Singapore Sling change to cut lap times by a second

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Singapore Sling 2013In the round-up: Singapore’s F1 circuit will be a second per lap faster now the chicane has been removed, Fernando Alonso reckons.

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FIA ready to get tough on cost cuts (Autosport)

Jean Todt: “We met in Maranello with a few teams, and a consensus was against this [RRA] proposal of cost cutting.”

Tavo sighting in Mexico (Austin-American Statesman)

“Another interesting figure in the picture is Johannes Hogrebe. He?s the Tilke engineer who worked with Hellmund and motorcycling legend Kevin Schwantz on the design of Circuit of the Americas, engineering their ideas into reality.”

Luca needed convincing (Sky)

“There was one big, seemingly insurmountable problem, they said. Their boss, Luca di Montezemelo. Kimi had not been very respectful of him when the time came to leave and that was causing an impasse.”

Vijay Mallya battles against winding up Kingfisher (The Times of India)

“Debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines’ beleaguered chairman Vijay Mallya is battling against aircraft lessors and financiers who moved the Karnataka high court for winding up the company for defaulting on loans by his holding company – United Breweries Holdings Ltd.”

Clive James: If Berlusconi ran the BBC… (The Telegraph)

“When the F1 circus was away touring the world, there was sometimes no saving the show from tedium: the tarmac sat cooking on the desert and you couldn?t see a tree. But lately, thank heaven, we have been back in Europe, and whether at last Sunday?s GP at Monza, or at the previous GP at Spa, the Beeb?s presentation team have proved that they are fully in command of their three microphones.”

Rush ?ǣ behind the scenes set report (McLaren)

“Cars are rolled back and forth along the grid, German-centric banners are pulled from the Armco and re-strung with smiley bright Brazilian logos. Quickly, the Nurburgring morphs into Interlagos, and the whole thing starts anew.”

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Comment of the day

Funocsi on Raikkonen’s potential successors at Lotus:

Hulkenberg ?ǣ probably the best choice both for Lotus and him, no explanation needed.
Maldonado ?ǣ has a lot of money through PDVSA, he can be brutally fast but is inconsistent, good for occasional big results, not in a championship.
Kobayashi ?ǣ another good choice, he should get an F1 seat, and this would be a great opportunity for him.
Kovalainen ?ǣ this is his best chance to get into a better team than Caterham and he was pretty good with the Enstone team in 2007.
Valsecchi ?ǣ I don?t think he will get a seat with Lotus, he didn?t drive too much at the YDT which I would have expected as he is their test driver but I’m not ruling him out at all.
Felipe Nasr ?ǣ has great race craft, his overtakes are amazing and has wealthy Brazilian sponsors, and I heard he doesn?t want to get into F1 through a small team.
Robert Wickens ?ǣ he tested with Lotus in 2009, won Formula Renault 3.5 in 2011 ahead of Vergne and has a great season in DTM, and North America hasn?t had a good driver for a long time.
Funocsi (@Hunocsi)

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Ferrari fielded two world champion drivers in a race for the last time on this day 60 years ago. That streak is set to end when Kimi Raikkonen joins Fernando Alonso at the team next year.

Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina were among the Scuderia’s six-car team for its home race at Monza today in 1953.

They shared the front row of the grid separated by the sport’s only other world champion at the time – Juan Manuel Fangio, driving a Maserati.

The three fought for victory until the last lap when Ascari skidded, forcing Farina to take evasive action, and allowing Fangio to give Maserati their first world championship victory.

Here’s footage from the race and Fangio talking about it 13 years later in an advertisement for Pirelli:

http://youtu.be/hrGBGuvxw0E

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142 comments on Singapore Sling change to cut lap times by a second

  1. Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 13th September 2013, 0:06

    Personally I REALLY want Kovalainen back in Formula 1, more than anyone else. Is it more than likely he’ll be replacing VDG next year?

