Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05, Jerez, 2014

Hamilton happy despite opening day shunt

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05, Jerez, 2014In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he is encouraged by an “incredibly positive” start to testing, despite his session-ending crash.


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Hamilton upbeat despite testing crash (Formula1.com)

Hamilton: ??For me, it’s an incredibly positive start to be the first car out on track and completing a good number of laps. Other teams have been going out for single-lap runs, starting a few hours after we had first hit the track, so to have started running through our test programme was very encouraging.??

Mercedes admit W05 wing failure ‘confusing’ but expect to return to test on Day Two (SkyF1)

Paddy Lowe: ??We know where it failed and we’re just trying to understand exactly why the margin wasn’t sufficient in that area. These are things that we test extensively in the model and a lot of work in the laboratory, so it is a confusing situation for us. But we’re working hard this afternoon and through the night to come up with a solution.”

Lotus confident E22 nose is legal (ESPN)

Nick Chester: ??As you know we have passed all the necessary crash tests and we are very confident that our design complies with all the FIA legal requirements – we have just taken an innovative direction, and one that’s different to the other teams??

Marussia boss Graeme Lowdon backs rule changes (BBCF1)

Lowdon: ??People don’t want to know the winner before the season’s started, they want some competitive racing. Hopefully the new rules will drive some parity onto the grid and prevent the stretching out we’ve seen over recent years.??

NASCAR team boss Gene Haas not underestimating F1 bid challenge (Autosport)

Gene Haas: ??It’s filled with peril, and there are a million ways to fail. All of those reasons are why you do it; just to see if it’s something you can do. [Securing an entry is] a complex process that we’re trying to do one step at a time. I think it would be a great honour, as an American, to participate in that type of racing. And it also has a good business aspect to it too.??

Vettel remains ‘in shock’ at severity of his friend’s injuries as Schumacher continues fight for life (Independent)

Vettel: ??It’s horrible, especially for his family and close friends not knowing what’s going to happen. In that regard, as I said, I’m still shocked as everyone and obviously I pray and hope a miracle will happen and he will come back and be the person he has always been before.??



Comment of the day

With a rush of car launches yesterday, all eyes were, once again, on the front of the cars. But as Hairs points out, maybe it’s not the noses we should be concentrating on…

All this talk is dominated by the noses, and the rule changes, and the new solutions. Everyone seems to have missed one dominant theme on all these cars.

Empty Paintwork.

No sponsors. No interest. No new money. Nothing. Most teams have lost sponsors this year. Doesn?t anyone in the sport see that? Caterham? One sponsor. Mercedes? Two. Force India? No Mallya money this year. Even Red Bull haven?t picked up a sponsor this year after 5 years of utter dominance. Blank paintwork everywhere you look.

McLaren? A few small long-time partnerships signed in the good days. No title sponsor. Think about that. The team who effectively created the modern sponsorship ??partner?? system, one of the biggest names in the sport, one with real global reach and which is very very active in its promotional activities announced the loss of their title sponsor a year ago and still haven?t got a replacement. An F1 car on a closed street can generate crowds of thousands, anywhere in the world, and no sponsor was interested. I went to one of the Bavaria street races, and it was fantastic, even if you only heard and felt a car for a few seconds as it thundered past you.

Nobody from the world of corporate sponsorship is interested in F1. Nobody. Not car companies, not technology companies, not energy companies, nobody. No ??lifestyle brands??. Nothing.

From the forum

Will the new engines run at the regulated fuel limit the majority of the time?

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

McLaren-Peugeot MP4-9, Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2013McLaren launched the MP4-9 on this day 20 years ago.

It was the end of an era as Ayrton Senna was no longer with the team. But the alliance with engine supplier Peugeot, who had arrived in place of Cosworth, did not prove to be the start of a new one – they split at the end of the year.

Mika Hakkinen, however, was to prove a long-term feature at the team and began his first full season with them having displaced Michael Andretti towards the end of 1993.

Ron Dennis endeavoured to lure Alain Prost back to drive the car but his efforts ultimately proved to be in vain.

