Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Red Bull pleased to have “rattled” Mercedes

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Red Bull believe Mercedes’ attempted to persuade the FIA to give them a three-race ban shows the championship leaders are worried about the threat they pose.


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Spy Games: China (Red Bull)

“Actually it’s quite reassuring: it means we’re getting close enough to get them rattled and sweating a bit. Back in February that looked pretty unlikely.”

Top Russian Rally Axed Due to Sochi F1 Grand Prix (Ria Novosti)

“The 2014 [Silk Way rally] was scheduled to cross Russia and Kazakhstan over 3,000km and eight days in July, but organizers said they had decided to cancel it to allow the event’s government backers to focus on promoting October’s F1 Grand Prix in Sochi.”

Lotus: Renault gains worth two seconds (Autosport)

Gerard Lopez: “We saw a clear step up from Renault’s side in China. The guys are almost talking about two seconds, which is huge.”

Rosberg expects gap to grow in Spain (ESPN)

“We want to go to Barcelona with the biggest step, that’s our ambition. Barcelona is a chance for us to extend the advantage that we have and that’s the approach that we have going to Barcelona, 100%.”

Horner: Vettel will be back (Sky)

Sebastian Vettel: “There are a lot of things in my head. Formula One got very complex and I think as a driver I think we have lost a lot of features and given a lot to the engineers. So it’s not that easy to understand and stay on top of everything.”

The First Time – with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (F1)

“What was the first thing you did this morning?
NR: Switched off my alarm because I woke up before it. And the next important thing that I did was weigh myself, as weight is such an important thing in F1 these days.”

Can Haas reverse the tide of history? (MotorSport)

“First of all, Haas’s California-based company Haas Automation is the USA’s largest manufacturer of CNC machine tools so that Haas enjoys tremendous manufacturing and financial resources. Haas founded his business in 1985 and started his NASCAR team in 2002. Seven years later Haas went into partnership with two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and Stewart went on to win his third NASCAR championship and first with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2011.”

McLaren well off the pace in Shanghai – again (The Telegraph)

“[China is] a vital Grand Prix, but not exactly what you would call charming.”


Comment of the day

Nico Hulkenberg is fourth in the drivers’ championship at the moment – is a talent the top teams have overlooked?

I am getting tired of people praising ‘his majesty’ Hulkenberg, it is still too soon to call that he is “mopping the floor” with Perez, and certainly there must be a reason why no top team (the ones with money) have not even approached him (perhaps he is not a driver aggressive enough to win races?).

I am just saying, they know better…

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

High drama off the track and on it at the San Marino Grand Prix 25 years ago. Gerhard Berger was incredibly fortunate to survive an inferno when his car crashed at Tamburello and caught fire.

After the race restarted the two McLaren drivers fell out over which one of them was supposed to take the lead at the start. Ayrton Senna went on to win from team mate Alain Prost, but it was a major turning point in the deterioration of their relationship.

Berger missed the next round in Monaco while he recovered from his burns, but was back in the cockpit for the following round in Mexico. Here’s what happened to him:

Image © Red Bull/Getty

158 comments on “Red Bull pleased to have “rattled” Mercedes”

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  1. The team rattling is Williams and not Red Bull. Both Williams drivers managed to rattle Alonso and Rosberg at the first lap!

  2. Hmm, anybody else’s comments disappearing? My comment was posted, and there was absolutely nothing remotely vulgar or anything like that in it, and now it’s deleted. :/

    1. And now it’s there again. Well, mystery gone, if not solved… :)

    2. Some words are normal, but you have to notice if they can mean something else. Or normal words but used to “attack”. Cheers and keep trying.

      1. @omarr-pepper
        Attack? With normal words? Am I going to beat you up with an exclamation mark?

