Rival teams courting Grosjean – Lopez

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Gerard Lopez says rival teams have expressed interest in signing Romain Grosjean.

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

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez claims Romain Grosjean is a wanted man and believes he could ‘drive for any team’ on the grid (The Independent)

“His drives last year meant there were a couple of teams knocking on the door to find out what he was doing, and now we’ve the same this year.”

El Potro Álvarez declaró que no dará ni un solo dólar más, para Pastor Maldonado (Noticias Al Dia Y A La Hora, Spanish)

Venezuelan Sports Minister Antonio Alvarez says he will not spend any more money on the country’s racing programmes, which could affect Pastor Maldonado.

Lotus backing Maldonado (Sky)

Lopez: “He’s a driver who needs to understand that in certain circumstances, with his speed, then 95, 96, 97 per cent should get him to where he wants to be, and then once in Q3 give it 100, 105.”

Alonso hopes to put pressure on Merc (ESPN)

“In the corners they [Red Bull] are very fast but on the straights they seem to lose a lot of lap time, but in Monte Carlo there are no straights so maybe Red Bull could challenge Mercedes there.”

Massa calls for Formula One grip study (Autosport)

“The problem is they changed the rules to reduce the aerodynamic grip [for this season], but they keep the mechanical grip the same so nothing [has] changed.”

Ecclestone’s illness postpones trial (SBS)

“Bernie Ecclestone’s corruption trial in Munich has been postponed for Tuesday and Wednesday with the 83-year-old Formula One magnate suffering from illness.”

Gurney on Brabham (MotorSport)

“In 1966 we went our separate ways and I followed the trail he had blazed by trying to build, race and win with my own F1 cars. I have been told that only three men in the history of auto racing have managed to do that. Bruce McLaren and I won races but Sir Jack Brabham won world championships. He will be forever in a class all by himself.”

Prost: Hamilton v Rosberg rivalry will grow (The Telegraph)

“If one team dominates, then they let them race. I don’t know how long it’s going to be the case. The good thing is, if they dominate the same way, they can let them race until the end. For sure, it’s a risk to their relationship.”

Bernie Ecclestone’s F1 court case explained (Pole Position)

http://youtu.be/kdzrLs2-16Y

Silverstone takes a look back at the history of the circuit (Silverstone via YouTube)

http://youtu.be/Pjqc_wksSlA

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Comment of the day

Will Felipe Massa overhaul his current deficit to team mate Valtteri Bottas in the points?

I had high hopes for Massa going into the season, but after Australia I was afraid Bottas would take him apart. But to be fair, when Massa has had control of circumstances he’s looked really good and I think has slightly outperformed Bottas.

I think his confidence is still too fragile, but if he can get a run of good luck, I could see him jumping up the driver’s standings with a fairly competitive Williams car this year.
@DaveD

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On this day in F1

Rene Arnoux made his first race start in the Belgian Grand Prix on this day in 1978, driving for the Martini team.

The following year he joined Renault’s works team and he scored a breakthrough victory the year after in Brazil. However two years alongside Alain Prost prompted a move to Ferrari for 1983, with whom he remained in contention for the title until the last race of the season.

He left the team in acrimonious circumstances just one race into the 1985 season. He saw out his career with four largely forgettable years at Ligier, during which his rivals became increasingly frustrated with his track manners, particularly when he was being lapped.

Image © Lotus/LAT

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82 comments on Rival teams courting Grosjean – Lopez

  1. Michael C said on 21st May 2014, 0:16

    There once was a man called Romain,
    Whose driving once left him with a ban.
    But he seems to have learned,
    Our respect he has earned,
    And now he has many a fan.

