Ferrari: ‘Six out of ten’ for season so far

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis says the tam deserve “six out of ten” for their results so far as the team’s qualifying performances are still not up to scratch and they have missed some opportunities.

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

Interview with Nikolas Tombazis (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Tombazis: “If I was to score our overall performance, I would only give it a six out of ten and that?s for two main reasons: one is that we are not yet quite where we want to be. In the first four Grands Prix, we were not really able to fight for pole position and that is one of our main objectives at the moment. Secondly, if you look at the actual results, even if it?s true we?ve had a win, which naturally we can be very pleased about, we have also had two very bad results where we scored very few points.”

Lewis Hamilton: I crave a return to the days when my hero Senna ruled (Daily Mail)

“The reason I love street circuits like Monaco is there is no room for error and if you make a mistake, you pay. I don?t want people to pay by being hurt, but losing time, or having the car stop; that?s what racing is about.”

Lotus: Raikkonen to stay if car is strong (Autosport)

Gerard Lopez: “I am convinced, and I don’t say this lightly, that if Kimi gets what he wants from us in terms of performance and so on, we will see Kimi moving forward with us.”

Paul on Barcelona 2013 (Force India)

“It’s important to pick up good points early in the season against our competitors and to be ahead of McLaren after four races is a credit to the team and a nice feeling.”

Red Bull use McLaren alternator on RB9 (F1 Technical)

“Renault Sport have now confirmed to F1Technical that Red Bull Racing is indeed using a McLaren Electronic System alternator in combination with the Renault engine. The firm notes this is the case ‘for some time now’, with all other Renault powered teams still using the Magnetti Marelli alternators, similar to last year.”

Spanish Grand Prix View (Caterham)

Giedo van der Garde: “I’m excited about the weekend ahead, especially as we have some more new parts on the car that should help us build on the step forward we saw from my team mate’s car in Bahrain.”

Meet Driver Derek Daly Pt 1-8 (ESPN)

“Former F1 and IndyCar driver Derek Daly discusses racing today and tells our host, Alex Pombo, if racing is easier today than in the past.”

Snapshot

Antonio Felix da Costa, Carlos Sainz Jnr., Danill Kvyat, Beitske Visser, Tom Blomqvist, Callan O'Keeffe, 2013

Red Bull junior drivers for 2013 (left to right) Antonio Felix da Costa, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Danill Kvyat, Beitske Visser, Tom Blomqvist and Callan O’Keeffe.

Tweets

Comment of the day

Do we really want more characterful drivers, asks @Tango:

Somehow, we all lament that we do not have a James Hunt on the grid anymore. But as soon as a great driver acts naturally (and by that, I mean, like a human being), we, as in “the fans”, fall on him like a ton of bricks.

At the time, Hunt could get away with smoking, boozing, having sex with the entire world, allegedly sniffing rails of powder, hitting marshalls and drivers alike and wow, what a likeable man he was.

Hamilton has a “serious girlfriend”, a dog, and the most extravagant stuff he does is recording his music and wearing a cap the wrong way round. Suddenly he does what we have all done many times (namely, ranting about parents / former boss, which we are indeed grateful for, even if it doesn?t stop us ranting anyway) and wow, what an ungrateful brat he is. He doesn?t even get half the leeway Webber or Raikkonen get. And lets be honest, most of the time, Raikkonen is just being plain rude.

I believe great athletes can?t be what we (and their sponsors) would like them to be (perfect). So if for once, one of them would even try the slightest to act normally (or even extraordinarily, I don?t care), I?m all for it. And if by doing so he feels better, happier, it doesn?t even matter if it makes him quicker or not, it seems fair.
@Tango

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Argentina’s last F1 driver Gaston Mazzacane turns 38 today. After serving as Minardi’s test driver in 1999 he was promoted to the race team the following year. He lasted a full season before being dropped and hired by Prost, who let him go just four races into his second season.

Here’s Mazzacane in action for Minardi at Spa-Francorchamps in 2000:

Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Getty images

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114 comments on Ferrari: ‘Six out of ten’ for season so far

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 8th May 2013, 0:12

    It would be so much easier if everybody based their opinions solely on how the athlete (driver) performed on the court (track).

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 8th May 2013, 0:25

      It does seem that a lot of people have a “People Magazine” level in interest in the drivers private lives. Perhaps some of that is the sporadic nature of F1 – with three weeks or more between races, people need something to talk about.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th May 2013, 1:39

      @craig-o
      I disagree, the personalities of sportsmen such as Senna, Cantona, McEnroe & Ali are a huge part of the reason they were so popular and brought so many new fans and sponsors to their respective sports.

      We’re social animals and personal interactions (even the fake sort we get through the media) are a significant part of our lives.

      • Q85 said on 8th May 2013, 7:09

        I agree with comment of the day.

        On sunday lorenzo got pushed way at the final corner by an ill judged pass. He had every right to be unhappy. After the race he declined to comment about it, obviously upset. Ever since then every where i go i here he is a moaner and a cry baby. Im thinking how come?? he declined to comment? how is that moaning. I then i start to wonder do these same people never complain about anything during their own life?? i bet they do!

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 8th May 2013, 7:25

          +1.

          Even though I wouldn’t flag Marquez pass, I think too Lorenzo should not be happy and hide his feelings either. Actually I like to see people acting naturally not like soulless robots.

        • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th May 2013, 12:11

          On sunday lorenzo got pushed way at the final corner by an ill judged pass.

          No he didn’t, Lorenzo left a massive gap going into the last corner of the last lap and like every single decent MotoGP rider of the past in the same position Marquez went for that gap. Lorenzo then made the wrong decision to run into him instead of cutting underneath and letting Marquez run wide.
          I posted several comments about this move on the MotoGP thread in the forum, two of the best were:

          Colin Edwards
          “It’s racing motorcycles isn’t it? You know, any time you’ve got this amount of people and you’ve got the passion….and especially Marquez. We’re in Spain! That kind of thing happens around here, it happens anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on – take it or leave it – that’s racing motorcycles.”

          Valentino Rossi
          “It’s a hard attack for sure, and a hard overtake from Marc. He touched Jorge, but it’s the last lap, the last corner, and sure the guy behind tries something. Jorge kept the door open and Marc went inside, so I think it’s something that can happen in racing. “

          Ever since then every where i go i here he is a moaner and a cry baby.

