Raikkonen queries Ferrari’s strategy

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen isn’t happy Fernando Alonso got a preferential strategy call in yesterday’s race.

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

Kimi wants explanation on strategy (ESPN)

“‘No, but obviously I want to clear up a few things and that’s all,’ he said when asked if he feels like Ferrari’s number two driver.”

F1 Spanish Grand Prix – Niki Lauda admits: ‘Nobody can beat Lewis Hamilton. He gets better every race’ (The Independent)

“We do not interfere with who is winning what. We let them race from the beginning to the end. This is my philosophy. So far nothing [bad] happens.”

Gerard Lopez Q&A: Lotus are coming back (F1)

“[Pastor Maldonado] is unbelievably fast – every lap for him is something of a qualifying lap. Maybe he’s doing a bit too much and we need to sit down with him and work that out – tell him that in his case – with the speed that he has – most of the time 95 per cent would be enough. But he’s a nice guy and very accepted by the team.”

Christian Horner: “It looked like he’s got his mojo back…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“There’s still some way to go, but we have definitely moved a bit closer. And for sure they were pushing as hard as they could, so it wasn’t like Mercedes were taking it easy.”

Hamilton will not break me – Rosberg (BBC)

“Break me down mentally? I think he will struggle with that one. He has the momentum. There is no way round that. I have to try to break it.”

Red Bull: Wing was broken Red Bull (Sky)

“There was no deliberate intention to instigate the failure and no aerodynamic benefit was derived from the deflection.”

McLaren misery continues in Spain (Reuters)

Eric Boullier: “Yesterday, our qualifying form showed that we’d taken a small step forwards in terms of performance.”

Haas not looking to buy an F1 team (Autosport)

“Gene remains committed to building an American-based Formula 1 team and his plans have not changed.”

A view of today’s F1 cars (MootorSport)

“One can only assume none of the attendees [of Ecclestone's meeting, see below] had been standing at the turn 14-15 chicane that very morning, watching Fernando Alonso hustle his Ferrari F14 T across the kerbs in a bid to extract performance the design brief failed to include. It was one of the most invigorating things I’ve watched at a race track for some time.”

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Comment of the day

What now for Rosberg after another defeat at the hands of Hamilton, asks @Craig-o:

That’s now twice that Nico has had what appears to be a faster package yet Lewis has come out on top. Just. In two of the other races, Lewis had the faster package and he stormed off to a very dominant win. In the case of Australia, we simply will never know who was quicker on the day. Lewis is also leading the qualifying battle 4-1.

Lewis is driving not only very quickly, but very maturely. This is so very different to the Lewis we saw just three years ago. He is perhaps driving better than how he did in 2007 and in 2010, where he was probably the best driver in the field in those years.

However, with Nico, this is the first time he’s had a car capable of winning the championship, and psychologically, he is being bruised by Lewis by finishing second to him four races in a row. Nico is a world class driver, there’s no doubt about it, but I think that spin in China was the first sign that Lewis has the upper hand not only in speed, but mentally too.

There’s much more than meets the eye with Lewis, there’s so much more than the sunglasses, the earrings and the weird hat. He’s driving better than anybody out there at the moment, and that includes your Vettels, Raikkonens, Hulkenbergs, Buttons and yes, even Alonsos.
@Craig-o

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On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonThe first F1 race weekend since the dreadful events of Imola began 20 years ago today at Monte-Carlo. Unthinkably, yet another crash left a driver seriously injured.

Karl Wendlinger braked too late at the chicane and skidded into a barrier. He suffered head injuries and was taken to hospital, but later recovered from his coma.

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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105 comments on Raikkonen queries Ferrari’s strategy

  1. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 12th May 2014, 0:04

    He’s driving better than anybody out there at the moment, and that includes your Vettels, Raikkonens, Hulkenbergs, Buttons and yes, even Alonsos.

    I agree with the rest of the COTD, in fact I might even have agreed with this one had it not been for the ‘yours’ there.