    • Crackers (@crackers) said on 21st May 2014, 1:20

      There once was a man called Romain
      Got teamed with a Venezuelan
      His driving was flattered
      By his teammate’s clatters
      And made him look like a grown man

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st May 2014, 7:24

      If McLaren wants someone to replace Button their short list should include Romain Grosjean. Mr Boulier being there makes his case even more solid…

      • Hans Herrmann (@twentyseven) said on 21st May 2014, 8:34

        Haha! We should do LOTW (Limerick of The Week)

        There once was a first lap nutcase
        Who crashed at the start of each race
        But Boulier had faith
        and now he’s first rate
        And the big dogs have begun to give chase

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 0:21

    “due to the tyres we cannot push 100%, if we push we just overheat them” At last the drivers are venting their frustration at these tyres, softer or harder, I don’t care as long as the drivers can push 100% and follow nose to tail without loseing out on tyre performance or longevity. Listen up Pirelli, Bernie, Todt, these tyres are doing the opposite of what you want, the novelty of a midfield team getting lucky with the tyre/temperature/surface equation has long since lost it’s value.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 21st May 2014, 0:25

      What you’re asking is a physical impossibility… The aero wake of the cars causes such a disruption to the following racer that the loss of downforce causes the car to snake and weave, forcing the driver to work harder. This causes the tyre to slip and slide, generating heat which wears the rubber more.

      The only real solution to this is harder tyres, but then you cannot generate heat in the tyre, causing the car to, once again, slip and slide. The driver then either has to drop back or fight harder, eventually *also* wearing the tyre out.

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 21st May 2014, 0:35

        Bridgestone managed to make tyres that withstood scrubbing, even in the aero wake. For some reason, Pirelli haven’t quite figured this out. It’s not necessarily just the softness of the compound, but also the structure of the carcass, the flexibility of the sidewalls, and how the layers are bonded together.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 21st May 2014, 0:43

        Maybe they could design tyres that didnt wear due to heat.

        • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 21st May 2014, 7:19

          maybe an all metal design? how about Teflon coated? tire compounds are designed to operate effectively at a certain temperature. In order for the compound to stick it must form a bond with the surface it is touching. If the tires didn’t wear out, the road would :) and then you would have cars picking up asphalt on their tires.

          The best thing to do is have open competition between multiple manufacturers, where they can learn from each other in an open format, lottery out the tires and don’t constrain teams to long contracts. If cost is an issue, limit tire allocation from tires which are only available off the shelf, thereby creating a cost prohibitive effect because a manufacturer would have to produce many more tires, sell to whom ever, vs just selling to teams in a particular class. Standard tires across different classes would be good for competition anyways, and show the true class, if it exists, of F1.

      • Kimoni Nakamoto (@) said on 21st May 2014, 0:58

        Harder tyres, or, maybe, ground effect?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 1:40

        @optimaximal, the problem of “dirty air” causing a lack of grip has been around for a long time but only with the Pirelli tyres has it caused terminal tyre wear, @raceprouk, correctly mentions Bridgestone as the best example.

    • FormulaLes (@formulales) said on 21st May 2014, 1:58

      They can still push to 100%, it’s just that the 100% performance point of the tyres is different to what they used to be. I say adapt or retire.

      • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 7:21

        @formulales

        You either don’t understand what 100% push means or are being deliberately thick about it.

        Pushing 100% means that the drivers driving skill (NOT the eco saving skill) sets the limit, not the equipment. Nowadays this is rarely seen other than when its raining.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 21st May 2014, 7:36

          The equipment always sets the limit. Drivers will adapt to drive as fast as possible given the requirements they have. Pushing 100% is a bit of a red herring because sometimes driving conservatively might be faster.

          I think it’s more accurate to say that your complaint is that the limits that exist cause the drivers to driver slower than they potentially can. Although I don’t think that’s true either, as tyre wear is much lower this year and the fuel thing is managed by the car.

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 8:45

            I think it’s more accurate to say that your complaint is that the limits that exist cause the drivers to driver slower than they potentially can. Although I don’t think that’s true either, as tyre wear is much lower this year and the fuel thing is managed by the car.

            You need to tell Perez, Hamilton etc. they are full of it.

            The equipment always sets the limit

            Not true, in the wet drivers can push 100% and the equipment is, by large, negated, true driver skill being the deciding factor.

