Brawn seeing “great signs” from Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2013In the round-up: Ross Brawn believes Lewis Hamilton is beginning to come good on his potential with Mercedes.


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

Lewis Hamilton has not yet reached potential says Ross Brawn (BBC)

“It has taken a little while but I see great signs, particularly the last few races.”

Russian Grand Prix Misses F1 Deadline – Official (RSport)

“The Russian Automobile Federation released private correspondence with Formula One’s governing body the FIA on Thursday showing that the country has missed the deadline to apply for a Grand Prix in Sochi next year.”

Don’t rule out Raikkonen yet – Lotus (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “Kimi is going to have to make his chances of merit; and in Hungary on merit we beat Red Bull – so there will be a good fight.”

Sauber cagey on Russian deal

Monisha Kaltenborn: “We know what responsibility we have. We’ve been in similar situations before, maybe not with such a young driver [as Sergey Sirotkin] but with drivers who have come from the series he’s in now [Formula Renault 3.5].”

5 minutes with … Valtteri Bottas (ESPN)

“I think our car is sometimes quite difficult to drive, a bit unpredictable sometimes. But I think compared to last year we are more or less now on the same level, even could be a bit better. It’s just a fact that everyone else has improved so much in the last year and we kind of didn’t. The base, the start level for this year wasn’t good enough, so that’s the problem. But you know next year there are going to be big rule changes and hopefully then we have time to catch up with the others.”

The hot Grands Prix (MotorSport)

“Drivers roasted from without by the pampero ?ǣ the hot wind gusting from the pampas ?ǣ and from within by engine heat percolating through their cockpits, wilted left, right and centre. Three of the cars that finished in the top six required three drivers to complete the distance. One required two. Even bull-strong Froilan Gonzalez suffered sunstroke. Two, however, were driven singly: by [Juan Manuel] Fangio and compatriot Roberto Mieres.”

Ross Brawn pre-shutdown Q&A (Part I) (Mercedes via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Are the smaller teams unfairly criticised for not makin more progress?

I think it?s very hard in modern F1 to make big improvements. The margins between the teams are much smaller and the gains to be made much smaller too than in the past.

Backmarkers have their place in the sport too and they?re a good starting point for rookies. Both Alonso and Webber started with Minardi for example.

It?s a work in progress, I don?t care how many years it takes, for me it?s interesting to follow their progress. If nothing else, they?re keeping up with the development of the other teams which isn?t bad either.

If you look at backmarker teams from the past, these two are on a completely different level and I don?t think they deserve all the criticism they get.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Giuseppe Farina, winner of the first world championship, took his final win in a championship race 60 years ago today in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

His Ferrari team mate Alberto Ascari led from pole position until he lost a wheel.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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62 comments on Brawn seeing “great signs” from Hamilton

  1. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd August 2013, 0:10

    I have to admit, the new Vettel helmet for Alonso’s ‘collection’ is ghastly. It looks simply like a poorly designed mirror with some Red Bull logos on it.

  2. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 2nd August 2013, 0:23

    Somehow I doubt there’s anything to worry about regarding Sochi. Do deadlines even mean anything in F1?

    They were trying to sort out a July race for this year during the weeks building up to Melbourne so they’ve got plenty of time to hammer out a solution.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 2nd August 2013, 8:59

      @jackysteeg I have the same feeling. Besides, if Vladimir Putin himself oversaw the inking of the contract, then I would be very surprised to see the inaugural Russian GP cancelled just because there is a conflict between the Russian Automobile Federation and the race promoter.

      • zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 2nd August 2013, 11:34

        But that’s the problem. Despite Putin overseeing the signing of both, contract with BE, and the internal one, between the federation and promoter, later on the promoter presented the federation with a revised contract, stalling all the progress. This happened despite Putin and local government’s involvement. In all honesty, I believe most of these people do not care about the sport or even promoting the country. All they want are kickbacks and chipping away from overstated bloated budgets, just like it happens at present with Winter Olympics.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd August 2013, 10:20

      I see it much the same way @jacksteeg. Whether the Sochi race will happen depends on whether Putin wants it to. Only if he would like to move it elsewhere, it makes sense to create this “problem” Or maybe its a need to get rid of someone who is no longer a “friend” of his