          No, not “ever since then”, Lorenzo has been a moaner since he was riding 125cc GP bikes and has earned himself a reputation as such. Now that Stoner the moaner has retired Jorge has taken his place as the biggest moaner in MotoGP.
          He may have declined to comment but if you watched any of the interviews he gave after the race or his interaction with Marc it was perfectly obvious how Lorenzo felt and what he was thinking and, in my opinion, it is personal interactions such as this that will help promote MotoGP to a new generation of fans, just as Rossi vs Biaggi did a few years ago.

          • q85 said on 8th May 2013, 13:21

            It was an ill judged move. no where near the apex. and it was 3-5th time he totally missed his braking point, he only by luck didnt take JL out at the vill-schu corner. I dont think a penalty or anything like that should be awarded, it was racing. But he was wrong and fairness he aplogised.

            Buts its the press driven drivel to make one guy the enemy and the other the hero, the bbc call one rider the greatest of all time(unbiased bunch). They did it to max, you watch any superbike commentary and apparently max biaggi was a moaner, miserable etc. Yet he is always very polite in interviews, very good at replying at twitter (has done to me).

            I think in terms of moto gp, people need to step back see what actually happens rather than build up a set opinion thats spoon fed to them. Lorenzo is a fantastic rider and could of rightly been very annoyed. If he was such a moaner/cry baby why did he happily allow Rossi back in to the team, Rossi himself said thanked him. He is proving his class every session in comparison to his great team mate.

            He is the class of the field and doesnt use his political clout to get things moved to open doors for him like the previous multiple champion did (bridgestone/FIM black mail cos he had one poor season). Or worse still laugh a rider he injured. JL is in a different class, but that doesnt sell T-shirts.

          • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th May 2013, 15:25

            How is it an ill judged move when he made up a place and did nothing worthy of a penalty ?

            Even Jorge has since said:

            I lost the second place and it was like this. Race Direction decided not to do anything and that’s it. We didn’t crash and that’s important and I lost four points and the lead in the world championship.

            But it is a good lesson to learn again because after Montmelo in 2009 I thought I had learnt the lesson. This time it was different because in Montmelo I knew that Valentino was there but in Jerez I thought he (Marquez) was further back but he was closer than I expected. I didn’t make a defensive line. This was my mistake and this is a lesson to learn in the future which is not be to be confident of the distance of the rider behind.”

            Hitting the apex may be the fastest line around a corner but that’s not necessarily the line you take when overtaking and out braking yourself is common in all forms of motorsport when guys are trying to overtake each other, as is contact.

            I’m not questioning Jorge’s abilities, the guy is clearly one of the most talented guys to ever race a GP motorcycle and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him racing over the years. Although from watching Marc’s career I reckon he’s going to be just as good as Jorge, Valentino and the other “Aliens” in MotoGP at the moment and could well end his career as one of the legends of the sport.

          • q85 said on 8th May 2013, 17:49

            it was ill judged as he totally had to stand the bike as he didnt make the corner. you can run wide to a degree, but JL had to lift up once and again he MM still hit him. It was not a good move, yes it got the job done and doesnt deserve a pen but was it a good move? no of course not. and if it is then the rules go out the window as all you have to do is straighten the bike up and guy along side is whole lot of trouble. That sort of riding isnt what we expect at this level. Wsbk have hard and very close racing, much harder than moto gp and you dont see passes done like that.

            JL should of gone tight, but you still have to make the corner. Where was JL to go? just stop and say well whats the point in turning as this lad is all over the shop. No he had to go into the corner. Its racing, but my point was more JL didnt shout, didnt protest yet he is still torn apart personally, like lewis is at times, as was fernando back in 07.

            MM will become and legend no question. But i hope its done through his sheer amazing talent rather than put instantly at the top and others made out to be villains or cry babies when they have done no wrong, as happened in 00’s.

            I think he will be eventually in the JL, VR legends status. Time will tell if he will be in the top bar with Giacomo, Mike, surtees, Read, Rainey and co.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 8th May 2013, 7:34

        I agree athletes lives “off the court” have is important to sports popularity and we can have an opinion about it. We cannot deny its influence on our society but it still is our choice from which source we will get our education, I don’t think TV and tabloids should get a big share of it. Like former NBA star Charles Barkley once said:

        I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 8th May 2013, 7:21

      Indeed.

      Some reactions to Lewis actions are pure hating. People criticize him so vehemently because they don’t like him for reasons I don’t understand. Sure sometimes he does bad things but looking at what has friends say about him and to what I see him doing, I cannot see the immature, arrogant, bad boy, stupid and so many other negative adjectives people use to describe him.

      • Loved the COTD. A lot of the criticism of Lewis makes me uncomfortable because it seems racial in nature. Note I didn’t say racist, and I’m not claiming people who don’t like him are racist, but as the COTD implied with the “backwards cap” bit, a lot of it seems to revolve around his slightly hip-hop image (the bling, his music, the people he hangs out with, how he dresses, some of the slang he uses…) I’m not saying people have a problem with the fact that he’s black per se, but it seems some people don’t see that hip-hop style as gelling with whatever image they have of what an F1 driver should be.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th May 2013, 9:13

      What would be the fun in that though @craig-o :-)

  2. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 8th May 2013, 0:18

    Somehow, we all lament that we do not have a James Hunt on the grid anymore.

    Do we? I don’t recall ever lamenting that.

    • uan (@uan) said on 8th May 2013, 15:12

      @jonsan

      well there is the overused “we” and “all” that pops up in “every” Internet discussion :).

      I think some lament no one like him is on the grid and some are happy there isn’t and some don’t even know who he was. And I’m sure the people who want his type back probably are not the same people who look askance at Lewis’s comments.

      Given the definition of lament, probably the only thing regarding F1 that I lament is the F1 career I never had…lol.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 8th May 2013, 0:25

    Argentina’s last F1 driver Gaston Mazzacane turns 38 today. After serving as Minardi’s test driver in 1999 he was promoted to the race team the following year. He lasted a full season before being dropped and hired by Prost, who let him go just four races into his second season.