56 comments on “Hamilton happy despite opening day shunt”

  1. The comment about the lack of sponsors is interesting, albeit stressful. I need a Marlboro.

    1. Sad but true. +1

    2. +1 on COTD

      I notice and said a similar thing here yesterday regarding W05. It’s a shame seeing a formula that pretends to be the crème de la crème of motorsports not attracting enough sponsors. Something is wrong with F1 and must be fixed ASAP, I really doubt double points will help, IMHO, the route chosen to spice things up (gimmicks) will push F1 even deeper into the mud.

      1. Even V8 Supercar Teams has no trouble getting sponsorship! I think though that’s helped by the smaller target audience (i.e. just Australia) so smaller/Aus-only brands are willing to sponsor, whereas it would be a smaller audience for F1 overall (because more watch V8s).

        I’m just hoping that those teams get the sponsorship they deserve.

        1. Actually, some V8 Supercar teams have had trouble getting sponsorship, to the point where at least two and possibly as many as four cars may not compete this year.

  2. Marketing is 99% about the looks. If McDonlds put a fat guy eating hamburgers and chips on their commercials, I guess almost nobody would buy the product. They put slim people who don’t have an idea of what French fries are. If cars were more appealing, it could really help to attract more sponsors, I’m not saying that the looks are all the origin of the problem, but they have become indirectly related to the lack of a solution. Seriously, would you want your brand in that Catherham?

    1. The problem with that statement is that most sponsors buy space on the car before they see the car.

    2. If I was the company who makes Rampant Rabbits… yes.

      1. They’d need to be driving it in and out of tunnels to achieve proper synergy really though which might be impractical. Saying that, F1 can usually create an vague impression of efficacy and worth from the most ludicrous ideas so perhaps there is a way.

    3. Good point. To my mind, the Caterham looks kind of “made in a shed” or what the top gear boys might come up with …

      1. If Top Gear had unlimited access to all Mclarens facilities & materials, Gary Anderson and £5 million for any other expenses (from teeth whitening to hiring Adrian Newey for an hour.) I’d bet they could produce an F1 car that would be able to outshine the Caterham this season (provided they let the stig drive instead of the, almost legendary, James May.) Although having said this if Clarkson had any involvement but to present it in a comical BBC way it’d be a complete failure!!

    4. Omar all you and the cotd said is valid but there must be more sponsors creeping in by the start of the season and in red bulls mercedes and strs case they can cover what they cant get and in Ferraris case they appear to be keeping all of the 2013 sponsors. If f1 had less teams with no spenditure limits the other teams would benefit but that issue is one for the ages.

      1. Spenditure? is that Hip Hop for Expenditure?

  3. Here’s the entire video of Hamilton’s crash from SkyF1 article:

    1. much better, and the nose looks strong having survived the tyrewall.

  4. I think CotD is not right at least in RBR case. You don´t only want a sponsor. You want a sponsor that´s goes well with your own brand and the sport.

    Yes image is importatn but WWF is plaint ugly and has tones of sponsors.

  5. To put that eye-opening sponsorship comment into perspective, take a gander at this Renault from 2005, and compare it to the image of a 2014 Mercedes (with two sponsors) featured at the top of this article:


    That’s right–the Renault has nine. Nine!

    1. Jammers, if you count Michelin as a sponsor, then it appears to be nine. But Merc has four that I can see and if you count the obligatory Pirelli, that means five sponsors.

  6. How can you get sponsors if:

    a) cars are not a looker… who wants their logo on those things?
    b) the sport has been kicking itself in the nuts for a couple of years now
    c) it only grabs headlines in the sport section when they introduce stupid things like double points…

    the ONLY hope is that this ERS thing with the new engines catch up enough interest in the manufacturers… otherwise, it’s gonna be tough for everyone.

    1. +1 Especially point B and C

    2. @fer-no65 LOL at point B , but that’s the best way one could express what is happening right now to f1 .Maybe the sponsors were just waiting to see a pattern emerge with the new regulations before putting their faith in a team . But the looks don’t help either .

