Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013

Red Bull “pushing hard for Raikkonen” – Boullier

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says Red Bull are making a big effort to secure Kimi Raikkonen’s services for 2014.


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

Eric Boullier on keeping Kimi, 2014, and more (F1)

“I don?t think that there is a fundamental change to what I said before. It is true that Red Bull is pushing hard to get Kimi on board and I am sure that they will put together a very nice proposal for him, even easing his PR life. But again: it will be Kimi?s decision.”

Lotus attempt to secure Raikkonen (BBC)

“Boullier also confirmed that the team had been late in paying Raikkonen his salary, which insiders say had not been paid since the beginning of the year. ‘It was paid late, yes,’ Boullier said. ‘But it has been paid. We have to if we want to keep him.'”

Hamilton still adapting to car (Sky)

“I’m driving a car that’s been built and designed around another driver, Michael [Schumacher] and Nico [Rosberg], so I’m trying to adapt all the skills and driving methods that I have to work with this one.”

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has an easier job than me, says F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (The Independent)

“I?m in a different position to Andy Murray. He?s been very solid, but it?s just him and his racket. There are so many elements in racing ?ǣ the car, the suspension, the electronics, the engine, the tyres ?ǣ that have to be performing for you. It doesn?t matter if I?m in the same head zone as Murray, it all gets taken away by the tyres.”

Sauber won’t block Hulkenberg exit (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “He has been doing a fantastic job so far. But we never stand in anybody’s way.”

Sauber facing ‘difficult time’ (ESPN)

Kaltenborn: “We all endorsed these changes and what we should really do is not wait until it is too late for some teams. In many situations we always wait for something to happen and then react, but in this case there are so many teams struggling that I think we should really do something about it before anything happens. We shouldn’t always wait for the big bang.”

Josh Hill, Fortec, FIA F3 European Championship, Red Bull Ring, 2013Hill’s son gives up dream of following father (Reuters)

“British racer Josh Hill has given up the dream of following world champion father Damon and late grandfather Graham into Formula One with the announcement on Tuesday that he was quitting motor racing.”

A longing for Schumacher (MotorSport)

“Some German journalists said last week that ticket sales weren?t good at the Nurburgring as none of the German drivers on the grid at present were really that popular. It seems there is still a longing for Schumacher.”

Formula 1 mid-season review: Back Vettel to clinch 4th consecutive driver’s championship (Unibet)

I take look at the state of play as F1 reaches the halfway point in the season for Unibet.


Comment of the day

What’s behind the FIA suddenly taking a more proactive stance on matters in F1? @Andae23 has a view:

The FIA has been doing a lot over the last few months. They have assigned some new committees and they are being very quick to respond to things like the Pirelli blow-outs and the pit lane incidents ?ǣ which is a good thing. The only real question is: why now? The Pirelli and pit lane safety issues have existed for months and forever respectively. Re-elections coming up… I?m not suggesting anything, but it?s a bit of a coincidence, isn?t it?

What we need is an FIA that is exactly like this, but then throughout the entire year. The only improvement we need is taking evasive action instead of dealing with problems when they come up, which should be fine if the FIA continues like this (read: that?s not going to happen).

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

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

Silverstone marked the halfway point in the 1988 world championship and McLaren continued their unbeaten streak as Ayrton Senna romped to victory in a streaming wet race.

Team mate Alain Prost pulled out of the race, citing handling worries but objecting more to the conditions.

Ferrari at least managed to keep McLaren off the front row but they were nowhere in the race. Instead it was Nigel Mansell who drove a stirring race from eleventh to second in the unfancied Williams-Judd. Allessandro Nannini was third for Benetton.

Here’s the start of the race:

Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, FIA F3 Europe

187 comments on “Red Bull “pushing hard for Raikkonen” – Boullier”

  1. Getting Kimi would be huge for RedBull. They love marketing, and having two world champions truly would be a dream for the team and the drinks brand in generating lots of publicity.

    They aren’t the most popular team in terms of fan base, (no malice intented, it’s simply a fact that they are still relatively new compared to Ferrari/Mclaren/Williams and as such are still continuing to grow even after a double treble of Championships) but getting one of the most popular drivers on the grid would probably do little harm to encourage more people to support the team and purchase more RedBull racing merchandise, as well as more cans of RedBull energy drink.

    In short it’s a successful ploy to sign Kimi on both off-track and on-track levels.

    1. Kimi would suit Red Bull a lot. He already has his connection from rallying with Citroen, who’s major sponsor was RB, and he fits the image well. I think it would be a good career move from him too – more competitive and more lucrative. Plus I think Seb and Kimi would be a very entertaining pair to watch and it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top. Any guesses?

        1. Vettel, as evidenced by Sunday.

          1. “Vettel, as evidenced by Sunday.”? Ehm, first of all, if Kimi was in RBR he would’ve *most likely* qualify higher up = most likely different result. This assumption you made is not valid.

          2. @lari – It is generally agreed that Lotus had a faster car (even by Boullier) than RBR on Sunday, hence my assumption has substance and is valid. Certainly moreso than any one word answer of “Kimi”.

          3. Its nurburgring, not silverstone where overtake is like piece of cake as DRS effect is amplified by few magnitude. Unless you are 1 sec per lap faster, overtake is genuinely impossible.

            Vettel is lucky that the safety car came out as well. It showed that qualifying is still key to win races where you can control the pace and strategy.

          4. @david-a Yes, maybe, but that would only be in case of raceday, in qualifying we all know RBR is faster and was faster this weekend, hence the qualifying results would change etc etc.

          5. @lari – Well, qualifying pace hardly saved the Mercedes, did it? Lotus weren’t even that far behind in qualifying- 4th and 5th, with RBR 2nd and 3rd. Bottom line, there is no real argument to be had- Scuderia Fan said “Kimi” would win, but on Sunday, Vettel won in almost equal conditions.

            @Manished – Vettel’s advantage over Raikkonen was wiped out by the safety car. That hardly screams “lucky”, now does it?

          6. There is argument, since I have no doubt Kimi would’ve qualified any worse than Vettel or atleast Webber. So there would’ve been all the chances for getting himself to 1st row with RBR. Starting from 2nd or 1st row just might make the difference he needed to clinch the win. As we all know, Lotus has troubles getting the tyre temps up when it’s cold or during qualifying, that’s undenieable and seeing they had the same race pace, well, qualifying is the difference here. So, sorry, but I believe it would’ve been different story had Kimi been in RBR and hence making Lotus vs RBR comparison same as driver comparison is not good. Vettel himself said that if you’re close in race speed, it’s very, very hard to overtake at Nurburgring. Had Kimi been in RBR and qualifiied 1st, then well… ;)

          7. @lari

            As we all know, Lotus has troubles getting the tyre temps up when it’s cold or during qualifying, that’s undenieable and seeing they had the same race pace, well, qualifying is the difference here.

            Qualifying didn’t make “all the difference”. Nobody seperated Lotus and Red Bull on the grid, as they were able to line up directly behind. Lotus had the faster race pace as admitted by their own team, not “the same”. Thus with qualifying barely seperating the two teams in terms of grid position, and Lotus having faster race pace, Sebastian Vettel beat Kimi Raikkonen in a straight fight on Sunday. I shouldn’t have to keep repeating it to you.

          8. @david-a It did make all the difference as has been posted here alot, overtaking in Nurburgring with similar racespeed is very, very hard, so hence getting in front after the green light and getting pitstops right is enough. Also Boullier saying it makes it so? He can have said it with mind on future about Kimi’s next years plan, trying to make Lotus sound faster than they are. Ever thought about that option? Who else have said Lotus had faster race pace (not counting in fansite forums)? Shouldn’t need to repeat this to you either but you just wouldn’t take it, would you. Doesn’t matter though, you think it’s clearly Vettel, I think it can go either way regarding the original topic.

