Hamilton: Mercedes not favourites yet

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says it’s too early tu judge whether Mercedes are the favourites for the season ahead.


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

Lewis plays down ‘faves’ tag (Sky)

“It’s difficult to know where everyone is. Some people are doing ten laps, some people are doing long runs, but the good news is that Mercedes have done a fantastic job and the power unit is really performing well.”

Ecclestone left fighting for future (The Times, subscription required)

“I haven’t a clue. If the board decides that I allegedly lied and they tell me to go, then that is what I will do.”

Ecclestone hold on F1 poised to end after High Court judge blasts ‘bribing liar’ (Daily Mail)

“It has run on too long and it needs [CVC chairman] Donald [Mackenzie] to deal with it immediately. Bernie [Ecclestone]’s position is untenable.”

Michael Schumacher: Felipe Massa reveals Schumacher ‘gave reactions with his mouth’ in a recent visit to his bedside (The Independent)

“He looks normal, and he also gave some reactions with the mouth and everything. So it’s positive to look at him.”

McLaren ‘has buzz back’ says Button (Autosport)

“We know we are not the quickest. We know we are not slow either, and the great thing is that we have a lot of laps under our belt.”

Top-Speeds in Bahrain 22 km/h hoher (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

Fernando Alonso passed through the speed trap in Bahrain at 336kph (308mph) during the test, 22kph higher than the fastest speed recorded during last year’s race.

Interview with Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson (F1)

“Q: Caterham were the team who offered you a drive – can you explain how it all came about?
ME: Really it was pretty simple! We started talking to Caterham last year, the discussions went well and finally when I went to the factory I saw a facility that was a lot more than I thought it would be.”

Romain Grosjean interview at Lotus E22 launch (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)


Double-points logic becomes clear (MotorSport)

“This crazy plan has to be stopped. In theory the double points idea needs the unanimous support of all the teams – and of Jean Todt at the FIA – for it to be enshrined in the regulations before the season starts.”


Comment of the day

Ecclestone’s public show of support for Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay agenda drew much criticism in the comments yesterday.

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.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Rich!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Niki Lauda who turns 65 today.

Today also marks four years since Ferrari began publishing its infamous and anonymous ‘Horse Whisperer’ columns, in which they take a swipe at whatever’s bothering them at the moment. On this day in 2010 it was “Serbian vultures”.

Ferrari have since removed the article from their website but it can still be read here:

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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76 comments on Hamilton: Mercedes not favourites yet

  1. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:06

    Wow! 336kph at Bahrain… Monza’s going to be fun!

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:15

      And the Renaults 35 km/h slower. It’s likely that they’re running a limited power unit somehow, with no ERS or something.

    • Tiago Sá said on 22nd February 2014, 0:19

      The predictions are for 400kmh in Monza…

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:36

        According to who?

        • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 22nd February 2014, 2:25

          Adrian Sutil made a comment in an interview at the AutoSport show that the cars could potentially do 400kph. But I think he may have just been exaggerating lol.

          • Mashiat (@) said on 22nd February 2014, 4:17

            It’s not possible. Remember that they have fixed ratios for the whole season and thus they’ll be maxing out quicker than usual. 400 km/h perhaps but only if they could change their gear ratios.

          • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 22nd February 2014, 4:24


            Apparently theyre allowed to adjust the final drive ratios though.
            So yes, the ratios will be fixed, but they can move them up and down the multiples scale depending on which tracks they go to.

            So they can increase the final drive ratio for Monza and Spa, and shorten it for Monaco.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd February 2014, 4:31

            @masiat, at the risk of defending the ridiculous I remind you to take into account the fact that this years PUs are designed to produce max power at 10,000 rpm but are supposed to be able to do 15,000 rpm. 300Km at 10,000 rpm equals 450km at 15,000 rpm

          • sars (@sars) said on 22nd February 2014, 7:49

            It’s not about gear ratios, it’s about power and drag, where there is to little of the former and to much of the latter to reach that kind of speed. Think max V of a P1

          • Metallion (@metallion) said on 22nd February 2014, 11:14

            I was involved in a discussion about gear ratios a few weeks ago and apparently they’re not allowed to change the final drive ratio either. What they’ll be doing instead is use gears 1-6 or 1-7 at tracks with low speeds such as Monaco and gears 2-8 on high speed tracks such as Monza.

