Ferrari must be more creative – Allison

F1 Fanatic Round-up

James Allison, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari technical director James Allison says the team’s design staff needs to be given greater freedom.


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

Ferrari ‘hurt by lack of creativity’ (BBC)

“It is a question of giving them the encouragement to actually go off and do more unusual things and then have the time to look at them and know that if they fail it’s OK because there’s still time to put a back-up plan in place and for that to work.”

Caterham play down Haas talk (Sky)

Cyril Abiteboul: “I think they have a very strong opinion of how they want to do Formula One. I don’t think that we tick their boxes”

Mercedes offer Formula One rivals feud for thought (Reuters)

Lewis Hamilton: “People say that we are best friends but we are not. We have not been since we were 13 years old. I say hi to him and he says hi to me. We don’t have lunch together; we don’t have dinners. We are cool.”

Rosberg: Our feud will be forgotten (The Telegraph)

“We discuss the issues and we have already discussed them and it will again be better and it will be forgotten.”

Merc drivers ‘a bit like teenagers’ – Wolff (ESPN)

“We started [setting boundaries] before the season and this is a dynamic process that is being recalibrated before every single weekend – before the race weekend, at the race weekend and after the race weekend. Sometimes, and I mean this with a positive spin, they are a little bit like teenagers finding out how far they can go.”

Christian Horner: “We are now where we should have been in January…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“We’re very much in Renault’s hands. We are making progress, they’re making progress, Total on the fuel side have been making progress. But really we are now where we should have been in January.”

Massa: Monaco easier than expected (Autosport)

“I expected Monaco to be much more tricky that how it was. It was better than expected.”

Caterham Group Statement

“Despite press rumours to the contrary, Caterham Group is not for sale.”

The Hamilton/Rosberg rivalry (MotorSport)

“The guys and girls at Marussia are some of the most welcoming and helpful in the paddock and their efforts don’t get enough respect.”

“Thoughts About the Most Absurd Place” (The Motorsport Archive)

“Like the precious, dull, soft safety net that is West London, this feels like the kind of place where fat, leery men go to die, poisoned by the strength of their own bullshit. Never has glamour looked so cheap.”


Comment of the day

If Hamilton’s handling of the media detracting from his performances on-track?

On track he is as good this season as he ever has been. For the first part of the season he seemed to concentrating all his focus onto racing. Now he thinks he’s playing mind games that are helping him beat Rosberg. If that’s what he really believes, it is delusional. He’s really playing right into the insatiable clutches of media spin where he is doomed to be endlessly surfing tornadoes.

What is wrong with just shutting up off track, and proving your points on track? The constant ever sharpening drama is somewhat entertaining, but ever so childish. The focus now is more on the sad soap opera, not his four wins so far. What would Hamilton most like to be remembered for, his words, or his accomplishments on track? It’s his choice, the world is watching.

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On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonMichael Schumacher took his second consecutive pole position of 1994 in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Damon Hill took second for Williams, with David Coulthard ninth for Williams.

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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106 comments on Ferrari must be more creative – Allison

  1. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 28th May 2014, 8:24

    Wow, that Formula Renault 2.0 restart at Silverstone is pure madness!
    It could have been really bad :s

  2. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 28th May 2014, 8:37

    Ferrari seem to be lost. They have all the right people, all the right partners and heaps of resources, but they have consistently failed to produce a car that can challenge for race wins since 2009 (though the F10 was pretty handy). There has to be something wrong with the structure of the team, something happening at the top level that just isn’t conducive to getting results. I wish I had an idea as to what it was, but I don’t.

    • BlueChris (@bluechris) said on 28th May 2014, 8:59

      I strongly believe that except their wind tunnel problems that this year seem to work better, they are conservative in design and in engine… in engine i get it .. its not cool to see a Ferrari blow engines because of tuning in the limits but somehow .. someday they must risk to gain. In all F1 era if you dont risk you dont gain anything and this is what is huppening in Ferrari this moment.

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 28th May 2014, 10:07

      @geemac I believe the comments we’re seeing is a reaction to Domenicali being moved on, it is clear that Ferrari have been told from high up in the ranks that they have to do better or their jobs are on the line. Hence why we are now seeing comments like the one below:

      “It is a question of giving them the encouragement to actually go off and do more unusual things and then have the time to look at them and know that if they fail it’s OK”

      If I read this right, its a case of “changing things” for the sake of appearing to shake things up without actually understanding why it is that they’re failing… It is after all Ferrari :P

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 28th May 2014, 11:23

        @dragoll I think you are right there @dragoll. I’m no expert in workplace motivation, but I’m pretty sure that “we are going to sack one of you if we don’t win everything this year” isn’t the right way to motivate people to be successful.

        • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 28th May 2014, 14:49

          Right. In fact, look at how well that strategy is working for Caterham. (We’ll sack the whole team if we don’t improve.) One would think Ferrari could instead reward some outside the box thinking.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th May 2014, 22:50

        @dragoll,@geemac,@bullmello, I beg to differ, I think what Allison is saying is that the design staff have, in the past, been ordered to produce a better package for the next race after every race instead of being given the time to do a thorough revision to be ready when it’s ready, the result being all resources devoted to a quick fix in one area rather than taking the time to work methodically on the whole car.

        • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 29th May 2014, 11:35

          I think you are right @hohum. Ferrari’s attitude to innovation by other teams recently seems to be as follows:

          (a) Why didn’t we think of it first;
          (b) Because we didn’t think of it, can we have it declared illegal; and
          (c) oh ok, how long before we can have it too.

          It is a very reactionary process, they don’t seem to ever take the time to just let their own car’s natural development path carry on as they intended.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 30th May 2014, 1:04

            @geemac, agreed, I probably should have gone on and mentioned how successful Ross Brawn has been in all the teams he has been associated with and how that success has usually come around his 3rd. year of steady progress with the team.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th May 2014, 11:37

      They’ve failed to produce one that can regularly challenge, but I think more than just Alonso should get credit for Ferrari getting at least a race win every year (up until now).

  3. Tom C. said on 28th May 2014, 9:51

    Everybody here is talking about how Lewis’s mind games are only going to come back and bite himself in the backside. I agree that at this stage – the FIA having given its verdict and the grand prix over – he should just take Rihanna’s advice and “shut up and drive”. But I don’t agree that Lewis is simply playing mind games, playing it up for the media or whatever other half-sinister motive people can think of. I think Lewis genuinely feel that he has been done wrong by, and it is not difficult to see why. Note that my point here is not that there is a great big conspiracy against Hamilton. My point is just that if you look at the little data available to us – the replays, other incidents from the weekend – it really is very inconclusive about Rosberg’s mistake, and it’s very easy to see why Lewis, who probably knows now that he upset Nico in Barcelona by using an engine mode he wasn’t supposed to use, feels that Nico did it on purpose. Mind you, Lewis was angry about that incident as soon as he got out of the car after qualifying, before he even had any idea of what had actually happened.

    If you look at a replay of the incident on YouTube, you will see just how pathetic the incident looks. The onboard shot gives you the strange wiggling of the steering wheel, while the track-side cameras show that the car does manage to rotate somewhat, then the lock-up comes and then the car continues in a straight line. Notice that the lock-up 1) occurs halfway through corner entry and 2) it is only the inside front wheel that locks, and only briefly. If Nico was really struggling to rotate the car because he was running out of grip, you would expect the load-bearing outside tyre to lock up when he applies the brakes. Of course, if Nico has already given up on the corner at this point, he might not be putting in as much steering angle as he would otherwise and the outside wheel may not be under so much stress. But if you want to say that, you would have to concede that the lock-up itself comes too late to be a contributing factor to Nico missing the corner. Whatever caused him to miss the corner, it would have to have happened before the lock-up. Now think about the incidents we saw through-out the weekend – a lot of people struggling with the brake-by-wire, causing huge clouds of smoke as they lock up their front tires going into Sainte Devote, Mirabeau and to a lesser extent the Nouvelle Chicane. Was there every an incident as pathetic as the Rosberg one? He approaches the corner and starts wiggling his steering wheel. He then has a minor lock-up, halfway through corner entry, on his inside wheel and proceeds to drive off the track. It really does look unusual from the track-side camera shots.

    So I don’t think it is difficult to see how Hamilton might feel that he has been done wrong by. Perhaps the AMuS claim is even true and Rosberg did in fact brake 10 metres later into Mirabeau on that lap, and perhaps that’s what Lewis saw in the telemetry. 10 metres is very significant in such a short braking zone. I think if you look at an extended replay of the incident, you will see that Rosberg clears the hill after Casino in a slightly awkward fashion that may have upset the car on braking and entry to Mirabeau, which could explain why the incident looks so strange. As Rosberg himself said, he also knew he was on provisional pole and that allowed him to take some extra chances, particularly in sector two (which starts between Casino and Mirabeau) where Lewis was quicker. But I think if you are predisposed to see the Mirabeau incident as deliberate, which Lewis no doubt was and is, it is easy to find evidence to support that judgment. I really doubt that the anger and attitude Lewis is showing is some calculated attempt at mind games.