  2. Dansus said on 12th May 2014, 0:12

    Only person that can beat Lewis now is.. Lewis.

  3. Dansus said on 12th May 2014, 0:13

    There’s much more than meets the eye with Lewis, there’s so much more than the sunglasses, the earrings and the weird hat.

    Really? lol, must of missed that.

  4. HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2014, 0:21

    As an Australian I am proud of Dan R but ashamed of Ron Walker, since when was Bernie a friend of race promoters, in view of the current revelations about Bernies Modus Operandi the Victorian Govt. should be looking very closely at the AGP financing to ensure that a chunk of the taxpayers money is not finding its way back to Walker.

    Of course I can’t wait to hear Mercedes new megaphone exhaust, what a thrill it will be to hear F1 cars sounding like the modified Holdens of my teens, hopefully they will allow a little extra fuel so that on the grid the cars can be made to run rich and have that great lumpy idle we all associate with a hot camshaft.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 12th May 2014, 0:29

      It’ll be hard to get a lumpy idle at 4000rpm

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2014, 1:54

      I must return to the important part of my post. Inviting Bernie to a promoters meeting is like inviting the Boss to a union meeting so he can see who he needs to get rid of.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th May 2014, 8:12

      Maybe it will connect better with all the kids doing things like that to their cars @hohum.

      Sports stripes+nice fat looking exhausts+making a lot of noise = must be fast

      Personally I think its as stupid an idea as you do. Instead of using it (less noise) as a good argument to keep the race going in Melbourne (those yearly voices protesting against it) – and no doubt in other cities and regions where people complain about noise (Spa and Austria come to mind, I think Austin had some of that as well) – Ron Walker toes his friend’s line.
      The one detail I really love about that press release, is that he doesn’t confirm who else apart from him and Bernie were there, I guess that shows the strength of this “F1 Promoters A”.

  5. Albert said on 12th May 2014, 0:22

    We really need to stop talking about the “psychology” of Rosberg. Dude spins once and suddenly that means he’s breaking apart.

    Yes, Hamilton is driving quite better. But what it means for Rosberg’s psyche is something none of us is even remotely close to know. So it’s about time we give it a break.

    • Fumbles (@) said on 12th May 2014, 0:48

      Thank you for speaking that opinion, at least I’m not alone. Unfortunately everything has to be poetic. It makes the season less boring that way. The same way people analyse Senna and Prost’s rivalry by individual conversation, it’s just silly to be making conclusions on speculation.

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 12th May 2014, 8:08

      Spot on! Rosberg is so close to Hamilton that is immature to talk about some kind of Niko breaking apart BS. Rosberg is giving his best against one of the 3-4 fastest active drivers in F1 and it’s not like he is miles away from him. There are three very important moments that are on Rosberg’s side:
      1. There is that horrible last 50 points race in Abu Dhabi which could look like this: Lewis entering the finale with 49 points and exiting without title still due to crash or mechanical failure.
      2. Keke won his title with one win only (of course in different circumstances in a year where no driver won more than two races plus Villeneuve and Pironi disasters) and I assume if Nico needs some kind of advice about his chances of winning the title than he has the best buddy in his Dad.
      3. Lewis could lose his coolness at some point of the season (although I doubt).
      You see, his chances are as high as they can be.
      And still this season is not as boring as some previous domination Ferrari and Red Bull seasons.
      On the contrary, it reminds me of some historic seasons that I remember.

      • Abhijeet said on 13th May 2014, 11:46

        Absolutely in agreement. I still believe Nico will end up WDC 14 due to his shrewd race strategies

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 12th May 2014, 9:42

      I agree entirely. As with all sports, the pyschology aspect is overplayed wherever possible. So far Lewis has been a little faster than Nico in every race, as most would have expected before the season. I see no signs of panic from Nico, he just needs to find a little extra.