          9. @lari
            IMO you and Manished are overplaying the difficulty in overtaking at the Nurburgring. He cited Silverstone as an easier circuit to pass, when Silverstone had less overtaking than this circuit in 2011. Qualifying did not to any major extent, hamper Lotus’ ability to win the race, when they were 4th and 5th, to RBR 2nd and 3rd.

            While Boullier’s comments could be read in that way, I haven’t seen anyone suggest that Kimi and Romain dragged a slower car into contention, or didn’t have the pace to win.

            I’m fine with you thinking that it could go either way if SV and KR were teammates. I truly think that Kimi would be close. But if someone else is to post a one word answer to that question, dismissing the opposition with no thought, then people will respond with examples. In this case, Germany 2013 is the most recent, and straight fight between the two, in which Vettel won.

          10. @david-a I didn’t post a one word answer anywhere, only questioned your seemed-to-be-clear-answer that it’s Vettel just based on Nurburgring. So are you referring to someone else? Also, I need to remind you that while it might not have been severe impact wheter Kimi started 4th vs 2nd, we’re talking a 1 second difference in the chequered flag + countless seconds lost behind other cars while Vettel had clear air almost the whole race. *That* makes the bigger difference and hence strengthens the meaning of starting position when looking the at the big picture, the whole race.

          11. @lari
            I was indeed referring to Scuderia Fan 88’s comment. That is why I replied to him all those posts ago, using the last race as an example.

            And yes, Kimi had traffic for a while, but what Kimi didn’t do, which Seb did, was gain positions at the start. And though Vettel led most of the race, Kimi was still in the top three with Grosjean and Vettel for most of it as well.

            So I take it on board that qualifying can still make a difference (and gaining a place from 2nd obviously puts you in clear air), but I think that Lotus had chances to win this race regardless. Doesn’t detract from Kimi or Romain’s performances, which were very good, but Vettel’s simply been in the zone this year.

        2. @david-a you don’t get me. Track position matter a lot especially when DRS effect isn’t as big as silverstone in such narrow circuit

      1. Yes, looking at his Rally days, I can hardly pick any other F1 driver who carries the Red Bull message as well. He is just natural for their target audience. Where Vettel got the “German” thing going for him, but not as strong image.

        1. PR-wise I think Ricciardo would fit perfectly but maybe Red Bull is not that worried about that, otherwise they should make a push to get Hamilton.

          1. Is Hamilton the most popular driver on the grid? Do we have any studies on driver’s popularity or just people’s own views gathered from the press and feeling?

          2. @lari if by popular you mean “the most love one” I think he’s not. You, for instance, don’t sound like a fan of the man. But if you look at the “roster of celebs” under Red Bull brand you will see Lewis, his hats, earings, big glasses, dog…

            I think his style is pretty similar to what I see in other “Bulls”, I’m not talking about being love or not.

          3. @jcost Do you mean roster of celebs in this site? It’s not really universal truth since this site is, regardless of minority from other coutries, a British site, hence Hamilton tends to get more attention. Not sure I see what you mean by style being same as other bulls, as in comparison to seat contenders. Hamilton just wants to keep up his “wanna-be-rapper” image up, but bottom line is that he is a “regular pr driver” when he opens mouth, same as 90% of the grid. I have nothing against Hamilton, just wanted to know why specifically him you implied to.

          4. @lari

            I implied Ricciardo and Hamilton, once you didn’t say anything about RIC, I guess yu’re OK with that and your problem lies on Hamilton being fit for perceived Reb Bull athelete image.

            I was not talking about popularity but @angelia believes Kimi and Lewis are the most popular drivers out there. I don’t have numbers to back that up but…

        2. Kimi and Lewis are properly the most popular drivers on the grid.

          In the early day of Red Bull they tried create a maverick image, but as the team won more the image was sort of lost. Kimi has the perfect Red Bull image naturally. Red Bull has always been involved with Kimi when he was at Ferrari they were a personal sponsor, they sponsored him WRC, and even now they are sponsoring his motocross team. They also show him a lot on Servus.

      2. Which Kimi perhaps is the answer.

        The kimi that push the car to the extent of breaking down and got pole despite carry 10 laps more fuel??

        Or the Kimi that got bored with F1, politics, bla bla bla in ferrari camp??

        1. I believe the car breaking down can be addressed mostly at McLaren. They had fast car but very, very unrealiable. I believe Ferrari enviroment is much more pr, correct dresscode, talk Italy to the fans&team to please them, visit the factory every week; or even live there as Schumacher used to. If do all that, then Ferrari is a good place to be, but we all know Raikkonen didn’t like to do those, or not all of those. I don’t see same kind of “stiffness” in RBR, even if the number of pr-events might be same and outside of track events same, since their image, atleast to me, is much more relaxed. That’s why they’re sponsoring X-Games, Snowboarding, etc those kinds of “extreme sports” to keep image young, hip and “cool”.

    2. Boullier makes it sound like it’s a done deal. Personally I’d love to see it. And if RB can offer kimi the same money as Lotus (of course they can) plus less promotional commitments and some sort of written assurance that there’s no preferential treatment for vettel — then why souldn’t he take it?
      Re Toro Rosso, we should remember that dietrich mateschitz has been trying to sell that outfit for years. Red bull won’t feel bad if they don’t use Ricciardo.

    3. It would be dangerous for Kimi to sign for Red Bull. He left F1 because of politics and having the team against him in the pit to ensure Vettels fifth DC will only let us see him leaving F1 after 2014.

      I think he’ll do better to stick with Lotus and sometimes outdrive his car to some great results.
      Or maybe replace Perez and help McLaren to get their car in order, they do have the funds. They may need some recruitments in the pit/factory.

      1. Why not replace Button insted Perez..

    4. The most interesting thing about it will be Seb vs. Kimi. If they fail to get Kimi I think they should try get Hulk. He’s a solid qualifier and can bring points on Sunday and eventually upset Seb.

    5. @calum – it’s a good point – Vettel isn’t popular and Webber isn’t good enough. Whilst they continue to win constructors and drivers championships, they don’t really get any more popular. People respect the team but the whole outfit just isn’t very likable – Vettel, Horner, Marko….

      If they could get Kimi in, a lot of people would back him and in addition to that, how great would it be to see someone able to compete with Vettel!?

    6. I don’t understand how Alonso fans say Seb has to prove himself against a top driver, when did Alonso do that exactly ?

      1. +10000000000000000000

        Trulli was ousted by the team when he did that.

        mclaren lose 100m and both titles when lewis was having the upper hand.

  2. I’ll be very disappointed if Kimi doesn’t go to Red Bull. Its a great opportunity for another championship and we’d get to see how good Vettel really is. No offence to Webber, I’m gonna miss him next year.

    1. It’s pretty much a giant “screw you” to the young driver program though.
      If neither Vergne or Ricciardo can get seats and have to stay at Toro Rosso next year then they’ll just float on into oblivion – like Buemi and Alguesuari.

      1. They can wait a couple of years . The prospects of kimi vs vettel interests me even more .

      2. Vettel vs Raikkonen showdown, disregarding all the drama it will bring fully worth it.

        As for Vergne and Riccardo, if they keep on impressing they will get their chance.

      3. @nackavich I don’t think it is. Having a young driver’s program doesn’t mean they have the next WDC under their hood. Red Bull should pick the best driver available, not necessarily one of their own. If one is good enough, their time will come. Compare it to football, playing in the youth team doesn’t guarantee you to move up to the first team, you still have to go out and show your worth.

