Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

‘Mercedes could lap everyone twice’ – Horner

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014In the round-up: Christian Horner believes Mercedes could win the opening race by a huge margin based on their pre-season testing performance.


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

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could lap entire field twice in Australian Grand Prix claims rival boss (The Mirror)

“If they were to finish two laps ahead of the opposition in Melbourne, that wouldn’t be a surprise, based on what we’ve seen in pre-season testing.”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner defends Adrian Newey over new F1 engine (The Guardian)

“Adrian’s probably the most competitive person I’ve ever met. For sure, he’s working tremendously hard at the moment. But we can’t control all aspects of the vehicle. Collectively with Renault, I’m confident we’ll get on top of it.”

Exclusive Pat Symonds Q&A: Self-belief coming back at Williams (F1)

“I had anticipated that there would be a lot of teething problems – and of course there were a few – but by the time we finished, it was almost like running a V8 at the end of the season rather than the new power unit at the beginning of the season.”

Button joins critics of controversial double points system ahead of season opener (Daily Mail)

“For us to have one race with more points than another seems strange. If there was one race that was going to have more points, you’d think it would be somewhere like Monaco – the toughest race on the calendar – not Abu Dhabi, so it is unfair on the other circuits as well.”

Stefan Johansson: ‘I live my dream’ (The Blazoned Press)

“I am very confused. Every year they seem to add more elements that just makes things more complicated and confusing for the spectators and also for the competitors.”

It was a mistake to invest in F1, says largest wealth fund (The Telegraph)

“The purchase of a stake in Formula One was criticised by some politicians and by Norwegian media as falling short of the fund’s strict ethical rules. ‘We have clearly indicated that we have a zero tolerance to corruption,’ [fund director Yngve] Slyngstad said.”

Di Montezemolo fears for ‘taxi-cab’ F1 (Autosport)

“These days, on top of all that, you need to add fuel consumption and managing of a race with a limited amount of fuel. I prefer the sort of F1 where you need to always push at the limit.”

Nuerburgring bought by race car supplier Capricorn (Reuters)

“Germany’s Nuerburgring has been sold to motor sport industry supplier Capricorn Group for more than 100 million euros (83.6 million pounds), ending a months-long search to find new owners for the world’s longest racetrack, which became insolvent in 2012.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Indian GP promoters have not complied with contract: Ecclestone (DNA)

“Ecclestone told IANS from his London office on telephone that he and his organisation was still committed to see through the five-year contract, provided what he called certain ‘surmountable obstacles’ were sorted out.”

Di Resta: F1 has not seen the last of me (The Herald)

“I did enough to show people what I can do, and there may be chances pop up. I’ll continue to be as involved as I can over the next year, couple of years.”

Mark Webber happy to be out of the formula one spotlight (The Age)

“With this new technology, it looks like the teams are very much on a very, very aggressive [learning] curve. It’s new for everyone, and that means there’s going to be some absolute unpredictability and some surprises. There’s just so much up in the air and that’s what makes it interesting. It will be a very different type of racing, a different first round, one like we probably haven’t seen for a long, long time.”

Alonso is the most marketable F1 driver globally (Repucom)

“Globally, Fernando Alonso is the most marketable driver ahead of the start of the 2014 F1 season. Public perception of Alonso ranks him higher than any other F1 driver, Repucom’s Celebrity DBI finds. Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton is the second most marketable whilst the Brazilian, Felipe Massa, four time world champion, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkönen make up the top five.”

The ultimate Formula 1 league table (BBC)

A statistical comparison of the world champions. More here:

Will double points in Formula One finale make a difference? (The National)

“Officials at Yas Marina Circuit insist they never requested the rule change and that it was solely a matter between the FIA and Ecclestone. They do, however, welcome the decision.”

The Indian blame game (ESPN)

“India is but one example – we can also add Korea, China, and Turkey to the recent list of ‘could do betters’. Instead, we tend to confine promotional activity to a short period surrounding the race, while ignoring the benefits of a sustained campaign.”

Mercedes’ guide to the new 2014 F1 engines (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)



Comment of the day

Some disappointment at Daniil Kvyat’s reason for choosing number 26:

Is it just me, or was anyone else hoping Kvyat would say “it’s the only integer that lies directly between a square and a cube”?

…I’ll go get my coat.
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Daniel, Garf, Michael Griffin, Monkzie, Nitin24, Obi-Spa Kenobi and Dodge5847!

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

Pre-season testing for the 2009 season wrapped up five years ago today at the Circuit de Catalunya. Jenson Button caused a sensation in his Brawn by lapping a second quicker than any of their rivals.