            Its well known that Pirelli has been tasked to purpose build sub-par tires, little less this year but still so, that’s a fact and not up for discussion. Then the die hards will argue on their high horse that its fine and Perez + co + I don’t understand F1. We will see….

            Anyone know if McLaren has a title sponsor yet?

          • Mike (@mike) said on 21st May 2014, 12:28

            that’s a fact and not up for discussion.

            Depends what you mean by sub-par. If you mean performance and durability. Then I’m sure you could say the same when Bridgestone was a lone supplier……

            I don’t understand this push 100% thing to be honest.

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 14:14

            @mike

            100% push means when a driver is pushing the car through the track at the absolute max the car and tires can handle, i.e. only the driver skill and the feeling in his pants are keeping the car on track and this skill is used at its full potential

            This will never be possible for a complete race, but right now drivers are backing out and coasting even with fresh tires to be able to make them last a stint, (and the stints aren’t even very long) taking corners at way lower speed than the car is able to do.

            There is a balance somewhere, when drivers are asking for permission to overtake/defend rival drivers it should be clear to all expect the must stubborn that the balance has tilted way over.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 21st May 2014, 16:20

            @tvm

            But there is , I think, no real limit to how fast a driver will try to go. If you make the tyres grippier, he will very quickly adapt and go faster. Then, you can say the same thing as you are saying now.

            And you mentioned wet races, That is exciting because there is less mechanical grip. In fact, at the last race, Brundle was talking about how good it was too see the cars sliding around (or something to that nature). That’s a lack of grip. Not more.

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 16:27

            @mike

            But there is , I think, no real limit to how fast a driver will try to go. If you make the tyres grippier, he will very quickly adapt and go faster. Then, you can say the same thing as you are saying now.

            No, thats the point, they are not going as fast as the car/tire can today, because they need to conserve them, two laps full out on the Pirelli’s and they are shot + they need to conserve the fuel, hence they are going a lot slower than the car/tire would allow if everything had a bit more durability.

            Maybe you need to look up the lift and coast everyone is talking about, it means lifting of the throttle way before the braking point then coasting with the engine idle until brake point, then brake less and coast through the corner, then back at the throttle. Its a compromise, quickest way to go through the track while still saving tires and fuel, but by no means the fastest way to race which will almost always be to brake as late as possible and be as early as possible on the throttle out of the corner.

            Also why drivers are asking for permission to race, it will cost them to dearly to go all out, better to leave it be and take whatever points are left.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 21st May 2014, 16:46

            @tvm I understand what you mean, but I think maybe it is an unrealistic idea.

            I’m interested in this so, theoretically, if you were to propose changes what would they be?

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 17:44

            @mike

            Thats a very difficult question :)

            First of all I would ask whichever tire manufacturer was chosen to do their best to make the best tire they can, meaning the best compromise that can be made. F1 if any series deserves this, rather than dumbing down.

            Then I would get rid of the rule that teams must use both compounds, tire manufacturer may bring a variation, but teams can pick the ones that works for them.

            All it takes is looking back at Bahrain which produced a very different race compared to several seasons worth, the answer lies I believe in two things, the Bahrain track is very warm hence the compound used for more tolerant to heat without degrading, meaning they could stay in the working window without to much degrading. The other is the fact that teams were reporting very little difference in option and prime, which was emphasized when Rosberg were unable to tackle Hamilton in the closing regardless that Rosberg were on the better tire, it had to be determined on track rather than on the pitwall…since tires were pretty much out of the equation.

            Also I would ban use of team radio for anything other than emergency use, let the drivers manage their race themselves, but thats probably to radical.

            Getting rid of start-on-qualifying-tire and DRS, probably get rid of the 100 L/H maybe up the 100 L/R a bit, ERS should still be determining factor, but we need to hear more screaming to the red line rather than current fuel flow limit imposed short shifting.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st May 2014, 8:37

          let me clear this for you @tvm: Its always the equipment that limits what can be achieved. Be it the tyres are hard and have less speed but are more durable (like the Bridgestones were), or they have a nice soft bite, but it goes off when using them.

