Button says McLaren form is “embarrassing”

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013In the round-up: Button thanks his fans for support after admitting McLaren have fallen short this year.


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McLaren form “embarrassing” – Button (BBC)

“It’s a little bit embarrassing because we’re not doing a very good job at the moment. We are doing everything we can. Thanks for the support from the fans.”

Perez thinks running in Q3 hurt race (Autosport)

“I think we are paying for doing laps in Q3. We gained positions, but in the end, towards the end of the race we lost quite a lot.”

Tycoon pays ??1m for Lotus F1 stake (The Telegraph)

“Andrew Ruhan, one of Britain?s most successful property investors, has bought a 2% stake in the Lotus Formula One team for an estimated price of ??1m.”

Next couple of months key to title race, says Domenicali (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“From now up to the end of July you may see one or two big steps of development, and no more. And then I?d say some teams will be forced to try to start work on the new car. I think it?s really a crucial part of the season.”

Hamilton suffers as Mercedes drop from the top (Reuters)

“It’s got to go down as one of the worst races I’ve had for a long, long time.”

Brawn seeks cure for tyre woes (Sky)

“We did everything we could from beginning to end to manage the tyres, but we have to got look at how we use tyres in the race and maybe [make] dramatic changes.”

Looking for more than one point (Toro Rosso)

“We had planned to three-stop them, but in the end, like the vast majority, we four stopped, as the degradation took hold. Once Daniel got his car handling a bit more to his liking, by tweaking wing angles and tyre pressure at the pit stops, he put in a feisty drive, passing a few cars and then doing well to hold off a hard-charging Gutierrez in the closing laps to end up one place ahead of where he started.”


Comment of the day

Various alternatives have been suggested to the current tyre situation – what about having more than one tyre supplier?

Tyre war is not the solution. I was happy with second part of 2012 and 2011 season. Pirelli pushed too hard. Tyres are not suppose to last an entire race but drives should be able to make at least one third of race on a set of new tyres.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Stephen and Mclarengal!

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

The first ever round of the world championship, held at Silverstone on this day in 1950, produced a dominant one-two-three finish for Alfa Romeo. The only one of their four drivers not to see the flag was Juan Manuel Fangio, who dropped out with engine trouble.

Here’s some colour footage from the race. Look out for Baron Emmanuel de Graffenried’s pre-race jig for the benefit of ‘B Bira’ – Prince Birabongse Bhanuban of Thailand (Siam at the time):

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

145 comments on “Button says McLaren form is “embarrassing””

  1. Bit harsh from Button there

    1. Not really. Considering they had one of, if not the fastest car at the end of last season and the updates have seemingly done nothing I thought it was a fair call.
      I mean, they were almost challenged by a Toro Rosso if Ricciardo hadn’t lost time before the last stop.

    2. Not really. It’s McLaren, and they are barely getting into the points.

    3. Doesn’t sound harsh at all if you read his actual comment and not just the title of today’s round-up.

    4. The car isn’t all that bad. In fact, I would say that Mclarens current form is as bad as Ferrari’s form last year.

      The problem is that both Perez and Button are poor qualifiers.. and they make the car look worse than it actually is. If you actually were to gauge Mclarens 2012 challenger’s speed by Jenson’s performance in 2012, then you would probably think that the car was amongst the slowest on the grid, but Lewis was fighting for wins and podiums with the same car.. so we had an accurate idea of how quick the car was.

      I think a poor driver line up, and the lack of a driver who can take the car development forward is whats really ’embarrassing’ .

      1. also a shame they were effectively told not to race at the end. After everything that was said after bahrain that was embarrassing’

      2. Scott Elkington
        13th May 2013, 9:08

        Its getting VERY boring listening to people go on about how its the drivers fault as the main reason why the car is so bad. .!! Hmmm how did the driver who could “take the car development forward” do today. .? That’s right, he ended up a pitiful 12th. .!! The McLarens lacking pace. .you make it sound like either HAM or ALSO would have it on the podium. .which is ridiculous. .!!

        1. Yeah too bad that driver (Hamilton) still has more points than Mclaren drivers combined. So easy of you to take one races circumstances and blow it up as if the entire f1 season thus far.

          1. I love the irony of this post considering the fanatical reaction to Perez beating Button in Bahrain.

        2. Its obvious that a lot of car development comes from driver requirements. Jenson couldn’t take much pace out of last years challenger.. and I would be surprised if he wasn’t involved in the decision regarding a fresh design vs evolving last years car. It was also stated by Mclaren that the new car was being designed around Jenson’s driving style. We also know Jenson isn’t the most versatile driver around, and unless the car is perfect to his liking, he is about as fast as Karthikeyan

          So yes, a driver does share responsiblity on the overall development direction of the car. I’m not saying its entirely Jenson’s fault that the Mclaren is slow.. but yes.. he is to blame as well.

          Would a driver like Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel be doing better than Jenson in that Mclaren? Pfftt.. without a doubt they would

        3. Why is it ridiculous? I would say hell yes, he’s right!! You see, Button failed to make it into Q3, and ended up 9th in the race, yes 9th with 2 points, I’m talking about the last year’s Spanish GP race with the MP4-27! I’d say the MP4-28 looked just as competitive as the MP4-27 in Button’s hands, isn’t?

          11th vs 14th wasn’t it just as embarrassing BTW??

      3. If you actually were to gauge Mclarens 2012 challenger’s speed by Jenson’s performance in 2012, then you would probably think that the car was amongst the slowest on the grid, but Lewis was fighting for wins and podiums with the same car

        It’s incredible how selective some people’s memories are.

        In 2012 Hamilton won 3 races and got 6 podiums. In 2012 Button won… oh yes, 3 races and got 6 podiums. So I must disagree with your post, and I hope Mclaren (not the drivers) get back on top of things soon.

