Toto Wolff, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

Rules change debate “absurd”, says Wolff

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Will Wood

In the round-up: Mercedes director Toto Wolff believes the debate over whether to change some of this season’s new regulations is “absurd”.
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Mercedes boss says F1 rules change talk is ‘absurd’ (Autosport)

Wolff: “Well, sorry they didn’t do their job in the way we have done. I find this whole discussion absurd. If this is the agenda then we should not talk the sport down as a total. We should say, hold on a minute. Mercedes has done a better job.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

Valtteri Bottas says Williams can finally make good on their potential in Bahrain (Sky)

Bottas: “I think it’s a possibility. I mean, you never know what’s going to happen in the race but we have the pace to fight for the podium. I think it’s a fact Mercedes is too quick but we have a good chance to be best of the rest.”

Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Rosberg pole no surprise (F1.com)

Hamilton: “I am happy for Nico, as he has worked hard all weekend long, and he just did a better job today. It seems that he has felt more and more comfortable in the car as we have gone through the weekend, and maybe it has been a little bit of the opposite for me.”

Car feeling better than ever – Raikkonen (ESPN)

Raikkonen: “I think we made the right changes to the car for today so I expect that it should be pretty okay, but I don’t know whether it is fast enough to be fighting with those [other cars for third] and obviously we have to get through the first corner and the first lap.”

Lewis Hamilton warned by Sir Jackie Stewart that team-mate Nico Rosberg is becoming ”the new Prost” (Mirror)

Stewart: “His future is moving in that direction. He’s not yet in that category, he’s got to win more Grands Prix, more championships but he has all the potential. The methodical manner in which he goes about his business points to it.”

Bahrain Grand Prix to remain a night Formula 1 race (Autosport)

“As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations this year, Bahrain decided to hold its first race under floodlights, with a 6pm start time for the grand prix on Sunday. With the lighting having proved a success, and ticket sales appearing to have been lifted by the more convenient time for spectators, Bahrain has confirmed that its night race slot will become a permanent fixture.”

Has Bahrain’s human rights situation really improved? (Channel 4)

“Security measures have been relatively relaxed and the opposition seems to have been rather disjointed in its activities. So for most Bahrainis and the tens of thousands of visitors, this has the feeling of a regular sporting event. Politics and human rights concerns have taken a back seat.”

Is grand prix a lose-lose race for Bahrain’s royal family? (Channel 4)

“All this week, protests have taken place in the country calling for a boycott of “Formula Blood”, particularly following the death of a 21-year-old protester, Hussain Sharaf, who died in a fire which, according to the family, local fireman refused to put out.”

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Comment of the day

After Mercedes made it three poles out of three to start the season yesterday, Ben Needham is awaiting tomorrow’s race with anticipation.

In response to everyone saying it was boring and predictable, I actually quite enjoyed it. Accepting that the Mercedes’ were going to lock out the front row, it was still an intriguing battle between the two drivers and ultimately Nico starting in front is a good outcome for the race. Generally both he and Hamilton get good starts so we should get a good battle with Lewis pressing up behind him.

Equally the battle for third place is unbelievable – pick any of the Force India, Williams, McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari drivers and you could feasibly see them on the podium tomorrow. That will certainly keep me interested.

Then there is the battles between team-mates as well, which are close at the nearly every team – now Raikkonen and Perez have taken their first blow to their respective team-mates.

I think it has the potential to be a very interesting race tomorrow.
Ben Needham

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On this day in F1

Twenty years ago today Eddie Irvine had a bad day in front of the FIA Review Board. Having been handed a one-race ban for causing a four-car crash in the Brazilian Grand Prix Irvine’s suspension was extended to three races.

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