    Funny thing about Mazzacane. His first podium in Argentina came THIS YEAR, as a guest in feeder touring car series… he always starts at the bottom 10 and finishes (if he finishes) at the bottom 10 ! amaizing consistency…

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 8th May 2013, 6:28

      Thanks for the info! Yeah, Mazzacane simply isn’t a good driver, but’s it’s still sad Argentina hasn’t had a ‘good’ driver for so long (the last being Reutemann imo).

  4. Nick.UK (@) said on 8th May 2013, 0:27

    That Red Bull young driver photo must have been inspired by Michael Bay’s films. ‘Hey man, it would look cool if we all squint and look up at stuff. People can relate to it dude.”…

    • plushpile (@plushpile) said on 8th May 2013, 3:01

      They look like they’ve all been been told to make a frowny face – “look angry! Grrr….”

      I also noted that 2 of the 6 are sons of prominent WRC drivers, thought that was interesting.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th May 2013, 3:03

        Obviously there’s Sainz (multiple champion), which is the other one?

        • Matt (@hollidog) said on 8th May 2013, 3:26

          Tom Blomqvist. Son of 1984 World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist. His brother Paul is following in his footsteps also, first year in Swedish Formula Renault this season. They both raced at the weekend, I believe Tom got a couple podiums in F3, and Paul had (I think) a 5th and a 4th on debut.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 8th May 2013, 7:44

          For Toro Rosso line-up in 2014, what about António Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr?

          Come the end of the season, I’d pick the best of two current Toro Rosso drives to drive along Vettel at Red Bull (Webber will leave right?) and put those two young guns ready to drive an RB.

          • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 8th May 2013, 16:51

            It would be wonderfull for me, i’m Portuguese, but i recon that Félix is only going to F1 if he wins Formula 3.5 Series, wichh things are not looking for that way, and if he gets the economic support for that…Beeing a Portuguese wich will be even harder.

  5. Traverse (@) said on 8th May 2013, 0:28

    COTD is spot on. It’s as if Hamilton can do no right, whilst guys like Kimi, Schumi, Webber and Alonso can say and pretty much do whatever they like without being subjected to irrational critique…I wonder why?

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 8th May 2013, 0:57

      (@hellotraverse) +1.

      I think in some ways it stems from his prior behaviour, which I’ll happy say was questionable. But he’s clearly grown and developed, particularly during 2012, and yet people seem unable to realise this.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 8th May 2013, 1:12

      @hellotraverse Not really, Hamilton is not the only driver that seem to get Little latitude with the way he acts. And to be fair all the driver that you are listing get a lot of stick for other reason.

      The truth is a lot of F1 community seem to used a double standard to judge the acts of the drivers.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 8th May 2013, 7:39

        Lots of criticism Lewis and Seb get are biased. I’m not trying to say they do no wrong but it seems straight hating, it’s something hard to control, it happens to everybody.

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th May 2013, 19:44

          @jcost Don’t forget Alonso, Kimi and Button get critizized so much. Let’s summarize it,
          Vettel: “He is terrible, he wins just because of Newey”
          Hamilton: “he doesn’t have a championship for 4 years, but he thinks he is the best”.
          Alonso: “He always plays down the good cars he has, he’s not a samurai”
          Button: “He wants to be the nice guy but is always moaning”
          Kimi: “What a rude and lazy driver”
          and every driver has people who love them and dislike them. It’s natural, they are always exposed to media and fans comments

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 9th May 2013, 13:04

            @omarr-pepper

            I think Lewis get way more criticism than any other if you see what he does and what people say about him.

            Kimi? C’mon, he really is rude but most people think “that’s cool”.

    • Angelia (@angelia) said on 8th May 2013, 14:27

      All of the drivers gets lots of criticism almost on a daily basis. Drivers are can say what they want, but they are public figures and at times they will receive criticism for it, it goes with the territory. Personally I believe drivers should be allowed to say what they want. But as everyone else in life you would also have to accept responsibility for the outcome.

      In the comment of the day, one could also say that the person is doing exactly the same thing they accuse other people of doing:

      Hamilton has a “serious girlfriend”, a dog, and the most extravagant stuff he does is recording his music and wearing a cap the wrong way round. Suddenly he does what we have all done many times (namely, ranting about parents / former boss, which we are indeed grateful for, even if it doesn’t stop us ranting anyway) and wow, what an ungrateful brat he is. He doesn’t even get half the leeway Webber or Raikkonen get. And lets be honest, most of the time, Raikkonen is just being plain rude.

      It is alright to accuse or to say Kimi is just always rude (when he hasn’t even said anything)? This seems to be acceptable as a general comment against another driver. But the same thing isn’t acceptable against your driver of choice? I will repeat all of the drivers receive criticism.

      This is the general problem perhaps some fans just need to grow a bit of a thicker skin.

  6. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 8th May 2013, 1:24

    That video makes me long for the Spa of old. No parking-lot run-off at every corner…

  7. Manished said on 8th May 2013, 1:24

    According to Italian sources, Lotus replaced James Allison with Nick Chester.

  8. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th May 2013, 1:37

    Are the 6 kiddos in the pic into the right path to get an F1 superlicense?
    I know they are looking for talent, but wow! They are SIX trying to get one spot, maybe two, in the Toro Rosso / Red Bull cars. That considering Red Bull doesn’t try to get a Raikkonen, Hulk or Bianchi somehow to replace Webber (when Webber is ready to leave).

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 8th May 2013, 1:54

      @omarr-pepper If I remember correctly, RBR Junior Program used to have used to have almost 20 drivers. It was back in 2010- 2011 that the list was cut by Dietrich Mateschitz orders, and now there is only 6.

      You have to consider that not every driver is in the same momento of evolution:
      Tom Blomqvist is 19
      António Félix da Costa is 21
      Daniil Kvyat is 19
      Beitske Visser is 19
      Carlos Sainz, Jr. is 18

      So at this momento only da Costo is at the age and momento to be ready to get in to F1, and I going to predict this will only happened if he wins Formula Renault 3.5 series.

  9. GT_Racer said on 8th May 2013, 2:08

    I always find it interesting when you hear the modern drivers talk about how there’s too much run-off, too much room for error etc…

    Reason been that back 10-15yrs ago it was the F1 drivers who were the one’s asking for run-off to be extended, For gravel to be replaced by tarmac, for the grass to be either made more level of replaced by astro-turf & for the kurbing to be made lower.