      You could argue that from team radio Lewis was the one who sounded more distressed, irritable, under pressure – although it is dangerous to draw conclusions from the samples of team radio we get. But as far as we heard, Nico was just calmly going about chasing him down, getting on with his job but ultimately just missing out. If Nico had won (pointless hypothetical i know) then would people be saying Lewis was cracking under the pressure? (which would be equally over the top)

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 12th May 2014, 10:08

        S

        o far Lewis has been a little faster than Nico in every race, as most would have expected before the season. I see no signs of panic from Nico, he just needs to find a little extra.

        But the point is that world champions find that little extra when they need it. Like Hamilton in Qualifying on Saturday, he was down, he needed to pull something out the bag and he did. In the Bahrain and Spanish races Rosberg needed to pull something out the bag and he didn’t. World championships are won by tiny margins, and world champions know how and when to find them.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 13th May 2014, 0:58

        @keithedin

        So far Lewis has been a little faster than Nico in every race, as most would have expected before the season.

        Arguably not, Nico had more pace than Lewis in Bahrain and Spain, he just lost both races because of track position.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 12th May 2014, 12:38

      Yes!

    • Ange said on 12th May 2014, 16:29

      Yes thank you! It’s not like Lewis is beating him hand over fist!

  6. Theo Parkinson (@theo-hrp) said on 12th May 2014, 0:31

    I think we are all getting ahead of ourselves with this phycological battle between Nico and Lewis. Lewis is driving better and Nico knows he has to improve. Potentially that might be the other way round at some point. Yes the added championship pressure will cause the unusual spins, Q3 lockups, bad strategy call, but it won’t lead to some sort of meltdown. The only thing we can take from these races from a phycological battle is generally Lewis is better under pressure.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2014, 0:59

      @theo-hrp, Quite, finishing exactly the same distance behind LH as he started is hardly a reason to be suicidal.

    • Dansus said on 12th May 2014, 1:27

      Lewis has always been faster than Nico, doubt if thats going to change.

      • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 12th May 2014, 8:19

        That’s a great point right there. We all know that Nico is fast and consistent and hard working driver, and we all saw how he handled his seasons along Michael and even last year with Lewis but there is something called talent that could not be trained. You can train as much as you want, as all of this guys does, but you come at certain point when something else decide the outcome and that is talent and racing instinct. We’ll see if Nico or Lewis got what it takes at the end.

  7. scuderia_fan85 (@scuderia_fan85) said on 12th May 2014, 0:32

    I guess that shows who is the #1 driver at Ferrari…sorry Kimi.

    • Albert said on 12th May 2014, 0:58

      Shame it doesn’t mean much when the best you can get with the car it’s 6th.

    • DC (@dc) said on 12th May 2014, 5:18

      Well, I can’t blame Ferrari. Alonso was third in the championship – third! – in a slightly-better-than-midfield car. It makes perfect sense that Ferrari would give Alonso priority. They have a long history of similar tactics.

      I love Kimi – I have since he first wowed everyone at Sauber – but he is so far behind in the points that it is inevitable he plays #2 in situations like this.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 12th May 2014, 20:23

      How so? It appeared that Kimi was holding him up. Less conspiracy please.

      They were simply trying to have the faster car be ahead. Regardless of the driver.

  8. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 12th May 2014, 0:35

    Some of the comments I’ve seen about Vettel’s pace in comparison to Ricciardo’s so far this season have been pretty far-fetched. I don’t think any other driver would get that level of criticism. In a way I’m not surprised, but some people seem to be suffering from a bit of amnesia when it comes to remembering the skill and prowess that Sebastian has shown in recent times, regardless of car advantage or not. His race was really flawless yesterday, and made even more impressive with the fact that the RB10 was well behind most other teams in relation to top line speed and that Catalunya is quite a difficult circuit to overtake.

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 12th May 2014, 2:09

      It’s not amnesia, it’s selective blindness.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2014, 4:35

      @insilico people like to see the champion struggle… Favourites are rarely respected in the same way as the outsiders.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 12th May 2014, 10:30

      @insilico
      The RBR was 0.5 of a sec faster than the Ferrari, imagine the deficit on other cars.
      So it makes sense that VET overtook those cars, it doesn’t make him great.