  3. As for the COTD, I think I need to explain myself: I really think Hulkenberg is an exceptional driver, but I also believe he is way overrated, he is lacking “something” (stronger mentality? be more aggressive?…) and perhaps is one of the reason why no top team has placed a full bet on him yet (still they know better than I do…). Just a point to prove myself, how many podiums for Nico? Nill…Perez (whom many people consider rubbish next to Nico…) already has 4 btw, and driving for the same teams. Perhaps we could at least consider the possibility that the Hulk needs to learn a little bit of Perez aggressiveness to get the results?…

    And just to be crystal clear, I think the best drivers in F1 right now are Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, in that order.

    1. I believe Hulk can better Alonso and Lewis with time . He need not do a kamikaze move to get results .

    2. But also Kobayashi has a podium. I don’t think many people rate him higher than Hülkenberg. Hülkenberg has his weight and height against him. That might even be the only reason top teams are not choosing him.

      Besides that Alonso and Hamilton have already praised Hülkenberg as one of the best drivers on the grid. Whitmarsh and Ferrari top men have said they would like Hülkenberg if he wasn’t so tall. Lotus on the other hand could not take Hülkenberg because they NEEDED the cash loaded Maldonado.

      So your arguement to say “teams know better and they haven’t chosen him, ergo he is not good enough” is a no no.

      1. Never mind drivers who have scored a podium, Maldonado has a race win to his name. Now, who here wants to say Maldonado is better than Hulkenberg? Go on, someone be brave and say it ;)

        One off results aren’t everything in F1, results over the course of a season show more in my view.

    3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      23rd April 2014, 10:17

      As you can see from my comment lower down the page there is a perfectly rational reason in every circumstance why Hulkenberg was not selected for promotion, and none of them are do with being “not good enough”. And aggression? On-track aggression is overrated, as Maldonado appears not to have learnt yet, and as for a aggressive strong mentality? In his opening races for Sauber I think he alienated a few by being too demanding, and wanting improvements. He is the complete racing driver, and based on his peerless junior career, comparable midfield results to those of Vettel and mature, calm head, he will be a multiple champion, of that I’m sure.

  4. I’m all for positive thinking but come on Red Bull, you can’t honestly believe that you have Mercedes “rattled”. Lets look at the gaps between the first Mercedes and the first Red Bull at each race so far this season.

    Australia: 24.5 seconds (while Red Bull were breaching the fuel flow limit)
    Malaysia: 24.5 seconds
    Bahrain: 24.4 seconds (build up over the last 1/12 laps)
    China: 27.1 seconds

    That wouldn’t be giving me cause for concern if I was Mercedes.

    1. @geemac While I agree with the premise that RBR really are kidding themselves about having Merc rattled. I do however think your use of the gaps in Australia, Malaysia and China are all misleading, not because of the fuel flow issue, and if anyone thinks that RIC gained a massive “performance” enhancement from the the fuel flow issue didn’t read the report on how little over RBR had gone over the Fuel Flow limit, but I digress.
      Back on topic, I think all the gaps you’ve posted don’t tell us anything, however the telling factor is Bahrain, you are spot on, in the last 10 laps Merc showed their true colours by building up a 24 sec gap in such a short time, suggesting that Merc are sitting on a very comfortable performance margin above and beyond the other 3 races. The other staggering bit of information to take from that Bahrain gap is that ROS and HAM were battling for the lead and were still stretching out the lead, normally drivers lose time when dueling with another driver, as the person defending is not always taking the fastest line through corners, but more defensive lines to ensure that gaps are not open for attacking drivers to take advantage of.
      So for my mind if Merc were to push the boundaries like every other team are atm, they could lap the entire field, such is their margin. However, right now they are sandbagging quite a bit, not being greedy, and probably doing so to ensure that their tyres last long enough, and that the hardware/machinery can last not only the race distance, but also ensure that they can ensure their power plants last the required number of races, as well as the other components that have to last differing amounts of race as per the rules.
      Mercedes in 2014 are doing what Williams did to the field in 1993, or what McLaren did in 1988, just positively dominating in a car that is well beyond the reach of their peers. Domination like this is amazing to watch, but heart wrenching for all the teams/drivers of other teams not in the dominating car, because they poor their heart and soul into it, and realistically, the best they can hope for is a podium behind one or both of the Merc boys. This is why drivers like VET, GRO, ALO, RAI are all struggling given their fortunes in 2014.

