F1 “played NASCAR” with safety car, say Force India

F1 Fanatic round-up

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Interlagos, 2012In the round-up: Force India criticise the decision to deploy the safety car early in the Brazilian Grand Prix, which wiped out Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button’s 45-second lead over their rivals.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Force India says first SC period a joke (Autosport)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley: “I think the safety car was a joke. I thought we were playing NASCAR. We could’ve done that debris under double yellow flags.”

Lewis Hamilton leaves McLaren confident he will win at Mercedes (The Guardian)

“When reminded that his gifts were more instinctive than technical, he replied: ‘I guarantee you that is not the case. I don’t need to blow smoke up my own arse. I know what I am capable of, although it won’t take a major effect until halfway through next season, although more so with the car for 2014. It just means I have to cram a lot into a short space of time. I don’t have a problem with that.'”

Vettel only interested in Red Bull (The Telegraph)

“At the moment, I don’t see any point thinking about another team or something else. I’m extremely happy in the position I am. It’s incredible what we have achieved.”

Jonathan McEvoy: So what happens next for Lewis, McLaren and Bernie? (Daily Mail)

“Will Hamilton regret leaving [McLaren]? No time soon. He finally found McLaren so claustrophobic that one team principal privately said he thought Hamilton would have rather taken a year out than stay.”

Driver-car affinity key to the title (BBC)

“[Vettel] drives the Red Bull concept – he turns in on the brakes, which gives understeer, then when he gets the brakes off, the front grips, the car rotates around the nose and he nails the throttle because he’s got confidence that the rear aerodynamics will make the back grip.”

Horner feared race-ending damage (ESPN)

“There was quite a lot of damage to the exhaust and they’re sensitive bits of equipment and to receive an impact like that was massively concerning. What we saw is as the pace picked up the problem became more evident; the loss that Sebastian had. Then we saw another bit of the bodywork disappear off the car.”

Champion Sebastian Vettel deserves all of our respect (The National)

Gary Meenaghan: “[Adrian] Newey and Vettel appears not just difficult to beat but omnipotent. At the start of the season, when the car was not the quickest and results proved unpredictable, Vettel showed his worth and his consistency to collect double-figure points at five of the first seven races.”

Humphrey: Why I’m leaving F1 (BBC)

“Contrary to some reports it not due to the rights change bombshell that hit us in 2011. Of course, not doing every race live was tough because that is where I think I and the team excel.”


Comment of the day

@Marcky was in the stands at Interlagos on Sunday – and in 2008:

I was there yesterday at Interlagos watching the race in grandstand A by the main straight. Got to say, it was an amazing race, even for us who were watching at the track getting soaked by the rain.

There was so much going on at the same time that we didn?t know where to look at, if we tried to look at the large screen showing the replay, we?d lose an overtake in the main straight or in the middle sector. Everyone there was just blown away after the race ended, we were privileged to have seen history being made live.

Comparing this year’s race with 2008, for me 2008 was still better (and I am Brazilian!). This year’s race probably had more twists and turns, and was more action packed, but the fact that in 2008 nobody knew who was going to be champion until the very last minute made it the ultimate thriller. We’ll probably never see something like that happen again.

And for me, it will always be a moment that I?ll never forget, the disappointment was so intense, I mean, we were watching a Brazilian driver about to become champion, something we have been waiting for a long time since we lost Ayrton Senna, and on top of that, he would be champion in Brazil! When I saw Hamilton passing Glock on the last turn, we were just speechless.

So, I guess this year?s race was more fun, but the 2008 Grand Prix was more emotional and intense.

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On this day in F1

Mark Webber scored his first win of last year in the final round of the season. But the manner in which it was achieved, following a gearbox problem on his team mate’s car, inevitably raised questions over whether it had been a true triumph.

Image ?? Sahara Force India F1 Team

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82 comments on F1 “played NASCAR” with safety car, say Force India

  1. Girts (@girts) said on 27th November 2012, 9:26

    Gary Anderson’s article made for interesting read but it made me ask some questions, too.

    If Massa is so useless, why do Ferrari still keep him?

    If Ferrari developed a car that suited Massa better but reduced Alonso’s potential in the second half of the year, then what is Alonso, their only championship contender since 2010 and one of all-time greats, still doing at such a dumb team?

    If Alonso is able to adapt to any car at any time, then why did Massa outperform him in the final two races and in Korea, too?

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 27th November 2012, 10:40

      I didn’t understand that last bit of your post in Anderson’s article either.
      He pretty much destroyed his own point of how Alonso is the “worthier” driver’s champion with it.
      Just goes to show that no one, neither Alonso nor Vettel can do magic, when they have no trust in the car.

    • @girts
      I think Massa became better later in the season as he was the guinea pig the whole season. I meen, in my opinion Alonso was preparing for the race in the free practices, while Massa was testing different setups/components. In the second half of the season Massa got used to the new developements and knew how to exploit them, while Alonso had to use them for the first time. Of course I can be completly wrong and Ferrari was trying to make the car suitable for Massa, to have better chance at the WCC. Or Alonso could not handle the pressure, either way, Ferrari is second again.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 27th November 2012, 12:51

        @bag0 I think it’s very possible that the car’s behaviour changed as Ferrari developed it during the season and that these changes might have helped Massa’s performance. Still, it doesn’t explain why Massa was sometimes even faster than Alonso in the second half of the season. And I don’t really believe that Ferrari and Alonso got the development of the car so wrong that the only one who gained from that was Massa, who then had to move over for Alonso several times.