Images © Pirelli/LAT, Force India

98 comments on “‘Mercedes could lap everyone twice’ – Horner”

  1. Lots of birthdays today, have a good one guys!

    1. Out of all the great F1 related content on this page, I too noticed that ha! A great birthday treat that F1 returns in two days time :D

  2. 1989 – Brazil – Nigel Mansell turns up with a Ferrari that barely completed a dozen laps in testing and came away with the win.

    1998 – Australia – Silver Arrows lap the field with a Williams in third.

    2014 – ??

    1. You forgot 2009 – Australia – Ross Brawn, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello show up with a bunch of former Honda guys and a car barely tested and fitted with an engine which wasn’t in mind for it, and sweep the field.

      1. @carlitox So you’re saying Caterham and Marussia for the win? :D

      2. @carlitox correction . Brawn Gp ran for the first time in 2009 in the final pre-season testing and not at Melbourne GP race weekend.

      3. @tmax Yeah, the “barely tested” part referred to that ;-) heh. I still remember thinking, as many, that they were extremely low on fuel to trick some sponsors. Never been more wrong.

        @beejis60 Nothing would make me happier than Kobayashi taking the chequered flag on sunday :-D

        1. The only way he can do it is by quietly nicking the flag while the podium guys are being interviewed.

  3. Massa is the 3rd most marketable driver? Ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel? Ha!

    1. It makes sense to me when you think outside of a Euro or Anglo centric viewpoint. He’s got his home market of Brazil, population 200 million and he was a Ferrari driver for years, attached to one of the most recognisable global brands in the entire world. I’m not that surprised.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        12th March 2014, 3:15

        he might have been in a ferrari, but he was anything but good…

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          12th March 2014, 6:06

          He was good in 2008. Great in fact.

    2. You must remember that Brazil is the country with the largest F1 viewership, and Massa is the only brazilian on the field right now… So yeah, he is extremely marketable

    3. There is a world outside Europe you know :)

    4. Raikkonen must be thrilled with the news that he is one of the most marketable drivers around .. LMAO XD

      Surprised Jenson didn’t make the cut.

      1. He is on top of list in UK market (as I saw on Joe Saward’s blog), ahead of Hamilton @todford

        1. heh, should have been: @todfod, somehow keep keep reading your name with an “r” added, sorry.

  4. I bet Seb wishes she’d “wake up” before Sunday……

    1. Franz, hello to another Buddy Holly fan.

      1. Sorry Franz, I was confusing my childhood pop-stars, Everly Bros. of course.

        1. “Because we’re in trouble deep”

    2. @hohum For Toto’s sake It won’t wake-up near Seb.

      1. I guess that’s the long and the short of it.

  5. Dear Horner, you have a strange concept of “everyone”, there are others beyond RBR ;).

    1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      12th March 2014, 3:18

      very good! COTD!!!

    2. Yeah, two laps in front of everyone… They have the proto, the rest of the field runs GT cars.

  6. Horner could very well digest the Mercedes lapping Seb twice but imagine Big Luca watching Hamilton & Rosberg lapping Fernando & Kimi twice !!!!!! Somebody will get hurt if that happens LOL !!!!!!!

    1. Mashiat (@)
      12th March 2014, 2:20

      I think it’ll be you.

  7. Now Horner is just downplaying everyone/up playing mercedes. I have a feeling RB10 might have been sorted out.

    1. @austus
      Even if the Red Bull car is sorted out, is the Renault engine capable of even running close to the Mercedes?

      I agree that Horner is talking BS though.

      1. @kingshark, Don’t be surprised if the Renault PU turns out to be the best, if they can make it run reliably and to its full potential. There have to be some extreme concepts in Renaults PU to make it so difficult for them to make it work, after all they are pretty useful engineers.

        1. @hohum
          Renault has drivability problems and are significantly slower than Mercedes in a straight line. The only way Renault could be the best engine if their fuel consumption is by far the best, which I somewhat doubt.

          1. @kingshark, those problems are down to the engine not running properly so we don’t really know what performance it is really capable of until we see it running properly, it could as you believe be a dog but also it could have hard to tap potential which may, only may, make it the best once they get it running properly, if they get it running properly.

          2. Mashiat (@)
            12th March 2014, 2:21

            What’s the use of having an efficient engine if the Mercedes teams can go faster in Mix 2 or 3.

      2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        12th March 2014, 3:21

        is the renault engine capable of even runnig a race distance???