  4. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 28th May 2014, 11:01

    I think Newey will join Ferrari

    • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 28th May 2014, 12:20

      You and me both :-)

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 28th May 2014, 14:02

      I don’t think Newey will join Ferrari. Why would he?

      At RBR Newey has freedom and power. At Ferrari he’d have to work with Montezemolo.

      Neither does Newey have to prove himself to anyone. He’s already a legend after his years with Williams, McLaren and RBR. Even if he’d make Ferrari champions again, that couldn’t make him any more respected than he already is.

      Besides, Newey has a family in England. If he wanted new challenges, he’d probably pick one of the many teams based there. I don’t think working at Ferrari is as glamorous for engineers as it is for drivers.

      The only reason why Newey would join Ferrari that I can think of, is money. But Newey must have a fortune already after all those successful years in Formula One and I believe RBR is already paying him quite nicely – and prepared to raise his salary if necessary.

  5. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 28th May 2014, 11:10

    I think Sochi should be boycotted. This race will be another tool for Putin and to show his nation Russia’s superioty and steer everybody’s attention from their poverty, just to make proud of Russia, just like events in Ukraine. World can’t tolerate Russia, which uses plain force to bite off a chunk of land from another country.

    • Sleepy Will said on 28th May 2014, 16:11

      Just be very careful about judging either Ukraine or Russia over the current crisis, this is a situation where no sources are particularly trustworthy and the trustworthy reporters so far have not been in the right place at the right time. It’s not like one single one of us lives in a country that hasn’t been in a dispute over sovereignty – are we to boycott Spain and the UK over Gibraltar too?

      Besides which, what country doesn’t spend obscene amounts of money on marketing themselves? At least this way, we get a sporting event and lets be honest, the way to make people more progressive – a criticism that you actually can level at Russia with any confidence – is to give them more and more exposure to cultures that wouldn’t put up with those kind of laws.

      • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 28th May 2014, 16:55

        I might not live in Ukraine, but I live in Lithuania, which is near Russia, and I know what it means Russia’s propaganda.

        I met few russian tourists about a month ago,which asked me a few directions and we had little chat. They said that russian media were saying that lithuania is very unfriendly and even agressive towards russians and recommended not to go to Lithuania. But those tourists said they were surprised how polite, friendly and helpful lithuanians actually are.

        • Sleepy Will said on 28th May 2014, 19:19

          Right, so you probably understand better than I do that the breakup of the soviet union was, just like every other empire that fell, not a perfect thing and border disputes were and are inevitable for a few hundred years and when those disputes happen, very few people understand the full picture because we are all being told opinion as if it is fact.

          Remember, the soviet union used to forcibly relocate it’s citizens and plenty of Russians were forced to live in the Ukraine. A year after the Ukraine forced over 20,000 people out and into Crimea for the sole reason that they were not Ukranian, the peninsula was given to Ukraine. 20% of the population of Crimea were alive when that happened – 1 in 5 people suffered that trauma only to find themselves handed to Ukraine, the people who perpetrated that little piece of history.

          I’m not saying Russia are in the right, nor am I saying the Ukraine are. I’m saying it’s complicated in the same way that all breakups of Empires is complicated for hundreds of years after. You need look no further than the breakup of the British Empire for evidence of that.

          And before we start boycotting anyone, we really need to remember that Viktor Yanuyovch who was, at the time the elected president of Ukraine has stated that he asked Russia to occupy Crimea. The unelected government seized control with violence – the very thing you called a boycott against Russia for. Again not saying that “right”, whatever that means, is on the side of the Russians, but it’s hardly a black and white situation and one which needs careful consideration instead of kneejerk, bridgeburning reactions.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 28th May 2014, 20:58

        Democracies look like democracies. Autocracies look like autocracies. If it looks like, it probably is.

        It’s up to you my friend.

  6. Alex McFarlane said on 28th May 2014, 11:48

    Meanwhile, over on the Beeb website, Christian Horner believes the Red Bull raced the Mercedes, convieniently forgetting Hamilton’s sight issues.
    Perhaps one thing that was lost in the weekends other shenanigans is that even on a circuit where power was less of a factor, the Mercs cruised off into the distance without much difficulty. Given what transpired in Spain with boostgate, we now know for definite that the Mercs are sandbagging, and still the other teams can’t keep up. A great job by Mercedes on the W05, and if other teams can catch up and push them then maybe the new formula will be fully vindicated.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th May 2014, 23:02

      And at the same time drivers and engineers at Williams, FI and MacL are loooking at their steering wheels wondering where that extra power setting is.

  7. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 28th May 2014, 11:51

    People say that we are best friends but we are not. We have not been since we were 13 years old. I say hi to him and he says hi to me. We don’t have lunch together; we don’t have dinners.

