Ecclestone supports Putin’s anti-gay stance

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Bernie Ecclestone, 2013Ahead of the forthcoming Russian Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone voices support for Vladimir Putin’s repressive legislation against gay people.

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

Bernie Ecclestone backs Vladimir Putin on gay rights issue (CNN)

“He hasn’t said he doesn’t agree (with homosexuality) just that he doesn’t want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18.”

Who will pay the price when Sochi Games end? (Reuters)

“Some officials have tried to play down expectations of dismissals after the Games, with Putin’s Olympic organiser Dmitry Kozak saying there would be no “outbreak” of investigations after they end. Officials are mindful that any such outbreak could hinder efforts to develop the site further for a meeting of the G8 leading industrial countries in June and the Formula One Grand Prix in October, so it might pay to stay quiet.”

Judge clears Ecclestone over Formula One stake valuation (FT, registration required)

Ecclestone: “If he had had the witnesses that we will have in the next case [the judge] might have decided differently.”

Ecclestone presses on with points plan (BBC)

“Sources say [Jean] Todt is wary of the backlash against the plan and will only support Ecclestone in his push to extend the ploy to the final three races if the teams give their unanimous backing.”

Kobayashi: Renault can’t compete (Autosport)

“At the moment, we are definitely too weak pace-wise, so we give the maximum chance to them [to work] and thereafter we have to work on our car.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014Nico Rosberg Q&A: Better to have problems now than later! (F1)

“We are slower. We are slipping more. The car is heavier. That’s a bit sad, as I would love to go faster, but that’s how it is.”

Alonso: More still to discover (Sky)

“We are not as good as we would like to be at this point and [there are] still many things to discover and many things to improve, but at least we are able to do 160 laps in two days with not big, big issues in the car.”

Meanwhile in Companies House (Joe Saward)

“There are ‘appointment terminated’ notices for Ecclestone with Formula One World Championship Ltd, Formula One Hospitality and Events Services Ltd, Formula One Management Ltd and Formula One Administration Ltd, the major operating companies of the group. These are all dated January 21.”

The lie of the land in testing (ESPN)

“The car would be illegal; below the weight limit; you name it. It would be stripped right down to the bare minimum. They would have removed the steering wheel and pedals if they could have got away with it.”

Tweets and pictures

Got a little bit of unexpected practice today here at Sakhir circuit Bahrain, touch too much understeer but hey that's the least of my worries :)

Jenson Button: “Got a little bit of unexpected practice today here at Sakhir circuit Bahrain, touch too much understeer but hey that’s the least of my worries.”

Comment of the day

One reader has already succumbed to the temptation of placing a bet on the upcoming season:

Got exited and placed a bet on Magnussen taking the drivers’ championship this year.

McLaren seem to have a great car, consistently fast, reliable engine, have had plenty of time to develop the 2014 car cause of last year, and a talented driver. I think he will easily beat Button. Besides, odds were worth betting on.

Let’s see in 10 months how wrong I was!
@Me4me

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On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonA major test ahead of the start of the 1994 season began 20 years ago today at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Eric Bernard led the early running in his Ligier ahead of team mate Olivier Panis, Eddie Irvine (Jordan) and Alessandro Zanardi (Lotus).

Image © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

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187 comments on Ecclestone supports Putin’s anti-gay stance

1 2 3
  1. Breno (@austus) said on 21st February 2014, 0:25

    Kobayashi just pressed the panic button.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st February 2014, 6:07

      Oh dear!

    • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 21st February 2014, 7:33

      I think it is more about caterham simply being miles off the pace than renault being miles off the pace. Kobayashi is not used to driving cars that are seconds slower than the midfield cars and now he is probably comparing his caterham to mercs. Caterham is fighting for positions 19-22 while mercs look like top team.

      I’m not saying renault doesn’t have problems but he is comparing caterham to mercedes for crying out loud!

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 21st February 2014, 12:49

        @socksolid Have you been paying any attention to the testing? At the moment Caterham are the fastest Renault powered team based on laptimes. And the 20-30 km/h speed difference he’s explicitly states that it’s Renault-powered teams disadvantage to the Merc-powered teams. Certainly if it was a Caterham only issue and the rest of the Renault teams top speed was fine he wouldn’t say that

        • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 21st February 2014, 18:34

          I will be massively surprised if caterham is any closer to the midfield in 2014 than it has ever been. To me it looks like renault is having problems with their engines but caterham have been able to work around the problem better. This being pre season testing caterham are running around in light car trying to make their car look faster than it is to secure more sponsorship. And even then the closest the caterham has gotten to the top times is 5 seconds!

