Lotus in need of power boost – Grosjean

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says Lotus’s biggest shortcoming at the moment is a lack of power.


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

‘What we need is power’ – Grosjean (ESPN)

“I think what we need is power and that’s not something that I will feel easily. If you give me 20 horsepower more I will just go quicker on a lap time and I won’t see the difference.”

Ron Walker says F1 must get noisier, sooner (The Sydney Morning Herald)

“Everybody agreed. We’re all in the entertainment business. The people in the stands don’t understand the new regulations. They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest.”

Ecclestone Says He Expected Half Of F1’s Teams Not To Finish This Year (Forbes)

“I thought everything was going to be worse. I thought the cars were going to be unreliable and I thought half the field would be stopping.”

The Destination Is Domination (McLaren)

“Make no mistake: 2014 is unlikely to be a vintage season, but there’s big-picture thinking going on down at Woking, and, as Ron so persuasively says, the destination is domination.”

Fire and Ice (Ferrari via YouTube)



Comment of the day

Among the best suggestions for yesterday’s Caption Competition were those from FlyingLobster27, OmarR-Pepper,Todfod, Maxthecat, 17th May 2014, 18:49 and Alex McFarlane.

But my favourite was this one from @Robbie:

Marco Mattiacci, Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

Luca and a co-conspirator initiate Marco Mattiacci with the old shaving-cream-in-the-headphones gag.


Ferrari dealership, Baku, 2014

Ferrari have opened a new showroom in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, where F1 is tipped to be racing from 2016.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

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

On this day 45 years ago Graham Hill scored his final grand prix victory at the circuit where he’d eanred the nickname ‘Mr Monaco’.

It was his fifth win in the principality, a feat only bettered by Ayrton Senna.

The other two places on the podium were taken by privateers: Piers Courage was second in a Brabham entered by Frank Williams and Jo Siffert was third in a Rob Walker-run Lotus.

Images © Lotus/LAT, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Ferrari/Rustem Farmen

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123 comments on Lotus in need of power boost – Grosjean

  1. DaveD (@daved) said on 18th May 2014, 4:12

    When I go to Petite Le Mans, the Jags in the GT class are the “loudest” things on the grid. (See the comment by Dave, @raceprouk , above regarding the perception of sound to the human ear and higher frequencies).

    Anyway, those Jags sounded like someone in hell torturing a cat and every time they came screaching by I was wishing to God that someone would shoot them and put them out of their misery. Or at least out of MY misery.

    In contrast, the Audi diesels in LMP1 were freaking awesome! And they were the quietest cars on the grid. But you could see them kicking everyone’s butt.

    Yes, I’m really happy about the new engines and their sound and looking forward to going to the US Grand Prix, and possibly the Canadian Grand Prix if time permits for both on my schedule. I’m even trying to line up a trip to our HQ in London so I can time it for the Silverstone round this year! I’d love to hit three of the races in one year. For an American, that’s not easy.

    • kpcart said on 18th May 2014, 12:24

      your really happy with them, but surely you would accept a better sounding option if it was given. if enough people complain, maybe they will get rid of these dreadful sounding v6 turbos. people power has so far at least made the FIA investigate ways to improve the sound.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th May 2014, 18:01

        Trumpets attached to the existing exhaust are a smidge cheaper than scrapping the V6 turbos.

        Enough people have complained about double points too, and where’s that at? Likely heading to 3 races of it instead of one. And haven’t enough inside and outside of F1 complained about DRS? And?

        F1 may or may not be serious about the sound. It will come down to them deciding, not the fans, and it will be based on the bottom line, as indicated by their desperation to see the season decider go to the last race. Their desperation to bring in more passing at the expense of the integrity of the passes and even F1 in general. Some such as Walker obviously already think more noise is desperately needed. Todt thinks it will slowly go away on it’s own as an issue. Some such as Williams think F1 is already in crisis mode when it comes to capping costs. Yet F1 can’t/won’t go there yet. So obviously not everyone is desperate nor feels the sense of urgency if any, at the same level. But it generally all comes down to money and the bottom line. That is what will be the deciding factor. Whether they’ve made some good decisions or not to get to a healthier bottom line remains to be seen.