    The FIA & Tilke always get the blame for the masses of tarmac run-off yet its always ignored how it was the GPDA of the time that were pushing for it. I remember Silverstone trialed it back in 1998 at Club & it was the GPDA who asked the FIA to make use of tarmac run-off after Zonta’s crash at Spa in ’99 & Zonta’s flip over the barriers caused by gravel in testing at Silverstone in 2000.
    The FIA simply listened to the drivers opinions, did there own research into gravel v tarmac & then replaced the gravel where drivers felt it best to do so. Tilke then simply provided the run-off he was asked to.

    Something which really irritates me is when you have David Coulthard on the BBC talking about how the tarmac run-off, low kurbs & astro-tuf is so bad when it was DC who was one of the biggest supporters of these things & since he was one of the top people in the GPDA at the time it was his feedback which the FIA was listening to.

    Even today you have drivers complain about the run-off, the kurbs & there been more room for error, However the same drivers then complain about a bump on the entry to the new Abbey at Silverstone or about how there should be more run-off at Suzuka.

    I remember at Suzuka in 2002 after McNish’s accident at 130R, The Sunday morning talk was that 130R was too dangerous & that something needed to be done to improve it. When the circuit owners changed the corner to add more run-off for 2003 the same drivers complained that 130R was now too easy & had been ruined.
    While I happen to agree that 130R was ruined after the alterations, It was only modified because the drivers asked for it to be made safer.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th May 2013, 2:35

      Yep. more run-off saves lives (or prevents huge accidents). The problem was when the rules where not so clarified about overtaking using run-off (Raikkonen in Spa’s last victory) but now I think all about it has been stated in the rules (Vettel penalized in Germany for the overtake on Button). So it is ok for me. I prefer a 100 times an “easy” corner than Barrichello flying at Imola or Kubica in almost the same way in Canada.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th May 2013, 10:58

      I think it might partly be that the drivers didn’t realise that they would be edging ever further into that run-off until only a tiny sliver of one the wheels on one side have to be on the actual track (well, on the white line, I guess), effectively taking all the track they could use, thus underestimating how much they would all make use of it.

      Or maybe they thought the FIA would actually effectively police that with harsh penalties. If the FIA did have clearer rules for where you are allowed to use run-off (ie. hardly ever and certainly not every lap, unless you want a big time penalty, which is still better than crashing if you need it in an emergency for which it is intended), drivers would be forced to just treat it as not track, instead of as extra track to use, unless someone is looking/out to penalise you.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th May 2013, 15:34

      As ever, a great post I thoroughly agree with !

      Run-off & kerbs are a bit of a double edged sword, on the one hand I don’t want to go back to the days when lots of the cars were dropping out of the GP because they’d run wide into the gravel or damaged their cars on very high kerbs but on the other hand I don’t like drivers using the run off area or inside of the kerb as a part of the track in order to get a better line.

      Maybe we should keep the run-off areas and low kerbs but have drivers punished if they’re regularly driving outside of the white lines. I don’t know what, if any, penalties are applicable currently but I reckon we’d see far fewer drivers regularly exceeding the limits of the track if they started handing out a drive through penalty or took away qualifying times for regular offenders.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 9th May 2013, 12:43

      My preference would be to have a material off-track that slows you down significantly if you run wide (maybe 5 seconds or so) but not more than that. It could also be a material that sticks to the tyres for a little while reducing grip. This would give drivers the incentive to stay on track but not reduce the number of cars running because of small mistakes.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th May 2013, 2:54

    to be ahead of McLaren after four races is a credit to the team and a nice feeling

    If Force India are ahead of McLaren in spite of the pit blunders Force India had, it’s just to show how bad the season is going for McLaren, not necessarily how good Force India is going. Add to that the fact of Sauber’s (usually FI direct rival) poor results this season (Hulkenberg didn’t even participate in Australia!) to explain “the good moment” Force India is having.
    They are good at surviving, that’s all. Paul had a couple of good results last year, as Perez, Hulkemberg, etc,

    • Dev (@dev) said on 8th May 2013, 4:49

      i disagree… if you look at Baharain gp 2012 & 2013… Vettel won both races
      Vettel: – 1:35:10.990 – 2012 —– & —— 1:36:00.498 – 2013
      di Resta: +57.5 secs – 2012 ———& ——- +21.7 secs – 2013
      Saubers: +72.7 secs – 2012 ———& ——–+72.9 secs – 2013 ( Perez in 2012, Hulk in 2013)

      Force India was the quickest car in Brazil gp last year, it seems they have made better progress than competitors over the winter.

      • Rambler said on 8th May 2013, 5:46

        The fact that Hulkenberg was competing for the win in Brazil last year harldy means the Force India suddenly out-developed the entire field… It was a combination of good setup direction and superb driving from Hulkenberg.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 8th May 2013, 9:09

      One one hand, nah, looking at the race charts and longest stint comparisons and one-lap pace, Force India is seriously, ingeniously quick. Particularly in hot conditions (Malaysia, Bahrain). It could be down to the fact that their car is one of the most ‘evolutionary’ – it could be that they basically just upgrading last year’s model – so they know the car better then others.

      They are quickest of the midfield, every now and then on pace with the front-runners.

      However, and that’s a biiig ‘however’, they utterly failed to get the max out of their package so far just like Ferrari. Once again, judging by race charts, they were on par with the Red Bulls and the Mercedeses in Sepang, yet managed to be almost in POS 21-22 at a point, then DNF with an embarrassing error. In Bahrain, Sutil had even better race pace than di Resta (again, race chart), but was unfortunate. (I still don’t get how Paul got into DOTW when even his teammate was better than him, only a lot less lucky.) In a nutshell, it is somewhat odd for me that di Resta speaks of getting the max out in the flyaways was important when they did anything but. They should be way, even more ahead of McLaren and not living up to their potential (while McLaren certainly maxed out all or almost all their opportunities) could easily cost them 5th in the championship.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th May 2013, 11:03

        Of course, last year they had a slow start with the car/tyres while Sauber picked up points – In that respect, the plan went a lot better this time. But not perfect, no, @atticus-2, @omarr-pepper, I agree.

        In the end, last year still was their best year to date, but others did better; maybe this year, others don’t and the WCC position will show their progress clearer? With so much happening over a year, I guess a lot simply depends on what the competition do.