          If I’m wrong and caterham is able to compete in the midifield in the first 3 races because of genuine pace I promise you can spank me with the front wing of your choosing!

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:05

            @socksolid You misunderstood what KK has said. He wasn’t comparing Caterham to Merc works team. Rather he was comparing to the Merc powered cars in general

            For the record, I also don’t believe that the Caterham will be a genuine midfield contender on pure pace(though they may get some points on reliability). That’s irrelevant however. Contrary to your original statement I believe KK knew exactly what he was saying. Renault power units have some serious problems irrespective of the team. It’s entirely plausible for all the Renault powered teams to be 20-30 km/h slower on the straights than the Merc powered teams if the ers-k isn’t working properly. according to Horner that’s exactly what’s happening. He was quoted as saying that Renault’s problem is energy storage. Which this year equals a disaster of epic proportions unless they get their act together soon.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st February 2014, 7:53

      Hm, being about 20-30 km slower on the straight than the Mercedes engined cars does sound like a serious problem. But its really nothing new, we all know that Renault is struggling a bit to get their engine up and running all systems. Kobayashi mentions that “at this time”, not that they won’t be able to catch up and the whole season is lost for all Renault teams @austus

  2. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 21st February 2014, 0:27

    As a fan of Formula 1, I’m deeply ashamed of Ecclestone’s statement.

    • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 21st February 2014, 0:47

      Money talking. Should have just said nothing…

      It was well said somewhere – “gay propaganda” is as stupid as “propaganda for left-handed people”, you just can’t have propaganda for such thing.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 21st February 2014, 1:14

        Yes you can?

        • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 21st February 2014, 8:17

          Well, that’s absurd. How it would look? Do it in Russia and you’ll be jailed :)

          • *Begins work on underground left handed propaganda*

            But seriously, the fact that this has even come up as a “reasonable” discussion is oppression in itself. You shouldn’t treat anyone badly.

          • MattB (@mattb) said on 21st February 2014, 22:49

            But seriously, the fact that this has even come up as a “reasonable” discussion is oppression in itself. You shouldn’t treat anyone badly.

            Apart from left handers. Even the Lotus is right handed.

          • Ayrton Senna was left-handed.

      • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 21st February 2014, 11:20

        There is no such thing as gay propaganda. Using the words propaganda implies that there is some entity who benefits from spreading gay misinformation. There isn’t any such entity because there is no gay misonformation except the statements that come from people like you and ecclestone who still believe in the 1940s idea that gay people are harmful to kids.

        There are people who get killed and discriminated every day because they are gay by people who hate gays. And when someone mentions such things happening it is then labeled by people like you as gay propaganda. People like you make me sick.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 21st February 2014, 2:11

      Why does Bernie have to stir up crap? The judge even said that Bernie was guilty of bribery and then let him off on a technicality….but Bernie wasn’t happy with getting away with being a criminal.

      No, now he has to embroil F1 in yet another needless controversy. Just shut up already, Bernie. Just shut up.

      • I don’t think you understood the court case. It was a civil trial about a company valuation. It was not a criminal trial over whether he bribed someone illegally. There wasn’t any technicality that exonerated him either. The judge ruled he bribed to remain boss not to affect the value. So the trial about bribery coming up in Germany is the one to watch

        • DaveD (@daved) said on 21st February 2014, 14:24

          Ahhh, thanks. I’ve been busy with some crisis at work and haven’t taken the time to read through the articles…just saw the headline and I should know better than to trust those LOL Thanks for the correction.

      • Tomcat173 (@tomcat173) said on 21st February 2014, 3:10

        @daved Clearly Bernie is making a ludicruous statement about something unrelated to move people’s attention away from the finding in the court case. He’s a wily old fox!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st February 2014, 7:54

        Its always Bernie’s media strategy to stir up some controversy with provocative comments when wishing to take attention away from other issues, yeah.

    • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 21st February 2014, 4:40

      I agree with Ecclestone unlike most other people simply because of the context in which he made his statement. The key words here are “spreading propaganda”. Spreading gay “propaganda” is just as wrong as spreading any other propaganda. Just because it is a sensitive issue does not make it okay for anyone to do it. That is what Ecclestone meant and I stand by him.
      On the other hand, making it illegal to be gay, like Putin did is stupid and deplorable.

      • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 21st February 2014, 6:49

        In Russia they legalized a persons right to be gay before Britain did. Propaganda has you thinking otherwise.

