Hamilton starts work at Mercedes

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton makes his first visit to the Mercedes factory.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lew gets down to work with Merc (The Sun)

Norbert Haug: “Lewis has already been in the factory to see the team and fulfil some duties after we found an agreement about that with McLaren.”

Cutting costs ‘F1’s biggest challenge’ (Autosport)

“I think the biggest challenge today is the commercial part. That’s not only for Sauber, that’s also for some of the big teams. Formula 1 is too expensive today, that’s the important fact.”

Jackie Stewart says Circuit of the Americas must improve roads for US Grand Prix (AutoWeek)

“There has been nothing but good come out of Austin Texas. But getting in and out of the track wasn’t fun. It’s not finished, you see, so they haven’t got their access roads. In fact, I am going to write to them about that because I don’t want them running away thinking they got away with it. They didn’t.”

Christmas with the Ferrari family (Ferrari)

Luca di Montezemolo: “I wish to congratulate you for what you have done, starting with our reliability record. To win in Formula 1, one needs to do everything perfectly: we can be pleased with the improvements we have made on the strategy front, at the pit stops and in our race preparation and we must maintain these strong points next year too. We lacked a car that was quicker than the others and we must reflect carefully on how that happened and come up with a response, because in 2013, the aim, not just for me, but for all of you, is to immediately have a car that?s capable of winning.”

Team Germany win sixth ROC Nations Cup (Race of Champions)

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel stormed to their sixth consecutive ROC Nations Cup title for Team Germany in Bangkok.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

More thoughts on the best moments of the year from @Ral:

Kobayashi?s podium is very high on my list, particularly for the reception by the fans. Their chanting was absolutely awesome.

Also high on my list is Valencia?s pre-podium chat where all three drivers met up with Andrea Stella and all three were happy to see him and from the looks, each other as well. Genuine respect between all four of them and a sense of being pleased for one another?s results on that day.

As a Raikkonen fan, I’m happy he had a good comeback. But to me, the best part of his year was his second stint in Hungary where he decided when and how much of his tyres to save to the point where the team came on the radio to ask him if something was wrong because they were worried about how slowly he was going. And then he timed pretty much to perfection when to really put the hammer down to overtake everyone bar Hamilton. Those, what, 20-odd laps were magical.

Hamilton nailing qualifying in Spain was awesome as well. He really put everyone in their place in Q3 and it was absolutely horrible to have to see him lose it through no fault of his own. But the way he then managed to salvage a very respectable 8th place from last on the grid, ahead of Button, ironically by managing his tyres really made him a stand-out performer in that weekend to me.

I have to say also, I loved all of the United States Grand Prix. Simply a disgrace that they weren?t awarded the best F1 promoters this year.
@Ral

From the forum

  • The Red Bull Racing Story is worth watching, in particular for the quotes from Adrian Newey, who remarks on the protests made against the team in recent seasons: “Since 2010 in particular the level of sniping at us just got silly, to be honest. It seemed like every race we were accused of doing something illegal. The car of course was using the regulations to the edge, that?s to me is what you should do in F1.”

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Johnny86 and Ovviamente!

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On this day in F1

Thirty years ago today the Formula One world was stunned by the death of Lotus founder Colin Chapman from a heart attack at the age of 54.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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88 comments on Hamilton starts work at Mercedes

  1. Tom (@newdecade) said on 16th December 2012, 1:46

    I think JYS is having an old man grumble. Maybe spilled his bubbly over a bump in the back of his limo or something? Maybe he can get the bus next year, he might even enjoy it more! The service was excellent considering the requirements.

    I agree with the commentors in the linked article, the preparation was almost too good and potentially erred on the side of caution, I couldnt believe the efficiency with which they moved 100,000+ people into and out of that facility. First class operation all round. The experience Austin has in hosting vast crowds and events really showed its worth.

    • LuvinF1 (@luvinf1) said on 16th December 2012, 17:14

      The Austin COTA experience was magnificent, and it will get better as they improve conditions in and around the circuit. This was my wife’s first experience at a Formula race, and I started attending races in 1970 at Watkins Glen. We never once considered the amount of walking that we did at the circuit or in the city an inconvenience. We even shunned the perimeter shuttle – seemed there were a lot of people that couldn’t take the walk. God forbid they were at a majority of the other circuits if they can’t walk. We are already looking forward to Austin next year!

  2. Abdurahman (@) said on 16th December 2012, 2:00

    In fact, I am going to write to them about that because I don’t want them running away thinking they got away with it. They didn’t.”
    Seriously, what is Stewart on about? From all accounts I’ve read, heard, and talked to friends in Austin everything was smooth.
    I’m pretty sick of Stewart to a certain degree.

  3. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 16th December 2012, 2:28

    if they haven’t got access roads or not happy with the facility, please don’t go there. Rather, speak to your own Silverstone folks to improve the infrastructure. I

  4. Hairs (@hairs) said on 16th December 2012, 4:23

    A very interesting quote from Norbert there, given that when Button left the team for McLaren, the team refused to let Button join mclaren even a day early, with a famously peevish and childish quote from Nick Fry.

