Start, Yas Marina, 2013

Double points season finale “good for Abu Dhabi”

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Start, Yas Marina, 2013In the round-up: Yas Marina circuit chief executive Al Tareq al-Ameri says hosting the double points season finale is good for the circuit despite a strong backlash against the plan from fans.


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Abu Dhabi circuit chief defends F1 double points change (Reuters)

“The fact it came to us, that’s good for Abu Dhabi, it will keep things exciting to the last minute – I feel the mentality of the drivers will change.”

Sebastian Vettel Horner defends Vettel in engine row (BBC)

“Sebastian has expressed his opinion and I don’t think anyone would blame a driver for making an opinion. He’s not alone. There are different opinions and he’s entitled to his.”

Rosberg must be worried about gap (The Telegraph)

“Sunday was not totally free of the issue either, as the sensor on Ricciardo’s car failed completely. A useful piece of evidence in Red Bull’s case? Horner simply smiled, and said once more that the team did not trust these sensors.”

Red Bull admit F1 battle to catch Mercedes before Bahrain Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“In terms of catching up in straight-line speed, whilst our curve is steep, hopefully we should be able to make steps but in Bahrain their advantage will be bigger than it was in Malaysia as that is quite a power-dominated circuit.”

Boullier expecting Monaco, Montreal to favour McLaren (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“It’s going to be quite, quite painful, we know this. This is why we are in aggressive development mode already. Every race we bring parts, and I feel a bit of a relief today, for a lot of reasons. We spent the winter ensuring that we had a good correlation between the wind tunnel and the track, and it looks like it works out.”

Alonso targets China upgrades (Sky)

“The car from Australia to here has not got anything new so we know that the situation was more or less the same as Melbourne.”

Williams sure team orders row resolved (Autosport)

“They understand the team’s position and why they were asked to do what we asked them to do, which was strategically what we felt was best for the team, allowing each driver to attack button individually to try and get ahead.”

Charlie Whiting opens up (ESPN)

“The fundamental idea was that we would try and increase efficiency. [For example] 98 kilos next year, 96kg, and then so on. But the F1 Strategy Group agreed that we wouldn’t review the fuel flow or the fuel amount for the race until 2016 at the earliest.”


Comment of the day

What does Mercedes’ domination of the first two races say about the new rues?

Mercedes engine department and aero department and greater team have put together the best package given the huge amount of changes to the rule book this year. While the 40-plus second victories may be boring, hats off to them for getting it so right.

Look at Red Bull still fighting with kinetic recovery issues and poor starts which has hampered every single season that I can remember they’ve been in competition. Renault also have a part to play in this, they’re very, very behind the eight ball. They will struggle to remain in F1 post 2014, because the deficit is too much to gain in one season, and all the good will in the world will not attract top teams like Red Bull to re-sign in 2015.

Through all the gimmicks, sport is the winner here, everyone thought the changes would bring the field closer together, what it is has done, is reset the playing field and the best team with the rule changes has risen to the top.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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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 former Prost and Minardi driver Shinji Nakano who is 43 today.

Image © Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

110 comments on “Double points season finale “good for Abu Dhabi””

      1. The double points is going to mean a huge amount lower down the standings, someone like Force India could gain several constructors places in a single race if things go their way. The Championship probably isn’t where it will have most effect.

        1. Not really. The only thing double points would have done last year is to put Ferrari in second position instead of Mercedes. Further down the WCC grid, zero changes. The midfield teams were all separated by 20 points or more by season’s end. Same goes for 2012. In 2011 would FI have jumped Renault for fifth. That’s one team in the mid-field receiving a higher position over the course of 3 seasons.

          So to say it “is going to mean a huge amount”, not really. Chances that one midfield team will jump serveral others are very slim. Unless of course a freak win/podium by a team that’s 7th or something in the standings. But I don’t think that would be highly likely.

    1. Obviously a key factor in choosing Max for this mission was his unique skill of bringing the car back home in one piece after every start.

    2. “We were originally approached by PDVSA regarding the possibility of sending Pastor Maldonado and the Lotus into space (…) But after watching the film ‘Gravity’, we were concerned about the dangers that would be posed by any potential space debris”.

      Ouch ;)

  1. “The fact it came to us [after we offered/were advised to pay more], that’s good for Abu Dhabi [and Abu Dhabi only], it will keep things exciting to the last minute [by which we mean artificially extend the championship, hopefully until our own particular round]– I feel the mentality of the drivers will change [in that they will question what they’re even doing in this ‘sport’ any more, along with the fans].”

    Sub-text added back.

    1. I am so sick of the anti-double points rhetoric on this site. Yes it is crap, but there is nothing that can be done about it. No amount of whining by spectators or teams hasn’t changed it yet so we’re obviously going to have to endure it for at least this season.

      Get over it or go watch Indy Cars.