      • maarten.f1 (@maarten-f1) said on 21st February 2014, 6:51

        The thing is here, how do you define propaganda? If being openly gay is defined as propaganda by local authorities, then suddenly it’s okay to say it’s illegal?

        What I think Ecclestone meant is just some controversial statement which completely would (as he hopes) overshadow the court’s ruling. You’d have to wonder about the timing of the statements, no? Just right after a judge ruled that he did bribe someone, and that he’s an unreliable and untruthful witness. It seems to work for CNN at least, there’s no mention of that story on their website.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st February 2014, 8:24

        @rojov123 Once you start using Putin’s notorious phrase ‘gay propaganda’ you’ve already bought his party line. This is nothing more than a transparent pretext for demonising Russia’s gay community.

        @maarten-f1

        What I think Ecclestone meant is just some controversial statement which completely would (as he hopes) overshadow the court’s ruling.

        That is his modus operandi, another recent example of which would be announcing plans for a ‘London Grand Prix on the same day Gerhard Gribkowsky was jailed.

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 21st February 2014, 8:28

        @Rooney This is utter nonesense. Gay rights protesters are not extolling the virtues of homosexuality, they are simply demanding their right to equality be recognised. Gay propaganda” is merely spin from the Fascist Russian state. Yes, lets not pussy foot around here, the Russian stance on homosexuality is Fascist and must not be tolerated. Bernie’s claims about the Russian stance on Homosexuals is ficticious. The state actively denies the existence of Homosexuals so that it doesn’t have to acknowledge the way it mistreats them to the rest of the world. This could be the last straw for me, I think I finally have the reason I need to turn my back on F1 for good if Bernie remains the figurehead of the sport. He is morally bankrupt beyond redemption so unless F1 openly distances itself from Bernie and his stupid mouth I will not be watching anymore and it pains me to say it.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st February 2014, 6:09

      Bernie can be so pathetic sometimes…

      Putin is a joke. He thinks showing his muscles will get him any respect. Russia deserves better than that.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 21st February 2014, 6:47

      I dont see anything wrong with his statement. In fact most people who actually know Russian law dont have a problem with it. The only people who have a problem are those who watch and read sensationalist videos and articles.

      In Russia it is 100% legal to be gay.

      In Russia they attempt to protect their minors from something they are too young to understand and also from pedophiles using their anti-gay propaganda laws. I have no problem with this. If you are too young to understand what you are being fed, then only negative things can come from it. More countries should protect their minors in this way.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 21st February 2014, 8:59

        Being gay isn’t something that can magically happen when you turn 18 though. By limiting access & support around the concept to minors, it both allows them to grow up thinking ‘they’re wrong’ and also allows family members and other acquaintances to ostracise ‘closeted’ people.

        Accepting sexuality, especially when its against the social norms, is incredibly hard for anyone – for a law to be enacted under dubious wording, designed in a roundabout way to shield some of the most vulnerable from the concept, is just broken.

      • You don’t become homosexual at 18 though. As a gay person myself my earliest memory of having homosexual thoughts is 10 or 11 – I definitely knew in secondary school. I grew up through the 80′s where Britain had our own, weaker, version of this anti-propaganda law. It was Section 28 of the local government act – it prevented local authorities from “promoting” homosexuality. The effect was to terrorise teachers into silence. To a teacher in the 80′s and 90′s gay pupils didn’t, couldn’t, exist.

        The beauty of these laws is that they have effects far beyond the limited wording of the law. The send out the message that being gay is wrong. That being gay makes you a second class citizen. That gay relationships are pretend. Oh we don’t mind you being gay they say, as long as you’re not gay around us normal people.

        Growing up gay is difficult enough in an “accepting” country like ours. This law is going to make growing up gay in Russia almost unbearable – a gay child, or a child that thinks he might be gay is going to have NO ONE to talk to. The people that should be supporting him the most at the toughest time of his life, his parents and teachers, will not for, fear of prosecution, be willing to any advice or support. Can you imagine the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with in your life and not being able to talk to your own mother about it?

        This law will lead to many things but stopping people being gay is not one of them. This law will lead to good parents and good teachers being carted off for helping young people. This law will lead to gay people leading double lives, stuck in unhappy marriages and unhappy families while sneaking off to underground gay bars and clubs. This law will lead to the demonization of a whole group of society. This law will lead to teenage suicides.

        This law will not stop people being gay and it will certainly not stop people being paedophiles!!

        And to get back on the subject. Bernie Ecclestone has lost my respect. The sooner he ***** off the better. Until then I’m done with this sport.