    On the other hand, BAR had already been at the centre of button’s two previous contractual button-gate debacles.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 8:07

      I guess supplying engines to the team Hamilton departs from gives Mercedes some kind of influence to help convince McLaren.
      Or maybe McLaren are happy to have Hamilton sign on not going to visit their factory asap :-)

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th December 2012, 6:55

    “Since 2010 in particular the level of sniping at us just got silly, to be honest. It seemed like every race we were accused of doing something illegal. The car of course was using the regulations to the edge, that’s to me is what you should do in F1.”

    What little respect I had for Red Bull Racing was directed solely at Adrian Newey. That’s gone now. I find his – and the team’s – attitude to be deeply hypocritical.

    On the one hand, Newey says it is entirely okay to push the limit of the regulations to find that extra burst of speed. But on the other hand, nobody fights harder than Christian Horner was another team does it. When Mercedes debuted the double-DRS system, Red Bull were one of the first to the stewards’ office in Melbourne. The stewards ruled the device legal and allowed Mercedes to use it in the race. Then, in Malaysia, Horner called upon the FIA to make a “final decision” about the double-DRS and said that he would accept the outcome. The query was supported by Eric Boullier and Lotus. The FIA once again declared it legal.

    But thenm three weeks later in Shanghai, Horner went back on his word and challenge the legality of the double-DRS again. By this point, Boullier had lost interest in pursuing it, having accepted the verdict in Malaysia. But Horner kept going with it, once again demanding that the stewards review the system, despite having said that he would accept their previous decision. He finally accepted that it was legal when the stewards cleared it to race again in China. I’ve never heard of a team principal demanding three separate reviews of a part, especially when that part had already been declared legal twice as a result of those demands.

    Since then, the Red Bull RB8 was the subject of no less that five separate requests for review by other teams (floor holes in Monaco, auto-adjust suspension in Canada, throttle mapping in Germany, moving front wing parts in Japan and double fuel tanks in Abu Dhabi). In every single instance, the teams accepted the FIA’s ruling straight away, even when the part was considered so questionable that the FIA had to amend the rules to outlaw it. Now we’ve got Newey saying that doing this is okay, because that’s what designing racing cars is all about – but meanwhile, we’ve got Horner refusing to accept it when another team thinks of something clever and attempting to either get the part banned outright, or get Mercedes to reveal exactly how it works so that Red Bull could copy it and adapt their own version of it.

    And people wonder why I don’t like Red Bull. Their attitude of “abusing the limits of the rules is only okay when we’re the ones doing it” is disgusting and hypocritical to say the least.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th December 2012, 7:56

      I really don’t see what your problem is with this. If Red Bull has controversial parts, then the other teams want clarification. If another team, say Mercedes, has a controversial part, then another team, in this case Red Bull, wants to know if it’s legal. In my mind, it is as fair as could be. Red Bull is a team that tries to push the limits right to te edge and I think it is only natural that other teams start poking their heads out wondering if this thing is legal or not.

      My main point is that it doesn’t matter which team it is: if a team brings a part that is in the grey zone of the regulations, then other teams will either protest it or demand clarification – everyone monitors everyone. That’s just the way it is – which in my mind is the saddest part about this.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 16th December 2012, 13:19

        @andae23 PM isn’t saying that and he is well aware of that. I have debated PM on my this website and another (GTPlanet) over motorsports many times, mainly disagreeing. Yet I see this one of his moments of true clarity. What he is saying is RBR seem to be wanting a double standard, as to where other teams drop the issue much more quickly Horner instead presses on about it. RBR complain about it in a way that seems to have the FIA by the colar, yet feel no one else should do it like them though. Also some of the stuff RBR did this year like double fuel tanks, seem more clear as a no-no in the regulations and less grey area.

        • @magillagorilla – this was directed at Newey’s comment though, which was voicing his frustration at other team’s nitpicking: I see nothing wrong with that as a designer will obviously become frustrated if the legality of his machine is repeatedly challenged, even though he knows it conforms to the wording of the regulations.

          Sadly it’s accepted within F1 circles that it is normal to challenge at every opportunity for the sake of their own benefit, which was the intention of andae’s comment.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 26th December 2012, 0:54

            @vettel1 Yet it didn’t always conform…and the rules were changed as well other times because it went against the true meaning the FIA gave. So I ask what frustration does he deserve? If you are bending the rules and at times breaking them, then you should expect to change the car back and try agian on the drawing board. That is how the game goes. Everyone wants a fair shake, but Newey’s wording seems to say “well are fair shake should be more prominent.”

            I dont see it being accepted in my comments or others like PM, if anything I wish no teams complained, but the rules are there for a reason. If someone has suspected a breach of said rules, then the one being accussed shouldn’t complain when found guilty outright. You know what I see in many circles? People that cant distinguish their personal bias of a team for what is fair or true. That seems to be a bigger issue.