      As Redbull get closer to perfecting this car, we do expect VET start moving towards the front, BUT THAT’s exactly THE PROBLEM (always needing the car to be perfect ala Button).

      And then people want to rank him with likes of Lewis and Alonso……..

      • Albert said on 12th May 2014, 15:11

        So much bitterness, my oh my.

      • David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 13th May 2014, 11:49

        @jason12 Obvious anti-Vettel sentiment is obvious… but disregarding that, most of the overtakes are done at the end of the straights, where Red Bull is obviously one of the slowest; it doesn’t matter how good they are in the corners if there’s a mobile chicane ahead of them since you’re not going to be able to take advantage of that… however Vettel was able to overtake not only at the end of the straights by making daring lunges, but also in the corners where most people wouldn’t dare especially with DRS available.

        And regarding your idea of ‘perfection’, so what? As if Alonso/Hamilton are anywhere near the podium themselves when the car isn’t ‘perfect’. What’s wrong with wanting the car to be perfect anyway, that’s pretty much the whole point of F1. I don’t think Alonso himself was anywhere near the front in 2012 (Bar Malaysia which while masterful, was also partly due to luck as faster cars retired or were involved in some blunders) until the car got better, likewise for Hamilton in 2009. Bet you were one of those downplaying Vettel’s achievements down to the car all this while, but oh wait going by that logic the same can be said for Hamilton now but that isn’t true is it; or are there double standards?

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 12th May 2014, 11:11

      Give me a break with the straight line speed !!!!!!! RBR stand better in the corners (every part of it) than competition, so they reach the top speed earlier… and there’s simply not enough track for the others (with better top speed) to overtake them. I don’t remember any of RBRs to be passed at the end of a straight line. But I do remember more times a RBR passing another car at the end of a straight line. The last 1 would be Vettel passing Raikkonen. Poor straight line speed… or not, RBR is the 2nd car on the grid, and I hardly believe a better straight line speed will close the gap to Mercedes. They need more than that.

    • Frasier (@frasier) said on 12th May 2014, 11:32

      Vettel has been flattered by a car that was superb and a team mate who frankly was a journeyman driver.

      Daniel Ricciardo tested for RBR after the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP where Seb won his first title. Using Seb’s car he went around 1 second quicker than Seb achieved in Q3 to sit on pole. He was also 0.7 secs quicker than all the other drivers being tested for other teams that day.

      The only thing that has surprised me over the years is RBR not promoting Ricciardo much earlier

      • PeterG said on 12th May 2014, 19:30

        Daniel Ricciardo tested for RBR after the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP where Seb won his first title. Using Seb’s car he went around 1 second quicker than Seb achieved in Q3 to sit on pole. He was also 0.7 secs quicker than all the other drivers being tested for other teams that day.

        True, However you ignore the fact that Ricciardo was testing a lot of 2011 spec parts on the car so you can’t really compare the times.

    • Ricardo Ferreira (@yes-master) said on 12th May 2014, 12:36

      @insilico, people have their tastes and favourite drivers, and nothing, result or statistic, will change that. However, that’s no reason to be blind or unfair. Vettel is one of the greatest drivers ever. For me it is. The results show that. And ever will. The rest is bla bla.

      @jason12

      So it makes sense that VET overtook those cars, it doesn’t make him great.

      @jason12, It makes sense? Would you bet before the race start that Vettel would finish in 4th, just 26 sec behind Ricciardo? As for the greatness, you’re right. Is not this result which makes him great. It’s the several titles and records we won and broke. You forget to add that.

      Daniel Ricciardo tested for RBR after the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP where Seb won his first title. The only thing that has surprised me over the years is RBR not promoting Ricciardo much earlier

      @frasier, ok, ok, you’re almost there. But not quite. You see, to compare Ricciardo with Vettel, the first has to win something first, or else he’s just a “can be”. And to be fair, you have to realize that probably the conditions around the test you mentioned were different. Weather, pressure – as Ricciardo was testing a car and Vettel was grabbing a pole. Something tells me that the latter was under some kind of pressure… – tyres, etc. But, alas, I give you reason in one point. I believe Ricciardo has the potential to be better than Mark. But even so, he has a long way to go.