  7. While I don’t want to say Jenson was right when he said the Jerez test was going to be ‘hilarious’….but he was close.

  8. The one good thing about that crash. IT SOUNDED ******* AWESOME! :D

  9. The one good thing about that crash. IT SOUNDED AWESOME! :D

  10. While I get the sentiment of the Cotd, I have several other thoughts. I’m not saying this is the case with Mac’s lack of title sponsor, but for now it might be that the sponsors have paid only for race-weekend space. And in a global recession, sure, we’ve known since 08 that there are fewer marketing dollars around everywhere. But I’m sure it is not the case that nobody is interested…it is at what cost for what perceived return.

    I think that water finds it’s own level. If costs for sponsors have gotten formidable, or the product has problems enticing businesses, to the point where literally it is as cotd suggests and NOBODY is interested, then soon the teams concerned will have no choice but to lower their demands of sponsors while pushing for and actually achieving appropriate cost savings to compete in F1. 80% of their original ask is better than 100% of nothing. Maybe sponsors even as big as title sponsors, in the new reality, will just be that for one race in their major market, or where they’d like to take it, or they buy in blocks of 4 races, or whatever.

    F1 and the teams will find their imaginations working all kinds of potential good ideas if their hands are forced. To me and for now it doesn’t feel like Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren at least, are panicked and rushing to come to cooperative caps and policing of, as a way of rescuing an entity that is on the verge of bankruptcy and thus their jobs.

    And if Mac can do just fine without a title sponsor then I guess we won’t look to them to be one of the teams on the forefront of the push for caps etc. Otherwise, they’ll make it affordable for a title sponsor, and I think in the meantime they could always show a positive light and advertise a favorite charity of their’s, on the house.

    1. F1 is losing viewers, it is no longer there when Joe Average goes channel surfing, If he wants to watch it he is going to have to subscribe, on top of that a sponsor can pay millions to have his name on the car but he wont be able to put up a banner or even a discrete sign anywhere at the track without paying Bernie even more money for the right to do so. No wonder sponsors are drifting away.

      1. And of course don’t forget the association with Kinky sex orgies and bribery/blackmail. Those are things every company wants to be assciated with, right ?

        1. Yeah, that’s the negative side that I refer to when I say the product has problems enticing businesses, and costs are too high. They will either die if they let that continue to happen, or change when their hand is truly forced, which I don’t think it is time yet…or they would have taken ’emergency steps’ or whatever by now.

          The kinky sex was years ago now and he’s not even involved in any way we notice. The bribery/blackmail does not speak to the product on the track. Not to say these aren’t negatives too, and it is up to F1 to ‘find it’s own level’ when it has to, if indeed these have become roadblocks to investment in F1. With any luck they’ll see the light and do away with double points and DRS if those things become clear to them, amongst the other negatives, as being proven to reduce viewership and therefore sponsorship attractiveness.

    2. then soon the teams concerned will have no choice but to lower their demands of sponsors while pushing for and actually achieving appropriate cost savings to compete in F1.

      Like my Econ teacher was used to say: “prices are nothing but a exclusion factor”. Maybe their prices are not adjusted to current market conditions and they need to slash prices in order to meet how much demand is willing to pay… in the end, it’s better to get one than zero.

  11. I’m still waiting for a day Red Bull finally removes those pointless three stripes from their livery. They are absolutely unnecessary, especially since car is already overloaded with colors and illustrations.

  12. The whole world is having money problems, it is completly natural that companies “save” the money for other things. When the world’s economy was in a high on the early 2000’s we had a lot of sponsors and car manufacturers in the sport. But the times changed and F1 has to comply with it. I’m sure when the situation gets better F1 teams will find sponsors more easily.

  13. I think COTD massively over-dramatizes the sponsor situation.It’s quite normal for F1 teams to run in testing without sny sposnsorship logos whatsoever(for example Williams who specifically stated that their car will be unveiled in race livery with new sponsor, rumored to be Martini, before Melbourne).

    Mclaren, whom the COTD mentions specifically used to arrive at the tests(including in the glory days of F1 sponsorship in early 2000-s) with orange heritage livery devoid of sponsorship

    In sum, I disagree. The sport should worry first and foremost about the looks and the ridiculous double points rule. If they don’t fix that, they won’t be able to attract anyone-no fans and no sponsors

    1. Vettel had this to say on the double points :
      Q: Double points at the final round of the season. What’s your view on that?
      SV: In my opinion that is nonsense. I don’t understand why one race should be more ‘valuable’ than another. It would be like in football if they changed the rules by saying that a goal scored in the last five minutes counted double. Nobody would think of something bizarre like that.