        1. sorry, Hamilton got 4 wins to Button’s 3. But still not the world of difference you described

          1. Hamilton got 4 wins to Button’s 3. But still not the world of difference you described

            @m77 I have to agree with @todfod

            Sometimes points don’t tell the full story. Taking both drivers’ mechanical failures into account LH would have had significantly more points. I think people are trying to say that JB’s narrow window to getting the car how he likes it can make the car look significantly worse than it is. That’s the impression we’d have gotten last season if we hadn’t seen how well LH performed in it.

        2. @m77 Completely agreed.
          Let’s not also forget how in 2011 Button was the last title contender to fight Vettel, and notably outscored Hamilton by the end due to his inconsistent form.
          A similar thing in reverse occurred in 2010, so effectively Hamilton and Button’s joint careers at McLaren were near on equal.
          Or at least equal enough to not warrant this passive aggressive accusations that Button is a horrible driver.
          Poorer qualifier than some, yes. But nowhere near as horrid as many people here state him to be.

          It’s tiring seeing some British people bash a British driver (any of them, really… There’s a lot of hate for all four).
          Just be proud that there are 4 talented British people at the pinnacle of motorsport in the first place, regardless of the “state” F1 is apparently in.

          1. I dont know how you got on that British tangent from my statements. I’m not British.

          2. There’s only 3 and Max Chilton.

        3. @m77 Maybe we weren’t watching the same 2012 season. I remember Hamilton on his way to win 2 or 3 races when mechanical failures destroyed his race.

          You really shouldn’t be talking about the gulf in class between Hamilton and Button’s 2012 performances. I think everyone on this site watched the season very closely

          1. you guys have gone way off track, debating hamilton vs button. the fact remains this years car is a dog and they should bring back last years car and use that for the rest of the year to at least save a bit of face.

          2. don’t think we were watching the same season as I never remember Button being “amongst the slowest on the grid”

          3. +1 Lewis’s superiority over Jenson in 2012 was evident for all to see.

            Let’s not forget that Lewis could have possibly won the final race in Brazil had he not been taken out by the Hulk; a win which went to Button subsequently.

            Or his car failing in the lead in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. With Button running in the midfield both races. In the same car. This has been discussed many times before to the verge of tedium on this site.

          4. @ginola14

            Lewis’s superiority over Jenson in 2012 was evident for all to see.

            And Jenon’s superiority over Hamilton in 2011 was evident for all to see!

          5. @nick101

            Yes and they make it sound like Lewis was so comprehensively thrashed. In a season where he had many off-track personal struggles, he still managed to secure the same number of wins as Jenson and clinched that season’s sole non-Red Bull pole. Button deserved praise for keeping a cool head and racking up 12 podium finishes vs Lewis’ 6. With the title hopes long gone before season-end however, unless he was winning or in with a strong chance of a race win, Lewis was hardly the most motivated to scrap for points finishes with him driving wildly and crashing into Massa half the time. And yet, Jenson’s BEST SEASON EVER versus Lewis’ WORST SEASON OVER amounted only to a 43 points difference between them.

        4. @3dom

          I’m not denying that, and agree that Hamilton got the better of Button over 2012.

          I was just contesting the skewed picture @todfod had drawn of the 2012 season where Button was “amongst the slowest on the grid”

          1. Finishing behind a Caterham classfies as slowest on the grid. Did you see Monaco 2012?

      4. @todfod

        I think a poor driver line up, and the lack of a driver who can take the car development forward is whats really ‘embarrassing’ .

        Do you think it’s more or less embarrassing for McLaren than 2009??

        If I remember correctly the reigning Formula 1 World Champion by the name of Lewis Hamilton was in the McLaren that year and it took him 10 races to put it on the podium. And at THIS VERY race in 2009 he qualified 14th and finished the race 9th. I suggest you look at the race results from yesterday, you’ll see that Button in fact did better.

        So do me a favour and spare us all the usual unfounded and totally untrue crap that Hamilton woulld be doing better and that he can win even in a bad car. History tells us that simply isn’t true.

        1. Do you think it’s more or less embarrassing for McLaren than 2009??

          More embarrassing. 2009 was a total fresh design and with the double diffuser wild card entry, half the grid was turned upside down. THere wasn’t a decision to evolve a car like Jenson could have chose to (refer to my earlier post)

          So do me a favour and spare us all the usual unfounded and totally untrue crap that Hamilton woulld be doing better and that he can win even in a bad car. History tells us that simply isn’t true.

          Ok.. lets give you the benefit of doubt and say Jenson would have been doing the same as Lewis or any other top drawer driver. Lets wait and see how many wins and podiums he takes this year (like lewis did in 2009), and how much better the car gets during the year.

          Heck lets start with seeing whether he outscores Perez

          1. And let’s also remember that Hamilton was a committed McClaren driver when the design concept for the 2013 car was set. He probably had as much input on the decision to change as Button. The car may have been tweaked after he left but to blame Jensen for having led McClaren up the garden path is ridiculous. The collective team made a mistake as did Ferrari last year and Williams also this.

          2. @todfod

            2009 was a total fresh design

            And what is this years McLaren then?

          3. @Todfod 2009 a totally fresh design? It was a Honda with a Mercedes engine in it and you think Jenson didn’t have a hand in it’s development? What did they do, cover it up every time he walked past?

            The double diffuser thing is a red herring too – both Toyota and Williams had them. The “Bronda” just used it better.

          4. @nick101 @baron

            I meant that there were new regulations and everyone had to design a fresh car… which is why half the grid turned upside down. In 2013 they had a choice to evolve last year’s car , but made a ridiculous decision to create a fresh design to suit Jenson better. That was the lack of direction or poor choice made by their #1 driver.

            It was a Honda with a Mercedes engine in it and you think Jenson didn’t have a hand in it’s development? What did they do, cover it up every time he walked past?

            Are you seriously telling me that Jenson help come up with the genius behind the BGP 01?

