Sutil: “I’m not in F1 just to race”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Adrian Sutil says he aims to win races on his return to Formula One.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Adrian Sutil is determined to be a winner after Force India reprieve (The Guardian)

“I am not in Formula One to just race. I would rather stay at home. The car is very important but you have to set your mind. I am here to race against the world’s best and if anyone is there not to win then it is not the right place for him.”

Witness the fitness! Button revved up ahead of opening grand prix in Australia (Daily Mail)

Christian Horner: “Jenson has impressed me enormously since he became world champion, or even since that difficult year when he didn?t know whether he was going to have a drive after Honda pulled out”

A chat with Valtteri Bottas (MotorSport)

“It was not always easy watching Senna race the car but I think it was the best option. I was there, watching and learning, and I feel good about going racing now. It?s been a while, but I?m ready and I feel good.”

Ron Dennis pays tribute to Lady Virginia Williams (McLaren)

“She’ll be missed not only by the Williams family, to whom we offer our condolences at this very difficult time, but also by the entire motorsport community worldwide.”

Carlos Gracia, Presidente de la Federaci???n de Automovilismo, sin carn?? por conducir ebrio (El Mundo, Spanish)

Carlos Gracia, president of Spanish automobile club the Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo, has lost his licence for driving while over the alcohol limit. Gracia was the man who the FIA sent to Bahrain when its Grand Prix was cancelled in 2011, and who was stationed in the McLaren garage as an observer during the weekend of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mercedes confident of no pitfalls in 2013 (Autosport)

“We’ve learnt from [last year], we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made, but we really need to demonstrate that we can maintain that over the course of the season.”

Coughlan keeps Williams on the move (Reuters)

“The highlight of my career was when a major-general said to me ‘What you have done in terms of surviveability will save 200 kids lives’.”

Hamilton: ‘One step at a time’ (Sky)

“This experience I’ve had [at Mercedes] over the past couple of months working with these new engineers and seeing all these new things that I can learn, I’ve realised, wow, there’s so much more I can learn as well.”

‘Formula One is all about the results’ (ESPN)

“[My career] has been like a family project. My father has been helping me on the administration side of my career, which is very important. At the beginning there was a lot [of money] from my family, yes, but then we were able to bring sponsorship in order to race in the good teams and at the best positions. This is something my father and family contributed to a lot.”

Australian Grand Prix View (Caterham)

Cyril Abiteboul: “At the end of 2012 we were a central part of the F1 show, and I have told both drivers to be ready to be part of the show in 2013, maybe not right at the start, but with what we have coming to the car during the season, we can be confident that we are going to attract interest in us, for the right reasons.”

Would F1 benefit from multiple tire suppliers? (NBC)

With a comment from me.

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Comment of the day

MatK77 wants less dumbed-down race commentary:

I recall vividly Jackie Stewart commentating on the Indy 500 in the early eighties explaining with the visual aid of a toy car what understeer and oversteer was. We still hear that same explanation on every F1 race broadcast today.

We don?t hear the NFL announcers explain how many downs there are to move the ball ten yards, or what the mountain of abbreviated terms are that are used to describe a baseball game mean.

It?s time to cut out the hand-holding and give us a mature conversation, at least talk to us as if this is our second time watching an F1 race. If newcomers latch on to the sport, they?ll put in the effort to figure it out.
MatK77 (@Bluestar77)

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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

David Coulthard won the Australian Grand Prix ten years ago today. It turned out to be his final career win.

Team mate Kimi Raikkonen was third with Juan Pablo Montoya’s Williams in between them.

Mixed conditions made for a tricky start to the race as Martin Brundle explained on his grid walk:

Image ?? Force India

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89 comments on Sutil: “I’m not in F1 just to race”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 9th March 2013, 0:02

    Sutil: “I’m not in F1 just to race”

    Of course. You are there to pay Force India salaries too

  2. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 0:04

    Good luck with that Sutil. I think this year will be a lot more stable with regards to who has a car capable of winning races: there may be a few surprise podiums due to the tyres but I don’t think we’ll see a Force India win for now at least.

    • Avenger said on 9th March 2013, 4:23

      May be he can’t win.What’s important is the attitude of the driver.I believe Williams,Sauber and Force India can all win with favorable conditions.Force India almost did that last year.
      Hope he can get a podium though.

    • Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 9th March 2013, 11:31

      You wouldn’t have said they had a chance in winning during the ’09 season and look how close Fisi came at Spa. And they’ve come off the end of a good finish to the season last year. Granted the Hulk’s gone now, but this is Formula 1, anything can happen.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 12:53

        @loomx92 – fair enough, and I won’t discount it completely that they may win a race. But the driver line-up is less than inspiring, and the top 5 and Williams appear to have very fast cars, so it is of course unlikely.

        • Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 9th March 2013, 16:06

          Yeah it’d have to come under lucky circumstances, but I’d like to see them do well. I think Sutil is a better driver than people give him credit for. Not WC quality, but deserves his seat much more than Di Resta. If either of them get on the podium I reckon it’d be Sutil in the wet, he always seemed to shine in the rain.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th March 2013, 18:54

      Yep, well said @vettel1.

      I guess hardly anyone here thinks he can, or even could if FI produced a car that would be capable of it for this year. But wouldn’t it make a hell of a turnaround if he came out of the blocks charging for podiums and really making a fist. That would make it a season to remember, so yes, Good luck in doing so Sutil, please surprise us!

  3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 9th March 2013, 0:30

    I wonder why he didn’t call it a day the other year given his track record of no wins, no podiums and no pole positions? If what he was saying was true then he wouldn’t have come back because last year would have been a lot more enjoyable for him.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 10th March 2013, 0:40

      I wonder why he didn’t call it a day the other year

      Are you being disingenuous? Why would he retire and not come back if given the opportunity? Surely racing in F1 and regularly scoring points must be sufficiently satisfying to keep his dream of a win alive. After all, where would he go if not F1? Downgrade to DTM like Coulthard?

      • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 10th March 2013, 14:12

        I am not being disingenuous at all. He said that he’d rather stay at home rather than just race. He’s been just racing for the previous 5 seasons with no success, surely not racing last season (by his logic) will have been much more enjoyable for him. That’s all it is unfortunately, a dream because I don’t think it’s going to happen in F1 for him. He may be better off (using his logic) in DTM because he’s more likely to win there.
        I am just using what he said. He’s had no success and has never looked like winning, he’s just been here to race so far in his career.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th March 2013, 18:59

          I guess that he must have done some soul searching and came to the conclusion that he will up his game and can be top notch.
          Sounds good to me, a sportsman realizing that the issue was with himself rather than the equipment given and decide to change it. Lets wait and see if he can really do so.

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 9th March 2013, 0:37

    I’m not dumb, but I still confuse oversteer and understeer. It’s just not THAT important to me to enjoy a race or not.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 0:45

      @omarr-pepper – I remember it quite simply as understeer is when you don’t turn enough and crash into a tree, and oversteer is when you turn to much, spin, and crash into a tree. Top Gear’s good at explaining these things!

    • NinjaBadger (@ninjabadger) said on 9th March 2013, 0:55

      I think it’s the same with DRS.
      It seems that every qualifying and race, the commentators have to describe what DRS is for first-time viewers.
      Granted, I assume for first-time watchers its nice to be told what it is, but I don’t think it would change their overall experience of watching the race.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 1:00

        @ninjabadger – I just don’t like the fact they make the assumption everyonen is a first-time viewer: there are some of us who’d rather have the commentary focused on the action rather than explaining DRS constantly.

        • NinjaBadger (@ninjabadger) said on 9th March 2013, 1:43

          True.
          Commentator: This is turning into a right clash now! The McLaren is closing in, and the Ferrari is saving its Kers to defend down the DRS zone! Now, for those of you who don’t know, DRS is…
          Regular viewers: Stop with the lecture!

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 1:58

            @ninjabadger – recited brilliantly! I’m pretty sure anyway first time viewers wouldn’t really care how it works or anything and would just want to know that it makes the car behind faster!

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th March 2013, 14:19

            I think that’s one of the few perks of Sky F1, Brundle almost assumes that if you like F1 enough to pay an elephantine sum of money, you really ought to know what DRS is.

      • I don’t feel they spend *that* much time on it (BBC/Sky). I’m firmly of the view that the more you know about F1,the more you can appreciate it’s not just “cars going round and round”. No, you don’t need to understand straight away (or maybe ever) every detail about how the cars work, but I think it’s good if new viewers can get educated on how things work. That’s not something someone new to the sport will pick up overnight, and it’s probably not something a casual viewer (who might go on to become a fan) is going to rush out to research before they’re really passionate about F1. So yeah, commentators filling a bit of air time with explaining the basics doesn’t bother me.

