Mercedes may end season undefeated – Alonso

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says Mercedes are so far ahead they may not be beaten all year.

Links

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

Mercedes pair ‘could win every race’ (BBC)

“They should be in a position to win all the races probably, so it is going to be tight between them.”

Qualifying – Hamilton leads Mercedes front row lock-out in Spain (F1)

“We want Bahrain to happen at every race! It will probably mean lots more grey hair for us, but that is how we want to go about racing – and how we want to continue.”

Haas to visit Lotus (Sky)

“Gene Haas is to visit Lotus’ Enstone base next week, it has been revealed.”

F1 drivers get formation lap warning (Autosport)

“F1 race director Charlie Whiting is understood to have told drivers at Barcelona that if the situation does not improve – and drivers act in a manner that he is not happy with – then penalties cannot be ruled out.”

Bernie Ecclestone Casts Doubt Over Future Of British Grand Prix (Forbes)

“This is the BRDC. That’s the problem. Years ago they could have sorted all that out. I got them out of a silly deal and got them 60 million in cash. Who knows whether the race is at risk.”

No satisfaction in beating Alonso – Kimi (ESPN)

“Obviously I try to stay in front of him, but it doesn’t give me much satisfaction when we are sixth and seventh – that’s not where we want to be.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “We’ve just got to keep chipping away…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“On a positive, we’re the best of the rest but we’ve still got to keep the others, keep the guys we have behind us behind us, but to close to them. A second is too much.”

New Senior Management Structure (Caterham)

“Technical director Mark Smith and Caterham F1 Team have parted company with immediate effect and his role will not be directly replaced. Instead, John Iley, Jody Egginton and Gerry Hughes will now each take responsibility for specific areas of the team’s operational activities as the newly created technical committee, reporting directly to Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

Paige is impressed by the driver who lines up fifth on the grid today.

If Grosjean isn’t getting calls from the bigger teams, he should be.

He is doing a spectacular job this year with a difficult situation to start the year, and he gets fifth on the grid in a car that is still probably quite underdeveloped relative to cars that he beat. This guy can hang with the best, and if I’m with the bigger teams (for example, if I’m the racing director of a team set to become the Honda works team next year who was the guy’s manager and team principal for a long time), I am knocking down his door.

It would be a real shame if Grosjean never gets a shot with a big team.
Paige

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to 130R and Sushant008!

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 Stefano Domenicali – the former Ferrari team principal who stood down earlier this year was born in Imola 49 years ago today.

Advert | Go Ad-free

88 comments on Mercedes may end season undefeated – Alonso

  1. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 11th May 2014, 0:11

    I’m getting pretty sick of the fans that are already complaining of Mercedes dominating and making the season “boring”. F1′s history is filled with seasons like this, and I’m pretty sure some of them went down as classics. Unfortunately it seems a lot of people these days couldn’t remember what happened in F1 10 minutes ago, never mind 10 years.
    On a lighter note, it’s great to see Grosjean getting recognition for his season so far. Hard to believe he was reviled as a crash kid only a couple of years ago!

    • Luke said on 11th May 2014, 0:28

      That’s the sort of fans you attract if you choose ‘double points for last race’, ‘DRS system’ and other gimmicks. I very much doubt they DO remember what happened in F1 10 years ago.

    • Psychotext (@textuality) said on 11th May 2014, 0:43

      This season will only be a classic if Rosberg can perform like he did in Bahrain. If he does then we could very well have another 1988. If not, then we’ve got another 2002.

      I have a nasty feeling we’re looking at another 2002.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 11th May 2014, 1:07

        @textuality – It does seem that way. There will be some great battles throughout the field but unless Rosberg can find a way of keeping up with Hamilton, it’s going to be wrapped up long before the double mega points weekend!

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 11th May 2014, 1:16

          I still think it could last until the end, and fairly easily. For the foreseeable races, even if Rosberg continues losing out to Hamilton he is likely to only give away 7 points a time. One bit of misfortune for Hamilton again and that advantage would disappear. One change of momentum to Rosberg (bound to happen, even if only at the odd race) and any gap closes again. Basically, even if Hamilton looks favourite, things would have to go very smoothly to wrap it up early in the season. Ordinarily that might not be the case if the 2nd driver is contracted to be subservient (Barrichello) or other cars are good enough to split the top 2. This is neither of those situations, at least until (if) Red Bull catch up- in which case it will probably aid whoever is performing better at the time.

