Williams tipped for Mercedes engine deal

F1 Fanatic round-up

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Williams tipped to switch to Mercedes engines in 2014.

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Williams f??hrt 2014 mit Mercedes (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

Auto Motor und Sport claim Williams will use Mercedes engines next year with Toro Rosso tipped to take over their Renault engine supply.

Martin Whitmarsh Q&A: 2013 McLaren too ambitious (F1)

“With the benefit of hindsight we were too ambitious last year. We had a competitive car and made decisions to make very big changes in the expectation of aggressively making a big step forward – and that backfired. In hindsight we should have evolved what was already a competitive car.”

Fernandes: I’m not selling up (Sky)

“When John Iley (head of aerodynamics signed from McLaren) came over last year we tried to be a bit too clever with the blown diffuser and it screwed us up. If we had just continued on our normal path we probably would have been in the midfield by now, so we’ve learned the hard way.”

Ecclestone Bribery Case Seen Disrupting CVC Plan for Sale of F1 (Bloomberg)

“On May 10, at the Spanish Grand Prix near Barcelona, Ecclestone referred a question about the progress of the latest agreement to a comment by Ferrari SpA chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo who told reporters that a deal was ‘very close.’ Ferrari owns the sport?s oldest and most successful team. Most of the 11 teams haven?t seen a first draft of the proposed accord, the people said.”

Rosberg hoping to win ‘home’ grand prix (The Telegraph)

“If you?re implying that there is a number one and number two driver within the team, that is absolutely not the case. The same decision would have been taken had it been the other way around. Nobody wants team orders, but there is more to it. We are representing Mercedes on the track, massive amounts of money are involved, plus hundreds of people back at the factory. Sometimes you have to limit the risk to bring the cars home.”

Zanardi hopes to make Indy 500 dreams a reality (Reuters)

“This would not be easy to organise but I am still very passionate about the sport. I still have the capability to steer the wheel and if down the road the right opportunity would arise it would be hard not to be curious about it and look at it.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013My kind of place (Toro Rosso)

“It?s definitely somewhere the driver influences the outcome more than at other circuits. The effect is more apparent in junior categories where the drivers are all inexperienced on street circuits. In F1 you still need a fast car to get on pole because the 21 guys you’re racing against have all been here before as well ?ǣ but experience of the track might be the thing that makes the difference, for example, between making it into Q3 and just missing out. Pastor Maldonado proved that a couple of years ago when he made it into Q3 in a Williams that shouldn?t have been there ?ǣ because he knows this circuit.”

Button: Racing is so dangerous I nearly blacked out (The Sun)

“I have had it before where my drinks bottle has failed and you initially start shivering and you lose your eyesight. And then you start blacking out.”

Is F1 real racing any more? (BBC)

Mark Webber: “You get five fast laps per weekend. (Car) upgrades are data-driven. Driver feedback is minimal. Tyres are the biggest factor.”

Monaco Grand Prix: Vroom with a view (FT, registration required)

“Being able to secure a good vessel is all about knowing the right people. It is, essentially, a hierarchy that starts with Prince Albert of Monaco and members of the royal family, moves down to the F1 drivers, then the sponsors who spend the most money, and so on down the line.”

Watching from La Rascasse (Part 2) (Peter Windsor)

“For all his cool headgear, Jean-Eric Vergne is much more Jean-Pierre Jarier than he is Francois Cevert. A wide, soft approach. Lots of aggression with the brakes, the steering and the release of same. Lots of car-control, of course, but none of the straight lines that typified Francois, particularly in 1973.”

Behind The Perfect Lap: Suremen and Lotus F1 Team With Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean (Suremen via YouTube)

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Comment of the day

With the Indianapolis 500 coming up tomorrow, William Katz tries to square the circle on oval racing:

If you browse the comments section of this site you?ll see a split, pretty much right down the middle, of F1 fans at the current state of the sport: Are the tyres too much, is DRS good for F1, is the racing too artificial? But what we can?t deny is that we?re here because of the outcry of fans at a lack of close, wheel to wheel racing and overtaking.