  11. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th May 2013, 3:08

    Ferrari please, don’t throw any more points away now.

    What frustrates me is that last year Ferrari and Alonso did such a great job with the 3rd or 4th fastest car, nearly winning the championship in the process, that it feels as if this year they are spoiling the potential of a better car.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 8th May 2013, 9:11

      Spot on.

    • anon said on 8th May 2013, 15:01

      Last year Alonso was simply lucky. He had a bulletproof car, which meant he could get a podium as guys like Hamilton would have pit bungles and Webber would have his KERS problem. The Ferrari had strong race pace and was incredibly quick off the line, so always grabbed 1-2 places off the line. Then when Alonso would score well, Hamilton and Vettel would score nothing (like in Valencia).

      Sometimes you get weird championships like that. Kind of like Frentzen in 1999, though Frentzen was much more impressive in a much weaker car.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 8th May 2013, 16:10

      @kingshark If we rate Ferrari’s performance (or more specifically Alonso’s performance) as a percentage of a theorised maximum number of point they could’ve gained, I reckon a 6 out of 10 is about spot on. Lets say that in Malaysia Alonso could’ve got a podium (which may be slightly ambitious, but I don’t think it’s far off) so 15 points and a second in Bahrain (so 18-4 = +14 points over what he actually got). That’s a total (as an estimate) of 29 points lost due to operational errors within the team.

      If we express his actual total as a percentage of this theorised maximum (47 + 29 = 76) we get a value of 64% – so roughly 6/10. If we compare that to last year (which I’d say was a clear 10/10) it looks rather poor. This is exemplified from the fact Vettel (the current championship leader) has achieved about the maximum (I think 3rd could’ve been posisble in China had Red Bull not gone with that strategy in qualifying); if we count China as lost points 96% of a theoretical maximum.

      As a team though, Massa just hasn’t been there in the races, so for the constructor’s championship maximum it could be arguably worse than 6/10.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th May 2013, 19:24

        Last year Alonso was simply lucky. He had a bulletproof car, which meant he could get a podium as guys like Hamilton would have pit bungles and Webber would have his KERS problem. The Ferrari had strong race pace and was incredibly quick off the line, so always grabbed 1-2 places off the line. Then when Alonso would score well, Hamilton and Vettel would score nothing (like in Valencia).

        You forgot the most important thing, Red Bull had a considerably quicker car than Ferrari throughout the majority of the season. In that respect, he was unlucky. That Alonso was able to nearly beat Vettel despite this massive disadvantage is a testament of how good he is, even if he did have less misfortunes.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th May 2013, 19:27

          @vettel1

          Lets say that in Malaysia Alonso could’ve got a podium (which may be slightly ambitious, but I don’t think it’s far off.

          IMO Alonso would have won in Malaysia if he didn’t collide with Vettel on the first lap.

          In China, Alonso beat Massa by 45 seconds.
          In Australia, Alonso beat Massa by 22 seconds despite being stuck behind for half the race.
          Massa finished only 25 seconds behind Vettel in Malaysia.

          Going by those gaps, I think that Alonso most likely would have won in Malaysia without the front wing incident. Of course, we can only speculate.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 8th May 2013, 22:23

            @kingshark it’s possible but for the purposes of the discussion I’m assuming the Red Bull’s were the quickest cars, so he wouldn’t have beaten them.

            IMO Alonso would have won in Malaysia if he didn’t collide with Vettel on the first lap.

            How I see it, I don’t count the collision as lost points because although it was really his fault I class that as a racing incident. The respect in which I think this was a lost opportunity is that they subsequently failed to pit him – so basically, the collision itself or the DRS failure itself wasn’t preventable (although the former was, I’m not counting it for the reason above) but the subsequent operational errors were preventable.

            If those two preventable errors hadn’t occurred I think he could’ve still managed 3rd and 2nd respectively, which is why I’ve used those values.

            Since you’ve pointed that out though, if we say the collision was preventable, then the total theoretical points scored is raised to 86. His actual total is a mere 55% of that!

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 8th May 2013, 23:20

          Red Bull had a considerably quicker car than Ferrari throughout the majority of the season.

          Nonsense.

        • Eric (@) said on 8th May 2013, 23:39

          @kingshark

          You forgot the most important thing, Red Bull had a considerably quicker car than Ferrari throughout the majority of the season. In that respect, he was unlucky. That Alonso was able to nearly beat Vettel despite this massive disadvantage is a testament of how good he is, even if he did have less misfortunes.

          It shows how important a reliable car is. The McLaren was the fastest car for the majority of the season, look where they finished.
          Speed means nothing when you don’t finish the race as often as your competitors.

        • anon said on 9th May 2013, 0:10

          From Spain onwards until 2/3 of the way into the season the Ferrari had really strong race pace. It’s a myth that Ferrari were as weak all season as they were in the first few races. Not only that but Red Bull was weak for the first third of the season as well. Bahrain last year was simply an anomaly — kind of like Maldonado winning in Spain, Rosberg winning in China, etc.

          What kept Alonso in the championship were not heroic drives (name one?) but simply bulletproof reliability in his car and Ferrari not making mistakes in pitlane.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 9th May 2013, 0:49

            What kept Alonso in the championship were not heroic drives (name one?)

            How about 2?

            Malaysia and Valencia.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 9th May 2013, 0:52

            @vettel1

            it’s possible but for the purposes of the discussion I’m assuming the Red Bull’s were the quickest cars, so he wouldn’t have beaten them.

            I thought you were counting how many points Alonso and Ferrari, as a team, lost.

            As for Red Bull being the best car in Malaysia, it’s difficult to say. Massa finished 5th, 25 seconds behind Vettel, that is usually the gap Alonso has over Massa when he has a good race. Hell, how about Mercedes? Rosberg could’ve won that race if Lewis let him by.

            Overall though, while I agree that RBR had a race-winning car in Sepang, it is hard to tell if it was truly the best.

          • anon said on 9th May 2013, 5:34

            In Malaysia Perez was consistently a second a lap quicker than Alonso! What are you talking about heroic drive? We know the Ferrari was quick in the wet given Alonso’s performance in getting pole at Germany and Britain.

            A heroic drive in the wet is Schumacher at Spa in 97 building a 44 second gap in the first 5 laps, or building a 22 second gap in the first 5 laps at Monaco the same year.