      1. I agree that the figures aren’t the be all and end all and I agree that the Bahrain figure is the most significant, but at the end of the day Mercedes are, as you correctly said, winning races by comfortable margins at a canter. Not exactly stuff that would give Mercedes any reason to be rattled.

        That Red Bull spy article is clearly just a wind up attempt and I’m sure more than a few people will fall for it (though query whether any of them will live/work in Brackley/Brixworth/Monaco). At the end of the day Red Bull are the world champions, they are the works team of one of the sports most decorated engine manufacturers, so if anyone is in a position to try chase down Mercedes it will be them.

    2. @geemac And there is no evidence whatsoever that Mercedes was even pushing. Considering Bahrein there is no reason to not think they could’ve lapped every car in the three other races.

  5. Aqib (@aqibqadeer)
    23rd April 2014, 6:32

    i am a red bull fan but i think they should focus on improving their car rather than politics

  6. I always thought everyone on F1Fanatic agreed on the talent that is Hülkenberg. Might have been the only thing we all agree on.

    And I agree with COTD. Teams do know best. You should look up who already said Hülkenberg is a top talent. Just to name two random guys; Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

  7. Looks like I’m missed off the Birthday list again @keithcollantine. Think thats 4 years in a row now! Must be worth a COTD ;)

    1. @benh Happy birthday! Sorry for the miss, you were down as 23rd March. Corrected now.

      1. @keithcollantine Must have missed that last month then. Thanks :)

  8. Off topic. Just saw a random Hamilton article on another site.

    I’m sick of drivers who are fighting for the championship saying things like “I’m not thinking about the championship” and similar. Well what the hell are you thinking about? Your homies? I know what that thing used to mean when drivers would say it from time to time, but these days, it seems that every driver who has even a slimmest chance to get the title, must keep saying he’s not thinking about it.

    Ok, idea is to try and get the best possible result at every race, but when it comes to Maldonado shoveling you off the track, you better start thinking about the championship and decide which fights are worth picking.

    1. Ok, idea is to try and get the best possible result at every race, but when it comes to Maldonado shoveling you off the track, you better start thinking about the championship and decide which fights are worth picking.

      I suspect you’re referring to Valencia 2012, in which Hamilton did nothing wrong and Maldonado was entirely at fault.

    2. These kind of denials do wear after a time i admit. Must be one from the Jose Mourinho school of championship pyschology. I’m just grateful that at least the two Mercedes drivers are going into weekends saying ‘it’ll probably be between me a my teammate for the win’ rather than ‘we’ll see how the weekend goes and maybe we’ll be competitive’.

      To note one exception though, Alonso talks about the championship all the time, and how many points he is behind and how hard they have to work to close the gap. Maybe that’s because he never seems to have a realistic shot at winning it (in recent years), or at least, not on outright pace.

  9. The rattling was as strong as the evidence Red Bull provided during their appeal hearing.

    Seriously, Red Bull needs to focus more on racing rather than politics and PR war.