    • Roald (@roald) said on 13th September 2013, 0:29

      @nickj95gb I’m Dutch so I may be biased (not a fan at all though), but how can you talk about replacing VDG after the great performances he’s put in lately? Monza wasn’t great (although Caterham messed up on his pitstop) but he’s really surprised me in Monaco, Hungary and Spa. He’s a rookie in Formula 1 and I think he’s doing great so far.

    • Seriously hope van der garde isnt replaced. if anyone shud be replaced its chilton

    • Yes, I think Caterham is a much more likely option for Kovalainen than Lotus.

      I’d also like to see Kovalainen back in Formula 1, but he’s already had his chances with big teams and it didn’t really go too well. He’s fast at times, especially in qualifying, but he’s inconsistent and had trouble keeping up with the best drivers on the grid.

      I think Lotus are looking for a fast, young driver (Hulkenberg) or someone who brings money and sponsors for the team (Maldonado).

      This is of course just my opinion, so feel free to disagree.

    • Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock) said on 13th September 2013, 2:21

      I’d love to see Heikki back too but PIC’s seat is the one he’d be likely to get, if any. There’s no reason why Lotus would take Heikki over Nico H.

    • Matthijs (@matthijs) said on 13th September 2013, 9:42

      Didn’t Kovalainen recently mentioned that Caterham improved a lot? So he is saying that now he is not driving for Caterham, the team is better than in the three years that he was driving for the team? What does that say about you Heikki…

      Seriously: Heikki is a good driver, but apparently he wasn’t capable of helping Caterham going forward. When a rookie pay driver is finishing equally good, why switching back?

    • I want Kubica, personally. Really

      • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 14th September 2013, 6:19

        Have to agree 100%. It is such a tragedy if kubica never drives f1 car in f1 race.

        I’d like to see kovalainen back as well but not in that uselessly slow caterham. As a finn it is just painful to watch. It is quite painful even with bottas and williams already scrambling at the back. But if there is a driver I’d want to see in F1 it is kubica no questions about it.

  2. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 13th September 2013, 0:08

    So that means the Singapore GP will add up to being about 1 minute quicker in normal circumstances. I suppose something had to be done since it’s usually a struggle to fit the race within the 2 hour time limit at the best of times, and it’s going to be even harder if the 2014 cars are 3-4 seconds per lap slower, as it is expected.

    • Alexandre Costa said on 13th September 2013, 2:43

      Yes, I just don’t understand why the race distance is not reduced like Monaco’s.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 13th September 2013, 8:16

        They can cut 5-6 laps and that’s it.

      • It is stated in the rules that a grand prix must be the number of laps that makes the total length of the race 300 kilometres long, plus one extra lap (I think).

        • Turns out it’s actually:

          “The regulations state that the distance of a Formula One race is the least number of laps exceeding 305 kilometres.

          The only exception to this rule is the Monaco Grand Prix, where the race distance is the least number of laps exceeding 260 kilometres.”

          • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 13th September 2013, 18:56

            Personally, I don’t think they should reduce the length of the race since the 2 hour marathon that is the Singapore GP is probably it’s most unique feature, and I think it’s okay to have one race like that on the F1 calendar.

            Although I don’t think Monaco has always been the only exception in the modern ~300km era. I’m pretty sure the old US Grand Prix West (AKA the Long Beach GP) was also reduced to 260km.

          • Alexandre Costa said on 14th September 2013, 0:58

            It’s because of this rule that I compare the Singapore track with Monaco: they share a similar (low) average speed.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 13th September 2013, 0:09

    Singapore Sling change to cut lap times by a second by being a proper corner and not that piece of joke we suffered for 5 years of watching drivers trying to avoid literally fly into the wall

    I’m amaized it took them 5 years, but at least, my cries have been heard… The Singapore Sling was even worse than the purpose chicanes at every Tilkedrome… and that says a lot.