  3. Umar Majid (@um1234) said on 2nd August 2013, 0:49

    I am a Kimi fan and think he is an awesome driver. But boullier said they beat red bull on ‘merit’
    Sorry this aint true. If Vettel and Grosjean didnt get stuck behind Button and Webber didnt have a problem then it would have been tough for Kimi to finish above fifth. Lotus got lucky and Kimi got second place. Thats what Lotus are, a nearly team. Always finishing second, serious about racing but lacking something that the top teams have. something that isnt money. Id like to see Lotus beat Red Bull on ‘merit’ in Spa. Kimi could beat Seb on ‘merit’ in the same car which is a topic that is open for debate. but there is no way kimi can beat seb on merit in the lotus
    rant over
    ps i cant stand boullier and his comments every week about how lotus is a top team

    • obviously said on 2nd August 2013, 1:41

      I’m pretty sure Lotus was better than Red Bull in more than one race this year.
      Australia, China, Spain and Germany. Just like Vettel was stuck behind Button in Hungary, Kimi was stuck behind Vettel in Germany.

      • Candice said on 2nd August 2013, 11:32

        I think the team should never pitted kimi in nurburgring when he had 10 seconds gap over vettel…..

    • Candice said on 2nd August 2013, 2:24

      traffic is part of racing. Able to clear that is recipe to win.

      Hungary is an odd track that more often than not benefit the pole sitter. That’s how it is…you get pole, and you get the win almost 80% guarantee.

    • Candice said on 2nd August 2013, 2:28

      i think Merc caught everyone off guard with their tire management.

      Everyone were ruling out Merc for the win due to their race performance, including seb and Lotus.

      This is not a track where you want to stuck behind the dirty air. Its like Monaco, just without barrier.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 3rd August 2013, 22:16

        Hamilton got past Button and Webber quite quickly though. Grossjean did some passing too. Sort of. Or Raikkonen on Massa.

        But then Red Bull seem to bet everything on qualifying and hope they don’t have to overtake. Choosing for a low top speed and fast cornering.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 2nd August 2013, 6:10

      Agreed. I’d love to see Lotus able to challenge Red Bull on merit. But nearly every time they have challenged there have been mitigating circumstances. Australia may be the one time that Lotus actually has beaten Red Bull on merit.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 2nd August 2013, 6:25

      I think the big problem is qualifying. They often have the pace on Sundays but end up beiing stuck behind other cars in the first stint.

    • Lari (@lari) said on 2nd August 2013, 7:37

      @um1234 Lotus, or Kimi, wasn’t lucky either, he got stuck behind Massa for 15 or so laps. If that hadn’t happened either, who knows what would’ve happened.Every top team had trouble passing but Mercedes, only due to their better straighline speed, just look at all Red Bulls, Ferraris and Lotuses and you see what I mean.

    • Jean-Christophe said on 2nd August 2013, 8:33

      And if Grosjean did get stuck behind Button or didn’t get a silly penalty, he would have beaten Vettel. He had actually passed him before the drive through.

    • zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 2nd August 2013, 11:40

      Hamilton had to pass Button too, and he did so. Vettel couldn’t – and that’s the point of racing. Vettel and Button were fighting for position, and Vettel lost crucial time in that battle, so it all adds up – Lotus got their points totally on merit. It’s not like F1 is a drag racing competition.

  4. Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 2nd August 2013, 0:51

    Lotus fell away in the development race last year and Kimi could not mount a meaningful challenge on the title race, and this year with their financial difficulties I feel they will fall even further away. They also need to turn their attention to next year’s car at some point, and unlike Merc they do not have two teams to share the load and the only option will be to move resources from this car to the 2014 challenger. This all leads me to think Redbull have nothing to worry about from Lotus.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 2nd August 2013, 1:26

    I went to the Autodromo Oscar y Juan Galvez for the Turismo Carretera championship finale in December 20th back in 2009. Sporting events had been suspended because of the Swine flu, so the calendar had stretched far too long into the year. A day before Summer kicking off, you cannot believe how hot it was.

    My friend and I were wearing caps, covered ourselves from the sun as much as we could, using sunscreen too. We got to the circuit at around 7 am until 2 pm… I half my body was sunburnt, red as a tomato. I had even burned the insides of my EAR !

    It wasn’t just the sun, the tarmac reflected and it was just impossible not to fry.