    • DVC (@dvc) said on 16th December 2012, 8:44

      Have you considered that Newy and Horner might have different views on the topic?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th December 2012, 8:47

      I thought it was very telling that when Alonso referred to this debate the other day he didn’t say Red Bull are “disgusting and hypocritical”, he said:

      “We too have to think within the confines of the rules while looking for some limits, some holes, like the other teams do in order to improve our performances.”

      Because as everyone knows, pushing the limits of the rules is what F1 car designers have been doing for decades. As Alonso’s comments prove, Ferrari would do the same if they could match Red Bull’s ingenuity.

      Seeing as Ferrari accept that, their fans and Red Bull’s critics should do the same.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th December 2012, 9:10

        I’m not complaining about the team pushing the limits of the rules. I’m complaining about the team seeing no problem with pushing the limits of the rules and then turning around and crying louder, harder and for longer than anyone else the minute another team pushes the limits the rules themselves. If, for example, Mercedes have no qualms about the FIA’s verdict on Red Bull’s throttle mapping, then what right does Red Bull have to try and bully the FIA into banning Mercedes’ double-DRS simply because they didn’t like the verdict the first time around?

        • Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 16th December 2012, 9:47

          For once I actually agree with @prisoner-monkeys! Red Bull seem to enjoy positioning themselves as ‘the little team that can’, as if they have beaten Ferrari and McLaren with the kind of resources Sauber have, when we all know that’s not the case. I also find it disgraceful the way they sometimes claim to have pushed the letter of the rules in a way that is quite clearly downright cheating. My two examples would be tool-free ride height adjustment, which is specifically prohibited, and changing the torque mapping of their cars, which is also strictly prohibited. They did not receive penalties or punishments in either case. The ride-height adjustment was particularly galling, with their claim of ‘yes, but we never actually used it’. I agree it takes incredible ingenuity to innovate within the rules, and yes, other teams would do the same if they could, but it takes no ingenuity at all to simply ignore the rules. I would argue it takes something quite different. Red Bull seem to be trying to get as much out of the sport as possible without putting anything back in.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th December 2012, 10:15

            I also find it disgraceful the way they sometimes claim to have pushed the letter of the rules in a way that is quite clearly downright cheating.

            I was less than impressed when Helmut Marko complained about Vettel’s penalty in Germany – it was obvious he had gone off the road to make the pass on Button, and that he would not have made it had he stayed on the circuit – considering that before the race the FIA found they had a throttle map that, for all intents and purposes, was illegal, but the FIA was powerless to do anything about it because the rules didn’t specifically prohibit what Red Bull were doing.

            And if any one of the five technical challenges against them had been ruled differently, then it’s likely that Vettel would not be World Champion.

          • Agreed.

            The ingenuity that goes into finding solutions that push the limits of the rules is one thing.

            The ingenuity that goes into finding ways of stealthily crossing the limits that can, if later need be, conveniently downplayed and explained away is something altogether different.

            The latter also takes brilliance, but that of the crook.

          • a throttle map which, for all intents and purposes, was illegal, but the FIA was powerless to do anything

            Because it was legal? The FIA were completely within their power to prohibit use of such engine maps and duly did so after the race with a rule clarification. It would be terribly unjust of them to ban it when the controversy arose, before the race, as Red Bull had their case for its legality accepted before the weekends beginning.

            if any one of the five technical challenges against them had been ruled differently, then it’s likely that Vettel would not be World Champion

            That is an utterly pointless statement. They weren’t ruled differently because they weren’t contravening any rules, so why would they have been ruled differently? That statement is like saying “Ferrari would’ve won with Alonso had they discovered DDRS”. That comment smacks of jealousy and hatred.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th December 2012, 11:15

            Because it was legal? The FIA were completely within their power to prohibit use of such engine maps and duly did so after the race with a rule clarification. It would be terribly unjust of them to ban it when the controversy arose, before the race, as Red Bull had their case for its legality accepted before the weekends beginning.

            The FIA made it pretty clear that the only reason why the team did not suffer any further sanctions was because the throttle maps exploited a loophole. The direct implication of this is that had the FIA known what Red Bull were doing was possible, they would have banned it before Red Bull had a chance to use it. The throttle maps were declared legal on a mere technicality.

          • @prisoner-monkeys – that’s F1. Red Bull aren’t unique in that respect: exploiting loopholes is part of F1 and is why the regulations are worded as they are, to be open for interpretation. That was the point of Newey’s comment.

          • “The FIA made it pretty clear that the only reason why the team did not suffer any further sanctions was because the throttle maps exploited a loophole.”