      Well said , Mr.World Champion, Respect .

      1. @hamilfan Yep, respect to Seb and all who spoke against it. Now, we need someone to open their ears and listen

    2. @montreal95 Martini- now there’s a sponsor with racing pedigree..but I thought alcoholic bevridges werent legit as a motorsport sponsor?

      1. @me262 Perfectly legit(see Johnny Walker), except maybe in some Arab countries where they’ll have to cover it up

    3. The question is, does the advertising still world need F1 as a billboard? In the 80’s, 90’s and early naughties, advertising in F1 was probably the best avenue for product placement, brand recognition etc. But now, with the advent of mobile advertising, why would companies spend millions to advertise in a sport that run by dinosaurs who are totally disconnected from reality living comfy in their own little world?

      F1’s arrogance will be its downfall. It hasnt evolved. For all of Bernie’s business acumen, he is in his 80s afterall, and is probably still living in 1976. The sport needs to be sold better. There are plenty of smart people in F1, Im sure they can figure it out. We live in a world where competition is immense in almost every aspect of our lives. F1 is too arrogant to see that people can turn off their TVs anytime, they can definitely stop spending the exhorbitant amount money required to attend races an surely governments can stop subsidizing races…if that happens, its curtains.

      If teams have an issue with pulling sponsors, why not get title sponsors on car by car basis? Like NASCAR, where teams field cars with disticntly different liveries? If they are really that cash strapped, why arent they being more creative? Attract smaller sponsors by reducing fees perhaps? …..Im being cynical, but its probably because of the culture in F1 that’s bred this arrogance, which has lead teams to have a false sense of entitlement.

      1. But for all the complaints about a lack of new sponsors, the sport is hardly struggling – so is the problem really as bad as it is made out, or are we arguing it into existence? The Comment of the Day is very misleading, because while teams like Force India have not gained sponsors, they have not lost sponsors, either. And there is arguably not much space for new sponsors to begin with. Likewise, Williams are running an interim test livery the way they have been for years. Marussia and Sauber completed the 2013 season with minimal sponsors, whilst McLaren have pointed out that they have a larger budget this year than they did last season.

        So where is the problem?

        1. I will answer that last question by correcting your first sentence there

          But for all the complaints about a lack of new sponsors, the sport is hardlyorribly struggling

          You can’t be seriously saying that the sport is not struggling when the team that came in 4th in the last season and won a race was not able to pay its lead driver, and let many suppliers wait for ages, another team was not able to pay for its engines on time (Sauber) and both older and newly built tracks struggle to somehow make ends meet, while at the same time key audiences like the UK, France, Germany and Italy have falling viewership numbers currenty @prisoner-monkeys

      2. @jaymenon10 Well I’m not a marketing specialist, so I don’t know to answer your main question. what I do know, is that despite everything Bernie and the rest of F1 does to shoot themselves in the foot, F1 is still the most viewed sport on earth(at least on per event basis). As long as it remains that way, there should still be value for sponsors willing to expand globally to use the F1 platform. Notice the bold part. Because the way they’re going, it’ll not remain that way for long. When F1 does everything in its power to alienate the fans, fans will eventually become alienated and then the sponsors will have no reasons to stay whatsoever. That day isn’t far off, and F1 is running out of time

  14. Renault and Mercedes asked the FIA for clarification over the legality of the Ferrari engine which doesn’t mount the ballistic steel maden protective envelope of the turbocharger, the FIA response was negative and considered the engine legal, Mercedes & Renault wants the FIA to force the adoption of that protection for safety reasons(as always) to protect from the turbocharger failure while Ferrari considers its engine safe enough and i’m confident that we will see Christian Horner moaning about the safety infront of every telecamera
    With this solution Ferrari would gain something like 3 or 4 kilos which is a massive advantage considering also that it is mounted above the engine unit which helps lowering the center of gravity of the car, it is maybe the reason why there is no pictures of the Ferrari V6 engine

    1. Well, I certainly think that safety cage should be part of the engines @tifoso1989, but I do agree that I already grow weary of Red Bull starting the media push to end these noses (newey stating that he is not sure it would not start to dive under a car), and many other things.