      1. No thanks. I’d rather keep complaining. As you said, it’s crap. I don’t particular care if it makes no difference, I will keep bringing it because we should never come to accept such stupidity. Also, being the first quote I’ve seen from Abu Dhabi themselves on the issue means that there’s plenty relevancy to justify some super-mega-fun-round ridicule.

          1. Not only a special venue, but they are also very long races.
            The 24h of Spa gave more points than other endurance races in the FIA GT…

            Abu Dhabi is just a race that almost nobody except to organizers get excited about. The track is nothing special, the venue has lost its wow-factor and imo it shouldn’t even be the last race of the season.

      2. @trido – “I am so sick of the anti-double points rhetoric on this site… Get over it or go watch Indy Cars.”

        So, those are the choices? LOL!

        Well, Indy Car has double points too. (Although the implementation makes more sense in Indy Car.)

        While we’re at it, does the same order apply to “lack of noise” complaints too? Because, Indy Car isn’t really any louder than F1. Just thought I’d mention that before it came up, just in case.

        Seeing how this is a F1 fan site where opinions are encouraged, it’s doubtful we have heard the last about double points in F1. btw, double points suxor!

          1. @matt90, Boycott to prevent the premise that 2Xpoints will increase viewership from becoming reality, and create the reality that viewership will decline with the introduction of more falsified drama and gimmickry replacing true and fair competition.

      3. If no one complained, then nothing would change, and race promoters, FIA personnel, and so on would just assume that the fans are happy with double points.

        It’s a ridiculous solution to a problem that wasn’t a problem.

      4. I am happy to watch IndyCArs, but what does that have to do with this stupid rule @trido?

        This is a blog about F1 so people expressing their views on things to do with it, which Abu Double undeniably is, is perfectly fine. If you want to give your view, you are welcome to do so as well.

        Obviously the Abu Double benefits from this, or think they will benefit from it. They know they have the most boring race on the calendar, they know its likely to be ignored by many less avid fans because the title will probably be decided before their race so now they hope this gives the drivers/teams a bit of extra motivation to throw everything at it. But why would we not react and say we thoroughly dislike it?

        1. Obviously the Abu Double benefits from this, or think they will benefit from it.

          My emphasis. Personally, I have stated from the off that I will be boycotting Abu Double, but my quick straw poll with a group of mates puts me firmly in the minority (on my own, in fact). They aren’t happy with the rule, but aren’t upset enough to do anything about it.

          1. @matt90, which is why we have to publicise the fact that we intend to boycott. People/Corporations invested in F1 or thinking of investing in F1 will be reading F1 Fan blogs, only Bernie is arrogant enough not to care what Fans think.

          2. In which case actually boycotting it doesn’t matter :p
            I’m not sure if I’ll watch it. I wanted to be dead against it for personal reasons rather than as any kind of statement, but I may end up being too involved in the season not too. If the championship is decided at that round, even if it’s farcical, I will probably struggle not to watch it.

      5. Maybe if we keep moaning next season will be different. Ever thought of that? The message is getting through to the team bosses at least. Let’s see what mess Abu Dhabi brings to help get rid of this wretched farce of a rule.

      6. You could always stop reading this site. I believe that we’re passionate bunch of F1 fans here who agree that the double points rule is wrong on every level and we will continue to voice this opinion.

      7. @trido That’s just defeatism. Even someone who concedes that double points is here to stay for this year can see the value of continuing to put forward the case against it to try to get rid of it for the following season.

        Especially when public reaction to it has been so overwhelmingly negative that even the teams have admitted they were surprised by it, and it quite conceivably helped stop an expansion of Ecclestone’s double points plan to three races before the season began.

  2. Why not turn up volume, or put on-board microphones on cars?

    What does the second bit of that mean? Does he mean besides the microphone which records the onboard noise during onboard footage? Why?

    1. The second straight down the grid line, stands are constructed in the way so it boosts the sound. It’s either that or you really are getting used to the sound. It’s not as bad as everyone is making it out to be in the end.

    2. No proof here, but I thought some drivers seemed to be hitting higher revs at times at Sepang. Would be nice to see onboard graphics, that were formerly available, to confirm that.

      Could also be mic placements around the track or even higher sound production values.

      Anyways, I think the new engines sound great, just different.

        1. Also, on Jenson’s onboard you can clearly see where he’s saving fuel, for instance turns 1 and 3 he always lifts off for around half a second before braking but in the last sequence of corners before the main straight he’s on the brakes immediately.

          In a way it’s a shame that I had to watch a video on the internet to realise this, I don’t even remember seeing the telemetry in any practice session in Malaysia, however one good thing FOM did was show the fuel used on each car, just like I predicted two months ago!