Ignoring, for a minute, that F1 may or may not have gone too far, all the things the fans are looking for from a race are a part of IndyCar racing, and yes, that includes ovals. We fall all over ourselves when the calendar rolls around to Monza, a circuit where high top speeds and daring overtakes on very high speed, open corners are the highlight. We talk up a storm about how slip streaming is crucial and about the thrill of watching F1 cars drive around with next to no downforce. Why then should we deride the Indianapolis 500? Or oval racing in general?

Maybe people think that every oval is the same, and you just fly around in a circle at full throttle? The IndyCar website has track maps and as you?ll notice, none of the ovals are big lazy circles. Pocono is a triangle, Dallas and Iowa are asymmetrical ovals of different sizes, Indy and Milwaulkee are drastically different squared-ovals.

Is it because Monza is the exception? I?ll grand you that one race in nineteen is more rare than six in nineteen, but still; most IndyCar racing is done on incredible road circuits, and the street courses tend to generate better racing than most of the F1 street racing venues.

It would seem to be that if the current form of F1 is up someone?s alley, than IndyCar oval racing should be on that same person?s radar; it?s everything you want out of F1 and nothing you don?t. If it?s just a matter of the course having 3 or 4 corners, or if it?s the atmosphere, well. that?s just snobbery.
William Katz (@Hwkii)

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On this day in F1

Lewis Hamilton won a rain-soaked Monaco Grand Prix five years ago today despite picking up a puncture after hitting a barrier:

Image ?? Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty

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44 comments on Williams tipped for Mercedes engine deal

  1. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 25th May 2013, 0:14

    Interesting that Williams are making a move to Mercedes engines, I wonder if Toto Wolff had anything to do with it? I also found Whitmarsh and Fernandes’ comments interesting; there’s a lesson to be learnt from the advantages of evolutionary design it would appear.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 25th May 2013, 0:50

      Seems like McLaren have reluctantly conceded that their revolutionary approach has proven detrimental, it makes me wonder slightly about the demeanour of the team and how they’re going about trying to fix their issues

      Given the relative stability in the pecking order of the grid, with the exceptions of Williams and to some extent Caterham and Sauber, coupled with this season seemingly having an unusual scenario involving raw performance of cars less relevant due to the tyres, bringing smaller updates throughout the season to prolong the development curve to the end of the season (like most teams) would’ve been more than ideal: other teams may have brought bigger updates and closed the gap to them but certainly they would’ve been in a better position; knowing the 27 better than they know the 28.

      Perhaps why McLaren were the quickest last season was due to the MP4-27 being further into it’s development curve than the other teams’ development curves with their cars, McLaren probably feared that they’ll reach the end, as they said but faster than other teams.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 25th May 2013, 4:56

        That’s pretty much it – they said when they launched the 28 that the 27 was itself a development of the 25 and 26. They were basically in the same position as Red Bull are where they had hit the theoretical maximum of the car and rivals know of and can easily exploit its weaknesses.

      • Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 25th May 2013, 8:53

        @younger-hami – That makes sense, but an all or nothing approach still doesn’t seem like the best option. McLaren must have known that revolutionizing your car design would inherently risky when so many other teams were reaching the limits of what can be done under the current regulations. Surely it would have been better, knowing the riskiness of this approach, to have developed the MP4-27 with the understanding that even if it wasn’t the fastest car they would, at least, understand how it worked and would able to rack in good points for that all important final position in the constructor’s championship. This approach also would have meant they could spend greater resources on the 2014 car, which does require a revolutionary design approach. Using this design philosophy, they might not have beaten Red Bull, but they would at least be ahead of Force India…

        • bag0 (@bag0) said on 25th May 2013, 9:05

          @kibblesworth & @younger-hamii

          MW said, that the decision to build a completely different car was made in 2012 June, if you look at their results at the time, the decision could be justified. The other said reason, is that they would have reached the developement ceiling of the car pretty early in 2013. These are valid points, and you could argue, that they should have get the wins early then just try to hang on to the lead, but Button mentioned an interesting thing earlier: they thought they wouldnt be the only frontrunners to do this.