        Apparently Lotus is interested in Vergne, so while the drivers might not necessarily end up with Red Bull, they do get their chance in Formula 1, and if they’re good enough, they’ll move up the ladder eventually. Buemi and Alguesuari were just not good enough to interest Red Bull, or anyone else for that matter.

      4. If RBR choose Raikkonen then what is the point of Red Bulls training program. How many Billions have been spent developing young drivers from karts through all the lower single seater classes and into the Torro Rosso team and then dumping them.

        Unless another team takes to either of the two present Torro Rosso drivers, they are going to be just like all the others, except you know who, thrown out to be replaced by some more hopefuls.

        It could be that next year, with fairly big changes, that RBR doesn’t get it right, Adrian’s cars don’t usually work straight out of the box, they are usually developed and evolve into winners. In that case would Vettel stay, or would he head off to the best car. And don’t forget Kimi is not that young by F1 standards.

        It could then be that RBR would want to go poaching a winning driver because it only has relatively inexperienced drivers at Torro Rosso.

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          10th July 2013, 9:51

          *goes back in time one year*
          If Perez goes to McLaren, what’s the point of the Ferrari Driver Academy?

    2. we’d get to see how good Vettel really is

      That’s an odd way of looking at it. I’d say we’ll have a chance to see how good Kimi really is. Vettel is the benchmark in F1 today.

      1. I really dont think we need to benchmark a driver who has races 10 seasons with front running and mid field cars.

        If anyone needs to prove himself its Vettel. He’s had a dominant car since mid 2009 and Webber who seemed past his prime since 2010.

        Please dont mention the Toro Rosso in Monza episode as proof of Vettel’s talent. That was a race with weird conditions.. only proved by Bourdais lining up 4th on the grid.

        1. He’s only had a dominant car in 2011.

          1. Yeah keep telling yourself that

          2. Yeah keep telling yourself that

            2009 – Brawn faster in first half, Red Bull faster in second half
            2010 – Red Bull fastest, but had reliability issues
            2012 – Mclaren faster, but less reliable, Ferrari slower, but more reliable
            2013 – Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari, Mercedes relatively competitive with each other

          3. @david-a

            At the end of every year, if you look back and ask yourself which car was clearly the class of the field… you will come up with only once answer -> Red Bull

            Its convenient how you dont talk about

            How much faster the Red Bull was than every other car on the grid in 2010. The performance gap was ridiculous

            How you skipped the 2011 season altogether

            How in 2012, if you take both pace and reliability into consideration, how Red Bull was again far ahead of Ferrari and Mclaren

            In 2013, Mclaren, Ferrari and Lotus are not as good as Red Bull. Are you actually trying to convince fans who have been watching this season, that Red Bull isn’t the best package again.

            What you should be talking about is how Vettel won his championships in 2010 and 2012. By the narrowest of margins, despite having the best machinery

          4. @todfod

            How much faster the Red Bull was than every other car on the grid in 2010. The performance gap was ridiculous

            RBR were indeed the fastest car in 2010, but as I pointed out, reliability issues often held them back.

            How you skipped the 2011 season altogether

            Because I wasn’t disputing 2011.

            How in 2012, if you take both pace and reliability into consideration, how Red Bull was again far ahead of Ferrari and Mclaren

            Not “far” ahead. RBR had the best balance of speed and reliability, but were behind on both counts.

            In 2013, Mclaren, Ferrari and Lotus are not as good as Red Bull. Are you actually trying to convince fans who have been watching this season, that Red Bull isn’t the best package again.

            Again, RBR are ahead in terms of performance, but not “far” ahead. There is a difference between being the best car, and being a dominant car. Those 3 teams have won and been in contention for races this year.

            What you should be talking about is how Vettel won his championships in 2010 and 2012. By the narrowest of margins, despite having the best machinery

            2010- unreliability cost him dearly, he would have had that one wrapped up much sooner if not for the spark plug in Bahrain and engine in Korea (with both wins going to Alonso), plus the brakes in Australia (win handed to Button). 2012- not going to deny that Alonso did a great job, but so did Vettel. RBR had the best mix of speed and reliability, but not by much of a margin.

        2. @todfod

          Then how about the rest of the 2008 season then? Vettel finished with 9 points finishes, in 8th in the championship, far above what could have expected from the car. We even had a preview of that with Vettel’s pace towards the end of 2007. It is naive to claim that a triple champ, who only had a “dominant car” once – 2011, needs to prove himself.

          1. The Toro Rosso was a strong car in 2008. Newey designed and ferrari powered, it was faster than their parent team.

            I think you do not understand the purpose of my statement, so let me make it clear – > Raikkonen has taken part in a whole lot more races, with a whole lot more teammates, in a whole different bunch of teams/cars.

            Vettel, has been with only 2 teammates in 2 cars.

            We have more data on Raikkonen’s ability then we do on Vettel’s. Hence when they are teammates we can accurately gauge Vettel’s ability with an accurate yardstick (Raikkonen).

            Vettel fans seem to be a little sensitive about statements regarding their golden boy

          2. @todfod

            The Toro Rosso was a strong car in 2008. Newey designed and ferrari powered, it was faster than their parent team.

            No, it wasn’t particularly strong. Red Bull finished 7th in the constructor’s championship in 2008 with the RB4. STR were 6th almost entirely on the strength of Vettel’s results. Also RBR started the season with that car, while STR had the 2007 car for the first five rounds.

            I think you do not understand the purpose of my statement, so let me make it clear – > Raikkonen has taken part in a whole lot more races, with a whole lot more teammates, in a whole different bunch of teams/cars.

            Vettel, has been with only 2 teammates in 2 cars.

            I’m not going to dispute that Raikkonen is more experienced, however, these teammates you speak of are Coulthard, Montoya and Grosjean. Not sure if any are significantly better than Webber. All Raikkonen did was beat them to the largest extent his ability allowed- exactly what Vettel has done, and all you can ever ask for from a driver.

            Vettel fans seem to be a little sensitive about statements regarding their golden boy

            It’s not so much about sensitivity, more like correcting those incorrect excuses generated to downplay the triple champ’s achievements.

        3. @todfod

          Please, don’t use selective history, it so annoying. Bourdais was second slower at Monza at literally got destroyed by Vettel in the season standings. He was finishing 5-10 positions after Seb in every race. So it’s not only Monza in 2008.

          Neither Kimi nor Seb need to prove anything to anyone, but it will be glorious fight if they are both in the same car and the car is able to win championships.

        4. Guy wins 30 Gp-s and 3 World titles in a row, and there are still Philosophers who have the nerve to question his abilities. Siiiiiiiiiick…

        5. @todfod, @david-a,
          I think Vettel has had the best package since the summer of 2009, but even with only Webber as his team mate, I think that conclusions can still be drawn about his abilities. In 2011, for instance, I was very impressed with his ability to dominate with a car that was only a little bit better than the opposition, in many races.

          However, as Mark Hughes pointed out yesterday in an article on SkySports ( “There is a small but insistent element within the F1 community – drivers included – that insists Vettel is merely a good driver in fantastic equipment.” Beating Kimi, as I’m confident he would, should finally convince the final naysayers as well.

          I’m hoping Ricciardo gets the seat, though, even if that means in the near future we have a six-time world champion in the shape of Sebastian Vettel who still needs to prove his talent.

          1. @adrianmorse

            I agree- in 2011, RBR were the best, having fixed the reliability issues that dogged them at times in 2010. But it was still impressive how Vettel often dominated, flattering an already very good package.

            As you can tell, I don’t agree with the “small but insistent” group of people, but I would like to see Vettel and Raikkonen at RBR together fighting for the championship, for entertainment purposes!