    • Bruce said on 11th May 2014, 3:32

      Sorry. It was boring when Seb outclassed the field in a way that was insurmountable and it is boring when Hamilton does it too.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 11th May 2014, 7:33

      I’m still on the fence about this season. If the guys in the pack move closer together and Rosberg mounts a challenge it could be a good season. Runaway championships of the pasts are hardly classics if there isn’t some interesting aspect about it.

    • f1forever (@kimi93) said on 11th May 2014, 11:21

      maybe red bull will be able to catch up mercedes pace in next races at least on sunday.

      • favomodo (@favomodo) said on 11th May 2014, 16:32

        It is boring! Other seasons in the past with a dominating team were also boring, always (been watching for 20 years). But I can accept that one season is not as amusing as an other (same in every sport).

        The only thing we can wish for is a comeback of either Ferrari or Red Bull. And Rosberg catching Hamilton at times.

    • Boring said on 14th May 2014, 4:12

      It is boring. The worst season I’ve watched in 30 years.

  2. Michael C said on 11th May 2014, 0:20

    Fernando has a strange way of motivating his team… As Murray Walker once said: “Anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does.”

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 1:07

      And apparently he is helping Kimi with his press responses.

    • Jonny Edwards (@racectrl) said on 11th May 2014, 10:50

      “Anything can happen in Formula 1, and sometimes does, occasionally, when Maldonado has a moment of madness, otherwise it’s pretty straightforward, unless Pirelli make really crap tyres and they explode on track, yawn” – Murray Walker (if he was still commentating today)

  3. Theo Parkinson (@theo-hrp) said on 11th May 2014, 0:21

    Even though it would be sad to see the great drivers of Button, Raikkonen and even Alonso go, there is so little room in the top teams I actually hope they end their careers within the next few years. Like the COTD says, it would be a real shame if Grosjean never gets a shot to drive for a top team. Him along with Bottas, Hulkenberg, Perez, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Kvyat and other guys like Frijns and Vandoorne are all incredibly talented youngsters who all have what it takes to win races. When people say this sport is in rude health, that it’s boring, that it’s slow, they aren’t paying attention to how deep this pool of talent is. These guys alone would make a compelling grid which would stand up well against other eras, and I haven’t even listed a driver over the age of 27(commonly considered to be the start of a drivers prime). It’s sad to see our heroes retire, but just look at Webber. His retirement has lead to Ricciardo getting to show everyone what he’s made out of and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is quite high in the favorite driver pole by the end of the year.

    • Yaya Ishaq (@ferrari_412t) said on 11th May 2014, 0:33

      Totally agree. I would love to see all those guys you’ve mentioned create a golden generation of F1 drivers. You’ve mentioned the likes of Raikkonen and Alonso; is it just me or does feel like they have been occupying top seats for an incredibly long time? I have nothing against them at all being there but by the end of this year both drivers would have been at teams at the front end of the grid since 2002/2003 which is around 11 or 12 years. Is this normal?

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 11th May 2014, 0:52

        For world champions? I think so. Schumacher did. Prost did. Lauda did (if you only look at the time span rather than how many of those years he was actually in a top team).

        And although Renault in 2003 were good enough to provide a single win, I don’t think they can be called a top team until 2005. On top of that, although that was indeed a long time ago, it isn’t as though either driver has been confined to top teams during that time. Although Renault scored 2 (only 1 real) wins in 2008, I’d say that they’d slipped by then from being a top team- because if they were still a top team then, Lotus must have been for Grosjean for the past 2 years. So Alonso has had more like 7 years in top teams. And Raikkonen was out for 2 years and spent a further 2 years in the same ‘not-top team’ as Grosjean.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 11th May 2014, 2:29

        Vettel has 5 years at Red Bull; Raikkonen 4 years (?) at Mclaren, another 3 in Ferrari; Hamilton 6 at Mclaren and 1 in Mercedes; Alonso 4 at Renault (excluding 08 and 09), 1 at Mclaren and 4 at Ferrari; Massa had 8 at Ferrari; Button had 09 with Brawn and 4 years at Mclaren; Schumacher had 2 years at Bennetton and 11 at Ferrari; Barrichello had 5 at Ferrari and 1 at Brawn.