      • matt90 said on 21st February 2014, 11:43

        from pedophiles using their anti-gay propaganda law
        That seriously needs some explanation. Not least because it sounds like you think paedophilia must only be serious enough to need this law when it is gay. What about ‘hetero’ child molesting? Shouldn’t that be stopped by a law banning straight propoganda?

      • You don’t become homosexual at 18 though. As a gay person myself my earliest memory of having homosexual thoughts is 10 or 11 – I definitely knew in secondary school. I grew up through the 80′s where Britain had our own, weaker, version of this anti-propaganda law. It was Section 28 of the local government act – it prevented local authorites from “promoting” homosexuality. The effect was to terrorise teachers into silence. To a techer in the 80′s and 90′s gay pupils didn’t, couldn’t, exist.

        The clever thing about these laws is that they have effects far beyond the limited wording of the law. The send out the message that being gay is wrong. That being gay makes you a second class citizen. That gay relationships are pretend. Oh we don’t mind you being gay they say, as long as you’re not gay around us normal people.

        Growing up gay is difficult enough in an “accepting” country like ours. This law is going to make growing up gay in Russia almost unbearable – a gay child, or a child that thinks he might be gay is going to have NO ONE to talk to. The people that should be supporting him the most at the toughest time of his life, his parents and teachers, will not for, fear of prosecution, be willing to any advice or support. Can you imagine the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with in your life and not being able to talk to your own mother about it?

        This law will lead to many things but stopping people being gay is not one of them. This law will lead to good parents and good teachers being carted off for helping young people. This law will lead to gay people leading double lives, stuck in unhappy marriages and unhappy families while sneaking off to underground gay bars and clubs. This law will lead to the demonization of a whole group of society. This law will lead to teenage suicides.

        This law will not stop people being gay and it will certainly not stop people being paedophiles!!

        And to get back on the subject. Bernie Ecclestone has lost my respect. The sooner he goes away the better. Until then I’m done with this sport.

        *reposted because the first time was too sweary*

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 21st February 2014, 14:46

        @joshua-mesh – Wow ok…. So first off – you’re right in that it isn’t illegal to be gay in Russia. It is, however, massively discriminated against. It was never illegal to be black either but they’ve had their fair share of issues. This isn’t really all that much different.

        It’s very dangerous and also fairly stupid to make a connection between gays and pedophiles. I can only assume that you realise straight people can be pedophiles as well. Is all “straight propaganda” banned also?

        Finally, are you suggesting that people are unable to understand the concept of what being gay is until you are 18? You are clearly still struggling with the concept now but most of us kind of figured out that it’s not something you choose to be and therefore, it’s not something that “propaganda” can affect!

        This isn’t something that kids need to be shielded from! Are you suggesting that gay people have to spend their lives hidden away unless a child sees them? Children should learn that everyone is different but that it’s not a problem. People are all equal and should be treated as such.

      • Luth (@soulofaetherym) said on 21st February 2014, 19:56

        Making it legal is only a first step. Is it legal being a woman, or a black person? It sounds obvious and yet all had their strife in order to get the equal rights we all as human beings should have. In Russia (and many other countries actually), homosexual people do have lesser rights, that’s one of the biggest problems. The second problem is this immediate ‘being gay is bad’ line of thought by almost any religious parent (generalizing here, but this is sadly quite true), which basically leads to a newer generation inheriting the same dumb prejudice as the last one.
        Thankfully, critical thinking and logic seem to be on the rise these days, making abortion legal does not increase abortion rates, giving people equal rights is only just, and children who aren’t born homosexual will not become homosexual, no matter if their raised by 2 dad’s, 2 mom’s or a mom and a dad, or a mom, or a dad, or an uncle, or grandparents, etc.
        One would think in 2014 we shouldn’t still be under the influence of prejudice, belief or thousand-year-old-books in the making of the law.
        I’m gay, I do not feel like a 2nd-class F1 fan. I’m a medicine student, at the top of my year, I don’t like to say this stuff, but if me being a 2nd class citizen is going to be determined by my sexuality, then I won’t even bother spending night on end studying trying to help people in the future.

        And this was too long, but I feel very strongly about this, I do not longer respect mr. Ecclestone, this is definite proof he’s an outdated old man, and a shade of the person who made F1 popular, sad thing is, I know he does not care.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 21st February 2014, 6:49

      In Russia they legalized a persons right to be gay before Britain did. Propaganda has you thinking otherwise.

      • Yes in 1917 and then they made it illegal again in 1930. This time around it was legalized in 2003. It’s been legal in England & Wales since 1967

    • Girts (@girts) said on 21st February 2014, 6:55

      As a gay F1 fanatic, I’m not happy to read that statement either.