            That seems to be a round-about way of saying “the team did not suffer any further sanctions because the throttle maps were in fact legal under the existing rules”. Exploiting loopholes is not illegal. if it were then Ferrari would have been docked points for deliberately breaking the seal on Massa’s gearbox to change Alonso’s start position.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 8:12

            @vettel1, the argument made by PM here, is NOT that RBR is not in their right to explore the limits of what is possible within the scope of the rules.

            He minds (and I feel he does have a point here) that on the one hand RBR do this, and proudly so. But on the other hand they were often among the first and in several cases the most enduring, in complaining about others doing exactly the same!

        • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 16th December 2012, 10:28

          @prisoner-monkeys – Completely agree with everything you said! It seem like RBR already have a genious in their team (Adrian Newey), so now they are only recruiting law graduates to find holes in the rules (and have been doing so for the last 3 years).

          • @bascb – I understand this, which is why I made the point of saying “Horner isn’t Newey”. I don’t see why that discussion should’ve been spurred when a designer voiced his frustration about people challenging his design.

            Fair enough to his argument about RBR’s “loopholing” (as I shall now call it) and the complaining but that isn’t concerning Newey’s statement – that would be concerning Horner more so.

        • @PM. +1

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th December 2012, 10:50

          I’m not complaining about the team pushing the limits of the rules. I’m complaining about the team seeing no problem with pushing the limits of the rules and then turning around and crying louder, harder and for longer than anyone else the minute another team pushes the limits the rules themselves.

          Good point @prisoner-monkeys . It is a rather selfish attitude, albeit one that they feel is to their advantage.

          • But no, that’s not a good point! That’s simply how the game is played! I will never cease to be amazed at how people act like RBR invented these concepts…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th December 2012, 1:34

            They might not have invented the cocnept, but they have made it their domain.

            When was the last time a car was at the centre of five separate technical challenges in a single season? I can’t remember any time except Red Bull in 2012. And when was the last time a team principal refused to accept the FIA verdict on the legality of a part and repeatedly tried to bully the FIA into changing their decision? I can’t remember any time except Red Bull in 2012.

        • Very well said!

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th December 2012, 18:53

            So perhaps the five seperate technical challenges are a result of the team’s frustration in the lack of allowed developement that Newey, and presumably other designers/engineers decry these days. They feel very limited in how much they can spread their wings compared to the past, while at the same time understanding that it is to keep costs down, and keep it as much as they can from being just a money game, although it still is that.

            As to ‘bullying’. That’s a word being used by PM, and obviously it didn’t work. So if in fact what Horner was doing was bullying, which I highly doubt it was, I’m sure he will use a different tack next time seeing as how he didn’t get his way. Or did he? He obviously wanted clarification…obviously had valid enough points to get them heard, or else the FIA wouldn’t have given him a second or third hearing. Once they gave CH their final say, that was the end. I would like to think the FIA wouldn’t put up with bullying, and would like to think that the likes of Horner are more professional than that.

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 16th December 2012, 17:05

          The throttle maps were declared legal on a mere technicality

          I love this quote – talk about really stretching yourself to try to win a very weak argument. The mere technicality was that they were legal!

          The argument that they were only not illegal because the FIA didn’t think of it first is ridiculous – this would apply to almost any innovation in the last six decades. An innovation is hardly innovative if the FIA already thought of it.

        • “If, for example, Mercedes have no qualms about the FIA’s verdict on Red Bull’s throttle mapping, then what right does Red Bull have to try and bully the FIA into banning Mercedes’ double-DRS simply because they didn’t like the verdict the first time around?”

          You’re taking some liberties with history there. Numerous complaints were made about the “hole in the floor” of the Red Bull, with the FIA deeming it legal. And yet the other teams did not simply accept that verdict “the first time around”, they kept arguing against it and eventually the FIA changed its rules to reflect the views of RB’s competitors.

          I have to point out that none of the alleged “illegal” aspects of the RB8 had the slightest impact on the cars performance, judging by how the car did before and after the rules changes in question.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 8:14

            You’re taking some liberties with history there. Numerous complaints were made about the “hole in the floor” of the Red Bull

            If you mean the hole that was a complete hole instead of being opened on one side, then please do not forget that the FIA told Red Bull to CHANGE their design because it was in fact against the rules @jonsan.

        • brny666 said on 17th December 2012, 1:25

          So they arent just better at developing cars due to Newey and his team.They are better at political positioning as well due to Horner. Politics if this kind were always part of F1. I think some people are mad because RB upsets their idle Macca vs Ferrari battle. Fine by me.

      • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 16th December 2012, 10:20

        I think Ferrari has to accept that, as it seems to be the only way to beat Red Bull. Just wonder if they will be able to get away with it next year, like RBR did, though. In that case Horner will probably see the stewards every race. On the other hand, I just don’t get that “grey zone”. I believe, that if something is strictly forbidden, it is very clear that it is illegal. I think RBR should really think, before making statesments like that one from Adrian and should stop feeling sorry for themselves!

        • bit like them saying other teams used dirty tricks……..when it was quite apparent STR let through their driver. Now i cant see how that is moral in any respect.