        • Salcrich said on 9th March 2013, 8:46

          The beauty of F1 is how technical it is, as I think most contributors acknowledge given the importance attached to Engineering Directors (previous debates). The casual viewer really doesn’t realise how significant the engineering battle (ie to get the most out a strict set of design and tyre regulations) is. Hence the usual criticism that “it’s just a bunch of cars going round”. The further they go in engaging the casual viewer in understanding the sport the more likely the sport is to attract bigger audiences and survive on tv. Lets face it how many of us could write a simple interesting explanation of Blown Diffusers / DRS v DDRS etc?

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 13:08

            Lets face it how many of us could write a simple interesting explanation of Blown Diffusers / DRS v DDRS etc?

            The blown diffuser: properly known as the off-throttle exhaust blown diffuser, it works by routing the exhaust pipes to in front of the rear wheels, where the gases then exit towards the diffuser increasing downforce and allowing the car to corner faster. The off-throttle part means that even when the driver lifts off the throttle, “hot blown” systems still burn fuel, producing gases. This means the car can corner faster. (A full explanation of why it does so isn’t really needed for the casual viewer).

            DRS v DDRS: DRS (or drag reduction system) is basically a flap in the rear wing which opens, reducing drag and allowing the car to go faster in a straight line. DDRS takes this one step further: when the rear wing flap is opened, “holes” are exposed in the rear wing endplates and the air is ducted through pipes where it is used to “stall” other wings etc. and again reduce drag, allowing the car to go faster in a straight line.

            Simple! Maybe I should be an F1 commentator! ;)

          • Salcrich said on 9th March 2013, 14:55

            @vettel a good effort – but it was meant to be simple and interesting – ( I joke). However whilst I am I am amazed at how well informed people (like yourself) on this site are, my point was that contributors get a real pleasure from discussing the detail of the technicalities of f1 because that is what contributes to the racing. Spectators are neither aware of, or don’t understand this aspect of the sport miss out and therefore tune out – describing it as boring. I believe that if you are to capture a wider audience more people have to engage with the non driver aspects of the sport.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 15:21

            I just though I should have a stab at it! Yes indeed though, the lack of appreciation for the technical side of the sport for many spectators says it all really: they don’t understand why some cars are faster than others, but that is the whole point.

          • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 9th March 2013, 15:42

            And how did you find that out Max? because people like scarbs and gary anderson are now making their living taking their time to hold your hand through an explination often with lovely colourfull pictures.

            To them it’s like teaching year 2 school students, you lap it up and then talk about it like it was your idea in the first place. In truth you would have never thought of the idea or figured it out on your own.

            That’s all fine though that’s what pundits are for, untill someone mentions stuff you did in year 1 which is suddenly beneath such a refined mind as yours.

            I don’t direct this comment at just you but to everyone who feels talked down to. We all need help along the way i remember in my very first year of school at the age of 4 we were told to write are names on a card. I had to ask the teacher how to spell my own name.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 17:49

            We aren’t preaching to 4 year olds though, we are usually preaching to fairly intelligent adults or older teenagers. Of course I wouldn’t be able to simply spot a DDRS system and explain it, because I don’t have any of the aerodynamic know-how that the likely degrees Scarbs has or the resource to go to all the races with an SLR.

            I’m not disputing the fact novices need it explained to them, but once is sufficient. Re-iterating how DRS works constantly is treating us like a four-year-old you.

  5. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 9th March 2013, 0:46

    i wholeheartedly agree with matk. the dumbing-down is contrary to the nature of the sport, and becomes more annoying with every race watched. again, i can’t entirely blame the tv commentators for what comes out of their mouths, as they’re directed by their employers to cast as wide a net as possible and treat the viewer like an idiot.

  6. NinjaBadger (@ninjabadger) said on 9th March 2013, 0:47

    I’m interested to see the Force India battle. Two drivers out to prove themselves.
    [Yes, I know, all the drivers are out to prove themselves]
    But Paul seems desparate to prove himself to the bigger teams, and Adrian wants to prove he has what it takes to be a competitor, after his time out.
    So I’m hoping to see a good clash between the two.