      I would be hugely surprised if Ecclestone suddenly turned out to be an LGBT rights supporter and people have already pointed out that he might as well be trying to divert attention from his own legal trouble. Still, it’s absolutely wrong to praise Putin for many reasons.

      One would have to be hugely naive to truly believe that Putin just wants to protect the kids. It is sometimes forgotten that the so-called anti-gay law represents only a small part of the ongoing human rights violations in Russia. Just to name a few, there are no free elections; freedom of the press and freedom of assembly are seriously restricted and young soldiers have to face dedovschina in the Russian army. Moreover, Putin is also indirectly responsible for what is happening in Ukraine right now. All of that is being done to ensure that Putin and his gang retain power and has nothing to do with the interests of the Russian (or any other) people.

      But I’m not going to stop watching F1 just because of Ecclestone, Putin or Abu Dhabi where human rights violations are even more severe than in Russia. I have met far too many great F1 fans on F1 Fanatic and on Twitter, who, just like me, prefer to discuss the sound of the new engines over talking about other people’s sexuality.

    • matt90 said on 21st February 2014, 11:33

      Next thing we’ll be hearing the people in charge tell us how Hitler ‘got things done’. Wait…

    • Bernie just trying to curry favour/support Putin (Sochi race this year)… Also he’s a dinosaur from a bygone era and no stranger to saying foolish things…

    • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 21st February 2014, 20:17

      What nobody seems to be grasping is the reason he said this:-

      Every word published about this statement are words published that are not discussing his trial verdict. His only agenda with this statment is to deflect attention. Eccelstone does this all the time.

    • I’m not. There’s nothing wrong with the russian law, but there’s maybe a problem with society, I think some people are giving are targeting russia via the olympics and tainting their campaign.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st February 2014, 0:28

    F1 DNA is already a mutant of what it was. DRS, Double points, butter tyres, ugly cars, 90-degree-filled street circuits… *sigh*

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 21st February 2014, 0:34

      @omarr-pepper Mostly agreed, but we actually had more street circuits in the 80s than we do now – Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix. Nowadays, outside of Monaco, the only other fully-street circuit is Singapore – and I actually like that one…

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st February 2014, 0:43

        @journeyer Don’t forget Sochi, Abu Dhabi (which is a “hotel” circuit and just for that, the track goes around the hotel and th harbor using many 90º turns) and the horrible Valencia we had just a couple of seasons ago, plus the menace of having a boringly-designed New Jersey soon. Singapore is just a postcard, the races are usually dull there.(unless you turn up the thrill with a planned crash under the tunnel)

        • Don’t forget Australia and Canada, which are both on public streets (and have had some fantastic racing in recent years), or Korea, which was intended to be a street circuit but never became one because nobody showed up to live in the “city.”

        • matt90 said on 21st February 2014, 11:47

          A lot of people really like NJ. Looks very exciting to me for most of the lap, bar the 90 degree turns in close proximity to the pits. And Abu Dhabi is only a faux street circuit at best.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 21st February 2014, 13:10

          @omarr-pepper NJ has a fantastic layout, with few 90 degree corners for a street circuit. And the levation changes are huge too. As one who had visited the area, I cannot believe they’ll b able to pull it off, but if they do, it’ll be one of the best circuits on the calendar

          And Abu-Dhabi ain’t a street circuit. It’s just a horrendous circuit, period.

          Disagree about Singapore too. It had some good races. Valencia was horrible but it’s gone and will never come back

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 21st February 2014, 16:45

            @montreal95 – I agree although not about Singapore. It has had some good races (as has Valencia) but this is solely because of DRS.

            With DRS making passing so easy, you need tracks like Valencia and Singapore where passing is very difficult to balance it out.

            Without DRS, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Valencia might as well not happen. Just run a qualifying session and issue the points.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 22nd February 2014, 7:27

            @petebaldwin I thought the 2010 Singapore race was quite good without any Drs. There were numerous successful overtakes and some failed attempts too

            In general the drs situation is much more complicated than you imply. Pre-drs overtaking was difficult on many circuits, not just street ones. With drs it depends on a lot of parameters. on some tracks the drs really is ridiculous. on others it seems to make no difference whatsoever, and in some rare occasions that they get the length and location of the zone(s) right its fantastic.

            Main problem isn’t the tracks( with some exceptions such as Abu dhabi), and it’s not DRS either. its dependence on dirty Aero. luckily this year it should be much reduced but how long will it take for the engineers to get it all back? A year at most

      • @journeyer; @omarr-pepper – I love Singapore GP spectacle…or at least I did the first time I watched it in 2008.