    2. I don’t think they can lap everyone twice. Maybe Red Bull and the Cathrussia bunch only (and I say it really sad!!!)
      The rest of the filed are much leveled

      1. Agreed, @omarr-pepper Horner does make his claim based on what we have seen in testing, so I’ll give him that…but testing is over. I highly doubt that Mercedes is that much more a miser on fuel that they could do this, and even if Mercedes were that strong it would only be temporary and due to others’ initial failings.

    3. I have the same suspicions, @austus.

      1. Just my opinion of course but even if the RB10 is “sorted out” which I doubt, they still must be way behind in terms of setup work and what setups work best for the tires, not just for getting around the track quickly. They are unquestionably behind in their knowledge of their car compared to others’ knowledge of their cars, at a minimum for at least this first race. They’re going to know a ton more after Australia. As will all the teams of course, but I think knowledge is one of the main things lacking at RBR for now.

  8. “Susie, I love you so much!” Dan Wheldon.

    First thing I thought of after hearing Vettel’s name for his RB10.

    1. Now I thought it should be, at least until the RB10 working, Wake up little susie, Everly brothers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X7b2E_Jq-k‎

      1. You’r right, I was thinking Buddy Holly, same era different style.

      2. Yeah, that was what came to my mind too @W-k

  9. mmm this is interesting, Montezemolo says:

    I don’t like his sort of taxi-cab driving. Up until yesterday you’d only look at tyres, these days, on top of all that, you need to add fuel consumption and managing of a race with a limited amount of fuel. I prefer the sort of F1 where you need to always push at the limit.

    And Symonds says:

    Fuel management is something that is expected to be a big factor in 2014 – are Williams well on top of it?
    PS: “I think we are well on top of it and I think it’s because we spent a lot of time focusing on it. It doesn’t give me any concerns.”

    Will Ferrari drop like a stone in the races? Four Mercedes teams in the top 8 places seems more and more likely every day.

    1. Mashiat (@)
      12th March 2014, 2:24

      It has already been all but confirmed as a FACT that the Ferrari is considerable thirstier than the Merc engines. Alonso and Raikknonen have continuously stressed that fuel management is really hurting them and they can barely drive on the limit. The Merc-engined drivers, however, have said that it is similar to previous seasons and they only need to turn down their engines every 5 to 10 laps.

    2. Extracting knowledge from LdM statements about Ferrari F1 car specifics same as listening to Obama speech and believing it’s all honest truth.

    3. For me Luca saying this at the time of the season certainly points to Ferrari not being all that great on this part @mantresx. Although so far there’s been guessing that Ferrari are on top of fuel economy too based on testing, so it will really be a wait and see what comes scenariol

      1. Ya I think it remains to be seen if Ferrari are thirstier, but even if they are, that doesn’t mean they won’t finish races without doddling. They might be quick, they might be the easiest on the tires, and they might have no cooling issues for all we know, and they might have rock solid reliability, even if they have to be a little more wary of fuel economy than others.

  10. Is silly pre-season a thing? There’s no time to make significant progress but there’s though lots of time for chatting till Melbourne.
    Anyway rbr has played down their chances so when they start to win soon and take the championship all will be seen as RBR overcoming renault’s fault and not their own. Mercedes are bracing themselves to an hypothetical meteor hitting the earth and impeding their victory, safeguarding and avoiding voodoo that sort of stuff. Williams is relinquishing the times ahead. McLaren are acknowledging they are probably going to miss on the chaos. Force india are aware they are looking to podiums. Ferrari are downplaying the situation, they should be okay. Lotus are in the same position as Rbr but soon they’ll find out that their car is rubbish. Marussia is pinching themselves as they are likely to score points if they can finish in Australia. The rest is not going to see any significant changes to where they were last season.

    1. @peartree, I think auto-correct has struck again, I think you meant ” Williams is relishing” ?

      1. @hohum I would believe it if they relinquish. After all, the whole world wants to Let It Go right now, anyway.

        1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
          12th March 2014, 7:50


          “the whole world wants to ‘let it go’ right now, anyway”


          1. @full-throttle-f1

            The fact that you do not automatically get the reference to Disney’s new “best thing since sliced bread” over-drama movie FROZEN and the nonsense song all over the internet… it makes me happy.

            If only more people were like you, I wouldn’t have to hate the movie as much. :)

          2. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
            12th March 2014, 8:00

            Oh you mean Adele Dazeem ;-)

            Unfortunately, I love that movie, you may want to remove your above comment :-)…sorry.