  7. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 9th March 2013, 1:15

    The one thing that strikes me most about that video is how many sponsor logos were on Justin Wilson’s overalls (ie Minardi). Even the team which was firmly placed at the back of the grid seemed to have plenty of logos (and therefore cash) flowing in.

    Bit of a contrast to the overalls of recent teams like HRT and Marussia. Even Brawn was blank at the start of 2009. It’s all a very visual representation of how much less money must be coming into the sport from outside.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th March 2013, 1:26

      Even the team which was firmly placed at the back of the grid seemed to have plenty of logos (and therefore cash) flowing in.

      I’m guessing they had lots of little sponsors. So while there was money coming into the team, it wasn’t an overwhelming amount.

    • Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 9th March 2013, 2:26

      They were probably spending an awful lot more money to be competitive, with no RR, unlimited testing….

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 10th March 2013, 1:00

      how many sponsor logos were on Justin Wilson’s overalls

      @mouse_nightshirt it’s actually the reverse usually: the more sponsors’ logos a team displays, the smaller each sponsor’s contribution relative to the sponsors of a team like McLaren, and the more cash-poor they are.

  8. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 1:40

    “I’m not in F1 just to race”

    No, I am also here to DANCE!

  9. SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 9th March 2013, 2:27

    Excellent COTD. The worst part of every single grand prix is the time wasted being talked down to.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th March 2013, 2:39

    If newcomers latch on to the sport, they’ll put in the effort to figure it out.

    How can you reasonably expect newcomers to follow the sport with no explanation of the basic elements of racing? Calling for a sophisticated conversation is all well and good, but if it goes over the heads of newcomers, they’re not going to keep following Formula 1 because they won’t understand it. Just imagine what it would be like for someone to tune into the Australian Grand Prix, and sit through an entire race hearing about DRS, KERS, prime and option compounds and so on, but without any explanation as to what these things are. Chances are that they’re not going to come back for another viewing in Malaysia.

    I find it ironic that people should produce comments like this when they criticise the decision to move Formula 1 to pay television because it will limit the number of people who have exposure to the sport. But by making the sport inaccessible to newcomers by not explaining the details, it’s only going to drive more people away.

    There is a time and a place for these sophisticated discussions (though I notice nobody has given an example of what a sophisticated discussion might be) – but you cannot reasonably expect it to happen all the time and at the expense of describing the basics as the natural order of things dictates that you have to grasp the basic concepts to be able to understand the sophisticated ideas.

    Remember, you were a newcomer to Formula 1 once as well.

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 9th March 2013, 3:02

      I second this.
      A lot of people find Formula 1 surprisingly complicated. No matter how many times KERS and DRS are explained to some people they tend to get the two mixed or have no idea of their meaning and get bored of the race.
      I’d much prefer it if they did without these gimmicks as newcomers would find it an awful lot easier to follow the race, especially when there are so many other variables too.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 9th March 2013, 3:40

      I agree with absolutly everything pm just said and i’ll add to that. It’s not like during mark webbars overtake on alonso at spa 2 years ago the commentators chose that point to say and so you all know drs is… It’s often used as filler material when theres nothing particularly happening during the outlaps in qualy for example.

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 9th March 2013, 6:29

      when i was a newcomer to f1, i certainly didn’t have the internet or other fans to converse with. i had a detroit grand prix and a weeks-old monaco race. i had passion, a couple brain cells and informative commentators spotlighting things once before getting back to the racing.

      example of doing it right:
      brundle and bbc’s “the formula” series. B = Brakes, and so on. great series, wish they did more.
      example of doing it wrong:
      (insert any commentator’s name here): “oooo drs activated. that means the following car…..”
      repeat at every single race.

    • @prisoner-monkeys I commented above before reading this, but I totally agree.

    • MJ4 said on 9th March 2013, 10:19

      You make the assumption that in order to increase viewership and get new people to be interested in a sport, that sport needs to be in a constant “let’s welcome newcomers” mode. The COTD rightfully questions this attitude.

      You start to like a sport not because someone explained the whole stuff the first time you deigned to watch it. You get hooked on the atmosphere, you’re intrigued by the action, you’re sold on the spectacle.

      If all this is not enough, no amount of “KERS is …”, “DRS is …”, “the points system is …” will be able to convince you.

      A good commentator can relate to the on-track action and tell background stories in a sophisticated and expert way to serve knowledgeable fans, and at the same time present it in a manner that a newcomer feels that something exciting is happening, even if he doesn’t understand all the details. That will make him want to understand.

