Rosberg: “We will be closer to the top guys”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes have cut the gap between them and the pace-setters.

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Rosberg: Merc more competitive (Sky)

“It is definitely progress from last year, for sure we will be closer to the top guys – that is important to be heading in the right direction – so the team has done a really good job over the winter and it looks like all their hard work and effort has definitely been worthwhile and the car is a pleasure to drive as the balance is good.”

Di Resta would welcome Sutil, Bianchi (Autosport)

“It’s all up to the board members, the key people in the team. They make the decision of who they want to partner me.”

Encouraging signs for Eric Boullier on day 3 in Barcelona (Lotus)

“[Unreliability is] not a big concern. We decided to try a couple of new things which unfortunately did not work as we had hoped, but there is still plenty of time to work on them. Having reverted back to our previous specification, Romain has completed the most laps of any driver today so we know that in any case we have a solid backup plan.”

Sebastian Vettel Q&A – Red Bull in better shape than last year (F1)

“From what I saw in Jerez when Felipe (Massa) was driving, the car looked in a good state and I am sure it is not different here with Fernando in the cockpit. But to be honest, when you drive and you see another car on the track it is almost impossible to notice details, from whatever car. This is much easier when you look at photos.”

Special court issues summons to Vijay Mallya over Kingfisher tax dues (The Times of India)

“The development spells fresh trouble for Mallya, whose airline is tottering with a net loss of Rs 755.17 crore [??91.3m] for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012, a period when it did not operate a single flight.”

Scuderia Ferrari loses a friend (Ferrari)

“Ferrari is in mourning today for the loss of Roberto Nosetto, who was the Scuderia?s sporting director in the second half of the seventies.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

@Maciek on the debate over Susie Wolff’s place in F1:

Male opinions on a woman?s place in motorsport are truly enlightening. But seriously folks, how about checking those knee-jerk reactions at the door, eh?

Look, say, hypothetically speaking, if Monisha Kaltenborn?s husband were a middling driver in some series and announced he was striving for a superlicense we?d laugh it off, probably, but it would pretty much end there, right? The discussion would stop at ability and nepotism.

Why the need to go off on what you think about one gender?s place in the sport vs another?s? If we claim to only want to think in categories of ability, then how about we stick to that?
@Maciek

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On this day in F1

Three-times world champion and recently appointed Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda is 64 today.

After winning two world championships for Ferrari in the seventies and surviving an horrific crash at the Nurburgring in 1976 Lauda retired from F1 at the end of 1979. But he returned in 1982 and claimed a third title with McLaren two years later.

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47 comments on Rosberg: “We will be closer to the top guys”

  1. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 22nd February 2013, 0:07

    Is that really a Lotus engineer taking picture of jenson’s car ? we all know the teams like to spy on each others cars.. but this is taking it to another level. hahahha.. i hope there is a video of it somewhere.

  2. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17) said on 22nd February 2013, 0:17

    Do the teams have photographers around the track? With a lot of pictures from different angles and current technologies, it could be possible to have 3D models of everything outside other team’s cars.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 22nd February 2013, 0:23

    Rosberg comments are a dejavu year after year, just to see the debacle on the second half of the season. I hope it could be different this year, especially for the sake of the thousands of Hamilton fans, but more often than not Mercedes gets into trouble.

  4. GT_Racer said on 22nd February 2013, 0:29

    Max Chilton will continue running the Marussia tomorrow, Luiz Razia was supposed to be in the car.

    Rumor suggests that Razia’s funding may not have materialized & that he may be dropped from the team as a result.

  5. Brace (@brace) said on 22nd February 2013, 0:31

    I think that’s a Lotus engineer taking temperature measure, not taking a photo. :/

    The person who took a photo obviously focused on an engineer, not a car. Why would a Lotus engineer take a photo of McLaren engineer instead of a McLaren car?

    • Brace (@brace) said on 22nd February 2013, 0:34

      OK, I see now. :) He has a camera phone in his hands. :) From that cable, I thought he has that temp measuring device that they stick into tires. Now that would be extreme spying. :)

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 22nd February 2013, 0:34

    I hope they are competitive for longer this year.

    They were competitive last year, but dropped off quite quickly. They just need to keep the development of the car ongoing and in the right direction (easier said than done).

  7. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 22nd February 2013, 1:25

    This has the feeling of a make-or-break season for Mercedes. They have some of the best staff, Ross Brawn and Lewis Hamilton on board, so they should be winning races at least, especially given their generous funding from Stuttgart. If there’s another fiasco like last year I can envision the Mercedes board running out of patience before long, which would be a great shame.

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 22nd February 2013, 14:58

      @lin1876
      I agree with the increased pressure on the Merc team this year. Its been 3 years, they had the winningest driver in history, and pour bushels of money into the effort.

      However, to “cut bait and run” at this point would be more of an embarrasment then their current position. Quiting now (or in the next few years) is an admission that the Mighty Mercedes-Benz is incapable of fielding a car to compete with Ferrari, and Mclaren, both of whom they compete with in the commercial market. Indeed, by hanging on, they prove 2 things; first, that F1 is really hard, and second, that thet met the challenge with persistance and eventually had success.

      Toyota and Honda held on for a very long time with even less results, but they are not “premium performance” brands. No, it will really hurt M-B’s image to quit in the short term

    • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 22nd February 2013, 15:15

      mate next season will be the make or break for merc,not this one.They already got lots of talented guys onboard (infact too many)and with hamilton they got great driver.Even if they are mediocre as last year they can still pin their hopes on 2014 as it is almost like a fresh start with new rules .but i guess if they cant get there act right Mercedes board wont be interested in F1 for long and will definitely pull the plug

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 22nd February 2013, 1:25

    I really could not agree more with that COTD.