            As for Ricciardo and Vergne, I have started to become really impressed with them. Even if they don’t get into Red Bull for next year, I hope they remain in F1 for a decent team, unlike a lot of STR’s previous drivers.

          2. If “Vettel is merely a good driver in fantastic equipment” then I don’t know what that makes Mark Webber – presumably he would be ranked alongside Yuji Ide etc?

            If anyone in F1 really believes this stuff after everything Vettel has achieved against a top drawer team-mate who I’d rank alongside Massa (at his best), and Button then I wonder what the point of their interest in F1 is if they believe achievements such as pole positions, race wins and world championships are not worth anything.

          3. “There is a small but insistent element within the F1 community – drivers included – that insists Vettel is merely a good driver in fantastic equipment.”

            His equipment has never, ever, been “fantastic”. In the last two and a half seasons Webber has won 3 out of 48 GP’s. One of those was a gift from Vettel. Contrast that with the performance of the second best driver in some genuinely fantastic cars, such as the McLaren’s of the late 1980’s or the Williams of the early-mid 1990s. Or Rubens in the Ferrari’s.

            Either Webber is the worst driver ever to get behind the wheel of an F1 car, or the RB cars are not remotely as “fantastic” as some people are making them out to be.

          4. So what? Mark Hughes was also certain Hamilton would demolish Button. It turned out that though Lewis was generally faster, Jenson scored more points. I could see a similar situation with Seb vs. Kimi. I am not one of the nay-sayers but I just like Kimi much better and I am not so sure that anyone would stand out as clearly better overall. Kinda like Senna/Prost without comparing the four of them at all.

            As much as I enjoy the Kimi/Lotus combination I would love to see Seb vs. Kimi in the same equipment.

        6. I agree that Seb’s victory at Monza in 2008 alone doesn’t prove much. No driver can win a race in a midfield car if he isn’t helped by the conditions, which were unusual on that weekend.

          However, there are many episodes in Seb’s early F1 career that indicate that he is one of the very best. This is what F1F wrote about him after 2008, which was his first full season:

          Vettel finished an excellent fifth on his first appearance at the Monte-Carlo track – in the rain. When a more potent version of the Ferrari engine was added later in the year, Vettel stretched his wings. He frequently appeared in the final part of qualifying and began scoring points regularly.
          He was in excellent form at Interlagos as well, snatching fifth from Lewis Hamilton in the dying stages, which became fourth. Faced with performances like these it’s easy to forget Vettel hasn’t been in the sport very long.

          As for Webber, he had convincingly beaten all his previous team mates before Seb, he had won the qualifying battles 102:20 before 2009. You can diminish almost every F1 driver’s successes by such claims as ‘his team mate is (was) past his prime’, for instance, I could say that Alonso has been nothing special, it’s just that Fisichella was past his prime after 2004 and Massa never fully recovered after his 2009 crash. I don’t think that’s a very convincing argument.

          1. I struggle to understand why everyone is responding and arguing so narrow minedly regarding the RedBull car and Vettel as a driver. The RedBull is a damn good car, but it is not the best. It may have been the most dominant, but it hasn’t been the most reliable, nor the quickest for a whole season. It’s simply a consistently good car. As far as Vettel goes, his attitude towards the rest of the paddock may not be welcomed, but the guy can drive. He has proven that in more than one car and in more than one class. He is the next Schumacher, just not so smart at hiding his opinions. In saying this, that RedBull car since 2010 has been built around him. To dispute this fact would be laughable and as was MSC situation, when a car is developed to a style that suits you, you are bound to benefit from it. Lewis Hamilton’s comments in the sky article in today’s round-up highlight that fact, something that Webber I believe has had to deal with. He’s defiantly the no.2 driver at RBR. Finally who says the RBR car is going to be any good next year? Newey is highly respected in my eyes, but he’s not perfect, next years specs could yet prove to be a challenge for all the teams.
            The top teams would be expected to prevail with the 2014 regs, but great teams such as Williams and Mclaren have shown that great concepts don’t always succeed in recents years. Anything is possible and if was a driver in Kimi’s situation, I wouldn’t be making any hasty decisions.

        7. @todfod – You are right in a way – we will see how good Vettel is if Kimi joins. You’ll be disappointed to see that the answer is incredibly good.

          I’m a Hamilton fan but I can guarantee that this time next year, you’ll be claiming that Red Bull are giving Vettel a faster car when he proves to be atleast as fast as Kimi.

          1. @petebaldwin

            I can guarantee you I wont be crying about preferential treatment if Kimi gets beaten by Vettel. Heck, I fully support the fact that Webber is getting demolished by Vettel just because of driver ability instead of blaming it in politics.

            Whether Kimi will get beaten by Vettel….. I at least hope we get the opportunity to see what happens

        8. I really dont think we need to benchmark a driver who has races 10 seasons with front running and mid field cars.

          But you DO think we need to benchmark one of the most successful drivers in the entire history of F1? Saying that Vettel needs to prove himself against Kimi is akin to saying that Alonso needs to prove himself against Button.

          What exactly has Kimi done in his career to merit the sky high esteem in which he’s held? He only won the 2007 WDC because of in-fighting at McLaren. He beat teammates like Coulthard (which Webber also managed to do) and split two seasons with Massa. If you judge Kimi by the standards used against Vettel, he looks distinctly unimpressive.

        9. Vettel. He’s had a dominant car since mid 2009

          You don’t know the meanings of words. Vettel has never had a “dominant car”.

          A lot of people cling fervently but irrationally to the belief that every car SV has driven has been the modern equivalent of an MP4-4 or FW18 or F2002. In fact his cars have been about as “dominant” as Alonso’s Renaults in 2005 and 2006. They’ve been reasonably good cars, but miles short of “dominant”.

          1. @jonsan

            In fact his cars have been about as “dominant” as Alonso’s Renaults in 2005 and 2006.

            That’s false. Red Bull’s 2011 car was very much dominant, definitely far more dominant than any car Renault ever created. Ferrari were more than a match for Renault in 2006, Schumacher choked the title, but in 2011 there was no one a match for Red Bull, apart from the rare McLaren challenge every now and then.

          2. Red Bull’s 2011 car was very much dominant

            You’re using words to mean things you want them to mean, not what they do mean. Vettel’s performance n 2011 was dominant – the car was not. If the car had been dominant Webber would have done something with it, and he did nothing with it. Adjusting for Seb’s better qualifying pace compared to Nando, and looking at Webber’s results compared to Fisichella’s in 2005 and 2006, the RB7 was comparable to the Renaults of 2006 and 2006.

            Dominant car = a car which both drivers perform exceptionally well in.

            Dominant car a car which driver you dislike wins WDC in.

          3. in 2011 there was no one a match for Red Bull

            You keep on saying “Red Bull” when you mean “Vettel”. In virtually every single race of 2011 somebody was a match for one of the RB7’s. The “Red Bull’s” have not been in the slightest bit “dominant”. One of the Red Bull drivers has been, at times. Try to grasp the distinction.

          4. to Jon Sandor: I remember Webber was dominant over Vettel in 2010 from Barcelona till disaster in Turkey. Webber was destroying Vettel for third race in a row (leading every lap, outqualifying his teammate). And he could continue that but dis aliter visum (or Red Bull saw otherwise). From that moment onwards Webber’s reigning was over because of the team.
            So I am curious how we can use Mark as a… mark?
            Besides, Red Bull won 12 races out of 19 in 2011. McLaren and Ferrari won only occasionally due to odd conditions (Canada, Hungary) and political decisions (Silverstone).
            I have nothing more to say as I see your comments too odd to say the least. Cheers.