            I think Jenson’s genius in car development is more evident in the 2007 and 2008 Honda…. and also in how he helped develop a dominant car like the Brawn over the 2009 season

          5. @todfod

            Not sure I’ve ever seen someone contradict themselves so strongly in one post.

            a ridiculous decision to create a fresh design to suit Jenson better. That was the lack of direction or poor choice made by their #1 driver.

            Are you seriously telling me that Jenson help come up with the genius behind the BGP 01?

            So when the car is bad, it’s Jenson’s fault, but when the car is good, he had nothing to do with it?

            Did I get that right?

          6. @nick101

            Well, if you think that Jenson had any role to play in BGP’s original design philiosophy, which was based around finding loopholes in the regulations, then I cannot change your mind.

            I believe Jenson had an important decision to make at the end of 2012 to continue in a fast car he couldn’t get the most out of. He decided to take an undue risk by asking for a fresh design which would suit his not so called driving style…. and it failed.

            Am I blaming the entire issue on Jenson? – No
            Am I saying he is to blame as well? – Hell Yes

            Do I think he is a good #1 driver in terms of leading a team forward in car development? – I think he’s terrible

          7. Do I think he is a good #1 driver in terms of leading a team forward in car development? – I think he’s terrible

            As opposed to Hamilton who’s doing a bang up job leading Mercedes forward in development! lol

          8. @nick101

            Well, Hamilton put his car on pole… so at least he makes up for it with his driving skill.

            Jenson couldn’t put that Mclaren on pole even if it was a second a lap faster than any other car on the grid. He would just moan about it, blame his team and drop out in Q2

        2. Well said Nick, too many people on this site with Hamilton tinted specs on and tunnel vision. Jenson also won the 2010 Australian GP in his first race for Mclaren better than Hammy in his Merc

          1. Bahrain was the first race in the 2010 season and Button qualified 8th and finished 7th. Hamilton qualified 3rd a full second ahead of Button and finished the race in 4th.

          2. Oops, dunno how I got this so badly wrong considering I was looking at the results as I posted!

            Button did qualify 8th and finish 7th in 2010 Bahrain GP, but Hamilton in fact qualified 4th and finished 3rd, qualifying approx 4.5 tenths ahead of Button.

      5. Yes right but then Newey been taking all of Vettel credit with your logic, also williams, FI, toro rosso support your logic. You could just say you think Hamilton is your god but to be true Rosberg is doing better imho

    5. Jenson was sincere. They went from the best car in Brazil to an average middle of the pack car… that’s awful.

    6. I didnt think the Mclaren race pace was that bad, considering their qualifying pace.

    7. Lesson learned: every discussion will find a way to morph into a Hamiton vs Button war.

  2. I think this is the point where I feel that the tyre situation has gone too far. I didn’t feel so much like I was watching a real race today. I know that the Mercedes is particularly harsh on its tyres, far more than its opponents, but that it chewed so badly through its tyres while driving as slowly as possible and on a 4 stop strategy seems like too much for me. In the best car of the race, Massa was on a 4 stop, and Coulthard commented that he was watching a driver being incredibly cautious and not pushing at all- that is not right. I fully agree that tyre preservation has often been an element of racing in the past, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be in the future. But at the moment it isn’t an element- it is dominating, it is everything. If a driver cannot really risk pushing at any point during a race then things are wrong, and the tyres have become too artificially poor. To me, this would be akin to a stock series having suspension which couldn’t survive much loading without possibly collapsing- it might lead to people trying to tip-toe around one another, but is tip-toeing exciting to watch? Also, the random element of failure recently seems worrying. Perhaps it comes from teams pushing the limits of what Pirelli advises, or from testing systems on their cars which put unusual pressures on the tyres- but perhaps there is a fundamental and disturbing issue with the tyres. We have’t heard anything from Pirelli that indicates what the reason could be, which surprises me as I would imagine they’d be desperate to save face if the blame lay elsewhere.

    I’ll add that until recently I didn’t mind the tyres. I was generally in support last year, and indifferent earlier this year. In the last race I found myself more cynical, and Spain was the tipping point. The end of the race wasn’t all that exciting anyway, but I felt like generally I should have been far more enthused than I was. Instead I found myself turning to the revision which I normally manage to spend all day procrastinating from.

    1. Also, this isn’t completely an attack on Pirelli, as we know have been pushed to create exciting racing with unpredictable tyres. I don’t know if they’ve gone too far themselves or whether the FIA pushed them too far- I just think that I don’t like the current situation and Pirelli might lose my respect if the situation doesn’t improve.

      However, I don’t think the tyres are actually unpredictable like they were at the beginning of last year- people complained then about a ‘lottery’. That isn’t what this looks like now though. Teams might not quite know how to get the best from the tyres, but this doesn’t seem to be due to failing to understand how they operate, or what their ‘window’ is. The tyres just look consistently weak, even for teams like Ferrari as I said. Last year fans didn’t like tuning in to a GP and not having any idea who might shine- for the most part those people didn’t recognise the strengths of certain teams in certain conditions which was a large factor (and one I enjoyed). This year there is a clearer running order and even the best teams are affected by having to drive around the tyres. I don’t think qualifying should be the only time a driver can afford an all-out lap.

      I hope like many last year (for those who actually disliked the supposed ‘lottery’ element) I’m being too concerned too early in the season and that the situation resolves itself by the teams finding optimal set-ups and getting to occasionally drive flat-out without Pirelli actually having to make major changes.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      13th May 2013, 1:36

      Let’s be realistic – everyone has voiced how ridiculous the tire situation is the past 2 years but it wasn’t until today that it literally became a living breathing example of the Turtle and the Hare. The Hare (Alonso) pushed the car slight and beat the Turtle (Kimi) today who was conserving on a 3 pitstop strategy. The other turtles like Rosberg and Hamilton were destroyed while the Hares did relatively well.

      Who would have ever imagined that we would see drivers purposely drive as slow as they can in F1 while their teams are asking them to go even slower?