    • The Next Pope said on 22nd February 2013, 6:16

      Agree with the COTD as well, but I think it’s missing the point some people tried to make. It’s not about her gender, it’s about her racing record. Yes she can help with the development of the car, but to race in F1? Surely if Susie is a guy, we’d all ask what has the driver done to even dream about getting a Superlicense.
      Looking at her record, it is most unlikely she’ll get one.

    • bertie (@bertie) said on 22nd February 2013, 9:10

      I couldn’t disagree more. Motorsport is male dominated and has been for a very long time. This is the reality and as such the female drivers are going to get more attention than their male counterparts. Whether that is fair or not is missing the point – it is the reality. So because of that the spotlight will be on them. Yes there are loads of crappy pay drivers and dubious test drivers up and down the grid – but they don’t have the media spotlight. It is therefore important that they don’t add to the preconceived idea that women cant drive. It is not fiar but it the the reality and no amount of wishful thinking can change that.

  9. wsrgo said on 22nd February 2013, 4:17

    @Maciek – COTD of the year possibly.

  10. Brace (@brace) said on 22nd February 2013, 4:29

    @Maciek

    Male opinions on a woman’s place in motorsport are truly enlightening. But seriously folks, how about checking those knee-jerk reactions at the door, eh?

    Look, say, hypothetically speaking, if Monisha Kaltenborn’s husband were a middling driver in some series and announced he was striving for a superlicense we’d laugh it off, probably, but it would pretty much end there, right? The discussion would stop at ability and nepotism.

    Why the need to go off on what you think about one gender’s place in the sport vs another’s? If we claim to only want to think in categories of ability, then how about we stick to that?

    This is discussion board for the stories that appear in the round up. You need to reassess why the topic started in the first place.

    The point isn’t in questioning why people are commenting on what’s going on around them, but in questioning why are the things that are happening actually happening.

    You just seem to be one step behind in tracing the source of the nonsense.

    Let me enlighten you: No one would be making a documentary about some random racer dude announcing he is going to try getting a super-license or about Pedro de la Rosa driving simulator.

    So I think it’s perfectly justifiable to question what is going on and to not close your eyes in front of the fact that all this is causing excitement because she is a woman, not because she is setting the world alight.

    There’s the clue my dear Watson. :)

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd February 2013, 11:19

      @brace Having read more, it turns out the documentary was made because she’s the directors’s sister. That she’s a woman probably just gives him an angle to justify it better.

    • Maciek (@maciek) said on 22nd February 2013, 14:54

      @brace
      Without wanting to get into who’s missing what point – you did miss mine. What I’m saying is that if she’s a crap driver with personal connections, then let’s say she’s a crap driver with personal connections and move on. I’d just like to think that we can appreciate a great sport without being all testosteroney about it. And what I find totally unnecessary, and revealing, is that guys then also feel the need to hunker down in this old boys’ club mentality of “I think that women should only be in motorsport this way and not that way, blah, blah blah.” Yeah, well, next thing you know gals’ll be wearing trousers I tell you – argh, my world is turning upside down, noooooo. Hey – you tell me how it’s different from turning a discussion about, say, Kartikheyan into “I think that Indian drivers should only be in motorsport this way and not that way, bah humbug.” But that doesn’t happen, right? We say he’s a crap driver and we move on. Because we recognise, one hopes, that making blanket statements about a whole group based on an individual’s abilities is stupid. So why is that different for women in racing cars? And, if you’re a guy, how exactly are you placed to say how and which way women ‘should’ be involved in motorsports anyway? Wolff may be an eminently unremarkable driver, but sometimes you just simply need people with connections to break some barriers so real talents have a chance of making it later. I don’t have a problem with that.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd February 2013, 7:43

    And in other news, Marussia changing their driver line-up for the Barcelona tests at the last minute has sent the Brazilian press into panic, with claims that Luiz Razia could leave the team before the season even begins.

    • Bruno (@brunes) said on 22nd February 2013, 10:29

      Haven’t seen anything on globo.com or uol.com.br which are two of the biggest media websites in Brazil.
      (Globo is the F1’s broadcaster in Brazil)

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd February 2013, 10:44

        They have a reputation for pushing stories that promote Brazilian drivers in a positive light, even if the “story” is the meanest rumour of a rumour. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re holding back on this one because speculation suggests a Brazilian driver’s seat is under threat – but if it was any other driver and Razia was the one with a chance of replacing that driver, then the Brazilian media would be all over it, trying to make out that the situation was much more serious and that Razia’s chances were much greater than they actually would have been.

        • Bruno (@brunes) said on 22nd February 2013, 14:14

          I agree with you 100%.
          But I guess they are trying to “sell” Formula 1 in Brazil as the number of viewers keep dropping year by year – maybe sinking with our hopes of another championship win.
          Maybe that’s why I prefer to read/watch F1 news from the UK. It is a little less unbiased.

  12. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 22nd February 2013, 11:40

    Biggest F1 news for me today; I’m going to meet Nigel Mansell tonight and get to see his Ferrari 640 and FW14B – :-)

  13. BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd February 2013, 13:56

    I must say i always am positively surprised to see @maciek posts. They are not that frequent lately, but more often than not they really capture something important in a well worded comment.

  14. Relating to Red Bull, they again appear to have a very solid car (both in terms of reliability and pace). What I am wondering though is have they nearly reached the peak of what can be done with the RB5 chassis lineage? McLaren for example have given themselves windows of opportunity with the adoption of a higher nose and pull-rod front suspension, whereas the RB9 is surprisingly similar to the RB8. That of course was a very good car, but it was slower than the McLaren in Brazil. I hope Newey knows what he’s doing…

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