    • I personally liked it, it had tons more character then practically all Tilke corners. The cars look incredible changing speed so quickly – hence it’s always a favorite shot on TV adverts. It also has the potential to send a car in the air which was always entertaining yet thankfully safe enough. Sure it may have not been a nice corner to drive but we as fans never got to have a go, in reality.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th September 2013, 19:22

        The cars look incredible changing speed so quickly

        Have you confused it with Becketts?

        The Sling is the one they pootle through in second gear, hardly changing direction at all.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 13th September 2013, 2:02

      It’s a bit ironic that the reason the chicane was there in the first place was to slow them down to avoid accidents.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th September 2013, 8:29

      The Sling is a nasty little corner – thankfully a unique one in F1 but that doesn’t mean it should be kept. I’ll wait until we see what they replace it with before passing judgement but it would be hard to come up with something worse than what was there before.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 13th September 2013, 9:48

        I don’t understand this point of view. It was one of the few places on the track that was a serious challenge, punishing drivers by putting them into the wall if they took it too quick or got their line wrong. Yes it was nasty, but that was a good thing.

        I don’t get it personally. We want to challenge these drivers, not make corners easier.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 13th September 2013, 9:50

          Plus it had a name, unlike the other classics such as ‘turn 6′ and ‘turn 22′ memorable ones. Again, I find it baffling why there is so much animosity for a corner that actually had something about it.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th September 2013, 11:56

            @john-h I like that they took the trouble of naming it. And it’s far from the only corner on the track unworthy of a spot on the F1 calendar.

            And I absolutely want to see challenging tracks and corners. But the Sling wasn’t a challenge, it was a crapshoot.

            It was a bodge job to slow the cars down at a point on the track where they’d decided there wasn’t enough run-off. I don’t believe the world’s best drivers are challenged by pootling through a single-file bend in second gear.

          • Fair points @keithcollantine . I understand the reasons why they put it in, and when I saw it for the first time I despaired. But the fact remains that it was one of those sections of track that did challenge the drivers, because they knew if they got it wrong, the ‘crapshoot’ (great name by the way!) would send them into the wall.

            The question is, if it wasn’t a challenge to the drivers, then why did they go off? The corner and the crapshoots didn’t move whilst they were racing, and it took driver concentration to avoid being punished.

            I know its not the greatest corner in F1 (!), but I’m not being convinced as you can see. I think it’s a shame its going in place of a right angle.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th September 2013, 12:33

            @john-h Let’s see if what they replace it with challenges them more.

        • @john-h you could also throw marbles at them and see how well they cope. Or put ice… because it’s the same thing.

          A corner is designed to be a challenge, but the Sling was just 3 sleeping policemen in a tight left hander. Not to mention a car out of control would get airbone and nasty crash into the wall…

          • @fer-no65

            just 3 sleeping policemen

            3 sleeping policement that punished you going off line by putting you in the wall, like Kimi, Sutil, etc… I don’t have a problem with that, that’s what F1 should be about, not run off areas everywhere. There was no risk of t-boning or flipping the car even if a car did get a little air – it just gave the drivers a sore behind, well so be it.

            Seriously, comparing an F1 corner which cannot be cut without punishment to having ice on the track or throwing marbles at the cars is absolutely ridiculous. This isn’t DRS, spinklers or short cuts we’re talking about.

            Anyway, we’ve got another 90 degree bend now, great. It can be called ‘turn 10′ again, I missed that name. Hope you enjoyed the 1991 Phoenix GP.

      • @keithcollantine : Will the drivers not be able to take the corner flat out?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th September 2013, 18:47

          @noob Depends how they build it. If you have a look at an aerial map of the track (you can zoom in on the one here) it looks like they have the width of road available to make a curve that could be taken very quickly, possibly flat out. But I doubt they will – they’ll want to slow cars down more for the right-left before the Andersen Bridge. It depends how they set up the kerbs.