          5. @slava
            I find it pretty laughable that you’re basing Webber’s ability against Vettel on those 2-3 races in 2010, and blaming his lack of performance on the team. How about the opening four rounds of the season? Vettel only lost the first 2 races of the season because of mechanical failures, before winning the third. Even before Turkey, they were level on points.

    3. Damn, I’m so excited. But part of me feels bad because I want it to happen not to see Kimi winning another WDC but to see him upset Vettel, what a hater I am!

      1. @jonsan
        Webber scored 10 podiums in 2011, Fisichella had 3 in 2005 and 5 in 2006. On what basis were their results comparable?

        There’s one big difference between 2005-2006 and 2011, and that is the competition.

        In 2005, McLaren were consistently able to challenge Renault. The MP4-20 was faster than the R25 throughout the majority of the season. They lost both championships because of poor reliability that year, although it was close, especially the constructors.

        In 2006, it was Ferrari whom were able to constantly challenge Renault. The F2006 and R26 were very evenly matched, in both speed and reliability. The Renault was faster in the first half of the year, Ferrari in the second half. Alonso beat Schumacher that season because he made less crucial mistakes. Likewise, in the constructors championship, again it was very close. Only a mere 5 points between Renault and Ferrari at the end.

        Now compare this to 2011, there was no one good enough to challenge Red Bull on a regular basis. The RB7 was the only car in 2011 that was capable of winning every single race. McLaren bested them on occasions, but were too inconsistent, and had many dips (Turkey, GBR, Belgium, Brazil). Red Bull were virtually perfect.

        I can accept 2010 and 2012 as being similar to 2005 and 2006, but Alonso has never driven a car as dominant as the RB7 before. It’s not that hard to see the difference.

        1. In virtually every single race of 2011 somebody was a match for one of the RB7′s.

          Who was a match for the Red Bull’s in Australia, Turkey, Europe, Belgium, India, or Brazil? That’s right, no one.

          Also, in 2011 Ferrari and McLaren’s form fluctuated too much, so it was virtually impossible for anyone to challenge Vettel for the title. While in 2005 and 2006, there was a consistent challenger. Can you not tell the difference?

          As I’ve said before, I can accept 2010 and 2012 as being similar to 2005 and 2006, but definitely not 2011.

  3. thatscienceguy
    10th July 2013, 0:44

    Will Buxton pointed out on twitter that this year is an election year in the FIA. Could go some way to explaining the burst of activity.

  4. Lewis needs to express him self better, In the Andy Murray article they make it sound like he’s diminishing Andy’s achievements, when what he is actually saying is that in individual sports it is easier to showcase and prove your talents, as opposed to F1 where there so many other factors beyond your control.
    Also I think he is too preoccupied with how highly the public rate his abilities.

    1. I agree Lewis has real trouble getting his ideas around. And that only bring him trouble. Second Lewis needs to sstop talking about his personal life, because of the same comunication troubles it mades him looks weak and weepy.

      Also I think he is too preoccupied with how highly the public rate his abilities.

      Lewis has always seem himself as a “brand”, and because of that he always is justifying his actions and results. Lately yes the car and tyres haven´t work for him, but if you repeat yourself so much you start sounding like a cry baby.

      And on the test part, he can take his dissapointment to Brawn, who was the “brain” finding holes in the “rules”

      Go home Lewis hug your dog.

      1. Just admit you don’t like the guy.

      2. Yes @edmarques, it’s clear @celeste doesn’t like Lewis Hamilton.

        1. @jcost @bosyber @edmarques Yes, I dislike Hamilton so much!!!!!… that I wrote the article, through telepathy I convice Hamilton to said what he said, and Nicole to break of with him, and him that´s he need it his dog at every race of the year… I was also the sniper in Silverstone that shoot to Hamilton tyre, and the genious that cause tyre degradation for them … I´m good at this think of hating him, am I?

          1. Not that good. You should try better))

    2. Well, he did not have most common childhood and upbringing to say the least.

      1. I pointed this out sunday. Maybe the upbringing has really something to do with his way of express himself. Point´s against home schooling or maybe that the fact that he really was rised as a elite athlete (focus on the sport) and this didn´t allow him to develop the his interactions with others?

        Maybe Hamilton should take a note out of Murray book and look for a sport psychologist to help him out?

        1. Lewis actually has the same management team as Murray and Beckham

          1. But a manager at least Simon Fuller, or Mister American Idol as I like to call him, is only a comercial manager as the one thar is in charge of signing deals, PR, and sponsors.

            Murray choose his own team: trainner, psychologist, nutritionist, etc.

            So there is no direct connection or better said influence between Fuller being Hamilton´s manager, and being Murray or Beckham.

    3. Lewis needs to express him self better

      @mnm101 I think he expresses himself fine – the quotes are perfectly acceptable. The fact that they have been thrown into a context that is clearly not what he meant, and given a stupidly sensationalist headline, is totally unacceptable. This is the poorest form of journalism and a bit depressing from a broadsheet newspaper.

      (FYI I’m not a Hamilton fan, and I actually work in journalism, so my opinion here is not biased… except in favour of accurate reporting!)

      1. @ladym – I agree completely with that comment!

  5. I agree with Lewis in one way I guess, what a multimillionaire tax exile says shouldn’t be of interest to your average Briton.

  6. Twit to save reputation, Lewis? I have heard many comments about how Button is a cry baby, when is actually Lewis who gives lots of interviews saying how bad life is treating him these days.
    You have a hard life, really?

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      10th July 2013, 2:47

      Some of the richest people in the word are unhappy with their life.
      Just because he’s a Formula 1 driver and gets paid a handsome sum, doesn’t mean he has no problems.

      Money does not equal happiness.

      1. Yosi (@yoshif8tures)
        10th July 2013, 4:37


      2. Money does not equal happiness.

        @tophercheese21 so can you send me some? That won’t make you sad ;P

      3. Money does not equal happiness

        I volunteer to take some of his money. Lets see if it makes things better for him

    2. @omarr-pepper @celeste

      The only two paragraphs from The Independent article that are actually quotes from LH, had him point out in one that there are many elements in motor racing in comparison to tennis (probably true, though @fer-no65 raises a good counter point), and the other he talks about Mercedes missing the test. I see nowhere that he’s whining about how hard his life is, or being a cry baby. The Independent just did what a lot of the press do- create controversy when there is none.

      1. @david-a He has being complaining about the test since before the change.

        And I get what he is saying but is true that he has, once again, made a careless comment that it can only bring trouble to himself.

        He needs to start making his point with out diminish Murray or other sportman. Regardless of whether the comment was made with the intention or not.

        1. Or perhaps when you get annoyed at what sports people are quoted as saying in the press, it is time to just ignore those quotes and focus on the racing @celeste, especially if you already don’t like the guy. Works great for me; I don’t watch F1 for the personalities, or I’ be constantly irritated (Horner argh!), I just stop listening when interviews stop telling me something about racing :)

          1. Though I do admit it makes Brundle’s pitwalks more and more ignorable with so much fluff – not sure that is time saved or a loss to me!

        2. @celeste – you never get to see the full transcript of the interview/press conference though do you.

          The question would have been along the lines of “Obviously you saw Andy Murray win Wimbledon. Are there many similarities between yourselves in your persuit to be number 1?”

          Lewis then says that the sports are different and that in F1, you have more elements that control whether you are able to win other than yourself (which is completly true) and the story gets spun into him moaning when he really wasn’t.

          It happens all the time! Only the other week, Rosberg said that retirements have cost him points this season. Everyone jumped on him pointing out that he was stating the obvious but he was probably asked “You’re quite a long way off Vettel in the Championship. What has gone wrong?”

      2. While I agree with the points above regarding the way the article is portrayed, how many articles do you see written this way about Mark Webber. It’s all in the way your project yourself. There’s a pressure the comes with celebrity status, some can’t handle it, some milk it and some just deal with it.

