Unwell Hamilton misses Thursday at the track

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang, 2013In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton missed the media day ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix with a suspected allergy.

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Hamilton illness scare ahead of Chinese GP

“The 2008 world champion missed his scheduled press engagements as Mercedes confirmed he was experiencing eye and nose problems.”

Damon Hill challenges FIA president Jean Todt to clarify Bahrain stance (The Guardian)

“Jean Todt’s approach has been to say nothing, because otherwise you’re being critical, and I think that is a mistake. Because he’s being used, or the sport is being perceived as being used, by its engagement in the economy and the reputation of the country.”

Toro Rosso addresses exhaust burning (Autosport)

“Toro Rosso will introduce a modified exhaust at the Chinese Grand Prix to prevent a repeat of the overheating problems that forced Daniel Ricciardo to retire from the opening two races of the season.”

Williams? daughter takes the driving seat (FT, registration required)

Claire Williams: “Personally, I just want to see if I can do the job. I am deputy team principal. I might take over, but I might not.”

Q&A with Force India?s Adrian Sutil (F1)

“Yes, looking at it from the outside Shanghai should play to our advantage and with the Malaysia hiccups solved we should be able to fight for a good result and to bag some good points.”

F1 remains a tough sell in China (Japan Today)

“The race, which takes place this weekend in Shanghai, has struggled to fill the stands in recent years, and F1 found that Chinese viewership fell steeply last year. Sponsors also have been slow to sign on to the series with only a handful of Chinese companies endorsing any of the 11 teams.”

Schumacher becomes Mercedes ambassador (Reuters)

“Mercedes announced a long-term agreement with Michael Schumacher on Thursday for the retired seven times Formula One champion to become an ambassador for their brand focusing on future technology and road safety.”

The early days of timed qualifying (MotorSport)

“They had been doing it at the Indianapolis 500 since 1915 ?ǣ over one lap initially, then four (from 1920), then 10 (from 1933), and then back to four (from 1939) ?ǣ but this was the first occasion that a grid for a major European race was arranged according to lap times set during its practice sessions: fastest first.”

Red Bull raging (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “You could add in Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna – all the great champions were selfish winning machines and they really didn’t care too much about their reputations in that respect. I think there is a sporting line which you don’t cross – it is honour amongst thieves in many respects, but then I didn’t win three world championships and Sebastian Vettel already has at 25-years-old.”

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Comment of the day

@Craig-O on Fernando Alonso saying he can tolerate retiring from a few races per year:

Can Alonso afford “two or three” retirements to challenge for the title though? We?ve seen seasons where the winning driver have had zero or one retirement and only just won the title.

If we look back over recent years it?s more and more clear that picking up points is vital. Lewis Hamilton had six non-finishes last year in what was the quickest car and finished fourth in the championship, yet Kimi Raikkonen had the fourth quickest car yet finished third with only one non-points finish (despite running second for much of that race).

Over the last ten seasons (2003-2012) the champion has had only one or two retirements except for 2010, which was a very close season. In addition to this each driver who goes on to be champion only have a few non-points finishes: 2010 again was the highest with four.

A retirement early on in the season could prove very costly for Alonso, if the field is as close as we think (and hope).
@Craig-O

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On this day in F1

F1’s last race in Argentina was held 15 years ago today. Michael Schumacher won after a controversial collision with David Coulthard.

Mika Hakkinen claimed second ahead of Eddie Irvine.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei