. But I see where Kovalainen comes from when he says that ‘to collect the money for one season doesn’t do anything’.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 23rd November 2012, 9:28

      @girts I think that it depends on the driver’s own situation. In the case of Kovalainen it makes sense that pulling together money for 1 season isn’t worth it given that he has been in F1 for a few years and at a few teams now, an extra season in a seat that needs a pay driver is very unlikely to result in a breakthrough which leads to a long and successful career in F1. He is past the point of using a pay drive to make a good impression and now needs to rely on ability for career longevity.

      Looking at Maldonado, he used sponsorship to break into F1 which would most likely have not happened without the money. He then has to capitalise on that break by demonstrating his ability (for example winning a grand prix) and then hope that his talent will end the need for his sponsorship backing (although having long term sponsor backing may help make negotiation easier). Senna’s career has been a struggle but once into F1 it’s down to him to demonstrate his value as a driver and whilst I don’t think he has been bad he hasn’t really made a big mark which says to other teams that he is a driver worth signing.

      Schumacher had to raise the money from Mercedes for a one-off drive with Jordan back in 1991 but immediately made his mark. If you are a driver who believes in your ability enough then short-term funding is all you need. If you need long-term funding then the reality is that you are probably not cut out for F1 success.

  2. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 23rd November 2012, 8:45

    I have become persuaded (partly thanks to Peter Windsor) that a driver should be willing to help his team look for sponsors, so I was a bit sceptic on Kovalainen’s take on not finding sponsors:

    “But even the other options require some money, and I don’t want to go that route. I told my manager not to actively find money. I don’t think it leads to anything.

    But in that article he expands a bit on this, and it makes a lot of sense:

    “If you have a big backer like Santander that went with you to a team it’s a different thing. But to collect the money for one season doesn’t do anything. It’s not what it’s all about.”

    “I just don’t think there is a structure for it. I think there needs to be a clear plan to go and find money to race in the middle of the grid. It doesn’t appeal to me.”

    That does make sense, for an established driver it isn’t really sustainable to scrape money together for another year, every year – there needs to be a bigger idea behind it. So it would only be sensible if you used that one year to attract more sponsors/team interest, I guess.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd November 2012, 8:52


      a driver should be willing to help his team look for sponsors

      Depends if you want the 24 best racing drivers or the 24 smoothest corporate salesmen. I prefer the former.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd November 2012, 9:45

      a driver should be willing to help his team look for sponsors, so I was a bit sceptic on Kovalainen’s take on not finding sponsors

      I am not so sure about that @bosyber.

      Yes, sure a driver should probably not go around telling the world how he is not interested in team sponsors or partners or whatever they call them. And building a long relationship with a company can be something of a positive in current reality and even show a drivers skills, its not his ability to drive the car faster than others or get better results with it.
      And that last thing should really be what the sport should aim for, because with better results should come the bigger fan base, bigger share of championship rewards etc.

      The part about building up something to go forward is the thing a team should do. Not earn money to go racing by hiring out seats. This is exactly what GP2 is lacking too, because the components and cars are sold too expensively. Instead of having the best drivers, we have good enough drivers who were able to buy a seat for the year.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 23rd November 2012, 11:40

        @keithcollantine,@bascb, yes, I do agree that it is primarily the team that should be responsible for that. But just like a driver probably would be wise to do all he can to improve the car, he should likewise be willing to help the team get more money, which too will help improve the car.

        There’s a difference between thinking that the sport should find a better way of finding funding than having to switch drivers (though in a way Maldonado is Williams doing that with that one driver, building up to something …), and thinking a driver should only be driving the car.

        At the top teams, the drivers are doing meetings with sponsors and driving fast – that’s the best way they help the team bolster it top team image and increase interest from sponsors so they get some good feelings back for their money too.

        At other teams, it currently doesn’t always work that way and a driver might be a stronger “brand” than the team, in which case he might be better off trying to use that to get sponsors than the team is (though really the team should probably organise some of that too, in cooperation).

        Alonso and Hamilton both show the value of great drivers, but also the need for a good team and car to match that.