        2. @neiana, don’t worry David, I haven’t a clue, even after your explanation.

          1. @full-throttle-f1 ah, well.. :D

            @hohum it’s unfortunate that my joke fell flat, as I thought it was somewhat clever. At the same time, I’m adequately pleased not everyone is aware of it. :)

      2. @hohum that’s my mistake, it was 2:30 in the morning and I was writing in insomnia rage mode. Too much anticipation….

  11. I agree with Luca on this. I don’t mind all the changes to the PU and new aero rules, but the Fuel limit is really annoying me. It’s not pinnacle of motor sport if they can’t push. Last year it was tires this year it may be fuel.
    I really miss 2008 and previous seasons. Some races maybe were dull but at least you knew that the fastest drivers are winning.

    1. Yes I find myself in agreement with Luca a lot , if not all, of the time, I suppose he is gaining wisdom commensurate with his age and experience, to bad Bernie got him out of Foca. I wonder what that cost.

    2. Luca is right.
      There are a lot of fuel economy races.
      Looks like F1 soon will look like this:

    3. I don’t agree with him on this. I had a big problem with the tires from last year, because they were random and to sensitive for outside factors and just a gimmick without real life applications.
      The fuel consumption is a very straight forward engineering challenge – the more efficient your engine is the better you will fare.

    4. 50% chance of a safety car in Melbourne, according to the Williams press release.
      That should save some fuel.

  12. You can work closely with Renault, but by the looks of things, they’ve sorted their problems. A caterham doing 100plus laps on the last day of Bahrain doesn’t point to Renault still having too many problems if you ask me Christian..

    1. It’s not so simple. You could run the engine limited to 5000 RPM, with a huge funnel for cooling, no ERS, etc, and run it all day. That doesn’t make it a good engine.

    2. @timi – Caterham have so much more cooling on their car than Red Bull. It completly screws the aero on the rear of the car but atleast allows them to get in the laps.

      Compare the 2 pictures:

      Caterham: http://www.formula1.com/wi/gi/597×478/ulJs/sutton/2013/dms1428ja457.jpg

      Red Bull:

      1. @petebaldwin Thank you. Your point backs mine up that it is on Red Bull’s end haha. Cheers. Caterham’s rear outlets aren’t any larger than some of the other teams’.

        @ironcito Very true, if they could do that though, I’m sure they would have. RBR aren’t silly, they clearly tried to get as much running in as possible, and probably did turn the engine and other systems down. Would you rather 1 lap on the last day because you’re too naive to turn the engine down, or 100+ with a turned down engine, and the ability to actually get some aero and systems work done? Come on, RBR most definitely turned their engine down, and still couldn’t run. Renault have problems, but RBR are a large contributor to their own ones.

  13. With successful businessmen now in charge at the Nurburgring Bernie wont be walking away with 110% of the earnings of any future races there, so I guess it’s going to be Kazahkstan and Crimea, maybe even Venezuela if the “Right” topple the current administration.

    1. @hohum – I heard he’s in advanced discussions for the Grand Prix of Sierra Leone. They’ve found a nice site to race around a diamond mine.

      1. Well I hope that doesn’t knock the Syrian GP out of contention.@petebaldwin.

  14. Ever since Susie entered a paddock, she has been the talking point among the pundits and fans alike. Some people claimed ‘Susie has slim waistline like a supermodel in tight jeans’, while some said, ‘Susie has the best nose-job amongst her competition’ and some even claimed ‘Susie looks beautiful from any angle you look at her’ et al. In fact, Susie seems to be the sexiest looking one in the paddock. The critics say Susie does not possess speed, Susie lacks stamina to run a race distance etc., but let us give Susie an opportunity to prove herself, I say. It is a pity that Susie has not been given an opportunity to prove her over a race distance. At least we will see Susie in a FP1 soon. ;)

    1. Hope you had not mistook the protagonist of my piece of writing for a real life personality whose surname sounds similar to the name of a predatory carnivorous canine mammal.

    2. In our English we use ‘s’ & ‘z’ interchangeably (e.g. realise / realize)

    3. Now replace each ‘Susie’ with a ‘Suzie’ and read the story again. :-P

    1. @seahorse
      comment of the year.

    2. Well played!

    3. :-) nice one @Suzie @seahorse!

    4. i need a like feature

    5. @kingshark @jcost @Fash @bascb @boardiccted Thanks guys for the appreciation :)

  15. Horner, calm down.

    I don’t think W05 is way ahead of Williams, McLaren, Force India and Ferrari.