      After all last year it worked in shifting the blame for problems with the tyres from their design, and their and other teams usage of the tyres and the FIA for not wanting to impose Pirelli’s safety recommendations into fixed limits for their usage into Pirelli and the tyres being of no use.

      Let us not be fooled, almost everything teams say doubting safety of things or about the points rule or cost concerns is fueled by their desire to be able to either keep an advantage, regain an advantage or stop others from having an advantage.

      1. I highly doubt AN’s opinion on the lower noses is some sort of push through the media to get back to higher noses. At a bare minimum I think it is safe to say there is no way they can turn back now and simply tack on higher noses to the cars and expect the cars to work. He was simply asked his opinion and has simply stated that he is concerned regarding one specific type of collision.

        Unlike the tire situation last year of course where they were an utter failure and had to be changed. The whole world saw that plain as day. That is night and day different to him mentioning something about one disadvantage to having lower noses. Nor do I believe that RBR got the tires changed last year because they whined through the media. The tires simply had to go.

        And while I agree teams will try to get things going their way at all times, I don’t get any vibe that there are massive safety concerns, and the points rule is just a joke that almost everybody thinks doesn’t belong, so I don’t sense any push at all, even from RBR, that they are trying to, or are expecting to, through the media, keep an advantage, regain one, or stop others from having one. If the issue with Ferrari is legit and the stewards agree with RBR, which it already seems they don’t, then sure they will have stopped Ferrari from having an advantage, because it was something that the FIA had to clarify for all the teams, not because RBR whined through the media.

        1. The biggest problem with last years tyres was not their construction. It was the way teams were using them going way out of Pirellis recommended guidelines. The FIA budged from imposing those as mandatory limits, so they are to blame, just as Pirelli and the teams.

  15. Re the COTD:

    2 sponsors for Merc? I saw Petronas, Balckberry, SwissQuote, Allianz and Monster (on the overalls) and I think they still have a tie up with IWC watches, so I’m sure they are fine. Caterham have a few more than just 1, I spotted Airbus, Dell/Intel and GE from memory. Force India, no Mallya? That isn’t right because UB (and Royal Challenge and Kingfisher as part of that) is Mallya’s company. Red Bull may not have anyone new, but they do have a pretty healthy partner line up as is. The ones I’m worrying about are Williams and McLaren (though to a lesser extent).

    1. @GeeMac Well spotted. While the lack of sponsorship money in F1 is obvious, the COTD is factually incorrect.

    2. I am not convinced there @geemac, @girts. Lets look at those sponsors

      At Caterham most of them are partners who deliver stuff for free/lower price (Dell/Intel) or are suppliers of Air Asia (GE and Airbus), Yes, Mercedes do have a satisfactory situation, but in the past FI got almost 80% of its budget from Mallya, and part of that is failing now too. If you look at Sauber, its as bare as its been the past 3 years.

      Sure, Williams are likely to show a new livery with more sponsors come the first race. And McLaren might still announce that big deal they are working on (compare Lotus and Honeywell last year though), but Lotus do not have much more than Genii paying the bills together with PDVSA this year either. So I would certainly not say all is well there, and I think the time of having sponsors field hundreds of millions in budgets for F1 per year is running to a close.

  16. Re COTD, the other thing that seems to be happening is that sponsors are going directly to FOM and bypassing the teams and the circuits. In the last few years Rolex, UBS, LG and Tata have signed up with Bernie and not with any team because this way they get publicity at every race regardless of who finishes where. Just like the title sponsorship deals for individual races, which also go to the FOM. If an FOM deal gives sponsors more bang for their buck, they will of course sign up with the FOM.

    Bernie’s going to bleed the sport dry, isn’t he?

  17. I think companies might be hesitant to announce sponsor deals relating to F1 before the Bernie bribery case has been dealt with and blown over.

    That scandal is the main reason f1 is in the spotlight of mainstream media at the moment. Any big sponsor deals might get mentioned in association with Corrupt Bond Villain Ecclestone on the 6 o’clock news.