        Could Williams have gotten better with different drivers? Quite Possibly. Might Caterham have gotten better results if their car had been better thanks to more money for aero development? Quite likely too, Petrov outraced Kovalainen several times, he’s not a bad driver and the car just wasn’t getting them any further. I will agree that Glock getting 12th might be a counter example, but there have been been quite a few occasions where he couldn’t do anything because the developments weren’t there to battle with Caterham.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd November 2012, 12:36

          But none of that is an argument for drivers to be strong at building a sponsor package. I would say that if a driver is great in that aspect, they have possibly chosen the wrong career (Bernie, Horner, Dennis all started driving cars before moving on to something the excel at). And if they are better than the team at doing so, that is more of a failure for the team, isn’t it?

          Just look at Kimi. He is not too kind for sponsors, but he is very fast and the Enstone team is using his image in a good way to appeal to sponsors. Not by making the driver show up and talk with sponsors, but by showing a no nonsense but winning attitude can be a boon for their marketing campaign.

  3. Girts (@girts) said on 23rd November 2012, 9:27

    As I understand from the Google Translate, Kovalainen has also revealed that Caterham plan to use the same car in 2013 (Turun Sanomat, Finnish):

    • @girts So that means he’s staying?

      • Girts (@girts) said on 23rd November 2012, 9:59

        @chicanef1 I don’t think so, he’s sceptical about that and another article on the same website says Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde are considered as possible replacement for the team’s current driver line-up.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd November 2012, 10:08

        I also saw that, but I took it more of a confirmation that he won’t be with them next year @chicanef1, @girts because:
        He points to the team having to look for drivers with a budget (Pic, VdGarde both bringing money), something he does not have, and is not interested in searching just to prolongue his career. And he points to the tight budget for next year – as that is the reason for using the current chassis – showing that the team is unlikely to push forward anytime soon.
        Both things combined show a team that is quite different from the Caterham he joined. They had 2 paid drivers who were there for their skill at the wheel, and they had the ambition to gradually climb the ladder in F1 to get regular points and mix it in the midfield in the foreseeable future.

  4. It could be that Perez has done this to play mind-games on Kobayashi, who is only eight points behind the Mexican.
    Whatever it is, Kobayashi will probably race like a zombie on borrowed time at Interlagos.
    R.I.P. Kamui’s career.

  5. Howard (@howard) said on 23rd November 2012, 10:18

    That’s poor manners from Perez, mind your own business.
    I’m not a fan of Billionaires pushing drivers from their country into F1 purely at others cost.
    There’s nothing sporting about it.

  6. Howard (@howard) said on 23rd November 2012, 11:51

    If Gutirez doesn’t prove to be worthy he will still stay in F1 regardless because of very obvious reasons.

  7. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 23rd November 2012, 12:15

    I don’t think that HK is the greatest driver the world has ever seen but atm I think he is within the top 15 in the world. He has a wealth of experience at the front, middle and rear of the grid and has proven to be loyal to the team he drives for. In terms of off-track performance, he is clearly a hard-working lovely man and a PR dream. For these reasons I think it is rather unfair for him to be dropped.
    I think that he could still do a job at almost any team, solidly collecting points and helping a new talent come through. I feel Caterham should treat him with more respect. Charles Pic would certainly benefit with him as team-mate and HK must have had plenty of opportunities to leave and turned them down. I feel it’s a shame for the sport that a man linked to Ferrari 6 months ago is now facing time out due to lack of investment. Don’t get me wrong, if I was an investor I would take my money elsewhere, and Kovaleinen knows it, but sometimes we need to stay in the present rather than always looking to the future. This view has led to drivers with high potential sacked before their time (look no further than Toro Rosso) and with MS retiring and HRT going bust the average age will be considerably lower than it has been for a number of years. Perhaps the only way around it is introducing a budget cap but, the reality of the situation is that every driver must have serious backing and therefore we will lose out on seeing some great talent.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd November 2012, 19:38

    Doesn’t strike me as a big deal about the Gutierrez/Kobayashi thing. It’s not like Kamui wouldn’t have known.

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