        Monaco is cool, too, and that was the first F1 circuit I ever saw in person, in 1994…but Singapore has a totally different vibe – not necessarily better, but just different. Monaco works great in daylight, while Singapore is better at night. I think F1/FIA is doing that right at least…

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 21st February 2014, 13:01

      Wait, don’t decree the current circuits as being ‘just 90-degree corners’.

      What about Phoenix?

  4. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 21st February 2014, 0:29

    “At the moment, we are definitely too weak pace-wise, so we give the maximum chance to them [to work] and thereafter we have to work on our car.”

    “During testing, we meet some other cars and clearly we can see the Mercedes cars are much quicker in the straights, 20-30km/h more and it would mean different braking points, everything, if we had proper power.
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112590

    Are Renault powered cars really 20-30 kph slower than Mercedes powered cars in a straight line? Such difference is incredible

    Imagine if a Lotus was racing a Williams. The Merc powered FW36, combined with DRS and slipstream would be a good 40 kph faster than Lotus in a straight line.

    • Mach1 said on 21st February 2014, 1:04

      I wonder what Honda are thinking about all this……hopefully it will be a massive incentive to put more resources into getting things right…..otherwise it will be a PR disaster for their return.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st February 2014, 6:15

      Can they make any huge upgrade before Melbourne? That’s an EPIC FAILURE on the way.

    • BaKano (@bakano) said on 21st February 2014, 6:37

      In the 2013 Bahrain qualifying, Vettel’s car was around 10kpg slower than the fastest car (also a Mercedes powered) so the difference in maximum speed by itself does not necessary mean they are much slower in total lap time.
      However, if the fastest Renault powered car is indeed at least 20kph slower than the other cars, it is a sign they’re not running a full power, or the max power is noticeable lower than the competition.

    • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 21st February 2014, 6:58

      @kingshark It can’t be. That would be insanity. Kamui just seems to have thrown the dart in the dark there. Remember teams are running different programs and different fuel loads and different tires and/or tire life. I really don’t think it could be this big a difference.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st February 2014, 8:01

        If Renault is currently not able to run the ERS to full functionality (as was reported by various sources), then its well conceivable that the difference is this big for the moment @neelv27. It doesn’t mean that Renault won’t be able to solve that before the end of the month though, so lets see how it works out.

  5. I can understand Bernies stance but he is somewhat politically inclined and old fashioned though.

    As a heterosexual male I’m personally not a fan of seeing any form of homosexuality between men – it just looks wrong to my eyes and I’d prefer that any tv/ internet broadcasts I watch didn’t show that sort of thing. However if men are happy being together I am happy for them, I just don’t want to see it, but if you are looking for that sort of thing then I think it’s fair that you can see it. I think if a country deems that passionate kissing between males is banned from under 18s then all forms of passionate kissing should be banned to under 18′s.

    We need equality. At the age of 13 I would’ve been interested in seeing 2 18 year old girls making out, but it’s unfair to legalize that whilst illegalizing it if men do the same.

    • Aficionado said on 21st February 2014, 2:34

      Personally it doesn’t bother me to see homosexuality, but I’m really impressed with your comments. It’s so nice to see someone who’s thought it out well, is honest about their thoughts while accepting the views of others, instead of having knee-jerk reaction for either side. Cheers man :)

    • JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 21st February 2014, 6:50

      WELL SAID! very fair comments.

    • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 21st February 2014, 11:12

      I don’t know why someone who is bothered by two men kissing deserves a clap on the back, to be brutally honest. It isn’t an issue at all and the business of no one (especially in a world where you can’t escape opposite sex couples being plastered all over the media)

      • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 21st February 2014, 14:22

        I don’t know why someone who is bothered by two men kissing deserves a clap on the back

        In this instance, it is because he is showing tolerance.

        Yes, you could easily shout him down. “You shouldn’t have any problem with seeing gay men kissing”. However, we all need to accept that some do. We are currently going through a change in society, and not everyone will catch up to it. It may even take generations.

        However, the first step in that journey is tolerance. Tolerance doesn’t mean you have to like something. You just have to realise that your own dislike should not interfere with other people living their lives the way they are entitled to. As the journey continues, more people tolerate it and this leads to more people accepting it and viewing it as nothing out of the ordinary.

        I actually think it takes a lot of guts to tolerate something which makes you feel uncomfortable, as you must recognise that it is a fault in your own personality and push it to one side. That is what deserves a pat on the back.