      Those that pushed won only because they were lucky that tire deg on their cars was not bad enough to allow the Renaults that suffer much less from tire deg to win on a 3 pit stop strategy.

      1. Lucky? Or good? I hate to complement Ferrari for any reason, but they saw that they could take advantage of the way their car used tires and push the entire race.

        What a surprise, a good strategy mixed with good driving equals a race win. Who’d have thought it?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          13th May 2013, 6:03

          Isn’t that the same gamble that Red Bull made in one of the early races for Vettel that didn’t pay off? Ferrari pulled it off but what if the tyres had not lasted that long? Raikonnen would have swept in for the victory. To me the entire race was decided by tyre strategy. For me tyres are the the equivalent of a knight on a chess board. Suddenly they are the queen, you screw up marginally your tyre strategy, you are pretty much done.

          1. That’s the “good strategy” part.

      2. Who would have ever imagined that we would see drivers purposely drive as slow as they can in F1 while their teams are asking them to go even slower?

        I’ve seen a lot of comments of similar effect this year. It’s funny how the broadcast of a few team radio messages can so strongly influence perceptions.

        Alonso’s winning race time this year was 1:39’16.596, with the fastest lap from Gutierrez of 1’26.217.

        In 2012, Maldonado finished the race in 39’09.145 and Grosjean scored the fastest lap of the race with a 1’26.25

        I’ve previously compared 2012 and 2013 times for the first four races; without repeating all the results it’s sufficient to say that (wet races aside) the times between 2012 and 2013 are very similar.

        We are talking about tiny margins, and not the kinds of differences we are likely to see in 2014, when the heavier, lower powered, lower downforce cars are introduced. Lordy knows how people will cope with cars going seconds per lap slower next year.

        1. Block-quote fail. Darn.

          And Maldonado’s time in 2012 was obviously 1:39’09.145

        2. @tdog
          Fastest qualifying time:
          2005 – 1:14:819 (just taking run one into account)
          2013 – 1:20:718

          Fastest lap:
          2005 – 1:15:641
          2013 – 1:26:217

          Race time:
          2005 – 1:27:16.830
          2013 – 1:39:16.596

          So in 8 years the qualifying time has increased by almost six seconds, the fastest lap has increased by almost eleven seconds and the race lasted 12 minutes longer.

          Obviously the FIA have done an awful lot to try to slow the cars down in the last eight years but even so yesterday’s race couldn’t be described as anything other than pedestrian with drivers clearly not pushing at any time in the race. The on-board shots of Massa when he was really going for it (compared to those around him) in the last stint showed that he was nowhere near the limit and looked like he was doing a demonstration run.

          Even compared to 2010 when the rules were very similar to this season and with the original Pirelli tires this year’s qualifying time was eight tenths of a second slower and the fastest lap was about 1.9 seconds slower.

          This has nothing to do with radio transmissions effecting people’s perception; F1 has got visibly slower in recent years and what’s worse is that we now have many drivers (particularly those at the front) driving well within the capabilities of the cars for almost the entire race which, when combined with DRS passing, is making the races look like a very expensive Sunday afternoon drive down the motorway instead of a motor race.

          1. @beneboy you are comparing 3.0 litre V10 times with 2.4 litre V8 times. Those engines had another 250 hp or so. That is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make.

            My comment was directed solely to the perception that the 2013 Pirellis have lead to the drivers driving “as slowly as they can” as compared to last year. The numbers just don’t bear that out.

            Incidentally if you want to bring back the V10s, you’ve got my vote!

    3. Simple Solution: Bring back refuelling!!

      1. Mid season? Isn’t easier to change the tyre? They already have “2012 formula”.

      2. (@alonsomclaren)

        Simple Solution: Bring back refuelling!!

        Oh god, don’t. The current tyres are dire, but the reason we all bitch and moan about their terribleness is because;
        a) drivers can’t push.
        b) people are passing through pitting and strategy which is the same dullness that refuelling causes. PLUS the other dangers involved in refuelling.

    4. Agreed, I’ve been pretty neutral to the tyres until this year. I think they do a great job of shaking the field up a little and stopping complete processions, but I do want to see the drivers pushing for at least part of the race. This one left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth

    5. Tyres dropping off happens in every motorsport. F1 is really no different. The only team who’s really having a problem is Merc, and thats through what seems to be a flaw in their cars design (from 2012!).

      I was a touring car driver for two years and if you pushed too hard you would wear out your tires and then be passed left, right and center!

      1. Mr win or lose
        13th May 2013, 7:41

        Tyre degradation was also a problem for Mercedes in 2011. I thought it had to do with Schumacher demanding a very “loose” car, which made his car susceptible to runaway oversteer – see, amongst others, Monaco 2011 and Italy 2012. But now I’m not so sure, seeing the Mercedes’ burning their tyres again like no-one else, even in relatively cool conditions.

  3. I agree that Pirelli went too far.
    Having to look after your tires so they would not go of a cliff or to reach a few extra laps is great and fine by me.
    But having to look after your tires lap after lap so they would just work a little bit is not a good thing.
    These tires are just unsafe, those delaminated tires aren’t a coincidence. Going to Spa or Monza on these tires might be too dangerous.
    I hope they fix this, and it looks like they will now.
    It’s still better then with the tyre war, those races could be too boring, so still much respect to Pirelli!

    1. Prirelli is killing F1 softly with their family of über soft tyres with unfit names like, “medium” or “hard”…

    2. If they constructed the tyres so that they could be pushed for x Laps and then after that you do your tyremanagement, maybe that would help.

      1. @verstappen
        This is coming from a non-tyre expert… But what would the potential be for, say, a two-layered tyre?
        The first layer would be strong but degraded with distance, which means drivers could go flat out for around XX Laps.
        The second layer would degrade more depending on driving style and the car, like we have now.
        This promotes decent racing for a couple of laps, with still that element of “when do I have to react to the change in the tyre layer”?