        I believe that many different factors were responsible for the pretty radical improvement in Massa’s performance but it’s hard to imagine that his own form had nothing to do with the better results, as Gary Anderson indirectly suggests.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 27th November 2012, 13:19

        @bag0 Massa had the same problem as Vettel at the beginning but Ferrari couldn’t help him fast enough.
        Massa has a similar driving style which is to hit the appex in a flatter angle and be on the throttle faster. This year Ferrari suffered massively on the rear and mid-season they found a way to gain mechanical grip and from there on Massa was back.

    • tvm (@) said on 27th November 2012, 21:45

      “If Massa is so useless, why do Ferrari still keep him?”

      Alsonso’s private moveable speed bump.

      Not kidding.

    • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 28th November 2012, 0:17


      I just think the Ferrari’s latter updates starting from Singapore didnt go the way they expected them to, at least for Fernando. Obviously the rear wing didnt work in Singapore, hence they didnt run it, but starting in Korea, Massa upped his pace significantly. I think what Gary was trying to get across was that the latter updates played into Massa’s driving style, while it probably didnt suit Alonso’s. We all know that Fernando adapts well, I guess it didnt work very well this time, probably too many pieces coming on to the car in fast succession…Pat Fry admitted on Saturday that they hadnt found the right balance for Fernando.

  2. dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 27th November 2012, 9:52

    Lovely piece from Jake Humphrey. I thought he was a great presenter, although we switched to watching on Sky this year (we already had the package). He certainly has a confidence and fluency when presenting live from the pitlane that Simon Lazenby still lacks.

    Although the Sky coverage got off to a bit of a ropy start, by the middle of the year it had gelled really well. The team of pundits has built up great rapport, and I much prefer the Johnny Herbert / Damon Hill pairing to Eddie Jordan and his self-interested ramblings. Anthony Davidson and Allan McNish have provided great technical insight and the horribly-named Skypad is actually quite good now. The pitlane team is great too – Ted of course but also Natalie and Georgie.

    I do actually miss DC – I liked his dry attacks on Jordan – and I’m not over-keen on Croft as a race commentator – he’s both sensationalist and stats-obsessed, which works on Friday practice but not so much in the race.

    I’ve listened to Ben Edwards a couple of times while watching practice live online, and thought he was really good. However last time he was paired with John Watson, who I can’t bear, so I had to tune the commentary out somewhat.

    Anyway, in summary a good first year for Sky.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 27th November 2012, 10:56

      Just want to echo the sentiment, that it was a really heartfelt and honest blog piece from Humphrey. He’s one of the reasons the BBC show was so good, although I can’t stand Eddie Jordan, and DC leaves me pretty cold. I’m surprised that SKY didn’t manage to poach him too, but from the sounds of his blog, maybe he felt there were other priorities in his life that he should be concentrating on.

      F1 has loads of people through the decades who become a part of the sport, even though they’re not drivers or team members. People like Murray Walker. While it would be overstating things a little bit to suggest that Humphrey could ever really be considered to have the legacy of Walker, I do think that he’s become a part of the history of the sport, as one of the more passionate broadcasters. The BBC will definitely miss him, but I think I understand his reasons.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 27th November 2012, 16:23

      Like you, I already had SKY so switched to their coverage too (mainly to get EJ off my TV) but I really liked Jake and think he will be greatly missed on the BBC F1 team. He comes across as a really nice guy who genuinely likes the sport.

      If you ever get the chance have a watch of Free Speech or Young Voters’ Question Time (if he keeps on presenting them), Jake is great on both shows and it’s really funny seeing him ripping politicians apart – I really hope that the BBC give him the hosts job on Question Time when Dimbleby decides to retire, actually I’d go so far as to say that it’s time they retired Dimbleby and gave Jake the job.

    • I watched the races on both BBC and Sky , the BBC were better although I didn’t like Jake or EJ. Still can’t see the point in Georgie or Ant with the Sky pad crap .True fans of the sport know the facts ,history etc

      • dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 27th November 2012, 22:13

        @sonia54 I’d count myself as a true fan and yet I am glad for the “facts, history etc” to be explained to me on TV – and I’m sure new fans or people who are just getting into F1 are glad to find out about the history of the sport via Sky or the BBC. Luckily the coverage isn’t quite as snobbish as you’d obviously like.

        And I thought the analysis via the Skypad has been really interesting in the past few races.

        • I don’t pay for sky (I dont think anyone should that doesnt have the car, house, wife and accesories that they want) but I’ve seen the broadcasts when the BBC has been unavailable. The sky pads real good, georgies fine but Simon and Hill are useless. The BBC team was better – when they had Brundle, I can’t imagine that team being beat. I think Ben Edwards is terrible so I prefer the sky commentators.

  3. I recommend everyone that criticises Vettel to read The National article: it mirrors what has been said so many times before on this site! I could hardly summarise Vettel better myself.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 27th November 2012, 17:48

      I’m sure I don’t need one article to form my opinion that is based on watching every race of F1 since 1993. Whoever can change their perception, based on one article, doesn’t have enough credibility to say much on any driver in the first place.

      • @brace – Did I say within that comment anywhere that people should form their opinion on a driver based upon its content? I merely stated that it is worth reading, as it makes some very good, logical points with reason that seems to be lacking in many.

        I also don’t see how having watched every race since 1993 is relevant given Vettel has only been racing since 2007 and that the article is about him – not anyone else. In actual fact the only way I would see that as relevant is that you have also then consequently seen all of Schumacher’s championships: his obvious comparison.

  4. Baron (@baron) said on 28th November 2012, 23:52

    Don’t know where to stick this, but BBC are reporting that Ferrari have protested the Vettel yellow light incident and it also turns out that FIA have “a legal obligation” to re-examine any incident if there is new information regardless of whether they made a decision or not at the time, so Ferrari don’t have to protest at all. FIA have to follow the rules. Sorry if this is posted somewhere else but…


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