  7. Lewis seems to be retreating into a bit of a shell again…hope it doesnt reach the lows of 2011.

    It would be great to see Kimi at RBR. I doubt he will be interested in all the media fanfare that comes with RB, like doing an Infiniti gig in every country the race rocks up to. Would be great to see him win another WDC. It would be interesting to see how Seb will cope and compare with a former champion who is surely one of the fastest of all time.

    I wonder if Kimi’s salary will boosted to be closer to Seb’s. His basic contract is about 3 million Euro a year now, Seb is on 12 million…whatever the case, its going to be nowhere near the 40 odd Million US he a year he creamed at Ferrari!

    1. @jaymenon10 where did you get Seb at 12 million? As I understand it… RBR work on a pay-as-you-go system. A base salary, then a points/podiums/wins/championship bonus system.

      1. I got it from

        Dont know how accurate they are. I think this is the base salary, not inclusive of wins, points scored, sponsorship etc.
        Michael Schumacher at Ferrari was on base salary of around 30 million US a year, not inclusive of bonuses and sponsorship. If I remember correctly, In 2002, he earned approx 170 million US.

        Another interesting fact can be found here If you take Floyd out the equation, Kimi and Schumi essentially have the largest fee per appearance of all time! Once again, Floyd aside, Kimi’s package at Ferrari is the largest yearly sporting contract of all time.

    2. Lewis seems to be retreating into a bit of a shell again…hope it doesnt reach the lows of 2011

      With two poles is a row? A solid race at Silverstone after a tyre blow and 5th place with no grip at all in Germany? I think he’ll do just fine the day Mercedes figures out how to operate on those tyres when it’s hot.

      1. @jcost I think they meant personality wise not performance wise. His results are pretty good. Especially because at the start of the year they weren’t sure they would be near the front.

        1. @georgetuk if his performance is OK, where is the problem?

          I think Lewis wanted to say Murray can win without without a pit crew and engineers. It’s Murray and his racket (sure, it’s not that simple) but in motorsports it’s you, your car, your pits, your mechanics… We both know Lewis didn’t try to diminish Murray’s achievement. It takes skills to win a WDC or even a single GP but like the adage says “nobody wins a formula 1 in a Fiat Panda”

          1. nobody wins a formula 1 race in a Fiat Panda

  8. I’m surprised by these stories of Lotus having financial difficulties. Didn’t they just get a big cash infusion from Infiniti (with an eye)?

    Along with the stories about Sauber’s potential demise, it paints a grim picture for the future of F1.

    1. They have :
      Unilever (Rexona and Clear)
      Microsoft Dynamics
      Trina Solar
      Advanced Global Trading
      Columbia Records
      Burn (Coca Cola)

      But I guess lots of sponsor came after Lotus started using “we have a world champion running for us”; so If Kimi goes is fair to said some sponsor probably will go too

      I guess price money really comes a long way in terms of financing a team.

      1. They had a perfect recipe. Lotus could have had ALL the cash of any other team. Unilever would have provided. But this is second year in a row they keep on making same mistakes of an under-achieving team. I remember it like yesterday how they had to moderate their social media to keep angry fans calm with regards to their pit-wall calls. It did not change. How many seconds did they loose by considerably slower pit stops over two years. The device – F1 is not a fairyland, what kind of miracle did they expect, lottery jackpot?

        Lotus are not clinical enough, that is why they lack resources, they do not utilize what they have now.

        1. McLaren is clinical in surplus and what they are achieving!?

          1. Over the previous 5 championships, three 2nd places in the constructors and two 3rds in addition to a drivers title.

            Lotus/Renault have won what? A couple of races.

      2. It’s hard to understand but big name sponsors doen’t always seem to translate into wads of cash. Caterham are the same – EADS and General Electric as sponsors yet they’re still penny-pinching with pay-drivers.

      3. More than 15 sponsors, they need a fat cat willing to pay a huge amount. Looking at the world of today it will take a Mid-East sheik, a South American billionaire or a Russian oligarch. They better work fast because Russians and sheiks are betting hard on football clubs…

    2. Jody McLeod (@)
      10th July 2013, 23:13

      They should just allow tobacco and alcohol sponsors. It’s a parents job to tell their kids that smoking and drinking is bad for them, not a governing bodies. Those two things can infuse huge amounts of money.

  9. That headline about Murray’s job being “easy” is obviously misleading. Hamilton never explicitly said that. But to add to Hamilton’s point, where he says that in Murray case it’s just “him and his racquet”, is not strictly speaking true. There are variety of variables involved in tennis as well. I’m no Murray fan, but tennis players’ jobs are just as difficult and in some cases clearly harder. They may not have to train their neck muscles to withstand the G-forces but still have to ensure that their legs don’t cramp up in 110 F, in a best of five set match in the simmering heat of Australia. Add to that the excruciatingly long tennis season on all kinds of different surfaces, which you have to master in order to be a top player. In Murray’s case, his victory under the extraordinary expectations of the British public and media and having to contend with the fact that he plays in an era where Rafa, Roger, Djokovic are equally dominant, is no mean feat. But most importantly tennis players can’t hide behind their cars when they don’t win. It’s all on them when you lose. So it works both ways.

    1. Agreed . That was a fantastic victory for Murray.He was as dominant as an RBR-vettel lights to flag . Though I understand what hamilton is trying to say , he could have said it better . Sometimes I think it is better if he says lesser . But again we don’t know what question was thrown to him and what he replied . These things are often taken out of context . Yeah, he need not have said so much at all considering how people often take things out of context.

    2. Yes, these guys really have tough jobs…

      Both should advise firefighters…

      1. This is a sports website, lets keep it in context. The poster is referring to the differences in the sport not how it could be measured against a real world job.

    3. @sankalp88

      That headline about Murray’s job being “easy” is obviously misleading.

      It would be if it did say “easy” but it doesn’t, it says “easier”, and the difference is significant.

  10. I wonder what Vettel’s critics will say if he ends up consistently beating Kimi as a teammate. That Red Bull gives Vettel a better car? That Kimi is past his prime? That Vettel got lucky and/or Kimi unlucky? Anyway, it would be cool to have two “number 1” drivers on a top team, we don’t see that often in modern F1.

    1. @ironcito well. Bit of all. Kimi is past his prime, probably. And Vettel’s still the favourite in the team, and will ever be. And who can blame Horner and company? the guy put that car in first place 30 times…

      But Vettel’s still a terrific driver, and he maximizes the great tool he has at his disposal. Every great did it, even if it gets overlooked by the fact that the tool is very very good.

    2. You forgot the ever popular “Helmut Marko is sabotaging Marks car!!”

      Just cross out “Mark”and replace it with “Kimi”.

    3. I think Vettel wants Kimi in too. Critics still say he has to prove his skills either by (1) leaving Red Bull or (2) drive along another WDC/Button [ :) ]

      Option (2) seems to suit his will better once he doesn’t look inclined to leave Adrian Newey Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

    4. @ironcito – no doubt that Red Bull have given Kimi a slower car.

    5. Kimi can always be like Hamilton this year, keep saying “I’m new to team” “I haven’t gotten myself familiar with car yet” “This takes time to get used to new car” “For some reason I can’t trust the car” and whatelse there has been. Truth is tho, that 1st year is new team is always disadvantage (may it be small or large) vs teammate who has been there longer.

      1. @ironcito

        I wonder what Vettel’s critics will say if he ends up consistently beating Kimi as a teammate.

        That Vettel is officially as good as Massa, who also beat Kimi as a teammate. ;-)

      2. That was Schumacher explaining how he got beaten by Rosberg.

        Hamilton will of course still be adjusting to the new team, but he doesn’t need it to explain why he’s beating Rosberg.