        Again, this may not be possible, but a concept of distance-related wear as opposed to driving style-related wear may be a way of retaining the pitstop element without the need to go slowly.

    3. “The same Sebastian Vettel who shaved the pitwall as he mercilessly overtook his team-mate in Malaysia was reduced to being ‘careful with the left front’ and letting people past while keeping the car on line. Gripless World Champions were being passed in the DRS zones as if they had just stepped out of junior racing.

      I’ve tried my best to be supportive of more interesting – albeit to an extent fabricated – motor racing, but it’s just gone too far.

      Qualifying clearly means nothing these days, just ask the front row Mercedes boys. Only one of the last eight races has been won from pole position. It’s all about saving new tyres and then trying not to abuse even those on race day. Pirelli simply have to sort this out.

      Ideally, we need tyres which are marginal one or two stoppers, or at worst hovering between two or three stops. In other words the equivalent of a last minute 3-2 football thriller. Back in the Schumacher and Ferrari dominated era we had the equivalent of a partly rained out five-day cricket test match which ended in a draw. Now we have something more like a 102-85 basketball game.”

      Martin Brundle, you my friend hit the nail…on the head.

  4. I think Johnny Cecotto in GP2 shows why a penalty points system is a decent idea.
    The guys driven into people intentionally a few times this year & clearly grid penalty’s & reprimands aren’t doing anything.

    A penalty points system where he’d have got 2-3 points from the 1st incident may make him think about doing the same thing again knowing that getting to a certain number will result in harsher punishment.

    Although If I were in the stewards room I’d have sent him home when it did it the 1st time during qualifying in Sepang:

    The racing in GP2 is usually pretty good but they let these kids get away with far more than they should & this is perhaps why Maldonado thought he could get away with GP2 antics when he side swiped Lewis at Spa 2011 & Perez at Monaco last year.

    Crack down on stupid driving early in the ladder system & it ends with a better driving standard from all when/if they get to the top of the ladder.

    1. That was ridiculous. I watched both GP3 and GP2 races and the former was much better.

    2. Although If I were in the stewards room I’d have sent him home when it did it the 1st time during qualifying in Sepang

      I think some people are far too quick to demand race bans. There is no excuse for what Cecotto did in either case, but that doesn’t mean you go banning everyone for first offences because you think they are objectionable.

    3. Did I just watch that? This should be where the discipline is at it’s tightest, molding young drivers with such tolerance for moves like that is so dangerous for the future categories they’ll go and compete in.

  5. It was ridiculous to see Hamilton keep losing places in the way that he did. I cannot understand why Mercedes is still struggling with tyre degradation after 3 seasons of the same issue. How does no-one at Mercedes know how to fix it? Surely the problem can’t be that hard to identify? It’s getting really depressing seeing two talented drivers being told that they can’t push and see them rapidly fall prey to DRS assisted overtakes race after race.

    At the moment Mercedes have a fast car but not a racing car. There have been enough excuses; just get it fixed. It can’t be that hard.

    1. Solution? Hire Allison….

      1. Maybe they should get Newey as well, drag Byrne and Barnard out of retirement, ask Gordon Murray how much cash he would like and get Jean Todt to resign at the FIA as well.

        You’d imagine Mercedes getting all these top names in their team would help them, but so far, not so good.

    2. I dont think they have a car as quick as the top 3. They have a car that can heat up its tyres super fast for the single lap.

    3. It can’t be that hard.

      Apparently it can.

  6. My opinion on the tyres is similar to what Croft/Brundle discussed on sky earlier in the race.

    I don’t mind seeing tyres that wear out & force pit stops & strategy (Although I don’t really mind super durable tyres either), But I think what we have now is too much.

    I’d prefer to see tyres which allow drivers to push them & that let drivers actually race, But which still wear at a sensible rate & have a reasonable level of performance loss. Maybe something closer to what we had in 2011.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      13th May 2013, 2:07

      I agree. I think the tires should allow the different strategies for drivers who want to conserve their tires and drivers who go flat out.

      The 2012 Canadian Grand Prix comes to mind. Hamilton won on a 2 stop strategy while pushing hard while Grosjean and Perez completed the podium with 1 stop each.

      1. And that was a great race.

    2. @stefmeister But that’s what we saw, didn’t we? Alonso won the race on a nearly full flat-out, four stop strategy. That’s what we want to see, don’t we? Drivers pushing 85-90 percent of the time. You can’t push 100 percent in this non-refuelling era, that’s just not possible. Teams like Ferrari and especially Lotus have found a way to make a car which does reasonably well on all compounds, consistently. It can’t be helped if Red Bull and especially Mercedes did not pay much attention to this very factor over the winter.

      It’s all a vicious cycle. People are now complaining that racing is becoming meaningless with so many stops. This will put pressure on Pirelli, and once again we’ll see the same thing that afflicted us last year too. With the championship coming to the business end, Pirelli will be bringing super-durable medium and hard tyres for every race, so much so that we’ll have one-stop snoozefests on Tilkedromes, the last thing F1 needs. After that, there’ll be still more complaining and Pirelli will have to bring “made-to-degrade- tyres, and the vicious cycle will start again, and we’ll be plunged into another “Piranha Club” or “Fight Club” as the case may be.

      Not to say that Pirelli are above criticism, they certainly aren’t. Part of the problem lies with them reacting strongly to situations rather than responding in a well-reasoned, holistic manner.

      1. Perhaps if Pirelli had access to the 2012/2013 spec car they would be able to better test the tires in the pre-season.
        Perhaps if there were more test days available to the teams there would be more data to allow for better tires. It’s a catch 22 for them…
        F1/FIA tells them to make less durable tires and they delivered, some too fragile for sure … but there is not enough testing going on on appropriate cars/circuits to help with useful data.

      2. +1 well said

      3. @wsrgo

        I agree with you. Alonso was pretty aggressive and he didn’t do to badly.