          So in hindsight, this might have been a bad decision, but a justified one. Lets just wait and see what can they learn from this year, to apply to the mp4-29.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th May 2013, 1:05

      “Williams fahrt” that’s the sound I hear when I watch Indycar!

  2. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 25th May 2013, 0:30

    a bit too cleverNot clever enough” Mr Fernandes.

  3. JCost (@jcost) said on 25th May 2013, 0:40

    Of course Martin. McLaren and Pirelli… great minds thinking alike.

    Why drastically change what’s already very good. Sometimes perfect is too close to abyss, mind the gap…

  4. HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th May 2013, 1:31

    What a load of B-S from Benson, arbitrarily massaging the “statistics” and then suggesting that Jenson (easy on tyres) Button, last year, racing on the HARDEST tyre combination on the smoothest (easy on tyres) USGP circuit is a good example of how the drivers are actually driving flat out this year. No doubt Mr.Benson will be wined and dined by Pirelli right royally, as no doubt he has been in the past.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 25th May 2013, 2:17

      @hohum Benson, in my opinion, is the most biased journalist in F1. And any article writing by him loses credibility. Is shame a big and prestigious media outlet BBC has people like him

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th May 2013, 9:16

      Even with throwing together not really matching statistics, and coming up with a pretty arbitrary amount of 1 and 0,5 seconds to account for DRS in qualifying, his article is not really convincing.

  5. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th May 2013, 1:36

    “Red Bull … believe the performance of their car is being held back by the need to manage the tyres. Give them a more durable tyre, they believe, and they would be able to exploit more of its aerodynamic downforce and leave their rivals behind.”

    I actually support Red Bull in this case.

    Clearly, they’ve created truly special machinery for the past 3-4 years. I dont see why they should be compromised, or “held back” because the tyres cannot stand up to the down force that their cars generate.
    If RBR have made a car that is head and shoulders better than the other teams, then I dont think that there should be a factor (in this case the tyres) that equalize the field for more fair competition.

    Sure it makes for better racing to have a more evenly matched field of cars. But shouldn’t Red Bull be rewarded in a sense, for making a better car than anyone else? I think they should be able to reap the benefits of putting in hard work for a such a special machine.

    Having said that ^^
    They probably should’ve designed their car more heavily around the tyres (like Lotus and Ferrari have done VERY well).

    And having said that ^^
    They are still leading both championships. So i dont really know why they’re complaining too much.

    Just my two cents.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 25th May 2013, 2:34

      Clearly, they’ve created truly special machinery for the past 3-4 years. I dont see why they should be compromised, or “held back” because the tyres cannot stand up to the down force that their cars generate.

      @tophercheese21 I am not so sure that they have manufactured a car so great. Maybe or may be not. We would not know that unless we had tyres that degrade lesser or that do not at all degrade. But if anything of their recent past is to go by, they probably do have the car with the highest downforce abilities. But then again anything can happen in F1 and who knows they could even have faltered in their design of the current car?

      They are still leading both championships. So i dont really know why they’re complaining too much.

      If we look back at the season so far, it is evident that Alonso has finished higher than Vettel in the race whenever he has not had any problem with the car. In addition to this the form that resurgent Massa has been showing could point to loss of both the titles for RBR. Could this be the reason?

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th May 2013, 3:22

        If we look back at the season so far, it is evident that Alonso has finished higher than Vettel.

        The two races that Vettel has won, Sepang, and Bahrain, were his races. I highly doubt that even if Alonso hadn’t suffered from technical problems with the DRS in Bahrain that he could have even challenged Vettel. The Red Bull was out of everyone’s league in Bahrain.

        And in Sepang as well. Alonso may have been able to put up more of a fight there, but in the end we’d still have seen two Red Bull guys on the podium regardless.

        • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 25th May 2013, 7:08

          @tophercheese21 Malaysia and Bahrain could be Vettel’s races. But, the way Alonso drove that first lap with the heavily broken and hanging front wing in Malaysia and the way he managed to secure 8th place despite having a handicapped car with failed DRS and an extra pitstop suggest that Alonso would have been in the hunt for victories in both the races if he had not had those problems.

          • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th May 2013, 8:20

            @seahorse

            I disagree with the notion that Alonso could have fought Vettel for victory. His race pace that weekend was far superior to anyone else.
            Alonso would have been fighting for at most, 2nd place.

          • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th May 2013, 8:22

            ^ I mean Bahrain.

            I think in Sepang he could have gotten a victory, but would’ve been tough.

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 30th May 2013, 12:25

            @tophercheese21 I don’t know whether you are referring to his pace in the actual race or his race pace in the practice session. If it is the latter then I think it is incorrect to claim so as Alonso was better in race pace in practice session.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 25th May 2013, 5:09

      Having said that ^^
      They probably should’ve designed their car more heavily around the tyres (like Lotus and Ferrari have done VERY well).

      Isn’t that the point? If every team had built their cars around tyre management principals that protect the rubber but allow a measure of racing, we’d see every team competing with each other evenly.

      As it stands, some cars are faster in race trim, meaning they’re going to be racing better.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th May 2013, 6:05

        Well yes it is the point, but I’m talking abut them having designed their car more heavily around the tyres. Obviously they’ve designed it around the tyres, but not to the extent that Lotus have.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 25th May 2013, 7:23

          @tophercheese21
          The tyres are a normal part of the car, just like the aerodynamics.

          Teams compromise certain aspects of the car to improve others all the time, so why should this be any different.

          That’s like saying that Ferrari are being punished for having a good car in straight line speed, because it costs them downforce. It is an irrational and ignorant claim.

          Ferrari and Lotus have build a virtually perfect car in some ways. They’ve found a beautiful balance between good tyre management and solid downforce on the car.

          Red Bull and Mercedes on the other hand, have screwed up. All teams had a chance to test the new tyres in Brazil last year. They did a lot of mileage them in winter testing, and they had the European season break to upgrade the car and fix the tyre issue.

          Despite that, RBR are still eating through the tyres. You’d think that Newey being as good as he is would have came up with a solution by now, but he’s not as smart as Allison or Fry, sadly.

          Lastly, there’s absolutely no proof that Red Bull actually have as much downforce as they claim. Nothing but Helmut Marko’s words support that.

          You know… the same old guy that blamed Webber for what happened at Turkey 2010. As if I am going to believe his words.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th May 2013, 9:21

          @tophercheese21 its not just Lotus and Ferrari, but clearly FI has done the same with far less resources and it pays off.

          Just as the teams that did bring a DDD in 2009 had an advantage, and Red Bull had an advantage by being the first, and most developed car with EBD, its about making the right choices.

          Saying its wrong for them not to be the best after to have done their thing (go for max downforce) really well, is like saying Ferrari’s big V12 heavy on power engines should have been winning when instead it was Cosworth winning with agile cars.

          The trick is to react to the complete set of rules and circumstances best. They got that right in the last 3 years, now not completely. But they are still miles ahead of McLaren and Williams who have gone completely wrong, and Mercedes who have increased the discrepancy they already had between quali-pace and race pace.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 25th May 2013, 11:23

          I don’t entirely agree with this notion that Red Bull were wrong to not put mre resources into working around the tyres, as that’s easy to say in retrospect. Usually, downforce helps the tyres and this season is incredibly bizarre in that the cars with higher downforce levels seem to be punishing the tyres more; essentially, if you can corners faster you ruin your tyres.

          I’m not overly bothered by that though, the reason I’d support a tyre change is because I think the racing is suffering because of it. Drivers aren’t pushing (despite what the BBC article is implying with fastest laps) – I don’t ever recall drivers in 2010 being told to not fight for position. I don’t recall so many messages ever begin given in 2011 or 2012 either.