            Not getting out-paced by a second year driver in a Sauber.

            As for Valencia, Vettel was driving the race of his life out front before his car broke down. Plus Alonso got incredibly lucky with the safety car coming at the perfect time.

            Alonso just has to win a race for the prancing horse and it’s heroic LOL. They were regulation wins. The only thing special about Valencia was that he finally didn’t crack under the pressure of being in front of the Spanish fans.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 9th May 2013, 8:21

            @kingshark I kind of focused on Alonso as maybe Massa actually has performed at his maximum!

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 9th May 2013, 15:42

            In Malaysia Perez was consistently a second a lap quicker than Alonso! What are you talking about heroic drive? We know the Ferrari was quick in the wet given Alonso’s performance in getting pole at Germany and Britain.

            LOL no. Sauber was as quick as Ferrari in the wet and 1 second a lap quicker in the dry. Alonso defied all odds when he won that race.

            A heroic drive in the wet is Schumacher at Spa in 97 building a 44 second gap in the first 5 laps, or building a 22 second gap in the first 5 laps at Monaco the same year.

            Just like Alonso, Hungary 2006?

            Not getting out-paced by a second year driver in a Sauber.

            And do you really think that Perez was really 1 second faster than Alonso in the wet? He’s been slower than Button this year. Sauber clearly had the best car in Malaysia, Ferrari still had severe exhaust problems early on the season.

            As for Valencia, Vettel was driving the race of his life out front before his car broke down. Plus Alonso got incredibly lucky with the safety car coming at the perfect time.

            Alonso had the 3rd fastest car that race, and went from 11th to 2nd. He even overtook Grosjean and Raikkonen on track and in the pitlane, with what was a slower car than the Lotus that race.

            Well, unlike Vettel, Alonso has actually won a race from lower than 3rd.

            Alonso just has to win a race for the prancing horse and it’s heroic LOL. They were regulation wins. The only thing special about Valencia was that he finally didn’t crack under the pressure of being in front of the Spanish fans.

            What do you mean by “finally”. Did he ever crack under pressure in his home race.

            Yes, those were heroic drives. Not all his Ferrari wins were heroic, note that I didn’t mention Germany. In 2012 Alonso won races starting from 9th and 11th, in a season where no one else won off the front two rows.

            That tells you enough about how many leagues his racecraft is ahead of the rest of the field.

          • anon said on 10th May 2013, 11:05

            “LOL no. Sauber was as quick as Ferrari in the wet and 1 second a lap quicker in the dry. Alonso defied all odds when he won that race.”

            No, it was as quick as the Ferrari in the dry. Of course he defied the odds in winning. He got incredibly lucky.

            “Just like Alonso, Hungary 2006?”

            I don’t follow. He would have barely beaten Button. Hardly a heroic drive.

            “And do you really think that Perez was really 1 second faster than Alonso in the wet? He’s been slower than Button this year. Sauber clearly had the best car in Malaysia, Ferrari still had severe exhaust problems early on the season.”

            Button held his own with Hamilton — who matched Alonso in the same machinery as a rookie learning the ropes. I assume Hamilton has improved since his first season.

            No clear advantage between Sauber and Ferrari in Malaysia. Alonso got outpaced by the second year driver plain and simple.

            “Alonso had the 3rd fastest car that race, and went from 11th to 2nd. He even overtook Grosjean and Raikkonen on track and in the pitlane, with what was a slower car than the Lotus that race.”

            The Ferrari had great race pace at that point in the season. Just more lies.

            “Yes, those were heroic drives. Not all his Ferrari wins were heroic, note that I didn’t mention Germany. In 2012 Alonso won races starting from 9th and 11th, in a season where no one else won off the front two rows.”

            He relied on mostly luck to get those wins in Malaysia and Valencia. Needed Vettel to have a mechanical problem and for the safety car to come at the perfect time at Valencia. In Malaysia a second-year driver in a Sauber was outpacing him by one second a lap. The rain threw up a lot of variables. He changed tyres at the right time is all.

            “That tells you enough about how many leagues his racecraft is ahead of the rest of the field.”

            Ahhhh that Alonso race craft right? Where he doesn’t pit for a new wing even though your team is in the pits waiting with the wing, and using a broken DRS for a second time.

  12. Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 8th May 2013, 5:17

    More and more disappointed with Hamilton. His previous interview he takes a jab at the team that made him a World Champion. Here, he takes a jab at Vettel, a fellow Championship contender. I remember the Senna slamming Prost interviews. Those where genuine, heartfelt comments from Senna looking for equality and a similar chance as Prost. Senna’s comments were a direct challenge to Prost. Hamilton sounds like a bad loser- going over the kerbs? Really?

    I was not the biggest fan of Vettel. But I’m liking him more and more. What he did in Malaysia had a lot of baggage. If Mark wants to prove something, prove it on the race track. he had lots of chances to do so.

    As for Hamilton, I don’t see him getting anywhere. I was a fan, but its just another spoiled talent. Occasional signs of brilliance and car control, but no true champion. In comparison, I think even Kimi is better. Looking forward to a genuine new generation champion to appear. The closest right now for me is Vettel. Uncompromising and a racer. Alonso? Too political. A sort of Prost of the new generation.

    • clappy (@danielc) said on 8th May 2013, 6:33

      Kimi 2005 against ham 2007 yes that would of been good but Kimi is not in hamiltons league, can I ask you when you started following f1?. It’s already been said Lotus have an advantage their car is faster than Merc in race pace and they can still do 1 less stop. R.Grosjean beat Ham last race that shows how good that Lotus is, imagine Vet Alo or Ham racing flat out in the Lotus, lets not kid ourselves look at the Aus GP for the advantage Lotus has with tyres. Just watch F1 last year again and seehow good Ham drove the 2 points gap to Butt does not do ham justice, even @Vettel1 and others said Ham was unlucky and drove aswell as the rest so I don’t see your point that he shows moments of brilliance.