    Ah common Lewis! It’s better that all the talking is done on the track. He is simply damaging himself by letting his emotions out so publicly. As much as I see Nico trying to calm the fire, I see Lewis adding more fuel to it. He has already faced a season where people remember him for his off track antics rather than his good drives and if he keeps this way, 2014 might also be remembered for the same reasons.

    As in COTD, it was rightly mentioned that people have almost forgotten about his 4 successive wins. So it’s time to shut up!

  8. AlexT (@alext) said on 28th May 2014, 12:01

    In my opinion COTD is spot on. But it’s kind of funny. I hear a lot of moaning on this site about Hamilton’s loose mouth and how he should concentrate on doing the job on track. That’s why the media throws these bones, because there are a lot of people waiting to split the hair and make assumptions. I’m not reading many comments about the evolution on track, just how childish Hamilton is. How are the f1 fanatics so different when they actually enjoy it and don’t hold back from fueling the fire. Maybe we should also have less to say about it. Anyone else in favor of enforcing a mean comments limit? 100/year?

  9. Dizzy said on 28th May 2014, 14:01

    I remember in the past lewis would make a comment & than have to eat his words on the track.

    In 2008 for example he said he had never made a mistake in the wet & then hit the wall at Monaco.
    At Montreal he said that he was above making silly mistakes & then drove into Kimi in the pits.
    At Hungary he said he’d never been overtake round the outside because he woudl never put himself in a position to be & then Massa overtook him round the outside.
    In 2009 at Monaco he said after practice that he felt he was the best driver out there that weekend & then he put it in the barrier in qualifying.
    Going into 2011 he said he was the most focused he had ever been & then had a season of driving into people, He then made the comment at Monaco about only getting penaltys because he was black.
    Going into 2012 he said he was the best race starter on the grid & then got owned by Jenson off the line in Melbourne.

    I could list more.

  10. I really hope that this whole Hamilton-Rosberg saga won’t end like Hamilton-Alonso or Senna-Prost. If that happens I believe it will be Hamilton who is shown the door, not only because he is the one that makes things worse, but also because of the German driver in a German car thing (at least this is what I believe Mercedes would want).

    And if he leaves Mercedes what is the likelihood of him finding a competitive seat after that? Looking at the previous examples, it took Prost 3 years to find, and Alonso is still looking for it.

    • JackJ said on 28th May 2014, 16:30

      He could go to Red Bull. I would love to see him and Vettel go head to head.

      • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 28th May 2014, 19:44

        I’m not convinced Red Bull want him. Christian Horner seems to get the barge pole out whenever it’s mooted.

      • I would love to see that pair as well, but Red Bull currently have two strong drivers as Ricciardo is doing better than expected, so they don’t have any reason to change anything. Also they might want to avoid the risk of another big conflict between drivers; I really can’t imagine Vettel and Hamilton going along that well in a fast car. But yeah, I hope Lewis calms down a bit.

  11. DaveW (@dmw) said on 28th May 2014, 16:04

    As for this COTD, and when drivers will shut up off the track, the counterpoint is obvious and much-repeated. Drivers don’t call press conferences to deliver manifestos. They give interviews, and people ask them questions. Often they answer. And if they don’t give interviews, or don’t answer, they get branded as sullen, angry, bitter, disinterested, uncommitted, whatever.

    I remember back in the olden days of 2010-2011, when Hamilton decided to stop doing these interviews for a bit, people were talking about his sunglasses, or his girlfriend, or Rihanna, or comparing his musical tastes to those of civilized asthetes like the pianist Adrian Sutil. The press is not going to stop generating news about a driver’s inner life because he shuts up. So he had better speak up if he wants to define himself. And if everyone doesn’t like what he’s got to say, so be it. They are not running for office or applying to be your kids’ nanny.

    As far as what Hamilton what will be remembered for, it’s far too late to roll out this old rusty cart about how he will never get anywhere unless he starts being more neat and less street. While people have been chiding him, in between extended-pinky finger sips of their afternoon tea, he has been racking up an astounding record, and maintained his reputation as the quickest driver in the sport. In this regard, it may be best to learn from the recent words of Jenson Button. He confirmed that, while Hamilton got very emotional whenever he was beaten by Button, at the next race, Hamilton would stay quiet, put his head down, and destroy Button.

    • JackJ said on 28th May 2014, 16:32

      Getting emotional when you are beaten doesn’t sound very professional. But I like the destroy part that comes after.

  12. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 28th May 2014, 22:49

    Ok, but who will get it for them?

  13. Sami said on 30th May 2014, 7:37

    Ferrari seems to be very creative when they are looking for ways to favour Alonso.

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