  18. Just out of interest in relation to the CotD, how many people on here have actually bought a product because they saw it on an F1 car?

    Also, the pics of the cars look so much better when they’re not having their colour schemes ruined by bright yellow (or otherwise) branding on their tyres.

    1. Just in case your implication is that people don’t buy the products that are being advertised on an F1 car, you are wrong. Racing would not exist if advertising in racing series’ had no positive effect for the marketers. Advertising does work. If you don’t think so, try launching a product and selling it successfully without telling anybody about it. Or try making inroads on the competition without telling potential customers about yourself and your product and why it is better.

  19. I think the Comment of the Day is misleading.

    Firstly, Williams are running an interim testing livery, just as they have done for the past few years. They have already announced that a separate livery launch is coming later.

    In the case of Red Bull not having any new sponsors, that is hardly a fair accusation. They have all the same sponsors that they had last year, and there are no glaringly-obvious blank spots on the cars. They might not have gained sponsors, but they have hardly lost them, either. And even if they gained sponsors, there is nowhere to put them.

    McLaren deliberately launched without any sponsors, because they are still looking for a title sponsor if one is available. They have already pointed out that they have a greater operating budget this year than they did in 2013, and they have reinforced all of their existing partnerships. But they haven’t given up on a title sponsor, so they launched a blank livery to try and attact any potential sponsors out there. It’s a slightly more tasteful and professional way of doing “This could be YOU!”

    Caterham might only have one new sponsor, but they were also held up trying to get the CT05 ready. It stands to reason that, of all the things that needed to be done, putting sponsor decals on the car was a fairly low priority. Sponsors might like it, but it is, after all, winter testing. They’re mostly paying for exposure during the actual season.

    But even if we assume for the moment that no-one is going to show up with sponsors, then there is one group that deserves the blame: the teams. Costs are escalating, which means they need to charge more for sponsorship, and from a corporate point of view, eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns.

  20. I disagree with the sentiment that companies are avoiding Formula 1 because of ugly cars. If I were a company looking to get into the sport, aesthetics would not be a problem for me. For one, I would not actually see the cars until they were unveiled, and secondly, an ugly car would not reflect poorly on me.

    What I would be looking for is a return on investment. If I am going to pay millions of dollars to have my name on the side of a car, then I am going to want something back. I would need to know by advertising in Formula 1, I am going to get access to a new customer base. And since the primary audience is made up of people sitting at home, I would want to know that I am going to get exposure. It is no good putting my name on a car, only to find that the cameras are never aimed at it. To that end, I would have to judge the price of a sponsor programme against the exposure I would get. Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari are going to get significantly more coverage than Williams, Marussia or Caterham, so it would cost me more to sponsor one of the big four.

    I would also look at the qualities my company values and compare them to the qualities the teams embody. For instance, a sponsor may see Sebastian Vettel’s actions in Malaysia last year and consider them to be unsporting. Likewise, sponsors will not have missed the booing on the podiums and come to the conclusion that Red Bull are unpopular, and that by sponsoring them, they will become guilty by association. And before anybody starts jumping in here and defending Vettel and the team, remember that marketing is about playing with perception. Whether or not that perception represents reality is beside the point – Vettel and Red Bull got bad press, and bad press is like tar: it sticks to everything. At the other end of the spectrum, McLaren would be highly-lucrative. They have a very well-organised sponsor portfolio, one that ties sponsors to corporate identity. Their drivers promote the same products in the same way, and everything is run through the team. And as we saw in all the Vodafone videos starring Button and Hamilton in 2012, they try and organise sponsor events that the drivers will enjoy.

    It is only then that I would consider aesthetics of the car, but if everything else is to my liking, then even an ugly car like the Caterham would not be enough to put me off.

  21. @Hairs Excellent point, well made!

  22. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    29th January 2014, 14:35

    I think the move to Pay to view races is beginning to catch up. Who wants to sponsor a car for millions of pounds that won’t get seen by will only be seen by those with a SKY subscription? The only other time F1 is at the front of the news is for negative reasons like double points and DRS, several gimmicks that most people don’t like and are quite confusing to the average viewer.
    F1 needs a new policy. It doesn’t make sense to dumb down a sport that you need a subscription for.

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