Brawn: Mercedes need to improve race pace

F1 Fanatic round-up

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Ross Brawn says the W04 has good one-lap pace but needs to improve its performance over a race stint.


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

Brawn: Mercedes not there yet (Sky)

“It’s not down to one lap. What we have to have is a car that is fastest over 50-odd laps, and that’s the challenge.”

Bernie confirms Long Beach talks (ESPN)

“We are not in deep discussions with Long Beach but we have spoken to them.”

Horner denies Marko is a hindrance (Autosport)

“Helmut has responsibilities elsewhere with the young-driver programme but he has no operational responsibility or input into how we operate as a racing team. He’s an advisor to Dietrich [Mateschitz], and he’s obviously an experienced hand.”

Back to Spain (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “The wins at Barcelona in 2006, Monza in 2010 and Valencia last year are unquestionably the races that have given me the best emotions of my career.”

James Calado taken on by Massa?s manager (James Allen on F1)

“Rising star James Calado?s chances of making the move up to Formula 1 have been boosted by a deal to be managed by Nicolas Todt, whose All Road Management group manages Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi.”

Racing “DNA”… Diversity Needs Acceptance (The Buxton Blog)

“If we are discussing why there haven?t been more women racers in F1, I started to wonder why we haven?t yet, at least to my knowledge, encountered many, if any openly gay racing drivers in our field?”


Comment of the day

If F1 does end up back at Long Beach, @Atticus-2 hopes they don’t spoil the track:

I think the organisers did a tremendous job in 1999 and 2000, when they last altered the layout. I identify four “points of interest” on the original, much loved layout, plus one on the current one. I think the original course was loved principally because of the following:
?ǣ The iconic hairpins at either ends of Shoreline Drive;
?ǣ Original turn two (now turn six), a wide, surprisingly quick, increasing radius and slightly uphill left-hander;
?ǣ The wild elevation change of about 8-11m when they climbed the hill going straight instead of turning right to East Seaside Way and their subsequent intense drop at Cook?s corner;
?ǣ The quick, douple-apex penultimate corner.

On the current layout, my guess is that the fountain in the roundabout already gained legendary status as scenery despite its relatively young age as part of the track.

What I really liked about the 1999-2000 changes was how the organisers brought back two of the four aforementioned points plus how they introduced the new one.

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On this day in F1

Patrick Tambay won the San Marino Grand Prix after Riccardo Patrese crashed out of the lead moments after overtaking him:

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95 comments on Brawn: Mercedes need to improve race pace

  1. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 1st May 2013, 8:55

    Wait… We’re now expecting 3 races in USA in the near future? I’ve said this before, F1 should not have more than 1 race in a country each year. It’s bad enough USA will end up with 2 tracks next year, I couldn’t understand why they’d do that.

    Next year we have Russia and New Jersey coming in, that brings the calendar up to 21 (assuming we don’t drop any of this year’s). Thailand appear to have a track lined up, Argentina and Mexico have said they are looking at possibilities. France are the only ones who have seemingly backed out of an F1 deal, with their only option being to alternate with another track (possibly Spa, I don’t see why it couldn’t be Hungary)

    I only see F1 moving to a track rotation basis pretty soon. At least that way the groups could be set so that we only have 1 race in the USA each year.

    • Abdurahman (@) said on 1st May 2013, 9:04

      Why not have two races in the USA per season? If you look at population and landmass the country certainly deserves it on that merit! haha (ah, but then so would China as well)

      I can’t figure out what is going on with our French brothers in getting F1 back there. I was watching the highlights from the 1980 season the other day and I believe there was at least SIX French drivers! And at least two full French teams competing. Where have they all gone? Besides our beloved Charles and Romain of course.

      And if we don’t get a proper Yank in a F1 car soon, it is just pathetic. Daly is looking like a pretty sure bet thankfully but we will see.

      • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 1st May 2013, 9:47

        And India…

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 1st May 2013, 10:01

        Besides our beloved Charles and Romain of course.

        I believe Bianchi is the one to watch. Pic’s only there as long as the money lasts and Romain is certainly struggling a bit this year, be it because of his indiscretions last year or because he has a baby on the way.

      • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 2nd May 2013, 8:54


        If you look at population and landmass

        Then why has countries like Hungary, Austria and Turkey had races whilst India, Russia and China haven’t? (Okay, China have had one for a few years, but India’s is only a few years old, and Russia might have to wait till 2015).
        Germany, Britain and Japan have all been able to run F1 races on a circuit rotation basis in the past, and Spain looks like they’re about to implement one for the future between Valencia and Barcelona. USA have had one race in the past 6 years, and now they’re looking to have 3 races.


        Americans have many series well established (IRL /Cart, Nascar, 24 hours endurance in different circuits)

        So why do they need 3 F1 races? 1, I can understand, and the Austin track produced a good race last year, even if the leader won on DRS. America has several fast motor-racing series, it doesn’t need to take F1 by storm…

    • @keeleyobsessed @abdurahman I think it’s not only for “population mass”, but for racing history. Americans have many series well established (IRL /Cart, Nascar, 24 hours endurance in different circuits) and even when F1 is a lot different than “oval racing”, they can get used to the new gadgets: DRS, KERS, the ones we as “traditional” fans don’t like at all. When Americans know F1 cars come with “TURBO button” KERS, probably they will compare it to their beloved “Fast and Furious” films (which personally I disllike so much)

  2. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 1st May 2013, 9:56

    I see on the BBC that Dietrich Mateschitz is wingeing again about the tyres, a not too subtle attempt to put more pressure on the tyre makers. RED BULL, give it a rest and get on with the racing. Its the same for everyone, to try and change the playing field part way through the season isnt going to help anyone except you.