      • Dan said on 12th May 2014, 13:56

        @yes-master

        You won nothing my friend. Ask yourself this why does a 4xWC have so much disrespect i dont even no a 3xWC with this disrespect shown it says it all for me. Don’t worry im not bitter i would rather my fav guy Hamilton be a 4xWC than not but it strikes me as odd that Alo and Ham are widely regarded as more respected dont you think.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 12th May 2014, 18:00

          They’re just doing it in multiple cars and environments. When Vettel does well at Ferrari he’ll be remembered as a great I’m sure of it.

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 12th May 2014, 22:22

            @john-h – Vettel needs to prove what he can do in a car that isn’t up to it like Alonso and Hamilton have. It’s ridiculous that people write Vettel off having won 4 titles but if he is going to shut all the doubters up, he needs to take a chance in a team against one of the top drivers and come out on top.

          • Jason said on 13th May 2014, 12:11

            @petebaldwin
            +1000

      • Frasier (@frasier) said on 12th May 2014, 15:12

        If I were to quote the biggest difference in my example it would be the fact that the track had rubbered in during the race, otherwise it was the day after so little difference in conditions. Add in the fact that SV only beat the rest of the grid by a tiny fraction where DR beat his fellow ‘assessees’ by 0.7secs and you have a strong case. Recent events have merely confirmed that. I am NOT BTW saying SV isn’t fast, obviously he is, just not the all-conquering superstar that his results would otherwise suggest.

        Ricciardo has already proved himself a cut above Webber, and on grid/results, shaded Vettel also.

        As for the winning, we all know you have to have the right car or a huge amount of misfortune for others eg Spa 1998

  9. Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 12th May 2014, 0:55

    Kimi Raikkonen, a great driver, a great person, a great sportsman is now, after the team pit stop call for favour Alonso, the new Massa.
    Sad, very very sad.

    • Cuesta (@cuesta) said on 12th May 2014, 1:11

      Not favour to anyone, prior race the strategy was two stops for both cars. De La Rosa, Ferrari test driver, said this before the race. And even during the race he had no idea Alonso was going for three. He kept insisting in two stops despite Alonso obviously went for his second stop very early.

      Alonso changed his strategy on the fly, his decision, seeing it was working for Vettel. Not Andrea Stella’s, not Ferrari’s. He said this himself after the race in the spanish broadcast.

      I give the props to Fernando, race awareness or something instead a “leave me alone”.

      • Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 12th May 2014, 2:48

        @cuesta – It is not the 3 stop v. 2 stop that Kimi is upset about, it was Alonso undercutting him on the pitstop.

        • Cuesta (@cuesta) said on 12th May 2014, 12:20

          I don’t understand. If Kimi had wanted to go to three stops, as leading driver he would have had the opportunity of doing it first. But the strategy wasn’t Ferrari’s, was entirely Alonso.
          What Alonso should’ve do? Inform Kimi to see if he allows him to stop? That’s stupid.

          Being the leading driver merely gives you the priority to stop first in X lap if the best strategy is to stop in X lap and both cars go with the same plan.

          • Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 14th May 2014, 15:10

            i think Ferrari should let other driver know whats going on.

            As i understand, leading driver get priority when it comes to stop, to avoid under cut, but this changing stop just to get jump is stupid because it create issue within drivers and probably compromise race result for team.

            Its same as what alonso did in 2013 australia, i believe because of that Alonso didn’t win, both alonso and massa were focus to stay ahead during 1st and 2nd stop(or may be 2nd and 3rd i think), at the end Kimi Won because he stick to the plan while ferrari may have lost chances to win and a podium.

            I understand from driver POV, but keeping information from drivers will create friction in opposite side of garage.

        • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 12th May 2014, 16:01

          @braketurnaccelerate – “It is not the 3 stop v. 2 stop that Kimi is upset about, it was Alonso undercutting him on the pitstop.”

          I think that’s it exactly. Seems doubtful any decision for a 3 stopper was made before the first pit stop and Alonso was shown preference even though Kimi was ahead.

          It’s one thing for a team to use the words equal treatment of their drivers, but actions speak louder than words. Kimi knew the team he was signing with and all that goes with that decision. But, he has every right to question why and how decisions are made regarding strategies and racing.

          Both Alonso and Kimi have stated it’s not like Ferrari are fighting for first place. Ferrari are managing to demonstrate in more ways than one that they are not on the same level as Mercedes.

    • ruliemaulana (@ruliemaulana) said on 12th May 2014, 3:28

      It’s all Kimi fault to choose a team that full of politic. He should’ve know that he’ll be sacrificed at the shrine sooner or later.

    • anon said on 12th May 2014, 7:20

      Kimi should know full well, though, that Ferrari take the attitude that a driver only gets No. 1 status if they earn it – by Kimi’s own admission, he is struggling with the set up of the car and simply not quick enough. Besides, it is a bit ironic for Kimi to complain about preferential treatment given that he was given preferential treatment at Lotus (in 2013, for example, Kimi received upgrade packages in the Australian and Chinese GP’s that Grosjean did not have access to until Bahrain).

      • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 12th May 2014, 8:27

        You can not compare Alonso and Grosjean, mate…

      • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 12th May 2014, 11:25

        +1

        The moment a driver will show up at Ferrari and prove he’s better than Alonso, consistenly,… I’m pretty sure they’ll drop Alonso or the no.1 support for him will be history. Ferrari support a certain driver indeed – the best in the team. I hardly believe Ferrari has a fetish towards Alonso, it’s just that they don’t have anything better overall (= to bring home as many points as possible). On paper, Alonso-Raikkonen seems a very balanced pair, but the results show the opposite: this pair is actually the most unbalanced pairs. Alonso is 3rd (49points), Raikkonen 11th (17points). Just check the rest of the teams, you won’t find a bigger gap (champ places and/or points) between team mates.

        • Dan said on 12th May 2014, 13:59

          Kimi fans are the worst they really are lol. Kimi has been shown up by Alo all year lol he is behind the Hulk. HAHA. Kimi fans were cheering Kimi is back when he beat Alo by less than a tenth that says it all. You Kimi fans forget Gro was giving him a good kick in(que the excuse if his bad back).

        • Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 14th May 2014, 15:20

          And how does driver does that without proper time in car? Kimi didn’t get enough lap during testing, I think alonso had most mileage among drivers while Kimi had less than Half i think. Don’t say Top driver should get grip with car with get go, Its new formula, these car need different style of driving, new setup, new tires, new engine, everything is new. More the mileage, better it is for driver to extract more. Kimi had issue in almost all practice session during race weekend except malaysia and spain(and bahrain probably). in spain his race was destroyed because puncture. while in spain and bahrain both driver were close during whole race.

          Please don’t compare kimi and grosjean, grosjean was giving him good kick? wakeup, count number of win, podium, points and qualy stats between drivers and let me know how many time grosjean is ahead when both race together.

    • Hyoko said on 12th May 2014, 15:26

      Sounds a bit paranoid to me. Given the clear difference in the first 4 races, Ferrari might had decided to favor Fernando over Kimi. However, this is demostrably not the case (yet).

      Near the end, Kimi was told not to defend from Seb. But why? Obviously, so that he could have a better chance to defend from someone else, assuming that battling Seb would only result in lost time and tyre degradation.

      And who could that someone else be? Only Fernando, of course, nobody else was near enough (except both Mercs, not relevant by then for position).

      So Kimi received a radio order aimed at defending better from Alonso, quite the opposite of a “Fernando is faster than you” type of order.