      This urge to want to learn it is necessary; love for the sport won’t come from tedious explanations.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th March 2013, 12:01

        I didn’t say that the commentary had to be geared towards newcomers all of the time – only that there needs to be content that explains the basic concepts to newcomers every now and again. The commentators cannot assume that only dedicated fans of the sport are watching all the time.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 10:59

      Absolutely PM, but every time somebody uses DRS? I’ve noticed it being reiterated several times over the course of a race, so unless new viewers have a very short attention span or short term memory (in which case it doesn’t matter anyway) we don’t need to be reminded constantly, and a more intelligent conversation can take place.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 9th March 2013, 13:11

      Google.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th March 2013, 14:11

      @prisoner-monkeys, totally agree with you, again.

    • MatK77 (@bluestar77) said on 9th March 2013, 18:03

      My comment was directed primarily at US F1 coverage, and how F1 is treated by broadcasters. I spend a fair bit of time in the UK, so I have some idea of how good intelligent, knowledgeable commentary can be without being so complex that it completely shuts out newer viewers.

      F1 is barely on the radar in the U.S. – it never makes it on the evening news (unless an American wins or there’s an American race), it rarely makes the 24hr sports news cycle channels except on the Sunday evening results ticker. Yet, there is a significant, dedicated fan base in the US who will chase any kind of coverage they can grab.

      The same can be said of ‘soccer’ as the locals like to call it here. Years ago, we had to pay through the nose to watch each round of Euro 2004 (I believe it was $30/game). Last year, we got every game live, many of them on free-to-air broadcast, and the highlights were getting a respectable amount of rotation – this is because awareness is increasing, and popularity with it. Yet, I’ve NEVER heard the offside rule explained by any soccer commentator in the ten years between.

      SPEED’s coverage had been getting better and better over the years, they’ve done well to keep it entertaining and informative. They were contracted to broadcast several races every year on FOX, SPEED’s parent channel, and without fail, it was plainly obvious that the commentary team had been told to keep it as simple as possible. Now the broadcast rights have changed hands, I’m concerned that the level of conversation is going to be simplified once again to ‘bring in the new fans’.

      I’ll be willing to bet that since the time I saw Mr.Stewart and his toy car, and the Brazilian GP last year, that F1 hasn’t increased its viewership percentage by a single point in the US. If you’re not interested enough when you first see a race to look up a website (or in my case flip the pages of my old man’s latest Autosport), then I’ll be willing to bet you won’t be tuning in to the next race. To suggest that you won’t enjoy a race (and when it comes down to it, who doesn’t understand the concept of a race) because you don’t know every detail of the action just doesn’t ring true to me.

      My apologies for the essay, but you know a casual fan wouldn’t give a **** either way. :P

  11. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 9th March 2013, 2:51

    Isn’t this too late of an epiphany ? The field does look extremely difficult this year – but anyway – good luck to him.

  12. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 9th March 2013, 3:51

    Sutil has started to **** me off now. He has never been very impressive, and neither has the Force India car. And he’s talking about winnin? Ha Ha Ha.

    • He is Charlie Sheen of Motorsport.

      • Manter MBS (@sridharbhanu) said on 9th March 2013, 9:53

        Shreyas Mohanty, should encourage someone with a +ve attitude…shouldn’t you?

        • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 9th March 2013, 12:59

          @sridharbhanu : Yes, a positive attitude is always good. I see you are an Indian, so I am taking the risk of assuming you are a Force India fan. I am an Indian too, but I don’t support FIM. From their inception, I have observed that everything about them is flawed. Techniques, line-ups. Stark example? Them choosing Sutil over Bianchi. I mean, ***? Also, a positive attitude is good, but you also need to be practical.

      • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 10th March 2013, 14:43

        @aish
        That’s quite harsh, on Charlie Sheen.
        Sheen has made some amazing films; Red Dawn, Platoon & Wall Street are the film equivalents of winning the WDC – something Sutil has never come close to achieving !
        I’d say Sutil is more of a Rob Schneider…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th March 2013, 19:20

          I must say all of you who feel bad towards Sutil for finally turning up with some ambition surprise me no end.
          When you say winning the WDC is

          something Sutil has never come close to achieving !