  10. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    23rd April 2014, 10:03

    @COTD – Yes, there is a good reason for Hulkenberg being ignored by all the big teams…

    Ferrari 2012 – Ferrari withdrew an offer to Nico after Massa’s pace picked up…and after he started sacrificing his own season for the good of Fernando’s.
    McLaren 2012 – Were wrong-footed by Perez’s podiums, and Hulkenberg was in contractual negotiations with Ferrari at the time over Massa’s seat.
    Red Bull 2013 – Were obliged to justify the millions in investment in their Young Driver Programme by promoting Ricciardo.
    Ferrari 2013 – (Mistakenly) felt it necessary to promote a more experienced driver for the technical challenges of 2014, and Raikkonen had been driving out of his skin in the first half of 2013.
    McLaren 2013 – Didn’t want to be seen to be “righting a wrong” by promoting Nico, and had to justify their investment in their programme by promoting Magnussen.
    Lotus 2013 – Not enough wonga…

    If driver promotion were purely talent based, then Hulkenberg would be in a McLaren or a Ferrari now, but unfortunately for him, they are much more multifactorial. Hulkenberg deserves every bit of praise he gets, in that he has done as good a job, if not better, in the midfield than Vettel did in 2008 (and yes, he did win in Monza, but prior to that Gerhard Berger had negotiated the sale of the very latest and best Ferrari V8s; an advantage Hulkenberg didn’t have when he so nearly won the 2012 Brazilian GP). As every race passes his ranking versus the very best in the world improves; I would personally say he is the fifth best on the grid very closely behind the awesome foursome of Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen. In F1 three things are certain: Pirelli tyre degradation, the stopwatch and that Nico Hulkenberg will be world champion…

  11. Chris Brighton
    23rd April 2014, 12:20

    Yes, that’s right, Red Bull have “rattled” Mercedes. Hamilton didn’t even see a Red Bull on the Sunday and although Rosberg had a horrible start he was still a lot faster than the Red Bull’s. Yes, Red Bull are getting closer but it will be too late, Mercedes will have wrapped up the two titles by then.

  12. Merc should really have a serious chat with Rosberg.
    If Lewis has had Pole and is 20 secs ahead of Nico, Nico really has no business setting the fastest lap of the race.
    If an opportunity for a “Grand Slam” exists, I see no harm in the team ensuring that it is indeed taken.

    1. I believe he set it in running down Alonso. Which is fine. And to be honest, given that he and Hamilton dropped 24 seconds on the field in 12 laps the race before (while trading paint at all times), I don’t think his FLAP was even stressing the car one bit. Hamilton had barely used his tires or any fuel. I’m sure if he really wanted the GS, he could have dropped a mind-boggling lap at the end the race… and sent people running to the FIA to investigate the W05 for a hidden nitrous injection system.

  13. Whats up with red bull?Their skin sure is thin.They are making Ferrari look Great!Keep it up crybabies.

  14. LOL! What an idiotic comment from RBR!

    1. I think the only people they have rattled is themselves.

  15. For Haas, let’s not get vapors. They are not storming to the front in a couple years, but there are things that set them apart from failed predecessors:

    Haas is world leader in industrial design and bulding equipment. It is not a company that will be looking to Dallara or whoever and being at the mercy of their quality control and processes. They have the technical resources to support and oversee the manufacturing of the car directly and do it well.

    Haas is committed to building his brand globally, and F1 is a perfect platform for his business.

    Hass has the current commercial relationships and presence in the commercial markets to get credit, sponsorship, secure key technical partners on good terms, and draw good managers to the racing opeation. Hass is not USF1 or some other group of shadowy investors or former mechanics who want a pile of money.

    One blind spot he has shown is in basing the team in NC. NC is the hub of U.S. racing technology, but to build a Woking or Milton Keynes operation in NC will mean moving a lot of highly paid people from Europe to NC, and even recruiting the best people from top engineering schools, etc, people who have options, to go to Kannapolis. Good luck with that. It will mean going away from the intellectual and technical incubation going on in England not to mention supply chains. There is a reason industries from furniture to finance congregate in particular areas. It’s more than just access to poaching talent and logistics. He will eventually move to England, I think, because he is serious.

  16. Is the Mercedes this years Brawn? Could be

  17. “Red Bull pleased to have “rattled” Mercedes”
    Was that before or after Seb was passed by the Caterham?

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