        So, yes, in the last 10 years a few drivers have occupied a lot of top spots. I dont want to check everything for the 90s and 80s, but I believe it was much the same.

      • RV (@zenren) said on 11th May 2014, 9:20

        The likes of Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen manage to perform miracles even when they are left with a not-so-strong team. Vettel managed a race win in a Toro Rosso in 2008 and no other Toro Rosso driver managed it since then, including Ricciardo. Raikkonen won a race with Lotus in 2012 and again in 2013 while Grosjean couldn’t manage a win with the same car. Alonso has been consistently outperforming his car and his team mate all these years.

        If Alonso and Raikkonen retire and let the junior drivers race the Ferrari cars, we might see them fighting with the Sauber. This season has teams like Red Bull, Ferrari, Force India, Williams and McLaren on nearly equal footing with all these drivers capable of the last podium slot.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 11th May 2014, 11:00

          and no other Toro Rosso driver managed it since then, including Ricciardo

          That’s a bit meaningless though. I think it’s fair to say Vettel had a much better Toro Rosso than anybody before or since.

      • They get in younger and they leave older than it used to be. So if you’re any good you’re bound to stay a while and with a top team. If you’re loaded with cash it seems you can also stick around long enough, I guess untill the well runs dry.

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 11th May 2014, 0:21

    Having just a team winning all IS boring. Last yearI had mixed feelings. Happy to see Vettel getting 9 in a row, but bored during many races where even the pack order kept the same all race long. It’s fine to say “I don’t like this” as long as we show respect for what others think.

  5. reiter (@reiter) said on 11th May 2014, 0:25

    I wonder if the guys from the Tyrrell team during the 70s ever thought that their same team, albeit with a different name, would end up producing THE most dominant car in the history of the sport, 30 years later.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 11th May 2014, 1:04

      I don’t know if any staff were retained, but apparently BAR used a different factory and got rid of the old equipment, meaning they effectively only bought Tyrrell’s entry. Whether Merc have any meaningful continuity from Tyrrell is probably debatable, and rather dependant on what happened to staff. Also, it’s 40 years later :p

      • reiter (@reiter) said on 11th May 2014, 1:23

        1995 still feels like five years ago to me. Going back before that is even more confusing!

        And I’m sure they must have retained at least some part of the staff, some of their policies, organizational culture, etc. If you had told me back in 2001 that Jaguar Racing would go on to win four championships in a row, well, I still wouldn’t have bet money on it.

        • Nick (@npf1) said on 11th May 2014, 3:06

          Actually, I think BAR was built in 1998 while Tyrrell was still running. I don’t think much was carried over from Tyrrell to BAR, unlike from Jaguar to Red Bull or Brawn to Mercedes. Even Minardi had a reasonable staff change from 2000 to 2001, with another factory opening in the UK.

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th May 2014, 9:27

            So, it’s fair to say that the most recently developed teams have really made a good step forwards (now Red Bull, Mercedes and slightly Toro Rosso).

    • Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 11th May 2014, 6:16

      You mean 40 years

  6. Hairs (@hairs) said on 11th May 2014, 0:29

    The cotd doesn’t make a lot of sense. Enstone are a championship winning team who have been fighting at the front of the grid for the past few years. If they haven’t won more races it’s because of lack of money, but that affects every team on the grid apart from 3.

    As to “being given a shot”, this is his third shot after a farcical 2009, and a borderline criminal 2012 and half of ’13. He is lucky to be in f1 at all, and certainly nobody but boullier would have stood by him this long.

    Besides which, what options do the top teams have? Kimi, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg, and button are the established top tier drivers. Grosjean can be as fast as them on his good days and there is a psychologist to help him. On a bad day he’ll destroy your car and potentially kill someone. Why would someone who isn’t his manager choose him over hulk, Magnusson, or ricciardo, who are all just as fast without any of the drawbacks if they planned to bump one of their existing drivers?

    Of all the drivers who haven’t been given the opportunities their talent deserves, Grosjean wouldn’t make my top 3.