          A car can be incredibly sturdy, but that might make it heavier. Or it can have great downforce (i.e. using most of the air flowing over it for maximum effect), but suffer a lot from not running in clean air (like RBR have often in the last 4-5 years).
          Sure, better materials, knowledge etc make it easier to achieve more in one product, but the biggest difference from the past is that we want require more from tyres than we did in the past.

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 8:58

            @bascb

            ok So lets clear some stuff:

            Perez is wrong?
            Hamilton is wrong?
            Alsono is wrong ?
            Raikonnen is wrong?

            When they voiced their opinion on the Pirelli tires.

            Its always the equipment that limits what can be achieved

            Can you please make your case stand when talking about racing in the wet?

            “we want require more from tyres than we did in the past.”

            Err, so its not Pirelli deliberately making bad tires? Thats a new one, please elaborate.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st May 2014, 10:00

            Yes, racing in the wet is more exciting BECAUSE the equipment is limiting them @tvm

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 10:24

            @bascb

            You are too thick I’m afraid, in the wet they can take it to the limit because they do not have to worry about the equipment not being able to take it, they can dance it around the limit for prolonged time without fear of the equipment not taking it.

            Can’t do that in the dry, to many other factors keeps them well below the limit of their racing capabilities, taking turns they know they could take much faster if it wasn’t for the equipment not being able to stand it, deliberately letting rivals through because defending as they have learned to do in the feeder series will punish them, lift and coast because being on the throttle until the very edge of the breaking point (which they can in the wet) as they have done in a lifetime of racing will punish them way to much on the tires.

            I’m in agreement with Perez, Massa and Kobayashi just from that one article, who of the drivers of f1 field are on your “the tires are just fine” side?

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 10:25

            take it to the limit AKA pushing 100%

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st May 2014, 10:54

            Sigh, I think it would be better to just ignore this @tvm, but here goes.

            First of all, I think you should rethink your tone of commenting, as you are really bordering on being offensive by now.

            If you really think that drivers can drive more because the equipment, I urge you to read up on driving a car. In the dry a driver is far closer to the limit of what the car can handle, because the car behaves more predictably.
            What makes driving in the wet exciting, is that the car is unpredictable and therefore needs the driver to put far more of his skill in basic things like staying on the road and not slipping up. The limit drivers are closer to in the wet is their own driving abilities.
            That means differences in drivers (and driver skill) can get more pronounced, which often offers more opportunity for seeing them make mistakes and overtaking.
            Did you notice how they use less fuel when driving in the wet? That is because the car’s limits do not allow them to get on the throttle as much as they can in the dry (surely you can’t uphold that when the car uses less fuel they are CLOSER to the limit of their equipment?).

            As for drivers and their remarks on tyres: Yes, they are interesting, but its important to understand that people will always compare what they had last year to what they have now.
            Because these tyres are harder (so they last longer), that also means that they are tougher to get heat in them. Compared to last years tyres that is, which is what drivers compare to.
            If we would go back several years, the last Bridgestones we had were quite hard (conservative approach to minimize any risks) and what we have this year is a bit closer to that compared to the tyres uses in the last 3 seasons.

            When you mention feeder series and using/overusing equipment, the trick is, that in those series the races are a lot shorter. Meaning that you can take more out of the equipment with less risk and effect on your race – the tyres nor the car have to hold up for another 35 laps.

            That last sentence in your comment is just completely amiss. Our disagreement has nothing to do with drivers liking tyres or not, nor with tyres being fine or not. Its about your strange argument that equipment does not set the limits. In reality the equipment used in ALWAYS sets the limits to what any athlete can do with the equipment they have available.