        The best drivers adapt to conditions, drive on the limit but within the limit. This is easier said than done if you machinery isn’t up to par. Ferrari and Lotus have the machinery, but would they have achieved their lofty performances if it weren’t for their drivers? And the calls from their pit walls? Perhaps not, the driver is an element here that should not be forgotten. Kimi and Fernando are they most experienced World Champions on the grid (along with Jenson of course, as we know, his biggest problem are not tyres for now), and it showed. They have adapted to the conditions, and have got the best out of it, this is why they are great drivers.

        The likes of Red Bull and Mercedes could have done better if they had made the right strategy calls, but they didn’t. During the race, Brundle made a point about how the 3 stopping Rosberg was able to keep a 4 stopping Di Resta behind him, and how Merc could have been better off doing 4 stopper. So the teams have a part to play here as well, strategy and setup is very important, the best teams react faster than some.

        For the result was great, Fernando and Kimi 1-2. As a race, well, I suppose the FOM’s “exciting rubber” formula needs tweaking, because it was far from exciting, more like pit-stop poker! Even with Pirelli changing their tyres, I still think Ferrari and Lotus will be the ones to beat come Sunday. They appear to have a good synergy going between car, driver and team.

        Is there any surprise that the only two drivers who aren’t whinging about tyres are Fernando and Kimi? Even if their cars weren’t as kind on tyres, I doubt there would be too much noise, they would just get on with it, especially Kimi.

      4. @wsrgo Hamilton’s win in Canada was a two stopper, Alonso won on a 4-topper, that’s not what I want to see. I really struggle to keep up with what’s going on (thank God live timing got me covered!) 82 pit stops in a race is too much for my taste.

        Alonso said:

        I think it is impossible to follow a race. If I am sitting in the grandstand without any radio or telephone or whatever, you only see cars passing. Is it too much confusion for the spectators? There is no doubt.

        Button said:

        It is a right mess. The problem is that a lot of people watching will think there’s a lot of overtaking [so] it’s great, isn’t it? But when we’re going round doing laps three seconds slower than a GP2 car did in qualifying, and only six seconds quicker than a GP3 car did in the race, there’s something wrong. This is the pinnacle of motor sport. We shouldn’t be driving round as slow as we have to to look after the tyres. It’s so complicated. It is very confusing. The whole time the engineer is on the radio saying: ‘The temperatures are too high or too low, you’ve got to go quicker in this corner, you have to go slower in this corner, to look after this tyre.

        Hamilton said:

        That is the way the sport has gone to improve overtaking. It is just a different type of racing. It is for the public to judge

        Button said Webber said [ :) ]

        Christian Horner [the Red Bull principal] could drive round on new tyres and low fuel quicker than he could on high fuel and old tyres

        Vettel said:

        Three people did better today so we need to catch up. We are not going to the pace of the car, we are going to the pace of the tyre.”

        Raikkonen said:

        It is too easy to overtake, so no point to really fight again because you cannot hold him behind.

        Di Resta said:

        Can anyone tell me what’s going on.

        Pirelli’s Paul Hembery said:

        We aim for two to three pitstops and it was too aggressive today (…) We want to get back to our plan

        My friend, unlike you, that’s not what I want and seems that teams don’t like it either. Maybe we need an F1F poll @keithcollantine

        1. If I am sitting in the grandstand without any radio or telephone or whatever, you only see cars passing. Is it too much confusion for the spectators?

          You could argue that F1 is a pretty rubbish spectator sport anyway from the point of view of the race awareness for people in some of the grandstands.

      5. Alonso won the race on a nearly full flat-out, four stop strategy.

        Alonso was never ‘Nearly flat out’, He was driving well off the pace watching his tyres.

        You saw that when Massa started pushing hard to Catch Kimi late in the race & started lapping 2-3 seconds faster than Fernando was.

        You also heard Fernando’s radio messages (In Italian) telling him to be careful of the left/front.

    3. It’s the balance that’s hard to achieve, and Pirelli is certainly the only manufacturer that has ever tried to make quick but frail tyres.

  7. I actually think Mercedes might be the team to beat in Monaco. If they can repeat their qualifying performances they should do very well in the race no matter how much they struggle with the tyres.

    1. But they would have to keep others behind them during the pit-stops. As they can’t push for even a single lap apparently, I imagine they would struggle to maintain position.

      1. I imagine they would struggle to maintain position.

        Yeah, but in Monaco it’s almost impossible to overtake.

        I have a feeling that Mercedes will lock out the front row, and then we’ll see the mother of all trains that even Trulli would be proud of.

        1. Yeah, but in Monaco it’s almost impossible to overtake.


          1. @MaroonJack There was still a 3 car train in 2011 and a 5-6 car train at the front in 2012.

          2. @david-a Sure, but they all had similar race pace. We’re talking about overtaking Mercedes here. It shouldn’t be that hard.

            I doubt we will see “the mother of all trains”.

    2. I think two Mercedes on the podium in realistic given their outright speed. Monaco is the easiest circuit on tyres.

      1. if tyres degradates the same in Monaco can provoke a slide, which is not good in the nowhere-to-go Monaco circuit.

        1. Tyres aren’t going to degrade at Monaco like they did in Spain. One is a very high wear aero circuit and the other is the lowest wearing circuit on the calendar.

  8. Lauda said (about Mercedes car):

    “The car is quick, there’s no question about it. But the tyre consumption…look at Vettel, the same problem. He couldn’t get anywhere near the Ferraris and Raikkonen,”

    We have seen, once again, chunks of the tyres (I don’t mean tiny marbles, looked like wallets flying) going off, in many cars. I saw that after the complete tyre laminar structure went down, meny cars ran over it. That’s not degradation by debris as Pirelli claims- it’s the other way, this tyre degradation was creating big “tyre debris” on track.
    The Ferraris and Raikkonen had a good start – They manage tyres better, but they are not “the perfect tyre savers” as some can think. Alonso, before the pitstops, was also suffering the lost of 1.3 or so seconds per lap. And then the same for Raikkonen being chased by Massa. These tyres don’t permit 2 or 3 great drivers push as hard as they can to chase each other (or as I said earlier, if Alonso had a Ferrari able to lap 90% of the cars, it SHOULD have to be possible, but the tyres don’t allow it). F1 has become an endurance sport, people don’t exaggerate the matter, drivers were just talking about the tyres in all the pit radios. They just can´t race each other anymore. Drivers were overtaking only when the defender had an “old” set.