          • brny666 said on 17th December 2012, 1:32

            Oh indeed, and they compromised the starting position of 3 other teams plus one of their own drivers just to get ‘God’ to the better side of the grid. They also pretty much used Massa as a human shield to ‘Him Who is Perfect’ from others. It goes both ways you see.

        • Francuis (@francuis) said on 17th December 2012, 11:23

          brny666 “They also pretty much used Massa as a human shield to ‘Him Who is Perfect’ from others.”

          Even in this Red Bull goes one up on Ferrari and not just use Webber as a human shield, but also 2 other driver of Torro Roso. So Horner is quick to criticize Ferrari about using Massa as Shield or improve Alonso Position but not once even responded in the media about allegations about using Torro Roso as shield and deny there is team order with Webber even if it is clear for all to see. Just ask Alguersuari what happens if u block Vettel even if it is just in a practices round.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 16th December 2012, 22:54

        I’ve defended RBR before on this topic, but when you think about the hole in the floor situation for example, it’s hard not to have sympathy for @prisoner-monkeys ‘ point of view. They obviously knew they were breaking the rules (it obviously wasn’t a slot and so topologically it was a hole) until someone found out.

        That’s not pushing the rules to the limit, that’s braking them knowingly – much like removing a fuel filter for example – until someone finds out.

        • “They obviously knew they were breaking the rules”

          This is really getting ridiculous. They were not breaking the rules. The FIA repeatedly said that the “hole” in question was legal. The fact that that it then said “But from this point onward it is illegal” does not translate to “Red Bull knew they were breaking the rules”.

          A lot of the problem here stems for the FIA’s odd insistence on describing it’s changes of the rules – sometimes extremely long, involved, and drastic changes – as being “clarifications”, with the subtle implication that it is merely telling people what SHOULD have been obvious to them all along.

          Look at the engine mapping controversy – the “clarification” in question was a drastic rewriting of the rules which imposed many new requirements on every single F1 team, not just on Red Bull.

          If the FIA used the words “clarify” and “clarification” in something closer to their normal English usage then I have the feeling a lot of the complaints on the part of fans would be defused. The teams are always going to snipe at one another though.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 8:16

            @jonsan,

            They were not breaking the rules. The FIA repeatedly said that the “hole” in question was legal. The fact that that it then said “But from this point onward it is illegal

            ” while its true that for the engine mapping, in the case of the hole it was definitely illegal.
            Its just that the FIA did not penalize them but only had them remove it for future races.

    • Newey isn’t Horner though. As the chief designer he is obviously going to become frustrated with the other teams sniping at his creation – particularly because he knows it breaches no regulations. I imagine the Mercedes designers were subject to the same emotions when their car was challenged.

      It is the team bosses jobs to “ask for clarification” to the benefit of their own team – as then if it is declared legal they have the opportunity to attempt to copy the innovation, or to try to have it banned if try feel it contravenes the regulations. If for one am with you in that respect @prisoner-monkeys as it infuriates me to hear of this constant nit-picking but I strongly disagree with you solely fighting Red Bull on the issue. Horner is simply “taking an eye for an eye”.

    • crr917 (@crr917) said on 16th December 2012, 10:41

      Oh, no! Evil Red Bull abusing the poor little Mercedes? The Ross Brawn’s Mercedes? The same Ross Brawn that played a leading role in a number of rule “clarifications”, even during the preseason testing.
      The preseason one was a mapping clarification. Came right after a guy from Renault Sport said they together with Red Bull have found an advantage even with the restricted rules. And a week later Ross Brown came to the rescue. And we can go back to 2009 if you want. But my point is there is history between Horner and Brown. Twist it as much as you like XD

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th December 2012, 1:39

        Twist it as much as you like

        I’m not twisting it at all. The FIA had made it clear that they intended to ban the use of extreme throttle maps in 2012. Ross Brawn simply pointed out that there was a loophole in the regulations, which allowed the FIA to amend it, thereby keeping the original intention of the regulations intact. There were, however, no regulations limiting the use of the double-DRS.

        The difference is that Red Bull saw a loophole in the regulations that allowed them to use something that the FIA would have preferred to be banned. Mercedes, on the other hand, saw an area of the regulations that remained unaddressed, and developed something to fit it. They weren’t trying to get around regulations. Red Bull were.

    • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 16th December 2012, 16:21

      I think this entire conversation is what Newey meant by, “Since 2010 in particular the level of sniping at us just got silly, to be honest.”

      It seems like once a day someone on this site posts an argument which explains why the success of RBR and Vettel is unearned, a result of deliberate rule-breaking, due to some conspiracy, or whatever…

      The gist of all of these arguments is — “If RBR hadn’t been __________ (accusation), then Vettel would never have won ____________ (race or championship), ____________ (team or driver) would be the rightful champion/winner, and F1 would be as I want it to be.”

      It all seems a bit ridiculous.

      • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th December 2012, 16:30

        +1 well said

      • Thank you @pandaslap ! I agree in the respect that the nit-picking is tiresome but it is from all of the teams, not just Red Bull. Also, I have brought up the argument that as a designer naturally Newey would become frustrated if his creation’s legality was repeatedly challenged – especially since he know himself that he is contravening no regulations. Horner’s “clarifications” are irrelevant in this case as it was Newey who made the comment, not Horner.

      • Brace (@brace) said on 16th December 2012, 20:49

        When 90% of the internet has a problem with how they go about “loop holes” then I guess you gotta admit it smells to some degree.

        What was the deal with the tool-free adjustable ride height?
        I mean, it’s black-on-white forbidden. Yet they put it, and then say they never used it and have no intention to use it? Ok?

        They took time to develop something which enhances the performance of the car, put that something on their car, which in turn requires some re-packaging of that area of that car, just so that they would never use it?

        Are you seriously telling me that doesn’t stink?!?!

        It should have never been on the car, because it’s illegal to have something like that on the car. Black-on-white illegal. And they are left with no punishment, because they say they never used it.

        ***?!?

        • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 16th December 2012, 21:47

          Yeah, it was, in my opinion indeed some stupid defence from RBR. Do they really think F1 fans and FIA are stupid. It is evidently illegal. But what bothers me even more is their behaviour after winning their third consecutive title. Why can’t they just shut up and enjoy their “well deserved” titles. And they say Ferrari are bad loosers?!

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th December 2012, 23:44

          @brace

          When 90% of the internet has a problem with how they go about “loop holes” then I guess you gotta admit it smells to some degree.

          And where are we conjuring this obviously spurious “90% of the internet” figure from?

          The stupid nonsense over the “Vettel yellow flag” is a particularly good example why a group of people getting worked up about something does not automatically make it significant.

          • brny666 said on 17th December 2012, 1:37

            Thank You Kieth!

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th December 2012, 18:15

            While I fully understand PM’s stance, I don’t think it is a crime to be better than the other teams (or at least appear to be) at jumping up and down in protest if they detect a possible unfair advantage that another team may have.

            All the teams are free to push the limits of the rules. All the teams are free to protest said pushing of the limits by teams, to any degree they feel is necessary or they feel motivated to do. I think it is possible that Red Bull fully expects all teams to go to all lengths to exploit the rules and get the FIA to deem whether or not they have gone too far, not just themselves. So I don’t think it is CH’s fault, nor would he care about an armchair fan’s opinion, if it appears like he is the most vocal in protestation. He was extremely vocal about Merc’s DDRS with numerous requests for clarification, and at any time the FIA could have just told him go away, but obviously he made some good points, and I think he was just trying to save the team some money in case a new ruling meant they should no pursue a Merc-like system…and I also think that being able to affect the front of the car with the moveable wing in the back does open up a whole can of worms that could increase the costs of running a competitive car in F1. If Horner was trying to save himself and other teams a lot of cost increases and time and resources (especially if the system had turned out to be a real boon for Merc) then I can’t blame him. And I think if he was actually ‘bullying’ the FIA over this, as PM chooses to word it, then the FIA would for sure have told him to stuff it. I like to think F1 is more professional than that, and that in fact CH had some valid points to his argument and knows full well that bullying would likely have had them slamming the door in his face. Or at least they would have had that option if in fact CH was being that unreasonable.

            I’m not saying I like all the sniping that goes back and forth, and at the same time I note that all the jumping up and down Horner did, did not in the end make him better at getting his way than the other teams. Double DRS stayed, and 5 things that PM points out that Red Bull did were revoked.

            I just don’t see how CH is any more hypocritical for being very vocal when nothing prevents the other teams from being equally vocal, and CH has no control over them.

  6. Cc219 said on 16th December 2012, 7:39

    You seem to have very strong eveidence that suggests that Red Bull could or might be cheating. But the question is with everybody and me is that why Red Bull still wanting to pursue that ddrs was illegal and had 3 seperate verticts from the FIA stating that it was legal when everybody else gave up.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th December 2012, 18:26

      I think Red Bull believed that having a moveable-by-the-driver rear wing affecting the front of the car opened up a whole can of worms in terms of what other lengths a team could go to affect other parts of the car with the DRS wing, by the driver. I think they had very valid reasons for wanting full clarification, or else the FIA would not have heard their complaints 3 times. If it was that simple the FIA would have not allowed him further time to express his concerns. If CH was being unreasonable and didn’t have good points to make, they would have simply told him their decision was final, and he wouldn’t have gotten a second, let alone a third hearing on the topic. Once they finally told him their decision was final, and I’m sure they clarified why they came to that decision, CH accepted it. Perhaps the other teams should thank him for his efforts in leaving no stone unturned with the topic of DDRS.

  7. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 16th December 2012, 7:48

    Stewart’s claims are not very fallacious in my opinion. Getting to COTA wasn’t a problem at all, but getting into cota was quite troubling. The roads were very narrow, and traffic was extremely slow once I got off the highway to the access road to COTA.