            If you want to see more racing like you see in the wet it would need dumping a lot of downforce and having rock hard tyres (that last and give little grip) so that the cars are hard to drive, hard to slow down and a driver has to be carefull when to apply throttle.
            You would make the limits of what the equipment can do lower and put greater emphasis on what the driver can do to get to his/her driving skill limits.
            But it would be even more artificial, because you would be racing with a car that is purposely made harder to drive (much like Bernies sprinkler idea to get wet tracks)

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 12:56

            @bascb

            First of all, I think you should rethink your tone of commenting, as you are really bordering on being offensive by now.

            Point taken, but I do urge you to go back and read some of the stuff getting thrown at us tire opposer’s, it gets really really annoying to be told over and over again that we simply do not understand racing “And there will always be an element of strategy :)” ), I understand perfectly well, and the fact is there is a big gashing rift in F1 these days, not for nothing a lot of people are liking it with WWC, you can ridicule the likes of me that opposes the bad tires and the short shifting, fact is the sport is far from thriving and I believe the dumbing down is causing a lot of it.

            And I’m sorry but the two of us do still not agree on what driving 100% means, far from, it has nothing to do with the limit of the car, its how close you can get to that limit:

            if you really think that drivers can drive more because the equipment, I urge you to read up on driving a car. In the dry a driver is far closer to the limit of what the car can handle, because the car behaves more predictably.

            -NO- thats the entire point, this it what the drivers are complaining about, that they cannot approach the limit of what the car can take at all! Because their tires will be shot within two laps!, it might be ABLE to do 3.5 g’s in a given turn, the driver may be able to sustain that from all of he’s winter training, but the bad tires and fuel eco forces him to lift and coast through it at 3.0 g’s
            This is the current complaint as well as last years complaints from drivers.

            uphold that when the car uses less fuel they are CLOSER to the limit of their equipment?

            Yes I can, and yes they are, the wet conditions has lowered the limit, say the limit of that corner above is now reduced to 2.0 g’s … the driver is now able to chase that as close as his skill allows him without much regard to two laps further down the race, therefore the driver and car threshold approaches, this since the wet conditions almost negates wear and tear. .

            Put in another way, there is car limit and there is driver threshold, in the wet those two approaches, in the dry the driver does not approach his threshold other than for a few laps in the beginning and perhaps at the end.
            Limit and threshold can never be close for an entire race period but currently the drivers are driving at well below threshold, and its clear for anyone to see, hence the declining interest.

            the tyres nor the car have to hold up for another 35 laps.

            It upholds fine in the wet, it held up fine pre-Pirelli

            That last sentence in your comment is just completely amiss. Our disagreement has nothing to do with drivers liking tyres or not, nor with tyres being fine or not. Its about your strange argument that equipment does not set the limits. In reality the equipment used in ALWAYS sets the limits to what any athlete can do with the equipment they have available.

            If you want to see more racing like you see in the wet it would need dumping a lot of downforce and having rock hard tyres (that last and give little grip) so that the cars are hard to drive, hard to slow down and a driver has to be carefull when to apply throttle.
            You would make the limits of what the equipment can do lower and put greater emphasis on what the driver can do to get to his/her driving skill limits.
            But it would be even more artificial, because you would be racing with a car that is purposely made harder to drive (much like Bernies sprinkler idea to get wet tracks)

            And your entire stance here depends on one thing, that Pirelli did not make bad tires on purpose.

            Its a fact that they did make bad tires on purpose, to make things interesting (i.e. put a funnel on the exhaust!).
            Go back and search how many drivers has our right complained about the tires the last seasons, then have in mind that they do so with a gag on them, its not popular to criticize the tire manufacturer, as much as you and I know about driving/racing, I thing the F1 drivers are more knowledgeable.

            Know the saying, “Where there is smoke there is fire!”, the smoke is there and its heavy, be it tires, engines, DRS double points…

            I guess if you want eco racing and pit stop strategy galore it has worked, I would much rather see tires and cars and fuel limits that enables drivers to approach their threshold, this can be accomplished while still honoring the road relevance requirement.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st May 2014, 13:18

            Sigh, @tvm.
            I completely fail to see where I made any argument that a. advocates “eco racing”, is in favor of “pitstop strategy galore”, Pirelli tyres being great and not made to quickly degrade (they certainly were, at least until this year) or anywhere getting close to liking more gimmicks. Please leave all of that out of the discussion we were having.