    He cleaned up his act at the end of last year, and showed that he can cope with an f1 car. Realistically, he’s already been given 2 more shots at this than hes really earned in my view.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 11th May 2014, 1:15

      The COTD is perfectly clear.

      I’d say yours makes less sense really. It definitely contradicts itself in the penultimate sentence.

      COTD makes a point and explains it perfectly! And Enstone is a relatively big team, but not to the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, etc. They actually have a relatively low budget, and their use of money over the past two years has lead to them becoming backmarkers, so I wouldn’t say they are a big team, as such, just larger than some others.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 11th May 2014, 2:41

        Backmarkers? No. Marussia and Caterham are backmarkers. Grosjean just stuck his Lotus in 5th.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 11th May 2014, 8:05

        No, the penultimate sentence merely states that he’s improved and can be trusted to get around at a reasonable speed. That doesn’t make him a preferable option to the likes of Hulkenberg, or that he “deserves a shot” which is what the cotd suggests. He’s already had two opportunities handed to him, and it’s taken 3 years and a lot of hand holding to get him to the point that hulk was at after a couple of races.

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 11th May 2014, 9:45

      @hairs I’m inclined to agree with you. I’m surprised how quickly some are ready to forgive his previous transgressions. He seems like a really nice guy, and maybe that’s one reason he seems to have a reasonable fanbase, but when i look on the evidence i consider him lucky to still be in F1. His 2012 and first half of 2013 were absolutely shocking – i mean he caused more crashes in that year and a half than most should expect in a full career. It was as recently as Monaco last year where he crashed 4 times over the weekend, all driver error. I’m sure if his manager wasn’t also team principle he would have lost his drive at that point, although maybe stayed in F1 at a much weaker team, Caterham or Marussia (or maybe Sauber).

      Don’t get me wrong, he seems to have speed and i’m impressed with his form from mid 2013 onwards but he has to keep that going for another full season or two to convince me all those issues won’t crop up again (the odd error here and there is expected of most drivers, so i wouldn’t write him off after just one in a season). Despite a rocky start for Lotus this year, they seem to have a decent chassis so if reliability is there they might just end up fighting with McLaren, Force India, Ferrari for 3rd spot in the championship. I would say that’s a decent seat to be in and Grosjean is maybe fortunate to still be in it.

      • Racking up a few podiums whilst other teams have already put resources to next season because you’re tyre life is better is not that impressive. India last year was impressive. But there are to few of those races for him to really be a top driver. And as with many things that is personal. I’d rather take Hülkenberg, Vandoorne, Frijns in.

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 0:32

    Bernie is at it again, he wants British taxpayers to keep Silverstone going so he can take more money from them to put into tax avoiding trusts for the families of billionaire investors in Bernies F1 scam.

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 11th May 2014, 4:49

      @hohum Is it up to the FIA to keep a circuit financially viable? I wouldn’t have thought so. While I think that it would be impossible for F1 not to have a championship round in GB, it doesn’t necessarily mean its the responsibility of the sport.
      Ultimately I think Bernie is posturing suggesting that he isn’t going to be bailing them out again, so don’t look to him for more money.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th May 2014, 12:06

      That article is a strange mix of things @hohum. It mixes dislike for the BRDC with putting it down as a risk because the UK does not pay for the race, with stating that rising prices (forced on by Bernies deals in the first place) are a risk and then on the one hand wondering why its low worth, with gloating how hard it is and probably suits best to just stir up a bit of trouble and hope for other headlines than “bernie on trial” IMO.

      I felt sickly reading it.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 15:38

        @bascb, I’m curious, maybe you can tell me; What will a track in Wales have that the track in Korea doesn’t?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th May 2014, 16:26

          If its really granted, then they will have state support @hohum. But is that state support confirmed? I would think that Bernies publicist Mr. Sylt playing it up here does more harm for them than any good.

  8. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 11th May 2014, 0:33

    After reading that Forbes article it really opens your eyes up to how everyone but Bernie and his company (and perhaps Ferrari) is getting a pretty bum deal from Formula 1. It’d be good if all the circuits could form some sort of pressure group against the owners of F1 in the near future.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 11th May 2014, 0:56

      $60 million just to host a race. Even at Silverstone’s rate of $23 million, that’s… there is no superlative superlative enough to describe how obscene that fee is.