  3. So only Red Bull have such a huge problem with sensors? Being noble as they are (sarcasm is almost killing me, but I’m enduring), they should see the bigger picture and realize that for the better of the sport, they should accept that sensors will need a few races to get ironed out.

    And all of this, before you consider the fact that they are the only team to have such problems. Others even if they have it are not making fuss about it.

    On the other subject, Vettel’s swearing is not “expressing his own opinion”. It’s called lobbying, while trying to sound genuine and cool. It’s just plain rude. I don’t go into public places, let alone on TV, and swear just because I feel it is my right to say what I want to say. It’s just poor manners. And that’s even before you come to the fact that he is supposed to be a reigning champion. He should be a champion of this sport, promoting it and working to give something back, and if he has an issue, doing a constructive talk with those who have a say in it. Going on TV and swearing like this, insulting the sport, is wrong in so many ways. Horner is a hypocrite, but that’s nothing new. And what should we expect from Vettel, when his best buddies are Horner and Bernie. They have never shied away from insulting and exploiting the sport, as long as it suits their goals.

    These are the things that are making me dislike F1 and making it ever harder for me to find a reason to watch it. Not some mysterious lack of noise, or a shape of the nose of the car, which has changed 60 times in the last 6 decades.

    1. What about something much smaller? Let’s say, in Abu Dhabi just the 3 first places get 3, 2 and 1 bonus points, and the race is expanded on 10 more laps. Maybe something like that would have been better welcomed, not as unanimous opinion, but at least better reactions than the current (and justified) ones.

    2. It’ll be a spectacle, no doubt about that, but at what cost.

      You’re happy because it’ll entertain you, I’m disgusted by the rule because it debases the sporting credentials of F1, and undermines the spirit of the competition that is fundamental to all sports.

  4. I like the sound, but I do agree, it is just not loud enough on TV and this is well within FOMs ability to fix without changing the cars. A lot of the time I cannot really hear the engine sound especially when the commentators are speaking. I really like the sound though, the whines the grunts. Louder please!

    On a side note, I thought it odd that Benedict Bunchofnuts asked Hamilton about the sound/volume of the engines. I was surprised and thought this was a very pre-rehearsed/planted question to try and criticise the engines in a very public way. I could not work out why until Benedict revealed afterwards that Bernie had asked him to do the podium presentation personally….then it all made sense!

    I actually prefer the old post race interviews. I know that these newer ones are great for the live crowds, but for the most part they seem to end up being awkward affairs, with random presentors who do not seem to know much about F1 and look like rabbits caught in headlights.

  5. “The fact it came to us, that’s good for Abu Dhabi, it will keep things exciting to the last minute – I feel the mentality of the drivers will change.”

    Haha ! I wonder how worried those guys are after watching Mercedes such a long way ahead of the others. The chances of the title being wrapped before Abu Dhabi look rather good at this stage.

    I’m so wanting that to happen. Just to throw it all in the face of those idiots that keep twisting and turning and twisting again the shape of our sport, where not even the championship format remains unchanged.

        1. Yes, I agree with you, but the promoters definitely don’t care about F1 from a sports-wise standpoint. They want a spectacle, a show; entertainment, and this is giving it to them. That’s what they want, that’s what they need, and that’s what double points is all about.

  6. There was a documentary on BBC 2 last Sunday night which really was outstanding. Although it had nothing to do with F1, I couldn’t help but relate what I saw to Schumacher’s condition at the moment, as it was about patients being on the edge of life, whether it be because of cancer or brain injuries. I don’t think any words I could type in this post would accurately reflect how amazing I thought this was or the emotions I felt throughout. I’ll post the link to it here. I really do urge you to watch it.

    1. Louis Theroux is always good (well, I thought last week’s wasn’t his best, but back on form this time). I couldn’t help but think of Schumacher as well, it was very moving.

          1. They should all switch cars and teams for the reverse run, voted for by the public on twitter. The hashtag could be #AndYouThoughtItCouldn’tGetAnyWorse

  7. Horner as usual, the master of deflection.
    Nobody blames drivers for having opinions. Everybody can have an opinion.

    However, what you end up saying matters the most.

    I think fans, the media and apparently even Horner have all become so used to drivers just singing the PR tune that they’ve begun to applaud the mere moment when a driver speaks more freely.
    The issue with what Sebastian did is not that he spoke freely, or even that he cursed, but that he unfairly ridiculed the sport with a rather naive and ignorant attitude – I’m talking about the whole ‘batteries belong in a cell phone only’ reply, not his childhood nostalgia.

    1. I don’t see the problem? Vettel can have his opinion. He expressed it. Can we move on whether people agree or disagree with it?

      I think it’s actually quite unfair to call him naive or ignorant, when he shimply says how he would like the “sport” to be.