        For all of the negativity, my goodness those in charge must be eternally grateful to Merc for going racing right now. And for hopefully it being a see-saw battle to the end. The quality of the end is still up in the air. If it gets to it we may easily have one guy robbed, and one guy the victor, only because of double points. But F1 will have had it’s audience until the end…just one left with an empty feeling, just as we get from DRS passes, just as some get from silence.

      • JackJ said on 20th May 2014, 11:46

        Detractors, such as yourself, are the loudest. Doesn’t mean they are the majority. What’s ‘better’ to you isn’t necessarily better for others. Don’t impose yourself on others.

  2. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 18th May 2014, 4:14

    So basically F1 fans are smarter than Ron Walker, and F1 designers and mechanics are smarter than Bernie Ecclestone.

  3. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 18th May 2014, 6:02

    “Everybody agreed. We’re all in the entertainment business. The people in the stands don’t understand the new regulations. They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest.”

    The promoters really don’t have a very high opinion of us fans do they. Do the promoters think F1 fans are all just Neanderthal types, who sit in the stands or in front of our TV’s scratching ourselves shouting “Oooh, cars loud, me like loud cars. Electricity bad, like evil witchcraft, me no like evil witchcraft.” Just because Ron Walker, Bernie and their ilk don’t understand the 2014 rules doesn’t mean we don’t. Do I understand the ins and outs of thermal efficiency and brake-by-wire 100%, no, but they do interest me enough for me to do a bit of reading to understand them. This is what fans of sports do, whether it be football or rugby (the latter of which is constantly tinkering with scrum and breakdown rules).

    If the promoters, FOM and the FIA spent as much time actually engaging us fans as they do leaping to conclusions about our intelligence they would find that our major issues are with things like DRS, bubblegum tyres and double points, not the noise or the complexity of new powertrains.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th May 2014, 6:34

      @geemac, to be absolutely fair to Ron Walker, we do want aggression, we do want a gladatorial contest, but it’s not the sound that has spoiled those aspects of F1, it is the tyres that have turned F1 into a time-trial rather than an automotive dog-fight.

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 18th May 2014, 6:41

        @hohum Were Bahrain and Spain not gladiatorial contests? I mentioned the noise because he did, even though I fail to see exactly how he can make a serious link between the “reduced” noise and the lack of a “show”? Has he not been watching the action on track? I’d take the new powertrains and Bahrain/Spain 2014 over V8’s and any of the races in the second half of 2013 any day.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2014, 11:22

          I’d take it over any of the races in 2013 full stop @geemac. There were no stand-out races (except the British GP, but for all the wrong reasons) the entire season – it was not a very entertaining by recent standards at all.

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 18th May 2014, 13:00

            Have to say I agree with that @vettel1. This season has been good so far and there is a genuinely tight and intriguing title battle going on, it is going to be great to watch.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 18th May 2014, 23:30

            @geemac I of course say this with the significant point of note that the team I like were winning last year and now a driver I don’t like is winning, with the driver I like being faced with adversity.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th May 2014, 22:49

          Bahrain, after the safety car most definitely, Spain less so due again to the tyres, but as you @geemac and @vettel1 point out the racing this year has been vastly better than last year, however it could be even better were it not for the tyres.

  4. HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th May 2014, 6:23

    Let’s get away from this storm in a teacup.

    45 years ago Piers Courage (RIP) came second at Monaco driving a Brabham entered by some guy called Frank Williams, thank goodness we don’t have customer cars anymore, it would totally stifle innovation.

  5. Kimoni Nakamoto (@) said on 18th May 2014, 6:50

    All this harping on about engine noise serves only to distract attention from the real issue. Unnoticed by many, over the last few years drivers’ hair has become more and more bland and uninteresting. Where once we had the individuality and flamboyance of James Hunt and Alain Prost’s unruly visages, we now see only the number 1 buzzcuts and short back and sides sported by the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Vatteri Bottas.

    Inexplicable hairstyles are an important part of the spectacle of F1. They make it more visually appealing and are what the fans want. I mean for God’s sake some of them even have beards! How can it claim to be the pinnacle of motorsport when WEC and NASCAR have more eye-catching coiffures? It’s a disgrace, F1 has lost its way.