    1. Alonso had a puncture ahead of his first pit-stop.

      Also, Pirelli revealed they added a metal/kevlar belt into the tyre to keep its structure together. Alonso would have been out of the race if not for that.

    2. If you are thinking that Niki Lauda is telling the truth then you’re wrong, the guy is just looking for his team’s interests, Vettel couldn’t get anywhere near the Ferraris was not because the tyres, i have the feeling that he could have been finished third ahead of Massa, he was not able to do so because his team made the wrong strategy, they were confused between 3 or 4 stop strategy, even Vettel himself said after the race that his team committed to much on 3 stop strategy
      I don’t know where all the “MORALIST” that cares about racing were when only Red Bull & Mclaren were able to heat up the Harder compound in 2011????????
      Like in 2011 Tyres are the same for everyone & they were tested last year ,when Red Bull & Mclaren made a great job in bringing the tyres quickly with the help of the EBD no one complained but when Lotus and especially Ferrari made a good job in building a car with a strong race pace and a good tyre management it becomes 3rd World War but this is normal because we all know that many in this sport hates Ferrari more than they love their preferred teams

      1. @tifoso1989

        they were not confused, tyeres deg was higher than what they expected and 4th stop was needed.

  9. Mercedes has issues with tyres and yet they decide to do a 3 stop instead of 4, like everyone else. That is what hurt Hamilton the most.

    This whole tyre thing is a bit too much. Hard tyres that melt like ice cream and peels off like a banana. As it stands now this sport needs to be renamed as the FIA Rubber 1 Championship.

    1. I was also puzzled by that!

  10. Checotto is absolutely RUBBISH and I cannot stand to see him race anymore in a professional racing series.

    1. For a second I thought you were talking about Sergio Perez.

    2. Yeah that move was so much ‘video game’ it was amazing just to see it actually happen. But it would be all fine, if he was penalized for that ridiculous move. The bigger problem is not the driver, but the system that let it slip.

      1. Apparently he wasn’t penalized yesterday. The official GP2 page reports Haryanto getting 10 places for crashing with Canamasas just afterCecotto incident.

        Gp2 gives penalties for lot of incidents but they are too lenient when something really serious happens.

        GP3 gave 10 places for ignoring yellows. I did not see the incidents, but at least that is quite harsh penalty which hopefully makes the drivers learn.

        1. Korjus 10 place penalty was a weird one, he had only a warm-up lap time done, and the yellow flags were out on the main straight, he should had to lock his brakes and stop before start-finish line to prevent his penalty.

  11. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
    13th May 2013, 2:33

    if 2% stake of Lotus is GBP 1 M, so the team price is just GBP 50 M.
    That’s surprisingly ‘cheap’, I wonder if another would invest…

    1. I would if I had money. Unfortunately this must be a sign of the teams difficult economic situation.

    2. Sometimes deals involve more than just cash. Often they include the buying of debt or an injection of cash over a period of time.

  12. McLaren have to face the dark truth. This “radical” car is just not working.

    bring back last years car, I mean I looked at some of the stuff they added on top of the sidepods, similar to last year.

    Honestly, they think a miracle is going to happen, well their drivers don’t have the class that Alonso did last year to bring that red donkey of a car all the way to the wire.

    face it McLaren, you bring last years car with some updates, and you will not struggle in Quali.

  13. At a time when everyone is so negative, I say happy 63rd anniversary F1!! still the best sport in the world for me.

  14. Wow, not one comment about DRS :) lol.

    1. you’re right. Pretty much useless anyway with such high degradation and relative pace between cars. Finally, no one mentioned how good the race looked for 10 laps, brilliant to say the least longest train I’ve ever seen, for obvious reasons but nice anyway, because of the mercs and DRS.

    2. Because Lewis was not overtaken by DRS this time! This time it was the tyres and so we blame the tyres :P

      1. It’s because without it the Spannish GP would be duller than Monaco

  15. Jenson is a big whinger,

    What happend to his British Superstar cockiness?

    Listen to his radio, just more whinging and moaning!

    This should be his last year in F1, time to step down.

    1. +1!!! Dunno why he’s so popular, he’s a much big whinger than Alonso and Vettel combined, yet the latter two get bad press for it, but Button never does!!!

      1. Because the press have to keep up their hero vs villain storyline. Jenson is a national hero…

    2. What is he supposed to say then ?
      I am sorry, but for McLaren to be fighting for 8th and 9th place is embrarrassing… Nothing wrong with saying that.

      1. @gwenouille – I agree entirely.

        Button should be applauded for being honesty. And McLaren should be applauded for letting their drivers speak their minds. We’ve seen instances in the past where drivers have avoided criticising their teams – Paul di Resta is particularly guilty of this – because they’re afraid of how it will look, even when the team or the car need work.

        At the same time, there are teams who won’t let their drivers criticise their cars, even when the car is obviously poor. After the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Vitaly Petrov let loose on the Renault R31 because it was a bad car. Where he scored a podium at the start of the season, he and Bruno Senna were struggling to get into a position where they might be able to pick up points if they had a good race by the end of the year. His criticisms of the car were entirely justified, but the team were having none of it, and he was forced to apologise to the team.

        1. JP (@jonathanproc)
          13th May 2013, 14:58


          Only two races ago in Bahrain we heard Paul di Resta criticise his team in regards to his malfunctioning radio. I seem to recall that he shouted down the radio something along the lines of “I can’t hear anything on the radio. This is not good enough.”. So Paul isn’t exactly the best example you could have picked!