    2. @andrewf1 I agree, Horner is right by allowing his drivers to speak their mind but I don’t like the way Vettel said it. Inability to express your opinion without swearing is not a sign of intelligence. If one doesn’t like Vettel or thinks that Alonso is a better driver, he can say it but calling Vettel names is unacceptable; the same goes for opinions on “the new F1″. I can also understand Jean Todt’s frustration as Vettel doesn’t have to think about the future of the sport, keeping Renault and bringing Honda back to F1.

  8. I watched the highlights of the IndyCar race, and even though it didn’t seem like a particularly good race (I can only guess so much from highlights), I was more surprised by the lack of fan criticism for the race than anything. We see it all the time in F1, when we have one bad race and people scream about it being the worst race in living memory, something something never watching this rubbish again, but I didn’t see anything remotely similar for Indycar, or any other recent motorsport series for that matter. So is this an F1-exclusive thing, or am I just spending too much time reading into internet comments?

    1. Different standards. I guess people are simply happy to have a functioning IndyCar series back.

      F1 has produced great races in its history. But rule changes after rule changes brought F1 in a position where overtaking was getting harder and harder which caused even more rule changes that have done little to improve the sport, or had no positive impact whatsoever. For me it’s getting a bit frustrating. All these changes to artificially change the racing DRS, double points, tyre-rules… It makes me a bit sad that we can’t have simple racing that anybody can enjoy.

      A friend of mine who is into cars, but not F1 was joining me sunday morning after half the race and he had literally no chance of understanding half of what’s going on without explanation. It’s tiresome.

    2. It is an F1 specific thing. F1 loves a knee-jerk reaction, so every “poor” race is seen as an opportunity to fix a problem that wasn’t there to begin with.

      To make a comparison, most football games I watch (even the big ones) never live up to the hype and are massive borefests, yet FIFA doesn’t feel the need to fundmentally change its rules every season. If FIFA did behave like the FIA and FOM the goals would be 100m wide by now and goalkeepers would be banned from touching the ball with any part of their body other than their head. And after a season of that they would probably be forced to wear helmets, HANS and a flack jacket. :/

  9. Heard on the radio this morning that tickets for the Abu Dhabi GP have gone on sale today. They also confirmed the Reuters report and said that the capacity has been increased to 60,000 seats, and that 6,000 people have all ready “pre-registered” for tickets.

      1. It is a big event here in the UAE. I go because its the sport I love and its on my doorstep, but most of the 60,000 will be people who have no idea about the sport and will just be there because it is the “cool” thing to do in town that weekend and because of the parties and concerts that are held around the race. It is sad really.

        Also forgot to mention that they mentioned on the radio that “the majority” of those 6,000 pre-registrations were from outside the UAE.

        1. Agree. When I was living in Dubai I went to the first two races. Second time I was sitting next to someone who said “So Webber drives for Mercedes”. From then on I realised it was going to be a very long day indeed.

          1. Haha, that’s good. My best experience of these sorts of “fans” was in 2012. The seat next to me in the main grandstand had been free all weekend, but come race day a chap sat down in that seat kitted out in a new McLaren shirt and cap. After succeeding in what seemed to be his sole aim of completely blocking my view of the start (I paid him back because I managed to get shots of the first corner crash and he didn’t), he watched the first 5 laps of the race and then got up from his seat never to return.

  10. @Dragoll Re CotD

    Not all the Renault engined cars had poor starts. I think for most the initial launch was ok, they just got out-dragged by the Mercedes engines due to the power deficit (apart from Verne who clearly had a problem). I think to some extent it was the same for the Ferraris as was discussed elsewhere, someone asked where the Ferrari lightning start had gone. I think they just don’t have the power to match the Mercedes right now.

    Time will tell how long it takes Renault and Ferrari to catch up with their power units, but i would expect them to be much closer by the start of 2015 at least, if not later this year – although i’m not sure how the development freeze is being enforced…

    1. @keithedin Sorry, I read back my comment from yesterday, it doesn’t read exactly right, what I meant to say, that given the Renault disadvantage of lack of horsepower, coupled with the ongoing RBR issues of slow starts etc… My point is, that RBR are as much to blame for the Kinetic recovery and slow start issues as much as Renault, as there are so many components that assist in fast starts, e.g. software/electronic mappings/gear ratios/transmission/low down torque etc…

      1. That’s ok, i agree with most of what you said. And yeah Redbull have struggled a lot with energy recovery (KERS) in the past, but they seem to made an impressive recovery on their ERS systems in the first two races (along with Renault) even though they’re still trailing Mercedes.

        I think most of their starts have generally been ok though, just not class of the field as they were in all other departments. Also if i’m not mistaken, they were still using a smaller KERS unit than other teams pre-2014 to improve packaging which may have hampered the second phase of their starts.

  11. ***LATEST NEWS*** All drivers on the podium will have to wear Thobe & Gutras in Bahrain, whilst Lady Gaga does the Post-Race Interviews!…

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