      Quod Erat Demostrandum

      And yes, Kimi did defend bravely, but unsuccessfully. Fernando pulled an excellent non-DRS pass. Aided by younger tyres, true. But hindsight is an exact science; earlier in the race nobody could be certain that the 3-stop strategy would work so well (for Vettel too).

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 12th May 2014, 22:24

      Kimi got the first choice of pit stops. He had the priority. Alonso then decided to come in earlier which he is entitled to do. Kimi got the “optimal” pit stop so Alonso went with something else and made it stick. Simple.

    • Blackbox (@blackbox) said on 13th May 2014, 11:02

      Talking Raikkonen as “new Massa” is bit early.

      Favouring Alonso for pitstop timing (first stop) is bit questionable. Could be that the fact that it was Spanish GP, home ground of Alonso and the main sponsor Santander, might have something to do with the decision.

      What Ferrari needs now is common goals and hard work. Any speculation inside the team about favouring one driver over another at this point in positions 6 and 7 will more likely just hurt them more.

  10. Fumbles (@) said on 12th May 2014, 0:55

    My conclusion after the first five races is that while the Mercedes pair are clearly on the top tier on their own, I believe the second tier is only occupied by Red Bull. They are miles ahead of their direct competition. If Ricciardo did get that podium that would be 3 podiums from 5 races for Red Bull. The laptimes Vettel was doing in clear air yesterday were immense and it brought him all the way up to fourth. You get the feeling that if he was in 5th on the grid instead of 15th he would have just sailed away from the competition the same way Ricciardo did. Their speed is just so damn quick, which is incredible when you remember the absolute dud of a Winter session they had.

    Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Force India have all had good positions (Williams maybe a bit lacking) but their consistency and outright speed has been trumped once again by Red Bull. They’re all definitely third tier at this point.

  11. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 12th May 2014, 1:00

    I am a massive Hamilton fan. But right now I have the upmost respect for Rosberg. Firstly, I think he is the toughest team mate Lewis has ever had. Secondly, he is putting pressure on him at every race. Lastly, he is totally honest about his feelings after a race.

    I look upon him with admiration because behind a fantastic nearly as good as Lewis racer is a great person. He has been under-rated for years and in these last 2 seasons he has proven his pedigree against the guys most critics say is the fastest guy in F1.

    Every race I watch this season where there is a battle on I genuinely fear that Rosberg can and will pass Hamilton. The fact that he is such a threat to Hamilton’s championship chances is testament to him.

    Look at the last few seasons of championships and see how many times you can count inter-team battles between team mates of the eventual season champion. So far this season in 50% of the races where they have both finished, there has been a battle for the lead between them.

    Rosberg isn’t broken and won’t be – his resolve will get bigger every time Lewis beats him.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2014, 1:08

      Exactly how it should be.

    • fractal (@fractal) said on 12th May 2014, 1:50

      I felt the same too. HAM is delivering what is expected from him. Nothing more nothing less. Nico on the other hand is really strong. I am quite sure that its just a matter of time that he will beat HAM. At least that hope makes this season interesting. Otherwise, it would have been a borefest.

      I got an impression from commentators to have double standards when it comes to compare performance of HAM vs Nico. Skyf1 in particular seemingly give more credit to HAM when he delivers while giving credit merely to the pkg in case of Nico. Anyway, I consider both as top drivers with lot of talent distributed among them. I doubt HAM’s consistency and integrity. And I will be surprised if HAM breaks VET 9win streak, cause on paper its something HAM is more than capable to deliver.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th May 2014, 8:39

      Agree with that @djdaveyp85. I see Hamilton being pushed to improve by a teammate that is too close for his comfort and at the same time Rosberg is having to dig deep to find new angles and nooks to get back at his teammate, having the toughest development race of driver skills either has had in a few years (Button did it to Hamilton at times and got him rattled, Alonso too, but there Hamilton was still fully in his comfort zone from being integral part of the team).