      • clappy (@danielc) said on 8th May 2013, 6:37

        Bahrain Gp
        N.rosberg 1st to 9th
        L.Ham 9th to 5th ahead of Webber in a dominant car. Its well known Merc have the slowest race pace out of the top teams by quite along way aswell.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th May 2013, 10:05

          @danielc – there wasn’t a “dominant car” in Bahrain, and there hasn’t been all season. Vettel won, but Webber was 7th and you said it yourself that Lotus are great on their tyres, while Ferrari’s pace was hidden by their mechanical issues in the race. Mercedes are still competitive, but a bit behind the top three on race pace.

      • Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 8th May 2013, 8:58

        For many years, and following Hamilton’s and many others careers since Formula 3. Hamilton is good, a great talent, but Rosberg is not very far. The difference here is how they “matured”. I don’t see any of the “maturity” the likes of Senna or Prost had in those 2, for example. Kimi is a different ” animal”. Party Guy, but can completely switch of and ” transofrm” inside the car, becoming cold, intelligent and fast. I can see him challenging for the title if given a good car, but not regularly. The only 2 drivers capable of such in this generation are Alonso and Vettel. This is of course my own opinion and its no “truth”, but my own perception of the grid.

      • Manished said on 8th May 2013, 9:36

        Don;t compare kimi 2005 to lewis 2007. Totally different league. Kimi was getting poles with much heavier fuels back then, whereas in 2007, i remember in many occasions kimi gave up poles for more fuels onboard whereas lewis got it easily but overtook by Kimi for the wins.

        Force India was able to do 1 less stop too. You can’t flat out all the time on pirelli rubber, especially so when you are driving for two stop. What had Lewis done in WDC standing since 2009??? Not even in the top 3 for once. Throw away titles in 2010 with his mistakes. Being trashed by Button in 2011 with huge margin.

    • puneeth Bharath (@puneethvb) said on 8th May 2013, 8:03

      Is it such a wrong thing to voice your opinion?? I dont see anything wrong with drivers expresing their opinion… whether you agree with their opinions or not is a different thing… He jsut said what he felt and I would like to see more drivers doing the same… I am sure if Kimi had said this many people would be applauding him for not following the PR line…

      I lauged at the suggestion that hamilton is not going to get anywhere.. well , we ‘ll wait and see… and Alonso being too political… Examples please? In anycase comparing someone with Prost is actually a compliment.. Incase you’ve forgotten Prost is a 4 time WDC and he was highly regarded by many including Senna…

      • Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 8th May 2013, 10:33

        Nothing wrong with voicing an opinion. I voiced mine above, for example. And sorry if I just can’t see ” maturity” when a driver criticizes the team and the man that, since he was a kid, believed in him and made him a World Champion- and allowed him to race an established World Champion like Alonso when he moved to Mclaren without team orders. I think I cleared my opinion about Alonso on my other post above. He and Sebastian are the ones with the maturity and mentality to become regular world champions on the current grid. Does Hamilton have talent_ Yes he does. Is he fast, can he in pure talent be of the same level or even go beyond Alonso or Vettel? Also yes. But does he have the mentality for it? Does he have the desire, the “love” for the sport as the likes of Senna did to become a regular one? I don’t think so- I haven’t see this side of him since his debut 2 years, at least. Comparing hamilton to the “other” Party guy from the grid- Kimi- the clear difference is in their desire, commitment and focus. Kimi loves racing and hates PR. His interviews are ice cold, bland. Hamilton’s interviews show a man always trying to show he has changed. He is, indeed, a superstar. But seems like he is enjoying more his “Superstar” lifestyle and “brand” than the racing in itself. I was with high hopes his pairing with Rosberg would bring back that old competitive flame between them. But doesn’t seem so. I really do hope Hamilton stops with his Senna comparisons and let his driving do the talking.

        You know what I would like to see? Some new talent like Marc Marquez on Moto GP come in and just show these Superstars how its done. I hope Red Bull give a chance to a talented Rookie to pair Sebastian to push him and motivate him further.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 8th May 2013, 11:42

      Hamilton going nowhere? Did you watch last year? He was arguably the best driver of the season, would be in most people’s top 3, and only couldn’t compete for the WDC due to poor reliability and team mismanagement. How is that the sign of ‘not a true champion’?

      Also, I think you need to read the COTD about giving drivers some slack, particularly in interviews. Hamilton didn’t attack Vettel- he used him as an example of why the tracks and rules governing the use of the tracks aren’t satisfactory. Vettel was a good example because he is a prominent qualifier in general, and one who we do actually see regularly doing what Hamilton described. I think most people do lament the days when drivers could only get away with pushing to the edge of the track and not beyond it, much like Hamilton does.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 9th May 2013, 0:53

        Don;t compare kimi 2005 to lewis 2007. Totally different league. Kimi was getting poles with much heavier fuels back then, whereas in 2007, i remember in many occasions kimi gave up poles for more fuels onboard whereas lewis got it easily but overtook by Kimi for the wins.

        Raikkonen easily had the fastest car in 2005. McLaren were by far the quickest machinery San Marino-onward, so that’s an invalid comparison tbh.

  13. ^Mo^ said on 8th May 2013, 6:44

    I disagree with the COTD. There are so many people on this site, you’re always going to have people who lament not having more people like Hunt on the grid, and likewise you’re going to have lots of people who do not. Some people like Kimi, others think he’s rude. Same goes for Hamilton, and pretty much every other driver on the grid (or, do I dare say it? Tyres and DRS). Just because one group is, at one point, more vocal, doesn’t mean they voice the opinion of all fans.

  14. sumedh said on 8th May 2013, 7:12

    Keith, would it be possible to add a hyperlink to the article in which the COTD was published?

  15. Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 8th May 2013, 7:46

    I post rarely but something about the Hamilton article has been bugging me – so I apologize for the rant…

    I can’t decide what I like more about the Hamilton article – Hamilton’s nuanced discussion of the dangers drivers faced in Senna’s era, the needless jabs at Vettel, Hamilton’s admission that he and Alonso have matured a lot, or the Daily Mail’s characteristic insightfulness.

    I think it is good for the sport and its fans to have a bit more honesty and opinion from the drivers and less of the PR tripe we usually get. However, in this article, I think Hamilton would have been better served by a bit more PR control. In my opinion, the DM article did not portray him in a positive light.

    I found the whole discussion of the appeal of danger itself to be a bit tiresome and juvenile. To make matters worse, when the DM adds the quotes about Senna and Villeneuve, the image of Senna’s Williams after his fatal accident, and the reference to Lauda’s near-fatal accident at the Nurburgring, some of Hamilton’s statements (which otherwise may have been fairly innocuous) appear thoughtless or even a bit offensive.