  11. “I’m in a different position to Andy Murray. He’s been very solid, but it’s just him and his racket. There are so many elements in racing – the car, the suspension, the electronics, the engine, the tyres – that have to be performing for you. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the same head zone as Murray, it all gets taken away by the tyres.”

    Oh, Lewis… again with the hideous (and wrong IMO) comparisions.

    You can put it the other way. In order to win at Wimbledon you need all of yourself. All of it. Your team won’t save you from a bad position by pitting you early, or a Safety Car bringing you back into play. You depend entirely on yourself, and the raquet. The only variable is you, and your rival. If your rival is Nadal, or Djokovic, you just need to be better than him in every aspect. Not to mention the weight on your back to be playing at Wimbledon where a brit has not won in 77 years…

    Tyres are a factor in racing, sure. But you’re not alone, it’s a team, and they all pull together, trying setups to bring you back into play, millions on developing a car of a team that employs hundred of people. In tennis, you better hit that smash, or you’re going home with no trophy.

    There’s a lot less room for mistakes.

    1. Alexander (@)
      10th July 2013, 1:41

      Women don’t have british citizenship?? ;)

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        10th July 2013, 4:17

        Ummm… what?

        1. Alexander (@)
          10th July 2013, 4:35

          Virginia Wade won the Wimbledon in 1977…

          1. Alexander (@)
            10th July 2013, 4:39

            And I guess shes british eventhoug shes a woman…
            I mean everybody forgot about her…

    2. @fer-no65 – I agree however I think that kind of backs up Lewis’ argument…

      Lewis believes that he is the fastest driver and all things being equal, would win much more regularly than he does. Instead, we have Vettel dominating the field – a driver who Lewis thinks isn’t as fast as him.

      His point was exactly as you say – to win Wimbledon, it comes down to you and you have to be better that your opponent. As things currently stand, Lewis is losing to people that he thinks he is better than because of other factors.

      1. Lewis is not as good as Vettel people forget when Lewis is on pole is because he has the fastest qualy car he cant manage a race.
        Now an example is last season Mclaren was dominant throughout Europe but Lewis was not hence wins shared between himself and Button in Asia RedBull was dominant Vettel won all races in Asia.
        Mclaren 7 wins Hamilton 4 Button 3
        RedBull 7 wins Vettel 5 Webber 2
        Now that’s where the difference lies he cant dominate a team mate its easy to be fast in qualy converting it to race win is another thing entirely. But Vettel is then put down by fans saying its easy to win from pole to flag and Hamilton makes hard work of doing that.

        1. Indeed. Unfortunately for Lewis 2 gearbox failures and amateur pit service did not influence his wins record last year…

  12. Silly season 2014:
    Kimi to Red Bull –>empty seat at Lotus taken by Hulkenberg
    Sauber is talking to Russians–> empty seat taken by Petrov
    Toro Rosso’s Ricciardo is kept, Vergne leaves and Da Costa gets in
    Massa is finally dropped –> Kobayashi or Bianchi get in (Bianchi is still inexperienced, so probably they go for Kobayashi, even when they have denied that possibility)

    1. I really think Massa should be dropped already, not necessarily out of F1, but definitely Ferrari, even if he has an excellent season from now onwards.

      1. @mnm101 – I doubt he’d go anywhere else if Ferrari dropped him – who else could afford his repairs bill each event?

    2. Kimi to Red Bull –>empty seat at Lotus taken by Hulkenberg

      I can see that happening.

      Sauber is talking to Russians–> empty seat taken by Petrov

      But I’d put Massa in the Sauber.

      1. With the way he’s been driving recently, I’d put Massa on the first flight back to Brazil.

        1. “Recently” being “ever since the end of 2008”? Actually 2008 wasn’t brilliant either, but other drivers blundered even more.

    3. @omarr-pepper Why would they give Da Costa a seat? He is not doing a great job in Renault

    4. Oh, Please someone give bianchi a seat . He is an undeniable talent and I also have begun to like him very much . The press conference where he was asked “what have you got for your new surprise helmet tomorrow”?
      for which he replied ” it’s a surprise , you will see it tomorrow ” classic LOL

      1. Chilton is making Bianchi look good he’s finishing well behind the Caterham its unfortunate people are joining the bandwagon without actually analysing the situation themselves what impressive drive has he had ?

    5. @omarr-pepper

      Sauber is talking to Russians–> empty seat taken by Petrov

      I’m sorry, but how is that a given? Russian money does not guarantee a Russian driver. Marussia is fnded by Russians, but they have never run a Russian driver. Force India is backed by an Indian, but has not run an Indian driver. Malaysians invested heavily in Lotus/Caterham, bt they are yet to put a Malaysian driver in one of their cars.

      The only person in pit lane who puts any emphasis on a driver’s nationality is Eric Boullier, who insists on running a French driver because he is French. Renault like having French drivers in their customer teams, but only in the ones like Caterham that are dependent on engine subsidies; Red Bull, Williams and Lotus can survive without French drivers (and Toro Rosso will be able to next year). But even they won’t insist on it if the team believes that two non-French drivers are the best drivers available.

      So I don’t see how you’ve come to the conclusion that Russian investment in Sauber means a Russian driver in Sauber. They might like the idea, and they could probably put Sergey Sirotkin in the car without any questions over his talent, but I am yet to see any definitive proof that investment from one country guarantees a driver from that country.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Mexico? Claro put Checo in McL (talent, I know) and Gut in Sauber (talent only? I have my doubts… and we are talking about Sauber again

        1. @omarr-pepper – Given that this is the same Sauber that are reportedly staring down the barrel of financial oblivion, whatever investment or sponsorship arrangement exists between the team and the Slims is clearly at the barest minimum.

    6. Assume,red bull can’t build a front runner in 2014 with new rules and Kimi goes there.
      What a hilarious situation.LOL
      hope this happens as F1 needs a change ;)

    7. Kobayashi doesn’t deserve a Ferrari seat and it doesn’t seem realistic. I don’t see why he should be given an F1 seat again, he didn’t improve vastly in his 3-and-a-bit seasons. Ferrari have better options than him, one includes keeping Massa. Hulkenberg and Bianchi would be their best options imo, if Hulkenberg hasn’t already signed for Lotus by that decision-making stage.

  13. Although I’m glad that Schumi left F1 and not have to deal with the tragedy of the Mercedes form, a part of me still misses him so much. He was the only reason for me to even wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to watch those fly away races… nowadays, I just tape it and watch it the next morning. It’s a shame that he is not around.

    1. Well, unlike you, I was having trouble staying awake at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, because of Schumacher, too. :)

  14. A real shame for Sauber and F1. Hopefully they grind through it. If not I’d rather see a merger with one of the back marker teams than go belly up. Marruber F1 kind of has a nice ring to it…

    1. Or Saubrussia!

      PS: EJ looks so focused on your avatar!

  15. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    10th July 2013, 2:45

    The Independant article is complete rubbish. I swear the British press has it out for Lewis.

    He’s vehemently denied the comments.

    Bad journalism makes me angrier than a streaker at a nude beach.

    1. @tophercheese21

      He’s vehemently denied the comments.

      Has he actually denied giving the quotes in the article? I read his Tweet more as him complaining about the coverage rather than saying the quotes are made up.

      1. Well, he did say “Don’t believe what is written in the papers.”, which comes across to me as a denial of what was written. Maybe it’s just me.