      • The difference between 330kph and 400 must be gigantic from a power stand point upwards of 200bhp of peak power maybe for these cars that should be 4 tons heavy at that point, so even with all the straight in the world the faster you go the harder it gets. To be true it’s an astonishing sight.

      • What speed did Button get on the Bonneville salt flats with the wings made neutral? 250 mph+?I’m guessing these cars now can go even faster…

      • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 22nd February 2014, 10:58

        Nico says 360 Ks at Monza (in the German article above), that sounds more likely than 400 to me. That’ll give them plenty of energy under braking!

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 22nd February 2014, 1:01

      If you think about it it makes sense, there’s less downforce and the higher torque means they accelerate faster out of the corners, but because they have the ERS-K and the unlimited ERS-H then they get a lot of extra speed, how much? if we look at the Renault teams we can get a pretty good idea.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 22nd February 2014, 2:24

        Absolutely, I mean, I expected them to be quicker in a straightline this year, but not THIS much quicker! That’s really impressive!

        I really think this season is going to be one to remember.

      • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 23rd February 2014, 19:59

        the cars have less drag and unlimited boost, thats the real kicker, but you won’t see even 360km/h at Monza because it would drain their tanks, Monza will have plenty of overtaking but they won’t be going so quickly that they can’t finish the race, unless they are getting some sort of fuel that has 20-30+% more energy density.

        • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 23rd February 2014, 20:00

          of course qualifying is a different matter :) and thats really where most people will focus their attention anyways, so the guys behind the TV cameras shouldn’t have to worry too much.

  2. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:12

    Don’t know why but I don’t trust the speed trap measurements, since it’s obvious that in order to go so fast, you need full power assistance from the ERS and DRS activated. Maybe we’ll see higher speed trap records but I am not sure the lap times will fall. After all we have less power, the excitement that comes from a turbo (IMO) is that you get all of it in a sudden.

  3. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:17

    Grosjean is just such a nice guy.

  4. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:22

    Whilst I don’t agree with the double points rule, I find the Mark Hughes article to be deeply insulting. The double points idea was announced long before the first test and when Renault uncovered their problems. To read an article like that from Mark Hughes makes me rethink some of the Autosport stuff he does. Quite ashamed

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd February 2014, 4:35

      I have to agree, the logic is fine but the timeline is totally wrong.

    • OOliver said on 22nd February 2014, 7:44

      But Renault new they had issues long before the test they probably didn’t know how severe.
      If we take it Lotus announced a long time ago they were not attending the first test and they knew other teams were not going to, I take that to mean, they were probably informed of the engine/power unit issues.
      Bernie also has a way of knowing things long before anyone else.
      All this doesn’t mean anything though but you begin to wonder why he suddenly wanted the double points for the last 3 races.

      • Robbie said on 22nd February 2014, 13:41

        BE has said the double points was meant to help Ferrari. His point being that other teams have struggled to compete against RBR and presumably he feels it is time for a change in the pecking order, obviously because of the falling ratings when a season is decided early.

        Double points is ridiculous enough as it is, but to have brought it in at a time when the regs are so different that there was always going to be a high probability that the pecking order would change as a result, is even more ridiculous. How desperate must BE be to not have the ratings drop again this year, for him to add this unfortunate concept now. I would have, at a minimum, waited through this year before even suggesting it.

  5. Michael said on 22nd February 2014, 0:24

    308 MPH – Pwoah! :) *might need a quick edit. These V6’s pack a huge punch, yes the reduction in downforce will aid top speed but we were also expecting laptimes to be 3-4 seconds off 2013. Now we know this isn’t the case (for McLaren and Merc). The lifetime of a single unit could also finish a 24 hour race! They’re fantastic pieces of engineering. Why weren’t these introduced earlier?

  6. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 22nd February 2014, 0:33

    If Codemasters announce they are going to release a new TOCA game I may faint from excitement. With the BTCC gaining such popularity, it would be a good time for its return. It’s speculation of course as I’m just going on Neal’s tweet.

    And after watching the Touring Car Legends series I’m experiencing such nostalgia that I may soon have to get the PS1 out.

    • VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 22nd February 2014, 2:09

      I’d love a new TOCA game too, I just hope that it will be more like the F1 games than GRID (in terms of realism)… The old TOCA games were quite unrealistic to drive, more like GRID now. The F1 games are at an acceptable level for me, but if it was like GRID then I don’t think I’d buy it. Nothing against GRID, but for something simulating real racing it would have to be more realistic for me.