      • matt90 said on 21st February 2014, 14:28

        At least they seem to admit that their prejudice isn’t particularly reasonable.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 21st February 2014, 16:40

        @stephanief1990 – I think it does deserve credit. People don’t have to think the same as others. Forcing someone to be happy about two men kissing is as bad as banning them from doing it!

        Frankly, there are a lot of people who are uncomfortable with homosexuality and it’s a problem that needs to be addressed because being gay is a natural thing that isn’t learnt or chosen. In order to address these issues however, people who are uncomfortable with homosexuality need to enter into dialogue as to why this is so that a discussion can take place. That’s all I see DD42 doing. I don’t agree with him but I respect him for behing honest and preaching equality.

        • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 21st February 2014, 16:50

          @petebaldwinI find that a bit bizarre if I’m honest. You can’t force someone to be happy and clearly you don’t understand the damage homophobia does if you think being accepting and progressive is as bad as being bigoted.

          Frankly, the people uncomfortable with it are small minded and ignorant. It’s as random and strange as being uncomfortable with birds tweeting or people with blue eyes. If people do have a problem they should seek either help, education or just keep their opinions to themselves instead of trying to make everyone else uncomfortable. No one has a right to force their own prejudices onto someone else. There doesn’t need to be a discussion on why some people are uncomfortable, the discussion needs to be on how do we make society more equal and how do we improve LGBT (racial, disability, women’s) rights. I do applaud when people actually truly, deeply stand for equality and do not have any prejudices of their own- as many people on this blog are showing. I get what you’re saying and why you’re saying it but as a bi person I’m not really going to want to shake hands with someone who thinks I’m disgusting but manages to fight the urge to actually discriminate against me. It’s just really offensive to complain about two men kissing*

          *and why is it only men who have relationships with men that are referred to? That’s another weird thing about homophobia- it almost always ignores female sexuality. It’s just a strange, strange thing.

          • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 21st February 2014, 16:51

            @petebaldwin I should say*

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2014, 6:55

            Sorry @stephanief1990, but I disagree with what you say there. Just read your own comment carefully and you see that it is in itself a paradox.

            Frankly, the people uncomfortable with it are small minded and ignorant. It’s as random and strange as being uncomfortable with birds tweeting or people with blue eyes. If people do have a problem they should seek either help, education or just keep their opinions to themselves instead of trying to make everyone else uncomfortable. No one has a right to force their own prejudices onto someone else.

            Living in a society that has thought people that homosexuality is bad, a sin, etc. for ages, you cannot just force (and that is what your comment implies, and makes it a paradox) people to just forget all that and be fine with things. We do NOT have to all THINK the same, and we should all have the right to express how we feel about something.
            Saying you personally feel uncomfortable with something, but on the other hand recognizes its something normal I do not think that should hurt anyone. Its something that will change over time as less people get thought to think bad of homosexuality and therefore younger people should feel as normal about it. Just think of how many people still feel uncomfortable around black, asian people, well just about anyone who is different all over the world.

            Feeling uncomfortable is fine, but its not fine to make that a reason to prosecute anyone for being different, behaving different or believing different things.

  6. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 21st February 2014, 0:35

    This is only yet another press manipulation tactic by Ecclestone to divert attention to the real issue he is about to face in April. The High Court judge here in the UK not only ruled that Ecclestone paid a bribe and entered a corrupt agreement with Gibrowsky but also branded him an unreliable and untruthful witness (ie. a liar).

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 21st February 2014, 6:33

      @pmccarthy_is_a_legend – And, even if Ecclestone does not lose his case in Germany, which would not be surprising, he still faces further eroding of his credibility. Big business usually prefers to distance itself from public scandal and corrupted credibility whenever possible which would seem to further weaken his control of F1.

      • Big business usually prefers to distance itself from public scandal and corrupted credibility whenever possible which would seem to further weaken his control of F1.

        lol yeah except that CVC did the exact opposite of what you suggest and only took the least possible action “against” Bernie that they could to ensure that they could not be criticized for “doing nothing”, for example.

        If it was true that big business in this case wanted to distance itself from “corrupted credibility,” then Bernie would’ve been shown the door. But CVC have done everything possible to allow Bernie to remain in charge, going so far as to make it possible for him to say repeatedly – on the record – that he’s running F1′s day-to-day business!

        lol. Bernie’s control of F1 is rock-solid and will remain so until he dies or some legal tripwire forces CVC to prevent Ecclestone from coming to work, rather than just firing him on paper by having him resign from the boards of FOM & assoc’d companies…

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 21st February 2014, 0:36

    “I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you’d find 90% of the world agree with it as well,” added the 83-year-old

    Umm… what?
    Perhaps he means “religious organisation”, rather than the whole “world”? lol

    Whether Putin or Ecclestone like it or not, equal marriage rights are going to eventually happen. Sure they can slow it’s progress in certain regions (Well, Putin can), but they cannot stop it.