  6. Sven (@crammond) said on 18th May 2014, 11:08

    Did Kimi really just say “Hip-Hop” to that “Rock or Hip-Hop”-question? I think I have to drop him as a favourite driver. Such a shame, I liked him so far, but that is just unbearable.

  7. kpcart said on 18th May 2014, 12:21

    if only f1 sounded like this – this is jos verstappen on public roads:

  8. kpcart said on 18th May 2014, 12:22

    anothero ne of jos the boss

  9. Joaquin (@fat-tyre) said on 18th May 2014, 13:37

    Ron Walker speak for yourself! In 2010 I attended the Australian GP (my first ever GP). I got the 4 day/ 4 corners package, at first it was loud and great but by the end of the event I couldn’t stand all that noise nor the nuisance of having to wear earplugs for hours. I missed this year’s race but I am looking forward to going again next year and being able to go back home without a massive headache.

  10. Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th May 2014, 13:49

    First of all…thanks @keithcollantine for the caption win.

    As to engine sound/noise. Personally I am not bothered by the sound but I can respect that some are. So if they change it and make it better/louder based on whoever’s opinion of what better/loud enough might be I’ll be fine with that too.

    But I have to agree that Walker comes off very condescending here. F1 fans do know what is going on…that is why they are F1 fans. The ones in the stands particularly, paid money and went to the race for a reason…they weren’t just out for a Sunday drive and decided on a whim to pop into the race, like it’s a roadside foodstand. It is non-F1 fans that they need to try to draw into the sport, and viewership was already suffering before these engines came along, so they need to address the issue from that angle, not just blame it on sound.

    And then the gladiatorial comment…personally I have been more enthralled in the Merc rivalry than I ever was with SV/MW, and I was even less impressed with MS/Ferrari. So I think Walker is grasping at straws and saying anything that sounds good to him to support louder engines.

    If they want to make the cars louder, fine, but don’t try to tell us that is the problem with F1, when at the same time they put in double points for fear of further viewership dropoff which has been decried in a far greater way and yet will be jammed down our throats and will potential create such an anti-climactic finish that one wonders how many may be turned off from F1 completely. And double points can be removed with the snap of the fingers compared to making the cars louder.

    If fans, or not enough fans understand the regs, or what F1 is about, that’s on F1, and promoters like Walker. He is a promoter, and seems to only want to promote one negative (to some) aspect of a multi-faceted entity.

  11. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 18th May 2014, 17:39

    With regards to the sound, I’ll just re-post what I said a week or so ago.

    I still don’t really see the volume as been too big of an issue.

    Yeah the new V6 Turbos are quieter but that hasn’t put me off, I’ve already gotten used to it (And the finger noses) & Im enjoying F1 just as much this year as I have in the past.

    In fact if anything I am enjoying 2014 so far more than I have the past few seasons in part because I love how the new cars are moving around more & how the new power units are adding to that coming off the corners when all the torque kicks in.

    F1 of the past decade may well have been louder but the spectacle of watching the cars was lacking because they had so much grip from the aero & so little torque from the engines that they didn’t move around & often looked like they were on rails.
    This year it may be quieter but its great to see the drivers actually having to drive the cars again, Watching them moving around through the corners & on the exit is a joy to watch & its made the spectacle of watching the cars so much more exciting.

    The racing has been better as well, We had good levels of overtaking at every race as well as some good close, hard fought racing through the field. Bahrain is obviously the standout but there was plenty of good racing & overtaking at the other race.

    Overtaking stats so far:
    Melbourne – 20
    Sepang – 31
    Bahrain – 67
    China – 40
    Spain – 42

    I also like how DRS has been less of an issue as well, I still hate the stupid thing but its not been as big a factor so far this year as it has in the past with regards to providing the easy so called highway passes & the tyres have also been less of a factor when compared to how they were in 2012/2013 at least.

    There is nothing really wrong with F1 2014, There still fast, The racing has been great & the engines while quieter still sound very nice & are still plenty loud enough in my view. Just leave things as they are & lets see how things develop naturally over the next few years. I see no reason to start changing everything after 5 races just because some seem to think sound is the only thing that matters.