    • Gordon (@gfreeman) said on 13th September 2013, 13:11

      What was their initial reason for changing this corner? Was it due to teams/drivers/FIA/circuit organisers/fans? Just curious…

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 13th September 2013, 0:22

    Is that sling before the bridge right?

  5. Hulkenburg should get the seat, but if Lotus are looking at Massa they should seriously consider Kovalainen over him, because he’s younger and has the experience in the big teams. plus he’s shown he can lead an f1 team like he did with caterham.

  6. Two seasons Grosjean has been consistently out raced. As Gary Anderson said. There are drivers who you trust will get the job done and there are drivers like grosjean, where you have to look to see if he crossed start finish straight every lap. Lotus need to realise grosjean is the reason why they are not third in the wcc. everytime grosjean has a clean race he is always below top 6 whereas kimi is on the podium. I am certain Lotus would be third if they hulkenberg this year. Hulkenberg aint a replacment for Raikkonen. He would make a good replacement for Grosjean. I hope Lotus get Hulkenberg and Kovaleinen

    • Dion (@infinitygc) said on 13th September 2013, 6:13

      Two seasons Grosjean has been consistently out raced.

      No he hasn’t, how else could he have finished ahead of Kimi anywere, considering Kimi only has 1 DNF? Also, Grosjean has been ordered to let Kimi past countless times.

      Actually Grosjean has been doing alright this year. He had 1 big crash in Monaco, for which he was rightly penalised, and furthermore a small incident or 2.

      He also has been quite a bit quicker since the tire-change, with him racing hard in Germany and Hungary, and getting some decent results at tracks the car shouldn’t be as quick at.

      If you take a look at his non-scores up till now (“where you have to look to see if he crossed start finish straight every lap.”), only 1 was really due to driver error (Monaco). In Spain his suspension broke, in Canada he had to start from the back after getting caught out by the rain plus he had a 10-place gridpenalty, and finally in Great Britain he retired with a gearbox-issue.

      He has had his fair share of mediocre results, but he was in the running for a good result in Hungary, but he was (in my opinion) wrongly penalized.

      Finally, he has shown some beautiful racing, for instance safely handling getting squeezed by Vettel in Hungary or some beautiful overtaking maneuvers in Monza, and dare I say it, that overtake in Massa, again in Hungary.

      If I haven’t convinced you, I’m sure @rigi and @Tango will be able to do a better job. (Also, I’d recommend re-reading your comment before posting it, to limit general lingual problems that might occur).

      • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 13th September 2013, 8:29

        @infinitygc
        You can spin Grosjean’s results anyway you want, but at the end of the day Romain gathered last year less than half of the points that Kimi did and this season he has barely 40% of Kimi’s points.

        Also, Grosjean has been ordered to let Kimi past countless times.

        No he hasn’t. Last year he was ordered to let Kimi past only in Singapore, costing him 2 points. I don’t think there has been other cases in which Grosjean has had to give up a position for Kimi. I’m not counting occasions such as 2012 Bahrain where Romain was never going to finish in front of Kimi and team orders were only used to give Räikkönen a better chance of a victory. This year in Malaysia Räikkönen was running behind Grosjean and Lotus chose not to use team orders to change positions.

        • Tango (@tango) said on 13th September 2013, 9:40

          Thanks @infinitygc for the reference, but I have to stress I am not a huge fan of Grosjean, I just believe he is good and ready for number 1 status.

          I followed every GP2 race of his winning year and saw him drive in the flesh at Monaco (GP2) and since then, I am convinced he is one of the most talented guys on the track.

          Grosjean is of the generation of drivers which can only learn about F1 racing by racing a F1. Vettel and Hamilton are the last guys to have stepped up to F1 with unlimited testing prior to their debut. Since he started, Grosjean has always been pitted against world champions. And not the slowest of them ! He is a fast qualifyer and has enough pace to hold his own against Raikkonen. He has been faster than him on occasions too. Perez is being schooled in the same manner by Button : they are as fast one as the other, but one manages to get the points week in week out. The new talents just don’t get enough running time to play catch up with the old guys.