    And these guys were racing in January… back in the 50’s… Here?!?!

  6. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 2nd August 2013, 1:48

    Is that a photo of a Ferrari hanging on the left side of the wall behind Ross?

  7. obviously said on 2nd August 2013, 2:13

    Graphic part of drivers’ helmets are some of the worst crimes against design and aesthetics in general. They are all overboard and completely unoptimized for the context in which they appear.
    They are completely useless. Each of those would look better if it was in a single color, which says a lot about how horrible they are. I suppose none of them heard of the expression “less is more”.

    • Obi-Spa Kenobi (@obi-spa-kenobi) said on 2nd August 2013, 17:56

      +1. New custom helmets every race is a joke. They need to go back a few decades and get a clue. If you can’t tell who the driver is because their helmet is a mess, what’s the point?

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 3rd August 2013, 0:32

      I find it easy enough to tell drivers apart from their roll hoops or the different helmet designs (i.e. Webber is the yellow/blue/red one, Vettel not that; Hamilton has a darker shade etc.) so that doesn’t bother me. Nor in fact does changing the designs, as the variety is interesting and some of Seb’s helmet designs over the years have been rather good (I particularly liked his 2013 Monaco one and his 2012 Singapore one for the innovative use of the heat-sensitive paint and LED’s respectively). What I’m not a huge fan of though is how they become advertising space: it’s okay if it blends in with the design but often the logos are incredibly intrusive and spoil parts of otherwise nice designs. That’s what annoys me.

  8. Metallion (@metallion) said on 2nd August 2013, 6:15

    Completely surprised to get COTD, my first one!:) That’s a good start to the morning. Thanks @keithcollantine !

    • Girts (@girts) said on 2nd August 2013, 8:34

      @metallion That is a very good COTD and I completely agree with it. Caterham and Marussia are serious teams, which deserve to be in F1 and which should be in F1. I have never heard a football fan say that Premier League or Bundesliga should consist only of the 8 or 10 best teams because the others are useless anyway. I personally would immediately enforce a 4 point plan to make the small teams a little more competitive and attract new teams to F1:

      1) Reduce the costs further
      2) Give the smaller teams a bigger share of the prize money, that is, make the sport more ‘social democratic’
      3) Get rid of the blue flags to allow the ‘minnows’ concentrate on their own race
      4) Make sure that the small teams get more TV time. Sometimes nothing happens at the front but the world feed is still reluctant to show exciting fights at the back of the field

      Even though all of that is unlikely to happen, I’ll still keep enjoying the fight between Marussia and Caterham. I hope that both teams can find enough funding to survive and at least annoy the midfield teams or even the big guys now and then, like Kovalainen did at the 2012 Monaco GP when Button couldn’t get past him and eventually spun off.

      • @girts


        4) Make sure that the small teams get more TV time. Sometimes nothing happens at the front but the world feed is still reluctant to show exciting fights at the back of the field

        Pretty much every race I’ve been to has featured some fantastic battles towards the back of the grid, and then when I get home and watch the TV coverage there’s not a mention of it. Even if there’s been little action at the front. And people say, ‘Oh, it was a boring race…’ because they haven’t been shown the exciting bits!

        Here on F1F it’s like preaching to the choir, as I would imagine that most people who regularly read this website are interested in things like lap times etc, so are more aware than a casual F1 viewer of what is happening throughout the pack. But for those whose only exposure to the sport is the TV coverage, there is almost no information about the backmarker drivers/teams. During a recent conversation I had about Jules Bianchi, one of my friends expressed the view that ‘he’s rubbish’ – I was totally astounded. But then I realised, if you only watch races on TV, you just see that this guy is always near the back – so how would you know any different?

        Sometimes when ‘top’ teams or drivers find themselves in the midfield, there’s a lot of coverage… like the brilliant Button/Perez battle at Bahrain this year. But had that fight been between Pic and VDG, or even the Toro Rossos, the TV feed probably wouldn’t have shown it. It’s such a shame.

        • Girts (@girts) said on 2nd August 2013, 12:51

          @ladym That’s an excellent comment, you should post here more often :)

        • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 2nd August 2013, 16:46

          This – back when there was barely any overtaking, they still would not show the lower down scraps!