            In your comment, instead of disproving anything, you just rephrase that indeed, you would like cars that are harder to drive, so that driver skill matters more.

          • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 14:06

            @bascb

            Enough with the sighing or?

            You did so with this sentence:

            Our disagreement has nothing to do with drivers liking tyres or not, nor with tyres being fine or not

            Which is bypassing that drivers liking the tires or not is actually rather relevant, they if anyone will no if a tire is good or bad, I think the verdict we can agree on is that the Pirelli tires are not good. Which indeed has everything to do with our argument, the drivers wants tires that can last, even when they take the car to the limit of its potential, which I happen to agree with.

            I am not advocating the car’s to be harder to drive, I just want to see the potential they have; Something we do not see currently due to lift and coast cornering for tire/fuel saving.

            This is your very first comment, where you try to educate me:

            let me clear this for you @tvm: Its always the equipment that limits what can be achieved. Be it the tyres are hard and have less speed but are more durable (like the Bridgestones were), or they have a nice soft bite, but it goes off when using them.

            Do you seriously think that race drivers are not aware of this and takes it into account when complaining?

            Was it not exactly the task Pirelli set out to accomplish, to create a tire that would not last too long?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 7:24

        @formulales, they can;t push 100% without running out of tyres, pushing at the optimal pace to make the tyre last for 15 laps in clean air is nowhere near the 100% they run to qualify. This is supposed to be racing, not a tyre management trial.

        • JeffreyJ said on 21st May 2014, 8:10

          Yeah, why not retain the option-prime dichtomy but make them so that each can be pushed to the max for a whole stint?

          Should be doable imho. Drivers push to the max and you’d still see cars slighly different strategiesdand teams benefit if they are better on their tyres

        • tvm (@) said on 21st May 2014, 8:50

          + get rid of all team radio, drivers can have a direct link to race marshals for emergency use only.

          Drivers call the pit stops, they may run a pre determined strategy but any alterations are on the driver, which will manage tires and fuel.

          That should get the drivers back in the game.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st May 2014, 7:27

      The trouble is, overtaking was never suppose to be easy. In the perfect world, drivers must work for it, that’s the reason we hate “straightforward DRS passes”…

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 8:17

        @jcost, you are right, we don’t want easy passing, this is why we need tyres that can live with slideing around in the turbulent air right behind another car for lap after lap until either a pass is made or the race ends, hanging back 2 seconds behind a car and then overtaking it can only happen if the pass is made easy.

  3. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 21st May 2014, 0:29

    “In the corners they [Red Bull] are very fast but on the straights they seem to lose a lot of lap time, but in Monte Carlo there are no straights so maybe Red Bull could challenge Mercedes there.”

    And another GP is near and the talk is the same, “…we cn get closer and improve to close up the gap to Mercedes…” or “they(a random team except Mercedes) are really fast, and i recon they could be the 2nd if not 1st at the next venue…”, or “the car is great we did an awsome job and we have what it takes to be fighting with Mercedes for the 1st places…” the outcome is always the same: Mercedes making 1-2 smashing all the rest in every aspect…so please shut up and do you’re homework, or for once say : They did an awsome job, yes they had the advantage of working earlier in the car and componnents, yes they had some “help”, but they did an awsome job, and no one can in 2014 rival with them, so in our championship, the best from the rest is going to be tight….

    • Kimoni Nakamoto (@) said on 21st May 2014, 0:43

      Who can argue with that?

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 21st May 2014, 0:43

      And from later in that same article:

      The performance gap and points gap is quite big and [Mercedes] are doing a fantastic job.

      • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 21st May 2014, 11:29

        Don’t get me wrong i’m not a Mercedes or Hamilton fan, but i think at this time and after Monaco, all the speeches should be pointing to 2015…

        As for Monaco my i wish, RBR win it, but my gut says that Merc should make 1-2, hoppefully with Nico in front to see a great fight for the championship

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 1:49

      RBR may be competitive at Monaco but Mercedes acceleration will probably see them in the lead from the front row and if historically it has been difficult to pass at Monaco it will be virtually impossible with Prielli tyres.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 21st May 2014, 7:37

        it will be virtually impossible with Prielli tyres.

        How do they make passing at Monaco more difficult?

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 8:21

          @mike, by wearing out rapidly in the turbulence behind another car, in Monaco being 2 seconds back means not being able to see the car in front let alone pass it.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 21st May 2014, 12:20

            But at Monaco that effect will barely occur. Of all the tracks, this is where the cars are the least aerodynamically dependent.

            If anything, this is where the tyres will allow the cars to run as close as they like. Of course, there will always be a wake, but here it will do less to effect the cars.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 14:53

            @mike, I think you will find all the cars running in max downforce mode and they will be running close together and the guy with clean air will have the least tyre degradation so the teams will try and use pit-strategy to get them into clean air.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st May 2014, 7:41

      I think Mercedes biggest threat in Monte Carlo is another Mercedes… Safety car, but it’s a very limited threat because to harm Mercedes an odd combination of events must occur. E.g., someone in the leading group pitting before Mercedes drivers and the SC being deployed within the pit window before both Mercedes have pitted… just like the now infamous Singapore GP won by Fernando Alonso.

  4. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 21st May 2014, 0:43

    And from later in that same article:

    The performance gap and points gap is quite big and [Mercedes] are doing a fantastic job.

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st May 2014, 0:44

    I hope Lotus is not owing money to Romain, because he deserves to be well paid, and he honestly deserves a better car. It would be nice to see Lotus evolving to fight for 3rd or 2nd in the championship (1st is of course out of the question). The only setback Lotus have to be more solid in results is a guy who is used to destroy cars even in city shows. It’s a shame the same guy pays most of the debts the team has.

  6. schooner (@schooner) said on 21st May 2014, 2:00

    It will be interesting to see what transpires if (when) Maldonado loses his funding from the Venezuelan government. Bad news for both him and Lotus I should think, but probably more so for Maldonado. There’s no denying he has some skills, and wouldn’t be sitting in an F1 car without them, but his main asset for any team is not his driving. It’s his deep pockets. Not to say he is the only driver in that ‘pay’ category of course, but the guy tends to create a lot of havoc, and when his backing disappears, I expect him to follow.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st May 2014, 7:45

      I just can see anyone hiring Maldonado without his bag of “petro dolares bolivarianos”

      He has skills but his flaws overshadow the quick driver in him.

  7. Brian (@bforth) said on 21st May 2014, 2:13

    Another interesting one on AutoSport that did not make the round-up: Renault expects some of their teams to endure engine usage penalities.

    Just for those who didn’t look at the Autosport link.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st May 2014, 7:27

      Its a bit stating the obvious when we already had tables showing some teams/cars using 3 or more of their allocation of 5 for the whole year before the last race @bforth, not too newsworthy I would think.

      • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 21st May 2014, 8:35

        @bascb Except that I don’t remember of a comprehensive article here about what each team / driver has already used. I learned there Vettel was not in a comfortable position with the PUs. Or I missed something?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st May 2014, 8:41

          Yes, I think you did miss something, I am pretty sure it was part of the roundups and articles during last race weekend buildup @spoutnik. Or maybe just part of the live blog/twitter feed?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st May 2014, 7:35

      Oh dear, sounds like they went to Lucas for their ECUs, should have known better.

      • salcrich said on 21st May 2014, 8:21

        There can’t be many contributors on here who are old enough to remember the significance of that comment – “the prince of darkness”. I became all nostalgic!