          I believe the crash gate was totally unfair, it was a stupid accident which looked bad but it could also have been a usual first lap SPA incident which everybody would have forgot about by now had the car stayed on the ground. The fact that he actually managed to adapt and let the rain pass after that is quite an achievement. He hasn’t always had the same machinery as Raikkonen but he still pushes him on the time board.

          I agree the guy hasn’t been able to bring the big points home. This season he has scored 8 out of 12 GPs and if I count correctly, retired twice with mechanical failure. Sure, he is still quite a bit behind Raikkonen (and could be a few points closer had they had equal status). But he is learning the trade and has been for the few last races the guy to bring the car home, even though it is not the same top machine it was at the beginning of the season.

          All in all, Lotus could do a lot worse.

          • Agree. If he can keep it on the island, RG is a future WC.

          • @tango +1.

            I too think Grosjean is gold. He’s not crash-prone anymore and his driving is just getting better. Vettel was known as “crash kid” in his first outings in a Toro Rosso, look at him know (he solved his problmes much quicker than Grosjean) but in both cases you could not deny the talent.

        • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 13th September 2013, 10:34

          You can spin Grosjean’s results anyway you want

          And so have you..

          I’m not counting occasions such as 2012 Bahrain

          There’s also been Silverstone this year (Shortly before Vergne’s blowout), Germany this year (Similar situation to Bahrain last year). I believe there was one other occasion this year, but I can’t remember it.

          Grosjean has only made 2 mistakes this year in Monaco and Hungary. Not much he could do about it in Monaco, and he was punished. That’s all gone now and apart from that he’s been decent in all the races. Hungary was a bit reckless, but the overtake on Massa was incredibly harsh, and his overtake on Button was equally down to not being given as much room (Similar to Perez in Spa)

          I can’t see why Lotus would get rid of him…

          • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 13th September 2013, 10:57

            @keeleyobsessed

            And so have you..

            What do you mean?

            There’s also been…

            In those situations team orders were used because Kimi was faster than Grosjean and would’ve overtook him anyway or because they were on different strategy and there was no point in slowing a team mate. Some may think team orders aren’t acceptable even in those situations, but that is a different discussion. The only team order that has actually affected Grosjean’s finishing position happened in 2012 Singapore, so you can’t argue that Grosjean hasn’t been closer to Kimi because he “has been ordered to let Kimi past countless times”.

            Grosjean has only made 2 mistakes this year in Monaco and Hungary.

            But Formula One isn’t all about avoiding mistakes, is it? I haven’t seen Chilton make many mistakes this season, but I think most of the fans would agree that he’s the worst driver on the grid at the moment. Ultimately championship points reveal how a driver has performed and Romain is so far behind his team mate that no amount of twisting and explaining is going to make him look good.

          • GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 13th September 2013, 13:28

            I think you two should just settle it with one of you think he’s better than the other does.

          • Chilton did mistakes. It’s just that no one cares. (Horrendous Monaco, hungarian quali, blue flag blunders… Let’s not talk about not even being able to put one up your team mate… Who isn’t a world champion but a rookie).

        • Dion (@infinitygc) said on 13th September 2013, 15:04

          @Rigi I regularly see you defending Grosjean (same goes for Tango), so that’s why.

          • @infinitygc ah right. well, i won’t deny that i’m a fan of grosjean. but you summed up pretty much everything i would’ve said. the only thing i could add would be that grosjean won the race of champions last year, proving that he is indeed a brilliant driver.

  7. I’d put a tenner on the Sling still being in F1 2013 when it ships.

  8. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 13th September 2013, 0:33

    good riddens, that chicane was awful

  9. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 13th September 2013, 0:39

    What’s the dead with the message board in the Mercedes pitstop tweet, is that to amuse Nico and Lewis ?