    • kpcart said on 18th May 2014, 18:00

      you are a diehard f1 fan, in the top percentile. your opinion is misguided by your love for the category “f1″. i have watched f1 since 1994, and for me this season so far has been dreadful. predictable tyres, drs, one team infront – DREADFUL. engine homologation before even one race run and then no development allowed = UNNACEPTABLE. the sound of the cars = DISGUSTING AND DISTURBINGLY QUIET – worse then a low tier tin top series. Fuel flue rate limit, when there is already a limit on fuel to be use – WHY?? with the engine homologation, we have a locked in adavantage for one engine manufacturer/team for the next few years which makes it even worse to contemplate unless you are a Hamilton/rosberg fan. DRS has been less of an issue this year for one reason – Ferrari and Renault engine cars cant make any use of it because of their deficit. Peoples conception of the cars “moving around” is also overrated, the cars are still very much on rails, the engine mapping acts almost like traction control the way it is programmed these days, you will never see a driver lose a place down a short straight from over revving or missing a gear in this f1, it is not like they are driving massively torqued v8 supercars or nascars. go watch some Indycar to realise this modern f1 is not that great – yes the Bahrain race was great, but that was not a result of the formula of the sport, it is just how it was on the day – it can happen in any motorsport, it was probably a fluke for this formula.

      • Kimoni Nakamoto (@) said on 18th May 2014, 19:42

        “My opinion is more relevant and valid than yours because I’m a casual fan who’s never known anything outside the recent sprint racing era.”

        Congratulations, you just did more to discredit your position than your opponents ever will.

      • f1freek (@f1freek) said on 18th May 2014, 21:13

        Dude seriously…. than and then are two completely different words

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 18th May 2014, 22:16

        you are a diehard f1 fan, in the top percentile. your opinion is misguided by your love for the category “f1″.

        Hear that noise? It’s your credibility flushing down the toilet.

        • kpcart said on 19th May 2014, 15:11

          you lost it first time you opened your mouth, you are the chief protagonist on this website trying to make people agree with your opinion that the current cars sound great and that the sound is a non issue – if it is a non issue for you then don’t comment. what I have noticed on this website is the diehard fans on f1 who are every hour forum commentators on f1 subjects are pretty much the most vocal ones that are sprouting tolerance to the new sound of f1, and go as far as belittling others opinions (the majority) so they can feel right in their head. they want nothing bad said of their sport – well it is our sport too, millions of people who are not happy.

          • Kimoni Nakamoto (@) said on 19th May 2014, 18:30

            Why do you keep claiming to be in the majority after a poll on this very website demonstrated the opposite?


            If you can’t make your point without resorting to dishonesty, it’s time to give up and accept defeat.

            If deafening high-pitched screeching is so important to you, maybe you’d be more at home at a Justin Bieber concert than a Grand Prix.

          • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 19th May 2014, 21:48

            you are the chief protagonist on this website trying to make people agree with your opinion

            I love you too :-P

          • JackJ said on 20th May 2014, 11:55

            The true majority has no problem with the new sound as the link posted above. The more you speak, the more discredit you do to yourself. Stop it. You’re changing nothing and are only making yourself look silly.

  12. kpcart said on 19th May 2014, 14:38

    Here is the best example I have found comparing the sound of last years cars with this years:
    it is recorded by a fan in the stands on the front straight in Melbourne. this video gives the true picture, last years cars sounded like real race cars, this year they sound really bland in comparison. the noise of the car pushing through the air is nearly louder then the actual sound coming from the car.

    • kpcart said on 19th May 2014, 15:12

      You don’t miss the atmosphere Dave?

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 20th May 2014, 11:03

      Because we all know that cellphones have the best cameras and microphones ever made. Except of course the professional-grade equipment they use for the world feed, and every sound stage, film set and recording studio in existence.

      Hell, karaoke mics often work better than smartphone mics.

    • JackJ said on 20th May 2014, 11:56


  13. Jack said on 20th May 2014, 7:06

    So I comment for my first time in this blog not only it is not chosen but there is no reply. whatever!

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