      Sure, you can see Rosberg boiling inside, but instead of bitterness, or feeling haunted, he seems to be able to look for ways forward. And I even think he is achieving at least a bit of it in getting Hamilton to doubt things occasionally even when winning. Its as interesting to see both trying to get the psychological upper hand as it is to see them dicing on track punch for punch.

      Also big kudos for Lauda, Wolff and Zetsche to give us this enjoyable development and letting their drivers grow to unknown heights out on track.

    • P J Squeak (@pjsqueak) said on 12th May 2014, 9:08

      If you had to employ an F1 driver, who would you employ: Lewis or Nico? No matter what the kind words for Nico, I think that, when asked as ‘who would you actually want if you were in the position to hire’, then, without doubt you would go for Lewis.

      That is not because Lewis is a ‘cool dude’ or that he is British or that he can set a time x thousands of a second better than Nico. There is something intangible that makes him more of a winner than Nico can be, a certain confidence. Now he is riding high, however, if he had some incident, then that edge of confidence could be gone. Think of what happened with Massa, forever condemned to be a number 2 also-ran driver after the incident with the spring.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 12th May 2014, 10:39

      @djdaveyp87

      I am a massive Hamilton fan

      Every non-HAM-fan is starting their ridiculous comments with this line lately.
      It must be in fashion……

      • djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 12th May 2014, 11:31

        I’ve been on this blog a lot of years. I don’t think I need to demonstrate or prove my alliances to anybody.

      • Dan said on 12th May 2014, 14:09

        And what is wrong with it i mean listening to ardenflo say it is over look at yesterday to prove Ros is in the fight. Please someone tell me when a WC had a teammate in a dominant car was this quick? We all no Webber and Rubens would find away to not even be top 2 so give vredit to Ros.

        @jason12 man would i love Ham to pair with Vet to teach you some humiity.

  12. Crackers (@crackers) said on 12th May 2014, 1:20

    “[Pastor Maldonado] is unbelievably fast at transferring money into our bank account – every lap for him is something like $1,000,000. Maybe he’s getting a bit too much and we need to sit down with him and work that out – tell him that in his case – with the money that he has – most of the time $950,000 is enough. But he’s a nice guy and his money is very accepted by the team.”

    There you go, fixed it for you Gerard.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 12th May 2014, 5:18

      And meanwhile, Grosjean merely scores points… LOL

      I really have no idea the actual context of the Lopez remark, but it seems like a rather self serving excuse. Especially considering the Maldonado take no prisoners clout your opponents off the track approach that’s never his fault.

    • hippasus said on 12th May 2014, 11:47

      Once you consider the cost of constantly rebuilding Maldonado’s car, the figure is probably closer to $500,000 anyway…

  13. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 12th May 2014, 3:43

    Suddenly, everyone is a psychologist..haha

    Rosberg wilting under pressure? No. These guys are professional athletes who are compete at the top of their discipline, they are drilled to win from a young age, everyone of them is there to win. Obviously, circumstances for some doesnt allow them to get close. Sure, in the cauldron of pressure, there will be times when concentration is lost, but a mark of a great athlete is how one recomposes themselves and comes back. I think Nico has given a good account of himself in both qualy. He isnt going to give up. If it was a reversed scenario, where Lewis was behind, you think he’d give up? No, these guys probably dont know how to give up…if anyone of them does, they should probably retire.

    When Nico was catching Lewis, I knew he wouldnt get past. Sure Nico could have taken a lunge into one of the turns, but he didnt, because it would have placed both the positions at risk. Its only he fifth race, Nico hasnt been in this situation before, where he has the best car, whereas, Lewis is accustomed to winning and being at the front. There is a long way to go and anything can happen.

  14. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2014, 4:32

    But he’s a nice guy and his money is very accepted by the team.

    There. Fixed it up for ya, Gerard.

  15. Brian (@bforth) said on 12th May 2014, 4:45

    Pastor crashed out on qualifying, and he caused a collision in the race. Of course his racing is like his qualifying–it’s a a lot of erratic driving and hitting the first thing that enters his line of vision. I could have told everyone that much, Gerard.

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