  10. Calum (@calum) said on 13th September 2013, 0:40

    I’m annoyed that the signature Singapore Sling has been reprofiled – it was the standout corner corner. On a circuit dominated by mundane, repetitive 90 degree turns, losing something as unique as the Singapore Sling is disappointing.

  11. If Tilke’s team is working on facilities and infrastructure; great news.

    Otherwise? The Autodromo is going to be Tilke’d!

  12. matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th September 2013, 0:56

    I wish I could have gone to Blackbushe to watch some of the filing for Rush. It was where I first drove a car.

  13. macrob said on 13th September 2013, 1:16

    Word in Mexico is that the final remodelation project was handed today to Tilke, they plan to cut the Peraltada through the baseball stadium…though luck for what was a potentially great track!

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 13th September 2013, 2:07

      Well is better than no race at all and at least it adds an overtaking zone in a track where modern F1 cars might struggle to pass each other, after all it was designed more than 50 years ago.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th September 2013, 5:04

      If I were doing the redesign, I would move the pits, paddock and main grandstand further down the main straight. Then I would add another two or three corners onto the end of the Eases. This would make the Eases more challenging whilst slowing the cars down enough for the full Peraltada.

    • faulty (@faulty) said on 13th September 2013, 5:36

      The peraltada has been flattened ever since the Foro Sol was built, and they had rendered it useless for spectators, so much that when ChampCar came, they had to move the outer white line a couple of meters inward to let people in the stands catch some of the action. The double 90° bends inside the baseball field were also a waste of money for fans, there was barely any passing in there and it’s not like they were able to see beyond the confined spaces of the stadium.
      You can say whatever you want about Tilke and Co. but when the track owners are there to guide the engineers with a vision and some passion, they can deliver some respectable tracks. I’m relieved to see Tavo Hellmund and Johannes Hogrebe working together again.

  14. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 13th September 2013, 1:42

    Regarding COTD mentioning him, I have to ask (don’t take this as being rude), what is the fascination with Kobayashi? I don’t see why he deserves an F1 seat, and to be honest I haven’t missed him at all this season.

    • Koba is one feisty racer. He has the aggression of Hamilton dare I say. he reminds me most of Hamilton, for sometimes he is reckless. Not a very good qualifier, but a good and tough racer.

      I’d rate him over, Kovy, Massa and teh Hulk. And I think he’ll nab said seat.

      What a shame he never came to a top team as I believe he’d have given the established Big 4 a run for their money.

      • Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock) said on 13th September 2013, 2:27

        I wouldn’t say he’s better than all those guys but he is a very good driver and you can see why Ferrari picked him up to keep in the stable. Him not being in F1 at present is purely a result of the tight financial conditions.

        • clappy (@danielc) said on 13th September 2013, 2:47

          Me neither, seriously this is a guy who barely outqualified go slow Perez. And you think he is a good racer? he also got outrace by Perez. Isit just me or Is McLaren the most boring team now watching Button and Perezat Monza was hilarious it really was talk about even stevens lol, they were on same part of track all race. No rapid pace from their drivers atall imo

      • Brian (@bforth) said on 13th September 2013, 4:51

        Are we forgetting that Perez bested him last season and almost beat him in 2011? I liked Kobayashi as a person, and he is a pretty good driver, but there’s no way he could have handled a top tier driver. He didn’t show enough growth for anyone to see him worth keeping. And strong race form but shaky qualifying is what saw him and Bruno Senna (Kobayashi seeming somewhat stronger in quali than Bruno) to the door. It’s also what saw Jean-Eric getting pipped for the RBR seat. It’s a case of good but not good enough – though I will admit that I’m gutted to see Gutierrez flopping making a farce of F1 in what could have been his seat. Kobayashi would have at least made a fine teammate and good gauge for Hulkenberg.