    • Brian (@bforth) said on 21st May 2014, 22:04

      I’m sure you’re right @BasCB, but depending on what regions people live in and how closely they follow F1, it could be news. Evidently I missed hearing of the engine usage tables, and it seems a few others missed it as well.

  8. jason tomlinson (@jasonryan) said on 21st May 2014, 2:40

    That quote by gurney really tells the tale of what kind of legend brabham really was

  9. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 21st May 2014, 2:53

    quote: “and then once in Q3 give it 100, 105.”

    um, I’m guessing the 105% must mean a CRASH!

  10. David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 21st May 2014, 4:06

    Maldonado to outqualify Grosjean at Monaco anyone? Though Grosjean has changed, Monaco was never exactly a circuit he shined on while Maldonado did manage to qualify 8th and was running in 6th in a turd of a Williams in 2011 with 5 laps remaining until he was punted out of the race by Hamilton… plus Maldonado was only knocked out of Q1 by 0.009 seconds in Bahrain by Grosjean.

    • MarkM (@mpmark) said on 21st May 2014, 12:31

      As Maldonado is yet again coming off another crash weekend (Qualifying in Spain). I am going to go out on the limb here and predict he keeps his record breaking crashes going. Taking all the circuits into account, Monaco is one of the LEAST forgiving so he really is against the odds here. If you look at his history at this track more of his sponsors have ended up on the wall rather then his car.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 21st May 2014, 13:24

      If there’s any track that Maldonado will shine at this year, bizarrely it will be Monaco. This will be a good marker to see how he’ll do post-Spain..

  11. andae23 (@andae23) said on 21st May 2014, 6:34

    Nice to hear Dan Gurney’s thoughts on Jack Brabham’s death. I really don’t see how F1 could establish relationships like that ever again, which is a real shame.

  12. I’m really confused about the source of money for Pastor Maldonado. I thought he was backed by PDVSA rather than the Venezuelan government. I know that PDVSA is owned by the government, but I thoughts there was a mutual exclusivity between the two, making the comments of a politician carry little weight.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st May 2014, 7:54

      @georgeod

      The scheme should be: the Ministry runs the program which is paid by PDVSA and the government itself. In return, PDVSA and Venezuela get their logos on Lotus cars and probably other “benefits”.

      Unfortunate, PDVSA is not ExxonMobil. It’s a state owned company in a country where democracy still has a flair of autocracy so the government effectively runs PDVSA and their political agenda can influence the way they run businesses.

  13. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 21st May 2014, 8:11

    Could it be Maldonado’s last year? No more car flipping? Will I miss him?
    No, a good pay driver is a pay driver out of the sport. It should be banned, making the cost problem even more critical and raise the need to be addressed.

    • MarkM (@mpmark) said on 21st May 2014, 12:36

      If the funding “stream” is set to stop before we even get to the half way point of the season I really don’t see him lasting the whole year let alone next year. To be realistic, what percentage of his funding is benefiting the team over “fixing the damage on the car” all the time. If the stream of money he brings in stops and yet he continues to create unwanted expenses how will Lotus even have a choice?

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 21st May 2014, 13:30

        Probably a big percentage… Maldonado brings tens of millions, he’s probably still supporting Williams with a severance package. Lotus can bring in Pic once the money has ran out/all been paid and the contract terms allow them to..

  14. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 21st May 2014, 8:52

    So we are in danger of not having Pastor Maldonado anywhere near the top end of motorsport next season, what a shame. Still, it does leave a vacancy in the “rostrum or hospital driving department” of F1 for next year I suppose…

  15. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 21st May 2014, 8:55

    An interesting strategy by Lotus there. Knowing a) that Grosjean has no alternatives to Lotus and b) that their car has a lot more performance potential than for instance the F14 T and the MP4-29, they can afford to a) set big targets (such as beating Ferrari) and b) deify Grosjean by randomly linking him with the best teams. Maybe they learnt the later from Maldonado, who claimed he was approached by Ferrari last year…(!?)…

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