          1. A malfunctioning radio is hardly a pressing issue of car development. At Austin last year, the team asked him for feedback during a session, which he refused to give because he knew it might be broadcast.

    3. Howard,wsrgo so you’re moaning about Button moaning, if memory serves me correctly Mr Hamilton also moaned about the Mclaren from time to time. He was also moaning yesterday.

  16. I still don’t know how Martin Whitmarsh still has a job, in the last 3-4 years McLaren have been terrible, be it horrible strategy, poor development of the car or and inability to do competitive pit stops. Last year they had the fastest package and two of the fastest drivers and they failed to win either championship… This season they are struggling to stay in the points…

    1. @baldgye – Replacing Whitmarsh right now would be the worst thing McLaren could possibly do. Their techncial side is in disarray, with Paddy Lowe leaving and a car that doesn’t seem to respond to anything the team or the drivers do to it. Deliberately going through a management shake-up whilst trying to solve all of their problems is an unnecessary complication.

      It’s a bit like introducing new parts onto a car. Say a team bring a new front wing and a new rear wing to a race. They won’t just stick both wings on the car at once. They’ll put the front wing on the car and test it. Then they’ll put the old front wing on and replace it with the new rear wing, and test that. Then they’ll know how the wings work individually, so they can put both wings on together and work out how they behave together.

      So if changes are needed to McLaren’s managerial structure, then they will have to wait until once their technical re-shuffle is sorted out.

    2. (@baldgye) I think we should start a petition to bring back Ron Dennis. Whitmarsh is a nice guy, and intelligent. But a team principle needs to be more than just a ‘nice guy’ and PR machine – just look at where that got RB in relation to their drivers. Mclaren needs a firm hand and focussed direction, which it seems to increasingly lack.

      1. @sgt-pepper

        I think we should start a petition to bring back Ron Dennis

        Really? And why is that exactly?

        Oh, I know! Is it because when he handed the job of team principal to Whitmarsh it had only been 10 YEARS since he guided McLaren to a WCC??

        That must be it! Yes, let’s bring Ron Dennis back – clearly much better than Whitmarsh.

  17. Button hasn’t got that extra zip to be a phenomenal driver. He was outpaced by Hamilton( now this guy is full of that zip) and now from past two races he is being pushed very hard and arguably outpaced by a comparatively new driver Perez. Perez on the other hand is another driver with a lots of potential zip but needs to iron out his drive a bit!

    1. …and yet he scored more points than that “zull of zip” lad… sigh…

      1. @gwenouille coz Whitmarsh was tired of Button moaning after the race!

      2. Check out the qualifying stats. Button scored about the same points because he never bins the car and is very disciplined in following strategy. Problem is that not binning the car is not the same thing as finding out where the limit of the car performance is so you can evaluate the effect of your updates and the general quality of your design.

        1. Problem is that not binning the car is not the same thing as finding out where the limit of the car performance is so you can evaluate the effect of your updates and the general quality of your design.

          Yes, true. That must be why McLaren sorted their 2009 challenger so quickly! Well done Hamilton!! You’re the bomb! Only took you 10 RACES to get it on the podium!

    2. My thoughts. And Perez was told to hold position by the we-always-leave-our-drivers-race team

  18. There’s no point F1 drawing up complex penalty points systems if GP continues to tolerate Jonny Cecotto Jr. driving into people.

    I imagine that Cecotto’s behaviour on the circuit has not gone unnoticed, and that if he tried to get a seat in Formula 1, team principals would be very mindful of it. Any penalty points system would force him to life his game if he wanted to last more than about four races.

    I would also like to believe that, if adopted by Formula 1, the penalty points system would also be applied to GP2 and GP3. When Grosjean and Maldonado were in the wars last year, a lot of people pointed to the kind of on-track behaviour that is considered acceptable in GP2 as one of the leading causes. A penalty points system would work there just as well – if not better – than it would in Formula 1.

    1. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17)
      13th May 2013, 8:56

      Did you see the end of the GP2 race? :D
      If a penalty points system is launched in GP2, there will be a lot of race bans IMO.

      1. Maldonado version 2, that’s just atrocious driving.

  19. Interesting I didn’t hear as many people complain about Merc pace after last race where the situation was exactly the same albeit with Rosberg going backward instead of Hamilton. People just assumed Hamilton was better and out-drove Rosberg, yet now everyone complains as son as Lewis looses out.
    Lets be clear, I don’t like the tires but I though it was more telling of the current situation that RB told Vettel to let Kimi go and and not fight him rather than Hami going backwards in an inherently compromised car.

    1. Fair point. I think that people view HAM as a known quantity for pace and ROS as an unknown, seeing as his main competition was Opa Schumacher. Rosberg is a very quick driver. The W04 is very unpredicatable, aside from its intemperate use of tires. It can make either Rosberg or Hamilton look foolish or like a hero, sometimes at varying points in the same race. It also seems to have a problem with fuel consumption or fuel tank size, which didnt come up yesterday but has been a constant issue, which has also required the drivers to do a lot of coasting.

      To me the real wackiness of the situation was seeing Vettel hounded by a Marussia right after Kimi blew by him. At that stage, in fact Chilton was the fastest car on track. I’m sure he was not happy about having to coast through several corners behind Vettel.

  20. McLaren need to do something quick. Because it is embarrassing that not only are they slower than Force India, and possibly Toro Rosso as well, but they were a good 3-6 tenths slower than they were in quali this time last year, and that is absolutely ridiculous. With the car they had in Brazil, they could easily be in the mix of the Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus in qualifying, which would give them a far better chance in the races.

    Unless working out this current car has some great significance in developing future cars, then just drop it and go back to the other car. It’s probably too late to salvage a Championship, but some podiums and wins would be welcome at least, compared to fighting for minuscule points.

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