          The lower teams could definitely be brought in more, moneywise as well, and to have them being lapped less and closer to the field ahead would be of benefit to everyone as a whole.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd August 2013, 4:56

        @girts, suggestion 3, get rid of blue flags, solves suggestion 4, Minardi used to get lots of coverage when the race leader was having trouble trying to lap them.

  9. Aldoid said on 2nd August 2013, 6:27

    Was a bit surprised to hear in Ross Brawn’s interview that Rosberg’s engine failure was the first Mercedes failure since 2008… has it really been that long? The development freeze & now lower rev limits (rising costs & limited availability of penalty-free replacements have been incentives too, of course) have definitely helped all manufacturers get on top of engine reliability.

  10. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd August 2013, 10:29

    I’m rather surprised by that interview from Brawn. “Great signs”, he’s one of the finest drivers in the world, not a rookie that you have to break in slowly! What was Brawn expecting? Hamilton to take up Schumacher’s role as Mercedes’ 2nd driver? A few slightly odd remarks in that article…

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 2nd August 2013, 17:58

      Given that LH just recently remarked at needing to work on his braking and given that they may still have tire issues depending on the track, I can’t see anything wrong with what RB is saying. I highly doubt RB was expecting LH to take up a 2nd driver role. I think he is just being realistic that LH is new to the team and the car came out of the blocks hard on tires, and LH with braking issues, and those problems seem to be smoothing out, and it’s a work in progress as F1 always is. That’s all I read into it.

  11. Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 2nd August 2013, 11:42

    The Bottas comment was startling; “I think compared to last year we are more or less now on the same level, even could be a bit better. It’s just a fact that everyone else has improved so much in the last year and we kind of didn’t.” So basically until now they would have been better off using the 2012 car, even without development.

    That just shows how the testing ban has had and effect. Remember McLaren in 2003, The radical new car (the MP4/18) they intended to use just wasn’t ready so it was developed and run on a separate testing program throughout the season. The previous year’s car, the MP4/17D was raced and still gradually developed, although with resources split between the two cars until the new car was ready. The old faithful 17D got Raikkonen to within 2 points of winning the driver’s championship while the team maintained 3rd in the constructor’s championship.

    With the testing ban in place Williams, and to some extent McLaren and Sauber, are only able to develop the new car by racing it unsuccessfully while the previous season’s car is sat collecting dust in the factory when it could quite feasibly be scoring points. Makes you wonder why they pressed on with the FW35 especially when there is a major regulation change next season, next year’s car has to be based around fundamentally different concepts. At least have one of the drivers racing a FW34 and bringing home some points.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 2nd August 2013, 16:53

      Amazing all 3 teams redid their cars – hold with old car until summer and then go 100% on 2014 car – I get the impression Caterham had an eye on their 2014 car since they moved to Leafield. Knowing the old car already would give them time to start on 2014 while developing a known prospect. It would also give teams like McLaren time to iron out pull rod/different aero & suspension ramifications differences – I think that their whole car was revolving around their J dampers and push rod layout, in that it always had stiff properties and aero developed around this. Now it’s just porpoising.

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd August 2013, 12:47

    AMuS thinks (in German) the reason for Ferrari not making any progress in the last couple of races is that the development potential is depleted (proving McLaren were not all that stupid with their completely new car ideas), and have to do with running low rake with their cars, as opposed to teams like RBR, Lotus and Mercedes who all run more rake.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 2nd August 2013, 16:55

      Ferrari should cut their losses and switch to 2014 development. In the meantime, try and get circuit based tweaks and develop the car/setup to include more rake.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 2nd August 2013, 18:28

      And why is the ‘development potential’ of the Redbull not depleted?

      How did you figure this one out?

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd August 2013, 23:01

      Then I really respect Red Bull tech department, @bascb , as @jason12 said, RBR have run developments model of the car from 2009 and still haven´t run out of ideas. They must be geniuses ;)

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd August 2013, 23:11

        That’s what Newey brings to the team – enough genious ideas and able to come up with new ones more often than the team can work them out even @celeste! But you are certainly right that its admirable how they have kept finding more and more speed again and again from a car that is in its basis the 2009 car concept.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 3rd August 2013, 22:20

        At the very least they completely re-did the rear of the car though.

        Besides, Red Bull isn’t as far ahead as they used to be either.

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