    I wonder if Bernie would still be spouting this rubbish if Russia weren’t on this years calendar…

  8. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 21st February 2014, 0:43

    There’s a lot of qualified, cautious statements there from Alonso. It reads like usual PR speak from any driver – mentioning the challenges, how the team’s motivated, and accentuating the positives – but there’s enough qualified praise in there to have me a little worried. He says that they’re not where they want to be, how he’s happy ‘in a way’ with the team’s progress…

    Maybe I’ve been burned too many times in the recent past with Ferrari, expecting so much and having them deliver so little. But I get the impression (and I know how much I’m reaching on this) that Ferrari have yet another good but not great car on their hands right now – which just won’t cut it. I hope to be proven very, very wrong.

    • evered7 (@evered7) said on 21st February 2014, 6:00

      @colossal-squid, I will take having a good car early in the season with good additions through the year over having a great car in the beginning and going nowhere with the developments. At some point the other teams will catch up on the great car and if they don’t have the right development plans, it will be of no use to either Kimi or Alonso.

      My only worry is how they develop the car over the season. They have two very capable drivers in their ranks to get the most out of the car. They cannot afford another wind tunnel excuse.

      • David not Coulthard (@) said on 21st February 2014, 13:09

        I will take having a good car early in the season with good additions through the year over having a great car in the beginning and going nowhere with the developments.

        It’s not about development, it’s about the final championship standings. At least that was true for Brawn GP (OK, Jenson finished on the podium in Abu Dhabi, but still)

  9. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 21st February 2014, 0:46

    I thought Bernie couldn’t get any more ridiculous…

    • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 21st February 2014, 9:08

      Wow!
      I thought the “useless old fart” comments were a bit much, but no. I have been well and truly proven absolutely wrong!

      He is indeed an useless old fart, far beyond any reasanoble thinking capacity.

    • His age is clearly catching up with him. The comments of a senile man clinging to power under adversity – hopefully he’ll be ousted and we can have our F1 back, double points not included.

  10. I’m livid about what Ecclestone is doing here.

    And yes, I’m more livid about this than I ever was with the double points finale at Abu Dhabi, or DRS, or any of the other stupid gimmicks that the sport has pushed through with Ecclestone at the helm. In comparison, having a race that’s arbitrarily worth twice as much as the others seems rather pleasant by comparison! Because a race that’s worth double points, as contrived as it is, as gimmicky and unnecessary as it is – it doesn’t compromise other people’s basic rights.

    Ecclestone may run the sport, but he does not speak for the sport’s fans as a whole. Just as Putin does not speak for the whole of the Russian populace, and just as Rick Perry, outgoing governor of Texas, doesn’t speak for the entire home state of Circuit of the Americas when they spew their bigoted garbage onto a world stage.

    It hits close to home for me because, as a bisexual man, I have to live with the fact that at least for now, the sport I have grown up following since childhood is run by someone who validates the stance of someone who wants to strip people of their right to be themselves without locking their sexual/romantic identity away in fear of incarceration. Myself included.

    Rant over.

  11. maxthecat said on 21st February 2014, 0:52

    I think it’s time Bernie was put out to pasture.

  12. Rigi (@rigi) said on 21st February 2014, 1:03

    bernie, go home, you’re an idiot.

  13. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 21st February 2014, 1:14

    It’s time to retire Bernie.

    Worrying words from Kobayashi about Renault.

  14. Bernie is a joke….someone need to pull the plug on this guy. I don’t care what he’s done in the past. He has been the major part in making this sport into what it is, but his time has past. He’s 83 years old for god sakes!! I can’t think of another organization that has been run by someone of that age that hasn’t been a joke or a walking punch line.

  15. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 21st February 2014, 2:30

    “He hasn’t said he doesn’t agree (with homosexuality) just that he doesn’t want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18.”

    We can kiss our girlfriends, but two people of the same sex can’t show their love? yeah, no, he doesn’t agree at all ! I bet he has homosexual friends and all ! homophobia will never be healed if they keep banning people from showing their true selves.

    Let people be… Imagine the pressure on any guy trying to get a ride in F1 (or an F1 driver) with such statements, on an already highly machist sport…

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