        I’m shocked that so many people still think Heikki deserves another shot to embarrass a good team, let alone a decent one. We saw the extent of Heikki’s potential when he was utterly humiliated by Hamilton. In 2007 he couldn’t even establish clear dominance over Fisichella, who was never known for being quick. Heikki returning would just be an insult to every driver waiting for their chance to get into F1. Bring in the fresh blood, I say.

        • @bford I completely agree. Kobayashi didn’t improve enough. In 2012 he got double the points of 2011 but the car was a lot better and Perez was the man to rely on to get the big points, despite having a year’s less experience. He was good, but just not good enough to be kept by Sauber, so how is he good enough to be considered for the number 1 drive at Lotus? I’d rather see the likes of Nasr, Calado etc, get the chance in F1 than see his return.

        • I pretty much agree here, and much of his advantage was taken away by DRS and the tyre deg increasing. Kobayashi was a great overtaker, scything through the field if there was a sniff of a pass. Being out-podiumed 3-1 by Perez in a good Sauber (off the back of a good 2010 and 2011) did it for him, along with some qualifying inconsistency (2nd at Spa, but also sometimes tenths off Perez), so maybe he hit his peak. Hulk in that car would possibly have got 5-6 podiums (at least 3). It was said that qualifying in Q3 more and starting with softer tyres first also hindered Kobayashi. I wonder if Kobayashi would be rated higher if he had a solid result at Spa 2012 and was not taken out.

          Remember that Nico Rosberg declined McLaren for 2008-9, as he didn’t want to play second fiddle to Hamilton (it was always going to be a second driver seat available). It was a good move for HK, but playing second fiddle to Hamilton took its toll on his performance.

          But I agree, time to bring in the new blood as the old departs (Webber, Massa etc.). Calado, Felix da Costa could get 2/3 seasons, Nasr probably a ride, Rossi possibly, Frijns, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Evans will all have to hope their performance opens a door somewhere, Sirotkin looks like he is laughing to the bank already (but in time he could be better than Pic, Chilton etc. if he develops right). Bird and a few drivers might have to settle for being a test driver, lest moving to DTM and making a name there.

          I would like to see Kobayashi in Formula E (I think he would do well there with his overtaking skills) and why not Kovalainen as well? He could win that championship against Kobayashi, Di Grassi, Liuzzi, Petrov, Karthikeyan, Klien etc. Another good place for older drivers or those who have fallen off the ladder (performance or cash reasons) to make a name for themselves. So, maybe D’Ambrosio, Valsecchi, Razia etc. Also, as WEC sheds drivers away from Le Mans 2014…

      • Hamilton not a very good qualifier? Congrats, I’ve just ****** my pants.

      • Christos said on 15th September 2013, 15:57

        I’m a kobi fan but seriously you overestimate him. He got trashed by Perez!

    • hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 13th September 2013, 20:58

      Wow, I should response to a lot of questions here.

      I agree with HS – his racing skills is a bit like Hamilton’s, he wasn’t too consistent in qualifying, but @danielc said he barely outqualified Perez – which is simply not true, last year Perez won by 11-9, a year before 9-8. That is a tight one. And Kobayashi produced the better results of the two, he got a 2nd and two 3rd places on the grid, the best of Perez was a fourth.

      @bforth and @deej92 mentioned Kobayashi was outscored by Perez in 2012 and almost beaten in 2011 as well. In 2011 the difference between the two is exactly the points Kobayashi scored in the races Perez were forced out of due to his injury, but I don’t think he would have performed as good as the Japanese did.
      Bu 2012 is a bit different – Perez really upped his game, but he got his outstanding results because of his unusual tyre strategies, whereas Kobayashi’s only podium was on a straightforward tactic, not to mention the Mexican’s mistakes in the latter stage of the year.

      I think Kamui is a better racer all around and very much worthy of that Lotus seat.

  15. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 13th September 2013, 5:15

    Regarding Tike in Mexico: Who does Charlie consult before he approves a track? I mean specifically the layout of the tarmac.

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