      Ecclestone is bleeding F1 dry from the inside. If this carries on, the series will collapse in 5-10 years.

      • Mach1 (@mach1) said on 11th May 2014, 1:34

        That article made me feel sick. Silverstone is in debt because of F1, just because of that one race every year! Wow, that is just wrong. Silverstone should be making profit from hosting F1.
        This just demonstrates what dire straits F1 is in at the moment. The teams have no money [most of], the tracks have no money…..
        If silverstone, one of the only tracks on the calender to nearly max out attendance on most of the race weekend (including practice sessions), cannot make money, what hope do any of the other tracks have (igorning goverment subsidy).

        • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 11th May 2014, 5:44

          @mach1,

          This just demonstrates what dire straits F1 is in at the moment. The teams have no money [most of], the tracks have no money…..

          I think you are missing the bigger picture here. Priority number 1 has to be to keep Ecclestone’s daughters in comfort. Seriously, though, I’m amazed race organizers around the world have agreed to fees which annually increase with 5-10%. Why should people be willing to pay 5-10% more every year to watch F1?

          I suppose the problem is that F1 is used by governments to put their country or region on the map, and are willing to lose money on the race to that purpose. As a result, in countries with a healthy fan interest it is no longer sustainable to hold a race, without the government also chipping in. On the one hand, it is inconceivable to have a season without a British Grand Prix, but on the other hand, we haven’t had a French Grand Prix in years, and the German one is struggling also.

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th May 2014, 11:28

            Tbh, we have Monaco, and I consider Spa as a ‘French GP’ for the Benelux region. We also have Nurburgring and Hockenheim in that area, West Germany/Netherlands, with Austria coming back on the other side of the language group. If the money dries up from around the world then, fair enough, Bernie can bring out Paul Ricard and hold a French GP any time he wishes. Masterful business tactics.

            But, we will enter a post-Bernie era eventually, and the amount of changes that happen depends on how much the FIA step up (don’t be hopeful.. but we’ll see next month what happens with cost capping). I agree that the circuits like Silverstone should make a profit to keep them going, but Bernie would say that they can still utilise all their land to develop and get another income stream going. Being forced to ASAP by his ruthless business efficiency only increases the scale of their challenge. Maybe the government will finally support Silverstone rather than a devolved track in Wales..

            From his tax efficiency, his family will always be comfortable.. but he just would say “change the rules then”.. HMRC did accept a paltry £10m to cover that £1bn and the associated long running investigation… but then again how many people are now in their national investigation squad? I think it is about 6..

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 15:45

            @fastiesty, “always be comfortable” .What would be your definition of Filthy rich? Poor old Bernie has to make do with a measly $2 million a week.

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th May 2014, 15:55

            @hohum Indeed, it’s all relative.. but I guess that with that much income Bernie can only add to his classic car collection once per week at most.. he’d have to save up for a month to buy Silverstone, that’s for sure!

            Filthy rich? Probably being on the billionaire money list.. then again Bernie would be on that list except for his creative accounting! Mad to think what could be done with the amounts of money these rich people hoard.. 100 people are on that list in the UK (might be by net worth), so truly the 0.000001%.

    • Irejag (@irejag) said on 11th May 2014, 5:24

      I don’t really care about who is making all the money in F1. The only thing that I care about is that the sport should be more fan friendly. By that I mean I would love to be able to walk into my local Wal-Mart or sporting goods store and be able to buy F1 clothing instead of having to order it online or travel for hours to a specialty shop in some god forsaken town only to find out that a hat costs 60+ dollars.
      I find it funny how F1 could have a team in their league (Red Bull) that is probably one of the worlds best companies at marketing their brand, and yet still be completely anti fan friendly.
      Anyway, that is my rant for the day.

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th May 2014, 15:56

        Who makes the money is what determines all those factors.. if the owner made only a small margin (and not 50%) then clothing would be cheaper, tickets cheaper, you name it, cheaper lol.

    • I’m probably the only one who ever found it weird F1 gets paid by the tracks. I think it would make more sense F1 pays to race on the tracks? As if they rented them for 4 days. Anyhow, some of the numbers mentioned should make several people hide in a corner of shame.