  16. Buemi thinks that Raikkonen is going to RBR. While Nico Hulkenberg is a real chance of going to Lotus by replacing Kimi and Grosjean is going to the Lotus sister team

    1. Lotus sister team? GP2?

      1. No I think more like Sauber

        1. Sauber isn’t the “Lotus sister team”. Lotus doesn’t have a “sisiter team”.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys DAMS or ART (or even Lotus/Gravity-Charouz)might try to stake that claim..

          2. ART are no longer affiliated with Lotus.

      2. Why not Caterham? They have strong ties with Renault now, and Grosjean brings money and, given that at his best he’s as fast as Kimi (though probably still a bit lacking in racecraft), he’ll be a really good replacement for Giedo.

      3. I think he just said that lotus sister car is slower because it is run by lotus sister

  17. Disappointed for Josh Hill, he was having a pretty good debut season in European F3, after finishing 3rd last year in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC. I wish him the best of luck in the future in whatever he does.
    In a side-note, what’s it with Fortec Motorsport’s drivers in European F3? First Dmitry Suranovich announced retirement (okay, I’ll admit I wasn’t too sad about that), now Josh Hill..

    1. Was looking forward to see him in the Macau Grand Prix… Anyway, this is what happens to the descendants of great legacies… They have it all and have the “luxury” of “following other interests”. Seems like he had talent- not easy to win or finish on the podium on International F3 at all. Just lacked the commitment and passion…

    2. @wsrgo

      First Dmitry Suranovich announced retirement (okay, I’ll admit I wasn’t too sad about that)

      Good news for Conor Daly!

    3. I’m a bit gutted about Josh Hill quitting. he’s always seemed like a really nice guy, and very talented – his overtake through the chicane at croft in Formula Renault was immense!

  18. @omarr-pepper dream coming through (kimittel) ? I just want nico and bianchi to have a good seat in f1 . They just deserve it .

  19. About Sauber, and also seeing what is happening to Catherham- and their need to “hire back” Kovalainen for testing- I hope this is also a good warning for teams to hire sub par pay drivers for their seats. Results matter. They have one talented driver in Hulkenberg, but he didn’t know the team, the car, the mechanics, so all car development had to start from scratch. They did a mistake by letting Kobayashi go. Williams I have a similar feel about it: By the looks of it, the “brains” behind car development and input was probably… Bruno Senna. Word of mouth- I don’t know the guy- is that Bruno is an intelligent and with mechanical knowhow individual. This makes a world of difference in setup and communication with the engineers. I remember I read somewhere that Mclaren would purposedly handicap their cars on track days when testing new pilots to hear their feedback. They would go for the driver that would do the fastest time AND give feedback and identify the problem. This is the difference between a great and a merely raw talent kind of driver.

  20. Regarding the safety car rule of unlapped cars, why is it necessary that the lapped car ACTUALLY has to make one extra round of the circuit?
    For eg: In the previous race, Mark Webber was 21st in the queue behind the safety car and one lap behind the driver in 20th place. Now, instead of Webber going around the circuit and again joining behind the driver in 20th place, can’t we just tell Webber “You have now gained an extra lap, safety car in this lap”.

    In a scenario where say Webber was 2nd in the queue and lapped by the driver in 1st (but not lapped by anyone else), instead of him going around the track, we can just tell Webber “let everyone through and join at the end of the queue, you are no longer lapped, safety car in this lap”.

    Won’t it save us a lot of time? esp. at tracks like Spa.

    1. That’s actually a pretty good idea. The whole idea of gaining a lap back when you’ve lost it fair and square is pretty artificial anyway so why not save a bunch of time and just have them feed to the back. It may be easier to have all other cars overtake the lapped runners though as I’m sure its easier to go forwards than backwards in those queues

    2. In principal it sounds like a good idea, but in reality it means that Webber would have essentially had to complete 1 less physical lap than everyone else, and implications with fuel load and tyre wear mean that if he did finish high up on the podium someone would kick up a stink.

  21. I should say First Lewis needs to keep a Distance from Media. Yes, He is a Celebrity in UK but he also have a Work to do. With all this Interviews every week coming out only make it harder for him. He was making his life difficult with Saying the Thing not in the Right way and trying hard to correct them again. so the Less he speak the better his life will be.
    Also Media should LEAVE HIM ALONE. If Lewis was struggling let him be. Let him know why he was struggling and let him and his team find a solution for that. The same goes for him when he was Succeeding. He was a Driver who can solve his issues all he needs is Confidence in team and Him self which he has currently.

  22. Aya (@ayatoybox)
    10th July 2013, 7:25

    :( very sad see hill gave up always wish see him on F1 top podium like his father and grandfather

  23. If I was Ferrari right now, I’d consider swapping Massa with the contract free Hulkenberg immediately, like today, before the Silverstone test. The Hulk would get three days of testing and in my opinion help Ferrari more.
    I know it’s more wishful thinking as the contract with Massa stands but for humanity’s sake, Felipe has been toying with his red car for years now without any consistency or improvement… It’s about time that Nico also gets his chance in a big team. He and Di Resta deserve it.

  24. From Benson’s article:

    The reports they are getting from Sauber about Hulkenberg have not been positive, …

    Hulkenberg made the wrong call and just doesn’t fit well with poor Sauber. I know people don’t like Benson, but he wouldn’t make it all up?

    1. @verstappen, I’m getting the impression that a) Hulkenberg is very frustrated this season, and b) he isn’t being very constructive about it towards his team. In Malaysia, for instance, I was very surprised by his rant on the radio (after he finished in the points, I believe), about some things being “unacceptable”.

      If I’m right about him, and it’s hurting his chances to get into Ferrari, then that’s a shame. I would not only like to see what Nico can do in a competitive car, I would like to see Alonso being pushed in his team for a change. Not sure Fernando would be too keen on the idea, though.

  25. Altough i understand why the RedBull interest in Kimi, i hope they could turn their attention for STR and give JEV or RIC a chance…

  26. Ron (@rcorporon)
    10th July 2013, 8:27

    Some reports stating that Buemi claiming Kimi signed by RBR:

    Hopefully true!

    1. @rcorporon The article actually says Buemi believes Raikkonen will be signed by Red Bull, not that he has already been signed.

    2. @rcorporon – I think you’ve misread something there. Buemi isn’t saying that Raikkonen has joined Red Bull, but rather that he expects Raikkonen will join Red Bull.

  27. I’ll take Boullier’s comments with a grain of salt. By creating a threat of losing Raikkonen, he can easily lure more investors in, because he’s pitching it as “hey, the best team in the sport wants our driver, so we must be doing something right!”. And he never actually commits to his claim that Red Bull want Raikkonen. He just speculates.

    It’s worth noting that during the build-up to the German Grand Prix, James Allen said that his sources indicate that Red Bull want Daniel Ricciardo alongside Vettel. And he said it in an interview with Ricciardo, whose reaction made it pretty clear that there is some truth to Allen’s comments.

    1. I haven’t heard about these sources but I hope they’re reliable as I do want to see Ricciardo alongside Vettel. I can’t see Red Bull hiring a 34 year old when they surely want stability in the driver line-up, and would Raikkonen really want to challenge Vettel at this stage of his career?

  28. Does anyone know which drivers are out of contract at the end of this year?

    Someone has suggested these:


    1. *there may be more

    2. @tobinen Button signed a three-year deal with McLaren in 2011:

      So presumably his contract doesn’t come up until the end of next season.

      1. Thanks Keith – so still quite a few drivers looking for drives?

  29. Can anyone shed any light on why Di Resta seems to be overlooked all the time, McLaren last season and no real mention of him going to RBR, Lotus or Ferrari this year, is it a personality thing or do they think he not quite there as a top driver ( I think he could be)

    1. Leaving questions of his ability to one side, his obviously fractious relationship with his race engineer would surely be a concern for any prospective employer (examples here and here).

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