  3. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 1st May 2013, 10:21

    Its the same for everyone

    The tyres are the same, what’s not the same is how long they last. And in that case it has to be review, because no one can build a new car and then hope the tyres will fit, that’s just ridiculous

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 1st May 2013, 10:36

    I’m gay and I’m happy to belong to the F1 fans’ community. Once I used to think that almost all F1 fans were macho men but I have realised that the picture is not as simple. I have met other gay and bisexual F1 fans on F1 Fanatic and on Twitter and last year I watched the Italian Grand Prix together with a 70-year old lady, a passionate fan of Raikkonen.

    For sure, my sexuality impacts the way I see the world and the way I see F1 and the drivers. But I watch F1 because I love the cars, the on-track battles, the emotions, the atmosphere in the stands and on F1F, the smell of fuel and the sound of engines. I certainly prefer talking about Pirelli tyres and DRS over discussing Max Chilton’s body shape.

    I think gay drivers feel more or less the same way. They don’t reveal their sexuality because of many reasons but I’m pretty sure that one of them is that they don’t want to be seen as “the gay ones” because their sexuality is not even among the top 10 in their list of priorities when they are on the track.

    Still, they shouldn’t have to hide it either. For instance, if some driver has a boyfriend, he should feel free to take him to the team garage, tell that on Twitter and post pictures of them both together as Hamilton or Chilton do it with their girlfriends. That’s the only thing I would like to see change in this aspect. Other than that, I have nothing against the fact that F1 is and remains a sport for ‘real men’.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 1st May 2013, 11:14

      Fair play and great comment. I think it’s unfortunate that while rights for gay people have come a long way in many countries in the past 20 years,(though still not far enough) if a gay driver were to come out publicly, then they would unfortunately just be seen as ‘the gay one’ to a majority, regardless of their on track merits. Homosexuality in sport is still something seen as unusual and almost scandalous, look at the reaction to the NBA player that came out this week, or the Italian football coaches comments on the issue during the Euros last year.

      At the end of the day does a fan’s or driver’s sexual orientation matter? Not one bit. And yet it does, for entirely unimportant reasons.

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 1st May 2013, 12:47

      Well said! @girts.
      I’m not sure if you have ‘declared’ here before, but welcome out.

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 1st May 2013, 21:12

      @girts with the world moving towards accepting gays (even Obama supports LGBT), I dont think how orientation would matter in F1

  5. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 1st May 2013, 12:56

    On the face of it, it should be a simple issue, but when you look in detail you see that homosexuality for any global sport is a very complex issue.

    Let’s start by putting aside any ridiculous notions about gay men being universally effeminate; it simply isn’t the case. Many gay men are far more masculine than your average straight man. If masculinity were a pre-requisite for motor racing success (which I’m not convinced about, but anyway..) then this would certainly be no barrier to gay men competing. Or women, but let’s not worry about that one for the moment.

    I’d like to imagine that here in the UK, being openly gay would be no hindrance to a successful motorsport career. Aside from a few pockets of old fashioned prejudice, homosexuality is accepted as a normal part of our society, and one which isn’t seen as an issue at all. However, Formula 1 is a global sport, and one which relies on the investment of enormous sums of money from sponsors, each of which have a vested interest in the various markets in the countries where races are hosted, and where F1 is shown. Sadly, while I certainly don’t think that the UK (and by extension most of Europe and the majority of North America) is unusual in the way that the LGBT community is seen, it would be naïve to think that this wouldn’t be an issue in other parts of the world. Particularly the Arab countries where a strong religious tradition dictates that homosexuality = bad. The reaction to a an openly gay driver in these countries could be disastrous, to the point where sponsors could consider pulling out, and even TV stations may have issues with broadcasting.

    I’ve never been at all comfortable with the notion of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ when it comes to people’s sexual orientation, because it promotes the idea that people should be allowed to hold archaic prejudices, and that the responsibility lies with the gay person not to offend anyone with their sexuality. It’s something that hopefully will be broken down as time goes on, and we see an increase in globalisation. But for now, I think in F1, for a driver to be openly gay would genuinely cause problems. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was already at least one gay driver on the grid, but while we still live in a world where bigotry and intolerance are respected and tolerated, the chances of any driver being open about his homosexuality are very slim indeed.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 1st May 2013, 19:24

      Sadly I think you’re right. For the teams, sponsors and any gay drivers out there it doesn’t make a lot of business sense to have an ‘out’ gay driver in such a sponsor driven, global sport.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st May 2013, 20:46

      Particularly the Arab countries where a strong religious tradition dictates that homosexuality = bad.

      – when we take in account some people being upset with Red Bull putting a women on the podium for Middle East Bahrain, I am afraid you are only too right that it would be hard to accept in a lot of places @mazdachris

      But I do think that things are (slowly) changing, so lets hope that all of us will see the time when its no big deal what sex, or sexual orientation a driver is!

  6. Obi-Spa Kenobi (@obi-spa-kenobi) said on 1st May 2013, 16:10

    I’m against Long Beach simply because Los Angeles is a crappy city. After Las Vegas, it stands for everything wrong with American society. And it’s hot, over populated and over polluted.

    They should go back to the Glen or get New Jersey figured out.

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