  7. Interesting comment from Jennie Gow. With so many teams and fans in the U.K, it would make sense to have at least one pre season test at Silverstone.

  8. Pierre said on 22nd February 2014, 0:54

    Did no one notice it says 308 mph, instead of 208mph

  9. obviously said on 22nd February 2014, 1:18

    I don’t know if I’m seeing it good, but looking at the photos from today’s test, it seems Red Bull is still running without nose cameras.
    That car is missing parts and features, be it engine or bodywork.

  10. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 22nd February 2014, 3:24

    Here here on the COTD

  11. I’m surprised Marussia are so low on mileage. Combining the Renault teams together, they won’t be far off Ferrari for engine distance by the end of this test.

  12. Tom (@newdecade) said on 22nd February 2014, 4:03

    I can’t even imagine how awesome Webbo commentating on F1 full time would be

  13. HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd February 2014, 4:19

    I don’t necessarilly agree with the Ferrari idea of customer teams but I absolutely disagree with the stagnation of the FIAs attempt to limit costs by blocking development, F1 needs products to sell, not just TV entertainment, and while it might scrape by if the revenue it earned was plowed back into the teams, to be truly successfull it needs to be a platform for technologigal progress. Many say F1 cannot afford the cost of development but I ask you would Williams still be on the grid if they were not still earning income from the technology they developed in the past? I don’t think so, and a fuller investigation would, I am sure, reveal other teams who only remain because of what they learnt in the heyday of F1 development.

  14. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 22nd February 2014, 9:41

    I like sarcasm in Webber’s tweet, lol. He just puts out reasons, why he quit F1: last year drivers had to save tyres and this year they’ll have to save fuel.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 22nd February 2014, 11:55

      I’m sure he’ll have a great time in endurance racing then..

      • atomjani said on 22nd February 2014, 13:02

        This. WEC this year is going to be so ridiculously fuel limited its a joke. Cars will have to coast around the tracks for quite some distance per lap if they want to get to the end of the race. Webbo really choose a bad time to move to WEC if he hated the restrictions in F1.

      • Sam (@) said on 22nd February 2014, 13:44

        These days the 6h races are just 6h sprint races. The cars are reliable as can be and their tyre management and fuel management is all done from the pits. I dare say that there is more flat out racing in one race in the WEC than there is in an entire F1 season.

  15. Girts (@girts) said on 22nd February 2014, 10:56

    I would like to thank everyone, who has approved my comment on human rights in Russia. Your overwhelming support means a lot to me.

    As for double points for the final three races, I find it hard to believe that Mercedes and Ferrari are going to accept that rule, given that their arch-rivals Red Bull are the ones most likely to benefit from it. I know that “Bernie has many devices of influence” but if the most powerful teams cannot stand up against someone, who might be removed from his post any minute, then I just can’t get my head around it.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 22nd February 2014, 11:21

      A very well deserved COTD. It’s hard to understand the comments of a few people here. There are still people being killed and imprisoned in this world for being gay. Perhaps the improved situations and improved rights for the LGBT community in the western world makes people forget about this. There’s still a long way to go…
      I don’t get the talk about “gay propaganda”. No one is trying to force any sexuality on others, it’s about basic human rights, it’s about access to information and education.

      • Robbie said on 22nd February 2014, 13:52

        Agreed @metallion And the problem is Putin has no desire whatsoever to bring in information and education, and instead would have his citizens, who already do not have all their basic human rights, think that the LGBT community is in fact trying to sway people toward their sexuality, like that actually can and does happen in his backwards way of thinking.

        • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 23rd February 2014, 20:12

          So guys, you do realize that in the US we kill other people in other countries for big oil, have the most people in prison than any other country by a large margin? More than in China and India. We people of the US talk about human rights but be assured human rights is an agenda, and you guys who keep going on about it are just tools for it.

          Gay people in the US get attacked, murdered and imprisoned too. Please stop drinking the television koolaid and start learning how the world really works, so that you will not be tools for other people’s agendas. Just like the poor people throwing Molotovs at the cops in Ukraine who were then threatened to be murdered by the Polish guy after the EU succeeded in banishing the president. Please get a freaking clue.

    • Rockie (@rockie) said on 22nd February 2014, 11:23

      Not saying it should be done, but if it were proposed and anyone said no its shows a lack of conviction in their ability over the course of a season!

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