  9. Michael Whelan said on 11th May 2014, 0:44

    The compelling and most interesting aspect of Formula 1 competition is the well known fact that everything can change in the midst of a race, or in the middle of a season. Mercedes has obviously gained the predominant position in masterfully conforming to the new engine specifications. This is something that you can rest assuredt other teams will be working all out to close the gap on Mercedes.

  10. HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 0:59

    You push but you’r in conservative mode as well for the tyres” So sayeth RIC and I believe him, sad really, an F1 “own goal” is likely going to turn this race into a borefest unless we get a safety car about 15 laps before the chequered flag. F1 has finally bought back the technical interest missing during the V8 era but is persisting with it’s determination to unnecessarilly affect the cars performance potential on a lap by lap basis by insisting on sub standard tyres being used.

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 11th May 2014, 4:53

      @hohum I think this year they’re saving tyres because their loud pedal (or should that be quiet a mouse pedal?) spins up the rears too easily. Not to mention the extra load on the fronts while the rears harvest energy. I’m just thankful that Pirelli have gone more conservative than last year. I think it would be far worse to have a Silverstone 2013 situation again.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th May 2014, 12:11

      how would you propose they “improve” the tyres to solve that though? Most likely we agree that softer tyres like we have had in last couple of years is not the solution (gazillion pitstops and forced on difference in speed to give more overtaking), having tyres that last about 1/3rd of he race, but teams try to eke out a bit more (like what we have now).
      Or should they just return to tyres that might last for 2-3 races but are changed mandatorily anyhow like we had with bridgestone? Tyres that are naturally slower (to pose as little risks to the manufacturer as possible), and last forever will STILL mean drivers are conserving tyres because they still change how they drive over the course of their use / heat cycles.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 16:03

        @bascb, having just watched the race is an advantage for me in answering, RIC had to back off despite being a half to 1 second faster per lap but got ahead due to pit/tyre strategy, Alonso couldn’t pass Kimi until tyre difference gave him the edge, the only driver who seemed to be able to make passes without DRS was Vettel, who drove a superb race, but even he usually had a tyre advantage when passing. For me? yes bring back tyres as durable as the Bridgestones, no mandatory pit stop/tyre changes and everybody will be in the same part of the tyre cycle with no need to nurse their tyres.

  11. David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 11th May 2014, 1:24

    Currently the best non-WDC winning drivers IMO are Grosjean and Hülkenberg, with Rosberg not too far behind… if only the former two could end up in the same team that’d be real swell.

  12. George (@george) said on 11th May 2014, 1:46

    Since when has Lotus not been a top team? They were faster than Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren for half of last season.

    • R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 11th May 2014, 2:56

      They came into Melbourne legitimately looking like a bottom-of-the-order team. The fact that they’ve turned it around in terms of pure pace, with Grosjean getting to Q3 twice in the last two races – and Maldonado was well in the top 10 in practice – they look like they could challenge for 7th in the WCC.

      That’s the form I was hoping to see this year.

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th May 2014, 16:10

        The flyaways were their test days, Spain was their season start. They will have to pass Toro Rosso and aim for McLaren, Williams and Force India in the long run.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 11th May 2014, 3:09

      I’d say since 2010. They had poor performance through 2007-2009, but had major backing. When Genii bought the team, they started downsizing and missing payments. There’s a reason they had Petrov in 2010 and 2011 and have Maldonado now. I’d say Lotus was as much of a ‘top team’ in 2012 and 2013 as Sauber was a ‘top team’ in 2001; good performances, but miles behind when it comes to staff and resources.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 11th May 2014, 16:09

      By resources, McLaren are 4th and Lotus 5th.. but Lotus have cut back tens of millions in spend (and 100 personnel) towards the midfield, after not getting much more prize money last year.. so those two are more top of the midfield now. Behind them it’s all roughly even, after Williams clear in 6th, so Force India do very well off a small budget, but ‘ship in’ as much performance as possible from McLaren and probably now Mercedes (as they are beating McLaren regularly).

      Sauber did very well with their 2012 car, easily the best car in that championship by bang-for-buck. Only Marussia and Caterham are adrift at the back, with less than $100m budgets per year and lower staff numbers.