    “…the more dangerous racing is — to a point — the more it appeals,’ Hamilton explains. ‘Not dangerous because I want someone to get hurt, but there are no run-off areas at Nordschleife…”

    “It’s got to be dangerous for me. If you take away the danger from Formula One, I wouldn’t do it anymore.”

    I find it hard to believe that Hamilton is this cavalier. Racing will always be dangerous and drivers take incredible risks every time they get into a car. Drivers know this and so do we.

    I believe that Hamilton, like all racing drivers, has had to come to terms with the dangers he faces and the stark reality that comes with them. I’m sure Hamilton also recognizes that death and serious injury are still a part of motorsport; it is difficult to imagine that he was unaffected by the death of Dan Wheldon or deVillotta’s near-fatal accident. I would assume that his appreciation of Senna and Villeneuve, and their respective eras, is also colored by their tragic deaths. I also assume that Hamilton, having walked away from some nasty crashes himself, appreciates in a very real and sobering sense the risks and dangers of F1. I fully believe that, contrary to what the articles states, Hamilton deeply appreciates the enhanced safety and reduced danger of today’s F1 – particularly after his 170 mph crash at Jerez.

    This article is the essence of my frustration with Hamilton. For all his talk of his new maturity, he still manages to get into a Daily Mail article which portrays him as an adrenaline junkie, a driver with a romantic and overly-simplistic idea of the dangers he faces, a competitor who takes shots at the driver he perceives to be his chief rival, and a grown man who discusses how great it is to no longer controlled by his dad and former boss.

    Hamilton needs to stop telling us that he is more mature – he needs to actually show it. He needs to get out of the Daily Mail and, if he wants to take advantage of his freedom from the McLaren PR machine, give us some actual candor – on his career, the careers of Senna and Villenueve, or his real-file experience with the dangers of F1. Some actual mature insight from Hamilton would be really appreciated by his fans and its been a long time coming.

    • dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 8th May 2013, 10:04

      Blimey. Why not send the poor kid a pipe and slippers set? And perhaps he should start targeting the Spectator or even the Economist for his puff pieces. “Young man confesses he’s attracted to the thrill of danger” – hold the front page. Do you know what, if attraction to danger is juvenile, I’m glad it’s keeping me young too.

      It sounds to me like he is using his freedom to say what he thinks, and good on him for doing so – why do you think the Mail spun it, and why should Hamilton spin himself?

      • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 8th May 2013, 20:28

        @dirgegirl I was thinking Mother Jones might be a more appropriate publication. ;)

        I don’t mean to miss the forest for the trees – I’m not at all bothered that Hamilton revealed that he loves driving on the edge and looks up to Ayrton Senna. Who doesn’t?

        I disliked the romanticized notion of danger being discussed alongside Senna, Villeneuve, and Lauda. It isn’t spin, it’s just sloppy.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 8th May 2013, 10:15

      Racing will always be dangerous and drivers take incredible risks every time they get into a car.

      No they don’t. Not in modern F1. I appreciate safety regulations, but they do diminish the risk, that is their sole purpose – to eliminate danger. Let’s not pretend otherwise. As a result F1 is the safest form of motorsport today.

      Besides, I didn’t get the feeling that Hamilton doesn’t appreciate increased safety. He said he wants drivers be punished for their mistakes without getting hurt. And it’s really, really hard to disagree. Modern run-off areas are ridiculous. They could just as easily fill them with gravel or grass and penalize drivers for their errors.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 8th May 2013, 11:53

        Exactly- he says ‘punished’ and people assume he means that they have a horrible crash. If anything he doesn’t mind huge run-off, just so long as any use of that run-off is punished by losing time or maybe even exiting the session (due to being stuck in gravel for example).

      • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 8th May 2013, 20:36

        @maroonjack I totally agree with you – I wasn’t being sarcastic when I said that I believe that Hamilton does value the current safety standards of F1. Also, I totally agree with him that drivers should be penalized for mistakes in a way that doesn’t jeopardize their safety.

        That said, I don’t think modern run-off areas are as detrimental to the quality of the racing as they are beneficial to the safety of the drivers. I like the idea of grass over astroturf or gravel (didn’t drivers push to get rid of gravel because of safety concerns?) but easy run off areas simply don’t bother me as much as some of the more artificial elements like DRS or the current tires.

    • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 8th May 2013, 12:12

      @pandaslap firstly, I love your username :)

      I got the impression that Hamilton was more looking for it to be detrimental to performance to leave the track rather than people to get hurt or killed. There should be a bigger penalty for leaving the track or hitting the curb and that should reflect in the overall race performance. I miss all the gravel traps and grass that made it a struggle and sometimes impossible to get back onto the circuit at some tracks.

      That is where the true mental edge comes, the driver could push to the max, just about stay on the track but keep in the race or face the consequences of being out of the race by being stuck in the gravel. Alternatively, they could push to the max, drive over the tarmac, back onto the track and carry on. For me, the pushing to the limit part is negated by the safety net of being able to just fail and carry on.

      I’m all for the safety and the run off areas where they are needed but some tracks may as well just be a great big car park with a track drawn on. Bring back the gravel, make the drivers lose out if they make a mistake. That’s what make the racing interesting. When a driver has a massive lead in a race the only thing likely to stop him is car failure which is rare these days so bring back to punishments for making mistakes. How good was Spa 2010 when Lewis skipped across the gravel and brushed the barrier while leading in the rain?? We need more of that!

      Disclaimer – all of the above is my personal opinion, not a reflection of others beliefs and thoughts and is not meant to offend others :)

      • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 8th May 2013, 20:48

        @mcgregski I was coming at Hamilton’s quotes from a different perspective and I hope it didn’t come across as though I was suggesting that he wants other drivers to be injured or worse for their mistakes. He said the opposite of that in the article – several times.

        I agree that overuse of run off areas can lead to a bit of sloppy driving and/or take away from a track’s character (i.e. the great big car park). I’m not a fan of gravel because of some of its inherent safety concerns but I think that thick grass might be an ideal compromise between safety and competition – something that doesn’t severely damage or flip your car when you run onto it but bogs down your tires and penalizes your performance.

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