    I cannot say much as it is a rather new circuit situated in outskirts.

    To all those accusing Stewart here of being sour — have any of you attended 100+ races so far? Surely he knows more than any of us here about anything and everything F1.

  8. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 16th December 2012, 7:55

    Interesting remarks by peter sauber, perhaps if their cars had more logos on it they would have the commercialization part figured out ?

    It surprises me a team owner could say such a thing. If one wanted to race cars on budgets, I’ve always imagined F1 as the last place to be. Why buy the chess pieces if you can’t even afford the chess board?

    • Pelican (@pelican) said on 16th December 2012, 20:20

      No one wins a spending war.

      • Deepak (@ideepak) said on 16th December 2012, 20:26

        I don’t understand what you’re saying. Also, yes, people do win in a spending war — the supplier does. LOL!

      • I always have to smile when team principles comment on costs being too great in F1. I’ve been following F1 since the 70’s and in that time EVERY even half competitive team has spent every penny that they can get, and usually a bit more to try and get an edge. It’s not costs that are too high, it’s the difference in income between the teams that is the problem.

        The teams could easily slash costs by any number of simple rule changes which would have little effect on the public spectacle, banning live car to pit telemetry for example. But it would make no difference, the teams would just spend the money saved on some other area to get an advantage. I don’t think a budget cap would work either, I think they would just spend some of the money to find a way round the cap. But maybe I’m cynical.

  9. James Robertson (@mclarenboy0310) said on 16th December 2012, 9:35

    Just wondering but do Mercedes AMG have a helipad? If so i don’t ever think i will see Lewis drive in.

  10. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 16th December 2012, 10:29

    What deal with McLaren is Norbert talking about?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 8:21

      A deal to allow Hamilton to go and work at Mercedes before his current contract with McLaren ends at 31/12/2012 @mallesmagdum, instead Hamilton having to take a vacation and at maximum have a nice chat with Ross Brawn in these 2-3 weeks until the nd of the year.

  11. Is Luca actually congratulating his team as appose to ridiculing them? Well done! I do agree though, as a team in the races they were almost impervious but in the factory they faltered towards the crucial part of the season. Maybe that isn’t the fault of the developers though, perhaps that’s the fault of the car itself. Maybe they reached the peak of its performance – highly unlikely but perhaps there was a fundamental design flaw that couldn’t be remedied during the course of a season.

    I expect Ferrari to be better next year though when the lights of out in Albert Park: “aggressive design” hasn’t worked for them and perhaps they have learned from this. They can continue to improve the F2012 chassis as the rule changes are very minor so far; maybe they might just be competitive?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 8:23

      I must say that I found it pretty embarrassing how Luca says about Massa “, I don’t know where you were at the start of the year, but I am glad you came back” instead of just saying how he is happy that Massa found a good approach.

      I would hope that most people in the team would have known exactly where Massa was (and how he was working at getting better), otherwise why on earth would they have signed him for next year again!

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th December 2012, 9:17

        @bascb

        I found it pretty embarrassing how Luca says about Massa “, I don’t know where you were at the start of the year, but I am glad you came back”

        There’s an interesting recent history to Montezemolo’s words on Massa. At the end of 2010 we had:

        At a certain point in the season Felipe was fed up and sent his brother. For this Felipe gets seven minus.

        12 months later:

        We expect great things from him in 2012 and then we’ll decide how to proceed. Let’s say he’ll have to prove himself next season

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th December 2012, 9:20

          Oh, yes. That makes it even more curious!

          Hm, this year they don’t even say they expect much for the coming season.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th December 2012, 18:42

            I think it is all moot, as a result of FM being the non-rooster. I think the ‘I don’t know where you were at the start of the year’ is just a tongue in cheek joke…the comment at the end of 2010 had to do with the wind being taken out of FM’s sails halfway through the year with ‘the call’ after which FM claimed he was ‘no Reubens’ when we all just witnessed that in fact he was. And 12 months later…more lip service.

            The only thing curious for me is that they continue to rob the viewing audience of true racing between two gladiators on a top team, and instead, in the pinnacle of racing, the outcome at Ferrari is decided by a decision in the boardroom to not hire FA a WDC level teammate and to go with the one rooster philosophy instead.

  12. Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 16th December 2012, 14:47

    Does anyone if Max Chilton has been officially confirmed by Marussia yet?

  13. HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th December 2012, 14:56

    Further to Bernies comments that F1 is “showbiz” we have Monisha K. at Sauber complaining about costs, understandable as she is a “business” manager and wants to see a profit to me this illustrates where F1 is going wrong. Leaving aside the 50% of revenue that Bernie siphoned off the restricted rules might be saving costs but they are also restricting the appeal for sponsors and potential team owners, with no development and research potential for the business of manufacturing cars and engines, no development of metallurgy for engineering purposes, the obvious team owner/sponsors, manufacturers and engineering companies, have no incentive to become involved.
    The trend to reduced costs leads inevitably to a standard, one design car at which time only the driver will have advertising pull reducing team income even further. A downward spiral for the future of F1.

    • Pelican (@pelican) said on 16th December 2012, 20:19

      In the America’s Cup regatta, the winner sets the rules for the next race, and usually imposes restrictions on the competing boats. Every so often, this completely fails, the whole process ends up in the courts, and the rules revert to the bare minimum (set out in the 1800’s): 2 boats, 90 ft maximum waterline, best of 3 races. The boats are the bleeding edge of design, aero- and hydrodynamics, and material sciences. And one boat utterly destroys the other. winning the cup in 2 blow-out races and garnering no attention from the outside world.
      The rest of the time, strict design limitations and rules are agreed upon and a good handful of teams compete for the spot in the final 2-boat series. The boats aren’t revolutionary, but they do push the technology a lot. The races are close and exciting, and attract a lot of attention and sponsorship.
      Which would you prefer for F1?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th December 2012, 15:19

        @pelican, as a one time ocean-racer I used to follow the Americas cup closely in the days when it was 1 billionaire versus another in a battle for national pride, you are aware of course that the original deed of gift emphasized design and technology in a competition between nations.

        The current competition has degenerated into an artificial faux F1 type of affair designed to make money to cover the costs of hiring the worlds best sailors to represent a country they have no other connection to. How excited am I about the current Americas Cup ? check my pen-name.

        • Pelican (@pelican) said on 17th December 2012, 16:58

          @hohum – Fair enough. (I thought I remembered that you were in NZ, but I wasn’t sure.) I agree that a spending cap on the America’s cup would be absurd. But the last few deed of gift races were a design (and courtroom) competition only, by the time the boats hit the water, there was no need for exceptional skill or tactics from the sailors: they were too mismatched to match race. The technology races are fun to hear and read about, (and fun to work on, from what i’ve heard from friends who work in that industry), but it’s not really worth the bother of tuning in to the actual race. (Anyhow, the sailors’ salaries, whatever their nationalities, have to be an infinitesimal fraction of the total budget. And are there even enough Kiwi billionaires to keep the nation’s overabundance of world-class sailors employed?)
          I don’t think you can have a competition that will be highly competitive among multiple teams without restrictions of some kind. So F1 has to make a choice, does it want to be a contest of the best aerodynamicists or the best race car drivers?
          I guess we’ll each have our preferences. (I like racing dinghies better.)
          And maybe you’re right, F1 has traditionally prioritized design, and let the drivers die.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th December 2012, 17:46

            “and let the drivers die”

            A low blow @pelican, one can still have safety and technical development ie. an increase in power can be countered by a reduction in swept volume as happened when the engines changed to 2.4 L. And if you are talking minimum weight, the current safety cell has been very effective, given that same safety cell is standard next year, is it safer for 2 cars weighing 600Kg to collide at 150 mph or 2 cars weighing 500Kg to collide at 150 mph

          • Pelican (@pelican) said on 17th December 2012, 17:51

            @hohum – I only mentioned it to show that drivers were historically a low priority, or the safety upgrades would have happened before 1994.

    • @hohum – I persoanlly think a budget cap is unrealistic. The difficulty in policing spending would be a massive headache for the FIA so currently they are better sticking to limiting wind tunnel hours and further improving reliability. I would love to see F1 return to the days when a designer with a dream could bring their innovative ideas to take on the established giants and beat them – Lotus are the best example of this. I just don’t think it’s a realistic proposition though.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th December 2012, 15:39

        Max I totally you about the budget cap, my problems with the rules are the restrictions on where the development money is spent, I would rather see the vast amounts of money spent on finding an extra kilo of downforce spent on finding a couple of extra kilowatts of engine power or more efficient fuel burning allowing a car to carry less fuel without a power deficit.
        There are many ways to cut costs, most obviously going back to having tyres that don’t need to be changed during the race eliminating a lot of personnel and freight but the restriction on engineering solutions reduces the appeal of F1 to the very businesses that used to fund it.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 16th December 2012, 23:12

      What else can we expect when Team Principal in charge main passion is to create sustainable business rather than win races. It’s the easiest way, bring leading teams down so you can have all the results without spending much. They should appreciate the 2013 rule changes, that made them very competitive compare to the front. You never know when they get another present like that.

      But frankly, I’m bit tired of Sauber’s whining, they should just do a better job in other areas to improve income. At which I have to assume they are horrible, due to them exercising “pay driver” option like there is no tomorrow.

  14. SK (@terminator) said on 16th December 2012, 17:43

    Hey guys, does anyone know when Perez starts work at Mclaren?

    • david d.m. said on 16th December 2012, 17:57

      I thought about that too, but also Hulk and Pic, I think in most cases they wait until next year to start working, Lewis was an exception of course.

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