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      12th March 2014, 9:51

      I quite like Christian Horner but he and most at RB do seem to have huge chips on their shoulders. Even Adrian Newey has been partial to sour grapes recently.

      As you suggest, nobody knows where the cars stand at the moment other than that the Mercedes engined cars appear to have a slight advantage. Once you factor in fuel saving, tyre wear, mechanical and PU reliability etc then it is wide open.

      What does appear clear though is that the double points available at the last race is likely to benefit a team that starts poorly and rapidly improves form over the course of the season. Any guesses as to who that might be Christian?!

  16. I think Horner is doing the right thing… All these year’s we have been constantly listening to other teams how fast Redbull are and they are going to win… Its time they tasted some of their own medicine…

  17. Wishful thinking: have Force India saved 10kg by chopping the end off the nose?

    1. Got to be a “Rabbi and a Maharishi” joke there somewhere.

  18. He fell over skiing. Honestly.

    poor taste

  19. Doesn’t Vettel usually name his cars with a rhyming first and last name ? Eg: Randy Mandy, Kinky Kylie and Hungry Heidi.
    He should have named this year’s car “Struggling Suzie”.

    1. Sleeping would be the fitting one here @rojov123, but that would just be impolite to the girl ;)

    2. Seeing some of the earlier car designs i was thinking he would name his car something along the lines of “Suzie’s ugly step-brother”. But the RB actually looks quite good so that doesn’t really fit unfortunately.

    3. So far, you’d have to say “Smoking Susie!”

  20. That last sentence of the Guardian article:

    A grinning Horner said: “I was voting for double points from Silverstone onwards.”

    … eh, sure.

    What a comedian that Horner. No wonder Bernie would like Horner to follow him, though Ecclestone tends to have a bit more real sparkle to what he says.

  21. Well, it’s not the first time I hear that Mercedes is going to lap everyone twice. Will Buxton reported a similar rumor on his website a couple of weeks ago.
    I don’t think it’s going to happen, thogh. It’s true that Mercedes are the clear fauvorites, but if you look at the test in Bahrain Massa did the fastest time and Bottas did the fastest race sim, according to AMuS.
    I think it will be close between them, and with reliability being an issue for everyone, I don’t think it will be a walk in the park for Mercedes.

    1. If I remember correctly, Massa did his fast lap, on a short run (probably low fuel) with new super softs, Hamilton did his fastest that day on used softs on about the 10th lap. If that is so, then a second a lap faster is not out of the question.

  22. minor point @keithcollantine, you have accidentally named that Red Bull Video

    Mercedes’ guide to the new 2014 F1 engines (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

  23. with the amount of retirements that are expected, theres probably going to be alot of saftey cars, so no one will be lapping no one

  24. I understand people are upset about the new fuel limit and how it “will” force drivers to drive conservative/not on the limit. Some are evening saying that it is not the pinnacle to drive this way. The new F1 rules are, in spirit, meant to reflect the current world’s market needs with being “green”. With the new 100kg loads and 100kgph pressures, F1 is setting a new standard that will benefit the world over. If and when, they learn to extract every bit of performance from this required setting, the drivers will be on the “limit” once again. In most cases, it will be more stunning and exciting to watch than in previous years. And the team that figures this out first…look out! Not only will they be rewarded with many championship points, they will benefit the world market auto industry because it has been proved that the performance can be achieved at such a high level. Making it the pinnacle of the sport once again. I contend that even with the new F1 engine rules, it never lost that title, has anyone read the amazing abilities and attributes yet? WOW! I seriously can’t wait for this season to get started.

    1. Yes Josh, a worthy goal, pity it wasn’t introduced incrementally over 2 or 3 years allowing for steady development of the PU with achievable goals, if the cars have to put in 20 slow parade laps to save fuel nothing is achieved at all.

    2. @joshj81
      I agree mostly.
      The thing is, there is no need for the maximum fuel use.
      The limit on fuel flow all ready means that the most efficient engine is the most powerful.
      So with or without the maximum allowed fuel, they would make it as efficient as humanly possible.
      The limit on total fuel use age will just force the drivers to hold back. Without having any measurable impact on the engineering aspect of it.

      1. I understand that (both of you) and agree but I feel that hopefully this will not be the case for long. Or, maybe with this change, a new meaning for the phrase “on the limit” will change. Racing, always a compromise, huh?

  25. If the drivers really are serious about criticising the double points they could threaten to boycott Abu Dhabi if the rules aren’t changed. But I think if someone is within a chance to win the title in the last race they would never surrender and decide to betray their values to try and win.

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