  6. HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th May 2013, 1:41

    Good old tabloids, now we get info-mercials posing as news, how low can they go?

  7. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 25th May 2013, 1:48

    Absolutely love that Peter Windsor article! Fascinating, driver styles always interest me.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 25th May 2013, 2:22

      Is always interesting to read about different styles of driving

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th May 2013, 6:23

      It might also explain why Rosberg was so quick in S3 on Thursday, as Rascasse is probably the most important corner in the third sector.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th May 2013, 9:47

      After seeing part 2 – linked above, I also had a look at part 1.

      Alonso doing it great, but with little margin for error. Grosjean much the same, Webber leaving a tad more room for error. Vettel going in with opposite lock, sparing the rears (but stressing the fronts) a little bit less great.

      Kimi very nice and tidy, and Rosberg looking really sharp and “prost like consistent”.

      Really great to read.

  8. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 25th May 2013, 3:08

    I don’t prefer ovals personally. I like brakes being blown hot and cold, which is why I love Monza. One can’t really compare Monza to an oval, in any way.
    I liked the old Indy “infield” circuit. I think it was a really good track, especially the final track. But if the whole circuit were made out of those corners, I would be bored. Not to mention the level of danger that generally accompanies an oval racetrack.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 25th May 2013, 3:40

      +1 @wsrgo ovals are both boring and dangerous. I know I don’t have the skills to drive on either F1 or ovals, but fan-watcher as I am, I like to see Monza for all the turns, not just the Parabolica (which isn’t an “oval” either, remember the camber ovals usually have, to permit so fast cars going around). And technically is far more entertaining to see Canada, Spa or Suzuka, even Shanghai, than Monza (probably it’s because Monza is so short in time that you feel they should keep running have an hour more).

  9. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 25th May 2013, 3:23

    I think the Williams -Mercedes partnership is excellent news. Williams have struggled since (and shortly before) they split from BMW. Their suppliers since have been: Cosworth, Renault and Toyota.

    Whilst much can be said about the financial investment by Toyota into the factory team, the engines were never considered to be the best at any time in their decade in the sport. Besides Williams, Renault supplied engines to the champions but, Red Bull typically benefited from downforce as oppose to pure grunt.

    With Mercedes having been part of two front running teams for 4 years now ,supplied engines to the two champions before Red Bull, as well as being tipped as having the power unit to beat in 2014, Williams future seems to be in good shape.

  10. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 25th May 2013, 3:47

    Mark Webber: “You get five fast laps per weekend. (Car) upgrades are data-driven. Driver feedback is minimal. Tyres are the biggest factor.”

    Well, the BBC article itself is another examination of the now over-saturated tire issue. But, if you look at what Webber is saying about driver feedback, it is rather interesting. Think of how much true that would be if traction control and auto shifting had been allowed to continue. At that point, why have drivers? Not withstanding Webber’s complaint, I think the drivers do have some control of the tire situation currently based on how they treat their tires.

  11. Maciek (@maciek) said on 25th May 2013, 5:34

    Williams fährt 2014 mit Mercedes

    Ok… but why would that give them flatulence? I just don’t get German humor.

  12. andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th May 2013, 6:41

    Zanardi is a hero. I really hope he makes it to the Indy 500, would be an incredible feat if he does.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th May 2013, 8:42

    Am I the only one who finds Webber’s complaints to be a little bizarre? He’s upset that teams are relying more on data than driver feedback, and yet he’s driving for the team that probably does this more than any other team.

  14. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 25th May 2013, 9:58

    Re COTD, I just don’t like ovals: they can’t race in the wet and the rules on defending make the racing just as boring as when passes are done under DRS. Personally it’s just not something I’ve ever enjoyed watching.

  15. George (@george) said on 25th May 2013, 11:43

    Thanks for linking that Peter Windsor article @keithcollantine , I have to say I’ve never been to his blog before but that snippet intrigued me. As someone learning to drive faster it was a very interesting overview of driving techniques, something you dont often see in relation to F1. Has he done these at other races?

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