          , well isn’t that exactly what sitting on the bench has made the guy realize he needs to change his way, up his game and not be satisfied to be a dependable also ran (i.e. “quick Nick” Heidfeld et al.), and instead wants to get the maximum out of his car and impress, or even win in a sub par Force India.

          Sure, the chance he will deliver on that ambition is small, but sport should be about people thinking they can be the best and setting out to prove that on the tracks.

  13. xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 9th March 2013, 4:15

    Good COTD. F1 needs its own “Crank it up” from time to time, especially in 2013, which is the last chance to listen to the V8’s.

  14. Ivano (@) said on 9th March 2013, 4:51

    The headline confused me. A racing driver who is not in the sport only to race? Is he planning to step out of car during pitstops, and change he’s own tires too?

  15. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 9th March 2013, 7:37

    Intersting quote from Christian Horner about Button (even if it is from the Daily Mail). CH obviously rates JB. JB to replace MW at Red Bull next year then?

    • No he’d like a driver who would play second fiddle to Vettel. JB wouldn’t take that either.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th March 2013, 23:04

        @aish The likes of Alguersuari, Buemi, Bourdais, Klien, Liuzzi and Speed would play second fiddle to Vettel (all being inferior drivers to Mark Webber). They’re looking for another top talent, who may possibly be Antonio Felix da Costa, as in someone else capable of winning the title. Jenson Button is a WDC.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th March 2013, 8:57

      I suspect he’s just playing mindgames, implying that McLaren is strong enough to survive without Hamilton (suggesting Hamilton gave up on a sure thing for the unknown), and firing a shot across Alonso’s bow by claiming that Button is the driver against which the fitness of everyone else will be judged, instead of Alonso.

      • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 9th March 2013, 20:41

        i really dont see how any of what christian horner said about button is any kind of mind games to shake Alonso, he was simply giving button a pat on the back really, one Brit to another.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 11:01

      I think Red Bull will be wanting Felix Da Costa (if he performs) in Webber’s seat sooner rather than later…

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th March 2013, 12:04

        @vettel1 – Almost certainly. But I don’t think they’ll put him in straight away. When Sebastian Vettel joined Formula 1, it was very obvious that he was going to wind up racing for Red Bull, but they still put him through his paces at Toro Rosso first. I expect they’ll do the same to da Costa, even if he dominates Formula Renault 3.5 this year. Because there have been plenty of examples were a driver had stood out in a junior category, only to get upgraded to a newer, more-powerful car, and struggle – Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez being two of the most-recent examples.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th March 2013, 12:15

          @prisoner-monkeys – absolutely, so I suspect we’ll have another year of Webber (unless of course one of the current STR drivers is ditched in favour of Felix Da Costa early on) to allow him to build his experience, then I imagine he’ll be partnered with Vettel. That would be an insanely strong line-up!

          • In this week Paul Richard test FDC dominated. If he win the WSbR with 2 or 3 rounds to go, no doubt that Horner will place him at Toro Rosso for the last F1 races!!

          • @27alesi – absolutely, if one of the Toro Rosso drivers slips up at all they’ll get the boot I’d imagine. The pressure must really be on!

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th March 2013, 15:59

            What intrigues me is that Toro Rosso will have to develop a 2014 car (although now with Renault and more RB help) in the midst of having these 3 drivers. Marko likes to give the juniors at least 2 years to see how they can develop so by the end of this season it’s fair to say a decision will be made about Ricciardo (2 years experience + half a year at HRT). Webber looks unlikely to retire before 2014’s new car and a final chance to develop a WDC chance, a la 2009/10, which hands the initiative in my eyes to Vergne (2015) or Felix da Costa (2016).

            What leads me to believe this is that Webber is involved in the career of Mitch Evans (GP3 champion), while it would surely be easier to get Ricciardo into the Red Bull seat if the aim was to simply get an Aussie in to follow on after Webber. Also, I’ve previously read online that Red Bull would like to gain ground in France, due to having less market share there from a ban on its products years back. Vergne would fit this role nicely, perhaps, although the Renault link isn’t exactly being used fully for this, or maybe it already fulfils the job. Ricciardo seems a better PR fit but I reckon that privately RB like Vergne. It’ll be interesting to see if Vergne is a stronger match for Ricciardo in his second year of F1.

            Felix da Costa vs. Vandoorne looks like a good match up for the 2013 FR3.5 title!

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