  13. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 11th May 2014, 2:07

    I’m glad they’re trying to clean up the formation lap. It’s becoming too common that someone will slow down excessively and back everyone up whilst having a huge gap between himself and the car ahead. It’s just elongating the whole process in a bid to try and get an advantage.

    Hopefully the drivers heed the warning whilst out on track.

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 11th May 2014, 4:54

      @tophercheese21 I agree, although I was surprised, or maybe I’m not all that surprised that VET weighed in on the discussion.

    • Irejag (@irejag) said on 11th May 2014, 5:28

      They should just allow tire warmers again, and get rid of the formation lap.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 11th May 2014, 6:00

      @tophercheese21, I was watching the Indycar race yesterday evening and was amazed that all drivers simply drove straight to their start position without any waiting or doing burn-outs. The whole grid had lined up in no-time.

      I had noticed Hamilton’s excessive backing up of the field, especially in China, and was starting to worry he might get in trouble for it. Also at the end of last year (when he was not on pole), I noticed he was leaving very large gaps at times. Previously there were no rules regarding speed on the formation lap, but it seems he has abused that freedom to the point that there will be. More rules and penalties is not what F1 needs, imo.

  14. Spencer Ward (@sward28) said on 11th May 2014, 3:42

    Did anyone else have a chuckle when Maldonado binned it in turn 3? I’ve been watching F1 for 18 years now and I can’t say I’ve seen anyone crash in that spot on the inside of turn 3. It would have to be him of course! lol

    • Irejag (@irejag) said on 11th May 2014, 5:29

      I laughed a laugh of joy.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 11th May 2014, 6:05

      @sward28, I feel sorry for Lotus, though. They are desperately strapped for cash and the last thing they need is for one of their drivers to put it in the wall (or another car) every weekend. Better for them to say, “sorry Pastor, there is a fuel system problem on your car, and it’s going to take all weekend to fix”.

      A thought: if the money from PVDSA has been transferred, can they fire their driver?

      • Dave (@dworsley) said on 11th May 2014, 8:30

        Sounds like a massive breach of contract and lawsuit.

      • RV (@zenren) said on 11th May 2014, 10:02

        Pastor is ensuring that the entire $30M is spent to repair his car. Lotus might be better off to let go of Pastor along with the PDVSA sponsorship so that they can at least get a better place in constructors standings at the end of the season and the proportionately higher reward.

    • sam said on 11th May 2014, 7:31

      I would take Hulk, Mag, Bottas, and mr smiley before RoGro. I would rate him even with Perez, Rosberg an Massa. And I would put him ahead of sutil, gut, and the south american pay driver. Kobiashi is who I would like to see with a competitive car,

      • Dan said on 11th May 2014, 12:04

        lol at Kmag above Gro and Bottas and Ric are u serious. I mean Mag is so underwhelming since Aus. Every year a rider gets older and in JBut case he is past his peak. I was expecting Mag to hve the raw speed atleast but no. And Gro as really improved from Alo days.

    • niedsche said on 11th May 2014, 9:55

      might have something to do with the new Formula, driving techniques have allegedly changed quite a bit from last years cars

    • Fumbles (@) said on 11th May 2014, 11:56

      Fisichella almost hit that wall I remember during a race. 2005 or 2006 it must have been

  15. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 11th May 2014, 8:10

    I wonder if Haas is going to use Enstone as a base. He’ll have 1 in the US and 1 in Europe which makes sense, he might also hire a number of staff from Enstone.

    But where will that leave Enstone? We would get a new team but lose the 3rd oldest team in the sport.

    Whatever plans he has for Enstone, it would be more than a simple takeover. If it was a takeover, he wouldn’t have spent the best part of 3 years trying to get a expensive grid slot, as he would’ve just attained Lotus’ entry.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th May 2014, 12:15

      He can just buy the whole outfit, put in a more dependable driver without worrisome venezuelan oil money (that would be a no go for a US team obviously) in the second seat, get a promising US driver in the 3rd driver spot and then look whether they can profit from doing some development in the US.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th May 2014, 16:09

      Haas has stated that he wants to buy most of the parts he needs to begin with, who has a good design but is so short of money they might sell to a competitor? Top pf the list Enstone.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.